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Issue : February 2006

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  • Ministers boycott cabinet sessionSubscription

    News24 February, 2006

    Ministers boycotted a cabinet meeting in Beirut on 24 February after the meeting was scheduled to take place in the presidential palace. Ministers associated with the March 14 coalition, a group demanding the resignation of pro-Syrian President Lahoud, refused to attend the session. 'March 14 Forces ministers will not go to Baabda presidential palace anymore, as long as Lahoud remains there,' Telecommunications Minster Marwan Hamade said. 'Emile Lahoud is finished as president.' The ...

  • Israeli troops kill two in GazaSubscription

    News24 February, 2006

    Two Palestinians were killed and one injured by Israeli troops in Gaza on 24 February. The Israeli military said the men had been laying explosive devices near the border and soldiers opened fire. However, other reports said the men had been trying to cross into Israel for work. There was no confirmation as to whether the men were members of a militant organisation.The deaths come one day after five Palestinians were killed by an Israeli army raid in the Balata refugee ...

  • Life in the fast laneSubscription

    Special Report24 February, 2006

    Just in case anyone had forgotten that the biggest international event in Qatar's history is fast approaching, a large digital stopwatch now stands on the Doha corniche. Visible to both pedestrians and vehicle drivers alike, the liquid crystal display shows in days, hours, minutes and seconds the time remaining to the start of the Doha Asian Games. A glance at the clock shows there are now fewer than 300 days to go before 1 December and the arrival of some 10,000 participants for the ...

  • NDIA DEVELOPMENT: Flamingos first to benefit from clean-upSubscription

    Special Report24 February, 2006

    One evening last March, a 35-tonne wheel loader broke down on the site of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) project. The operator had experienced countless breakdowns before, but this time he was worried: the machine was marooned in a lake of toxic water. Luckily someone spotted him before darkness descended and he was rescued. But the incident highlighted the hazards of working on one of the Gulf's biggest environmental clear-up operations.

  • Interview: Yousef Hussain Kamal: A sure touchSubscription

    Special Report24 February, 2006

    Yousef Hussain Kamal is probably in a minority of one when he talks about the growing gridlock on Doha's roads. 'I am happy there is congestion,' the finance minister admits. 'The way I look at it is that it shows there is a good economy out there.' Kamal has never been afraid to take the minority view in his decade-long tenure as finance minister. In the late 1990s, he implemented a highly unpopular fiscal reform programme, slashing budgets and cutting subsidies. Throughout, he maintained ...

  • Building a Red Sea economy on trade and investmentSubscription

    Last Word24 February, 2006

    For thousands of years, the Red Sea was the principal highway between the Mediterranean and the lands of Africa, Arabia and the Far East. Ancient Egyptians sailed its waters. Greek sailors learned how to navigate its reefs and use monsoon winds to sail to India and back. Marco Polo returned to Venice through the Red Sea. It was the first coffee route from south Arabia and the Horn of Africa to markets in the north. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 was the start of a new era, but ...

  • Severn Trent, locals to advise NGWASubscription

    News24 February, 2006

    A team of the UK's Severn Trent Water International and the local Consulting Engineering Centre (Sajdi & Partners) has been awarded the contract to provide consultancy services to the Northern Governorate Water Authority (NGWA). The consultants will work with NGWA on the operation and maintenance of water and wastewater facilities in Ajloun, Irbid, Jerash and Mafraq in the northern region for three years, at the end of which NGWA is scheduled for privatisation. Deutsche Gesellschaft ...

  • Bidders line up for Jubail workSubscription

    News24 February, 2006

    The Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu (RCJ&Y) received bids in early February from three local contractors for the seawater facilities expansion contract linking Jubail industrial cities 1 and 2. Al-Harbi Trading & Contracting is the low bidder for the estimated SR 450 million ($120 million) project. The other bidders are Almabani General Contractors and an unidentified firm. The 30-month contract centres on mechanical works, pumps and about 14 kilometres of pipes.

  • More time for IWPP biddersSubscription

    News24 February, 2006

    The bid closing dates have been extended on both the Mesaieed A independent water and power project (IWPP) in Qatar and the Barka 2 IWPP in Oman. For Mesaieed, a new closing date of 12 April has been set. The project, for which 10 developers are prequalified, calls for the construction of a 2,000-MW power plant and 40 million gallons a day of desalination capacity (MEED 23:12:05). On Barka 2, a two-month bid extension has been granted to 29 May. The extension coincided with the client, ...

  • Masterplan on track, says KamalSubscription

    News24 February, 2006

    Phase 1 of Cairo's petrochemicals masterplan is on track to be completed by 2009 and preparation work is under way for the plan's second phase, Osama Kamal, vice-chairman for planning and projects at Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM), told the MEED Natural Gas conference held in Cairo on 21-22 February. According to Kamal, implementation of phase 1 will - at $4,600 million - cost significantly more than the originally planned $3,500 million as a result of higher material ...

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