Social Assistance Project: Partial Withdrawal of Butane Gas Subsidy to Take Effect on Monday

The partial withdrawal of the butane gas subsidy will take effect starting tomorrow, Monday, May 20, 2024, as part of the government’s direct social assistance program. This initiative aims to more effectively select households eligible for social aid, according to the Directorate of Competition, Prices, and Compensation, under the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The government has bolstered the direct social assistance program with several social initiatives. These include the extension of medical coverage to 4.2 million families under the AMO Tadamon scheme and a housing assistance program benefiting 330,000 families over three years. Additionally, recent salary increases for public and private sector employees, announced during the April round of social dialogue, are expected to enhance the purchasing power of more than 4 million Moroccan families, the Directorate stated in a communiqué.

As a result of the subsidy withdrawal, the price of a 3 kg gas bottle will rise by 2.5 dirhams, while the price of a
12 kg gas bottle will increase by 10 dirhams.

The communiqué highlighted that this partial reform of the butane gas subsidy system aligns with the broader direct social assistance program, which has already benefited 3.6 million families as of last April. The reform emphasizes a more effective selection of eligible households through the unified social registry.

In this context, the comprehensive reform of the social protection system will proceed with the implementation of Framework Law 09.21 on social protection, published in the Official Bulletin on March 23, 2021. Article 8 of this law states that the direct social assistance program will be financed through the generalization and consolidation of various social programs, coupled with the gradual reform of the compensation system.

The government has earmarked 80 billion dirhams up to 2026 to fund all social programs and to implement the recommendations of the social dialogue, including salary increases for both public and private sector employees, the
communiqué added.

Source: Agence Marocaine De Presse

20 Martyred, Dozens Injured in Violent Israeli Raid on Nuseirat Camp

At least 20 Palestinians were martyred and several others were injured at dawn Sunday, in a violent Israeli air raid that targeted a residential square in the New Camp, north of the Nuseirat Camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Health sources in the Gaza Strip reported that ambulance and civil defense crews recovered 20 martyrs from under the rubble of the targeted homes in Nuseirat, in addition to a large number of wounded, including children, while search operations are still ongoing.

The Israeli occupation has continued its aggression against the Gaza Strip, by land, sea and air, since Oct. 7, killing 35,386, the majority of whom are children and women, and injuring 79,366, while thousands of victims are still under the rubble.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Saudi Crown Prince, US National Security Advisor Discuss Regional Developments

HH Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud discussed with the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan regional developments, including the situation in the Gaza Strip and the necessity to stop the war and facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid.

The meeting also discussed the strategic relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them in various fields, in addition to the joint efforts to realize the two-state solution to meet the aspirations of the Palestinian people and preserve their legitimate rights.

Source: Qatar News Agency

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake Hits US State of Alaska

An earthquake measuring 4.5 magnitude on the Richter scale struck on Sunday the coast of Attu Island, in the US State of Alaska.

The epicenter of the earthquake occurred 361 km from Attu Station on the island, at a depth of 10 km, the US Geological Survey reported.

Alaska is located above the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area where tectonic plates meet, and the friction of which leads to strong seismic and volcanic activity.

Source: Qatar News Agency

UN Mission Calls for Immediate Halt to Hostilities in Libya

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said that it is closely monitoring the intermittent clashes which broke out Saturday in the city of Zawiya, resulting in some casualties, including civilians.

In a post on X platform, UNSMIL urged the immediate cessation of hostilities, calling on Libyan authorities to ensure the protection and safety of civilians.

According to local sources and media, the city of Zawiya witnessed clashes in which light and medium weapons were used, causing several random shells to fall on civilian homes, Libyan news agency (WAL) reported.

The Zawia University Student Union also announced the suspension of studies due to the ongoing clashes in the city.

The Libyan Red Crescent in Al-Zawiya, also held an emergency meeting to provide safe passage to remove civilians from the areas of clashes, calling on the warring parties to enter into a truce to remove the trapped families.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Abdulla Al Qubaisi Wins Title of Second Round of Qatar Superstock

Doha: May 18 – Abdulla Al Qubaisi won the second round of the sixth edition of the Qatar Superstock. Held at the Lusail International Circuit, the two-day event saw the participation of 31 riders.

Al Qubaisi was crowned the champion after winning both races. In the first race, he finished first with a time of 25 minutes 16.809 seconds, 5.205 seconds ahead of his closest competitor Marshel Al Naimi, who finished second with a time of 25 minutes 22.014 seconds, while Saeed Al Sulaiti came in third place after a time of 25 minutes 35.462 seconds, 18.653 seconds behind the lead.

In the second race, Al Qubaisi also took first place after recording a time of 25 minutes 05.805 seconds and 15.376 seconds behind the lead.

On Friday, drivers and riders had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the track layout and get a feel for its pace during the free practice sessions, which were also timed for qualification in the QSTK 600 category. In Free Practice 1 (timed for qualification), Abdulla Al Qubaisi was th
e fastest, concluding the session at 2 minutes 6.141 seconds, followed closely by Marshel Al Naimi at 2 minutes 6.222 seconds, and Saeed Al Sulaiti, securing a time of 2 minutes 8.875 seconds. In Free Practice 2 (timed for qualification), Abdulla Al Qubaisi clocked the fastest time again at 2 minutes 5.170 seconds, closely followed by Marshel Al Naimi at 2 minutes 5.258 seconds, and Saeed Al Sulaiti at 2 minutes 6.564 seconds.

In Superpole 1 of QSTK 600, Jassim Al Thani led the grid clocking 2 minutes 11.556 seconds, followed by Ali Boushehri at 2 minutes 13.594 seconds and Alexander Qabazard at 2 minutes 13.754 seconds. However, in Superpole 2, Marshel Al Naimi clocked the best time at 2 minutes 4.110 seconds, followed closely by Abdulla Al Qubaisi at 2 minutes 4.340 seconds and Saeed Al Sulaiti at 2 minutes 5.759 seconds.

Qatar SuperSport 300 (QSSP), a racing category for riders from Qatar Motorsports Academy to put their racing skills to test. In free practice 1 of QSSP, Rakshith Dave concluded the sessi
on at 2 minutes 23.695 seconds, followed by Johann Zharfan Zahren, clocking 2 minutes 25.487 seconds, and Edoardo Pia concluding at 2 minutes 26.185 seconds. In Free Practice 2, the results slightly changed, with Rakshith Dave retaining the best clocked time at 2 minutes 22.800 seconds, which improved compared to Free Practice 1. Edoardo Pia concluded at 2 minutes 24.249 seconds, followed by Aaron Robison at 2 minutes 25.519 seconds. In the qualifying practice session, Rakshith Dave retained the best time, clocking 2 minutes 22.416 seconds, followed by Marton Bellelli and Edoardo Pia, concluding the session at 2 minutes 23.515 seconds and 2 minutes 24.209 seconds, respectively.

In Race 1 of the QSSP, the riders from the Qatar Motorsport Academy showcased their skills in an intense battle for the podium. Rakshith Dave maintained his dominance on the grid and secured 1st place with 18 minutes 49.513 seconds. Marton Bellelli followed closely in 2nd place, clocking 18 minutes 54.238 seconds, and Edoardo Pia secu
red 3rd place, concluding the race at 18 minutes 54.346 seconds.

Source: Qatar News Agency