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Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Rain hits Abu Dhabi and Dubai - Heralds Winter Season

Al Ain/Abu Dhabi/Dubai - Nov. 21: The west coast received its first major downpour of the winter yesterday when rains lashed Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Residents welcomed the wet conditions, which meteorologists said were caused by a weak low pressure system. And the forecasters warned that conditions may stay unsettled until mid-morning today.

"The rain was short but beautiful. We all, including the kids, rushed to the rooftop to enjoy it fully," said Abu Dhabi resident A.K. Majeed, who comes from Kerala in India.


Clouds started gathering over the capital in the early morning yesterday and by noon the skies were covered with a thick, dark overcast. The rain started shortly after 1.30pm and was accompanied by thunder and winds of up to 35 knots.

Heavy rain accompanied by strong winds and thunder were also reported in Ras Al Ghanadha on the Abu Dhabi to Dubai highway. In Al Khazna on the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain highway, the skies were cloudy but there were no reports of rain or strong winds.

Temperature drops

Dubai received its soaking later in the afternoon, although in northern parts of the city the rainfall was lighter.  At Dubai International Airport 0.2mm of rain was recorded.

The overcast and rainy conditions caused temperatures in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to fall temporarily by several degrees. Clive Stevens, duty forecaster at Dubai International Airport, said this type of unsettled weather was 'something that happens in winter'. He added: "It is typical of November with cooler air coming in over the warm sea, leading to unstable conditions. "After Tuesday morning it will probably clear up and only be partly cloudy. By 10am it should have stopped raining."

The unsettled conditions could lead to slightly rougher seas with winds of more than 20 knots producing waves of three to six feet offshore.

"The rain was short but beautiful.  We all, including the kids, rushed to the rooftop to enjoy it fully."


Housemaid 'was raped at knifepoint by sponsor's son'

Dubai - Nov. 21: A housemaid told a court yesterday that her sponsor's drunken son raped her at knifepoint in her room.

Dubai Public Prosecution charged the Emarati suspect, identified as R.R., in his early 20s, with consuming liquor and rape.

The young Sri Lankan housemaid, identified as S.H., told the Dubai Court of First Instance yesterday that R.R. approached her while she was in the kitchen.

"He asked me to bring his clothes but I asked him to speak to his mother because the room was closed. Then he grabbed a knife and dragged me to my room outside the house. He hit me on my face and raped me at knifepoint," the claimant told the judge.

The court heard that following the alleged assault, the housemaid went into the house and told the suspect's stepmother.

The stepmother who was also present at court said the housemaid was crying.

"I could not understand completely from her what happened, but I called the police," she said.

Police came and arrested him.

"He told me earlier not to worry and that he would explain everything later," the stepmother told the judge.

She told the judge she could not communicate with R.R. and he once stabbed his brother.

R.R. is pleading not guilty to the rape charge. The case was adjourned until next month.


Maktoum Hospital facilities will be relocated gradually

DUBAI — Nov. 21: A familiar landmark and the first stop for any expatriate for medical fitness, Al Maktoum Hospital and Health Centre in Deira will disappear soon as its medical facilities will be shifted to other locations.

The change is expected to take place in the coming 10 months.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Director-General of Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms) said that a project was being prepared for the hospital and a new facility for the hospital is being approved while a budget has also been fixed.

“The building is old and cannot be sustained for long, but the hospital definitely remains,” he explained, adding that the whole hospital will be shifted by the year 2007.

He said that the Medical Fitness Centre will be shifted to a new facility at Ras Al Khor while some departments will be adjusted in Rashid Hospital and Satwa Clinic.

“A new Occupational Health and Medical Fitness Centre for the labourers will be opened in Satwa Clinic in two weeks time. This will only address the needs of labourers and provide basic treatment to them. It will not handle any major cases,” explained Al Murooshid.

He also said that the clinic will provide medical certificates and occupational health related specialised services to labourers.

Another medical centre called the Al Bide Health Centre has been opened in Satwa after the closure of the centre in Rashid Hospital.

Al Maktoum Health Centre has always been considered a leading centre in modern health care. It is a central part of the Primary Health Care section of Dohms.

The Primary Health care consists of 20 health centres and peripheral clinics throughout Dubai on a ratio of health of one health centre or clinic to every 30,000 persons. The geographical distribution of these centres takes in consideration the ease of accessibility of patients to them.

The health centres are constructed and equipped with the necessary medical facilities and staffed with qualified health workers trained to serve in this field.


Bundled software programmes likely to slow down computers

DUBAI — Nov. 21:Affiliate programmes that distribute spyware alone or bundle it with other software have been around for almost a decade but are more menacing than ever now.

According to Justin Doo, regional director of Trend Micro, bundled applications that display pop-up ads, redirect web searches and access to web merchants, attempt to close anti-spyware software, and install modifications to Internet Explorer.

Once the screensaver is installed, the user ends up with an array of new applications all running at once in the background, which slows his or her machine down to an almost unusable state.   Worse still, un-installation is difficult and ultimately unsuccessful.

Doo warns users at Gitex 2006, the Middle East’s largest IT exhibition, to be on guard against malware threats and network viruses.

“With the recent changes in the structure of affiliate networks, there is now a new model of spyware installations,” explains Doo.

“The result is that those with little or no programming experience can now bundle as many new breed affiliate networks together as possible. This spells top dollar for the distributor, but for the unfortunate end user it means their PC is likely to slow down to an unusable state — and possibly crash.”

Take, for example, the Jessica Simpson screensaver that’s listed in response to Jessica Simpson search queries, and is distributed by a number of sites.

The screensaver may be free, but it comes with a hidden cost. That’s because it’s bundled with a witches’ brew of Trojan horses, undisclosed adware, spyware, and a stealth dialler  — programmes like WebHancer, NewDotNet, Ezula, among others.

The ‘Jessica Simpson’ name is commonly used as a traffic generator to gain adware and spyware installations.

“It is interesting that, if you perform a Google search for ‘Jessica Simpson screensaver’, one of the sponsored links that is returned installs Zango, an adware application, and the MySearch toolbar, a browser helper object that is commonly bundled with adware.

“This means that someone ends up paying the Google AdSense fee for the sponsored link. (AdSense is an ad serving programme run and administered by Google which generates revenue on either a per-click or per-thousand-impressions basis.) Then money is made back by installing the adware from the web site to which the user gets directed,” says Doo.


Avoidable death

Dubai - Nov. 21: Road safety experts said yesterday that 34-year-old Shehla Mohammadi, who died when she was flung from her vehicle while off-roading in Hatta on Friday, could have been saved if she had worn a seat belt. A safety official with the Dubai traffic department told 7DAYS that Shehla “may not have fallen” had she used the seat belt in the back seat of the four-wheel drive.

In the tragic accident reported in 7DAYS on Monday, Shehla and her two-year-old son Omar Mohammed were thrown out of a four-wheel drive after it rolled over in the rocky terrain of the Hajar Mountains. The pair fell 60 metres down a ravine. Omar, who was sitting on Shehla’s lap when the accident happened, miraculously survived after his mother’s body cushioned his fall but Shehla died instantly.

The official said, not only could the mother’s death have been avoided, but that the child’s life was only put at risk because he was not strapped in. “Children should always be seated in a child seat. It is necessary that all passengers wear seat belts,” he said. “The lady may not have fallen had she worn a seat belt.”  Road safety studies reveal that wearing seat belts reduces chances of death by 50 per cent for adults and 60 per cent for children, he revealed.

The law says you should wear a seat belt wherever you are sitting in a car, but it is not strictly enforced, with overloaded cars and children sitting on dashboards a common sight on Dubai’s roads. “Drivers should insist on passengers wearing seat belts and should not move until the seat belts are put on. It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure safety in the car,” said the safety official.

7DAYS safe driving expert, Bob Farrow, agrees that seat belts should always be worn. “Seat belts are designed to protect and should always be worn no matter where you are sitting. Seating the child on the lap involves high risk and child seats should be used at all times,” said Farrow. Meanwhile, Omar’s father Mohammed Mubariz Uddin Nayyar received his wife’s body from the police yesterday and she will be buried today in Dubai.


Camp violations found

Dubai - Nov. 01: Dubai Municipality inspections revealed almost 20 per cent of labour camps in Al Qusais were in violation of municipal health and safety standards. Salim Al Mesmar, director of public health at the municipality headed the newly formed committee, which carried out the random inspections at various camps last week.

The aim of the inspections is to check which companies are abiding by safety and health regulations and “to punish those who did not conform,” Al Mesmar said. However, the committee’s report, released yesterday, failed to specify what penalties, if any, would be levied against the violating companies. Hundreds of thousands of workers live in around 500 different camps in the area.



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