News re-Blog

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Troops in Bahrain Receive 1,000 Christmas Trees

One thousand Christmas trees arrived in Bahrain Dec. 12 to be delivered to forward-deployed service members in the Middle East. This is the second year in a row that New York businesses and veterans have coordinated with DHL, a worldwide shipping service, to fly Christmas trees to military members in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain. Bill Ashton, DHL assistant local affairs director for the Middle East, said DHL planes routinely fly to Bahrain, Iraq and Afghanistan delivering letters and gifts to troops in the area. When DHL was approached in 2004 by New York businessman Jim Adelis with the idea that would later be coined “DHL Christmas Trees for Troops,”

Ashton said it was only logical that the company use their established service to deliver a greater level of happiness to military members. Ashton said 500 Christmas trees were flown to bases in Iraq, 300 trees were delivered to Afghanistan and 150 trees went to Kuwait. The rest were distributed to commands at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, including Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and tenant commands at the Aviation Unit. The shipment also included 4,000 boxes of lights and ornaments, and thousands of Christmas cards and letters. Storekeeper 2nd Class Karina Rodriguez from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15, a helicopter squadron on a scheduled deployment from Ingleside, Texas, said she was happy to get a tree to brighten her command. Read More....

Source: Navy News Stand

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Michaud Opposes Bahrain Free Trade Agreement

Almost a week ago, the House of Representatives passed H.R 4340, the United States - Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Implementation Act. Congressman Michaud voted against the Bahrain Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act due to his belief that it is a bad policy and also sets a dangerous precedent for future negotiations of such agreements.

"As a mill worker at the Great Northern Paper Company for 30 years, I have seen first-hand the devastation of previous so-called free trade agreements on the US economy. I know what they really mean for working people. The list of jobs lost and companies relocated is almost too long to recite," Michaud said. "While this agreement is slightly better in terms of environmental and labor standards for workers than previous agreements, it still falls far short of reaching our goal for truly fair trade."

The Bahrain FTA is based on the same model as other recent trade agreements that fails to enforce new labor standards, and that does not contribute to the creation of jobs and wages in the U.S. In addition, workers and unions in Bahrain have not been adequately consulted by their government on the provisions contained in the agreement.

"An Arabic translation did not even exist at the time that the Bahrain FTA was considered and approved by the Bahrain Parliament," Michaud said. "That is simply outrageous. We are confronting a record-shattering trade deficit of $617 billion from last year; we have lost more than three million manufacturing jobs since 1998, over 24,000 of those jobs right here in Maine," Michaud said. "The lack of real worker standards in the Bahrain FTA continues the pattern of other recent trade agreements that puts our workers on an uneven playing field. This not only puts jobs at risk, it creates a race to the bottom. It is time to make sure that our trade is not just free, but also fair."

The Senate is expected to consider the Bahrain FTA in the near future.

Source: Magic City Morning Star

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Bahrain's Contexture Associate Gets a New Chief Operating Officer!

[Here's a Scoop for you GDN! So shall we be seeing it in tomorrow's issue?]

After 20 years in the business, Indranil Gupta looks as excited about advertising as do most of the starry eyed students of the discipline. Surely it is this fascination with his art that has goaded the executive director of R K Swamy/BBDO to chuck up his plum job in India to take on a new assignment with a Middle East communications consultancy company called Contexture Associate. Forty three year old Gupta is slated to join the Bahrain-based design shop on April 16 as chief operating officer. "This job will give me the global perspective that I was looking for," declares Gupta with evident joy.

"I am all set to move on. But my decision has nothing to do with the Indian advertising scenario in general or with anything happening at RK Swamy in particular. No such juice!" he chuckles. And adds that the founder of Contexture Associate is an Iranian-born Houstonian Vahid Mehrinfar, whom he describes as "one of the most gifted visualizers in the world". Mehrinfar has a background in industrial design with specialisation in automobile design, and happens to be a painter of magical realism. And six-year old Contexture Associate has positioned itself as a 'strategic consultant' which specializes in corporate branding. "The agency is mainly focused on positioning, signage design, corporate literature and industrial product design. These functions are becoming increasingly important with growing foreign investment in Bahrain," he says.

The agency - which has clients like Toyota, Isuzu, Volvo on the roster - has just been invested into by Saudi Arabia's 9th largest business group which operates in the fields of IT, travel and communications. "My brief is to augment the professional capacity of the operations and open up satellite offices in various parts of the Middle East. The idea is to provide a wider array of integrated brand communications services - beyond design - and simultaneously equip ourselves to serve businesses out of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Lebanon etc. Soon we hope to look at South East Asia and India as well," he promises.

Source: AgencyFAQs!

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German Jailed for Smuggling Dope in Underwear from Bahrain

A German man found with cannabis hidden in his underwear after a flight from Bahrain was sentenced to six months in a Singapore jail, news reports said on Saturday. Ray Sebastian Nantwi Lutzenkirchen, 19, was on a Gulf Air plane when a flight stewardess smelled cigarette smoke as he came out of a toilet on December 2, according to The Straits Times.

When the plane landed in Singapore, Lutzenkirchen was arrested and taken to the Bedok police division headquarters. He was searched and a package containing a greenish vegetable substance was found in his undergarment, containing 1.53 grams of cannabis or marijuana, the report said.

Lutzenkirchen pleaded guilty on Friday to having the controlled drug after the charge was read to him by a German interpreter. In mitigation, the man with long, braided hair said he was sorry and would not do it again. Lutzenkirchen said he was ill, suffering from depression, and would like to go to Germany for treatment. The judge said he could do so after serving his sentence.

Source: Expatica.com

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