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 Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief

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Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief  23.6.2012   

June 23, 2012 -  Sulaimaniyah, Erbil-Hewler, Duhok, Kirkuk, Kurdistan Region 'Iraq'

Most contesters for women beauty pageant from Sulaimaniyah "The Paris of Kurdistan"

Sulaimaniyah: Some 44 women, most of them from Sulaimaniyah (Suli), have registered their names as candidates for the first women beauty pageant in the Kurdistan Region, due June 28. Most of the women are from Suli, followed by candidates from Kirkuk province, said Sirwan Tofiq, who runs the Hala Erbil Festival. Today onwards a committee will choose 12 candidates for the final contest next Thursday, according to Tofiq. The beauty pageant is an episode in the festival which is intended to boost tourism in Kurdistan, in particular its capital, Erbil. Tofiq added a committee of Lebanese experts will supervise the pageant and choose the 12 candidates depending on their age, languages they know, their academic certificates, the shape of their body, their intellectual level and some other criteria. Agatha Wozniak, Miss Poland 2005, will also attend the ceremony.

Barzani urges parliament to speed up region’s budget

Erbil:: President of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, said on Wednesday he sent a message to speaker of the Kurdistan parliament regarding the general budget, urging the parliament to speed up presenting it. The president said in his account on Facebook that he asked the parliament’s speaker to discuss the subject in details in a transparent way. He underlined that the delay in approving the budget will not be good for any part.

Govt. to employ 17,000 people in 2012

Erbil: This year the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) employs only 17,000 people, MPs sanctioned the decision Friday. The number is less than the previous year, 25,000 employees. The MPs agreed in recruiting new permanent employees the priority should be given to the contracted employees in the KRG. Kurdistan Parliament is still debating the 2012 budget bill. The delay has led to public discontent. The budget bill that is currently being worked on in the parliament is IQD 12.6 trillion (approximately USD 10 billion), out of which IQD 10.75 trillion goes for operating budget and less than IQD 4 trillion is left for investment, which leads to running a IQD 2 trillion deficit.

Adviser refutes reports of Barzani's objection to Talabani's Germany trip

Erbil: Kurdistan Region's President Massoud Barzani has not objected to the recent visit of the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to Germany, Barzani's adviser said. Faysal Dabbagh made the statement to counter a report which alleged that in his meeting with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) MPs to the Iraqi House of Representatives, Barzani said that Talabani's visit to Germany now arouses many questions. Reports said that Talabani's trip to Germany was for medical tests and he had a surgery on his knee there. Barzani has not met with the KDP MPs at all, Dabbagh said.  He continued "President Barzani has not made such a remark… the report is entirely baseless and we refute it." Barzani's KDP and Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) are allies in the Kurdistan Blocs Coalition (KBC) in the Iraqi House. While Barzani is pushing along with Ayad Allawi of Iraqiya List and Muqtada Sadr of Sadr Current to withdraw confidence from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Talabani is trying to act "impartial" and calls for more dialog and negotiations.

Committee demands doubling employment of Ministry of Education to 8,000

Erbil: Committee of education and scientific research at Kurdistan Parliament has made some demands in the interest of teachers so that they are fixed in 2012 budget law. The committee has demanded that Ministry of Education recruit 8,000 employees and teachers instead of 4,000 in 2012, said Omar Nuraddini, head of the committee said. The committee has also demanded that standards for recruiting teachers and employees of the Ministry be set, Nuraddini said. Nuraddini added the committee has also proposed to allocate 150b IQD ( $126.970m) to the construction of schools and 40bIQD more to ($33.858m) to cleaning the schools. The committee has also asked to allocate a share from the Human Capacity Development Program of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for training sessions for teachers and employees of the Ministry of Education. The program is intended for scholarships and so far more than 2,000 individuals have benefited from it. Another demand by the committee is that the Ministry of Finance eliminates the differences in the salaries of the teachers who have the same status. It has also demanded that a fund from the oil revenues be established for granting loans for the teachers who wish to continue their study for the diploma, master and doctorate degrees. The MPs are still debating the 2012 budget bill. It is feared that further delay in ratifying the bill may lead to a public protest.

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