Nepalis protest

BAHARAIN: Some 115 Nepalis, working for Basko Security Service in Bahrain, have struck work complaining they did not get the salary that they were promised. They have said that they are getting only 75 Dinar (around Rs 20,000) despite signing a contract for getting 120 Dinar (Rs 24,000) per month for eight-hours’ work a day. These workers had paid up to Rs 1,33,000 each to the manpower company to get the job. Reportedly, commando units have encircled them and the workers remain deprived of food and sanitation facilities in the camp where they are staging a sit-in. They have also allegedly been given death threats. — RSS

Revenue collection up

BHIMPHEDI: The Inland Revenue Office, Makwanpur, collected Rs 108.59 million in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Revenue collection rose by Rs 38.59 million over that collected for the corresponding period last year. The amount is also a record for a three-month period in any year, according to chief of the office, Bal Krishna Ghimire. — RSS

Brown off to Gulf

LONDON: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown left on Saturday for a tour of Gulf states, hoping to persuade them to give extra funds to help countries hit by the economic turmoil. Brown will spend four days in the region to try and help coordinate global response to the world economy’s dramatic plunge. He wants the International Monetary Fund’s $250 billion bailout fund to be extended to prevent “contagion” spreading to other nations. — AFP

Jintao’s prescription

BEIJING: China’s President Hu Jintao has called for a boost in domestic demand to maintain the nation’s economic growth in the face of the global financial crisis, state media reported on Saturday. Hu said that governments at all levels should “strive to expand domestic demand, especially consumer demand,” as he visited farmers in the northern province of Shaanxi, the official People’s Daily newspaper reported. — AFP

Brazil’s new oil deal

HAVANA: Brazil has inked a multi-million-dollar deal to explore for oil off the Cuban coast, joining India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Spain, Norway and Venezuela in cash-strapped communist Cuba’s quest for black gold. The deal between Brazil’s state oil giant Petrobras and Cubapetroleo, was announced by President Raul Castro and visiting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Havana is fighting to achieve energy independence. In October, Cuba had announced its crude reserves were more than double what had been thought — 21 billion barrels of crude. — AFP