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Crew Rescued From Sinking Cargo Vessel

Falmouth Coastguard has been assisting a cargo vessel which had six people on board and began sinking 12 miles east of the Lizard this morning.

Lizard and Falmouth RNLI Lifeboats and a rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose attempted to pump water out of vessel, the 'Sea Breeze', with their own pumps. Other merchant vessels, who heard the mayday relay broadcast from Falmouth Coastguard, also stood by in case they were required.

The Sea Breeze is an 87-metre Barbados flagged cargo vessel with six crew onboard. It is carrying 2,750 tons of limestone and was bound for Shoreham at the time of the incident.

Alex Greig, Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager says, "We received the mayday broadcast from the 'Sea Breeze' at 7.00 am and were able to get lifeboats and the helicopter on scene quickly, along with other vessels that were in the vicinity. The lifeboats and helicopter pumped water off the cargo vessel, whilst HMS Tyne was on its way with commercial pumps. However, unfortunately, the smaller pumps could not keep up with the ingress of water and the crew had to abandon ship at 8.40 am. Five of the crew are now safely ashore. A couple of them have minor injuries. The captain has remained on scene on board HMS Tyne to help with the salvage operation."

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Indonesia Travel Warning News Advice: Authorities Warning of Possible Terrorist Attacks Over New Year Period

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Indonesia .There is a high threat from terrorism. Indonesian authorities have warned that extremists may be planning to attack churches in Jakarta, and elsewhere in Indonesia, during the 2014 New Year period. You are advised to exercise a high degree of caution at this time.

Terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and intent to carry out these attacks at anytime and anywhere in the country. You should be particularly vigilant during holiday periods such as Easter, Christmas, Nyepi (Balinese New Year, in March) and Independence Day (17 August).

Following the abduction of a British national in the Aceh region of Northern Sumatra in June, you should exercise caution in the area. While the risk of abduction is not high, you should be aware that 1 French and 5 Chinese nationals were abducted in separate incidents in 2008.

During the rainy season (usually around October to April) widespread flooding can occur. Keep a stock of food and bottled water, monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities. Walking and driving in flooded areas can be dangerous due to uncovered drainage ditches that are covered by water. There is a higher risk of waterborne diseases in flooded areas.

Indonesia sits along a volatile seismic strip called the ‘Ring of Fire’. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur regularly and tsunamis are possible.

You should exercise caution when travelling to Aceh, Central Sulawesi Province (especially Palu, Poso and Tentena), Maluku Province (especially Ambon), Papua and West Papua Province.

With the exception of Garuda Airlines, Mandala Airlines, Airfast and Ekspres Transportasi Antarbenua (operating as PremiAir) and Indonesia Air Asia, all other Indonesian passenger airlines are refused permission to operate services to the EU because of safety concerns.

Possession, trafficking and manufacture of drugs are serious offences in Indonesia. Some offences carry the death penalty. Don’t get involved.

There have been a number of deaths and cases of serious illness of tourists in Indonesia, caused by drinking alcoholic drinks contaminated with methanol.

Around 190,000 British nationals visit Indonesia every year. 

For medical assistance in Indonesia and across Asia contact AssistNet, click: http://internationalassistancenetwork.com/ 

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Yemen Travel Warning News Advice: Attack on MOD Hospital - Failed Kidnapping Attempt

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. On 5 December, an attack on the Ministry of Defence Hospital in Bab Al-Yaman, Sana’a, left at least 52 people dead and many more injured.

On 15 December a Japanese national was seriously injured during a failed kidnap attempt in Sana’a.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Yemen and strongly urge British nationals to leave. If you don’t leave the country now while commercial carriers are still flying it is extremely unlikely that the British government will be able to evacuate you or provide consular assistance.

There is a high threat from terrorism throughout Yemen. Terrorists continue to threaten further attacks. There is a very high threat of kidnap from armed tribes, criminals and terrorists.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has previously targeted western interests and there could be a threat to diplomatic missions, commercial sites, transport infrastructure and any place where westerners gather. The situation in Yemen remains volatile with continuing unrest and violent clashes. The threat of an escalation of violence and disorder remains.

Since the end of October 2013 there has been a significant outbreak of hostilities between the Huthi movement and the Salafi community in the Dammaj area of northern Yemen, with significant numbers of casualties. If you travel to Yemen against our advice, you should regularly reassess your security and plan any movements around the country carefully. The provision of close security protection and/or a military escort is extremely important for those working and moving around in Yemen.

On 26 November, 2 Belarusian nationals were shot dead outside their hotel in the Al Sabeen district of Sana’a.

On 6 October 2013, a German national was shot and killed outside a supermarket in the Hadda district of Sana’a. While it is not yet known who was behind these attacks, you are reminded of the ongoing threat against foreigners and are strongly advised to avoid places visited on a regular basis by foreign nationals.

The level of consular assistance available to British nationals is limited.

If you need urgent consular assistance call either +967 1308 114 to be redirected to the FCO in London or +44 (0) 20 7008 1500.

Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. 

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Interdean Welcomes New Job Opportunities for Expats in Qatar

According to Expat Forum, a new report has suggested that the nation’s population is estimated to grow to more than 2 million in the last quarter of 2013, increasing to 2.2 million the following year.

This population growth means additional investments in housing, roads and schools will be needed, leading to economic growth in the years ahead. The last spell of population growth was during 2004-2009, where population grew at an average annual rate of 15.5%, during the development of Qatar’s hydrocarbon sector. International removals company, Interdean, specialises in providing a comprehensive moving service for a variety of customers around the world, including those moving to Qatar.

Experienced in the needs of expats when arriving in a new country, the specialists were pleased to hear the recent news. A representative shares their thoughts. “It can be difficult to find employment in a new country, so we’re really pleased to see that a popular expat destination such as Qatar is offering so many new vacancies over the coming years. Our advice to those seeking new employment overseas would be to demonstrate their dedication by becoming familiar with the local language as far as possible, as well as carrying out plenty of research beforehand.”

Interdean is pleased to have an office in Qatar, as well as across 122 other countries around the world.

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Jubilee Insurance and Bupa International Launch a Regional International Private Health Insurance Product

Jubilee Insurance and Bupa International Launch a Regional International Private Health Insurance Product

East Africa’s largest insurance group, Jubilee Insurance and leading international healthcare company, Bupa International, today launched a new international health insurance product dubbed Explorer Health Plan. Explorer will seek to provide health insurance services to the growing middle-class, mid-level executives, and expatriates living in Kenya and travelling in and around Africa, including those seeking treatment in South Africa, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The new healthcare insurance product will be available under the Business Explorer Health Plan for corporates and Explorer Health Plan targeting individual clients. {gallery}news-photos{/gallery}

Speaking during the launch, Jubilee Holdings Chairman Mr. Nizar Juma said, “Explorer is a regional plan from an international company designed to bring it within the reach of senior and middle executives specifically designed for the Africa market and it offers great value for money by providing both individual and corporate access to world class medical facilities.”

He added that the partnership with Bupa will enable Jubilee Insurance to meet the growing demand for international medical insurance products and provide a one-stop shop for medical cover to major corporations, private individuals and families in the region. Some of the unique benefits of Explorer Plan include a full range of health screening providing valuable early detection of conditions such as cancer, without lifetime limits for eligible treatment for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, ensuring continued access to treatment for as long as a customer is on the plan.

Other benefits include cover for eligible treatment for HIV and AIDS including related conditions and drug therapy, In addition the product has no maximum age limit for new policy holders or those renewing the policy.

Bupa International’s Global Sales & Commercial Director, Tim Slee said, “we are delighted to be launching this new health insurance product, Explorer, adapted for the African market with Jubilee Insurance. Our experience in serving the African market for over 30 years and our global network expertise in designing world-class health insurance products for both individual and corporates will be key in providing access to high-quality international healthcare to the people of Kenya. Under the plan, Jubilee Insurance customers will receive full cancer treatment to ensure that customers are supported at every stage of the treatment. In addition, there will be a cover available for eligible congenital conditions such as heart defects."

“The new international health insurance product will offer our customers, locally and regionally, an expansive range of international medical health-care services through Bupa International, a health insurer of considerable repute and further demonstrates our aim to provide to the people of this region comprehensive benefits together with affordable, high quality healthcare service,” said Chairman of Jubilee Holdings, Mr. Nizar Juma.

The launch of the Explorer Health plan follows the strategic partnership that the two organizations, Bupa International & Jubilee Insurance launched in February this year which brings together Jubilee’s local knowledge with Bupa’s global healthcare expertise.

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Census Bureau Releases Health Insurance Coverage Estimates for All Counties

The Census Bureau has released its 2011 Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE). The estimates show the number of people with and without health insurance for all states and each of the nation's roughly 3,140 counties. The statistics are provided by broad age group, sex, race and Hispanic origin, and at income levels that reflect thresholds for state and federal assistance programs. The data can be used to assess annual changes in health insurance coverage from 2008 through 2011.

The release includes a 2011 highlights document that describes demographic and economic differences in health insurance status across states and counties, as well as geographic variation and time trends in health insurance status. The document also includes a number of maps that are available for download from the SAHIE website. SAHIE can be a useful tool when evaluating the impacts of health care policy changes at the state and county levels. SAHIE provides estimates of the uninsured at incomes 0 to 138 percent of the federal poverty threshold. This group may qualify for Medicaid in participating states.

The 0 to 400 percent group provides estimates of the uninsured population that may qualify for the Health Insurance Exchanges or for Medicaid. To make quick evaluations of your state's potential program participants, visit the SAHIE interactive data and mapping tool on the SAHIE website. The tool allows users to create and download state and county custom tables and thematic maps, and state health insurance coverage time trend charts.

The SAHIE program models health insurance coverage by combining survey data with population estimates and administrative records. Specifically, it uses the American Community Survey, demographic population estimates, aggregated federal tax returns, participation records for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, County Business Patterns, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program participation records, and the 2010 Census.

At present, SAHIE is the only source of health insurance estimates for all counties. There are no county estimates derived from the Current Population Survey. In September, the Census Bureau will release 2012 health insurance coverage estimates for counties with a population of 65,000 or more from the American Community Survey. The following month, similar estimates will be released for counties with a population of 20,000 or more using data collected from 2010 to 2012.

In December, for the first time, statistics on health insurance coverage for all areas, regardless of size, will be released based on American Community Survey data collected from 2008 to 2012.

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