Arabnews

Saudi Cabinet: Kingdom’s firm stand to combat terrorism stressed

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Author: 
Arab News
Tue, 2017-07-18 03:00
ID: 
1500338652440341200

JEDDAH: King Salman has stressed the Kingdom’s firm stand with all its potentials to combat terrorism and dry up its sources.
Addressing the Cabinet session on Monday at Al-Salaam Palace in Jeddah, King Salman appreciated the role of the US in leading the global coalition to fight and eliminate the Daesh terrorist organization.
In this context, King Salman congratulated Iraqi Premier Haider Al-Abbadi on their victory over Daesh in Mosul.
The Cabinet then explored recent developments and, in this context, lauded the joint statement issued by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain and their continuation of their current measures until the Qatari authorities are committed to meeting all demands requested by the four countries that will achieve stability and security in the region.
The Cabinet welcomed the resolutions adopted by the 48th ordinary session of the Council of Arab Information Ministers in Cairo, and their emphasis on solidarity to confront terrorism and dry up its sources as well as the need to continue efforts and coordination at regional and global levels to defeat and stamp it out.
Also at the regional level, the Cabinet expressed deep concern over the closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque by the Israeli occupation authorities which, the Cabinet said, constituted a flagrant offense to Muslim sentiments around the world. Such an act is a dangerous development that will further complicate the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, it said.
The Cabinet called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility and put an end to such practices.
The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom’s condemnation of the terror acts in Egypt and Pakistan.
On the local front, the Cabinet considered the granting of an honorary doctorate in the field of serving the Holy Qur’an by Imam Mohammed Islamic University to King Salman an appreciation for his efforts and ongoing support for the Holy Qur’an and his services to Islam.
The Cabinet praised the activities of the 11th session of Souq Okaz under the theme of “Okaz Renewable Creativity” and supervised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.
Later, the Cabinet approved a series of decisions.
• The Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the area of satellite and space communication between the Saudi Ministry of Defense and the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat).
• The Cabinet approved another memorandum of understanding for cooperation in tourism between Saudi Commission of Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
• The Cabinet approved a memo of understanding for industrial cooperation between the Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry and Natural Resources and Jordanian Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply.
• The Cabinet approved a memo of understanding for cooperation in labor and human resources between the Saudi and Malaysian governments.
• The Cabinet approved a memo of understanding for technical cooperation between the Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration (IOM).
• The Cabinet approved the financial regulations of the municipal councils.

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Main theater attracts visitors to ‘Jeddah Eid and Sea’ Festival

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Author: 
ARAB NEWS
Tue, 2017-07-18 03:00
ID: 
1500338652430340900

JEDDAH: The main theater at the North Jeddah Eid and Sea Festival has attracted a large number of visitors and residents of Jeddah through a diverse array of performances.
Performances at the theater include a comedy skit showcasing a group of talented Saudis, stand-up comedy highlighting social issues in a lighthearted and comedic nature, and an informative performance about overcoming fears of the sea and its secrets.
Many visitors have enjoyed the air conditioned tents at the festival, which has also included light and sound shows by the Kawabees group in a fun and entertaining manner.
Other theatrical performances include “Abbas Clinic,” which highlights and supports initiatives and regulations in the Kingdom in line with the “A Nation Without Violations Campaign,” and promoting awareness about conserving and protecting the sea.

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Saudi research institute successfully converts manned aircraft into drone

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Author: 
ARAB NEWS
Tue, 2017-07-18 03:00
ID: 
1500338652380339900

RIYADH: King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has announced the success of its specialists in converting a manned aircraft into a drone.
Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, the KACST president, announced the successful field test of the drone named “Al-Nawras,” which has many strategic advantages.
He explained that a squadron of three Al-Nawras drones have successfully been flying through one control room to carry out joint missions; these strategic drones can fly up to 30 hours.
The KACST president also said that creating this kind of advanced technology is one of KACST’s projects toward meeting the goals of both the National Transformation Program 2020 and Vision 2030.
He further said that drones which perform joint missions can be used as an air station to transfer large amounts of information from aircraft to ground operating stations to cover large distances; they are equipped with day and night high-resolution cameras; and can also carry different loads and navigate by satellite.
The drone squadron can be used in the military field and it allows operational flexibility so that one drone can conduct aerial photography while a second drone can jam frequencies, as a third carries out tactical missions.

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World-class trademark planned to help market Saudi handicraft

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Author: 
Arab News
Tue, 2017-07-18 03:00
ID: 
1500338652350339600

JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) announced it is working to establish a world-class trademark for Saudi hand-crafted products through the Saudi Handicrafts Company.
The effort was approved by the Cabinet within the National Transformation Program 2020 with the aim of locally and internationally marketing Saudi products.
The Saudi Press Agency quoted the company’s director, Dr. Faisal Al-Khamees, as saying that the establishment of the entity, which has been supported with SR220 million ($58,662,758), is primarily aimed at improving the weak product marketing and developing the skills of those working in the sector, to eventually provide better incomes for local communities and, in turn, encourage residents to stay and make profits in their villages instead of migrating to densely populated cities.
Another aim for the company is to regulate the sector of hand-crafted products to expand investment in it. The company will assist local traditional craftsmen by providing them with the needed tools, raw materials and designs, as well as training and quality control programs, and will offer services including the organization of conferences and forums.

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Souq Okaz: The largest cultural and commercial gathering held on the Arabian Peninsula

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Author: 
ARAB NEWS
Tue, 2017-07-18 03:00
ID: 
1500336668000270100

JEDDAH: Souq Okaz, in its 11th edition this year, claimed that it is the largest cultural and commercial gathering on the Arabian Peninsula.
Located 45 kilometers northeast of Taif on a flat plain surrounded by a number of valleys and mountains, the souq’s revival was initiated by Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.
The first edition of the revived souq was held in 1428 H. It is now supervised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) to preserve and maintain it as an event that is not limited to poetry because it also represents a tribal event with a great political and social role.
This was a cultural platform where sheikhs met their tribes, initiated agreements and exchanged prisoners.
This event would provide opportunities for reconciliation, declaration of alliances and ending hostilities. It was also known for horse racing and fencing. It was a large commercial market visited by traders coming from Syria, Persia and Yemen, among other countries, and a forum where titles were given to poets, knights and tribes.
On the side lines of the market, speeches and lectures were delivered to visitors and the souq became a wisdom council, in which guidance and conclusions were memorized and shared by the people.
Souq Okaz was one of the most famous markets in ancient times; Arabs headed to the souq during the first 20 days of Dhu Al-Qa’dah.
It was a place where goods were sold and literary works were circulated. The souq continued in the era of the last Prophet (peace be upon him), during the days of the Rashidun and Umayyad caliphates, until year 129 AH, when the Kharijites revolted and looted the market.
The Souq Okaz Awards became some of the most prestigious prizes in the Arab world because of their moral and material values.
They include 13 prizes worth SR2,470,000 ($658,622), and cover a wide range of creativity in terms of literature, arts, and social and human sciences.
The market is characterized by a diversity that suits all age groups. It offers a variety of cultural entertainment programs that reflect the past, keeps up with the present and looks forward to the future.
Souq Okaz offers visitors and guests rich cultural programs ranging from lectures and conferences, as well as cultural, literary, poetry and science nights, with the participation of Saudi and Arab intellectuals, writers, thinkers, and poets.

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King Salman pressured US to ensure Israel reopens Al-Aqsa: Report

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Author: 
ARAB NEWS
Tue, 2017-07-18 05:00
ID: 
1500328175617973700

JEDDAH: Saudi King Salman is said to have personally intervened with top US officials to ensure the reopening of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
According to a report in Elaph online portal, the king spoke with top US officials seeking the holy mosque’s reopening.
The report quotes a senior source as saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised US officials that he had decided to restore the status quo at the mosque which is what the Muslim world and the residents of Jerusalem have been demanding.    
According to Elaph, Netanyahu has invited Saudi officials to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque and to assess first-hand the situation on the ground.
Arab News has sought a response from the White House in order to confirm the report.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Cabinet expressed deep concern over the closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli occupation authorities.
It constituted a flagrant offense to Muslim sentiments around the world, said the Saudi Cabinet.
Such an act is a dangerous development that will further complicate the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, it added.
King Salman chaired the Cabinet session on Monday at Al-Salaam Palace in Jeddah.
The Cabinet called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility and put an end to such practices.
Muslims heeded calls Monday not to enter the holy site and protested outside after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at entrances to the compound.
Palestinians view the new security measures as Israel asserting further control over the holy site.
The Waqf, Jordan’s Islamic authority that manages religious affairs at the site, was outraged over the metal detectors.
The Waqf, together with other Islamic groups, issued a statement Monday calling on Muslims “to reject and boycott all the Israeli aggression measures, including changing the historical status quo including imposing the metal detectors.”
They called on the faithful “not to enter the mosque through” the detectors.
The statement said that “if the metal detectors continue to be imposed, we call upon the people to pray in front of the gates of the mosque and in the streets of Jerusalem.”
The Haram Al-Sharif compound was largely empty on Monday apart from tourists and Jewish visitors, with Muslims again praying and protesting outside the site instead of entering through the metal detectors.
Several hundred people could be seen praying outside two different entrances to the site around midday on Monday.
There were protests after the prayer, with crowds shouting: “Aqsa mosque, we sacrifice our souls and our blood.” Police later sought to move them back.
“We will not break the solidarity of the people,” said Jamal Abdallah, a Palestinian who now lives in the US state of Arizona and was planning to visit Al-Aqsa, but changed his mind when he was told of the situation.
Israel installed the metal detectors after an attack on Friday near the holy site that saw three people open fire on Israeli police.
They then fled to the compound, where they were shot dead by security forces.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the decision to install the metal detectors and cameras following a meeting with security officials Saturday. He also spoke by phone with Jordan’s King Abdallah Saturday night.
The king condemned the attack, but also called on Netanyahu to reopen the Al-Aqsa compound and stressed the need to “avoid any escalation at the site.”
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas conveyed a similar message to Netanyahu when the two spoke by phone on Friday in the wake of the attack.
— With inputs from AFP, AP

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related_nodes: 
Jordan, Jerusalemites insist on Al-Aqsa status quo
Al-Aqsa Mosque violence leaves 3 Palestinians, 2 Israeli cops dead
Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemns closure of Al-Aqsa

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US ends laptop ban on Saudi Arabian Airlines

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Author: 
David Shepardson | Reuters
Tue, 2017-07-18 01:24
ID: 
1500319721767384800

WASHINGTON: The US Transportation Security Administration said on Monday it has lifted a ban on passengers on Saudi Arabian Airlines carrying large electronics like laptops onboard US-bound flights, the last carrier under the restrictions.
In March, US officials imposed restrictions on passengers carrying laptops and other large electronic gear in cabins on nine airlines, most of which were Middle Eastern carriers, to address the potential threat of hidden explosives.
Last month, US officials announced new security requirements for all airlines rather than an expansion of the laptop ban and have been dropping the restrictions from airlines as they boosted security.
A TSA spokesman said the US government had lifted the restrictions at Saudi Arabian Airlines’ main hub in Jeddah at King Abdulaziz International Airport on Monday. US government officials will visit Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport “later this week to confirm compliance there as well,” spokesman James Gregory said.
On Thursday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a revised directive to airlines around the world in response to requests that it clarify aviation security measures scheduled to begin taking effect later this week.
An airline official briefed on the matter said the directive gave airlines more flexibility and additional time to obtain explosive trace detection equipment. The official was not authorized to discuss sensitive security issues with the media and requested anonymity.
The directive includes technical adjustments, agency officials said, declining to release the text. European airlines have been pushing for changes to meet the new requirements.
DHS has said that it could impose new restrictions on laptops if airlines do not make security upgrades.
European and US officials told Reuters that airlines have until July 19, to put in place increased explosive trace detection screening and other measures and 120 days to comply with other security measures, including enhanced screening of airline passengers.
The new requirements include enhanced passenger screening at foreign airports, increased security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas and expanded canine screening. They affect 325,000 airline passengers on about 2,000 commercial flights arriving daily in the United States, on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries.
A group of airline groups, including the International Air Transport Association, criticized the new requirements in a July 14 letter to US officials saying it is a “fundamental shift away from the risk-based approach” and said it would be “extremely difficult” to “meet the deadlines because of the lack of availability of screening equipment technology and resources.” The letter was reported earlier by Politico.

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1,564 Saudis participate in summer literacy campaign in Hail

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Author: 
ARAB NEWS
Mon, 2017-07-17 03:00
ID: 
1500250287623796800

JEDDAH: A summer campaign to raise awareness about adult literacy in Hail targeted more than 1,564 citizens, including 773 males and 791 female in education centers.
The director of adult education in Hail and the executive supervisor on the summer campaign, Hamoud bin Naif Al-Ali, said the campaign has seen growing demand by students who exceed the regular age for education.
The campaign continues until Dul Hijjah 4 with the aim of eliminating illiteracy in the Kingdom, and spreading knowledge and education in villages and remote areas.
Munera Al-Mujhidi, director of women’s adult education and the executive supervisor of the awareness campaign and women’s literacy in Alhaiyet and Alslaim, said the campaign focused on teaching students reading, writing and arithmetic, in addition to correct Islamic creed and educating them in general.
She noted the efforts made by the Ministry of Education for female adult education to eliminate illiteracy among women, in partnership government agencies that provide services to female students.

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King Salman Military Hospital to celebrate World Anti-Drugs Day

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Author: 
MOHAMMED AL-SULAMI
Mon, 2017-07-17 03:00
ID: 
1500250287633797400

JEDDAH: The King Salman Armed Forces Hospital-Northwestern Region has organized events to celebrate World Anti-Drugs Day, including an exhibition on the hazards and threats of drugs and liquor, in the presence of the deputy director general of the public administration for medical services for the military, Dr. Ghalib bin Huraib.
Maj. Gen. Dr. Atiyah bin Mohammed Al-Zahrani, general director of the hospital, said organizing the events is the result of the unlimited support given to all military forces in the Kingdom, and the medical services of the armed forces, by the Saudi leadership.
Al-Zahrani said the exhibition will include an introduction on narcotics and drugs, reasons for falling victim to them and ways to recover from addiction.
The five-days exhibition enjoys wide participation from the military and relevant bodies in Tabuk.
Meanwhile, Border guards last week arrested 18 people who tried to smuggle large quantities of drugs across the Saudi-Yemeni border.
Approximately half a ton of cannabis, Captagon tablets, and weapons and ammunition were seized.
The spokesman of the border guards, Col. Saher bin Mohammed Al-Harbi, said: “The border guards in Jazan and Najran during the past week managed to thwart several attempts to smuggle quantities of cannabis and narcotic pills.”
He also said people were spotted trying to infiltrate into the Kingdom from Yemen to smuggle narcotics.
“Thirteen Ethiopians, two Saudis and three Yemenis were arrested. The total amounts seized were 387,245 kg of cannabis and 1,514 amphetamine (Captagon) tablets,” he said.
All security procedures were carried out against the accused and the drugs were confiscated. The operations were conducted in cooperation with other security agencies.

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