TEHRAN: Iran’s army said Saturday it has deployed a suicide drone for the first time in massive ongoing military drills near the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Arabian Gulf.Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, the army’s chief commander of ground forces, described the unmanned aircraft as a “mobile bomb,” according to state media, which said the aerial device is designed to strike air, ground and naval targets.He did not provide the name of the drone. The conservative Kayhan daily referred to it as the Yasir, while an online news website called it the Raad. Officials could not be reached for comment.The Yasir drone, first unveiled last year, can fly for up to 10 hours and carry out 360-degree imaging, officials said at the time. Western military analysts say the Yasir is a modified version of the American ScanEagle drone. Iran said in December 2012 that it had seized at least t...
NEW YORK: UN chief Ban Ki-moon is pressing Pakistan to end capital punishment and restore a moratori...
Terrorists are increasingly resorting to the Internet to lure young men to their organizations, sour...
BAGHDAD: A 14-year-old Syrian boy, clad in a vest lined with explosives, turned himself in to Iraqi authorities as he defected from the Islamic State terrorist group.According to an NYT report, Usaid Barho walked up to a Shiite mosque in Baghdad’s neighborhood of Baiya that he had been ordered to target in a suicide attack.“I opened up my jacket and said, ‘I have a suicide vest, but I don’t want to blow myself up,’” he sa...
A number of taxi service companies have said that they will not force their drivers to comply with the new fare meters when they transport customers, citing the reduction of daily profits as few customers will be able to pay the fare by the meter.The new regulation will make it mandatory for taxi drivers who have already installed the meters to charge passengers as per the readings.Cabbies say that Jeddah and other Saudi...

SAUDI ARABIA »

Several volunteers of Princess Al-Anood Center for Youth Development (Warif) were honored for their “extraordinary” voluntary services at a function jointly held by Warif and the UN Development Program (UNDP).Warif, which works to instil a culture of volunteerism among Saudi youth, gathered its sele...
A number of transportation companies are planning to install cameras in school buses to ensure safe driving. The move follows an increase in road crashes that have killed a number of teachers recently. Cameras will not be mandatory, but companies who wish to ensure top services and protection for passengers, especially fema...
Minister of Health Mohammed bin Ali Alhayazie has commended the government’s concern about health care in the Kingdom, following the judicious allocations in a new budget presented Thursday, saying it reflects the priority given to public health.The MoH media department said Saturday that the minister lauded the great conce...
President of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said the organization has come under pressures from extremists inside and outside the Haia forcing it to give up plans for development and reform.He said some people outside the commission are misleading people because t...
A top official of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) said here on Thursday that TVTC will be opening another 67 colleges to accommodate 150,000 applicants for technical training which will include 38 colleges for boys and 29 for girls.Commenting on the new budget, TVTC Gov. Ali Al-Gafis said that the S...
In a step to improve its services, the Ministry of Health plans to place suggestion boxes in all its medical and health care centers where patients can drop their complaints or suggestions.The move comes in light of reports that some primary health care centers are ignoring patients’ complaints, a local daily quoted a minis...
The Labor Ministry announced it is following up on the latest details regarding the mass layoff of 300 employees in the Kingdom. The recent decision of an Italian company based in Riyadh to sack the 300 Saudi engineers caused an uproar on social media websites and media outlets.Labor Ministry spokesman Tayseer Al-Mufarrej s...
Residents of Al-Ahsa districts have demanded the relocation of gas stations to faraway sites. They say they find the gas stations and accompanying car workshops noisy that disturb the quiet life in residential districts.Also, the residents fear that such stations stock plenty of petrol and petroleum products and thus pose f...
Tatweer, a Saudi holding company specializing in education, announced this week that it will construct 3,200 schools, 1,700 sports halls and 1,500 kindergartens in the next five years under the King Abdullah Project to Develop Public Education.“Tatweer” held a series of meetings with Education Minister Prince Khalid Al-Fais...
Stepping up awareness efforts, the Health Ministry has called on people working with camels, or living in close proximity to them, to carefully follow official instructions on how to prevent coronavirus infections. Last month a number of people who had been handling camels or were close to these animals, were reportedly inf...
Municipal authorities in Jeddah have filed a suit against a local company that was contracted to manage the new abattoir in Al-Khumra. The municipality has asked judicial authorities to confiscate the financial assets of the company until it pays SR1.9 million in outstanding fees to the mayoralty. According to the municipal...
Novel International School (Almubioon International School) held the 5th exhibition and ISA project at its campus recently.The show was titled ‘Sparkle 2014’ (Project Day 2014). Children had been working on the project for the whole of the academic year.Maj. Juma Al-Harbi, former director of police, inaugurated the exhibiti...
Pakistan Repatriation Council (PRC) celebrated Quaid-e-Azam Day — the 138th birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan.Saudi intellectual, writer and former diplomat Ali Al-Ghamdi presided over the event, with Saeed Al-Farha, former head of coordination International Civil Aviation Authority...

MIDDLE EAST »

ANKARA: Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal on Saturday praised Turkey as a “source of po...

BEIRUT: Syria said on Saturday it is willing to participate in “preliminary cons...

TRIPOLI: A car bomb exploded Saturday outside the diplomatic security building i...

CAIRO: An Egyptian appeals court reduced the jail terms on Saturday for eight me...

CAIRO: Egypt’s prosecutor has referred a female writer to trial for allegedly in...

WORLD »

PENGKALAN CHEPA, Malaysia: Rescue teams struggled Saturday to reach inundated ar...

LONDON: The pro-independence Scottish National Party is set to dominate Scotland...

MINSK: Belarussian strongman Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday sacked his prime m...

KOSTYANTYNIVKA, Ukraine: Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels were on Saturday set to...

LAHORE: A Pakistani man was sentenced to 26 years in jail for making two hoax ca...

SPORTS »

HOBART, Australia: Seven-time champion Wild Oats XI edged ahead of American supe...

HOBART, Australia: Seven-time champion Wild Oats XI edged ahead of American supe...

LONDON: While Chelsea and Manchester City slug it out at the top of the Premier...

LONDON: Alexis Sanchez helped maintain 10-man Arsenal’s Champions League push as...

KARACHI: Ace Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal announced he will not feature in next...

ECONOMY »

The extensive Saudization efforts have added 622,000 new jobs in the private sector during 2011-2013, a staggering 74 percent gain, and the number is bound to rise furthe...
The new budget reflects the strength and durability of the Saudi economy despite a global slowdown and falling oil prices, say leaders at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC).“The state budget, with estimated revenue of SR 715 billion and expenditure of SR 860 billion is reflecting the continuation of development projects an...
Oil prices remain low at around $60/barrel, compared with a peak of $115 in June. Oil prices are not expected to recover to $100 levels in the next five years. Therefore, Russia, Nigeria and Venezuela all remain at risk of crisis. This could lead to contagion, weaker currencies and slower growth in a number of developing ec...
TOKYO: Japan’s Cabinet has approved 3.5 trillion yen ($29 billion) in fresh stimulus for the ailing economy, pledging to get growth back on track and restore the country’s precarious public finances.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is wrapping up his second year in office hard-pressed to salvage a recovery that fizzled into recess...
The 5th Winter International Trade Exhibition for Textiles and Light Industry opened on Thursday, (Dec. 25, 2014).A large number of people visited the show on the opening due to their eagerness to view products of some global companies, said Muhammad Al-Ibrahim, PR manager of Dhahran International Exhibitions Company, which...
NEW DELHI: India’s central bank chief lashed out at Uber, already under fire over the alleged rape of a passenger, saying the US taxi-hailing firm violated the country’s financial regulations by using an overseas payment system.A row over the highly valued start-up’s financial transactions erupted in India earlier this year...
SHANGHAI: China will dramatically expand the size of a free trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai to include the city’s commercial center where major multinational companies and Chinese banks have their headquarters, state media reported.The Xinhua news agency cited the conclusion of the 12th meeting of the National People’s Congres...
NEW YORK: Wall Street was generally calmer in 2014 than in previous years, but that doesn’t mean the stock market was devoid of drama.Big selloffs in biotechnology and social media stocks had strategists predicting doom in the spring, and the plunge in oil prices has clouded the outlook for the coming year. It was a year wh...
RIYADH: The Finance Ministry will discuss with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) its options for financing the large state budget deficit expected next year, and may cover some of the shortfall with borrowing, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said.Responding to the plunge of oil prices, the ministry has announced a...
The new budget demonstrates the strength of the Saudi economy to withstand the challenges posed by the global economic crisis, including the sharp drop in the crude prices, says Muhammad Al-Jaffri, deputy chairman of the Shoura Council. “The government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has spectacularly suc...
Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thunayan, chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY), has signed two contracts worth SR403,500,000 to set up a residential complex for the commission staff in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City and improve Highway II in Jubail Industrial City .The first deal was signed with Manazel B...
Saudi Arabia’s safe and sound economic policies have been 100 percent successful as evidenced by the largest budget in the country’s history for 2015, which envisages SR 860 billion spending during the new year.These policies have enabled the Kingdom to tackle economic challenges at international and regional levels, say an...
ROME: Italy’s cabinet said the country’s loss-making Ilva steel plant, one of the most polluting in Europe, would be nationalized for up to three years.The site in Taranto in the Puglia region of southern Italy, which employs over 14,000 people, will be nationalized under a decree adopted by the cabinet, with the view to th...

OPINION »

The relationship between the mother country and the great Indian Diaspora has be...
The continued slide in the price of oil in international markets over the last f...
The purpose of the global financial system is to allocate the world’s savings to...
I do have a fervent wish and that is directed at my colleagues who plough the fo...

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ART & CULTURE »

Franco-Arabic, the popular language of communication for conversations and chats on social media sites, is increasingly being seen as a threat to the Arabic language, culture and identity.
While the language is commonly used in Egypt and several other Arab countries, it faces resistance from lovers of Arab identity and culture with campaign...

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY »

NEW YORK: Unless you’re making an active decision to disconnect this holiday season, you’ve probably seen a flood of Facebook “Year In Review” posts — a sort of digital card highlighting the biggest moments of 2014, algorithmically customized for each user.
The posts are slickly designed, even if their visual uniformity can make scrolling t...

FASHION »

All through our lives, we’ve watched old classical movies in which the rich are all decked up in beautiful jewelry, long silk gloves and fur on the shoulders or necks. These timeless, classic styles were adapted by actresses such as Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Egyptian actresses Laila Murad, Hind Rustom, Um Kalthoom and the legendary Sa...

TRAVEL »

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) has rejected media reports that it would soon start issuing tourist visas for overseas visitors.
“The previous postponement of tourism visas is still valid. There is no intention at present to issue this kind of visa again,” the SCTA said in a statement on Thursday night.
The SCTA...

FOOD & HEALTH »

The Saudi Center for Organs Transplantation (SCOT) undertook 13 successful surgeries in just two weeks. SCOT first obtained the permission of the relatives of three patients who were brain-dead to take their organs and transplant them into other patients.A SCOT medical team followed up on one case of a brain-dead patient in the Salmaniya Medical Complex in Bahrain, taking his liver and kidneys and transplanting them in a patient in the King Fahd Specialist Hospital in Dammam. In another case, the heart valves of another were transplanted in a patient in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh.This comes as part of a continuing program to transplant organs between hospitals in the Gulf...
The cosmetic and plastic surgery market in the Kingdom is witnessing a boom with a volume in excess of SR4 billion where men make up 40 percent of the customers, local media said. Riyadh recorded the highest rate of cosmetic surgery at 70 percent, followed by Jeddah and the Eastern Province at 25 percent and 5 percent, respectively, Consultant of Plastic Surgery at King Khalid University Hospital Khalid Al-Zahrani said.Al-Zahrani quoted a recent survey in Riyadh as saying that 25 percent of women in Riyadh have expressed a keen desire to undergo cosmetic surgery due to financial capability to have the operations done. Men in the age group of 20 to 40 made up 40 percent of the customers, he...
South Asian food has an expanding fan base in Jeddah as is evident from the many restaurants here specializing in desi food, especially Indian and Pakistani cuisines. So I was not surprised when I heard about yet another desi restaurant in Jeddah-town. Masala is a signature Indian restaurant that serves Indian fare — fast food style.It is indeed a challenge for any restaurant to cater to all its diners who come from a wide base of culinary diversity. For this purpose, Masala sought the expertise of Master chef Riyaz Yousef Muqadum from Mumbai.The restaurant has three branches in Al-Salamah district, Al-Naeem district and in Palestine Street, respectively.I recently visited their main branch...

OFFBEAT »

WASHINGTON: Sony was still struggling Saturday to fully restore its online PlayStation system, three days after the Chri...
The wedding season is in full swing in India, marking what should be the busiest time of year for the traditional brass bands that lead raucous processions announcing the arrival of the bridegroom to the neighborhood.Dressed in faded military-style uniforms or long silken tunics and turbans, brass bands playing the latest Bollywood tunes have long been a must-have at any Indian wedding.But as the tastes of young, wealthier Indians shift to more modern music, young couples increasingly choose DJs playing electronic music instead of live bands. The shift is leaving band owners and musicians...
MUMBAI: Actor Fawad Khan, the Pakistani heartthrob who acquired a formidable fan base in India after playing the role of a royal in the remake of 1980 super hit film “Khoobsurat” starring Sonam Kapoor as the female lead, may be paired opposite her once again, NDTV reports. Fawad and Sonam Kapoor may come together once again for the screen adaptation of author Anuja Chauhan’s bestseller “Battle For Bittora.”

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