RIYADH: There is no need for the Kingdom to create a sovereign wealth fund to manage its oil wealth, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said, rebuffing suggestions by prominent officials and businessmen.At present, the surplus funds of Saudi Arabia are mostly invested abroad by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), which had net foreign assets worth SR2.75 trillion ($733 billion) in October.Most of that money is believed to be in low-risk US dollar assets such as US Treasury bonds and bank accounts, which tend to earn low returns compared to the more aggressive, higher-risk investments favored by some other rich oil exporters.So as oil prices have plunged this year, there have been calls for Saudi Arabia to create a sovereign wealth fund that would invest its money more actively, making up for the reduction in oil revenues.The Shoura Council has discussed a proposal for a sovereign fu...
Saudis are “wasting” 8 hours a day on the Internet, a local expert said here recently.Rashad Faqiha,...
A website has named Saudi lawyer Bayan Mahmoud Zahran as the world’s most influential woman for 2014...
SEOUL, South Korea: North Korea has compared President Barack Obama to a monkey and blamed the US for shutting down its Internet amid the hacking row over the movie “The Interview.”The North has denied involvement in a crippling cyberattack on Sony Pictures, but has expressed fury over the comedy, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Sony Pictures initially called off the release of the film...
The Ministry of Interior announced on Friday that it had deported 62,514 illegal expatriates last month, as part of its efforts to clean up the country’s labor market.It had also arrested 17,740 foreigners over the same period, who had tried to enter the Kingdom illegally through the country’s land entry points.The expatriates were kept at detention centers across the country under the supervision of Ibrahim Muhammad Al-H...

SAUDI ARABIA »

Plans are under way to hire Saudi women to work on the multibillion-riyal metro in the capital city, said Riyadh Gov. Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.Opening the Producers Exhibition and Conference at the Riyadh International Convention Center, Prince Turki also urged the Riyadh Chamber of...
Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman met in his office on Thursday Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines Saleh Al-Jasser and CEO of Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation Abdulaziz Al-Hazmi and their accompanying delegation.The governor and the airline officials reviewed the development plan of Saudia services in the Madi...
One thousand male and female applicants looking for jobs registered in the first eight hours at the First Occupations Fair 2014 held at the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) recently. This level is comparable to the number of people who registered electronically for the fair, which had a total of more than 3,000 job opport...
An Italian engineering consultancy company has sacked 300 Saudi engineers including master’s degree holders, working in electrical, civil and mechanical engineering departments. The company is contracted to the Ministry of Interior. A spokesman for the ministry said the decision to fire the workers was not correct. The engi...
High fees at private schools in the Kingdom has forced over 300,000 expatriate students to quit because their parents cannot afford it, according to an education expert.“Most expat students are only allowed to study at private schools. Government schools do not accept expat students these days. However, these private school...
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 nigh...
The Ministry of Social Affairs has donated 22 specially designed cars for people with disabilities in the Eastern Province.The Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center in Dammam delivered the cars. There are now 210 people on the waiting list, out of 444 who applied.Ali Al-Shahrani, director of the center, said that the delivery...
The Ministry of Labor and 190 cooperative societies in the country are trying to create 5,000 jobs for Saudi youth over the next two years with monthly salaries starting from SR4,000.Nasir Al-Towaim, deputy chairman of the Saudi Cooperative Societies, said the local bodies are trying to update their systems, increase their...
A total of 35 stranded Sri Lankan housemaids will be sent home from Jeddah beginning next week, the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah told Arab News on Thursday. “This is the last group of stranded housemaids handed to Tarheel for repatriation home,” Consul General Adambawa Uthuma Lebbe said.The group comprised maidservants wh...
The Ministry of Labor has revealed that none of the 280 recruitment firms and offices in the country has been given either a four or five-star rating under its new classification system. The ministry posted its ratings, which is from one to five, on its Musaned website recently. It also revealed that it has closed down some...
In a midnight operation carried out by the Riyadh police recently, 200 men, women and children who regularly beg in the streets of the capital were arrested.Police found a large number of beggars, each possessing more than SR20,000. The raids were carried out in Marqab, Salihiya and Oud districts of the city. According to t...
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...
Saudi Aramco’s senior Pakistani employees organized a gathering in the Eastern Province recently to condemn this month’s terrorist attack on a public school in Pakistan.Malik Fazal Mehmood, moderator of the program, described the attack as “extremely reprehensible.” He said it has shocked people across the world, with many...

MIDDLE EAST »

BEIRUT: Technical failure caused a Jordanian pilot captured by the Islamic State...

AMMAN/BEIRUT: At least 45 civilians including seven children were killed and som...

ANKARA: A teenager was released from custody on Friday after his arrest for alle...

BENGHAZI: An Egyptian teenager abducted in Libya by armed men who killed her par...

CAIRO: A roadside bomb explosion struck an army vehicle in the volatile Sinai Pe...

WORLD »

TOKYO: Japan, the United States and South Korea are close to reaching a deal on...

JAKARTA: Ten years ago, on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004, a massive earthquake struck of...

KINSHASA: At least 30 people died when an overcrowded boat hit a rock and sank o...

LONDON: Europe will be “vulnerable” if it does not regard viruses as a “national...

SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES: US law enforcement agencies are a long way from being...

SPORTS »

DETROIT: Josh Hicks ran for 202 yards and a touchdown and Rutgers beat North Car...

ORLANDO, Florida: LeBron James had 29 points and eight assists, and the Clevelan...

LONDON: Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United showed their rivals no se...

SYDNEY: American super maxi Comanche held the lead in the Sydney to Hobart late...

LONDON: Silviniaco Conti produced a stunning front-running performance leading f...

ECONOMY »

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 m...
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...
TOKYO: Japan’s factory output and inflation rate slowed in November, official data showed, dealing a fresh challenge for Tokyo’s bid re-boot the economy, just days after pro-business prime minister Shinzo Abe was re-elected following a snap election.The weak figures raised the prospect of further easing by the Bank of Japan...
MOSCOW: Slumping oil prices have put Russia’s economy on course for a sharp recession next year, its finance minister said, as authorities scaled up the bailout of the first bank to succumb to the country’s currency crisis.Russia’s economy is slowing sharply as Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis deter foreign investm...
SINGAPORE: Gold gained 1 percent in thin post-Christmas trading as the dollar slipped against a basket of major currencies, but the metal was headed for a second straight weekly drop, underscoring the bearishness in the market.Spot gold gained 1 percent to $1,186.05 an ounce by 0711 GMT, moving away from a three-week low of...
WASHINGTON: The online gaming networks for Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox consoles — hot gifts this Christmas — went dark in what hackers said was a coordinated attack.The disruption started Christmas Day and went into Friday, PlayStation and Xbox said on their Twitter feeds, adding that they were working to restor...
Saudi and foreign financial analysts on Thursday emphasized that the 2015 expansionary budget would generate confidence among investors in the Kingdom and accelerate the country’s growth.Fahad Alturki, chief economist and head of research at Jadwa Investment, said the new budget with spending maintained at a very high level...
The government’s spending in 2014 reached SR1,100 billion, SR245 billion or 28.7 percent more than the budgeted amount of SR855 billion, according to the Ministry of Finance.In a statement on the occasion of the announcement of 2015 budget, the ministry said that the Kingdom’s revenue in 2014 was estimated to reach SR1,046...
JEDDAH: Gulf stock markets rose as Saudi Arabia released a 2015 state budget that will keep spending high, reassuring the region that economic growth is unlikely to be hurt much by the plunge of oil prices.The Saudi budget envisions state spending at a record SR860 billion ($230 billion) next year, up 0.6 percent from the 2...
TOKYO: Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said that recent declines in oil prices offer great benefits for Japan’s economy and will help to accelerate inflation in the long run.The global slump in oil prices has created a major headache for the central bank by driving down Japan’s consumer inflation, which fell to 0.9 p...

OPINION »

It is one of the basic tenets of war based on The Geneva Convention in 1949 and...
On the eve of the New Year, people wish to believe that things will change for b...
Benjamin Netanyahu, “Bibi” to both his friends and his ever-growing list of enem...
The euro crisis, it is said, is over. Calm has returned to financial markets, am...

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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 »

A local company recently held a workshop to help shoppers perform transactions safely on the Internet.
Talent Reunion, a lifestyle-networking platform, organized the session under the theme “Smart Shopping Innovation” at a local restaurant in Jeddah recently.
Several professionals, experts and young people who attended the session shar...

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: The online gaming networks for Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox consoles went dark in what hackers sa...
ISLAMABAD: Death anniversary of Parveen Shakir, renowned Pakistani poet who left an everlasting impact on modern Urdu literature, was observed in Pakistan on Friday.Born in Karachi, Shakir completed her Masters in English and became an acclaimed poet with her first published collection “Khushbu” in 1976. Following 'Khushbu', she further wrote volumes “Sadburg” and “Khudkalami”. After her last published work, “Inkaar” in 1990, a collection “Kaf-e-Aina” was published posthumously in 1996. All of her collections can be viewed in the volume called "Maah-e-Tamam". Popular for her outspoken...
SEOUL/SHANGHAI: Hundreds of thousands of people viewed illegal copies of “The Interview” in Asia, just hours after the controversial movie on the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was released in the United States.Most viewers said they watched the low-brow spoof because of the devastating cyberattack on the Hollywood studio that produced it, Sony Pictures, but they were not impressed.Even in South Korea, technically at war with the North, viewers panned the movie.“A lot of it is unrealistic and the people who play North Koreans are so bad at speaking Korean,” said a...

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