Saudi Arabia unveiled Thursday the largest budget in history for 2015, projecting spending at record SR860 billion, despite a sharp fall in oil prices. The budget projected revenue at SR715 billion showing a huge deficit of SR145 billion for the first time since 2011. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah expressed optimism that the Kingdom would continue its economic growth, driven by private sector activity, integration of public and private sectors and improvement of private sector performance. Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, chaired the Cabinet’s special budget session to approve the budget on behalf of King Abdullah. In his address to the nation on the occasion, King Abdullah said the expansionary budget was aimed at enhancing the citizens’ progress and prosperity and creating more job opportunities for them. In his keynote speech, which was de...
Saudis are eagerly awaiting the approval of a new draft law by the Shoura Council which prevents wom...
The specialized criminal court in Riyadh has sentenced to death a Saudi national while two others ha...
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 would play a vital role in supporting the economy.“For the first time since 2011, a fiscal deficit...
The Passport Department has issued new regulations stating that family visitor visas would now be limited to only six months, or 180 days, an online paper said, quoting an official spokesman.The period would start once a visitor arrives in the Kingdom and registers on the passport department’s computerized system, Lt. Col. Ahmed bin Fahad Al-Luhaidan was quoted as saying.He said that the Passport Department recently launc...

SAUDI ARABIA »

Projects of the Ministry of Housing will gain from lower oil prices leading to a decline of 25 percent in costs incurred by customers, according to businessmen. They said that service projects have already been tendered for the next financial year at the new reduced prices.The price decline has been...
More Saudi women should be encouraged and supported to start and invest in businesses, said an official from the women’s committee of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) recently.Amal Turkistani, head of the committee, said that women citizens are intelligent enough to take up all kinds of positions, not only...
The Ministry of Health has launched a month-long anti-tobacco campaign to reduce the massive consumption in the country.The ministry set up mobile clinics in a mall here to educate the public about the dangers of smoking. Several physicians who volunteered received training on scientific methods to quit.Najat Hussain Qari,...
The Higher Institute for Paper & Industrial Technologies (HIPIT) has opened its doors for 200 Saudi youth to be part of the institute which is considered one of the most successful projects of the Directorate General for Strategic Partnerships.The institute was established with the support of the Human Resources Develop...
Shoura Council members have failed to reach agreement on the wording of a contentious policy document on birth control.According to reports on Wednesday, the disagreement was over the phrase “reduce the total fertility rate by spacing out of pregnancies,” with some members arguing that this is an attempt to cut the birth ra...
Some female members of ISIL in Syria and Iraq have claimed that they were married to Saudis who were killed fighting on behalf of the organization in both countries, and that they have given birth to the children of those Saudi nationals. Some are now trying to connect with families of their late husbands to hand over their...
King Abdulaziz Medical City in Jeddah launched a special program here recently to highlight the challenges facing people with disabilities.Brig. Khalid Mohammed Bachlka, executive director of health affairs at the National Guard Western region, and Abdulaziz Al-Awad, deputy executive director for administration and health a...
The Ministry of Health has stressed the need for the appointment of Saudi nationals to work at its health centers across the Kingdom but the low number of qualified Saudis is coming in the way.The ministry needs to balance the expansion of its health institutions with the number of medical graduates emerging from its univer...
More than 50 percent of traffic accidents in Jeddah over the past six months were caused by speeding.“Traffic accidents leave behind a trail of death and incapacitating injuries,” said Brig. Zaid Al-Hamzi , spokesman of the Jeddah Traffic Administration. “The administration dealt with 400 accidents in the past six months. M...
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 cultu...
Wives of Heads of Missions (WHOM), a social association of representatives from 60 countries formed by spouses of heads of diplomatic missions, met at the ambassador of Brunei’s residence to celebrate and review the cultural activities of 2013.WHOM President Sabine Farra de Cerda, wife of Argentinian envoy, lauded the hospi...
A government intermediate school for girls has launched an etiquette and cleanliness program under the theme “My School My Responsibility.” The program aims to teach students good manners and help them learn critical social skills that promotes respect and appreciation for family and teachers. The cleanliness program starte...
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 se...

MIDDLE EAST »

TEHRAN: Iran launched extensive military drills on Thursday, local media reporte...

KHARTOUM: Sudan has ordered two senior United Nations officials to leave, UN sou...

AMMAN: Jordan vowed Thursday to make every effort to save a pilot captured by th...

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Hezbollah has detained a senior party official it accused of s...

TRIPOLI: Nineteen Libyan soldiers were killed in clashes with radical fighters o...

WORLD »

LONDON: Healing differences in Scotland after a divisive referendum that came cl...

SEOUL: South Korea on Thursday ruled out the possibility that a recent string of...

MOSCOW: A spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that NATO’s e...

MOGADISHU: Shabab militants mounted an attack against the headquarters of the Af...

STOCKHOLM: An arsonist set fire to a mosque in central Sweden on Thursday injuri...

SPORTS »

LONDON: Silviniaco Conti is favorite to emulate former stablemate Kauto Star and...

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa: West Indian captain Denesh Ramdin said on Thursday...

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand: New Zealand and Sri Lanka are expecting a paceman’s p...

MELBOURNE: India may have to wait a little longer to see Bhuvneshwar Kumar in ac...

SYDNEY: The crew of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race’s defending champion Wild Oa...

ECONOMY »

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 Fina...
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...
HOUSTON: Offshore oil-drilling contractors, who last year were able to charge record rates for their vessels, are now under pressure to scrap old rigs at an unprecedented pace.The recent five-year low in oil prices is threatening an industry already grappling with a flood of new vessels and weakening demand. More than 200 n...
Saudi Arabia will continue spending on development projects, social welfare and security despite the oil price slide and challenging global conditions, according to the Finance Ministry.The expenses of municipalities for 2015 are estimated at SR38,251,598,000 while revenues are projected at SR5,545,430,000. The difference b...
SHANGHAI: Chinese shares jumped after the government announced new corporate support policies aimed at boosting the economy, in thin trade with most Asian markets closed for the Christmas holiday.Shanghai jumped 3.36 percent, while Shenzhen gained 1.44 percent.Markets in Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysi...
CHICAGO: US consumers have not turned out in force for the final shopping days before Christmas, suggesting that traditional retailers will just meet industry sales forecasts in a season marked by deep discounts and growing encroachment from online rivals led by Amazon.com Inc.Super Saturday — the last pre-Christmas Saturda...
CHICAGO: Caterpillar Inc., already battered by a slump in demand for its mining machinery, faces slowing sales of compressors, pumps and gas turbines as oil companies reduce spending.The impact will be felt by Caterpillar in early 2015 as drillers cut back and exploration declines, Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said in a...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia can endure low oil prices over the medium term, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said after releasing a 2015 budget that envisions record state spending and a large deficit that will be covered by fiscal reserves.Speaking in an interview on Saudi television, Al-Assaf said the government would continue...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has announced a 2015 budget with a huge $38.6 billion deficit due to the sharp decline in oil prices but still raised spending.A statement read on state-run television after a Cabinet session said spending for 2015 is projected at SR860 billion ($229.3 billion) and revenues at SR715 billion ($190.7 bill...
The services provided by the Jubail Industrial College (JIC) came under the spotlight at a recent event.Jubail Industrial City hosted the third workshop for representatives of various industries. It took place at JIC’s multipurpose hall.The aim of the workshop is to discuss common issues in the industries, including trainin...
LONDON: Oil prices fell in thin pre-holiday trade, but analysts said losses were curbed by upbeat sentiment over a strong US economic growth report.Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February shed 91 cents to stand at $60.78 a barrel nearing midday in London.US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for February lost 83 cents...
KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait has commissioned a new natural gas plant that will raise the energy-rich state’s production capacity to more than 2 billion cubic feet a day, officials said.The new Liquefied Petroleum Gas plant will be capable of processing 805 million cubic feet (22.8 million cubic meters) of gas and 106,000 barrels of...

OPINION »

Is it finally the end of El Dorado? After surging and serenading above $100 a ba...
With its choice of the latest Bharat Ratna awardees, the BJP-led government has...
For Pakistan it has been a long slow descent into hell. The brutal, mindless mas...
Let us imagine for a moment that we could change the world according to our wish...

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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 »

Frankfurt is the fifth largest city in Germany and is also the financial center of Germany. It is known for its futuristic skyline and the busiest German airport, thanks to the famous Lufthansa airlines.
Frankfurt is home of the European Central Bank and the German Stock Exchange. Furthermore, it hosts many significant trade shows, such as...

FOOD & HEALTH »

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...
Last week, I was discussing the dangers of mercury used as a preservative in vaccines and other products. This was to create awareness in young parents who are not familiar with exposure to mercury or other heavy metals. Today, I will continue elaborating on the subject and also offer some recommendations to protect little children’s health, but before I do that, I would like to revisit the subject of arsenic, the toxic heavy metal that is added to chicken feed in commercial farms. Two weeks ago in Part 5 of this very same series, I spoke about the shocking fact that the commercial chickens we eat are being given feed that contains the carcinogen, arsenic, in order to fatten the birds with...

OFFBEAT »

MOSCOW: Kristina Pimenova has been dubbed “the most beautiful girl in the world” but her mother says the eight-year-old...
SANTIAGO, Chile: Ricardo Alegria is a different sort of milk man. For a quarter century or more, he and his brother Marco have led donkeys through the streets of Chile’s capital, milking them on the spot for customers.It’s a rare job, but a very old one. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates recommended donkey’s milk for some ailments and at least some claim that Cleopatra bathed in it for her skin.The use of donkey’s milk has persisted in some parts of the world. Even Pope Francis has said he drank it as a boy in Argentina, prompting an Italian company that produces the milk to give him...
BEIJING: Hong Kong action film star Jackie Chan said he feels shame for his son, who has been indicted by Beijing prosecutors on a drug charge and could be jailed for up to three years.The remarks, reported Wednesday by China’s official Xinhua News Agency, came two days after authorities announced the indictment against Jaycee Chan, 32, who is charged with sheltering others to use drugs.The scandal has been particularly embarrassing for Jackie Chan, who was named by Beijing as an anti-drug ambassador in 2009.Jackie Chan, who sits on China’s top national political advisory panel — the Chinese...

CLASSIFIEDS »

classifieds

Alliance invited for Sunni Muslim Indian girl, born and brought up in Gulf, 18 years, 5’7”, very fai...
2014-12-25 17:33
SM Hyderabadi parents settled in Saudi invite alliance for their daughter, BDS, 23 years, height 5’6...
2014-12-25 17:33
Indian Sunni Muslim parents invite alliance for their son, age 30 years, 5’8”, working for a multina...
2014-12-25 17:28
Indian Hyderabadi Sunni Muslim parents seek alliance for their son, last year of M.D in USA, 28 year...
2014-12-25 17:28

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