In yet another move to cut reliance on foreign labor, the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is working on a joint database project that will contain comprehensive information about tainted foreign workers. The plan is aimed at preventing the entry of a foreign worker into any Gulf country, if proof is found of his criminal involvement in his previous country of residence.“The project is subject to clearance from the ministries of labor and interior of the GCC countries,” said a GCC source, Saturday. He said the details of the database and the mechanism to follow were discussed by the GCC labor ministers’ meeting held in October last.Referring to the benefits of this project, Hashim Kareem, an agent at a manpower recruitment company, said the move would “prevent a foreign worker from entering any Gulf state if he/she has committed a crime in another GCC state which has led to his/...
The Ministry of Labor will soon overturn a two-year-old ban on the recruitment of Bangladeshi manpow...
The International Indian School, Jeddah (IISJ) has vowed to solve the admission problem facing thous...
AMMAN: Jordan has vowed to do all it could to save an airman held by the Islamic State group after the extremists killed a Japanese journalist they had been holding.The kingdom “will do everything it can to save the life and secure the release of its pilot,” Maaz Al-Kassasbeh, who was captured by the jihadists after his plane crashed in Syria in December, government spokesman Mohammed Al-Momeni told the Petra news agency....
Saudi Arabia ranks 59th out of 146 nations in the Best Country for Business 2014 report by Forbes. The Kingdom won high scores in the “tax burden” criteria, ranking third best in the world.Hani Ibrahim Khoja, cofounder and CEO of Elixir Management Consultancy, said: “The private sector must take more responsibility for developing the necessary skills in local youth. This is of course difficult considering that the experie...

SAUDI ARABIA »

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) in Al-Ahsa is studying a project to create a tourist track to Al-Qarah village bringing the total number of tourist tracks to four with one in the central oasis, the second in central Hofuf and the third in Al-Uqair which are all currently unde...
The General Directorate of Prisons is preparing to implement a Royal Decree issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to pardon public-rights prisoners, as well as exemptions from financial penalties that don’t exceed SR500,000. The directorate announced its readiness to apply the directions as soon as the par...
The new team of ministers and officials appointed by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Thursday is a mix of youth and experience.Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, deputy minister of petroleum and mineral resources, held a number of posts during his service in the ministry before.As early as 1987, he was appointed...
Two new cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus ((MERS-CoV) were recorded by the Ministry of Health late Friday. The Command and Control Center (CCC) at the ministry reported that an expatriate worker in Riyadh and a Saudi national in Hofuf had contracted the infection, bringing the total number of...
Recent royal decrees issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman confirm the state's development after it pumped young blood into the state's administration without overlooking competence, observers said.The orders have pumped SR110 billion into crucial service sectors, including a two-month additional salary fo...
Maha Al-Otaibi, a Saudi student has won accolades for her country by winning second place in the Emirates Award for Arabian Gulf Youth for her waterproof hearing aid project which has received a seed funding of 70,000 dirhams from the Emirates Foundation.The competition, an initiative of UAE-based Emirates Foundation and la...
Stationery stores are tempting parents and children with discounts on old or expired items and offering promotions on school-based products in an attempt to rid themselves of old stock. Some stationery stores are offering discounts of up to 50 percent on all their items with free gifts, according to shop workers. A tour of...
Scratches and strangulation marks on the neck of a disabled inmate in the comprehensive rehabilitation center in Taif led his parents to doubt the circumstances leading to his death after he was admitted to the ICU without their knowledge.According to Misfer Al-Maliki, his brother was moved between rehabilitation centers in...
The General Directorate of Public Security and Saudi Standards and the Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) have signed a agreement to activate strong cooperation between the two in the application of quality control and to boost services and upgrade their level of performance, local media reported.The deal was signed...
The Riyadh municipality has announced a plan to overhaul markets in the central business district and other areas, to create more jobs, attract investors and boost commerce.The plan includes the development of markets for fruit and vegetables; fish, meat and poultry; second hand goods; and furniture. The aim is to ensure th...
The prices of housing units are expected to decrease due to the low prices of building materials which dropped by a staggering 25 percent. Steel prices also fell globally to reach 20 percent at the end of 2014 and are expected to decline further in the coming months, according to experts. The demand for building materials h...
The 2015 Saudi Festival for Science and Innovation will be held at Riyadh's International Convention and Exhibition Center (RICEC), next Tuesday.This year’s event will be evaluated by a team of 170 jury arbitrators, composed of academics and Saudi experts in various scientific fields to select 72 outstanding projects, whic...
Dar Al-Hekma University organized the first scientific research forum for its students. Held in the university campus from Jan. 28-29, the forum showcased Al-Hekma students’ achievements, featuring more than 50 presentations, 12 poster presentations, 11 videos, animations and documentaries and more than 200 artworks.“Innov...

MIDDLE EAST »

AMMAN: Jordan has vowed to do all it could to save an airman held by the Islamic...

WASHINGTON: The CIA and Israel’s spy agency Mossad were behind an elaborate plot...

DUBAI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, growing frustrated with hard-line resis...

KIRKUK: Islamic State insurgents on Saturday seized a small crude oil station ne...

El-ARISH, Sinai Peninsula: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi told his nati...

WORLD »

TOKYO: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has denounced as “heinous and despicable” the a...

ADDIS ABABA: African leaders have agreed to send 7,500 troops to fight the Boko...

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped up an offensive against D...

NEW DELHI: India on Saturday succeeded for the first time in using a mobile laun...

DES MOINES, Iowa: Mitt Romney’s exit from the presidential campaign has unleashe...

SPORTS »

DUBAI: Rory McIlroy gave the field a sliver of hope as he unexpectedly struggled...

ATLANTA: The seemingly unstoppable Atlanta Hawks stretched their team-record win...

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona: Rain wasn’t the only thing that put a damper on the Phoenix...

NEW YORK: Manny Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum reportedly is optimistic a mega-fight...

LONDON: England striker Daniel Sturridge celebrated his return after a five-mont...

ECONOMY »

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced an expanded quantitative easing (QE) program on January 22. Starting in March 2015, the ECB will buy, on a monthly basis, 60 bil...
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has appointed Fatima Al-Kharousi as the first Emirati female airport manager. Based in Nagoya, Japan, she will be responsible for overseeing the airline’s operations at Chubu Centrair International Airport and the smooth operation of its daily service between Abu Dhabi and Na...
BERLIN: Greece’s economy minister said it would be better to link the country’s debt repayments to its economic growth rate as it needs a feasible solution to bring its sovereign debt under control.Athens faces about 10 billion euros ($11 billion) in repayments this summer and is shut out of international bond markets while...
MOSCOW: Russia’s economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev forecast GDP to fall by three percent in 2015 on the back of a collapse in oil prices and a massive capital flight.“We have issued a forecast for 2015 which uses the current prices, that is $50 dollars a barrel for the entire year,” Ulyukayev was quoted by Russian news agen...
MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s government has cut its 2015 budget by nearly 3 percent after a drop in global prices hurt public finances, and it is shelving a tainted $3.75 billion high-speed train tender as part of its austerity measures.Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said the cuts were intended to reassure global investors that M...
A high-level trade and investment delegation from Astrakhan region of Russia visited Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF ZONE).The delegation led by Sergey N. Krzhanovskiy, deputy chairman of the government and minister of industry, transport and natural resources of Astrakhan region, met Saud Salim Al-Mazrouei,...
For Saudi Brothers Commercial Group and its CEO Sheikh Fahd Al-Nowaiser, water desalination and purification industry is not only an important business but also a vital service to the nation, supplying potable water to its growing population.The group has established three subsidiaries with operations across the Kingdom to...
Athens: Greece’s new government began a search for European allies Saturday in its bid to renegotiate its loans and end austerity, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel once again ruled out debt relief for Athens.Radical Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his maverick Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis are reaching out to Franc...
Gold futures rose Friday, capping the biggest monthly gain in three years, after US government data showed the economy expanded at a slower pace than forecast in the fourth quarter, reigniting demand for the metal as a haven.A widening trade gap limited expansion for gross domestic product as imports climbed three times fas...
PARIS: The CEO of Total said that the French oil company would slash spending on exploration by 30 percent this year due to the drop in the price of oil.Patrick Pouyanne told the daily Le Monde that “these past two years, exploration spending was $2.8 billion” at the company.He confirmed earlier announced plans by the compa...
LONDON: Oil major Shell wants to revive its Arctic oil drilling program this year after a near two-year suspension, angering environmentalists who say the risk of an oil spill is too high.Remote and costly to develop, the Arctic is estimated to contain 20 percent of the world’s undiscovered hydrocarbon resources and despite...
OSLO: Rates for vessels that drill for oil on behalf of energy firms may fall further before bottoming out later this year due to the weak oil price and overcapacity, a top executive at Seadrill, the world’s third-largest offshore driller said.The market is oversupplied, oil companies are cutting capital spending due to the...
WASHINGTON: US economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as weak business spending and a wider trade deficit offset the fastest pace of consumer spending since 2006.Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6 percent annual pace after the third quarter’s spectacular 5 percent rate, the Commerce Department said in it...

OPINION »

Probably the beat of events in Riyadh last week was faster than ever. Often desc...
I was very pleased to read the report this week of the announcement from the Min...
THREE bullets hit a Flydubai jet at Baghdad airport last week causing the suspen...
AFTER decades of reluctance on the part of world leaders, a rapid, smooth, and p...

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ART & CULTURE »

BAGHDAD: The Islamic State (IS) militant glares at Baghdad residents with bulging eyes and bared teeth, but neither kidnapping nor death are imminent, because this terrorist is made from a shoe.
A black, treaded sole with the toe broken off serves as his face and nose, while old shoelaces evoke both black headscarf and long hair.
For t...

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY »

HONG KONG: Philipp Mattheis knew his gaming app was addictive when he realized he kept checking his phone — hooked by the brightly-colored reminders telling him to play again or risk falling from the triple-figure level he had reached.
Yet gripping the German journalist’s attention was not Candy Crush, but one of a new generation of Chinese...

FASHION »

Knowledge is key in the fashion industry. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is what helps improve a designer in their quest for innovative designs. Inspired by different cultures, attentive to the latest in the fashion world and keen on details is what defines Hatem Al-Akeel. Coming from no background in design, he ventured in the world with h...

TRAVEL »

Historical monuments and sites can be found throughout Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has many attractions designed for those who want to know more about the country. The Kingdom offers several tourist places such as atmospheric souqs and villages reflecting the heritage and culture of Saudi Arabia.
This place is more than a harsh desert. We hav...

FOOD & HEALTH »

Health workers in the Kingdom have reported a rise in cases of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) disease, caused by the bite of sandflies, and warned the public to take precautions.According to a report in a local publication, several patients, mostly in the Eastern Province, have been detected with Leishmaniasis. The symptoms include welts or sores on the skin, which can become infected. It can affect the spleen and liver and result in death. Several physicians have said there is no clear method to treat CL. However, Ministry of Health officials recommend people minimizing the amount of exposed skin, improve their personal hygiene and keep their surroundings clean. They can also use nets...
SACRAMENTO, California: California health officials say electronic cigarettes are a health threat, especially to children, and should be strictly regulated like tobacco products.A report released Wednesday by the California Department of Public Health says e-cigarettes emit cancer-causing chemicals and get users hooked on nicotine. California Health Officer Ron Chapman says new generations of young people will become nicotine addicts if the products remain largely unregulated.E-cigarettes heat liquid nicotine from cartridges into inhalable vapor without tar and other chemicals found in traditional cigarettes. E-cigarette makers say their products are far safer than tobacco.Other states...
Ever wondered what happens after you quit smoking? Many people fall back and get back to their bad habits. There are many reasons for this, some of which are mental while others are physical.We just found out about smoking detox where you can literally detox cigarettes out of your body. “This can only be assisted by controlling what you eat and drink on a daily basis. To be able to get the maximum benefit out of this type of detox, begin by quitting cigarettes right on the spot,” said pulmonologist Dr. Khalil Saad. “Your body will take its time to fully recover and this could take up to a period of years. Smoking is very harmful and your body cannot kick out the toxins in a short period of...

OFFBEAT »

PHILADELPHIA: A man from Chicago devoured 444 chicken wings in 30 minutes at the 23rd annual Wing Bowl in Philadelphia,...
NEW YORK: First lady Michelle Obama urged Hollywood to give a more accurate portrayal of veterans and defended the Oscar-nominated “American Sniper,” which has received criticism for its depiction of war.Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for best actor for his portrayal of the late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, joined Obama and media heavyweights in Washington, D.C., on Friday to launch “6 Certified” with representatives from Warner Bros., National Geographic Channels and the Producers Guild of America.The initiative will allow TV shows and films to display an onscreen badge that tells viewers...
LONDON: A new biography of Britain’s Prince Charles reveals how his inner circle is riven with backstabbing and infighting, according to extracts published by The Times newspaper Saturday.Charles’s household has been nicknamed “Wolf Hall” after Hilary Mantel’s historical novel about the brutal, conniving court of Henry VIII in the 16th century, the biography says.It adds that the son of Queen Elizabeth II and future king surrounds himself with people who tell him what he wants to hear.“Charles: The Heart of a King” by Catherine Mayer is published in Britain on Thursday. Mayer has based the...

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