Yanni: ‘Saudis will help country take its rightful place in the world’

Yanni with his daughter Krystall Ann. (AN photo by Huda Bashata)
Updated 08 December 2017
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Yanni: ‘Saudis will help country take its rightful place in the world’

JEDDAH: Renowned Greek composer and musician Yanni, who enthralled crowds during his recent concerts in Saudi Arabia, shared his optimism about the Kingdom in a tweet on Friday.
The maestro said: “KSA: An amazing culture in the midst of a wondrous change at an incredible rate! So many bright minds, men and women, young and old alike, from all walks of life, who love their country, and can, and will, help this nation rise and take its rightful place in the world! ...Yanni.”
Yanni, 63, enjoyed a great reception from fans during his concerts in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dhahran.
In a tweet on Nov. 27, before his departure to the Kingdom, he said: “Yanni in Saudi Arabia (KSA): Witnessing history in the making! Hi everyone, we are now in Florida getting ready to fly to Saudi Arabia … We are going to be experiencing history in the making and I would not miss it for anything in the world! First stop Jeddah! ...Yanni.”
Addressing a press conference in Jeddah on Nov. 30, Yani said in Arabic that he “is so happy to be in Saudi Arabia.”
The international artist added: “You have to come to Saudi to feel this and to witness the changes ... I’m really amazed by the speed of how things have changed.”
Yanni’s historic visit to Saudi Arabia was part of his global 2017-2018 tour, in which he played the most popular songs from a career that began in 1984.
Speaking to Arab News before the first show in Jeddah, Yanni’s daughter Krystall Ann, who was traveling with her father, said: “I’m just so happy and thrilled that we can actually be here. It’s been beautiful. I’m excited that we’ll be here a full two weeks, from coast to coast. It’s been lovely so far.”
 


Cambodian women face surrogacy charges after Vietnam births

A woman rides a motor-cart loaded with bananas in Phnom Penh on July 18, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 51 min 15 sec ago
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Cambodian women face surrogacy charges after Vietnam births

  • The surrogacy business boomed in Cambodia after it was put under tight restrictions in neighboring Thailand. There also were crackdowns in India and Nepal

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: Three Cambodian women have been charged with violating surrogacy and human trafficking laws after they gave birth to babies they delivered to Chinese nationals in Vietnam, a court official said Friday.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ei Rin said the women, aged 31 and 32, are being detained pending further investigation after being charged on Thursday.
Chhiv Phally, the director of the Interior Ministry’s Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department, said the three women were detained by Vietnamese police and returned to Cambodia after they illegally crossed into the country to deliver their children to Chinese nationals for $8,000 per child, reported the English-language Phnom Penh Post newspaper.
Cambodia’s anti-surrogacy law carries a penalty of one to six months in prison, while the human trafficking charge, involving crossing borders, is punishable by 15 to 20 years’ imprisonment.
The anti-surrogacy law was intended to target intermediaries between parents and surrogates, but in the absence of a more appropriate law, has also been applied against women who carry surrogate pregnancies and give birth. The government has said it is drafting a new law to cover surrogacy, but it is not known when it will be ready.
Cambodia hurriedly passed its first law specifically targeting surrogacy in 2016 as the country was becoming a popular destination for foreign would-be parents seeking women to give birth to their children.
Developing countries are popular for surrogacy because costs are much lower than in countries such as the United States and Australia, where surrogate services can cost around $150,000. The surrogacy business boomed in Cambodia after it was put under tight restrictions in neighboring Thailand. There also were crackdowns in India and Nepal.
After Cambodia’s crackdown, would-be parents shifted to seek out surrogates in neighboring Laos.
In December, 32 Cambodian women who were charged with human trafficking for serving as surrogate mothers were released from detention after agreeing to keep the babies rather than giving them up as originally planned.