No indication sisters found dead in NY were killed: Police

In this undated police sketch provided by the New York Police Department, sisters Rotana, left and Tala Farea are shown. (New York Police Department via AP)
Updated 04 November 2018
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No indication sisters found dead in NY were killed: Police

  • The two young women, identified as Rotana Farea, 22, and her sister Tala, 16, were found on the banks of the Hudson River last week
  • It has since emerged that the sisters were Saudi nationals, and had run away several times from their family’s home in Virginia

NEW YORK: New York police on Friday said they had no evidence indicating that two sisters whose bodies were found duct-taped together in Manhattan had been killed.
“There is nothing pointing to a crime as of yet,” said a New York Police Department spokesman, adding that “it is still very much a live investigation” without providing details of any probable cause of death.
The two young women, identified as Rotana Farea, 22, and her sister Tala Farea, 16, were found on the banks of the Hudson River last week with no visible signs of trauma, dressed all in black, with fur-trimmed coat collars, and bound together at the ankles and waist by duct tape.
It has since emerged that the sisters were Saudi nationals, and had run away several times from their family’s home in Virginia where they had not lived since the end of 2017.
They had been placed in a shelter but left Fairfax County in August and set out for New York.
They stayed in several different upscale hotels in the city and maxed out a credit card, according to an NYPD spokesman quoted by US media.
A witness reportedly saw the two girls early on Oct. 24 on a playground near the Hudson, where they appeared to be praying.
Police said the two sisters were alive when they entered the river that separates New York from New Jersey.
Suicide is among the hypotheses as to the cause of their deaths.
Another rumor raised in the mysterious case alleges that the Saudi Embassy threatened the two sisters or their family with repatriation for seeking asylum in the US, and that they were afraid.
A police official appeared to confirm Friday that the two girls had indeed applied for asylum, but did not provide further detail.
Fatimah Baeshen, spokeswoman for Saudi Arabia’s US Embassy in Washington, tweeted that “Reports that we ordered anyone related to the Saudi sisters, Tala and Rotana Farea, God rest their souls, (who recently died tragically in NY), to leave the US for seeking asylum, are absolutely false.”


Saudi Arabia plans to introduce Chinese into the curriculum at all education levels

Updated 52 min 12 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia plans to introduce Chinese into the curriculum at all education levels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and China on Friday agreed to include the Chinese language as a curriculum at all stages of education in schools and universities across the Kingdom.
The agreement came during a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and a high-level Chinese delegation in the capital Beijing, in a bid to strengthen bilateral friendship and cooperation and deepen the strategic partnership at all levels between both countries.
The move aims to enable a comprehensive strategic partnership to achieve the aspirations of the Saudi and Chinese leaderships and seize the promising opportunities between their two peoples, a relationship which has extended for decades.
The inclusion of the Chinese language will enhance the cultural diversity of students in the Kingdom and contribute to the achievement of the future national goals in the field of education for the Vision 2030.
The introduction of Chinese into the curriculum is an important step toward opening new academic horizons for students of various educational levels in the Kingdom.
Learning Chinese will serve as a bridge between the two peoples and would contribute to increasing trade and cultural ties.