Saudi TV, SPA to be independent corporations

Updated 08 July 2012
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Saudi TV, SPA to be independent corporations

The Council of Ministers yesterday decided to make Saudi Television and Radio and Saudi Press Agency (SPA) two independent corporations.
Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said the decision would strengthen the two media organizations professionally, financially and technically.
Speaking to Arab News, he said the two corporations would be given powers to take independent decisions, adding that they would have separate budgets. “The new structure will enable Saudi TV and Radio and SPA to work efficiently without bureaucratic hurdles,” the minister said, adding that existing staff would be shifted to the two corporations.
“The new corporations would have the power to appoint reporters and cope with new developments in order to provide the best possible services to the public and their clients,” he said.
The new bodies will have separate boards of directors chaired by the minister of culture and information.
The boards will have representatives from government departments in addition to two expert members, Khoja said.
The RTC will carry the Kingdom’s message to all corners of the Kingdom as well as to other parts of the world, making use of modern technology. It will have a president with excellent grade.
The SPA will cover events and issues at national, regional and international levels, especially those related to the Kingdom and contribute to strengthening the journalistic profession in the country. It will have a president with a grade not less than 15.
The Cabinet authorized its expert committee to prepare the rules and regulations for the two corporations within six months.
The Cabinet meeting also reviewed the latest regional and international developments and denounced the massacre of people in Hula by the Syrian regime last week. The Cabinet urged the international community to halt the continuing bloodbath in Syria, by stopping the use of force against unarmed civilians.
The Cabinet expressed its happiness over the success of a meeting of Friends of Yemen in Riyadh when Saudi Arabia offered an aid of $ 3.25 billion to finance the country’s development projects.
The Cabinet appreciated World Health Organization’s statement commending the Kingdom’s impressive efforts in mass medicine, especially its health care services for Haj pilgrims. The WHO said the Kingdom’s services in mass medicine are a model to be followed by professionals in other parts of the world.
The Cabinet approved the accredited evaluators law and the Saudi Authority for Accredited Evaluators, which will be chaired by the minister of commerce and industry. Its seven-member board will include six professional evaluators appointed by the minister.
The new law will regulate evaluation of real estate, economic institutions, equipment and properties. The authority will work under the minister’s supervision.


Saudi space chief visits Moscow mission control center

Updated 59 min 26 sec ago
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Saudi space chief visits Moscow mission control center

  • Prince Sultan bin Salman was received by the center’s supervisor
  • He also visited the General Corporation for Heavy Space Industries, which is responsible for manufacturing spacecraft and developing technology

MOSCOW: The chairman of the Saudi Space Commission on Saturday visited the Moscow headquarters of Russia’s mission control center.
Prince Sultan bin Salman was received by the center’s supervisor, who briefed him on the center’s work and programs, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
They discussed establishing scientific and research cooperation in the areas of space and aeronautics, and the International Space Station.
Prince Sultan also visited the General Corporation for Heavy Space Industries, which is responsible for manufacturing spacecraft and developing technology. It produces most parts of the International Space Station.
He said his visit was in line with directives from King Salman to ensure close cooperation with Russia in the space sector and joint investments.
The Saudi Space Commission (SSC) was working at a “rapid pace” to complete an ambitious national strategy, he said, and the Kingdom was one of the region’s first countries to explore the future of space more than 34 years ago.
He added that programs were being prepared in partnership with Russian space institutions and agencies to train Saudi astronauts and to expand in space and satellite industries.
The prince said the commission was keen to invest in training Saudi talent through specialized programs and educational scholarships abroad.
Earlier this week, he visited the headquarters of the Russian space agency Roscosmos for a working session alongside its director-general, Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin.
“Russia considers Saudi Arabia a serious partner, with a great regional and international influence,” SPA reported Rogozin as saying.
Last month, Saudi Arabia and 10 other countries signed the first pan-Arab agreement on coordinating national exploration programs at the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi.
The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, said that the group’s first project would be a satellite system to be built in the UAE.
The agreement is unprecedented for the nations involved, whose levels of technical expertise vary. The first aim of the agreement will be to bring them all up to an equal level of capability.