Police deny Grand Mosque stampede rumors

Updated 31 May 2014

Police deny Grand Mosque stampede rumors

Makkah police denied rumors circulating on social media sites on Thursday that three pilgrims were killed in a stampede inside the Grand Mosque.
Officials clarified that four people sustained injuries after they were caught up in a melee.
“Three of them — all women — were treated on the spot and the fourth person was transferred to a local hospital,” said Makkah police spokesman Aati Al-Qurashi.
According to another official, the man sustained a deep cut to his head. He said as soon as the Kaaba door was opened for the washing ceremony, there was a heavy rush of onlookers trying to get a glimpse of the inside of the Kaaba. “That is when the man fell down on his head.”
Earlier, Makkah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah took part in the washing ritual of the Holy Kaaba on behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
The House of God is washed from inside twice a year in Muharram and Shaaban, the first and eighth months of the Hijri calendar.
“We are honored that our country serves pilgrims throughout the year,” said a statement issued by the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs quoting the governor.
The governor was welcomed by Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the presidency, and Mohammed Al-Khozaim, vice-president, said the statement.
The governor performed prayers at the Grand Mosque and then went on to wash the inside of the Kaaba with zamzam water mixed with “oud” perfume and rose water with companions.
Culture and Information Minister Abdulaziz Khoja, Makkah Mayor Osama Al-Bar and several princes, ministers, members of the diplomatic corps and a group of citizens also participated in the washing ritual.


G20 ready to limit effects of coronavirus on global economy, Saudi finance minister

Updated 46 min 58 sec ago

G20 ready to limit effects of coronavirus on global economy, Saudi finance minister

RIYADH: Finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies agreed on Sunday to continue monitoring the risk from the coronavirus outbreak and to adopt appropriate policies to limit the global economic impact, Saudi Arabia's finance minister said.
The two-day gathering in Riyadh was dominated by growing concern over the widening fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, with the International Monetary Fund predicting it would shave 0.1 percentage point off global growth. 
During the meeting, which also included central bank governors heads of international and regional organizations, under the Saudi G20 Presidency, was chaired by Saudi finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan and the Saudi Central Bank
governor Ahmed Al-Kholifey.
They also discussed the global economic outlook and possible policy responses to support growth and safeguarding against downside risks, as well as the priorities of the Saudi G20 presidency, under the theme of “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All.” 
They also addressed the tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy, utilizing the benefit of technology for infrastructure, developing domestic capital markets, and framing supervisory and regulatory issues for the digital era.