Al Ekhbariya channel to become news network company

Updated 31 December 2017

Al Ekhbariya channel to become news network company

JEDDAH: Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad issued a decision on Wednesday to change Al Ekhbariya channel to a limited liability company, owned by the Saudi Broadcasting Corp. (SBC) and the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
This change was taken as a measure to cope with rapid developments in local and international media.
The official Twitter website of the Ministry of Culture and Information, @SaudiBroadcast, posted a video in which the official spokesman of the ministry, Hani Al-Gahafili, expressed his reaction to the news in a daily new TV program called “Saudi morning.”
He said: “The channel’s transformation into a company gives it flexibility in performance and enables it to achieve many goals. It will become a strong source of local news and will match its corresponding regional and global channels.”
According to the SPA: “The decision aims to develop the Arabic-language news channel and to launch an English-language news channel. The company will be able to develop its experience regarding events coverage, and follow-up of local and international news.”
Al-Awwad said in a statement: “Such a change comes within the context of the ministry’s initiatives to achieve Vision 2030, and enable its various institutions to keep abreast of developments in the media arena at the level of the region and the world.”
He added: “We have established media institutions in Saudi Arabia and we are working with them to provide all the support they need to professionally convey the Kingdom’s message to the world.”
The new version of the channel, the Al Ekhbariya Company Network, aims to achieve excellence in the dissemination of exclusive content in accordance with standards of honesty, accuracy and objectivity; to make a return on the investment in the media sector; and to create new platforms for digital distribution to reach a competitive content industry.


Saudi customs train dogs to sniff out infected air travelers

Saudi Health Ministry officials distribute roses to people following precautionary measures to prevent coronavirus. (Supplied)
Updated 05 August 2020

Saudi customs train dogs to sniff out infected air travelers

  • 1,983 critical cases reported, death toll reaches 2,984

JEDDAH: Saudi Customs officials are taking the lead in identifying air travelers harboring the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) — by using specially trained sniffer dogs.

The canine virus detectors are being drafted in at airports throughout the Kingdom to help pick up the scent of infected passengers.
Following the resumption of international flights, customs staff in Saudi Arabia are to use the animals as part of their efforts to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
The customs authority, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been training Jack Russell terriers and other breeds to recognize the odor of COVID-19.
“The training has been 80 percent successful,” said Mohammed Al-Salloum, director of the National Center for Living Means at Saudi Customs, adding that final preparations were being put in place for the dog teams to start work in airport terminals throughout the country.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Ministry of Health on Tuesday announced 1,342 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, taking the total number in the Kingdom to 281,435.
Of the latest cases, 97 were recorded in Riyadh, 56 in Makkah, 53 in Madinah and Hafr Al-Batin, and 51 in Dammam, with 40 percent of them women. There were 34,763 active cases, with most patients in a stable condition, and 1,983 critical.
The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 increased to 243,688 with 1,635 of those being in the latest 24-hour period. The Kingdom reported 35 new COVID-19-related deaths, raising the overall toll to 2,984.
The ministry said it had carried out 54,325 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests over 24 hours taking the total number of checks conducted since the outbreak to 3,528,040.