Saudi students race drones in run-up to DRL World Championship final

Saudi students race drones in run-up to DRL World Championship final
A group of 16 Saudi students competed in their own race after attending a two-day training workshop on building, programming and flying drones. (SFCSPD)
Updated 14 September 2018

Saudi students race drones in run-up to DRL World Championship final

Saudi students race drones in run-up to DRL World Championship final
  • The final event of this year’s DRL championship will held on September 14
  • The federation is working to introduce regulations that will help to overcome obstacles to Saudis interested in taking up drone racing

JEDDAH: As Saudi Arabia prepares to host the grand finale of the 2018 Drone Racing League Allianz World Championship, some lucky young locals got a taste of the sport’s speed and thrills, while also learning about the technology behind it.
The seventh and final event of this year’s DRL championship will be hosted by the Saudi Federation for Cyber Security, Programming and Drones (SFCSPD) at King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah on September 14, where 10 of the world’s best drone racers will compete to be crowned world champion
Before the big race, a group of 16 Saudi students competed in their own race after attending a two-day training workshop on building, programming and flying drones, which was supervised by the DRL World Team. The participants used simulation software to learn how to control the aircraft and then got to fly the latest, state-of-the-art Racer 3 drones.
One of the participants, Mutaz Abdullah Al-Jaafari said he was pleased to have the chance to take part because it was a national event that encouraged, supported and motivated young people to get involved in the sport.
DRL fans around the world are looking forward to the final of the 2018 World Championship, which this year comes to Saudi Arabia for the first time. It is hosted by the SFCSPD, with the support of Saud Al-Qahtani, the chairman of the federation and an adviser to the Royal Court.
Nouf Al-Rakan, the federation’s executive director, said the event is in line with realizing the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and reflects the country’s regional and international leadership in the areas of technology and sports. She added that the federation is working to introduce legislation and regulations that will help to overcome obstacles to Saudis who are interested in taking up drone racing. She said it is also pleased to play a role in introducing this modern sport to Saudi society and attracting international events, and hopes to host more international competitions and support citizens keen to participate in the sport.
Al-Rakan also expressed her pride in the young people who took part in the workshops, praising their enthusiasm and skill in helping to build a model drone that will be used in the final race.
The race in Jeddah on September 14 is the seventh and the final event in the 2018 DRL Allianz World Championship, after qualifying rounds in the United States, France and Germany. Free tickets to attend the event are available online from the SFCSPD.

 


Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council
Updated 9 min 52 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council
  • The letter dealt with relations between the two countries and ways to support and enhance them in various fields

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday received a written message from the Chairman of Chad’s Transitional Military Council, Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby, regarding relations between the two countries and ways to support and enhance them in various fields.
The message was received on behalf of Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, by Minister of State for African Affairs Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Kattan during a meeting with his Chadian counterpart Mahamat Zene Cherif in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Kattan welcomed the Chadian foreign minister and his accompanying delegation, and they discussed bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in various fields, in addition to exchanging views on regional and international issues of common interest, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.


Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly

Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly
Updated 17 June 2021

Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly

Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly
  • The Kingdom recorded 14 COVID-19 deaths and 1,309 new cases in past 24 hours
  • 8 mosques reopened in 4 regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after 8 people tested positive for coronavirus

RIYADH: The Ministry of Health announced on Thursday that a high COVID immunization rate had been achieved among the elderly Saudi population (60 years and above).
Immunization rates reached 98 percent in Hafr Al-Batin, 93 percent in Al-Ahsa, 93 percent in Qurayyat, 86 percent in Bisha, 83 percent in Riyadh, 80 percent in the Eastern Province, and 80 percent in Taif.
The ministry said that these percentages were achieved after vaccinating this group with at least one dose.
Since Saudi Arabia began its nationwide vaccination campaign on Dec. 17, the Ministry of Health has targeted the elderly as one of its priority groups, launching a Priority service for Saudis and expats over the age of 75 without registration, appointment or waiting.
This has been available at vaccination centers in all regions of the Kingdom.
The ministry called on everyone to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine by registering on the “Sehhaty” application, stressing that the approved vaccines in the Kingdom are effective and safe.
Meanwhile, the ministry said that three polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests can be conducted per month, according to the new protocol for COVID-19 tests in the Kingdom.
“If you have a respiratory disease, go to Tetamman clinics without booking an appointment and the doctor will assess your condition and conduct an examination for you,” the Ministry explained. “If you have recovered from the virus, you do not need an examination to prove your recovery. If you come in direct contact with a confirmed case after taking the COVID-19 vaccine, you don’t need a test.”
The Kingdom recorded 14 new COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,635.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 1,309 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 470,723 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 10,879 remain active and 1,533 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in Makkah with 388, followed by the capital Riyadh with 265, the Eastern Province with 235, Asir recorded 115, and Jazan confirmed 95 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,022 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 452,209.

The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Saudi Arabia had so far conducted 20,712,598 PCR tests, with 94,921 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Testing hubs and treatment centers set up throughout the country have dealt with hundreds of thousands of people since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Among them, Taakad (make sure) centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or only mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual. Tetamman (rest assured) clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.
Appointments for both services can be made via the ministry’s Sehhaty app.
Meanwhile, 16,275,155 people in the country have received a jab against COVID-19.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs reopened eight mosques in four regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after eight people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed and reopened after being sterilized to 1,596 within 131 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 177 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.85 million.


Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southern Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southern Saudi Arabia
Updated 17 June 2021

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southern Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southern Saudi Arabia
  • The coalition said it destroyed a drone launched by the Iran-backed Houthis against civilians and civilian objects in Khamis Mushait

RIYADH: The Arab coalition said on Thursday it thwarted an attack launched by the Houthi militia in Yemen toward southern Saudi Arabia.
The coalition said it destroyed a “booby-trapped” drone launched by the Iran-backed group against civilians and civilian objects in Khamis Mushait, state TV reported.
“We are taking operational measures to protect civilians and from hostile attacks,” the coalition said, adding that it would continue to thwart “all hostile attempts of the Houthi militia against civilians and civilian objects.”


Saudi Arabia highlights desertification risks

Saudi Arabia highlights desertification risks
Updated 17 June 2021

Saudi Arabia highlights desertification risks

Saudi Arabia highlights desertification risks
  • As part of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, Saudi authorities reveal work they are doing in this field

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is participating in World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, which is celebrated on June 17 each year to raise awareness of the growing threats posed by desertification and the importance of preserving biodiversity.

Authorities said the Kingdom, which is committed to promoting sustainable development as part of its Saudi Vision 2030 strategy, is making significant efforts to tackle desertification and drought and preserve resources such as forests, pastures and agricultural land.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture said it is working to prevent the misuse and degradation of land, including major efforts in scientific research. It has also established specialized projects in fields related to sustainable development, and to help combat the degradation of natural resources and the loss of biodiversity. The aim is to ensure a healthy and proper environment for current and future generations.

The ministry stressed the importance of cooperation in addressing the causes of environmental degradation such as the rearing of livestock, logging, unsuitable agricultural methods, misuse of water resources, and bad practices while hiking.

The Kingdom has also established the National Center for the Development of Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification, and in 2019 issued a national strategy for natural pastures to improve the management of pasture lands, forests and national parks, preserve plant genetic resources and vegetation cover outside of protected areas, and combat desertification.

The Saudi Geological Survey monitors the degradation of land and the sand drift on main roads, residential areas and other sites, and develops scientific solutions and recommendations to mitigate geohazards and preserve regions at risk of degradation.


Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief urges focus on education, food security at summit

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief urges focus on education, food security at summit
Updated 17 June 2021

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief urges focus on education, food security at summit

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief urges focus on education, food security at summit

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday oversaw the second Islamic Summit on Science and Technology virtually hosted by the UAE under the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation: Opening New Horizons.”

During a speech at the summit, OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen said: “The OIC member states have made positive progress in the recent period, as the number of scientific publications increased by 34 percent, and the value of technology exports from OIC countries increased by 32 percent.”

He added that major funds have invested in the field of higher education in all OIC countries, and many member states have initiated large scientific projects, which involve artificial intelligence, green cities in Saudi Arabia, renewable energy and the digital economy.

Al-Othaimeen also drew attention to a space probe that the UAE developed which is successfully orbiting Mars, in addition to other pioneering technological projects across OIC member states.

He called for practical steps to confront challenges that hinder scientific development, and to make full use of all available capabilities to achieve technological development, and bring about social and economic progress in member states.

The secretary-general highlighted the need for inter-Islamic cooperation and partnerships in education by increasing academic interaction and exchanging knowledge through scholarships and research visits.

Speaking on sustainable food security, Al-Othaimeen said that OIC member states are facing challenges in the form of competing demands for resources, climate change and low productivity due to lack of mechanization.

As a result, there is an urgent need to enhance investment in agricultural science and research, as well as seek innovation in developing new types of crops, he added.