Saudi Arabia and Virgin Hyperloop One sign deal to exchange scientific and technological knowledge

The hyperloop company and the KAUST university signed the partnership at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) . (Supplied)
Updated 13 November 2019

Saudi Arabia and Virgin Hyperloop One sign deal to exchange scientific and technological knowledge

  • The hyperloop company and the KAUST university signed the partnership at the Future Investment Initiative (FII)
  • They both agreed to develop the country’s transportation infrastructure

RIYADH: US-based Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to in a project to develop the Kingdom’s transport sector.

The globally-leading hyperloop company agreed with the university to develop the country’s transportation infrastructure by “fostering the exchange of scientific and technological knowledge,” according to a statement.

The California-based company and the Kingdom's leading private research institution signed the partnership at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh earlier this month.

The announcement came after the leading developer of hyperloop technology and King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) published the findings of a feasibility study on the establishment of a centre of excellence at KAEC.

The study included the world's first full-speed testing track and a manufacturing facility from which Hyperloop parts would be exported to another market. 

 


Lebanon removes banking secrecy rules to fight corruption

Updated 28 May 2020

Lebanon removes banking secrecy rules to fight corruption

  • The move opens the way for investigations into bank accounts of current and former officials such as Cabinet ministers

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s parliament approved on Thursday a law to remove decades-old banking secrecy rules in order to better fight rampant corruption that has pushed the country to the edge of economic collapse.
The move opens the way for investigations into bank accounts of current and former officials such as Cabinet ministers, legislators and civil servants, state-run National News Agency reported.
The restoration of stolen public money in the corruption-plagued nation has been a key demand of protesters who have been demonstrating since mid-October against Lebanon’s ruling elite, which they blame for widespread corruption and mismanagement.
The approval of the law came two months after the Cabinet approved a draft resolution to abolish the country’s banking secrecy laws, which have turned tiny Lebanon into the region’s Switzerland, attracting clients from around the Arab world who prized the anonymity its banks offered.
The new law gives powers to National Anti-corruption Commission and a Special Investigative Committee at the central bank to investigate bank account of officials, the report said.
For Thursday’s session, Lebanese lawmakers convened inside a Beirut theater so that they could observe social distancing measures imposed during the pandemic. Dozens of anti-government demonstrators briefly clashed with riot police outside as legislators met.
As lawmakers in face masks arrived at the theater, known as the UNESCO palace, paramedics sprayed them with disinfectant before they entered, one at a time.
Lebanon has been facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with unemployment figures soaring and the local currency losing more than half of its value against the dollar.
After the banking secrecy measure was passed, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri suspended the session until later in the afternoon when the legislators were to discuss a draft general amnesty law.
The amnesty issue has deeply divided parliamentary blocs, with Christian groups calling for pardoning Lebanese who fled to Israel after it ended its occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000, while former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and others want the release of hundreds of Islamists held as terror suspects.
Lebanon and Israel are at a state of war and some Lebanese who fled to Israel now hold Israeli citizenship. Scores of protesters demonstrated in Beirut and southern Lebanon on Thursday against pardoning those living in Israel.