COVID-19 cases pass 600,000 mark in Saudi Arabia after 5,628 new infections

The Saudi health ministry is continuing with the Kingdom's vaccination plan, and more than 53 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered. (Twitter: @SaudiMOH)
The Saudi health ministry is continuing with the Kingdom's vaccination plan, and more than 53 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered. (Twitter: @SaudiMOH)
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Updated 14 January 2022

COVID-19 cases pass 600,000 mark in Saudi Arabia after 5,628 new infections

The Saudi health ministry is continuing with the Kingdom's vaccination plan, and more than 53 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered. (Twitter: @SaudiMOH)
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 558,546
  • A total of 8,903 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced another two deaths from COVID-19 and 5,628 new infections on Friday.

Numbers of confirmed cases have increased sharply in recent weeks as the more-transmissible omicron variant spreads.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 558,546 after 3,511 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,903 people have now died from the virus in the Kingdom so far.

The Saudi health ministry is continuing with the Kingdom's vaccination plan, and more than 53 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.

Saudi Arabia recenrly updated its COVID-19 restrictions, announcing new fines of SR1,000 ($266) for those who flout social distancing rules, and SR100,000 ($266,000) for repeat offenders.


Saudi Arabia takes part in World Tourism Day 2022

There will be many unique and futuristic offerings in Saudi Arabia as the country continues to develop. (SPA)
There will be many unique and futuristic offerings in Saudi Arabia as the country continues to develop. (SPA)
Updated 19 sec ago

Saudi Arabia takes part in World Tourism Day 2022

There will be many unique and futuristic offerings in Saudi Arabia as the country continues to develop. (SPA)
  • The ministry aims to raise awareness of the importance of tourism in Saudi Arabia as an axis and a fundamental pillar of development within the objectives of Vision 2030

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Tourism is taking part in celebrations for World Tourism Day 2022 in Bali, Indonesia, on Sept. 27, to promote tourism as a key pillar of development.

The ministry aims to raise awareness of the importance of tourism in Saudi Arabia as an axis and a fundamental pillar of development within the objectives of Vision 2030.

Recognizing the importance of human capital development, the ministry launched the largest national strategy for capacity development and tourism competencies in the Kingdom, which aims to prepare qualified national cadres with the highest international standards.

The strategy also aims to empower entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium tourism establishments through a package of distinctive programs to bring about a qualitative leap that reflects the ambition of the tourism sector to enrich the experiences of tourists.

Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general of the UN World Tourism Organization, said: “This year, especially, we also recognize that we cannot go back to the old ways of working. The 2030 agenda for sustainable development remains our end goal.

“We must rethink tourism. As the world opens up again, we must learn the lessons of the past; through crisis, we have seen where we can build more resilience and deliver more fairness,” he added.

Furthermore, the Saudi ministry is paying attention to the tourism industry in the Kingdom in terms of its organization, development and promotion in a way that enhances the role of the sector and overcomes obstacles to its growth.

It is allowing registrations for the Tourism Pioneers Program, which provides training opportunities in 10 prestigious global universities and educational institutions specialized in the sector.

 


Saudi counter-extremism center works with Telegram to remove five million extremist posts in past two months

A general view shows the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology shortly before its inauguration in Riyadh. (AFP)
A general view shows the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology shortly before its inauguration in Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 18 min 8 sec ago

Saudi counter-extremism center works with Telegram to remove five million extremist posts in past two months

A general view shows the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology shortly before its inauguration in Riyadh. (AFP)
  • Since the collaboration began in February, more than 7 million examples of extremist content have been removed from the instant messaging service

RIYADH: More than five million examples of extremist content were removed from instant messaging service Telegram in the space of just two months.

The Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, also known as Etidal, on Monday said that between July 17 and Sept. 13, its work with a task force from Telegram to prevent and combat terrorism and violent extremism resulted in the deletion of 5,269,078 items from the platform. They included 3,012,489 messages relating to Tahrir Al-Sham, a militant group involved in the Syrian civil war, 1,168,447 about Al-Qaeda, and 1,088,142 about Daesh.

Since the collaboration began on Feb. 21, Etidal said 7,146,016 examples of extremist content has been removed from Telegram to protect users from threats and damaging ideological influences. They include messages in Arabic that contained various types of media files, including PDFs, videos and audio recordings.

Mubarak Al-Aati, a Saudi writer and analyst. (Supplied)

Mubarak Al-Aati, a Saudi writer and political analyst, said that Etidal is showing that it is efficient and serious in its efforts to confront the rhetoric of extremism and the ideas of terrorism. He told Arab News that the organization’s work to combat the threats on the local, regional and global levels is well known, and its work with high-profile partners such as Telegram will help to reduce the extremist influence on social media and in other public online spaces.

“It will restrict the danger of such materials to society and make pertinent bodies address their responsibilities to preserve and maintain the security of society,” said Al-Aati.

Etidal is a global organization tasked with combating and rooting out examples of extremism, addressing them, and promoting a culture of tolerance and coexistence among peoples. It was established on May 21, 2017, during the Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh with the aim of promoting, monitoring and analyzing a culture of intellectual moderation in collaboration with regional and international networks. Its headquarters are located in the Saudi capital.

Al-Aati said the center has enjoyed a number of successes so far in its work to tackle the menace of extremism and terrorism. He stressed the importance of the continuation of its painstaking efforts, along with the role of the wider international community in adopting a firm stance in opposition to states that support and sponsor terrorism and extremism and try to use extremist ideologies as a way to spread havoc and chaos.

 


UK PM thanks Saudi crown prince for role in release of British detainees

UK PM thanks Saudi crown prince for role in release of British detainees
Updated 21 min 14 sec ago

UK PM thanks Saudi crown prince for role in release of British detainees

UK PM thanks Saudi crown prince for role in release of British detainees
  • Liz Truss expressed her thanks during a phone call with Prince Mohammed during which he congratulated her on her new role

RIYADH: Britain’s prime minister thanked Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his role in securing the release of five British detainees held by Russia-backed forces in Ukraine last week, Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

Liz Truss expressed her thanks during a phone call with Prince Mohammed during which he congratulated her on her new role and wished her success.

The crown prince also said he looked forward to working with Truss for the benefit of the Kingdom and the UK.

Prince Mohammed also extended his condolences to the prime minister on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and congratulated King Charles III on his accession to the throne.

The two leaders also reviewed bilateral relations between their countries and ways to develop them within the framework of the Saudi-British Strategic Partnership Council.


European languages are the talk of Riyadh

European languages are the talk of Riyadh
Updated 26 September 2022

European languages are the talk of Riyadh

European languages are the talk of Riyadh
  • The EU delegation to Saudi Arabia, in partnership with the Riyadh Language Exchange, will host a European Night of Languages at the Hyatt Regency Riyadh on Wednesday
  • Participants at the event will have the chance to test their language skills with staff from several EU embassies and learn basic words and phrases in other languages

RIYADH: Saudi and EU partners have come together to mark the European Day of Languages and promote better communication and cultural understanding.

The EU delegation to Saudi Arabia, in partnership with the Riyadh Language Exchange, marked the day on Monday as it prepared to host a European Night of Languages on Wednesday.

Participants at the event at the Hyatt Regency Riyadh will have the chance to test their language skills with staff from several EU embassies, learn basic words and phrases in less common languages, and play games and quizzes.

Patrick Simonnet, the EU’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: “Europe is known for its cultural and linguistic diversity. Almost two-thirds of Europeans are able to converse in one or more foreign languages. Language is what connects us as people and enables us to communicate and better understand one-another.

“It is encouraging to see that also more and more Saudis are interested in learning languages. There has never been a better time to learn a new language and reap the socioeconomic benefits that multilingualism has to offer, from global access to knowledge and education to better job opportunities and greater cultural understanding.”

Mohammed Matham, co-founder of the Riyadh Language Exchange, a Saudi non-profit organization, said he was pleased to partner with the EU for the event.

“Our efforts over the past four years to support the practice of languages and cultural exchange are bearing fruit,” he added.

“It is a great privilege to partner with the EU delegation to organize such an exceptional event.”

The European Day of Languages was also marked at the SEK International School and the German International School, both in Riyadh, where students participated in activities focused on language learning.

Alliance Francaise and the Goethe-Institut both offered a free beginners’ class in French and German respectively.

The annual celebration is organized by the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote linguistic diversity and cultural heritage, reinforce cultural understanding, and encourage people of all ages to learn languages.


Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh

Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh
Updated 26 September 2022

Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh

Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh
  • Al-Jaber emphasized the Kingdom’s support for UN efforts to extend the truce in Yemen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber met with the UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg in Riyadh on Monday.

During the meeting, Al-Jaber emphasized the Kingdom’s support for UN efforts to extend the truce in Yemen to reach a complete ceasefire and a comprehensive political solution in the war-torn country.

The truce was first implemented on April 2 and is due for renewal on Oct. 2.

Earlier this month, Grundberg met with the head of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Al-Alimi in Riyadh where they discussed ongoing efforts to implement the truce and the importance of negotiating its extension and expansion.