Two illegal residents arrested for possession of drugs

Two illegal residents arrested for possession of drugs
Saudi Arabia has intensified its crackdown on drug smuggling networks. (AFP File Photo)
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Updated 13 September 2022

Two illegal residents arrested for possession of drugs

Two illegal residents arrested for possession of drugs
  • The Pakistani and Ethiopian violators were also caught with a sum of money in Jeddah

JEDDAH: Saudi authorities arrested two illegal residents in possession of 244 amphetamine tablets.
The Pakistani and Ethiopian violators were also caught with a sum of money in Jeddah, state media Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
They have been referred to relevant authorities for further action.
Saudi Arabia has intensified its crackdown on drug smuggling networks.
Authorities recently recorded the Kingdom’s biggest drug bust ever after a major security operation yielded 47 million pieces of smuggled amphetamine tablets, with a street value of up to $1 billion.
Six Syrians and two Pakistanis were arrested after authorities found the pills hidden in a large shipment of flour.


Lights, camera, action: Movie production safety tops agenda at 1st Saudi film industry leaders’ meeting

Lights, camera, action: Movie production safety tops agenda at 1st Saudi film industry leaders’ meeting
Updated 08 December 2022

Lights, camera, action: Movie production safety tops agenda at 1st Saudi film industry leaders’ meeting

Lights, camera, action: Movie production safety tops agenda at 1st Saudi film industry leaders’ meeting
  • The training and accountability of film crews and field producers for safety were considered a priority matter
  • Studio Production Training announced at the meeting plans to launch e-learning training videos in Arabic to highlight on-set safety

JEDDAH: Leading figures from Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning film industry recently met in Jeddah to discuss key issues related to movie production.
The session, organized by Studio Production Training, was the first of a series of roundtable meetings planned for the Kingdom’s producers, filmmakers, senior executives, production and rental house representatives, and art production staff under the title “Together We Grow, Safety on Set.”
Topping the agenda at the gathering, held at the Angelina restaurant in Jeddah, was talks on ways to improve on-set safety and best practices throughout the sector.
The training and accountability of film crews and field producers for safety were considered a priority matter.
Saudi executive producer and chief executive officer of Studio Production Training, Hajjar Alnaim, said: “Our main aim is to support the growth and development of below-the-line production talent in Saudi Arabia in line with Vision 2030.
“A unified local production industry is the key to a strong future for our talent, crews, and producers. Hence, our discussions not only revolved around safety issues but also looked at ways in which all entities could coordinate with each other in developing a unified standard for safety.”
With the region’s fledgling film industry often forced to operate on low budgets, safety could sometimes be compromised. But the roundtable sessions are aimed at making improvements in working conditions for production teams.
“We want to create guidelines and best practices that fit our industry in Saudi Arabia by redrafting and developing with local partners such as Netflix to reach the best rules.
“The outcome of the first session’s discussions was to share safety guidelines on production workflows designed not to affect crews financially and logistically, and then take feedback. Based on the feedback, we will sign agreements to ensure rules can be applied on set,” Alnaim added.
Studio Production Training announced at the meeting plans to launch e-learning training videos in Arabic to highlight on-set safety. Crew members passing an online test on the subject would receive an industry-recognized certificate of awareness.
The session ended with Studio Production Training signing consultation and skills training agreements with Riyadh audiovisual equipment rental firm EQEW, film rental house CineCrew, and Saudi movie production companies Nebras Films, and Millimeter.
Ahmed Baageel, production designer and CEO of Riyadh video production service Makzn7, said: “We are trying our best to bring the change ourselves in terms of industry safety issues, instead of waiting for a governmental change or for rules to come from above.
“This workshop helped us to discuss the awareness of safety issues and encouraged the industry leaders to take responsibility in adopting a unified safety standard.”


Saudi crown prince, UAE president led mediation in US basketball star Griner, Russia’s Viktor Bout prisoner swap

Saudi crown prince, UAE president led mediation in US basketball star Griner, Russia’s Viktor Bout prisoner swap
Updated 08 December 2022

Saudi crown prince, UAE president led mediation in US basketball star Griner, Russia’s Viktor Bout prisoner swap

Saudi crown prince, UAE president led mediation in US basketball star Griner, Russia’s Viktor Bout prisoner swap
  • Brittney Griner arrived in Abu Dhabi by private plane from Moscow after her release by Russian authorities
  • Bout came on another private plane from Washington after being released by US authorities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed led mediation efforts that secured the release of two prisoners between the US and Russia, a joint statement issued by both countries’ foreign ministries said on Thursday.
“The ministries said the success of the mediation efforts was a reflection of the mutual and solid friendship between their two countries and the United States and Russia,” the statement said.
“They also highlighted the important role played by the leaderships of the two brotherly countries in promoting dialogue between all parties,” it added.
US basketball star Brittney Griner arrived in Abu Dhabi by private plane from Moscow on Thursday after she was released by Russian authorities, the statement confirmed, while Russian citizen Viktor Bout came in a separate private plane from Washington after he was released by US authorities, in the presence of specialists from the Kingdom and the UAE.
“The UAE and Saudi Arabian foreign ministries expressed the thanks of their respective governments to the governments of the US and Russia for their cooperation and response, and for the joint mediation efforts made by the leaderships of the two countries,” the statement also said.


Saudi leaders, Chinese President Xi sign several deals in Riyadh

Saudi leaders, Chinese President Xi sign several deals in Riyadh
Updated 31 min 49 sec ago

Saudi leaders, Chinese President Xi sign several deals in Riyadh

Saudi leaders, Chinese President Xi sign several deals in Riyadh
  • King Salman and Xi signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement.
  • Crown Prince Mohammed and Xi witnessed the signing of several memoranda of understanding

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received Thursday China’s President Xi Jinping in Riyadh during his official visit to the Kingdom, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The king welcomed the Chinese leader and his accompanying delegation to his country, while Xi expressed his happiness at visiting the Kingdom.
During the meeting, which was held at Al-Yamama Palace in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, they reviewed “the historical friendship” between Riyadh and Beijing, and ways to enhance them in various fields, SPA said.
King Salman and Xi then signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement.
The Chinese president arrived in the Kingdom on Wednesday for a three-day visit where he will attend Saudi, Arab and Gulf summits aimed at bolstering relations and investment with China.
The crown prince also welcomed Xi in a separate meeting where the two sides held official talks to review aspects of the partnership between the Kingdom and China, and joint coordination efforts to enhance cooperation between their two countries in various fields and in line with their vision.
They also discussed opportunities to invest in the available resources in both countries, regional and international developments, and issues of common interests.
Prince Mohammed and Xi then witnessed the signing of several memoranda of understanding, including in hydrogen energy, and to encourage direct investment between them.
The Kingdom also signed an agreement with China’s Huawei Technologies on cloud computing and building high-tech complexes in Saudi cities, as well as an agreement to coordinate between the Saudi Vision 2030 and Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative.
The Chinese president was awarded an honorary doctorate in administration from King Saud University as a tribute to his achievements and great efforts in management and leadership, and in gratitude for the thriving relationship and continuous cooperation between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Saudi Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing Majid Al-Hogail and Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao signed an action plan to implement an MoU signed by both governments in August 2016, during Xi’s previous visit to the Kingdom.
The plan, which was signed on the sidelines of the Saudi-Chinese summit, aims to develop practical cooperation and friendly bilateral relations, and achieve mutual benefit and common development between the two countries in the field of housing.
The areas of cooperation include the exchange of development plans, policies, measures, administrative expertise and successful practices in the field of urban development and housing construction, implementing specific housing projects in China, the Kingdom or jointly in a third country, surveying, design and construction, site management, health, safety and environment, building materials and energy-saving buildings.
They also include the exchange of expertise in modern building technologies, financing innovations and green construction, and the application of information and data technologies in smart cities and the building, manufacturing and construction sectors, as well as training engineers and technicians in both countries.


A joint Saudi-Chinese initiative aims to harness the power of entertainment to cement ties

A joint Saudi-Chinese initiative aims to harness the power of entertainment to cement ties
Updated 08 December 2022

A joint Saudi-Chinese initiative aims to harness the power of entertainment to cement ties

A joint Saudi-Chinese initiative aims to harness the power of entertainment to cement ties
  • Announcement by Saudi Ministry of Media and China Media Group coincides with President Xi Jinping’s state visit
  • Among the projects is a television series to be produced by Saudi Broadcasting Authority and China Media Group

RIYADH: For centuries, cultural expressions through the arts and various forms of media have served as a means of spreading ideas and educating people about civilizations beyond their borders. With time, these became the tools of diplomacy to help bind friendly nations and encourage cooperation.

In a similar spirit of cooperation and fraternity, the Saudi Ministry of Media and the China Media Group announced this week the launch of a joint initiative to promote relations between the Arab world and the Asian giant, coinciding with the state visit to the Kingdom by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

One of the three projects, unveiled at Monday’s Arab-Chinese Media Cooperation Forum, is a plan for a joint television series between the Saudi Broadcasting Authority and the China Media Group titled “Heart-to-Heart and Hand-in-Hand.” 

Consisting of several episodes, the series will tell the stories of citizens of Saudi Arabia and China, sharing their successes and challenges with the focus on cultural and social integration.

The forum also announced an initiative to broadcast mutual visual works in the Arab world and China, to promote the exchange of cultural, artistic and social content. 

Another initiative announced at the forum to “strengthen cooperation between the Arab and Chinese media,” includes the exchange of technical expertise, focusing on disseminating credible news, and exchanging visits between prominent professionals. 

“Saudi-Chinese relations are old and well-established and strong, and they are witnessing prosperity and expansion,” Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, president of the Arab States Broadcasting Union and CEO of the Saudi Broadcasting Authority, told the forum. 

Also speaking during the forum, Majid Al-Qasabi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of commerce and acting minister of media, said Arab countries see China as a reliable partner and look forward to strengthening cultural exchanges. 

The influence of soft power has been widely recognized in recent years to assist in improving international relations, conceived in practice through state investment in news and entertainment media, and education initiatives. 

Efforts have been underway for several years to promote cross-cultural understanding between China and the Arab world. During Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s 2019 visit to China, he agreed to include the Chinese language as part of the curriculum in the Kingdom’s schools and universities. 

Today, some 20,000 Arab students are studying in China, and several schools in Saudi Arabia teach the Chinese language and promote the nation’s culture. 

In November, China Mobile International signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Broadcasting Authority, the Saudi Cloud Computing Company, and Whale Cloud to form a strategic partnership in developing the digital media ecosystem. 

According to China Global TV Network, all parties would collaborate to provide smart digital media solutions and cloud services to the Saudi Broadcasting Authority. 

This marks another chapter in the ever-changing media landscape in the Kingdom. In the first decades after the launch of radio and television in Saudi Arabia, the majority of broadcast entertainment was acquired from abroad, mainly from Egypt and Syria. 

Over time, programming began to vary, ranging from Mexican “Telenovela” soap operas to the Japanese game show “Takeshi’s Castle.” 

Later, this expanded to Turkish and South Korean shows dubbed into Arabic, broadcast in the Kingdom and across the wider Middle East and North Africa region. 

In the age of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other online streaming services, the choice of international content on offer is wider than ever before. 

The Kingdom has joined the fray and is making its mark. Saudi Arabia’s own burgeoning film and television industry is exporting the Arab world’s distinctive culture to movie, TV and mobile screens all the way from Europe to the Far East — including China, one of the world’s largest and growing markets.


Arab leaders arrive for Riyadh Arab-China Summit

Arab leaders arrive for Riyadh Arab-China Summit
Updated 08 December 2022

Arab leaders arrive for Riyadh Arab-China Summit

Arab leaders arrive for Riyadh Arab-China Summit
  • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes China’s President Xi Jinping at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh

RIYADH: Arab delegations started arriving in Riyadh on Thursday to participate in the Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and his delegation were among the first to arrive. They were welcomed at King Khalid International Airport by Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Governor of Riyadh; Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League, and other senior officials.

Kuwait’s Crown Prince Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah also touched down in Riyadh to participate in the Arab and Gulf-Chinese summits to be held during his visit. 

Meanwhile, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed China’s President Xi Jinping at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, where an official ceremony was held.

Xi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as part of a three-day visit to the Kingdom.

He was invited by King Salman to attend a Saudi-Chinese summit in the Kingdom, which will run until Dec. 9.

 

 

He will also attend two more conferences, the Riyadh Gulf-China Summit for Cooperation and Development and the Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development during his visit.

Aboul Gheit said, in an SPA report, the Riyadh Arab-China Summit adds “momentum to the relations and reflects the political will of the Arab and Chinese sides, expressing hope for such summits to be held periodically to preserve momentum of these ties.”

The establishment of the China–Arab States Cooperation Forum contributed to making a real breakthrough in the Arab-Chinese cooperation, where the two sides now have more than 20 cooperation mechanisms in various political, economic, cultural, media and development fields, he added.
The secretary general noted that economic relations between the two sides were steadily increasing, adding that the volume of trade exchange between China and Arab countries has risen to about $330 billion in 2021 from about $36 billion at the time of the forum’s establishment.

He also reviewed cooperation aspects between the Arab side and China during the COVID-19 pandemic and their efforts in facing this pandemic, saying: “All of us know that crises test the true friendship among peoples and countries.”

“During the pandemic, I think China and the Arab states have succeeded, especially that we have witnessed a clear exchange of support between the two sides in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic.”

– with SPA