Leave early for work to avoid traffic congestion: Official

Updated 23 June 2015

Leave early for work to avoid traffic congestion: Official

RIYADH: The Traffic Department in the capital has taken all necessary measures to streamline vehicular traffic during the month of Ramadan, but appealed to motorists to leave for work early.
When everybody goes to work 15 minutes before 10 am, this almost paralyzes the main road of the capital, especially those roads under Riyadh Metro project, a traffic official said.
In its announcement, the traffic department said it is ready to regulate the flow of traffic and deal with any accident that may occur during Ramadan.
The traffic plan includes their extensive presence in the evening until the early hours of the next morning on main and branch roads leading to mosques with high density.
The official said traffic personnel will be shifted to work in the evenings throughout the week, including Friday and Saturday, in view of the high volume of transportation on the main streets leading to commercial centers, as well as programming the timing of traffic signals to accommodate the largest number of cars.
The official has, however, advised government and private sector employees to go to work places much early in the morning in order to reach on time and avoid the rush.
“I leave home before 9 a.m. and find the road empty. I comfortably reach office before 10 a.m.” said a translator from Sudan.

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 33 min 49 sec ago

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.