Author: Wed, 2018-07-18 22:25 RIYADH: The French Embassy in Riyadh celebrated Bastille Day with great zeal, holding a reception organized by Ambassador Francois Gouyette to honor French-Saudi friendship. Bastille Day is the common name in English-speaking countries for the National Day of France, which is celebrated on July 14 every year. On behalf of Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, acting governor of Riyadh , Aloush bin Fares Al-Subaie, acting assistant undersecretary of the governorate of Riyadh for security, attended the national day ceremony. Speaking at the reception, the ambassador highlighted the achievements of the past few months, saying Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France in April was the beginning of a new era in the bilateral historical relationship. The opening of the first French Consulate in Jeddah in 1839 and the visit of the late King Faisal are testament to this friendship and the trust upon which this relationship was built. France and Saudi Arabia are determined to reinforce the strategic relationship in many fields. “I would like to express my appreciation toward the new bilateral partnership in the cultural, tourist, educational and research fields,” the envoy said, adding that the intergovernmental agreement signed for the development of the site of Madain Saleh, home of the Nabataean civilization, symbolizes this collaboration. The agreement, he said, “confirms our will to highlight the value of the Saudi culture that originates from the ancient civilizations.” The Kingdom abounds with priceless archaeological treasures and France is proud to contribute to the valorization of this great heritage, he said. On this occasion, the envoy greeted French residents and congratulated their national team on reaching the FIFA World Cup final. France won the final and the cup, beating Croatia on Sunday. The embassy made an elaborate arrangement with big screens and refreshments for people to come and watch the final. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: BASTILLE DAYDIPLOMATIC QUARTERAloush bin Fares Al-SubaieAmbassador Francois Gouyette Saudi foreign minister meets French envoySaudi crown prince and French armed forces minister review bilateral cooperation
Author: Wed, 2018-07-18 22:29 RIYADH: The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has released an update to regulate the quality of services by telecommunications service providers (TSP) in the Kingdom. The update includes standards and indicators that assess the quality of service and enables consumers to view comparative quality-of-service information on the following services: Internet, mobile phones and landlines, while the CITC categorizes providers on the volume of complaints that subscribers bring to the commission. The CITC shared a sample complaint report for the fourth quarter 2017 that indicates a variation in the number of complaints posted on all services. Two crucial businesses elements are on the line: Reputation and customers’ loyalty. The new indicator should encourage all carriers in Saudi Arabia — STC, Mobily, Zain, Go, Lebara and Virgin — to strategically build customer-centricity across the sector by creating a new unit for customer quality management and connect it to all other departments. Telecommunication providers who intend to invest in enhancing the quality of service and problem-solving strategies will gain a broader market share than what they have today, and possibly increase their rates. Providers not able to compete in service quality enhancement due to lack of know-how or resources will try new approaches to attract and retain clients from a marketing angle such as decreasing rates, promotions and offering new plans. Disseminating a comparative data of service providers highlights two new significant values in the Saudi corporate market — transparency and quality customer service. The emergence of these two values will empower users, individuals and establishments to make informed decisions before purchasing any of the providers’ services listed on the indicator. The new regulation aims to meet the following objectives: Develop services in telecommunication and information technology, provide consumers with a high quality of telecommunication services, and to motivate competitiveness among service providers, along with urging transparency among their registered users. The telecommunication and information sectors play a significant role in all aspects of a country, and legislating a service quality indicator as part of the digital transformation in Saudi Arabia will create an environment that attracts new international service provider to enter the Saudi market. Saudi Arabia is capitalizing on information technology. Dashboards to deal with challenges and monitor businesses performance, starting with the TCC execution plan to use data by the fourth quarter of 2018, will set the bar for quality of service in the telecommunication sector and force providers to be more customer-centric. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: CITCSTCMobilyZainGoLebaravirgin CITC chief says Saudi Arabia to harness Chinese expertise to develop IT sectorITC signs SR3.5bn broadband agreement with CITC
Wed, 2018-07-18 23:17 JEDDAH: Chloe Chua, junior winner of this year’s world-renowned Menuhin competition, is to perform in Riyadh and Jeddah. The performances, organized by the General Authority for Culture (GAC) in Saudi Arabia, will take place on Saturday, July 21 at King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh, while Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah will host the second concert on Monday, July 23 when Saudi pianist Eman Gusti will also perform. Chua, the 11-year-old from Singapore, won the competition, considered a major international contest for young violinists. Her talent began to be recognized when at the age of four she joined the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. She also came first in the Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition last year. She will be accompanied at the Riyadh concert by pianist Gordon Back, artistic director of the Menuhin competition. Back is a key contributor to major international violin competitions including the Queen Elizabeth in Brussels, the Carl Flesch in London, the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis in the US, and the Menuhin Competition in the UK. His recordings include Bach and Schumann sonatas for violin and piano with French violinist Jean-Jacques Kantorow, a series with British clarinetist Emma Johnson, and in 2011 he recorded all of 19th-century Moravian composer Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst’s works with Czech violinist Josef Spacek. The fact that these two concerts have been organized displays the GAC’s commitment to featuring internationally renowned artists in the Kingdom. This type of event raises awareness of classical music, and is part of the GAC’s drive to provide diverse artistic experiences to audiences in the Kingdom. Main category: Saudi ArabiaArt & CultureTags: Saudi entertainmentChloe ChuaKing Fahd Cultural CenterGeneral Authority for Culture (GAC)Nanyang Academy of Fine ArtsDar Al-Hekma UniversityEman Gusti Saudi National Music Band a hit in debut performanceVision expands as Saudi cinemas reopen in 2018
Author: Wed, 2018-07-18 23:26 JEDDAH: Cherine Magrabi began as a store manager and worked her way up to become creative and communications director at Magrabi Optical, a well-known family brand in the Middle East. Born and brought up in Saudi Arabia, Magrabi is also the curator and founder of House of Today in Beirut, a non-profit organization that helps to launch Lebanese designers onto the global scene. “I was born in Jeddah and moved at the age of 16 to Switzerland for schooling with four of my best friends. I keep having fine memories related to my life in Jeddah ... my father used to take me fishing in the Red Sea.” She said: “Moving to Switzerland was a good preparation for life.” While there, she felt it was important to reflect a good image as a Saudi, while adjusting to her new environment and learning to do things by herself for the first time. “It was also a good preparation for college, and I don’t think I would’ve done it any other way,” she added. Magrabi went to study at Chelsea College of Art in London, where she met her future husband. After they married they moved to Beirut in 2002 and she started working for Magrabi Optical. “We were just opening our first store in the Lebanese market and my brother asked me to help set it up and manage it.” She worked as a store manager, which helped her to understand the family business and learn about their customers’ needs. “It gave me the opportunity to learn from the store level, understanding our weaknesses and opportunities directly from the market,” she said. “Today, as creative and communications director at Magrabi, I relate to what’s really happening on the ground.” She made a significant stamp on the firm when it came to rebranding the company, changing its logo, and reworking the display and merchandising. The rebranding stressed how the company’s products marry fashion and medical expertise. The company’s marketing campaign focuses on empowering women, a move which was led by her vision. The eyewear business inspired her to found House of Today in 2012. She said: “I was always in the search for great designers in Beirut and faced difficulties in reaching out to them. I saw great potential in Lebanon, but there was no supporting system to introduce them to the world. It happened quite organically that I decided to showcase their work as an active member of the art scene.” She works closely with designers. House of Today identifies, nurtures, mentors, curates and showcases local Lebanese designers and to help them raise their profile. It also gives promising young designers — between the ages of 17 and 34 — a chance to study product design at a university in Lebanon or abroad under its scholarship program. She said: “We are helping designers to develop their own business plan, connecting them to galleries and in creating sustainable images for themselves while supporting the next generation of designers through our scholarship program.” Every two years, HoT curates an exhibition showcasing the collaboration between experts and emerging designers. So far four exhibitions have been organized, including at Athr Gallery, the Jeddah art gallery, in 2015. Exhibitions aim to present a stellar collection highlighting the best work of young Lebanese designers. Commenting on the reform in Saudi Arabia, she said: “I’m happy to witness my country taking real steps toward long-overdue social reform. I think there would be a grace period with people waiting to see the true results of the ongoing changes.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Cherine MagrabiMagrabi OpticalHouse of TodayBeirutChelsea College of Art Role of young Saudi businesswomen laudedSaudi businesswoman to open city’s first cooking academy
Thu, 2018-07-19 00:56 JEDDAH: Before Saudi Arabia’s women drivers there were Saudi women cyclists. Thousands of women around the Kingdom have taken to two wheels in the past few years, and groups of female cyclists are a common sight on city streets. Now four young women have taken cycling to a new level by becoming the first Saudi female cycling team to join the Global Biking Initiative (GBI) European tour, an annual seven-day ride that highlights the sport and raises money for a range of charitable causes. Sisters Fatimah and Yasa Al-Bloushi, Dina Al-Nasser and Anoud Aljuraid — founder members of the HerRide cycling group — joined hundreds of cyclists from all over the world earlier this month when the tour kicked off from Gothenburg in Sweden before heading through Denmark and on to the port of Hamburg in northern Germany. More than 70 Saudi cyclists took part in the tour, including the four HerRide members. The dynamic HerRide team shares a passion for adventure, and a love of outdoor activities and sports. Fatimah Al-Bloushi, the team captain, told Arab News that when she started the group in July, 2017, “we were a group of amateur cycling enthusiasts and our idea was to train to be the first Saudi female team to participate in GBI Europe 2018.” This year was Fatimah’s second time in the GBI tour. Last year she was the first and only Saudi woman to take part in the event. “I want to empower Saudi women and encourage cycling,” she said. Fatimah also enjoys skydiving, surfing, abseiling and climbing, and is also the first woman member of the Saudi Cycling Federation. In her hometown of Alkhobar, she organizes women’s gatherings twice a week to cycle together along the beachfront. She also volunteers to teach cycling for beginners. Like all sports events and tours, training plays a crucial role in preparing for the GBI tour. Team member Anoud Aljuraid, an accomplished hiker and technical climber, met Fatimah two years ago while climbing the Ol Doinyo Lengai, or “Mountain of God,” volcano in Tanzania. “For me the challenge was sitting on the bike for up to eight hours while riding up to 100 kilometers a day,” Aljuraid said. “It was also hard to maintain a certain speed to reach the next destination or nutrition point on time, but my training helped me get over those challenges.” Although the number of women cyclists on the streets of Saudi Arabia is growing, challenges remain for those joining the sport. Team member Dina Al-Nasser lives in Riyadh and enjoys long-distance cycling as well as hiking and boxing. Her biggest challenge during the GBI tour was cycling alongside cars. “I mostly trained at home, but it’s hard for me to train in areas where men usually train, such as Wadi Hanifa and Ammariyah,” she said. “However, I was able to get over my fear and by the third day on the tour I was riding alongside trucks and didn’t even notice.” Al-Nasser said that cycling is challenging not only for women in Saudi Arabia but for professional cyclists in general. “We hope that the streets will be more bike friendly, and that people can adopt the same infrastructure for cyclists that we have seen on the tour — such as special paved paths and traffic lights — here in the Kingdom,” she said. “Hopefully, cycling will become a lifestyle in Saudi Arabia and we will see people cycling to work one day.” The Saudi HerRide women’s team celebrate a challenging stage finish on the GBI European tour. (Supplied photo) Despite the challenges, the HerRide team say they are hoping to join the next GBI tour. “It was a great experience to cross three countries by bicycle,” Yasa Al-Bloushi said. “Of course, we got some bruises and had falls here and there, but I look at that as a sign of accomplishment.” The team members gained valuable skills from watching other riders during the tour. “I learned how to be a part of a team and to look out for each other. It was important to listen to my team-mates and focus on their needs,” said Dina Al-Nasser. Fatima Al-Bloushi said that the support of her team made her second tour more special than the first. “We knew each other’s weaknesses from day one and we always had each other’s back. If our energy levels were low, someone would provide nutrition. When our spirits were down, we had music to give us a boost, and when someone was nervous, we reminded each other to have fun,” she said. “I experienced GBI twice. The first time I went alone and came back with a family of friends. The second time I went with friends and came back with family.” The woman said the spirit of cooperation among cyclists on the tour was empowering. “What made this experience even more amazing, besides the beautiful scenery, was the quality of people we met,” said Fatima. “If we were struggling, they would pass by with a smile, give you a pat on the back and tell you that you were strong enough to push through — it really did make us feel stronger.” In future, the group plans to hire a professional trainer and offer cycling workshops for Saudi women. They also hope long-distance cycling events, such as the GBI, will one day be held in Saudi Arabia. “Under Vision 2030, I’m sure there will be a lot of local events for cyclists in the Kingdom, including women,” said Al-Nasser. The four cyclists have some words of encouragement for Saudi women hoping to fulfil their dreams. “You will always find people who will give you negative comments, but as long as you are doing what you love and are not hurting anyone, just keep going,” said Al-Nasser. Fatimah said: “Two years ago I was looking to join a cycling team, but as a woman in Saudi Arabia I was unable to — now things have changed. My advice to all women out there is never say ‘no,’ always say ‘yes’ to opportunities.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi womenSaudi female cycling teamGlobal Biking Initiative (GBI)Vision 2030GBI Tour Saudi women at the wheel: the first 24 hoursThree million Saudi women ‘on the roads by 2020’
WASHINGTON [07/18/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) led 21 of her Senate colleagues—including fellow Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar—in urging the Trump administration to extend humanitarian protections for hundreds of Somali nationals who have taken refuge in Minnesota
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The Federal Government is seeking more private sector investments in the sugar industry to reduce the huge amount being spent by Nigerians on the importation of the product. The Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council, Dr Latif Busari, said this in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday. Busari expressed hope that […]
There are many challenges facing us as a nation. One of the most disturbing problems is the plight of pensioners that we see almost on a daily basis. The gory pictures of suffering pensioners collapsing in queues for their meagre entitlements during verification are no longer news. What has been the lot of these special […]
Abimbola Adelakun If by now, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has not deemed it fit to speak on the disturbing allegation that she forged an NYSC exemption certificate, then I think the rest of us are no longer obliged to give her the benefit of the doubt. She must be guilty as charged. Altogether, […]
Kayode Idowu, Maiduguri Four years after the 276 schoolgirls were abducted from their hostel at the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents, the Police on Wednesday paraded eight men allegedly involved in the crime. The eight persons were paraded alongside 14 others for alleged terrorism. Parading the suspects before journalists, the […]
Niran Adedokun It is curious, even though not out of character, that discussions about the recently concluded governorship election in Ekiti State mainly centre on the winners and the losers. Of course, as it is with us, those who win an election, irrespective of how they accomplished it, would assail us with empty triumphalism while […]
Silicon Valley representatives, who testified before the House on how to stop Russia from using online platforms to meddle in elections, had their feet put to fire when a Republican lawmaker questioned them about other players. Read Full Article at RT.com
US President Donald Trump believes Vladimir Putin should be held responsible for alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election after all - since he is the president of Russia, Trump told CBS. Read Full Article at RT.com
For the second time in a row, a female graduating student has emerged winner of the KNUST entrepreneurial award instituted by an Alumnus of the university in partnership with the university’s Department of Publishing Studies (DoPS).
Ousted chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei seems unperturbed by her recent dismissal.
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Challenging Heights, a child-centered organization working in coastal regions of Ghana, has urged government to suspend the impending ban on fishing activities in the country.
Dwyane Wade still has not decided if he will continue his NBA career, but he's working hard to make sure his post-NBA career is set.
Seven new events have been added to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics program, which paves the way for the highest representation of female athletes at the event, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday.
While politicians and mainstream media outlets obsess over President Trump’s recent press conference with Russian President Putin, the United State Treasury quietly announced that it will no longer force “dark-money” groups or certain tax-exempt organizations to disclose their financial donors.
The first Malta-registered Airbus A380, the largest passenger airliner in the world, has been unveiled before its start of operations. The aircraft has been in Malta since the start of the month receiving a new livery painted by Aviation Cosmetics at the Safi Aviation Park, where it was formally revealed today by Hi Fly, the Malta-registered wet lease airline operating it. The A380 has a wingspan of 80 metres and a maximum take-off weight of close to 570 tonnes, as well as carrying as much as 270 tonnes - the weight of a smaller airliner - in fuel. The Hi Fly model is certified to carry more than 850 passengers, but will be operating worldwide with a more spaced-out 471 seats spread over economy, business and 12 first class ‘suites’. Hi Fly vice-president Carlos Mirpuri said the acquisition made the carrier just the fourth European airline to operate the model, as well as one of 14 globally and the first leasing airline. “The performance of the A380 goes in line with Hi Fly’s environmental commitments,” Mr Mirpuri said. “By producing only about 75 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometre, the A380 minimizes greenhouse gas emissions being capable of carrying more people with less...
Prime Minister Theresa May refused to budge from her position on Brexit on Wednesday, brushing aside criticism from all corners of parliament and saying her strategy was already being negotiated with the European Union. After narrowly escaping defeat in parliament over her plans for leaving the EU, May signalled she would not drop a proposal on Britain's future relationship with bloc - the biggest shift in its foreign and trade policy for almost half a century. But by sticking to her plan for a «business-friendly» departure that would keep Britain in a free trade zone with the EU for manufactured and agricultural goods, May has thrown down the gauntlet both to backers of a cleaner break with the bloc, and to those who don't want to leave at all. Since the plan was unveiled earlier this month, Brexit supporters and pro-EU lawmakers in her party have been at war with each other, and in some cases with the prime minister herself. WATCH: Boris Johnson makes parliamentary plea to 'save Brexit' Brexit supporters complain that the plan means swathes of the British economy would still be subject to rules set in Brussels. Pro-EU politicians complain that it would still leave Britain...
Laws protecting children and vulnerable adults from sex offenders have long needed upgrading, stakeholders have said. The Times of Malta on Tuesday reported that Cabinet was set to discuss an overhaul of the way sexual offenders are prevented from working with children. The proposed reform is based on the system used in the UK, which offers more information and is administered by trained professionals. Marco Bonnici, president of the Malta Union of Teachers, said the existing law was far too complicated. “Private schools, who are employers, at the end of the day, have to go to the courts and wait, and the information they get is often inadequate. The current system is not good enough.” Mr Bonnici was quick to add that, in the past, teachers were employed only for institutions to find out later about past convictions or inappropriate incidents, then being forced to fire them. The calls for a legislative reform were backed by lawyers who told Times of Malta about the cumbersome process that the educators, employers and organisations responsible for the well-being of children and vulnerable adults had to endure. Ensuring that every member of staff that came into contact with...
The United States accused North Korea on Thursday of breaching a UN sanctions cap on refined petroleum by making illicit transfers between ships at sea, according to a document seen by Reuters, and demanded an immediate end to all sales of the fuel. The United States submitted the complaint to the UN Security Council North Korea sanctions committee. The charge of a sanctions breach comes as Washington engages North Korea in a bid to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons. The North Korea UN mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the US accusation. North Korea relies on imported fuel to keep its struggling economy functioning. The United States said that as of May 30, there had been 89 illicit ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products this year. The United States did not broadly say which countries it believed were illicitly providing North Korea with refined petroleum. But it does mention one case of a ship-to-ship transfer involving a Russian-flagged ship and one case involving a Belize-flagged ship. Reuters in December reported that Russian tankers had supplied fuel to North Korea by transferring cargoes at sea. The 15-member...
The White House struggled on Wednesday to contain the furore over President Donald Trump's heavily criticised summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, denying Trump ever meant to say that Moscow was no longer targeting the United States. Trump, facing a political uproar over his failure to confront Putin during their Helsinki summit on Monday over Russia's 2016 US election meddling, adopted his usual defiant posture, calling his critics deranged. Asked by reporters before a morning Cabinet meeting at the White House whether Russia was still targeting the United States, Trump shook his head and said, «No.» But at a later news briefing, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the president was saying «no» to answering questions not to the question itself. Sanders said Trump believes the threat from Russia to undermine November's US midterm elections still exists and that Moscow would still target American elections. «The president has made clear to Vladimir Putin that he should stay out of US elections,» Sanders said. «The president and his administration are working very hard to make sure that Russia is unable to meddle in our elections as they have done in the past.» US...
Only one principle for the economic sector was set, as the Tatmadaw didn’t agree to 10 others during working committee discussions prior to the conference. The post Peace Conference Adopts 14 More Basic Principles, Only 1 Economic appeared first on The Irrawaddy.
The President's Office said police have opened 22 drugs cases based on tipoffs since the government launched the department to encourage the public to inform on dealers in June. The post Govt Touts Early Success of New Drug Reporting Department appeared first on The Irrawaddy.
The Irrawaddy’s infographics illustrate the steady rise in prices Myanmar’s consumers have faced for nearly two decades The post Sixteen Straight Years of Price Increases: the Facts and Figures appeared first on The Irrawaddy.
Education Department has already received 40 applications, mostly from Rohingya students The post Rakhine State to Open University of Distance Education Branch in Maungdaw appeared first on The Irrawaddy.
The Anti-Corruption Commission cleared the lawmaker of the embezzlement claim but said he overstepped his bounds by getting involved in the electrification of a local village. The post Irrawaddy Parliament Warns Lawmaker Accused, Cleared of Embezzlement appeared first on The Irrawaddy.
In the elevator industry, breakdowns are bad for business.
Passengers aboard MV Ilala on Tuesday night prayed ceaselessly as strong Mwera winds ceaselessly pounded the ship, knocking off its lights soon after leaving Likoma island for Nkhotakota. Some passengers who were on board the... The post MV Ilala aborts journey on Lake Malawi amid strong Mwera winds appeared first on Malawi Nyasa Times - Malawi breaking news in Malawi.