Author: Arab NewsMon, 2017-03-06ID: 1488756950564783100RIYADH: Loans totaling SR3 billion have been allocated to fund hotel and tourist projects through 2020, including SR397 million for the current year, the Saudi Press Agency said, quoting …
RIYADH: Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa inaugurated Sunday several initiatives linked to World Civil Defense Day.
Attendees included officials, academics, education managers and representatives of the security and safety sectors. The inauguration ceremony included the signing of agreements in the field of security and safety with entities working in the field.
The minister of education stressed the importance of partnerships between his ministry and all supporting sectors.
“We are aware of the size of risks society is facing today, and the importance of securing safety in order to ensure a stimulating learning environment in schools and universities. Hence, the signing of a number of agreements with our partners from the concerned authorities, such as the Saudi Red Crescent Authority, the General Authority for Meteorology and Environmental Protection, and the electricity company, as well as with several universities that will offer training and work to raise awareness about safety for employees of schools and universities,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Amr, Civil Defense Department director general, praised the role played by educational institutions and the Ministry of Education. This had helped in raising security awareness and cooperating with the department “to take preventive measures to ensure security and safety, and protect our students of both genders in schools and universities,” he said.
JEDDAH: An executive at the Saudi Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) has stressed the role of media in being consistent with the human values that drive forward development, not violence.
Majid bin Jaafar Al-Ghamdi, director of training and development at SBC, said the media greatly affect people’s thoughts and opinions.
He noted that if one wants to change the youth in any society, five factors are at play: Convictions, interests, role models, skills and relationships — and this is what media content presents.
“Here comes our role to focus on directing these five positive factors to serve Arab and Islamic values,” he added.
Al-Ghamdi counted 1,294 Arab satellite channels — of which about 152 channels are dedicated to drama, 124 for music, and 170 for sports.
“On the other hand, there are only 17 educational channels, 16 documentary channels, and only nine cultural channels,” he added.
He also pointed to a significant fact: Only 4 percent of the public creates good information on the Internet, against 96 percent who consume this content.
Al-Ghamdi noted a study on American children which said that children consume an average of 20 hours or more of television a week.
He added: “By the time the child becomes 18 years old, he has already watched more than 20,000 media contents laden with violence, and more than 16,000 media contents imbued with murder.”
The director of training and development at SBC stressed six basic factors that every media employee should adhere to: responsibility, media and press freedom, independence, credibility and accuracy, neutrality, and maintaining the rights of others.
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development said that it received 11,142 complaints about cases of violence during 2016.
Hisham Al-Mdemegh, director of social protection, said that a ministry call center deals with all the complaints based on their threat level.
He stressed that the call center keeps the identity of informants secret, to protect them against abuse, as per the laws enacted by the Kingdom.
Al-Mdemegh called upon all victims of violence or those who know of such cases to report them to the call center.
He further said that reports received are classified according to three levels: high-risk, in which case the report starts being processed in two hours; average-risk, which is given four hours; and normal-risk, which is given up to six hours.
The call center receives complaints about domestic violence — whether physical, psychological or sexual abuse — and those involving the threat of abuse or exploitation within the household.
It also receives complaints about abuse and negligence, such as leaving children without family support, not registering them upon birth, not giving them the needed vaccinations, not allowing them to finish their education, leaving them in an environment that jeopardizes their health, treating them badly or sexually harassing them.
Calls are also received about using children for criminal activities, or physical abuse that degrades their dignity, exposing them to inappropriate materials, discriminating against them ethnically, socially or economically, or allowing them to drive vehicles under the legal age.
The ministry — in cooperation with partner organizations and different media, including social networking sites — is working on carrying out awareness campaigns among communities about the negative impact of domestic violence and child abuse.
To complain about domestic violence, citizens can use the number 1919 around the clock; they can also send e-mails at [email protected] or come personally to social protection centers.
JEDDAH: Police in the Eastern Province are investigating an arson attack on an ATM machine in Qatif — the second such case in eight days. Col. Zeyad Al-Ruqati, Eastern Province police spokesman, said authorities were alerted at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Civil Defense officers went to the scene to put out the fire, which resulted in the destruction of the ATM machine and the corridor that led to it.
Al-Ruqati said investigations concluded that the fire was set in a similar way to a previous incident.
Police handled a similar case on Feb. 25, after unknown assailants set fire to the room housing a Jazira Bank ATM machine in Qatif.
At the time, Civil Defense officers proceeded immediately to the scene to extinguish the fire.
He said the police investigation concluded it was arson, having found traces of gasoline at the crime location.
RIYADH: Ma’aden Phosphate Company (MPC), a subsidiary of the Riyadh-based Saudi Arabia Mining Company, signed recently an agreement with Ita’am, a non-profit organization, to provide surplus food for distribution to charity.
The surplus food will come from the company’s restaurants feeding some 5,000 employees in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City about 80 km from Jubail, Ma’aden spokesman Bander M. Al-Aida told Arab News on Sunday.
He said that the agreement is in accordance with the company’s social responsibility and to help feed the poor and the underprivileged as well as raise awareness about food preservation in the Kingdom.
Hassan Ali, MPC president, and Faisal Al-Shoshan, executive director of Ita’am in the Eastern Province, signed the agreement in the presence of senior MPC officials and Ita’am executives.
The signing ceremony was preceded by a presentation about Ita’am, which was launched in May 2010 to help feed the underprivileged, and its role in serving the community.
Ita’am General Manager Abdulaziz Al-Naghaither expressed his thanks and appreciation to Ma’aden Phosphate for its support, underlining the need to raise awareness on the importance of food preservation and how best to benefit from excess food.
Al-Aida said the agreement is in line with Ma’aden’s ongoing commitment toward sustainability and follows a number of social responsibility initiatives implemented by Ma’aden over the years in communities where it operates.
In 2016, Ma’aden allocated SR28 million for community initiatives, with about 55 percent distributed to various community development efforts and 35 percent on education and training.
Al-Aida added Ma’aden has implemented approximately 24 community-driven initiatives, 17 of which are still ongoing.
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Commerce and Investment said it is implementing stricter measures to curb the spread of counterfeit products, and has already launched a crackdown on fake sporting goods.
The ministry’s consumer protection division will form a team with the task of receiving and investigating complaints against the dealers of fake products, in coordination with customs authorities, reported Al Watan Arabic newspaper.
It will then determine the location of perpetrators and have them arrested and referred to courts, it was reported.
Fahad Al-Huthaili, assistant undersecretary for consumer protection at the ministry, told the newspaper that the ministry has already referred cases involving fake sportswear to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution.
They will be tried and punished as per Saudi trademark, copyright and commercial fraud regulations.
He said the ministry and the General Sports Commission have carried out inspections of over 3,755 outlets around the Kingdom in an effort to protect sport clubs’ trademarks. The inspections resulted in the confiscation of 71,157 fake products and the issuance of 558 violations.
Al-Huthaili reiterated the ministry’s call on clubs to urgently register their trademarks to preserve their rights as the logos are of significant investment value.
BRUNEI: The Saudi ambassador to Brunei, Hisham bin Abdul Aziz, said the visit of King Salman will strengthen bilateral relations, particularly due to the Kingdom’s religious, political and economic importance. Saudi Arabia’s solid relations with the countries of the world help maintain peace and stability.
The ambassador said the world is watching the outcome of King Salman’s Asia tour. He said the visit to Brunei is the first ever by a Saudi monarch since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992.
The envoy said the visit shows the Saudi leadership’s keenness to focus on friendly states, with which it intends to enhance cooperation for mutual benefit.
He added that the sultanate is strategically located, is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and is an influential and stable member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Its status makes Brunei important to Saudi Arabia, especially regarding attracting investments and supporting the Kingdom’s partnership with ASEAN, which will contribute to achieving Vision 2030.
The ambassador said the leaderships of the two countries have similar views and visions, particularly on issues such as maintaining international security, stability and prosperity, rejecting extremism and fighting terrorism.
RIYADH: King Salman was conferred Brunei’s highest honor, the Royal Family Order for Brunei’s Throne, on Saturday.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei presented the award to the Saudi king after the two leaders met in Brunei and discussed a range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
The Brunei honor was conferred in recognition of the king’s efforts to restore peace and security regionally and internationally, and his government’s management of The Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah.
A joint statement said the two leaders “stressed the importance of reaching a lasting, comprehensive and just solution to the Palestinian cause in accordance with the contents of the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant resolutions of the international legitimacy.”
On the Syrian crisis, the two leaders underscored the importance of finding a political solution based on the Geneva communique and UN Security Council Resolution 2254, as well as the importance of providing humanitarian and relief assistance to Syria’s displaced people and refugees.
King Salman and Sultan Bolkiah also “stressed the importance of preserving the unity in Yemen and achieving its security and stability. They also confirmed the importance of a political solution to the crisis in Yemen based on the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Initiative, outputs of the National Dialogue Conference and the UN Security Council Resolution (2216), emphasizing their support for the legitimate authority in Yemen as well as access of the humanitarian aid to all Yemeni regions,” said the statement.
The two leaders agreed to coordinate their stances within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to serve the interests of the two countries and citizens, as well as the interests of the Islamic world. They also emphasized “the need to reject extremism and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whatever its source.”
The sultan expressed his appreciation to King Salman: “This important and historic visit reflects the continuous fraternal, friendly and bilateral relations binding the two brotherly countries,” said the statement.
The two leaders agreed to “activate” a bilateral agreement in the fields of economy, investment, education, culture, youth and sports. They also highlighted the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation in political, military, security and Islamic affairs.
In 2001, the first Saudi ambassador was appointed in Brunei, and a draft joint agreement between the two countries was signed in July that year, which defined the scope of bilateral cooperation in commercial and economic fields.
RIYADH: Ahmed bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, chairman of the Board of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), said agreements recently signed between the Kingdom, Malaysia and Indonesia will boost trade and investment ties.
Al-Rajhi praised the outcome of King Salman’s visit to some of the southeast Asian countries, starting with Malaysia and Indonesia.
He said the deals signed in Malaysia will attract investments worth over SR8 billion in the Saudi market and will give new impetus to the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Four memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were signed between the two countries covering trade and investment, labor and human resources, science and education and media.
During the king’s visit to Indonesia, deals were signed that covered many areas, including aircraft maintenance, software and e-solutions, electric appliances and energy, he was quoted as saying by Saudi Press Agency.
He said Malaysia has made strides in downstream industries, including mining and industrial production.
The second leg of king’s Asian tour to Indonesia, Al-Rajhi said, witnessed the signing of a series of MOUs and cooperation deals in areas related to small and medium enterprises (SME), transport, health care, fisheries, the scientific and cultural fields, and fighting crime.
The RCCI chairman expected the agreements and MOUs to support economic reform plans led by the king and make optimum exploitation of the Kingdom’s resources. The agreements will lessen dependence on oil as a sole income source, as envisioned by Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (2020).