Yemen shelling kills Pakistani in southern Saudi

Agence France Presse
Sun, 2017-02-12

RIYADH: A Pakistani national was killed Sunday in Saudi Arabia when Yemeni rebels shelled the kingdom’s southern border region, the civil defense department said.
A rocket hit Arda, which is part of the southwestern region of Jazan, Civil Defense spokesman Yahya Al-Qahtani said in a report by the official Saudi Press Agency.
“As result, a Pakistani national was killed,” he said without naming the victim.
At least 115 civilians and soldiers have been killed in southern Saudi Arabia since a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes in Yemen against Houthi rebels in March 2015 to support Yemen’s government.
Most of the casualties were Saudi who were killed in cross-border shelling or skirmishes.

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Saudi General Entertainment Authority attends World Government Summit in Dubai

Mon, 2017-02-13

RIYADH: The Saudi General Entertainment Authority is also participating in the World Government Summit (WGS) 2017 taking place in Dubai.
The WGS is a global platform dedicated to shaping the future of government worldwide.
Amr Al-Madani, CEO of the authority, said: “We are at the start of an exciting journey in Saudi Arabia, as we build an entertainment industry that gives people happy memories and puts smiles on their faces… the challenge for us now is to ensure these experiences are available for everyone in our country.
After attending the Global Dialogue for Happiness at the WGS, Al-Madani said: “It was fascinating to hear insights at the Summit from leading experts on what can be done to elevate levels of people’s happiness.”
He said that we would be make efforts to implement strategies discussed at the Summit for the promotion and sustainable growth of the entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia.

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UN chief to hold talks with top Saudi officials today

Ghazanfar Ali Khan
Sun, 2017-02-12

RIYADH: As part of his Middle East tour, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Riyadh on Saturday to hold talks with top Saudi officials, including King Salman, on key regional and international issues.
This is the first visit of UN chief Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, to the Kingdom, since he was elected as the UN secretary-general in December last year.
“The UN secretary-general is expected to hold discussions with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, here on Sunday,” said a statement released by the local UN office. The UN chief will also hold talks with Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, before flying ahead to other countries in the region on Sunday evening.
Besides the Kingdom, “Guterres will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Qatar and Egypt,” said the statement. “In the UAE, the secretary-general will deliver remarks at the 2017 World Government Summit, and while there; he is expected to meet with the leaders from the UAE,” the statement added.
The World Government Summit is a UAE-based international organization that serves as a global platform for dialogue.
The three-day summit will also include heads of state, scientists, scholars, academics, as well as experts in finance and public policy, besides 4,000 delegates and 150 speakers representing 139 countries.
Referring to the travel plans of the UN chief, the statement said the 12-day-long trip will also take Guterres to Germany. The UN chief visited Turkey on Saturday, where he exchanged views with Turkish officials on regional and international issues of global concerns including Syria and Iraq.
During his stay in Turkey, he met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
After completing his Middle East trip, Guterres will travel to Bonn, Germany, for G20 foreign ministers’ meeting next Thursday. In G20 meeting, the UN chief will focus on “the sustainable development goals and will also stress the need to rebuild trust in the international community in order to address peace and security challenges,” the statement said.
Following the G20 ministerial meeting, the UN chief will travel to Munich to attend the annual security conference.
“There, Guterres will stress the need for a surge in diplomacy for peace, greater attention to conflict prevention and strong commitment to multilateralism,” it added.

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53% of Saudis prefer online press: Poll

Arab News
Sun, 2017-02-12

RIYADH: A recent public opinion survey showed that 53 percent Saudis prefer online reading of news, while 23 percent favor reading printed papers.
The poll covered 1,016 Saudis — 55 percent of them male and 45 percent female — living in different parts of the Kingdom.
Sixteen percent of the respondents opted for both digital and print media, while 8 percent said they tended to read digital edition of newspapers.
The poll, conducted by the National Center for Public Opinion Polls at the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND), revealed that 39 percent of Saudis are not interested in reading newspapers at all, while 23 percent said they are avid readers of dailies.
According to the poll, the prime source of news for Saudis is television. The preference for “digital platforms” was higher among Saudi men (54 percent) than of women (52 percent), while interest in “print” was less among men (22 percent) compared to women (25 percent).
With regard to age groups, 43 percent of over 50-year-olds opted for “print,” while 70 percent of the 20-30 age group preferred “digital media.”

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Breaking Bad’s Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring coming to Kingdom Feb. 17

Sun, 2017-02-12

JEDDAH: Giancarlo Esposito, the actor best known as Gus Fring in the television series “Breaking Bad,” will be one of the international celebrity guests featured in the Saudi Comic Con (SCC).
Esposito, who previously visited Riyadh, mentioned to his representatives that he would be interested in seeing “other parts of this beautiful country and Saudi Comic Con was brought to my attention,” he said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.
He said that he loved the Saudi culture and its people and enjoyed his stay in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia was not the only stop in the Gulf, as Esposito has also visited Bahrain in the past years.
The idea of bringing the Comic Con event to Saudi Arabia for the first time interested the “Breaking Bad” star.
“It’s great! The young and old have such a good time at Comic Cons. It’s wonderful to be a part of the first Comic Con and I hope many more will come from this,” he said.
Esposito expressed his enthusiasm for meeting his fans from different countries and “Saudi Arabia especially.”
In 1988, he landed his breakout role as the leader of the black fraternity “Gamma Phi Gamma” in director Spike Lee’s film School Daze. Over the next four years, Esposito and Lee collaborated on three other movies: “Do the Right Thing,” “Mo’ Better Blues” and “Malcolm X.”
The actor’s famous character “Gus” from the “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” television series is a major drug kingpin initially affiliated with the Mexican drug cartel in Ciudad Juárez, who uses his restaurant as a front for methamphetamine distribution throughout the American southwest.
He returns to reprise the role in the third season of “Better Call Saul.”
Esposito appeared in several international Comic Cons, which are some of his favorites.
“I’m looking forward to be in the very first Saudi Arabia Comic Con Feb. 17th,” he said. “Come on and say hello to me! You will not be disappointed. Really looking forward to my live Q & A and meeting each and every one of you,” he said in his announcement video to Arab News readers.
Esposito said that Gus Fring character challenging. “I felt like I had to become very relaxed, patient, focused and fierce to play him,” he said.
He talked about defying challenging obstacles in his job. On one occasion he took the stage after throwing out his back right before performing a play in New York. “I just remember being in pain, intense pain. I thought to myself before I hit the stage, to use it!”
Esposito had the best performance that evening and the pain eventually went away. He reminded people that when they put their attention in the right place, “all goes well no matter what.”
Talking about the most extreme change to his physical appearance, Esposito has gained weight for roles in the past; where he gained about 25 pounds in Spike Lee’s, Do the Right Thing.
As for his acting style, Esposito said that he takes the best and leaves the rest. He believes in being present and honoring the text. “I am present and nonresistant in my acting style.”
Esposito’s first role was in Broadway show called Maggie Flynn back in 1967.
Meanwhile, the star is working on his second film as a director premiering at SXSW in Austin. The film is called “This Is Your Death” and stars Josh Duhamel and himself.
Esposito said he wants to play Hailie Salasie of Ethiopia make a western playing Bass Reeves.”
Comic Con is an international event that was first held in San Diego, California in 1970. It is now an annual event held in popular cities around the world.

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Ministry in push to classify professional activities

Sun, 2017-02-12

RIYADH: A study on classifying professional activities has been completed by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRA).
The project aims to develop an integrated database to help facilitate licensing procedures, flexibility in determining the activities, as well as increasing monitoring and assessment initiatives.
“The project is the basic cornerstone to facilitate access to municipal services electronically with ease and a high level of quality,” said Ghanem Al-Mouhammedi, special adviser to the minister of municipal and rural affairs.
“The project will contribute to the provision of data and statistics necessary for decision-makers and policies, specialists, scholars and researchers in various fields. It will have the primary role in planning and designing policies and studies, and monitoring the conditions of professional activities in various social and economic aspects.”

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Saudi campaign helps over 17,000 Syrian migrants in Lebanon

Sun, 2017-02-12

AMMAN: The Saudi National Campaign to support Syrian refugees continues its distribution of relief aid for the winter season, as a part of its programs “My brother, your warmth is my goal 4,” “Brother, your table is blessed,” and “Brother, your health is precious,” in Lebanon.
The aid will be distributed in Eironya, Sidon, Mount Lebanon, Bekaa and five other locations, targeting 2,882 Syrian families, or 17,292 beneficiaries.
The relief goods include blankets, jackets, sweaters, foodstuff, kitchen utensils like pots as well as table accessories and items of personal hygiene.
Walid Jalal, director of the Saudi National Campaign Office in Lebanon, said the aid is continuously being distributed to the Syrian refugees in Lebanese cities, adding that a large segment of Syrian migrants who left their country to avoid violence have received aid that would help them cope with the harsh living conditions in those camps.
Badr bin Abdul Rahman Al-Samhan, a campaign official, said the drive comes in response to King Salman’s directives.

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Insomnia clinics needed in Kingdom, says expert

Sun, 2017-02-12

JEDDAH: Insomnia clinics are needed in Saudi Arabia to help tackle the negative impact of sleep disorders, a doctor has said.
Dr. Siraj Omar Wali, director of King Abdulaziz University Hospital’s (KAU) Sleep Medicine and Research Center, urged the establishment of treatment centers in the Kingdom.
Wali told Arab News that there are no such clinics in the Kingdom and sleeping disorders have an impact on the development of the country and economy.
He was speaking at a course and workshop dedicated to sleeping disorders, which started in Jeddah on Saturday.
The three-day event aims to expand the knowledge of attendees regarding clinical diagnosis and management of common sleep disorders.
The target audience includes respiratory experts, physicians, technicians and nurses interested in the field of sleep medicine.
Wali said that a study conducted at KAU found that one in every 10 men and one in every 15 women suffer with obstructive sleep apnea, which relates to breathing problems during sleep. Another study in Riyadh found that about 8 percent of people suffer from insomnia.
Dr. Glenn Roldan, director of the Sleep Educators center in the US, said sleep problems are among most neglected medical disorders.
“Sleep apnea is very highly correlated with cardiovascular diseases, so it is very important to diagnose and treatment of sleep apnea,” he said.

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Saudi Arabia to start granting female gym licenses this month

Arab News
Sun, 2017-02-12

RIYADH: Licenses will be granted for women’s gyms by the end of February, Princess Reema bint Bandar, vice president for women’s affairs at the General Authority of Sports, told local daily Okaz.
A target is in place to open gyms in every district and neighborhood, it was reported.
Three ministries are set to take part in this process, including the labor, rural affairs and commerce ministries.
Licenses will not be issued for gyms that offer competitive activities, such as football, volleyball, basketball and tennis. The focus will instead be on techniques that contribute to weight loss and fitness, such as swimming, running and bodybuilding.
Workshops and seminars will be held within two months, in order to motivate women to invest in gyms.
As for the high cost of women’s gyms, the authority is working on finding solutions through involving entrepreneurs in what is known as “micro-business.”
Social rejection of women’s sports can be avoided through explaining the enormous benefits of sports for overall health, according to the princess.
“It is not my role to convince the society, but my role is limited to opening the doors for our girls to live a healthy lifestyle away from diseases that result from obesity and lack of movement.”

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