Health Ministry, Umm Al-Qura sign pilgrims safety agreement

Author: 
Fouzia Khan
Mon, 2017-01-16
ID: 
1484515027119317600

JEDDAH: Minister of Health Tawfiq Al-Rabiah and Dr. Bakri bin M’atoog bin Bakri Assas, president of Umm Al-Qura University, signed an agreement recently with the Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine and the Haj and Umrah Research Institute of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Umm Al-Qura University to focus on crowd management during pilgrimages.
The signing ceremony was held at King Abdulaziz Historical Hall in Al-Abdiyah.
Assas said he was pleased with the agreement. The agreement included a number of colleges and study programs accredited by international health organizations that are expected to have positive impact on pilgrims’ service.
The Umm Al-Qura University has a wide range of experience on issues of crowd management.
Al-Rabiah said the agreement’s mechanism would be directly linked to Haj research and mass management during Haj and Umrah. It will focus on diseases that spread among crowds.
Dr. Hamza Ghulman, head of Medical Services for Haj and Umrah Affairs and dean of Haj and Umrah Research Institute, said the institute and center will have a consultation on all issues related to the efforts, to achieve the aspired objectives, exchange documents and to collect and analyze data needed for publication.
He said the agreement also includes a mass gathering health program to upgrade health and safety measures of the pilgrims.
He said participants will build relationships with domestic and international organizations, create a channel of information and communication, and carry out the research that covers the institute and the center’s field of specialization to establish a mass health and management program to develop a database for research and studies.
The signing ceremony was attended by Hamad Al-Dhewalia, deputy health minister; Dr. Mustafa Baljon, director-general of Makkah Health Affairs; Ghulman and officials from Health Ministry and university.

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SEHAI signs accord with 8 firms to employ graduates

Author: 
Rodolfo C. Estimo Jr.
Mon, 2017-01-16
ID: 
1484515027159318100

RIYADH: The Saudi Electronics for Home Appliances Institute (SEHAI) recently signed agreements with eight electronics and information technology companies to employ trainees after their graduation.
Ismail Mohamed Mufarreh, SEHAI executive director, said that the success of the previous batch of graduates in the electronics field encouraged the companies to hire more young Saudis.
It also paved the way for an increase in the number of graduates to 250 annually to work in refrigeration and air conditioning, computer and office equipment, household appliances and customer service. SEHAI is a Saudi-Japanese joint venture which aims to help create new technical job opportunities in such areas.
Students expressed satisfaction at having enrolled with the institute. Mohammed Hazza said that his aim in undergoing training at SEHAI was for practical reasons, adding that some young Saudis in the electronics sector are already earning SR25,000 monthly salaries.
SEHAI’s curriculum was designed by Japanese companies in cooperation with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the Board of Foreign Trade in Japan. Saudi trainees are also allowed by SEHAI to continue their studies in Japan.
SEHAI symbolizes a strategic partnership between the Kingdom and Japan through its two-year course under the supervision of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC).

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The “Most Bearish Hedge Fund” Capitulates: “We Are Beginning To Close Parts Of Our Short Book”

One month ago we reported that having successfully avoided a calamity for most of 2016 despite being massively net short, somewhere to the tune of around -90%, at times rising as high as -105%, Horseman Global, finally had a bad month, in fact, losing …

The post The “Most Bearish Hedge Fund” Capitulates: “We Are Beginning To Close Parts Of Our Short Book” appeared first on crude-oil.top.

Saudi student survives attack in US

Author: 
AISHA FAREED
Mon, 2017-01-16
ID: 
1484514911069304100

JEDDAH: Saudi student Mohammad Zaid Al-Fadheel has survived an attack in the US state of Kentucky.
His father Zaid told Al Arabiya his son was attacked by someone using a stick or iron bar, and is in a stable condition following surgery.
Al-Fadheel, an undergraduate American varsity student in financial management, was struck in the head, causing a major cut that needed stitches.
“We’re constantly in touch with the family of the student, and they’re now in the US with the son,” lawyer Bader Al-Omair at the Saudi Embassy in Washington D.C. told Arab News. Al-Fadheel was checked out of hospital yesterday, Al-Omair said.
The embassy is following up the case, and has hired a lawyer and a company in Kentucky to identify the attacker and investigate the motive.
“We haven’t identified the attacker yet, but we’re working closely with the family as we’ve been informed by Muhammed’s sister Atheer Al-Fadheel that he has started to remember some scenes of the incident,” said Al-Omair.
A police report will be issued on Tuesday. “We contacted the state’s police and, so far, they didn’t give us enough answers,” said Al-Omair.
“It’s the weekend in the US and tomorrow we have Martin Luther King’s holiday. On Tuesday work hours will go back to normal.”

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Trump Team Responds: May Move White House Briefings To Accommodate More Than Just “Media Elite”

The overnight report by Esquire magazine that the incoming Trump administration is “seriously considering” a plan to evict the press corps from the White House prompted a frenzied response by the White House Correspondents Association, and led to a scramble among Washington’s press elite to demand if this report was accurate. As it turns out, Trump’s intentions may be just the opposite of what was reported, because according statements by Priebus, Pence and Spicer, the incoming Trump administration is actually considering expanding the number of journalists who have access to Trump, not limiting it.

As a result, the Trump admin is now considering moving White House press briefings out of the West Wing to accommodate more than the “Washington media elite,” incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on Sunday, cited by Bloomberg.

VP-elect Mike Pence said any change would be made for logistical reasons, in response to heavy demand from media organizations. “There’s such a tremendous amount of interest in this incoming administration that they’re giving some consideration to finding a larger venue on the 18 acres in the White House complex, to accommodate that extraordinary interest,” Pence said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” 

“The interest of the team is to make sure that we accommodate the broadest number of people who are interested and media from around the country and around the world,” Pence said. For a president who has made Twitter into his preferred mode of communication with the outside world, this would appear sensible.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week”, Priebus said the team discussed moving news conferences out of the small West Wing briefing room to the Old Executive Office, which is part of the White House complex.

“The one thing that we discussed was whether or not we want to move the initial press conferences into the Executive Office Building,” Priebus said, adding, “you can fit four times the amount of people.” He added that no decision had been made.

“I know that some of the folks in the press are uptight about this, and I understand,” Priebus said. “The only thing that’s been discussed is whether or not the initial press conferences are going to be in that small press … the press room that people see on TV is very, very tiny.” Priebus added that demand for conference credentials far exceeds the “49 people” who can fit into the current briefing room.

After “500 or 600” people attended Trump’s press conference in New York on Jan. 11, the president-elect’s first since the election, “we started thinking, man alive, if we have more people involved instead of less people involved, wouldn’t that be a good thing,” Priebus said.

“So no one is moving out of the White House. That is the White House, where you can fit four times the number of people in the press conference, allowing more press, more coverage from all over the country … That’s what we’re talking about.”

“This is about greater accessibility, more people in the process,” Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer added Sunday on Fox News Channel’s “Media Buzz.” Involving more people, including bloggers and others who aren’t from the mainstream media, “should be seen as a welcome change,” he said. Indeed, it will be… by the alternative press; the “media elite”, however, will be quite disappointed that their exclusive access rights to the president will be stripped away if only for the next four years, commoditizing their “value added” to the level of your lowly. neighrborhood blogger.

Meanwhile, the White House Correspondents’ Association objected in a statement to “any move that would shield the president and his advisers from the scrutiny of an on-site White House press corps,” and said that it would fight to keep the briefing room and access to senior administration officials open. Jeff Mason, a Reuters White House correspondent, is president of the WHCA.

According to Reuters, the existing briefing room was built in 1970 by Richard Nixon over an old swimming pool installed by Franklin Roosevelt that was used regularly by John F. Kennedy but underutilized by later administrations. But the presence of reporters at the White House dates back even farther. In addition to theater-style seats where the White House press secretary conducts daily briefings, the press area of the White House includes workspace for television, radio, print and online news organizations that cover the administration on a daily basis.

And soon, it will include bloggers.

The post Trump Team Responds: May Move White House Briefings To Accommodate More Than Just “Media Elite” appeared first on crude-oil.top.

Russian Foreign Ministry: “Obama Still Has A Few Days Left To Destroy The World”

There is a reason Vladimir Putin and the Russian top political echelon has been avoiding the media following the onslaught of allegations lobbed at the Kremlin, and Trump: as AP writes, careful not to hurt chances for a thaw in U.S.-Russia relations, President Putin and other Russian officials “have deferred questions about their plans for future contacts with Trump and any agenda for those talks until he takes office on Friday.” In short, the “Kremlin is counting the days to his inauguration and venting its anger at Barack Obama’s outgoing administration, no holds barred.

Trump’s desire to restore relations with Russia has brought wide expectations of improved Moscow-Washington relations, but Trump has not articulated a clear Russia policy. His Cabinet nominees include both a retired general with a hawkish stance on Russia and an oil executive who has done extensive business in Russia. At the same time, Russian officials are blasting the outgoing U.S. administration in distinctly undiplomatic language, dropping all decorum after Obama hit Moscow with more sanctions in his final weeks in office.

Most recently, Moscow has called Obama’s team a “bunch of geopolitical losers” engaged in a last-ditch effort to inflict the maximum possible damage to U.S.-Russia ties to make it more difficult for Trump to mend the rift.

 

Doing its part to improve relations once Trump is sworn in on Friday at noon, in a clear effort to avoid risking a rapprochement with Trump, Putin showed a remarkable restraint when the U.S. expelled 35 Russian diplomats over accusations of meddling in the U.S. election campaign. Instead of a usual tit-for-tat response, Putin invited U.S. diplomats’ children to a New Year’s party at the Kremlin.

Sparking the latest diplomatic mini scandal in the US, late last week it emerged that Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. were in frequent contact in recent weeks, including on Dec. 29, the day Obama hit Moscow with sanctions in retaliation for election-related hacking, according to a senior U.S. official. That call and others suggest that the incoming administration is already laying the groundwork for a possible thaw with Moscow. Moscow similarly refrained from retaliation when the White House last week added five Russians, including the chief of Russia’s top state investigative agency, to the U.S. sanctions list.

Still, while Putin and his aides hope Trump will open up to Russia, they know any attempt to fix ties will face massive obstacles, including possible strong resistance in the U.S. Congress. “Any future contacts will have to be prepared quite accurately and thoroughly, as they would follow a tense period,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Fyodor Lukyanov, chair of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policies, a group of Russian foreign policy experts, said Syria is one area where a U.S.-Russian rapport is likely. During the call with Flynn, the Russian ambassador invited U.S. officials to a conference on Syria to be held in Kazakhstan later this month, according to a transition official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter. In an interview Friday with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said he might do away with Obama’s sanctions if Russia works with the U.S. on battling terrorists and achieving other goals.

One place where there could be a major breakthrough between the US and Russia is Rysia:

The Kremlin would be eager to embrace a U.S. offer of cooperation on Syria. Obama’s administration had refused to coordinate action against the IS with Russia, saying Moscow was bent on shoring up Syrian President Bashar Assad. The complexity of the conflict in Syria — where opposition groups backed by regional players are pitted against Assad’s troops and often fight each other — makes hopes for quick progress elusive. “Russia and the United States are important players (in Syria) but not the only ones,” Lukyanov said.

 

He noted that nuclear arms control is another possible area where Moscow and Washington could try to find common ground. While new arms control treaties are unlikely, the two countries may try to find ways to increase global stability, Lukyanov said.

 

Putin has pushed for the U.S. to recognize Moscow as an equal global heavyweight and to acknowledge that Russia’s ex-Soviet neighbors are in its sphere of “vital interests” — demands rejected by the West. Many in Russia hope that Trump could be more inclined to strike a “grand bargain” with Putin, carving up spheres of influence and helping cement Russia’s role as a global power.

Alexander Lebedev, a multimillionaire Russian owner of Britain’s Evening Standard and Independent newspapers, believes that Putin wants a “big deal” that would envisage cooperation in Syria and possible cooperation in other spheres.

Another major area of possible cooperation is the fight against international financial crime. “$1 trillion a year is stolen by global banks and companies and moved offshore,” Lebedev said, adding that Russia and the U.S. could launch a worldwide crackdown on corrupt business practices.

* * *

Russia may be overly optimistic counting on a rapid thaw in icy relations, however. While the Kremlin counts on Trump to roll the sanctions back, many observers are skeptical. “In the current atmosphere, it’s very difficult to imagine how Trump could start canceling the sanctions,” Lukyanov said.

First and foremost, Trump would have to defuse the constant accusations that Russia “hacked the US election.” U.S. intelligence officials’ accusations that Russian hackers — acting on Putin’s orders — interfered into the vote to help Trump win have put the U.S. president-elect in a difficult position. Trump has grudgingly conceded that Russia was likely responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee, but emphasized there was no evidence that hacking affected the U.S. election results. Earlier today, outgoing CIA chief John Brennan warned Trump to watch what he says, warning the president-elect that “absolving Russia of various actions it has taken in the past number of years is a road that he needs to be very, very careful about moving down.”

The Kremlin has rejected the hacking accusations and also hotly denied reports that it has collected compromising information about Trump.

On the other hand, aware that an open show of support for Trump would only make it more difficult for him to restore ties, Russian officials have mostly focused on blasting Obama’s administration.

Konstantin Kosachev, the head of foreign affairs committee in the upper house of parliament, described the White House’s decision to expel Russian diplomats as an “agony of not even lame ducks, but political corpses.”

But the best comments to date belongs to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova. “If ‘Russian hackers’ hacked anything in America, there were two things: Obama’s brain, and, of course, the report about ‘Russian hackers,'” she wrote on Facebook.

Zakharova charged that “Obama and his illiterate foreign policy team have dealt a crushing blow to America’s prestige and leadership” and described his administration as “a bunch of geopolitical losers, enraged and shortsighted.”

 Zakharova concluded that Obama’s administration still has a few days left to “destroy the world.

* * *

With thousands of US troops entering Poland last week “in the largest deployment since the Cold War“, it’s probably wise not to tempt him.

The post Russian Foreign Ministry: “Obama Still Has A Few Days Left To Destroy The World” appeared first on crude-oil.top.

Gambia’s president-elect in Senegal ‘until his inauguration’

Author: 
AFP
Mon, 2017-01-16
ID: 
1484511644498953200

DAKAR: The inauguration of Gambia’s president-elect Adama Barrow will go ahead this week, his spokesman insisted Sunday, as he landed in neighboring Senegal to wait out the final days of President Yahya Jammeh’s mandate.
Jammeh has refused to cede power after disputing the result of a Dec. 1 election won by Barrow, triggering a crisis that has led the president-elect to appeal for help from west African allies.
“Jammeh’s term shall end on Jan. 19 and the same date president-elect Barrow’s term begins. Nothing will change that. He will be sworn in and shall assume office on that date without fail,” spokesman Mai Fatty said in Dakar.
Fatty would not expand on where the inauguration would take place and under what circumstances, given the expected difficulty for Barrow of returning to Banjul.
Earlier in the day it was confirmed Senegalese President Macky Sall had accepted a request by Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to host Barrow in Dakar until his inauguration.
A source in the Senegalese presidency said that the agreement was reached following consultations with other heads of state from the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) at a Bamako summit.
The 15-nation bloc has repeatedly called on Jammeh to respect the result of the vote and leave after 22 years in power.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Sirleaf and Ghana’s ex-president John Mahama have appealed to Jammeh to step down twice in person, without success, most recently on Friday.
Barrow was the surprise guest at the Africa-France meeting in Bamako, where he was welcomed as a head of state and introduced to several world leaders.
The leaders of at least 30 nations had gathered to discuss jihad on the continent and Africa’s impact on the European migrant crisis — but The Gambia’s political impasse dominated events.
The specter of a military intervention in The Gambia has arisen in recent days following declarations by the UN and African Union that boots on the ground could get the green light without a rapid resolution of the crisis.
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, said on Friday that ECOWAS would ask the Security Council to approve the deployment of troops to The Gambia if Jammeh continues to refuse to leave office.
ECOWAS has made clear in the past that force will not be ruled out as a last resort, but the Nigerian army has denied reports it is preparing troops for a Gambian intervention.
There are just three days left of Jammeh’s five-year term, and he has warned the international community against “undue external interference.”
Jammeh has said he will not stand aside until the country’s Supreme Court decides on his legal challenge seeking to annul the result of last month’s polls, which he had initially conceded losing.

Main category: 

Gambia’s president-elect in Senegal ‘until his inauguration’

Author: 
AFP
Mon, 2017-01-16
ID: 
1484511644498953200

DAKAR: The inauguration of Gambia’s president-elect Adama Barrow will go ahead this week, his spokesman insisted Sunday, as he landed in neighboring Senegal to wait out the final days of President Yahya Jammeh’s mandate.
Jammeh has refused to cede power after disputing the result of a Dec. 1 election won by Barrow, triggering a crisis that has led the president-elect to appeal for help from west African allies.
“Jammeh’s term shall end on Jan. 19 and the same date president-elect Barrow’s term begins. Nothing will change that. He will be sworn in and shall assume office on that date without fail,” spokesman Mai Fatty said in Dakar.
Fatty would not expand on where the inauguration would take place and under what circumstances, given the expected difficulty for Barrow of returning to Banjul.
Earlier in the day it was confirmed Senegalese President Macky Sall had accepted a request by Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to host Barrow in Dakar until his inauguration.
A source in the Senegalese presidency said that the agreement was reached following consultations with other heads of state from the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) at a Bamako summit.
The 15-nation bloc has repeatedly called on Jammeh to respect the result of the vote and leave after 22 years in power.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Sirleaf and Ghana’s ex-president John Mahama have appealed to Jammeh to step down twice in person, without success, most recently on Friday.
Barrow was the surprise guest at the Africa-France meeting in Bamako, where he was welcomed as a head of state and introduced to several world leaders.
The leaders of at least 30 nations had gathered to discuss jihad on the continent and Africa’s impact on the European migrant crisis — but The Gambia’s political impasse dominated events.
The specter of a military intervention in The Gambia has arisen in recent days following declarations by the UN and African Union that boots on the ground could get the green light without a rapid resolution of the crisis.
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, said on Friday that ECOWAS would ask the Security Council to approve the deployment of troops to The Gambia if Jammeh continues to refuse to leave office.
ECOWAS has made clear in the past that force will not be ruled out as a last resort, but the Nigerian army has denied reports it is preparing troops for a Gambian intervention.
There are just three days left of Jammeh’s five-year term, and he has warned the international community against “undue external interference.”
Jammeh has said he will not stand aside until the country’s Supreme Court decides on his legal challenge seeking to annul the result of last month’s polls, which he had initially conceded losing.

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