NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP
Blackmailer attacks Haia member
DAMMAM — A member of the Dammam branch of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) was assaulted by a youth accused of blackmailing another young man. The Haia member suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment. Spokesman for the Haia in the Eastern Province Sheikh Dubaikhi Al-Dubaikhi said the commission’s station received a written complaint from the guardian of a youth in which he said his son was being blackmailed. He also presented evidence. After confirming the complaint, the Haia member attempted to arrest the blackmailer but was assaulted in the process. The suspect was handed over to the police.
Wanted man arrested after shoot-out
ABHA – Police have arrested a wanted criminal after a shootout in Khamis Mushayt, according to Asir Police spokesman Lt. Col. Abdullah Ali Al-Shathan. A patrol team grew suspicious of a truck that was parked outside the warehouse. Investigations revealed that the truck was stolen. When the officers forced their way into the warehouse, the wanted man, who was hiding inside, opened fire on them, injuring one of the officers. The suspected criminal was arrested after a shootout. Investigations are ongoing to find out whether the man was involved in other theft cases.
99 residency law violators nabbed
BAHA – Police in Al-Mikhwah governorate have arrested 99 workers who have failed to comply with the Kingdom’s residency regulations. Maj. Gen. Saleh Abdullah Al-Amari, a police spokesman, said the violations included working for people who are not legal sponsors and doing jobs not mentioned in the residency permit (iqama). Maj. Gen. Al-Amari said the crackdown campaign will continue and warned the public against providing shelter or employing violators of residency regulations.
Head-on collisions claim several lives
RIYADH — A woman and her young daughter died and two of her sons were injured when the car they were in collided with a truck loaded with goods on the Makkah-Riyadh Road to the south of Al-Muzahimiah governorate on Sunday. The Civil Defense removed the injured from the car wreckage and ambulances rushed them to Al-Muzahimiah General Hospital. On Saturday, a head-on collision between two vehicles on Afra Road leading to Bisha governorate caused the death of one of the drivers, his mother, daughter and his sister’s son while seven others from the same family were injured. The bodies of the victims were taken to the morgue while the injured were rushed to Sabt Al-Alaya General Hospital.
Haj operators offer competitive packages
Haj operators in Riyadh have come up with competitive travel packages for domestic pilgrims for Haj 2014.
Around 200,000 pilgrims from within the Kingdom are expected to perform Haj this year. The Passport Department is expected to begin issuing Haj permits to local pilgrims soon.
The Dawah Center in Rawdah is offering an eight-day package for SR2,500 for singles, which includes all three meals.
Moulvi Ramzan of the center said: “We have divided the groups by the languages spoken by the pilgrims. The languages include, Tamil, Urdu, Bahasa Indonesia, Bengali and Tagalog.”
The Dawah groups in Shifa and Dallah have also arranged their own package to suit the purse of the pilgrims.
The travel operators undertake to process the Haj permits necessary for the pilgrimage. Pilgrims are required to fill out the standard forms issued by the Passport Department and submit them with the copies of iqama, passport, certificate of vaccination against meningitis, employer’s consent letter and three photographs of the pilgrim.
Local pilgrims are allowed to perform Haj once in five years. Those intending to perform pilgrimage this year could log on to the online service of the Ministry of Interior to check their eligibility.
The Kingdom makes arrangements for the pilgrims to offer their sacrifice through the Saudi Project for Utilization of Haj Meat in coordination with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
Work begins on women’s industrial city
AL-AHSA : Work on the first women’s industrial city in the Kingdom is well under way.
The city, poised to cost SR111 million according to data made available to Arab News, will span an area of 500,000 square meters and is located east of Al-Ahsa International Airport.
Saleh Al-Rasheed, director-general of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, revealed that construction work is ongoing on other projects within Al-Ahsa’s industrial endeavors.
“A second industrial city will be completed by the third quarter of 2015,” said Al-Rasheed.
The women’s industrial city will be divided into three sections: a commercial section, which will span 140,000 square meters, an industrial section to be built on an area of 170,000 square meters, and a services area, which will span 120,000 square meters.
The new city aims to attract and accommodate the largest number of industrial projects pioneered by women, making it the first industrial city to accommodate women’s businesses exclusively.
The second industrial city in Al-Ahsa, meanwhile, will span an area of 300 million square meters and will become the first mega city belonging to Modon on Gulf Bay.
The city will be able to accommodate all types of heavy industries and provide hundreds of thousands of job opportunities. The city will mostly cater to manufacturing industries.
Modon is working with Al-Ahsa’s chamber and municipality, who have contributed to formulating the city’s futuristic vision and ambitious plans in designing and establishing distinctive and major developmental projects and investments via the instructional structural scheme of Al-Ahsa, he said.
The design of the industrial city takes into account the privacy of Saudi women and will provide thousands of jobs for Saudi women and trained citizens.
The location of the city (Modon Oasis) was carefully chosen to be close to the cities of Hofuf and Mubarraz to ensure easy access for female employees and workers to the city, Al-Rasheed said.
KSA imports tobacco products worth SR13 billion in 4 years
Saudi Arabia has imported SR13 billion worth of cigarettes and other tobacco products in a four-year period, local media said quoting recent data.
The values of Saudi tobacco imports consistently increased during these four years, from SR2.6 billion in 2010 to SR3 billion in 2011, SR3.5 billion in 2012 and SR3.8 billion in 2013, said the report.
The lion’s share of imports to the Kingdom in 2013 — 91 percent — came from three countries, Germany, Switzerland and Turkey, at a cost of SR3.2 billion.
Germany captured 57 percent of cigar imports alone, at SR2 billion, followed by Switzerland, at SR603 million, or 17 percent of the total, and Turkey, at SR599 million, or 17 percent of all imports, the report said.
The Kingdom imports cigarettes from more than 17 countries.
South Africa is the fourth largest tobacco exporter to the Kingdom, at SR104 million, followed by India (SR73 million), Czech Republic (SR59 million), France (SR43 million), Indonesia (SR17 million), Poland (SR14 million), the Philippines (SR13 million), Egypt (SR8 million), Yemen (SR6 million), Lesotho (SR3 million), Pakistan (SR2.7 million) and Italy (SR2 million), while other countries account for SR1.7 million worth of imports.
In addition to cigarettes, the Kingdom imports other types of tobacco, such as honeyed tobacco estimated at SR93 million, “jarak” at SR28 million, snuffs at SR16 million, manufactured tobacco at SR16 million and other types worth SR24 million.
The value of imported tobacco products stood at SR177 million, the report said.
167 drivers detained for speeding
JEDDAH : A total of 167 drivers have been arrested for speeding between 180 and 220 kph on Jazan’s roads, said Col. Ahmed Al-Qasadi, assistant director of Jazan’s traffic administration.
Violators were jailed for a period of two to 10 days depending on the number of times they had committed speeding violations in the past.
Undercover traffic police wearing plain clothes registered speed violations on the Sabya-Jazan road, the Abu Arish-Jazan road and the Jazan Al-Madaya road, sabq.org electronic newspaper reported.
Al-Qasadi said that police patrols monitor roads until 2.30 a.m. every night.
Besides speeding, secret patrols are constantly on the lookout for cars overtaking other vehicles and similar dangerous practices on public roads.
Al-Qasadi appealed to members of the public to cooperate with the traffic department and not to drive above the speed limit to avoid accidents.
“Police have been posted in large numbers on city roads,” he said.
SR900m in contracts for roads and drainage projects signed
RIYADH : Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Prince Mansour bin Miteb, recently signed contracts for 15 municipal development projects in a number of provinces.
The projects, which are worth SR893.68 million, seek to provide safe utilities to citizens and residents.
The contracts include two projects to ensure protection against flash floods on the Prince Naif road and pavement construction and street lighting on several roads in Madinah province as well as maintenance of roads, squares and green surfaces in Riyadh.
Ashphalting, street lighting and pavement construction on some major roads are some of the main projects to be implemented in Jeddah under this contract. Meanwhile, in the Eastern Province, projects include drainage systems and other means of protection against floods in Alkhobar, upgrading roads and streets in Al-Ahsa and construction of better roads and floodwater drainage system in Hofuf and Mobrez, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
53,000 GM cars to be recalled from market
JEDDAH : General Motors (GM) will recall 53,000 of its various models from the Kingdom’s markets after the cars were found to contain manufacturing defects.
The move was made in coordination with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The ministry will publish details of the defects, in addition to the chassis numbers of defective vehicles and how to contact local dealers to get them fixed.
The ministry had also contacted its commercial attaché in Italy over reports that the European country had banned the import of the GMC Yukon and Tahoe models, but the report was later proven untrue.
The ministry is monitoring car recall operations in other countries for similar action, sabq.org electronic newspaper reported.
The GMC Arcadia and Chevrolet Traverse 2009 — 2014 models have been recalled for defective airbags, while the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savanna 2009 — 2014 models have also recalled for not adhering to safety specifications in the headrest components.
The GM Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado 2014, meanwhile, have been recalled for oil transmission problems, while the Cadillac XTS 2013 and 2014 models and the Cadillac CTS 2014 models have also also recalled.
The Chevrolet Corvette 2014, which has an “optional competition sports seat,” has also been shown to have manufacturing defects.
Teachers file complaint against defunct school
RIYADH : Eight Filipino teachers have filed complaints with the Saudi Ministry of Labor and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh (POLO-Riyadh) to collect outstanding dues from a school that has been closed down.
The teachers had gone on strike allegedly due to unpaid salaries two days before the school reopened this year, but then disappeared after they had filed their complaints.
The teachers did not stay at the Bahay Kalinga (BK), where 219 female Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) currently live, while awaiting their repatriation paperwork to be processed.
The BK serves as a temporary shelter for female OFWs who have escaped from their sponsors.
“They disappeared after filing the complaint and we don’t know where they are,” said Labor Attaché Resty SM. Dela Fuente.
According to one parent, the school had about 140 students when classes reopened but have not been refunded for what they had paid as matriculation fees.
“Some of the teachers hadn’t been paid for two to three months,” she said.
She added that about 40 students had transferred to a nearby school, while the rest re-enrolled in other schools, mostly in Riyadh’s Sulaymaniyah District.
Sunrise International School had also previously closed down, while Fawaq International School has changed its Tagalog curriculum to English although it still has Filipino students, she said.
There are about eight Philippine international schools in the Saudi capital.