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RIYADH, September 17, 2018 (News Wires) - Saudi Arabia confirmed one cholera infection and three other suspected cases in an area bordering Yemen, where an epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people, state TV reported on Sunday, citing a health ministry official.

The report said the patients, identified only as non-Saudis, were receiving care at al-Mauwassem General Hospital in Jizan, about 1,000 km (620 miles) southwest of the capital, Riyadh.

It was unclear if the outbreak was linked to Yemen or to last month’s Muslim haj pilgrimage, which draws some two million foreigners each year, raising the risk of the spread of infectious disease.

The incubation period for cholera, which spreads through ingestion of fecal matter and causes acute watery diarrhea, is a matter of hours. Once symptoms start, it can kill within hours if the patient does not receive treatment.

The United Nations has blamed warring sides in Yemen’s three-year-old civil war and their international allies, including Saudi Arabia, for fuelling the cholera outbreak there.

The WHO has rolled out an emergency treatment programme, based on the vestiges of Yemen’s shattered health system, to try to catch new cases early and stop the explosive spread of the disease.

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabeeah said last month that the haj had passed without any outbreak of disease.

RIYADH, September 10, 2018 (News Wires) - Saudi Arabian authorities have detained an Egyptian hotel worker who appeared in an online video having breakfast with a female Saudi colleague, said the labour ministry, which also summoned the hotel owner for questioning.

The world’s top oil exporter is pushing a host of economic and social reforms, including ending a ban on women driving and opening up new sectors for women, in a bid to end dependency on crude revenues. But some conservative traditions have not been as quick to change in the deeply religious Muslim kingdom.

In footage shared widely on social media, the pair eat breakfast at a desk and wave at the camera. At one point the woman, wearing a traditional black robe covering all but her hands and eyes, feeds the man a piece of food.

A labour ministry statement on Sunday said an inspection team had visited the unidentified hotel in the western city of Mecca and detained the Egyptian for violations including working in a profession restricted to Saudis, without providing details.

The hotel owner was also summoned “for failing to adhere to spatial controls for employing women”, the statement added.

Government regulations stipulate that workplaces should ensure a private setting for female employees separate from males, but in practice this is not uniformly applied.

The public prosecutor later issued a statement urging foreign residents to adhere to the kingdom’s laws and respect its values and traditions.

DUBAI, August 29, 2018 (News Wires) - Yemeni Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia’s Najran region near the border between the two countries, the Houthi-controlled Masirah TV said on Wednesday.

The Badr-1 missile targeted “a new military camp,” it said, without indicating when the missile was launched.

Saudi Arabia’s military said on Tuesday its air defences intercepted a missile fired toward the southern city of Najran but there were no casualties.

Saudi Arabia is leading a Western-backed alliance of Sunni Muslim Arab states trying to restore the internationally recognised government of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Houthis in 2015.

The Iran-aligned Houthis control most of the west of Yemen, including its Red Sea coast.

UN human rights experts said in a report on Tuesday that both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi militia may be guilty of war crimes in the conflict, which has raged for more than three years.

The United Nations has convened talks in Geneva on Sept 6, the first effort to negotiate the war in more than two years.

CAIRO, June 25, 2018 (MENA) - President Abdel Fattah El Sisi praised the gains achieved by Saudi women in the light of recent decisions taken by the Saudi kingdom that reflect a genuine will to empower women.

Sisi said on his Facebook account that he follows with interest "the achievements of Saudi women, which reflect the determination of Saudi Arabia, represented by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, to empower women and protect their rights."

"The recent decisions by the Saudi kingdom have been an overwhelming evidence of a genuine will to empower women and support them for the sake of the kingdom's community development."

Sisi also expressed his appreciation of the steps taken so far to empower women in Saudi Arabia terming them as a true demonstration of the courage of the Saudi decision-makers and their sincere desire for realising enlightenment and development. 

CAIRO, June 4, 2018 (MENA) - Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil said on Monday three new factories for the production of household appliances will be inaugurated in 6th of October City within a few weeks with Egyptian-Saudi investments of up to $100 million. 

In a statement by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Kabil noted the three factories are belonging to Unionaire Group and will produce washing machines, fridges and TV screens. 

This comes as a part of the ministry's efforts to promote the national industry by increasing the percentage of local components in locally-manufactured products, the statement said. 

"The local component in the TV factory will reach 71 per cent," underlined the minister. 

Chairman of Unionaire Group Mohamed Fatehy said the three factories would create 1,500 jobs and the industrial complex will create around 3,000 more. 

RIYADH, May 15, 2018 (News Wires) - A car show in the Saudi capital is drawing in many women, who from next month will be allowed to drive in the kingdom as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s modernization plans.

The event also attracted banks ready to offer financing for women buyers.

“Anything related to cars these days is attracting Saudi Arabian women. I want to know more about cars and prices,” said Shaimaa al-Fadl as she climbed into a car at the exhibition and adjusted the rear-view mirror.

The royal decree will end a conservative tradition seen by activists as an emblem of the Muslim kingdom’s repression of women.  

RIYADH (News Wire) May 6, 2018 - Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered protection for employees who report financial and administrative corruption, Al Arabiya TV reported on Sunday, as part of an effort to combat graft that saw dozens of royals and top businessmen detained last year.

The head of the National Anti-Corruption Commission Dr. Khalid Al Muhaisen pointed out that this matter “emphasizes the interest and concern of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Crown Prince to combat corruption, and protect the interests of citizens and residents who do their duty to report cases of corruption, and ensure that they are not harmed by the submission of communications,” Al Arabiya reported.

Most of the people detained in the anti-corruption drive, including global investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, were released from Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel after being exonerated or reaching financial settlements with the government. The government said such deals brought in more than $100 billion.

Muhaisen affirmed that Saudi leadership is determined and resolute in combating corruption in all its forms and non-tolerance of the corrupt and providing the necessary protecting the whistleblowers from corruption practices and preserve their rights in line with the vision of the kingdom’s Saudi Vision 2030 plan, which has made transparency, integrity and the fight against corruption its top priorities.

RIYADH, April, 23, 2018 -  Saudi air defenses intercepted two ballistic missiles Monday fired by Houthi militias targeting Jazan, Al Arabyia Channel reported.

The kingdom’s air defenses intercepted another missile targeting the Najran region while another missile fell in a desert area on Sunday.

The militia has fired more than 100 ballistic in total targeting Saudi Arabian land according to an Arab Coalition statement released on April 16. Saudi air defenses were able to intercept most of them.

RIYADH, April 22, 2018 (wire news) --  Saudi Arabian security forces said they had shot down a recreational drone in the capital on

Saturday after online videos showing gunfire in a neighbourhood where royal palaces are located.

The Riyadh police spokesman, quoted by the official Saudi News Agency (SPA), said a security screening point noticed the flying

of a small unauthorized recreational drone at 7:50 pm local time, leading security forces to deal with it according to their orders and

instructions.

There were no casualties, and King Salman was not at his palace at the time, a senior Saudi official told Reuters.

“The king was at his farm in Diriya,” the official said, naming another area of the capital.

Amateur footage circulating earlier on social media showed loud gunfire that lasted for at least 30 seconds.

One video showed two police cars parked in the middle of a dark street. Reuters was unable to independently verify the videos’

authenticity.

Asked about the footage, the official said the drone had been shot down, and added that the government would introduce

regulations for the use of recreational drones.

The competent authorities have initiated investigations into the circumstances of the incident, according to SPA.

RIYADH, April, 19, 2018 - Saudi Arabia launched its first commercial movie theater, ending a nearly 40-year ban on cinemas under a push by the crown prince to modernize the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.

A red carpet invitation-only gala event attracted senior government officials, foreign dignitaries and select industry figures to watch Marvel’s superhero movie “Black Panther” on a 45-foot screen at a converted symphony concert hall in Riyadh.

 “Saudis now are going to be able to go to a beautiful theater and watch movies the way they’re supposed to be watched: on a big screen,” Adam Aron, chief executive of operator AMC Entertainment Holdings, told Reuters ahead of the screening.

The smell of buttery popcorn filled the air as confetti rained down through the multi-story atrium where Aron and Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Awwad al-Awwad announced the launch and proceeded into the 450-seat hall.

The opening marks another milestone for reforms spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to open the country culturally and diversify the economy of the world’s top oil exporter.

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