Female Saudi Shoura member asks big football clubs for women-only teams

Tue, 2017-10-31 19:49

RIYADH: Big football clubs such as Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli have been urged to set up women-only football teams by a human rights activist who is requesting the establishment of professional sports clubs for women, Al Hayat Newspaper reported.
Iqbal Dandari, a member of the Committee for Human Rights at the Shoura Council, also requested allocating days for women to exercise at major sports clubs after establishing appropriate standards that enforce a modest dress code and take women’s privacy into account.
Dandari hailed the landmark decision allowing women to enter sports stadiums and said it would encourage Saudi women to practice professional sports like their peers around the world.
Sami Zaidan, another member of the Shoura Council, described the decision as a good and timely move. “As for women’s dress code at football games, I trust Saudi women are modest wherever they go,” he added.

Main category: 
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The Key Ingredient In Tomorrow’s Energy Revolution

The electric vehicle revolution has led to a run up in prices for a variety of metals and other commodities, as global automakers try to keep up with Tesla. The mass adoption of EVs is not here just yet, but the cascade of new EV models set to be unveiled in the next few years will accelerate the energy transition. The ramp up in EV production has caused price spikes for lithium and cobalt, for example. But there is one material that is actually even more crucial to the development of batteries needed in EVs: graphite. Graphite can produce graphene,…

King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology allocates SR500m in startup funds for tech companies

Mohammed Rasooldeen
Tue, 2017-10-31 19:08

RIYADH: Technology companies throughout the Kingdom will get startup funds up to SR500 million ($133.3 million) from the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) during the first quarter of next year.
The initiative, launched by the Badir Program for Technology Incubators, one of KACST’s leading programs, aims to trigger the growth of Saudi startups for a positive impact on the national economy, increase productivity and create more job opportunities for Saudi youths.
According to a statement from Badir to Arab News, funding will be concentrated on the acceleration phase of these companies in exchange for a share in their capital.
The Badir accelerator also offers a wide range of advisory services such as training, follow-up and workshops, accompanied by continuous guidance, in order to develop the entrepreneurial innovations and translate them into existing projects within 90 working days.
According to a report in Magnet, specialized in linking startup entrepreneurs with strategic investors in the Gulf region and the Middle East, the volume of financing deals for startup technology companies announced in Saudi Arabia during the first nine months of this year increased by about 10 percent compared to the same period last year.
Among the startup Saudi companies incubated by the Badir program during the past three months, company graduates Foodics Company recorded $4 million in investments, Matic $3 million, and Smart Control $1.6 million, led by Saudi finance companies and supported by Gulf and regional investment groups.
In an earlier statement, Nawaf Al-Sahhaf, the CEO of the Badir program, said: “There is a need for active investments in the early stages of the life of startup companies; thus Badir accelerator is especially aiming at investing in startup technology companies, financing them in the early stages of incorporation, and supporting them with advisory services and required innovative thoughts, as well as close and direct cooperation with them through their incubation after the stage of acceleration to enhance the value of these companies.”

Main category: 
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Is Saudi Arabia’s Oil Strategy Working?

The IMF estimated that Saudi Arabia will need oil prices to trade at about $70 per barrel in 2018 for its budget to breakeven, a dramatic improvement from the $96.60 per barrel it needed just last year. Saudi’s improvement is the most dramatic out of all the Middle Eastern oil producers, and it also suggests the combination of austerity, cuts to wasteful subsidies, new taxes and economic reforms are starting to bear fruit. The improvement is all the more important because Saudi Arabia and its fellow OPEC members are restraining output as…

Venezuela’s Grim Reaper: A Current Inflation Measurement – Current Annual Rate 2875%

Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.

The Grim Reaper has taken his scythe to the Venezuelan bolivar. The death of the bolivar is depicted in the following chart. A bolivar is worthless, and with its collapse, Venezuela is witnessing the world’s worst inflation. 

As the bolivar collapsed and inflation accelerated, the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) became an unreliable source of inflation data. Indeed, from December 2014 until January 2016, the BCV did not report inflation statistics. Then, the BCV pulled a rabbit out of its hat in January 2016 and reported a phony annual inflation rate for the third quarter of 2015. So, the last official inflation data reported by the BCV is almost two years old. To remedy this problem, the Johns Hopkins – Cato Institute Troubled Currencies Project, which I direct, began to measure Venezuela’s inflation in 2013. 

The most important price in an economy is the exchange rate between the local currency and the world’s reserve currency — the U.S. dollar. As long as there is an active black market (read: free market) for currency and the black market data are available, changes in the black market exchange rate can be reliably transformed into accurate estimates of countrywide inflation rates. The economic principle of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) allows for this transformation.

I compute the implied annual inflation rate on a daily basis by using PPP to translate changes in the VEF/USD exchange rate into an annual inflation rate. The chart below shows the course of that annual rate, which last peaked at 3473% (yr/yr) in late October 2017. At present, Venezuela’s annual inflation rate is 2875%, the highest in the world (see the chart below).

The post Venezuela’s Grim Reaper: A Current Inflation Measurement – Current Annual Rate 2875% appeared first on crude-oil.news.

Saudi Cabinet reaffirms support to Yemen’s legitimate govt

Wed, 2017-11-01 03:00

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday applauded the recent statement issued by the foreign ministers and chiefs of staff of the Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen.
The weekly meeting was chaired by King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh.
The king began the session by briefing attendees on the outcome of his talks with Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
That statement on Yemen explained that the coalition, established in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2216, was a response to the legitimate Yemeni government’s appeal against militias attempting to overthrow it.
The statement went on to condemn Iran for supplying the Houthi insurgents with weapons and ammunition, as well as holding Iran and its proxies responsible for endangering the security of the region.
The Cabinet also hailed the efforts being exerted by the Presidency of State Security to discover and prevent the financing of terrorism, in addition to its recent naming — in partnership with the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) — of two entities and 11 individuals identified as leaders, financiers, facilitators or supporters of Daesh in Yemen and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Cabinet also expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist bombing of a bus transporting police in Bahrain and of two car bombs in the Somali capital Mogadishu, which resulted in dozens of deaths and injuries.
The Cabinet reaffirmed its solidarity with Bahrain and Somalia, and wished the wounded a quick recovery.
The Cabinet lauded Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s speech at the recently concluded Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, where he said that the will, determination and principles of the Saudi people have helped lift the Kingdom to new levels of development and progress.
Culture and Information Minister Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) after the Cabinet session that the Cabinet was delighted with the regional and global response to the crown prince’s announcement of the NEOM Project.
The high-tech project, billed as a regional Silicon Valley, embodies the Kingdom’s ambitious economic vision, as outlined by Vision 2030, and its desire to transform into a pioneering global role model.
The Cabinet pointed out that Vision 2030 will support the stability of the region in general, as well as confirming the Kingdom’s status as the heart of the Islamic world. That vision, the Cabinet explained, was a response to the Kingdom’s internal development requirements and the need to create a multi-source economy.
To that end, the Cabinet also lauded the program launched by the Public Investment Fund for 2018-2020, which includes 30 initiatives that will help to diversify the Kingdom’s economy.

Main category: 
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Saudi Arabian Military Industries announces new CEO and board

Wed, 2017-11-01 03:00

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has announced the formation of the company’s board of directors, chaired by Ahmed Al-Khatib, as well as appointing Andreas Schwer as chief executive for his solid experience in establishing and managing global defense companies.
“I am honored to chair this new national company, which will play a key role in diversifying the country’s economy according to Vision 2030,” Al-Khatib said.
The company’s board of directors includes Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih and Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, a senior adviser to the Saudi ambassador to the US, in addition to three international experts who will join the board of directors at a later date.
SAMI’s appointment of government officials to its board as well as experts from diverse backgrounds highlights its commitment to localizing 50 percent of the country’s military expenditure by 2030, thus creating more job opportunities for Saudi citizens.
Schwer, who will join SAMI in December 2017, is the chairman and CEO of Rheinmetall International, which employs 6,000 people with revenues of $1.5 billion. Before joining Rheinmetall he held several senior executive positions at Airbus.
SAMI aims to create 40,000 jobs and contribute SR14 billion ($3.7 billion) to the Saudi economy by 2030.
SAMI also signed an MoU with Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport to buy S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and other weapons during a recent visit to Moscow by Saudi King Salman.
SAMI has recently signed memoranda of understanding with a number of the world’s largest defense contractors, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Rosoboronexport.
The company is following a clear strategy that supports its goal to become one of the world’s largest 25 defense companies by 2030.

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Saudi Arabia ranks 2nd in world’s high-income countries for business reforms for 2018

Wed, 2017-11-01 03:00

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has made unprecedented progress in helping to ease business and boost investor confidence, according to a world report.
The Kingdom is among the top 20 countries in the world, and second among the most high-income in G-20 countries, at making reforms to improve the business climate, a World Bank Group report said.
Saudi Arabia’s progress in ease of doing business for 2018 excelled in six of 10 axes: Protecting minority investors, enforcing contracts, starting a business, cross-border trade, registering property and settling bankruptcy, the report added.
The Kingdom’s strong reforms have led to progress in protecting the minority shareholders, ranking 10th in the world, which is a strong signal to those interested in investing in the Kingdom, according to the report.
The reforms also included facilitating payment of taxes by improving the electronic filing system to raise tax returns and pay taxes. It reduced the number of hours required to pay taxes from 67 to 47 hours, the report highlighted.
The Kingdom has also facilitated cross-border trade by reducing the number of documents required for customs clearance, reducing the processing time required by nine days for exports (from 90 days to 81 days) and imports (from 131 days to 122 days), the report stated.
One of the other reforms undertaken by the Kingdom has been to improve efficiency of the land management system by simplifying registration procedures.
This is the first time that the Kingdom has achieved reforms in six axes in one year. It had only four reforms in 2009 and 2011.
All those results were achieved through “Taysir”, a committee for improving performance of business in the private sector.
The committee works in accordance with an integrated vision with relevant government agencies to facilitate procedures ensuring efficiency and facilitate the business practice to improve rank in the indexes of ease of doing business and improve the Kingdom’s ranking in the Global Competitiveness Report.
The committee was formed upon a decision issued by the Economic and Development Affairs Council and headed by Majed bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi, minister of commerce and investment. The committee aims to set up a plan improving performance of businesses in the private sector and motivating them to participate in the economic development in accordance with the Kingdom Vision 2030.
The committee seeks to improve laws and regulations that stimulate the business environment in the Kingdom.

Main category: 
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KSRelief, ICRC sign deal to provide emergency care in Yemen

Wed, 2017-11-01 03:00

JEDDAH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) signed an agreement with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday for a health care project that will benefit millions of people in Yemen.
The agreement was signed by KSRelief General Supervisor Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and the head of the ICRC in the GCC Yahya Al-Oleibi in Riyadh.
The project aims to ensure continuity of care and access to high-quality services for those injured in Yemen, as well as sustainable support of both primary and emergency health care and physical rehabilitation services.
In a press statement after signing the first agreement between KSRelief and the ICRC, Al-Oleibi expressed his thanks and appreciation to KSRelief for its efforts, saying the agreement was proof of the center’s commitment to the humanitarian principles of impartiality, independence and fairness.
“The aim of this partnership is to ensure the continuity of health care for patients before and after being hospitalized, and physical rehabilitation as well, to benefit more than 3.5 million Yemenis.”
The director of the community support department, Abdullah Al-Ruwaili, said that, since its inception, KSRelief has been in touch with the world’s leading experts to stay abreast of the latest developments in humanitarian aid.
“Today, KSRelief added the ICRC, which is considered one of the world’s most prestigious humanitarian organizations, as one of its partners,” Al-Ruwaili said. “Its main aim is providing assistance to the injured and afflicted, particularly in armed conflicts.”

Main category: 
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