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RIYADH: It is un-Islamic for drivers to warn each other about Saher cameras if the purpose is simply to avoid a fine and then continue speeding. This is according to Sheikh Ali bin Abbas Al-Hakami, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars. He said that drivers are acting immorally if they warn each other by flashing their lights on the roads. He urged them to abide by the country’s traffic laws rather than indulge in such behavior. There have been reports of many people trying to avoid being caught by Saher cameras on the country’s roads. This includes taping over, or removing their license plates.
MUMBAI: In a case of religious discrimination, a young MBA graduate was rejected for a job in a diamond export company for being a Muslim, prompting the National Commission for Minorities to seek an explanation from the business house. The incident also drew criticism from the central government, which said religious discrimination cannot be allowed. Management graduate Zeshan Ali Khan had applied for an opening in the company on May 19 and, according to him, he received a response within 15 minutes, which said they hired only non-Muslim candidates. “Thanks for your application. We regret to inform you that we hire only non-Muslim candidates,” the company said in response to his application. “I was looking for a job, I came to know about a recruitment drive taking place at Hare Krishna Exports, one of the leading exports houses of the country. I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to start my career with them. I was quite shocked when I read the reply, I took a screen shot of it and posted it on Facebook,” he said. “At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting foreign countries and inviting them for investment and pushing ahead the ‘Make in India’ campaign, the leading export houses are rejecting candidates for their religion,” he added. Even as his social media posts triggered an outrage against the company, it sent a regret mail to Khan, blaming a trainee in its HR team with no decision-making powers for the “blunder”.
JEDDAH: The role of the late Saudi tracker Khamis bin Rimthan in discovering oil in the Kingdom was recently highlighted by Saudi Aramco in Dammam. Abdul Aziz Al-Mugaitib, supervisor of the Saudi Aramco pavilion at the 10th Geographical Information Systems Forum, said Bin Rimthan was the first guide appointed by Saudi Aramco. Bin Rimthan was a legendary Ajman guide known throughout Saudi Arabia for his tracking skills and incredible sense of direction. In 1935, he was drafted by Emir Saud bin Jiluwi to serve as a guide for the first geologists, according to Aramco’s reports on his service. “Though reluctant to leave his family for months at a time, he took on the assignment and served as the single most important Saudi in the early exploration of Arabia by field geologists. Not only did he guide them, but also introduced them to the finest qualities of Bedouin life and the grace of its traditions. He also acted as a go-between the geologists and the Bedouin they met in their travels,” the report said. “American geologist Max Steineke could not have undertaken his experiments in oil exploration in the Kingdom, without the help of someone with extraordinary sense of direction and skill in travel in the trackless Saudi deserts.” “Khamis bin Rimthan was one of the most important names among the trackers in the thirties of the last century. He played a major role in the exploration for the black gold. Al-Khayr Well in Dammam city pumped 1,585 barrels per day in those days. Saudi Aramco named an oil well after him to recognize his service,” the report said. Bin Rimthan took an American exploration team, which visited the Eastern Province looking for oil in 1938, out into the desert. He guided what would become the largest oil company in the world to extract oil from Well 7 in Dammam.
CAIRO: Army chiefs of staff of Arab countries have drafted a protocol for a new joint force to intervene in Middle East hotspots on missions ranging from fighting militants to Iran-backed groups — despite lingering disagreements on some details, including where to base the force’s headquarters. The plan, drafted at a gathering Sunday in Cairo, describes where and how the force would be put into action. Membership is “voluntary,” the draft says, and if only three of the members sign up, it’s enough to put the plan into action. A decision to intervene would be based on a request from a member state “facing threats.” The idea of an Arab joint force has already been tested in the ongoing Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes against Shiite rebels in Yemen. But observers say that in cases like Libya, consensus on a military intervention would be difficult since different Arab countries support rival parties in the North African nation. Defense ministers of member states would run the force, with two-thirds of votes required to pass decisions. Military plans on engagements would be up to the member states’ military chiefs. However, there was dissension over the force being headquartered in Cairo, the home of the Arab League. Qatar and Algeria objected to the location, said officials who attended the gathering. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter endorsed the Arab joint force plan and State Department officials said that the United States was waiting to see the exact structure and operational mandate of the joint force.
At the heart of the shortage has been a row over the payment to wholesalers of the difference between the subsidised pump price and the international market price.
The wholesalers say they were waiting for a $1bn payout from the government before they released more fuel.
But now the marketers association has told its members to start transporting fuel from the depots in the commercial capital, Lagos, and fuel stations have been instructed to reopen, Mr Fasali told the BBC Hausa Service.
A committee will now be set up to verify the $1bn figure and then pay the outstanding money. The government has not yet confirmed the details.
Analysis: Will Ross, BBC News, Lagos:
It appears the fuel importers and marketers who operate a multi-billion dollar scam have blackmailed the government into agreeing to one more payout as they are not sure how much longer the fuel subsidy racket will go on.
The details of the payout are not clear.
Over the last few weeks, they literally shut down the nation saying they were owed $1bn in arrears, but no-one has yet seen how that figure is worked out.
Many government officials, including employees of the state fuel company, are so intertwined in the fraud it is hard to know who is scamming who.
One thing is clear. Nigerians across the country trying to earn a living to feed their families are facing a new level of hardship.
When it comes to the fuel sector the incoming president is inheriting one hell of a corrupt mess.
Most Nigerian businesses and homes rely on diesel-powered generators because of the poor electricity infrastructure.
On Monday, some of the country's leading banks introduced shortened branch opening hours.
Three of the country's mobile phone companies, MTN, Airtel and Etisalat, warned that the fuel scarcity could affect their services as they were finding it difficult to supply diesel to the base stations.
Many domestic flights have been cancelled and some international flights have been landing in neighbouring countries to refuel.
Traffic on the roads has also reduced as many fuel stations have stopped selling petrol and there are long queues at places where petrol is available.
It is not clear how quickly the fuel will now reach the petrol stations and queues are likely to remain for the next day or two, our correspondent says.