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Saudi employers upset as labor costs soar after immigrant exodus

Saudis have begun complaining of surging labour costs following the exodus of a million foreign workers, although economists insist there will be long-term planning benefits from fully regulating the market. Professionals in the kingdom, both Saudi and expatriate, say the freelance tradesmen who used to queue for odd jobs in…

Saudi Arabia frees blogger jailed for blasphemy

A Saudi journalist accused of posting tweets deemed insulting to Islam’s Prophet Mohammed was on Tuesday freed from detention after 20 months, a human rights activist said. Hamza Kashgari fled Saudi Arabia to Malaysia in February 2012 after receiving death threats for tweets on the occasion of the prophet’s birthday.…

Dozens of Saudi Arabian women participate in protest against country’s ban on women drivers

Activists say at least 60 joined call to allow female drivers – making it country’s biggest ever demonstration against the ban More than 60 Saudi women got behind the wheels of their cars as part of a protest against a ban on women driving in the kingdom, activists have claimed.…

Saudi Arabian preacher gets 8 years in prison for raping and killing his five-year-old daughter

A Saudi court sentenced a preacher convicted of raping his five-year-old daughter and torturing her to death to eight years in prison and 800 lashes, a lawyer said Tuesday. In a case that drew widespread public condemnation in the kingdom and abroad, the court also ordered Fayhan al-Ghamdi to pay…

Saudi Arabian cleric says driving hurts women’s ovaries

A Saudi cleric sparked a wave of mockery online when he warned women that driving would affect their ovaries and bring “clinical disorders” upon their children. The warning came ahead of an October 26 initiative to defy a longstanding driving ban on women in the ultra-conservative kingdom. “Physiological science” has…

Gene map helps trace spread of MERS coronavirus

Researchers in Britain and Saudi Arabia said on Friday that gene profiling of the MERS virus had provided insights, but no answer, as to how the mysterious microbe spreads. Reporting online in The Lancet, the scientists said they had assembled a family tree of the coronavirus causing Middle East Respiratory…

Saudi Arabia bans ‘terrorist’ propaganda on Internet

Saudi Arabia said Monday it will outlaw the dissemination of information on the Internet for the benefit of “terrorist” groups, in line with a decision taken by Gulf Arab monarchies. The official SPA news agency said the cabinet approved the “unified legislation against cybercrime,” which the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)…

MERS coronavirus claims three more lives in Saudi Arabia

Another three people have died in Saudi Arabia after contracting the MERS coronavirus, the health ministry said Sunday, bringing the kingdom’s total fatalities of the SARS-like virus to 47. A Saudi man, aged 74, died in the western city of Medina after being in contact with an infected person, the…

Saudi Arabia adopts first law to criminalize domestic violence

Saudi Arabia has adopted a law criminalising domestic violence, usually targeting women and children, in a move hailed by activists who on Thursday demanded its swift implementation. The law, approved by the cabinet on Monday, is aimed at protecting people from “all forms of abuse” and offering them shelter as…

Britain is exporting arms to human rights violators: report

Britain has issued export licences worth £12 billion ($18 billion, 14 billion euros) for the sale of military equipment to states deemed possible rights violators including Syria, Iran and China, lawmakers said Wednesday. A report by a group of parliamentary committees said that 3,000 licences for arms and other equipment…

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