UN World Tourism Org to set up regional office in Saudi Arabia's capital

News Network
September 16, 2020

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Tbilisi, Sept 16: The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has approved the setting up of a regional office in Riyadh to support the growth of the Middle East’s tourism sector as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said the UNWTO’s Executive Council members have approved the move to establish the office during a session in Georgia. The office will cover 13 countries within the region, and will serve as a platform to build long-term growth in the travel and tourism sector of the Middle East.

“International cooperation and the role of the UNWTO are more important than ever. I am therefore very excited that Saudi Arabia will become home to the first ever UNWTO Regional Office, which aims to support growth at a national and regional level,” Al-Khateeb said.

“In Saudi Arabia, we are very aware of the transformative power of tourism on the economy and people. We may still be a young destination, but tourism is at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s vision for the future,” he added.

Recently, Al-Khateeb revealed that the Council of Ministers has given the Ministry of Tourism the go ahead to open a regional office of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Riyadh as well as to establish a global academy for tourism training.

Al-Khateeb pointed out that the ministry, in cooperation with UNWTO, would work to lay the foundations and standards that enable the proposed academy to be among the best tourism academies in the world.

It is noteworthy that that the UNWTO secretary general praised the Saudi Summer season during a recent visit to the Kingdom during which he toured a number of Saudi summer destinations. Al-Khateeb hoped that the Kingdom, together with UNWTO, would launch a set of initiatives to develop the tourism sector in the region.

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News Network
October 17,2020

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Bengaluru, Oct 17: For the sixth time, the government of Karnataka has fixed rates for covid testing. The rates include the cost of PPE kits.

Sample collection and transportation of government and private samples to the testing lab can be charged not more than Rs 400. The RTPCR test for samples referred by government hospital to private labs should cost Rs 800. RTPCR test for privately given samples to private labs when samples are given at labs will cost Rs 1,200.

The RTPCR test for privately given samples to private labs when the samples are collected by the labs at home should be charged Rs 1,600. TrueNAT test for privately given samples at private labs will cost Rs. 2,200. TrueNAT test for privately given samples to private labs when the samples are collected by the labs at home will cost Rs 2,600.

CB-NAAT test for privately given samples at private labs will cost Rs. 3,800. CBNAAT test for privately given samples to private labs when these samples are collected by the labs at home will cost Rs 4,200. Rapid Antibody Test/ELISA for privately given samples at private labs will cost Rs 500. Rapid Antigen Test for privately given samples at private labs will cost Rs 700.

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News Network
October 22,2020

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Bengaluru, Oct 22: Notwithstanding party leaders’ diktat, senior Karnataka BJP leader, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, continued to fire salvos targeting Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa through his fan pages in Facebook on Wednesday.

His official Twitter handle shot back at his critics within the party stating that he won’t fall at anyone’s feet to become a minister.

“I raise my voice for the welfare of the state, not for personal gains. Let my critics be aware that I am not a pimp to fall at someone’s feet to get my work done,” he said, after he was criticised for his remarks on Tuesday that Yediyurappa will be replaced by the party high command in the BJP soon.

Yatnal’s fan pages continued to target BJP state unit Vice President B.Y. Vijayendra, the son of Chief Minister Yediyurappa.

His fan pages further added that Yediyurappa should come out openly stating why only Vijyendra’s name comes forward when there are thousands of ‘karyakartas’ (workers) working on the ground and even senior leaders are allocated responsibilities to ensure BJP’s victory in bypolls.

Taking a direct dig at Vijayendra, one of his fan pages said, “People of north Karnataka will not forgive those who are doing politics using his father’s name and speak ill about north Karnataka.”

Yatnal did not revert to several attempts to reach him.

He is one of the very few hardcore Hindutva leaders from the Lingyat community of Karnataka.

He is also one of the architects of the BJP gaining roots in this region, mainly due to his fiery speeches.

He is a legislator from the Bijapur city constituency, which has a sizeable Muslim voters. The Congress had mostly favoured to field Muslim candidates from this seat.

For his unabashed statements, he has even fallen out with the BJP in the past and was also expelled from the party for six years. When he was expelled, he had headed the JD(S) state unit as well.

Meanwhile, taking serious note of his statements, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa demanded that the party should expel Yatnal without even seeking any explanation from him. “He is known for making such statements,” he said.

BJP’s national general secretary C.T. Ravi stated that the party high command is capable of tackling such issues.

“Yatnal is a senior leader. I have not reached his level. I do not want to speak about him. But one thing is clear that the party high command is watching this development very closely,” he said.

Meanwhile, BJP state unit President Nalin Kumar Kattel took to Twitter to assert that there is no vacancy for CM’s post for the next three years. “Our leader is Yediyurappa and he will be CM for next three years,” he said.

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News Network
October 15,2020

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Bengaluru, Oct 15: The flood situation in Karnataka worsened further on Thursday with several parts of north Karnataka inundated due to torrential rains and release of water from major dams.

Yadgir, Raichur, Ballari, Bidar, Vijayapura, Bagalkote, Belagavi, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Gadag, Koppal, Haveri and Dharwad were the worst affected due to floods.

According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management Centre, the floodgates of all the major dams have been opened resulting in water gushing into villages and formation of islands at different places.

Dams which were filled to the brim were Linganamakki, Supa, Varahi, Harangi, Hemavathi, Krishna Raja Sagar, Kabini, Bhadra, Tungabhadra, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Almatti and Narayanapura.

An overflowing river Bhima has wreaked havoc in Kalaburagi and Yadgir districts whereas water level in Krishna river at Devasugur in Raichur district is rising at an alarming level.

The Central Water Commission too warned that River Bhima at Deongaon Bridge in Afzalpur Taluk of Kalaburagi was rising and "is expected to cross danger level by this evening".

The river in Yadgir district was expected to go very near high flood level by Wednesday afternoon.

The Commission has also stated that though the water level of River Kagna at Malkhed in Kalaburagi District was receding, it continued to flow at an alarming level.

According to sources in the Karnataka Disaster Management Authority, as many as 515 animals lost their lives while 4,782 people have been shifted to 36 relief camps opened by the district administration.

The district authorities in SBidar and Vijayapura have opened relief camps for flood-hit people.

The NDRF team rescued people stranded at Haragadde, Karakalagadde in Raichur in the temporary island due to the sudden release of water from the dam across Krishna river due to the rising level.

This is the third wave of floods in the state in the past three months.

Floods had been reported at various places in the state in August and September and on both the occasions, the Central team had visited to inspect rain-related damage.

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