LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

BREAKING

Saudi Arabia: World Competitiveness Index, Hajj pilgrimage, new mega-city

An aerial view of the Kaaba during the annual haj pilgrimage, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia June 30, 2023. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo
Source: X02738

World Competitive Index climb

Saudi Arabia has risen to 16th place in the World Competitiveness Index 2024, thanks to its economic diversification efforts, government efficiency, and business-friendly environment. The country's Vision 2030 programme has contributed to this growth. The report, from the International Institute for Management Development, ranked Saudi Arabia higher than G20 peers like India, the UK, Japan, Italy, Argentina, Indonesia, Brazil, and Turkiye. Saudi Arabia also ranked first in cybersecurity, long-term employment growth, long-term labour market growth, internet usage per thousand people, business efficiency, stock market capitalisation, and digital transformation, Arab News reports.

Heat kills Jordanians during Hajj pilgrimage

Fourteen Jordanians have died during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, with six due to heat stroke. The Saudi health ministry warned of soaring temperatures and advised pilgrims to stay hydrated. The Jordanian foreign ministry is coordinating with Saudi authorities on burying or transporting the deceased according to their family's wishes. The Hajj is one of the largest mass gatherings in the world.

End of Petrodollar deal with US

Saudi Arabia has decided not to extend its petrodollar agreement with the United States after its expiration on June 9, 2024. According to experts, this might lessen the US currency's hegemony by enabling Saudi Arabia to sell oil in currencies other than the US dollar. The agreement was established in 1974 allowing Saudi Arabia to sell oil exclusively in US dollars in exchange for military aid, equipment, and protection.

Neuroradiology saves female Iraqi pilgrim

A female Iraqi pilgrim suffered a stroke in Saudi Arabia, causing her to lose the right side of her body. She was treated at King Abdullah Medical City, part of the Makkah Health Cluster in western Saudi Arabia, where a thrombus was removed, according to Arab News. An interdisciplinary medical team, including an emergency doctor, neurologist, and radiologist, performed rapid procedures to restore her blood supply to the brain.

Criticism of new mega-city

Saudi Arabia's futuristic Neom megacity, The Line, has faced criticism for its environmental impact, practicality, and utility. The project, which includes two parallel mirrored skyscrapers, has been criticised for its sheer cost and lack of sustainability. The Line, along with other plans, includes an octagonal floating city, a luxury island resort, and a ski and adventure mountain range. The project's scale has been reduced to fewer than 300,000 people by 2030, and its costs have also raised concerns.

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