In brief [Archives:2008/1130/Local News]
Ban on transporting qat into Socotra
An anti-qat festival was held on Saturday in Socotra by the Association to Combat Qat (ACQ).
During the festival, which aims at raising awareness to combat qat on the island, many speeches were delivered to stress the importance of implementing the island's local council decision preventing people from chewing qat on the island.
Socotra's local council approved a ban on bringing qat onto the island, a decision which has been enforced since the beginning of the year.
The council agreed to confiscate any qat found entering the island and penalize those carrying it.
The council requested qat sellers to sign pledges not to attempt bringing qat to the island. The sellers refused to do so unless qat was banned nationwide, saying that the island is a part of the country and is not ruled by independent laws.
Dutch government to support education program for Yemen
A Yemeni official said that the Dutch government had extended a support program for Yemen in the field of high technical education and vocational training.
Minister of Technical Education and Vocational Training Ibrahim Hajri, who paid a visit to the Netherlands last week, said that the Dutch government agreed to support a new project related to technical education for increasing scholarships offered for Yemeni students.
During his visit, Hajri spoke with Dutch officials on aspects of cooperation between the two countries in the area of technical education and vocational training.
Hajri paid visits to a number of Dutch technical education universities, which form relationships between education institutions and labor markets.
Yemeni-Gulf media company officially declared
The Yemeni-Gulf Company for Culture and Media Production (YGCCMP) was formally declared on Saturday to be the first Yemeni-Gulf joint company in the fields of drama, cinema and information production.
YGCCMP General Director Safwat al-Ghashm declared that the initial capital of the company amounts to $5 million, indicating that the company's opening project will be producing the first Yemeni-Gulf fictional film “Nasr al-Jeel” (Eagle of the Generation), to be shot in Yemen with French and Moroccan assistance.
New group of African refugees arrives in Yemen
About 93 African refugees, 71 males and 22 females, arrived on Saturday in Hadramout province, fleeing disturbances in their countries. Security sources were quoted by the state-run 26sep.net as saying that the African refugees were transported to a refugee center in the province.
African refugees are usually smuggled into Yemen by boat, and sometimes refugees are forced to swim if the boat capsizes, often resulting in their deaths.
Overall, 157 people have been reported dead or missing during the first 19 days of 2008 in the perilous trip across the Gulf of Aden, which last year claimed over 1,400 people dead or missing.
Hadi, al-Sufi discuss increasing salaries of Oil Institution employees
Vice President Abdu- Raboo Mansour Hadi urged the Civil Service and Insurance Ministry on Saturday to increase salaries of the Oil Institution employees.
During his meeting with Civil Service and Insurance Minister Hamoud al-Sufi, Hadi asked al-Sufi to determine any legal request for the employees of administrative units of the government in accordance with the laws in force.
Al- Sufi presented a brief on the concerned case, noting what has been presented by the ministry to the Cabinet for approval, according to the strategy of salaries and wages.
He confirmed that the second stage of the strategy was approved last October and would be expended to all the government bodies immediately after completing the necessary data.
Hodeidah receives 31,182 tourists in 2007
Feb. 16 – The Tourism Ministry said that that more than 50 hotels in Hodeidah province had received 31,182 Arab and foreign tourists in 2007.
In its annual statistics, the Ministry's provincial bureau pointed out that Hodeidah harbor had received 15 tourist ships transported 9,582 foreign tourists and 21,600 Arab tourists.
The statistics noted that the tourists had visited a number of Yemeni tourist sites, including Sana'a's old city, Manakha, Zabid and Bait al-Faqih.