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Four men executed in Saudi Arabia for hash possession

Four men have been executed in Saudi Arabia for possessing the cannabis product hashish.

Amnesty International believes the men may have been tortured to obtain confessions before being executed. Credit: Reuters

Hadi bin Saleh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, Mufreh bin Jaber Zayed al-Yami, Ali bin Jaber Zayed al-Yami and Awadh bin Saleh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, who were all from the Yemen, allegedly committed the offence in 2007.

International human rights watchdog Amnesty International said they were two sets of brothers from the same extended family and that their confessions may have been obtained through torture.

It is thought they were beheaded but last year Saudi Arabia used firing squads to kill some prisoners.

The deaths bring the total number of executions carried out in the country to 18 in the last two weeks, provoking alarm from human rights groups.

Armed robbers ambush Saudi prince in Paris

Credit: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

Armed robbers brandishing automatic rifles ambushed the motorcade of a Saudi Arabian prince as it drove through Paris, snatching €250,000 and "sensitive" documents, media in France has reported citing French Police.

The theft took place in northern Paris late on Sunday night as the motorcade was making its way from the Saudi embassy to an airport in Le Bourget, said police, who confirmed there were no injuries.

"It's quite an unusual attack. They were obviously well-informed. It's true that it's quite a rare way of operating," the police source told Agence France Presse.


Saudi Arabia to build world's tallest tower

Standing at over 1,000 meters (3,280 feet), the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia is set to become the world's tallest tower, beating its closest rival Burj Khalifa in Dubai by nearly 600 feet.

According to CNN, the building is expected to cost £716 million ($1.2 billion)it will be constructed in Jeddah and the building will be situated along the coast of the Red Sea.

The world’s tallest tower has finally been given a start date to begin construction. Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

One feature will be a sky terrace on the 157th floor and when completed it will become the highest terrace in the world.

The sky terrace could become the highest terrace in the world once completed. Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

The building will be designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and will require about 5.7 million square-feet of concrete, and 80,000 tons of steel, according to the Saudi Gazette.

The top 5 buildings in the world:

Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE - 2,717 ft

Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China - 2,073 ft

Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Mecca , Saudi Arabia - 1,971 ft

One World Trade Center, New York City, USA - 1,776 ft

Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan - 1,670 ft

Prince Charles takes part in Saudi sword dance

Prince Charles has been visiting Saudi Arabia as part of a short tour of the Middle East.

The Prince of Wales joined members of the Saudi royal family to take part in a sword dance, known as an Ardah, in the capital Riyadh.

Prince Charles dances with a sword during the a traditional Saudi dancing. Credit: REUTERS/Fayez Nureldine

Charles was wearing the traditional robes for the ceremony, which was celebrating the 17-day-long Janadriyah Festival.

Other highlights of his tour included a visit to the Janadriya gardens and an old Saudi Arabian city.

Prince Charles takes part in the performance during the Janadriya culture festival. Credit: REUTERS/Fayez Nureldine/Pool

The Prince is also visiting Qatar in what will be his second visit to the two nations in just under a year, and his 10th official trip to the Saudi Arabia since he first toured the nation in 1986.

Dinosaur bones found near Red Sea

Dinosaurs have been identified in Saudi Arabia for the first time, highlighting how widespread the creatures once were.

Scientists unearthed tail bones from a giant plant-eating "titanosaur" together with teeth from a 20-foot-long predator, thought to be a distant relative of Tyrannosaurus rex.

The 72 million-year-old fossils were discovered in the north-west of the Kingdom along the Red Sea coast.

The dinosaur bones discovered belonged to a type of titanosaur. Credit: REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Caballero

When the dinosaurs were alive, the Arabian landmass was largely under water and formed the northern coastal edge of the African continent.

The titanosaur identified by the researchers was a lumbering giant with a long neck and tail that stood on four legs.

In contrast, the meat-eating abelisaurid whose teeth were recovered was a fast-moving, bipedal theropod.

Saudi Arabia’s women fight driving ban

Woman defying the driving ban. Credit: 'October 26 driving for women' group

Women in Saudi Arabia are holding a day of action to defy the country’s ban on them driving.

Activists say they have almost 17,000 signatures on a petition calling for change, but authorities have warned that anyone breaking the law today, and their supporters, will face punishment.

Today's protest, the third of its kind since 1990, has drawn support from social media and media in the country.


Saudi sheikh warns women: Driving 'affects ovaries'

Many Saudi women defy the ban on driving Credit: Reuters

Saudi women trying to lift the country's on driving should realize that this could affect their ovaries and pelvises, according to Sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan.

The Al Arabiya website reports that the sheikh, also a psychologist, said that science has shown that driving "automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis.

"This is why we find for women who continuously drive cars their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees."

It comes as Saudi female activists have launched an online campaign urging women to drive on October 26.

More than 11,000 women have signed the declaration that says: “Since there are no clear justifications for the state to ban adult, capable women from driving.

"We call for enabling women to have driving tests and for issuing licenses for those who pass.”

Saudi man weighing 610kg forklifted out of his home

A Saudi man weighing an estimated 610 kilograms (1344 lbs) had to be forklifted out of his home and then airlifted to a hospital for medical treatment to reduce his weight.

Khaled Mohsin Shairi, who is believed to be in his twenties, was flown on a specially-equipped plane to King Fahd Medical City in Riyadh where he underwent the operation.

Members of the team who helped transport Mr Shairi were seen clapping and posing for photographs once the task was completed.

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