BUSINESS | Starbucks Closes Most U.S., Canada Cafes, Moves To Drive-Through

BUCHAREST – Starbucks Cop said on Friday it will close most of its company operated cafes across north America for two weeks, limiting its services to drive-thoughts, to help stem the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.

Let’s be real. Lattes aren’t ‘essential’, Rossann Williams, president of U.S. company – operated and Canada businesses, said in a letter. ‘But in times of crisis, the government asks convenient food and beverage outlets to remain open when possible for pickup, Drive Thru, or delivery’.

Exceptions to the closure would be made for cafes serving in or around hospitals and health care centers, she said.

Starbucks, which owns almost all U.S. stores, said its licensed partners would make independent decision about whether to close their stores, but said it would pay all store partners for the next 30 days, regardless of  that decision.

The move ramps up efforts by the world’s largest coffee chain to increase social distancing, expanding closures beyond the universities, malls and high risk areas it announced several days ago.

As the virus spread at a rapid pace across the United States, café and restaurant operators have shut their doors or limited services to delivery and take-away.

New York state, Illinois and Connecticut on Friday all followed California in directing residents to stay at home in the most sweeping social distancing measures yet imposed.

The unprecedented restrictions, impacting more than 75 million people, or nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, have closed most workplaces and require residents to remain inside except for trips to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and other ‘essential businesses’.


travel | Dubai Miracle Garden Set To Welcome Visitors On 1st November

ABU DHABI – – Dubai Miracle Garden, the largest natural flower garden in the world, returns for its ninth season on Sunday, 1 November, promising visitors a truly memorable experience with its magnificent display of intricately designed bloom. The park is set to reopen under stringent health and safety protocols designed to ensure visitors can … Continue reading travel | Dubai Miracle Garden Set To Welcome Visitors On 1st November

NEWS ALERT | United States Condemns Attacks By Iran – Backed Houthis Against Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON – The United States Of America has condemned attacks by the Iranian – backed Houthis against civilians and civilian objects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In a statement issued Thursday, the U.S. Department of State expressed in condemnation and denunciation of these attacks which were launched indiscriminately towards Riyadh, and risked the lives … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | United States Condemns Attacks By Iran – Backed Houthis Against Saudi Arabia

BUSINESS | White House Moves Ahead With Sale Of F-35 Jets To UAE – Sources

WASHINGTON – The White House notified Congress it intends to sell  50 5-35 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin to the United Arab Emirates, setting up a potential showdown with the U.S. legislature, which could vote to block the sales, sources said on Thursday. The United States and the UAE aim to have a letter … Continue reading BUSINESS | White House Moves Ahead With Sale Of F-35 Jets To UAE – Sources

BUSINESS | Tiffany And LVMH Could Patch Things Up With Cut-Price Deal

U.S. jeweler Tiffany & Co and French luxury goods giant LVMH are in talks to settle their dispute over $16 billion takeover at a price slightly lower than that initially agreed, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The negotiations were based on a price in the range of $131 – $134 for each … Continue reading BUSINESS | Tiffany And LVMH Could Patch Things Up With Cut-Price Deal

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Condemns Nice Church Attack

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia condemned an attack at a church in the southern French city of Nice that killed three people on Thursday. The Kingdom’s foreign ministry expressed its categorical rejection of the extremist attack in Notre Dame Basilica and others like it, and said that they are inconsistent with all religions, … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Condemns Nice Church Attack

SPORTS | Racing In The Streets: Jeddah To Host First Saudi F1 Grand Prix

Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix next year will take place on the city streets of Jeddah. The Saudi Grand Prix appears on the provisional F1 calendar for 2021 that has been distributed to race teams. It is expected to be the penultimate race of the 2021 season, which will conclude with the Abu … Continue reading SPORTS | Racing In The Streets: Jeddah To Host First Saudi F1 Grand Prix

BUSINESS | Saudi Arabia Plans $2 Billion Boost For Space Program By 2030

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia is planning an 8 billion riyals ($2.1 billion) boost for its space program by 2030 under an economic diversification plan that aims to attract foreign investment and create thousands of jobs for young Saudis. The Saudi Space Commission (SSC), set up by a royal decree in late 2018 … Continue reading BUSINESS | Saudi Arabia Plans $2 Billion Boost For Space Program By 2030

G20 NEWS | Saudi Arabia Hosts Global Summit To Discuss Challenges Facing Entrepreneurs

President of the G20 Young Entrepreneurship Alliance (YES) Summit 2020 has affirmed that various initiatives have been prepared to be presented during meetings of G20 Leaders. In a press conference on Monday in Riyadh, Prince Fahd bin Mansour bin Nasser Bin Abdulaziz said the Kingdom will host the two-day YEA Virtual Summit on Oct.29. More … Continue reading G20 NEWS | Saudi Arabia Hosts Global Summit To Discuss Challenges Facing Entrepreneurs

BREAKING NEWS | France Warns Citizens To Be Cautious As Anger Seethes In Muslim World Over Cartoons

PARIS | FRANCE – France warned its citizens living or traveling in several Muslim-majority countries to take extra security precautions on Tuesday as anger surged over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. In a sign that some countries want to limit the fallout, Saudi Arabia condemned the cartoons but held back from echoing calls by other … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | France Warns Citizens To Be Cautious As Anger Seethes In Muslim World Over Cartoons

ROYALS | Prince Harry Says Upbringing Blinded Him To Unconscious Racial Bias

Britain’s Prince Harry said it took him years to realize that unconscious racial bias existed and his eyes had been opened by spending time in his wife Meghan’s shoes. The prince spoke during a conversation about racism with Patrick Hutchinson, the Black activist who was photographed by Reuters carrying a white man to safety during … Continue reading ROYALS | Prince Harry Says Upbringing Blinded Him To Unconscious Racial Bias

BUSINESS | Mercedes-Benz to lift Aston Martin Stake To Up to 20% By 2023

MILAN | ITALY – Daimler unit Mercedes-Benz is to lift its stake in Britain’s Aston Martin to up to 20% by 2023, making it one of the struggling British carmaker’s largest shareholders, Aston said on Tuesday. Aston Martin, popular for being James Bond’s carmaker of choice, has suffered a torrid time since it floated two … Continue reading BUSINESS | Mercedes-Benz to lift Aston Martin Stake To Up to 20% By 2023

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Holds Off From Backing Action Against France Over Cartoons

RIYADH | SAUDIA RABIA – Saudi Arabia condemned cartoons offending the Prophet Mohammad, but held back from echoing calls by other Muslims states for action against images being displayed in France of the Prophet. A foreign ministry official also said in a statement that the Gulf state condemns all acts of terrorism, and apparent reference … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Holds Off From Backing Action Against France Over Cartoons

BREAKING NEWS | Arac De Triomphe Bomb Alert In Paris Lifted – Police

PARIS | FRANCE – The areas around the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower in central Paris have been reopened after briefly being evacuated on Tuesday in central Paris have been reopened after briefly being evacuated on Tuesday for security alerts, police told Reuters. The Arc de Triomphe area and surrounding subway stations had been … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Arac De Triomphe Bomb Alert In Paris Lifted – Police

BUSINESS | Jean Novel Concept Designs For Sharaan Resort In AlUla Unveiled

New concept designs for the Sharaan by Jean Nouvel resort revealed today after a deeper understanding of the architect’s daring vision for AlUla, the cultural oasis in north-west Arabia. Located deep within the Sharaan Nature Reserve, the design draw on the nearby Nabataean wonders of Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. In a … Continue reading BUSINESS | Jean Novel Concept Designs For Sharaan Resort In AlUla Unveiled

NEWS ALERT | Insulting Muslims is an abuse of free speech, Iran’s Zarif Says

MILAN | ITALY – Insulting Muslims is an ‘opportunistic’ abuse of free speech, Iran’s foreign minister said on Monday, in an apparent reference to remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron perceived to be critical of Islam. ‘Muslims are the primary victims of the ‘cult of hatred’, the minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, tweeted, without directly addressing … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Insulting Muslims is an abuse of free speech, Iran’s Zarif Says

BREAKING NEWS | Pakistan’s PM Takes Aim At Macron; Asks Facebook To Ban Islamophobic Content

MILAN | ITALY – – Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called on Facebook to ban Islamophobic content on its platform, warning of a spike in radicalization Muslims, hours after he hit out at the French president for ‘attacking Islam’. Pakistan summoned the French ambassador in Islamabad as anger spread on Monday over President Emmanuel Macron’s … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Pakistan’s PM Takes Aim At Macron; Asks Facebook To Ban Islamophobic Content

G20 SAUDI ARABIA | King Salman Says Pandemic Proved Flexibility, Strength Of Saudi Economy

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz stressed on Monday that the novel coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the flexibility and strength of the Saudi economy. In an address before the Business 20, he said: ‘We are determined to boost development and prosperity through empowerment and investment in new sectors’. Minister of Investment Khalid … Continue reading G20 SAUDI ARABIA | King Salman Says Pandemic Proved Flexibility, Strength Of Saudi Economy

WORLD NEWS | Poland’s President Tests Positive For Coronavirus

BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – – Polish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for coronavirus, an aide said on Saturday, as the country faces a record rise in cases. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, as recommended President @AndrzejDuda was tested yesterday for the presence of coronavirus. The result turned out to be positive. The president is fine”, Blazei … Continue reading WORLD NEWS | Poland’s President Tests Positive For Coronavirus

NEWS ALERT | Saudi Senior Scholars: Insults to Prophets Serve Extremist Interests

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – The Saudi Council of Senior Scholars stressed on Sunday that the insult of Prophets only serves the interests of extremists. In a statement, it said: The extremists only want to spread hatred among mankind’. ‘It is the duty of wise people throughout the world to condemn such insults that have … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Saudi Senior Scholars: Insults to Prophets Serve Extremist Interests

WORLD NEWS | Putin Rejects Donald Trumps’ Criticism Of Biden Family Business

MOSCOW – – Russia President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that he saw nothing criminal in Hunter Biden’s past business ties with Ukraine or Russia, marking out his disagreement with one of Donald Trump’s attack lines in the U.S. presidential election. Putin was responding to comments made by Trump during televised debates with Democratic challenger … Continue reading WORLD NEWS | Putin Rejects Donald Trumps’ Criticism Of Biden Family Business

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Says Intercepts Houthi Drones Aimed At Southern Region

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – – The Saudi-led military coalition engaged in Yemen said on Sunday night it intercepted and destroyed a second, explosive-laden drone launched by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement towards southern Saudi Arabia, Saudi State Media reported. No casualties or damage were reported. The coalition said earlier it had intercepted the first drone … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Says Intercepts Houthi Drones Aimed At Southern Region

BUSINESS | France Urges Middle Eastern Countries To Stop Boycott Of French Products

PARIS – – France on Sunday urged Middle Eastern countries to stop retail companies from boycotting French products. The foreign affairs ministry said in a statement that in recent days there had been calls to boycott French products, notably food products, in several Middle Eastern countries as well as calls for demonstrating against France over … Continue reading BUSINESS | France Urges Middle Eastern Countries To Stop Boycott Of French Products

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC | Qatar Signs Deal To Buy Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine

MILAN | ITALY – Qatar has signed an agreement with drugmaker Moderna Inc to buy its potential COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is approved and released for global use, state news agency QNA quoted a health official as saying on Sunday. There are no internationally approved vaccines yet, but several are in advanced trials, … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC | Qatar Signs Deal To Buy Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine

BUSINESS | Kuwait retail co-ops remove French products over Prophet cartoon

KUWAIT – Kuwait’s retail co-ops have pulled French products in boycott over the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a French school class on freedom of expression whose teacher was then beheaded by an Islamist. The non-governmental Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies, which groups more than 70 establishments, issued the boycott directive in … Continue reading BUSINESS | Kuwait retail co-ops remove French products over Prophet cartoon

BUSINESS | Qatar Might Get F-35s Despite Israel’s Objections, Israeli Minister Says

MILAN | ITALY – An Israeli cabinet minister said on Sunday that a U.S. sale of advanced F-35 warplanes to Qatar could be possible despite Israel’s objection to such a deal given the Gulf state’s link to Iran and Palestinian Hamas. ‘I have no doubt that if they (Qatar) want it and are willing to … Continue reading BUSINESS | Qatar Might Get F-35s Despite Israel’s Objections, Israeli Minister Says

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Issues SR20 Banknote To Mark G20 Presidency

MILAN | ITALY – The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority said on Saturday it will release a new SR20 banknote to mark the Kingdom’s presidency of the G20 Summit. The new banknote will be put into circulation on Sunday, and will feature King Salman and the G20 Saudi Summit logo on one site, with a world … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Issues SR20 Banknote To Mark G20 Presidency

BUSINESS | Parisian Fragrance House Ex Nihilo Cuts Ribbon On Its First Saudi Boutique

JEDDAH | SAUDI ARABIA – Parisian fragrance maison Ex Nihlio has cut the ribbon on its first flagship in Saudi Arabia. The new perfumery is situated in Jeddah’s Nojoud Center, alongside other brands like Lacoste and Femi9. The new store evokes the brand’s French flagship with its iconic cobalt blue interior, marble floors, Art Deco … Continue reading BUSINESS | Parisian Fragrance House Ex Nihilo Cuts Ribbon On Its First Saudi Boutique

TRAVEL ALERT | Saudi Arabia To Resume Flights For 33 Destinations In November

Saudi Arabia’s national carrier Saudi announced it will resume flights to 33 destinations in November. Destinations include major international capitals across Europe, Asia and Africa. Regional destinations that include Dubai and Beirut also resume next month. Saudia travellers who are going to U.S. will only be able to fly to Washington. The airlines said flights … Continue reading TRAVEL ALERT | Saudi Arabia To Resume Flights For 33 Destinations In November

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