26
Tuesday
June 2018
12:42 AM IST
News Headlines
Dantewada: Goods train derailed, Naxal hands suspected        Never planned to meet Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in Delhi: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan        GST rides on federalism: Narendra Modi        15 Killed, 10 Injured as Tractor-trolley Falls Into Canal in Telangana        Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving ends officially        White House spokesperson Sanders says she was kicked out of restaurant        Germany: Huge explosion rips through apartment building, leaves 25 injured        Hat-trick hero Kane helps England reach knockouts after beating Panama 6-1        Roger Federer loses No.1 spot as Borna Coric stuns him in Halle Open final        Federer beats Kudla to reach 12th Halle final        Hockey: Clinical India crush Pakistan 4-0 in CT opener        Infosys stable and on verge of something momentous: Nilekani        Boko Haram raid kills five in Nigeria: residents        Musharraf says he has not quit politics        AP will be torn apart if 'monkey gangs' come to power: CM        Congress neglected development of cities: PM        BJP will not allow Kashmir to get disintegrated from India: Shah        Wary of hacks, World Cup teams get serious on cybersecurity        You pass YoYo test, you play for India, says Shastri, Kohli endorses        Prof Debashis Chatterjee assumes charge as Director of IIM-K        
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International News
Saudi Ritz reopens after stint as gilded prison of princes
 
(RIYADH, Feb 11, 2018):Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel reopened on Sunday, more than three months after it was converted into a gilded prison for members of Saudi Arabia’s business and political elite detained in an anti-corruption purge.

The gates of the luxury hotel, where U.S. President Donald Trump stayed during his state visit last year, had been shuttered and patrolled by black-uniformed royal guard units while dozens of princes, former ministers and business tycoons were interrogated inside.

The detainees were removed from the hotel two weeks ago, most released after cutting a deal with the authorities or being exonerated, an apparent sign that the corruption investigation, which sent shockwaves through the business community, was winding down.

A handful of smart-suited businessmen, forced to decamp to other hotels since November, returned to the Ritz on Sunday.

“It’s an honor (to be back),” said one foreign consultant as he waited for a luxury car to take him to work.

He said the purge had not left any trace on the 492-room hotel where the lowest rate is 2,439 riyals ($650) a night.

“You forget about it as soon as you’re in your room and you get lost in your own bubble.”

The hotel’s opulent lobby appeared normal. Uniformed waiters milled below crystal chandeliers as acoustic Arabic music filtered through speakers and incense wafted from a gilt burner.

Managers declined an interview request, but the company confirmed in a statement that the hotel had “resumed normal business operations as of today”.

Among the most high-profile occupants during the anti-corruption campaign were global investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, once seen as a leading contender for the throne.

Prince Miteb was freed after agreeing to pay over $1 billion, a Saudi official told Reuters.

Prince Alwaleed maintained his innocence of any corruption in a Reuters interview hours before his release. A senior Saudi official later said he was freed after reaching a financial settlement, without detailing the terms.

The attorney general has said the government had arranged to seize more than $106 billion through such agreements, an assertion Reuters has been unable to verify.

Critics decried the campaign as a shakedown and power play by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is aiming to overhaul the way the deeply conservative kingdom is run and wean it off dependence on oil revenues.

Ten days before the purge began, the Ritz hosted an international business conference where Prince Mohammed spoke onstage and snapped selfies with admirers. Some participants later ended up as detainees.

In the absence of more information, speculation ran wild about what was happening inside the Ritz. The authorities denied rumors of torture and attempted suicides.

The attorney general has said 56 people remain in custody. They are believed to have been moved to prison after refusing to admit wrongdoing and may end up in court.

Ahmed al-Safer, a Yemeni-American businessman who regularly stays at the Ritz, stopped in on Sunday to have tea with friends.

Asked if the purge had affected the hotel’s reputation, he said: “Right now it’s famous. Everyone will visit just to take a picture.”


Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving ends officially
White House spokesperson Sanders says she was kicked out of restaurant
Germany: Huge explosion rips through apartment building, leaves 25 injured
Boko Haram raid kills five in Nigeria: residents
Musharraf says he has not quit politics
UN slams Trump over child detentions
Trump tells GOP to 'stop wasting their time' on immigration
Turkey hits back at Trump, imposes tariffs on US goods worth $1.8 bn
Israeli Prime Minister's wife charged with fraud
Iran lawyer arrested after claiming executed man innocent
UK PM calls US images of migrant children 'deeply disturbing'
Merkel, Macron search for reforms to halt EU 'disintegration'
S Korea, US confirm suspending military drills
Iraq force accuses US of killing 22 of its fighters in Syria
Merkel gets ultimatum from hardline ally over migrants
Nigeria: 31 people killed in twin suicide blasts
1 dead, 20 injured in New Jersey arts festival shooting
Pakistan SC bars Musharraf from contesting election
N Korea no longer a nuclear threat: Trump
Former president Maldives and chief justice sentenced for obstruction of justice
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
I am a big flop actor: Karan Johar
 (Mumbai, May 5, 2018): Filmmaker Karan Johar is in mood to take up full-fledged acting jobs.  
Bittersweet moment for us: Akshaye on Vinod Khanna's Dadasaheb Phalke honour
Happy Sonam is getting married, Anand a great guy: Harshvardhan Kapoor
Auctioning 'Rustom' costume for good cause: Akshay Kumar
KERALA NEWS
Kerala among 13 states on thunderstorm alert
 (New Delhi, May 7, 2018): Thunderstorms accompanied by squall, hail and heavy rains are likel
Kerala Karshaka Jadha Opens to a Great Beginning / Video
Malappuram press club attack: RSS workers nabbed
Workers injured in mudslide at construction site
NATIONAL NEWS
Dantewada: Goods train derailed, Naxal hands suspected
 (Dantewada, June 24, 2018):Eight coaches and engine of a goods train travelling through Dante
GST rides on federalism: Narendra Modi
15 Killed, 10 Injured as Tractor-trolley Falls Into Canal in Telangana
AP will be torn apart if 'monkey gangs' come to power: CM
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