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Oman to encourage household generation of solar power
28 March 2016 - Oman will encourage households to generate electricity with solar panels and feed it into the national grid, Qais al-Zakwani, executive director of the Authority for Electricity Regulation, said on Monday, 28 March. The policy could put Oman in the forefront of Middle East nations promoting widespread use of solar power. (more)

Oman: In honour of families
13 May 2014 - It is in appreciation of the significant role of families in social and national transformation that the United Nations (UN) General Assembly instituted the International Day of Families by a resolution in 1993. Incidentally, the year 1994 was also proclaimed as the International Year of Families by the United Nations. The Day has been observed annually on 15 May since 1994. The logo of the Day is a simple depiction of a heart and a house indicating that families constitute the centre of society. (more)

Oman starts to pursue graft
23 March 2014 - Authorities in Oman have turned their focus to corruption, strengthening domestic laws by boosting the powers of the state auditor to investigate suspicious cases and referring a number of public officials and private sector executives to the prosecution. It has also ordered public sector employees to meet financial disclosure requirements and signed the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which provides a framework for local institutions to draw up bylaws and executive regulations. Analysts say the steps are among several signs that Oman's government is listening to its citizens following their protests, in contrast to some of its neighbours in the Gulf. (more)

Owl recorded in Oman could be a new species
4 October 2013 - Ornithologists working in Oman say an owl discovered in a remote, mountainous region could be a new species. Wildlife sound-recordist Magnus Robb told BBC News that he heard the bird's call whilst trying to record the call of another type of owl. After repeated trips to the remote site, he and a colleague -- naturalist and photographer Arnoud van den Berg -- captured photographs of the bird. They have published their observations in the journal Dutch Birding. (more)

Rights groups praise Oman pardon for protesters
24 March 2013 - International rights groups and others are hailing Oman's decision to pardon all activists jailed for offending the nation's ruler or joining protests. The move by Oman's leader, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, runs counter to widening social media crackdowns by other Gulf Arab states. Amnesty International on Sunday called Oman's decision a positive step and urged authorities to further lift restrictions on freedom of expression. The Omani Lawyers Association also praised the blanket pardon announced last week. (more)

Oman: Omanis hope first local vote is stepping stone towards change
22 December 2012 - Hoping for jobs and democratic change, voters in Oman cast ballots in their first municipal election on Saturday, a sign of modest reform in response to protests inspired by the Arab Spring. The small Gulf oil producer, ruled since 1970 by Sultan Qaboos, sits opposite Iran on the Strait of Hormuz, the conduit for nearly a fifth of globally traded petroleum. There were no reports of protests or other incidents across the country on Saturday afternoon. (more)

Religious harmony in Oman exhibition opens in Estonia
22 September 2012 - The Religious Tolerance in Oman Exhibition opened in its 22nd destination in Estonia. The expo at the College of Technology in Tallinn City saw huge participation from religious personalities and scholars. The three-week event aims to highlight the tolerance of Islam and religious tolerance in Oman. His Eminence Dr Mohammed Bin Said Al Ma'mari, Adviser at the Office of the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs and general supervisor of external exhibitions, said that there was nothing better than spreading the 'peace message' around the world. He said the message is one of the pillars of the Sultanate and its people who believe that Islam urges everyone to have good relations with people everywhere. (more)

African Swahili music lives on in Oman
5 October 2011 - The coastal Arab nation of Oman is the unlikely center of a thriving African music scene with roots stretching back centuries and across the seas to Zanzibar. 'The music runs deep in us and is embedded in our culture, passed on by our ancestors,' said Kareema Ismail, a singer and dancer. 'The Swahili beats in our music is a long tradition from Zanzibar. It is not something that will be replaced by contemporary music.' (more)

Solar Energy Seminar begins in Oman
22 May 2011 - The Seminar on Solar Energy in Oman was opened at Crowne Plaza Hotel Sohar on Saturday. A number of those concerned with the field of solar energy from United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Pakistan, and India took part in the seminar. (more)

Oman Sultan shifts lawmaking powers amid unrest
13 March 2011 - Oman's ruler granted lawmaking powers Sunday to officials outside the royal family in the boldest reforms yet aimed at quelling protests for jobs and a greater public role in politics. Two current advisory councils -- one elected and another appointed by the Sultan -- will receive powers to make laws and regulations within 30 days after a special commission decides how to amend the state statutes. As part of the decree Sunday, Oman's leader also boosted state pensions and payments for families receiving state social security. (more)


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Growing algae bloom in Arabian Sea tied to climate change
15 March 2017 - The Gulf of Oman turns green twice a year, when an algae bloom the size of Mexico spreads across the Arabian Sea all the way to India. Scientists who study the algae say the microscopic organisms are thriving in new conditions brought about by climate change, and displacing the zooplankton that underpin the local food chain, threatening the entire marine ecosystem. The swarms of microscopic creatures beneath the surface of the Gulf of Oman were all but invisible 30 years ago -- now they form giant, murky shapes that can be seen from satellites. Across the planet, blooms have wrecked local ecosystems. Algae can paralyze fish, clog their gills, and absorb enough oxygen to suffocate them. Whales, turtles, dolphins, and manatees have died, poisoned by algal toxins, in the Atlantic and Pacific. These toxins have infiltrated whole marine food chains and have, in rare cases, killed people, according to the U.N. science agency. Scientists based at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University trace Oman's blooms to melting ice in the Himalayas. (more)

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