News – 2010-12-23

Published: December 24, 2010
SUSRIS Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/

12.23.2010 EDITION

All is Sunny in Saudi: KIPP REPORT

Eva Fernandes | 12/23/10

“With oil prices on the rise, a promising real estate market and an impressive budget, things are looking good for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Budget Reflects Focus On Long-Term Development: ARAB NEWS

12/23/10

“Expenditures hit a new record as the government continued its commitment to increase economic capacity through spending on social and physical infrastructure projects, according to the National Commercial Bank’s (NCB’s) special budget report “Fiscal Policy: Toward Sustainable Growth” released here on Tuesday.”

Saudi Mortgage Law To Take Time: EMIRATES 24/7

Nadim Kawach | 12/23/10

“A long-awaited mortgage law in Saudi Arabia is expected to be delayed further as it still faces obstacles in the appointed parliament after nearly two years of debate, a key bank in the Gulf Kingdom has said.”

Banks Seen Driving More Saudi Index Gains In 2011: REUTERS

Marwa Rashad | 12/22/10

“The Saudi stock market will see more gains in 2011 after outperforming most Gulf markets this year as companies benefit from high oil prices, a record budget and global recovery, analysts and investors said.”

Founder Of AQAP’s Media Arm Killed In Clash In Yemen: LONG WAR JOURNAL

Bill Roggio | 12/22/10

“Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) announced the death of Nayef bin Mohammed bin Said al Kudri Qahtani, who is better known as Abu Hammam Qahtani, in a statement released on jihadist websites.”

Author Uses Saudi Experience To Fuel First Novel: EMC NEWS

Charelle Evelyn | 12/23/10

“The mystique and mystery surrounding a gem which disappeared in the Middle East has inspired one east-end man to make his dream of becoming a published author a reality.”

Saudi Royal Buys Landmark Crillon Hotel In Paris: BBC NEWS

12/23/10

The identity of the new buyer has not been disclosed although Groupe du Louvre, the Starwood subsidiary that runs the Crillon, said in a statement that it was an “eminent member of the Saudi royal family.”

More News and Commentary from SUSTG

Austerity measures by Iran’s government in the face of sanctions are “generating work stoppages and emboldening the political opposition,” Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi (LAT) report. “Critics contend that the price increases hurt those with modest incomes while leaving the wealthy unscathed.” ‘NEW ARTERIES’ : As sanctions squeeze Iran, the country looks for different trade arteries, Peter Kenyon (NPR) reports. “The U.S. bans American companies from selling most products to Iran. But the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, is a huge importer of American goods, and much gets redirected to Iran. But analysts are seeing signs that tougher sanctions and better enforcement are making inroads, even in this notoriously hard-to-police port.”

Settlement construction is “booming” in the West Bank after the end of Israel’s settlement construction freeze, Ethan Bronner (NYT) reports. The end of the freeze, which caused Palestinians to withdraw from peace talks, “means that if negotiations ever get back on track, there will be thousands more Israeli settlers who will have to relocate into Israel, posing new problems over how to accommodate them while creating a Palestinian state on the land where many of them are living now.”

Gaza militants fired 15 mortars or rockets into Israel on Monday and Tuesday in an unexpected flare-up two years after Israel’s devastating offensive on the Hamas-controlled coastal strip, Joshua Mitnick (CSM) reports.

There is “one institution in the Iraqi political system which will soon take on an unmistakably new look: the Council of Representatives,” writes Sean Kane (FP – Middle East Channel). “With some 213 out of 275 members losing their seats in March, Iraq’s Parliament now offers the best hope for political change and progress towards the consolidation of Iraq’s fledgling democracy.”

/The daily news is provided as a service of the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC. Visit www.SUSTG.org for more information and to get a free email subscription to the News Review./