News – 2011-01-06

Published: January 6, 2011
SUSRIS Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/

1.6.11 EDITION

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Saudis: FOREIGN POLICY

Steve Levine | 1/4/11

“News from the Middle East and elsewhere exhorts the United States not to distance itself from Saudi Arabia, but in fact to more fully embrace this definitively central relationship. The reasons include top-tier U.S. strategic priorities regarding Iran, terrorism, Afghanistan, and of course oil.”

Former Militant Slams Media For Linking Al-Qaeda To Saudi Arabia: ARAB NEWS

Muhammad Al-Sulami | 1/5/11

“Accusing the media of trying to link Al-Qaeda to Saudi Arabia, Jaber Al-Fifi, a former militant who was No. 20 on the Kingdom’s list of 85 most-wanted terrorists, told the Saudi Channel 1 on Tuesday evening that the organization depends primarily on non-Saudi recruits in Afghanistan under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden.”

Why OPEC Doesn’t Deserve Sour Grapes: WALL STREET JOURNAL

Benoit Faucon |The Source (Blog) | 1/5/11

“The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is bracing itself against demands from some of its members who want higher prices. At the same time, it is accused by consumers of not doing its bit to squash a new oil price hike as it refuses to lift a two-year cap on production.”

Saudi Parliament to Debate Allowing Women To Drive: ARABIAN BUSINESS


“Saudi Arabia’s appointed parliament is set to debate a law to break a long-standing ban on women to drive cars after receiving a letter signed by more than 100 people, newspapers in the Gulf kingdom reported on Wednesday.”

Divorced Women in Kingdom Struggle To Find Social Acceptance: ARAB NEWS

Rima Al-Mukhtar | 1/5/11

“To be a divorcee in Saudi society is like having a scarlet letter burned on the chest. Many women who happen to leave marriages are forced into a life of shame; for some this is so much that they remain perpetually hidden behind closed doors.”

Will $100 Oil Threaten Economic Recovery?: ATLANTIC WIRE

Uri Friedman | 1/5/11

As commodity prices surge, oil is fast approaching $100 a barrel.

More News and Commentary from SUSTG

“The increasing radicalization of Pakistani society was laid bare Wednesday when the nation’s mainstream religious organizations applauded the murder of provincial governor Salman Taseer earlier this week, while his killer was showered with rose petals as he appeared in court,” Saeed Shah (McClatchy) reports.

Anti-US cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr’s arrival back in Iraq is the latest example of waning American influence there, Saad Fakhrildeen, Ned Parker and Salar Jaff (LAT) report. “Sadr’s surprise homecoming comes months after his supporters won 40 seats in the Iraqi parliament, allowing the Iranian-backed cleric to play a decisive role in Prime Minister Nouri Maliki securing a new term late last year after a lengthy period of political deadlock.”

In Egypt, with “parliamentary elections now behind it, the government plans to launch a second round of reforms. While they will not be as radical as those introduced in 2004, Rachid Mohamed Rachid, minister of investment, trade and industry, says this series of policies will address problems that have become apparent over the past six years,” Robin Wigglesworth (FT) reports.

The Obama Administration “has decided to send an additional 1,400 Marine combat forces to Afghanistan, officials said, in a surprise move ahead of the spring fighting season to try to cement tentative security gains before White House-mandated troop reductions begin in July,” Adam Entous and Julian E. Barnes (WSJ) report.

Reuters reports that passengers aboard a Turkish Airlines flight from Oslo “overpowered a would-be hijacker as the plane landed at Istanbul airport on Wednesday.”

“A key chapter from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill‘s final report shows the panel is pulling no punches in assigning blame for last April’s oil rig explosion,” writes Elizabeth Shogren (NPR). “The commission outlines what went wrong on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, detailing one mistake after another that BP and its contractors made on the rig and onshore.”

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