/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
Wael Mahdi | 1/10/11
“Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical exports reached an eight-month high in November, mainly due to strong demand from China, India and other Asian countries, government statistics showed today.”
Saudi Arabian Airlines To Join SkyTeam Alliance In 2012: WALL STREET JOURNAL
“The Saudi Arabian carrier offers SkyTeam access to 35 new destinations in the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and northern Africa through its hubs in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.”
“After more than two years of global financial crisis, the Saudi banking sector has emerged almost unscathed. But like many banking systems, during the turbulent period, both investment and loan portfolios of Saudi banks were implicated.”
Abdul Nabi Shaheen | 1/11/10
“A spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry, Major General Mansour Al Turki, has revealed that the 47 wanted Saudis whose names were announced by security forces on Sunday include leaders of Al Qaida. He added that all the wanted men are Saudis hiding outside the kingdom.” INTERPOL: Interpol has been informed about the 47 suspected al-Qaeda militants wanted by Saudi Arabia, and has issued international alerts for the men, BBC News reports.
Saudi Hasn’t Asked For Content Filtering On BlackBerry Phones-Sources: WALL STREET JOURNAL
“Saudi Arabia hasn’t asked Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) to filter Internet-accessed content on its BlackBerry smart phones in the kingdom, people familiar with the matter said Tuesday.”
Saudi Ups Wheat Reserves To Cover 1-Year Needs: TRADE ARABIA
“Saudi Arabia is boosting wheat reserves to cover its needs for a year instead of six months, the head of the kingdom’s grains authority said.”
Kingdom Considers Producing Ethanol From Waste: SAUDI GAZETTE
Querubin Minas | 1/11/10
“In line with the Saudi government’s initiative to diversify energy resources and promote clean environment at the same time, a US company is introducing an innovative, versatile biofuel solution to produce ethanol using waste paper and whey as feedstocks.”
On a surprise trip, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Yemen today for a visit that’s intended to strengthen U.S.-Yemeni diplomatic relations. The trip is the first to Yemen made by a US Secretary of State since 1990, Joby Warrick (Washington Post) reports.
An Israeli airstrike killed one in Gaza yesterday, the AP reports. NETANYAHU: “Rebuffing U.S. criticism of a new housing project for Jews in an Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office said Monday that the project was a private initiative in which the government ‘was not involved,’” Joel Greenberg (Washington Post) reports. EAST JERUSALEM: The Christian Science Monitor lists five of the more controversial neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.
Analysts are currently rushing out their forecasts for 2011’s oil price, writes Kiran Stacey (FT-Energy Source) “and one thing that almost everyone seems agreed on is this: oil prices will remain high.”
A human rights lawyer has been sentenced to 11 years in prison and has been disallowed from practicing law for 20, Meris Lutz (Babylon and Beyond) reports. The US State department was quick to condemn the sentence.
The Obama Administration’s calculations that Iran’s nuclear program has suffered setbacks “have lowered the temperature on what had been 2010’s hottest strategic issue. Last summer, Jerusalem and Washington were talking themselves into a war fever, prompted in part by a powerful article in the Atlantic by Jeffrey Goldberg that starkly described the likelihood of military action,” writes David Ignatius (Washington Post). “This fever seems to have broken.”
George Friedman (Stratfor) writes that Iran has “clearly learned from the North Koreans, who have turned their nuclear program into a framework for entangling five major powers (the United States, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea) into treating North Korea as their diplomatic equal. For North Korea, whose goal since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the absorption of China with international trade has come down to regime survival, being treated as a serious power has been a major diplomatic coup. The mere threat of nuclear weapons development has succeeded in doing that. When you step back and consider that North Korea’s economy is among the most destitute of Third World countries and its nuclear capability is far from proven, getting to be the one being persuaded to talk with five major powers (and frequently refusing and then being coaxed) has been quite an achievement.”