/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
U.S. Denies Deterring Saudi Arabia In Efforts With Syrians: THE DAILY STAR
“The United States did not discourage Saudi Arabia from pursuing efforts with Syria to break Lebanon’s political impasse and blames Hizbullah for nurturing the current crisis, a U.S. diplomatic source told The Daily Star Wednesday.” GOVERNMENT ‘COLLAPSES’: “The U.S. offered strong support for Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri as his fragile government collapsed Wednesday over an investigation of the assassination of the former prime minister, his father,” Borzou Daragahi (LAT) reports.
“Saudi Arabia does not currently plan to fully open up its stock market — the Arab world’s biggest — to outside investors, the head of the kingdom’s regulator said on Wednesday, according to CNBC Arabiya.”
Abdul Nabi Shaheen | 1/12/11
“Jaber Al Fifi, a former militant who was once on the Saudi list of wanted terrorists, said Al Qaida’s assassination attempt on Prince Mohammad Bin Naif, Saudi assistant interior minister for security affairs and son of interior minister, was aimed at stopping militants from surrendering to authorities.”
Wael Mahdi | 1/12/11
“Saudi Aramco said a new very large crude carrier entered service with its tanker-operating subsidiary Vela International Marine Ltd.”
3,000 Years Of Mining At The ‘Cradle Of Gold’: SAUDI GAZETTE
Muhammad Al-Ahmadi | 1/13/11
“The gold and silver mine at Mahd Al-Dhahab is the largest in the Kingdom, producing approximately 100,000 ounces of gold and 300,000 ounces of silver per year,” but is plagued by environmental concerns.
Walaa Hawari | 1/13/11
“A Saudi lawyer has raised concerns at a recent Ministry of Culture and Information announcement that requires anyone who writes for the Web to register with it.”
Zahra Hankir | 1/13/11
“Credit Suisse Group AG recommends equities in Saudi Arabia because of the possibility of an easing of foreign ownership restrictions in the Persian Gulf’s biggest stock exchange.”
President Barack Obama, facing the challenge of uniting the nation after the attempted assassination of a congresswoman from Arizona that left six dead including a child, urged Americans in a major speech on Wednesday not to point fingers at one another, but to “expand our moral imaginations” and to “sharpen our instincts for empathy,” the Chicago Tribune reports. Commentators from both sides of the political aisle have praised Obama’s speech as one of the landmark addresses of his Presidency thus far. (CLICK HERE to watch a video of the speech)
Vice President Joe Biden, in Iraq on Thursday, reiterated with the Iraqi PM that the United States is committed to the withdrawal of all US troops from the country by the end of this year, Liz Sly (Washington Post) reports.
A spokesman for the Iraqi government said on Tuesday that the “Iraqi government is investigating a shootout on Monday between an Iraqi fishing boat and a Kuwaiti Coast Guard vessel in the Persian Gulf that left a Kuwaiti serviceman dead and five fishermen briefly in Kuwaiti custody,” John Leland and Omar Al-Jawoshy (NYT) reports.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted Arab governments for corruption and stalled political reforms Thursday and warned that extremist groups were exploiting this lack of democratic development to promote radical agendas in the Middle East and North Africa,” Jay Solomon (WSJ) reports.
The United States continues to funnel money to troubled Afghan projects, Marisa Taylor and Dion Nissenbaum (McClatchy) reports. “In the rush to rebuild Afghanistan, the U.S. government has charged ahead with ever-expanding development programs despite questions about their impact, cost and value to America’s multi-billion-dollar campaign to shore up the pro-Western Afghan president and prevent Taliban insurgents from seizing control.”
“Despite recent assessments from Israeli intelligence that Iran’s nuclear program has slowed down and that Iran won’t be able to produce a weapon before 2015, a fact confirmed by Secretary of State Clinton this week, Benjamin Netanyahu is still pushing for war,” writes Robert Dreyfuss (The Nation).
Marc Lynch (Foreign Policy – Abu Aardvark) asks, where are the democracy promoters on Tunisia?