/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
US President Barack Obama demanded Damascus “immediately” halt its crackdown on protesters, as activists said Syrian troops killed at least three people in raids on Latakia and other towns. ‘SHARED, DEEP CONCERNS:’ “President Obama spoke by phone Saturday with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and British Prime Minister David Cameron about Syria, and the leaders again called on the Syrian regime to end the “brutal campaign of violence” against its own people, David Savage (LAT) reports. “The White House said the president and the Saudi king “expressed their shared, deep concerns” about the violence in Syria and said it must “end immediately.”
Mideast Upheavals Open Doors for Saudi Strategies: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Brian Murphy | 8/13/11
“The more decisive policies by King Abdullah were on full display this week as he took the lead among Arab nations by yanking his ambassador from Syria and demanding an “end to the killing machine” of President Bashar Assad’s regime in a startlingly strong condemnation of Damascus’ bloody suppression of protesters. “It was the first time the predominantly Sunni kingdom has weighed in publicly on Syria’s upheaval — and demonstrated the Saudis’ willingness to shift gears dramatically as needed.”
Where do the Saudis Stand?: SUSRIS
Patrick W. Ryan | 8/12/11
The assessment of where Saudi Arabia fits into the Arab Spring began with discussions about the Kingdom’s own vulnerabilities to the turmoil that was sweeping the region after unrest led to the downfall of regimes in Tunisia and Egypt early in the year.
Saudi Banks Net SR15.7 Bn in First Half: EMIRATES 24/7
Saudi Arabia’s banks earned nearly SR15.72 billion in the first half of 2011 and the annual profits are expected to be higher than in 2010 because of credit recovery and lower provisions, according to official data.
Glen Carey | 8/14/11
Saudi Arabia bought 660,000 metric tons of hard wheat from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Canada for delivery from November to February, the Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization said.
The Saudis Can’t Afford an Oil Price Slump: TELEGRAPH
Garry White and Rowena Mason | 8/15/11
“Of course, Opec can cut output to boost prices, but reports last week suggested that the cartel was not planning to get together before the next scheduled meeting in December.” SAUDIS ‘ENTICING ASIAN BUYERS’: “Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is enticing Asian refiners to buy more of the kingdom’s crude at the expense of other Middle Eastern producers that are offering more barrels on the spot market, as long-term buyers pare purchases of their grades,” Al Bawaba reports.
MODON to Set Up 40 Industrial Cities by 2015: ARAB NEWS
The Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON) is set to achieve a target of setting up 40 industrial cities throughout the Kingdom by 2015, according to its Director General Tawfiq bin Fawzan Alrabiah.
Stop Stereotyping Saudi Workers: Fakeih: ARAB NEWS
Muhammad Al-Sulami | 8/15/11
Labor Minister Adel Fakeih has emphasized the need to remove misconceptions and stereotypes about Saudi workers by highlighting the success stories of young local men and women in order to improve their job prospects.
Mourad Haroutunian | 8/15/11
“Saudi Arabia reported a 60 percent decline in the amounts written on bounced checks by the end of the second quarter, al-Eqtisadiah reported, citing Saudi Credit Bureau General Manager Nabil Al-Mubarak.”
Saudi Arabia to Have 10-Days of Eid Al Fitr Holidays: EMIRATES 24/7
Saudi Arabia’s civil servants will be given a 10-day holiday to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and the start of Eid Al Fitr, newspapers in the Gulf Kingdom reported on Monday.
LIBYA: SECURITY CHIEF ARRIVES IN CAIRO IN APPARENT DEFECTION
“The Libyan security chief arrived unexpectedly with his family in Cairo on Monday in an apparent high-level defection from the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi as the rebels challenging his rule seized ground in a strategic oil port just 30 miles from his Tripoli stronghold,” David D. Kirkpatrick and Kareem Fahim (NYT) report. REBEL FIGHTERS ADVANCE ON SEVERAL FRONTS, THREATEN KEY SUPPLY LINES: “After a period of political turmoil, fighters opposing Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi advanced on several fronts on Sunday, seizing ground in the strategic city of Zawiyah that placed them on Tripoli’s doorstep and threatening to cut off an important supply line for the colonel’s loyalists,” Kareem Fahim (NYT) reports.
SYRIA: WARSHIPS USED TO POUND COSTAL CITY AS UNREST CONTINUES, STRENGTHENS
“Syrian security forces escalated their two-day assault on the restive coastal city of Lattakia on Sunday, reportedly shelling residential districts of the city from navy warships moored in the Mediterranean Sea.
According to a witness cited by the Reuters news agency, at least two warships could be seen firing on the religiously mixed city, which has a population of about 650,000 and hosts a major port,” Borzou Daragahi (LAT) reports. SYRIAN SOAP OPERAS IN RAMADAN: Dozens of surprisingly candid, and hugely popular, soap operas that the government-backed TV industry produces every year for Ramadan are still going on despite the ongoing political turmoil,” Ellen Knickmeyer (LAT) reports. “Muslim families around the world settle in to watch the late-night dramas after the heavy meals that break their daytime fasts.”
IRAQ: WAVE OF ATTACKS LEAVES AT LEAST 57 DEAD
“Insurgents across Iraq launched their most significant and wide-ranging attacks in months on Monday, killing 68 people and wounding over 300, marking the most violent day in Iraq this year,” Michael Schmidt and Yasir Ghazi (NYT) report.
ISRAEL: COUNTRY PROTESTS COSTLY HOUSING, BUT NOT COST OF SETTLEMENTS
“The Israeli government, facing unprecedented public protests over the soaring cost of housing, yesterday announced it is advancing plans for thousands of new homes in contested East Jerusalem,” Joshua Mitnick (CSM) writes. “But critics argue that the cost of building in contested territory is partially to blame for Israel’s economic woes,” Joshua Mitnick (CSM) writes.
PAKISTAN: U.S. LINKS PAKISTANI AID TO PERFORMANCE
“The White House has started conditioning the award of billions of dollars in security assistance to Pakistan on whether Islamabad shows progress on a secret scorecard of U.S. objectives to combat al Qaeda and its militant allies. The U.S. also is asking Pakistan to take specific steps to ease bilateral tensions,” Adam Entous and Siobhan Gorman (WSJ) report. CHINESE REPORTEDLY GET PEEK AT SECRET SEAL CHOPPER: Mark Thompson (TIME) writes that, “Pakistan has let the Chinese study — and take samples from — the stealthy MH-60 helicopter used by Navy SEALs in their raid that killed Osama bin Laden May 2, the London-based Financial Times reported Monday.”
AFGHANISTAN: PERSISTENT WAR BEGETS WIDOWS WHO LEARN TO COPE TOGETHER
More than 30 years of war in Afghanistan has mass-produced widows in Afghanistan, writes Joshua Partlow (Washington Post). “And in a society that offers them little, women have created their own community.”
/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./</h4></div>