/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
Higher Education: the Path to Progress for Saudi Women: WORLD POLICY
Valentine Pasquesoone | 10/18/11
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah announced on September 25th that in 2015 women would have the right to vote and run in municipal elections. In a country where female citizens are not allowed to drive, it was an extraordinary moment to have the ruler say publicly, “We refuse to marginalize women in our society.” IPU GROUP LAUDS KING’S EFFORTS ON WOMEN: The Inter-Parliamentary Union’s women’s group has commended the efforts of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for allowing women to take up positions in the Shoura and municipal councils, according to Shoura Council Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh, Md Rasooldeen (Arab News) reports. WOMEN ON SHURA COUNCIL: WHAT NEXT?: “The recent decision by Saudi King Abdullah to allow women to run and vote in municipal elections and become members of the Shura Council, a parliament that acts as an advisory council to the King but has no legislative powers, has huge implications for the status of women in Saudi Arabia and has provided them with hope for what they may accomplish with their new roles,” Samar Fatany (Global Arab Network) writes.
Iran Says Saudi Plot Defendant Belongs to Exile Group: NEW YORK TIMES
Rick Gladstone | 10/18/11
“Iran injected a new twist on Tuesday into the week-old American accusation of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, asserting that one of the defendants really belongs to an outlawed and exiled opposition group.” BRITAIN FREEZES ASSETS OF SUSPECTS IN ALLEGED IRANIAN PLOT: Henry Chu (Los Angeles Times) writes, “Britain has followed the United States in freezing the assets of five men implicated in an alleged Iranian plot to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington.”
Why Do Hajj? 5 Questions Answered: CNN (Blog)
“About 3 million Muslims from more than 100 countries will pack the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, next month for Hajj, the biggest pilgrimage on the planet. What’s it all about? We turned to Brown University Muslim chaplain and CNN iReporter Robert David Coolidge and Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, for a primer.” HAJJ RULES TO ASSIST PILGRIMS: “All Haj pilgrims should understand that the rules and regulations issued by the Saudi government are meant to ensure proper organization during the holy journey and not to inconvenience anyone, said Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Khedairi, the Undersecretary of the Makkah Emirate and Chairman of the Haj Preparatory and Executive Committee,” Saudi Gazette reports.
Business Optimism Index ‘At An All-Time High’: SAUDI GAZETTE
Shahid Ali Khan | 10/18/11
“Undaunted by the instability in the region about 51 percent of the companies in the non-hydrocarbon sector have plans to invest in business expansion, said Dr. Said Al-Shaikh, Group Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of National Commercial Bank (NCB) in Riyadh, Tuesday.”
Wael Mahdi | 10/18/11
“The kingdom pumped 9.76 million barrels a day, compared with 9.61 million barrels in July, statistics posted today on the initiative’s website show. The crude data includes condensates and excludes natural-gas liquids.” SAUDIS USED 4% LESS CRUDE IN AUGUST AFTER BURNING MORE GAS: Wael Mahdi (Bloomberg) reports, “The country, the world’s largest crude exporter, consumed an average 1.79 million barrels a day of oil, compared with 1.87 million barrels a year earlier.” ARAB SPRING DISRUPTS ENERGY INVESTMENT: “The Arab Spring has disrupted investment plans in oil and gas projects as some governments in the region have shifted their focus to meet increasing demands from their population,” Reuters in Arab News reports.
Saudi Arabian Grain Imports Set to Increase 7%: BUSINESSWEEK
Rudy Ruitenberg | 10/18/11
“Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest barley importer, is set to raise total grain purchases by 7 percent in the 2011-12 marketing year amid reduced production of water-intensive crops, the United Nations said.”
Saudi Arabian Mobily’s Net Profit Rises 8%: WALL STREET JOURNAL
Summer Said | 10/18/11
“Saudi Arabia’s Etihad Etisalat Co. (7020.SA), better known as Mobily, Tuesday posted an 8% rise in third-quarter net profit on improved operational efficiency and higher data revenue, but the results missed analysts’ expectations.”
Kingdom Only Country In Gulf To Witness IPO Activity In Q3: SAUDI GAZETTE
“Saudi Arabia is the sole country in the region to register an IPO activity in the third quarter of this year with two listings on the Tadawul, said Ernst & Young in its Q3’11 MENA IPO Update. United Wire Factories of Saudi Arabia ($88.3 million) was listed in August 2011 and Hail Cement Company ($130.5 million) was listed in September 2011.” SAUDI BANKS CHEER INVESTORS: Bank earnings in Saudi Arabia and Qatar brought some confidence to hard-pressed regional investors this week, although they are less excited about numbers due to come out of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, FT reports.
NWC To Award Sr2.9bn Contracts: ARAB NEWS
Sarah Abdullah | 10/18/11
“The National Water Company (NWC) has said it will award contracts worth SR2.9 billion for 55 water and wastewater projects in Riyadh and Jeddah by the second quarter of 2012.”
For Saudi Terror Suspects, A Legal Fog: MEDIA LINE
Rob L. Wagner | 10/19/11
The trials of suspected terrorists this month in Saudi Arabia bring good news and bad news. The good news is that accused extremists are getting their day in court after as long as five years of detention without trial. The bad news is that justice remains elusive.
ISRAEL: HARD FEELINGS TEST ISRAEL-HAMAS PRISON DEAL
Just off the bus in Gaza after six years in an Israeli prison, one of hundreds traded to Hamas for an Israeli soldier, Wafa al-Bass declared her next goal: abduct more Israeli soldiers. Others who returned said they could not feel satisfaction until the thousands of remaining Palestinian prisoners were freed. And Israelis, at first thrilled at the sight of their liberated soldier, were angered by how he looked — frail, wan and underfed, Ethan Bronner (NYT) writes.
LIBYA: NEW AID FROM CLINTON VISIT
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday offered Libya’s provisional government a wide range of new assistance during an unannounced visit to the capital, Tripoli.
The aid package includes help treating the war wounded and securing large numbers of weapons, which the Obama administration fears could fall into the hands of militants, State Department officials say, LAT reports.
BAHRAIN: $53 MILLION ARMS PACKAGE
Washington has finalized a $53 million weapons package for Bahrain to help protect it from foreign aggression, a top US diplomat revealed yesterday. The deal, which includes armoured Humvees and missiles, had drawn criticism after some wrongly claimed they could be used against Bahraini civilians, Trade Arabia reports.
TUNISIA: SALE OF BEN ALI YACHTS CREATES POLITICAL CHALLENGE
Tunisians control stakes in Orange Tunisie, Banque de Tunisie and about 100 other companies, as well as 500 houses and villas and 18 yachts, all seized by the new government after Ben Ali fled in January. Deciding whether to sell those assets will be a central task of the assembly being elected on Oct. 23 to write Tunisia’s constitution, Bloomberg reports.
LIBYA: OIL SECTOR NEEDS $30 BILLION TO REACH 3M BPD
“Raising Libya’s oil production to 3 million barrels per day by 2015 will cost about $30 billion, the head of France’s trade commission UbiFrance said on Monday, after traveling with French firms to Tripoli to meet interim government officials, Reuters reports.
TURKEY: MILITARY OPERATION LAUNCHED AGAINST REBELS
Turkey has launched a military operation against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, hours after the militants killed 24 soldiers and wounded 18 in attacks in southeastern Turkey near the Iraqi border. Earlier reports put the number of Turkish soldiers killed at 26, VOA reports.
AFGHANISTAN: US STEPS UP ASSAULTS ON HAQQANI NETWORK
Explosions and gunfire erupted in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan Tuesday as U.S.-led international forces and Afghan soldiers began what seemed likely to become a new, coordinated offensive against insurgents whom American officials blame for a series of recent major terrorist attacks in Kabul, McClatchy reports.
UNITED STATES: STRATEGY ON WARFARE IN CYBERSPACE WEIGHED
The four-star Air Force general who oversees Pentagon efforts in cyberspace acknowledged Tuesday that the Defense Department had more work to do in clarifying the military’s doctrine for waging offensive computer warfare and setting up rules of engagement to guide specific cyber attacks, Thom Shanker (NYT) writes.
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