News – 2011.12.09

Published: December 9, 2011

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

12.9.11 EDITION

Saudi Arabia to Spend Over $100bn on Nuclear, Solar: ARABIAN BUSINESS

Andy Sambidge | 12/9/11

Saudi Arabia will spend more than $100bn to build 16 nuclear energy plants over the next few years, a senior official has told a Saudi-US business forum in Atlanta. Abdullah Zainal Alireza, Commerce and Industry Minister, also said the Kingdom was keen to develop solar and other renewable energy technologies to reduce dependence on oil and gas, Saudi daily Arab News reported on Friday. ALIREZA EMPHASIZES HISTORIC TIES: Alireza emphasized the strong, historic relations between Saudi Arabia and the US and hoped the Atlanta forum would contribute to strengthening the Saudi-US partnership. The US received 95 percent of the total Saudi exports to North America valued at SR124.68 billion in 2010, a statistical report issued by the Ministry of Economy and Planning said, P.K. Abdul Ghafour (Arab News) reports.

Saudi Arabia Pumps Oil At Highest Rate For Decades: REUTERS


Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it was pumping oil at the highest rate for decades in a signal to fellow producers and buyers just a week before an OPEC meeting that it intends to meet customer demand with more output if necessary.

Half The Firms In Yellow Or Red Nitaqat Band: Labor Ministry: ARAB NEWS


About a half of private companies and establishments are in the yellow or red categories of the Nitaqat program and are therefore below their Saudization targets, local Arabic daily Al-Eqtisadiah reported Thursday quoting Labor Ministry sources.

Saudi Unemployment Benefits Delayed From November to January: BLOOMBERG


Saudi Arabia, which announced it would begin to pay unemployment benefit for the first time starting in November, has delayed payments until Jan. 1, according to a statement on the Ministry of Labor website. JEDDAH AHEAD OF MECCA IN HIRING WOMEN: Store owners of women clothing in Makkah are still discussing the directive to hire female workers, while those in Jeddah have already begun hiring Saudi saleswomen. This lagging behind on the part of Makkah’s businessmen is despite their failure to have the Ministry of Labor’s directive postponed, Saudi Gazette reports.

Kingdom, China Agree To Curb Import Of Counterfeit Goods: ARAB NEWS


Saudi Arabia and China have agreed to prepare a blacklist of exporters and importers of counterfeit goods from China, according to a senior official of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Saudi Arabia’s National Water Signs $375 Million Supply Deal: BLOOMBERG


National Water Co., Saudi Arabia’s state-owned utility, signed a 30-year agreement worth $375 million with Huta Group.

Saudi Arabia’s Al-Faisal Hints at Nuclear Arms Ambition . . . Again: WPR


Recent remarks by a prominent Saudi Arabian royal have fanned new fears that Iran’s advancing nuclear program could kick-start a nuclear arms race in the region.

Chevron Phillips Chemical Announces Completion of Construction at Saudi Polymers Company Manufacturing Facility: PRESS RELEASE


Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC (Chevron Phillips Chemical) congratulates Saudi Polymers Company (SPCo) and its joint venture partner, National Petrochemical Company, on completion of construction of the SPCo joint venture’s manufacturing facility located in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Drake & Scull Sees Strong Performance In Saudi Market: ARABIAN BUSINESS


Contract awards totaling SR2.4bn ($639m) have been won by construction firm Drake & Scull Saudi so far in 2011, the company has announced.

Thanks to Fracking, North Dakota Is the Midwest’s Own Little Saudi Arabia: THE ATLANTIC


By many measures, North Dakota is one of America’s less extraordinary states. Petroleum production is not one of those measures. Neither is the explosive popularity of hydraulic fracturing, a potentially dangerous and environmentally destructive extraction method more commonly known as “fracking”.

More News and Commentary from SUSTG


Even as the government of President Bashar al-Assad intensifies its crackdown inside Syria, differences over tactics and strategy are generating serious divisions between political and armed opposition factions that are weakening the fight against him, senior activists say, NYT reports. NEW PROTESTS TRIGGER DEADLY CLASHES: At least 14 people have been killed in renewed anti-government protests across Syria, activists says, BBC reports.


Iran is pushing the propaganda advantage after showing it captured an intact US stealth drone on a spying mission 140 miles inside Iran. Hours after Iran state TV displayed the cream-colored American bat-wing RQ-170 “Sentinel” drone – it’s undercarriage hidden by banners of a US flag, with stars replaced by skulls and marked with anti-US slogans – Iranian officials said the spy craft was proof of enduring US hostility toward Iran, CSM reports.


One civilian has been killed and at least 20 others have been hurt after an Israeli air strike on a militant base in Gaza City, Palestinian medics say, BBC reports. HAMAS REACHING OUT TO ARAB STATES: Hamas officials have contacted Arab states and other countries in order to help pressure Israel to stop its “aggression” against the Gaza Strip, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday according to Palestinian news website Al Resalah, JPost reports.


The Pakistani military is considering bolstering its air defense system along its border with Afghanistan in response to a NATO airstrike last month that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, a lawmaker told CNN.


Around 1,000 Egyptians rallied near the ancient pyramids on Friday to protest against what they said were threats by Islamic radicals to undermine tourism, one of the country’s biggest money earners, Reuters reports.


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