/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
Angus McDowall | 1/31/12
Saudi Arabia is reluctant to host talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban without concessions from the Islamist movement including renouncing its ties to al Qaeda, sources in Riyadh and Kabul said on Tuesday. TALIBAN DENIES TALKS: The Afghan Taliban have denied planning to hold preliminary peace talks with representatives from the Afghan government in Saudi Arabia. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said media reports about an upcoming meeting in the kingdom were “not true,” BBC reports.
Jordy Yager | 1/31/12
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned a Senate panel that a 2011 plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, which U.S. officials say was hatched in Iran, indicates that Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his government are willing to launch attacks in the United States.
Saudi Arabia’s oil production appears to be “ramping up” and can fill some of the demand shortfalls caused by sanctions on Iranian exports, CIA Director David Petraeus said on Tuesday.
US Ambassador Hosts Art Exhibition: ARAB NEWS
Abdul Hannan Tago | 2/1/12
US Ambassador to Riyadh James B. Smith and his wife Dr. Janet Breslin-Smith hosted on Sunday night at their Riyadh residence the “ART in Embassies” exhibition dubbed “Connecting Families,” which was attended by media and both Saudi and American artists.
Part 2 of the 12 part Distant Arabia video series courtesy of Selwa Press. The majority of the film clips posted on the Selwa Video You Tube channel are comprised of films taken in Saudi Arabia between 1937 and 1940 by Tom Barger, Les Snyder and Jerry Harriss. They are among the few moving pictures that record that critical and brief moment in the country’s history when an ancient pastoral way of life was coming to an abrupt end, to be replaced by an industrial society. Many of the Bedouin depicted had never seen an automobile let alone a movie camera before these men arrived. The herds of camels, once the lifeblood of Bedouin life, would become irrelevant. The dhows of the Gulf replaced by motor launches, the date oases, the very anchor of the Al Hasa economy, would become all but insignificant. All that remains of those days are these flickering images from a time before oil.
Saudi Mulls Labour, Financial, Legal Reforms: KHALEEJ TIMES
In a cavernous exhibition hall on the outskirts of Riyadh, dozens of young Saudi women, clad in full-length black abayas and veils, stroll between corporate booths in search of jobs.
Each has completed a 3-1/2 hour aptitude test that gives her scores for 10 behavioral characteristics and two types of cognitive ability. The results are shown to as many as 81 potential employers which schedule job interviews using a centralized, online system.
Ayesha Daya | 2/1/12
Saudi Arabia has nominated Majid al- Moneef to become the next secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Reuters reported, citing an unidentified Gulf official.
Lockheed Martin held its first Industry Collaboration Forum Jan. 29-30 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, launching an effort geared toward strengthening relationships with local industry and creating opportunities for new partnerships.
Electrical engineering company ABB Ltd Wednesday said it has won orders worth more than $250 million from the Saudi Electricity Company (5110.SA) to construct new substations and reinforce existing ones in the country to address its growing demand for electricity.
Saudi Claims To Hack Syria President’s Email: EMIRATES 24|7
A hacker based out of Saudi Arabia, identified as Salman Al Anzi, claims to have hacked the private email account of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad, Saudi-based Arabic newspaper Al Madina reported. The hacker also claimed to have hacked into several Syrian ministries, including the Ministry of Information.
IRAN: UN NUKE INSPECTORS HAIL ‘GOOD’ TALKS WITH IRAN
The leader of a United Nations nuclear inspection team said Wednesday that their visit to Iran had been a “good trip,” and announced plans to revisit Tehran “in the very near future.”
The remarks by mission leader Herman Nackaerts indicated some progress on the team’s quest to wrest information from Iran about allegations that it is secretly working on an atomic arms program, MSNBC reports. OPINION: WEANING INDIAN OFF IRAN: How should India respond to U.S.-led efforts to halt Iran’s suspected rogue nuclear weapons program? An India that uses its oil purchases and diplomatic clout to create breathing room for Iran risks scuppering the notion New Delhi has benefited from for more than a decade: that India’s rise is beneficial to the West, WSJ reports. CHINA LOOKS BOTH WAYS ON IRAN OIL: China’s response to calls from the West to join an oil embargo penalizing Iran for its nuclear program so far has been to choose the middle course typical of its non-interfering foreign policy of the last 30 years – denouncing sanctions on one hand yet working to protect its national interests on many fronts, Al Jazeera reports.
AFGHANISTAN: TALIBAN POISED TO TAKE BACK COUNTRY AFTER NATO LEAVES, THE US MILITARY SAYS
The U.S. military said in a secret report that the Taliban, backed by Pakistan, are set to retake control of Afghanistan after NATO-led forces withdraw, raising the prospect of a major failure of Western policy after a costly war, Hamid Shalizi and Mirwais Harooni (Reuters) reports.
SYRIA: PRESSURE AT UN ON RUSSIA AFTER REFUSAL TO CONDEMN SYRIA
The battle over Syria moved to the United Nations on Tuesday with Western powers and much of the Arab world confronting Russia and its allies in the Security Council over their refusal to condemn the Syrian government for its violent suppression of popular protests, Neil Macfarquhar (NYT) reports. WHY NO WORLD UPROAR?: Grainy videos depict the violence that has killed at least 6,000 Syrians, but the prospects for international intervention appear dim. Is the world inured to the ubiquitous images? CSM reports.
EUROPE: LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE BOMB PLOT ADMITTED BY FOUR MEN
Four men inspired by al-Qaeda have admitted planning to detonate a bomb at the London Stock Exchange, BBC reports.
ISRAEL: NETANYAHU WINS LIKUD CHAIRMANSHIP
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was victorious in the Likud Party chairmanship race, though his only challenger garnered about 24 percent of the vote, JTA reports.
PAKISTAN: ANTHRAX SENT TO PREMIER’S OFFICE
A university professor sent a packet containing anthrax to the office of Pakistan’s prime minister in October last year, his spokesman said Wednesday, an incident that will fuel security concerns in a country that is home to top al-Qaida leaders and other extremists, the AP reports.
TURKEY: WARNINGS FOR EUROPE OVER MOUNTING RACISM, ISLAMOPHOBIA
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday warned of rising racism and Islamophobia in Europe as he once again denounced a recent French bill outlawing denial of Armenian genocide, the Daily Star reports.
/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>