News – 2012.02.13

Published: February 13, 2012

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

2.13.12 EDITION

Saudi Banks Profits At 5-Year High: EMIRATES 24|7

2/13/12

Saudi Arabia’s banks earned nearly SR30.9 billion in 2011 to net their highest income since 2006 as a result of a pick up in domestic credit and lower loan loss provisions, according to official data.

33% of Saudi Firms ‘Definitely Hiring In the Next 3 Months’: ARAB NEWS

2/13/12

The latest Job Index survey conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov has shown that Saudi Arabia’s hiring expectancy in the coming months is slightly lower than it was in the fourth quarter of 2011. Most jobs in the coming three months will be for junior executives in the private sector, with a preference for computer science, commerce and business management qualifications across the region.

Young Saudis Trained In Construction Trades: ARAB NEWS

Galal Fakkar | 2/13/12

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal attended the graduation ceremony of the first batch of 300 Saudi youths who have completed training in various vocations in the construction industry such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters and technicians. Addressing the function at the headquarters of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the governor said this is a serious step toward establishing partnerships among various sections of the Saudi society for the development of Makkah province.

Hiring Female Shop Attendants in Saudi Raises Profits, Reduces Returns: AL ARABIYA

2/12/12

One month after responding to calls for hiring female shop attendants at women’s wear stores, Saudi investors in the field met to assess the outcome of the change. In a meeting held at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, Saudi businessmen working in women’s clothing found that replacing male shop attendants with female ones, especially in lingerie stores, has had many positive results, the Saudi newspaper al-Eqtisadiah reported.

Saudi Telecom Mobily Secures $2.7 Billion Shariah Compliant Refinancing Deal: WASHINGTON POST

Associated Press | 2/12/12

Saudi Arabian telecom firm Etihad Etisalat says it has secured a 10 billion riyal ($2.7 billion) Shariah-compliant loan from seven banks that allows its to consolidate several other loans into one.

Saudi Arabia Approves $5.6 Billion Expansion in Jubail, SPA Says: BLOOMBERG

Mourad Haroutunian | 2/12/12

Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu gave approval for companies to invest 21.2 billion riyals ($5.6 billion) in projects at Jubail Industrial City, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing a signing ceremony.

Saudi Arabia expecting $ 187 billion revenue in 2012: GLOBAL ARAB NETWORK

2/13/12

Driven in part by state spending on infrastructure, housing and social development projects, Saudi Arabia’s economy is set for a year of solid growth. Longer-term predictions, however, are factoring in the uncertain state of the global economy.

Policing the Religious Police in Saudi Arabia: ARAB NEWS

Khalid Alnowaiser | 2/13/12

Recently, the Saudi government appointed a new president for the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice who is known to be a more open-minded and progressive thinker. However, the problem is not so much with the individuals on the commission but with the institution itself and how it operates.

Saudi Writer Wins Plagiarism Case against Prominent Cleric: AL AKHBAR ENGLISH

Mariam Abdallah | 2/12/12

A young female Saudi writer sued a prominent cleric for stealing her work and won, despite a campaign of defamation against her. Saudi female author Salwa Aededan won her lawsuit against prominent cleric Sheikh Ayad al-Qarni.

Malaysia Deports Saudi Journalist Accused Of Insulting Prophet On Twitter: WASHINGTON POST

2/12/12

Malaysian authorities on Sunday deported a young Saudi journalist accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter, a police official said. The move came despite concerns from rights groups that he may be persecuted at home. SAUDI ARRESTS BLOGGER: Saudi Arabia’s authorities arrested blogger Hamza Kashghari at Riyadh’s international airport for criticizing Islam after being deported from Malaysia, Arab News reported, without saying where it got the information, Glen Carey (Bloomberg) reports. MALAYSIA DEFENDS DEPORTATION: Malaysia’s government on Monday defended its decision to deport a young Saudi journalist who may face persecution at home for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter, Boston Globe reports.

Saudi Arabia Awards $160 Million in Rebuilding Deals, SPA Says: BLOOMBERG

Mourad Haroutunian | 2/13/12

Saudi Arabia awarded contracts valued at 600 million riyals ($160 million) to rehabilitate areas affected during the 1991 Gulf War, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing Prince Turki Bin Nasser Bin Abdulaziz, the president of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment.

Foster Wheeler Awarded EPCm Contract for Propylene Oxide Unit in Saudi Arabia for Sadara Chemical Company: PRESS RELEASE

Foster Wheeler AG announced today that subsidiaries of its Global Engineering and Construction Group have been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCm) contract by Aramco Overseas Company B.V. (AOC), a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, and by Dow Europe Holding B.V. (Dow) for a propylene oxide (PO) unit at Jubail Industrial City in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia Says Elements Are Firing on Awwamiya Forces: BLOOMBERG

Glen Carey | 2/12/12

Saudi Arabia blamed “a number of elements” for trying to provoke violence by firing on security forces in Awwamiya, a Shiite village in the nation’s eastern oil-producing region.

Saudi Arabia: How Long Will We Watch Syrian Massacres?:  ARAB NEWS

2/13/12

Arab foreign ministers agreed on Sunday to back the Syrian opposition and called for a joint UN-Arab peacekeeping mission in Syria, after their meeting in Cairo on Sunday.

Saudi Municipality Steps Up Restaurant Inspections: ARABIAN BUSINESS

Elizabeth Broomhall | 2/13/12

Authorities in the Saudi Arabian town of Yanbu are stepping up their inspections of local restaurants this year after detecting 45 cases of bacterial contamination in 2011, local media have reported.

More News and Commentary from SUSTG

SYRIA: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO THE ASSAD CLAN

Slate.com provides an illustrated guide to Syria’s “First Family,” and asks how long it can cling to power. ARAB LEAGUE SEEKS PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN SYRIA: The Arab League asked the United Nations Security Council on Sunday to send a peacekeeping mission to Syria, and it called on Arab nations to sever diplomatic relations with Damascus in an effort to pressure the government to end the violence there, Liam Stack and Neil Macfarquhar (NYT) report. VIDEO: SHOULD THE WEST INTERVENE?: On his show, GPS, Fareed Zakaria hosts three great guests to talk about whether or not the West should intervene in Syria. Fawaz Gerges joins from London. He is the director of the Middle East Study Center of the London School of Economics. Elliott Abrams was the Deputy National Security Advisor for President George W. Bush. He lives in D.C. And in Beirut, Rami Khouri runs the International Affairs Program at the American University. Here’s a link to the transcript of the discussion.

EGYPT: CONSERVATIVE PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL SAYS ISLAM ‘GIVES NO FREEDOM’

Egypt’s firebrand and controversial ultra-conservative presidential hopeful Hazem Saleh Abu Ismail said in a recent interview that Islam gives no guarantees of personal freedom, Joseph Mayton (BikyaMasr.com) reports. ARMY URGES GOOD US TIES: Egypt’s military ruler stressed the importance of good ties with the United States in a meeting with the government on Sunday, a message that could signal an attempt to ease a crisis triggered by an Egyptian probe targeting American democracy activists, Reuters reports.

IRAN: LESSONS FROM THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR

This policy brief seeks to contribute to and inform the debate concerning a possible attack by the United States and/or Israel on Iranian nuclear and military facilities. The presumed aim of such an attack would be to weaken the Islamic Republic, particularly by hindering its ability to build a nuclear weapon. However, the history of the Iraqi invasion of Iran in September 1980 calls into question the contention that an attack will weaken the regime in Tehran, writes Annie Tracy Samuel (Muftah.org). PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER SENTENCED: An Iranian news agency says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s former press adviser has been sentenced to six months in jail, AP/NPR reports.

ISRAEL: BOMBS TARGET EMBASSIES ABROAD

Bombers targeted staff at Israel’s embassies in India and Georgia on Monday, wounding four people, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of involvement, Dan Williams (Reuters) reports.

PAKISTAN: SUPREME COURT INDICTS PRIME MINISTER FOR CONTEMPT

The Pakistani Supreme Court on Monday indicted Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for contempt after his steadfast refusal to revive old corruption cases against the country’s president, CNN reports.

EUROPE: MAN HELD AFTER THREAT ON AMSTERDAM AIRPORT

A major disruption at Amsterdam’s busy Schiphol Airport ended Monday after military police arrested a man who had locked himself in a toilet, claiming to have a bomb, officials said, AP reports.

AFGHANISTAN: SENIOR AFGHAN TALIBAN LEADER, MULLAH OBAIDULLAH, IS DEAD

The Afghan Taliban have announced the death of one of their most senior former leaders, Mullah Obaidullah. He served as defence minister in the Taliban government before its overthrow in 2001 and as a prominent military commander afterwards, BBC reports. IN AFGHANISTAN, A SOVIET PAST LIES IN RUINS: Kabul holds many glimpses of its Soviet past hidden in plain sight around its jumbled hillsides: a polytechnic school built in the 1960s, when the Soviet Union and the United States jostled for cold war influence in Afghanistan by building big infrastructure projects; or a car factory expanded after 1979, when the Soviet Army marched in to wrench this nation more forcefully into the Kremlin’s sphere of power and way of thinking, Graham Bowley (NYT) reports.

ASIA: BALI BOMBING SUSPECT STANDS TRIAL

The top remaining suspect in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings went on trial today, more than a decade after the attacks brought international attention to Jemaah Islamiyah, a previously overlooked Al Qaeda-linked group operating in Southeast Asia, CSM 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>