News – 2012.05.04

Published: May 4, 2012

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

5.4.12 EDITION

Saudi’s Vela to Send Large Volumes of Oil to US Again In May: WALL STREET JOURNAL

5.4.12

Saudi Arabia’s state shipping company, Vela, will transport large volumes of oil to the U.S. again this month, repeating a trend that began in March, but prior to that was very unusual, shipbrokers told Dow Jones Newswires Friday.

Aramco To Train 2 Million Saudis By 2020: ARAB NEWS

Arab News | 5.4.12

Highlighting a need for change in the way the Kingdom approaches education, Khalid Al-Falih, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, announced the company’s launching of a youth enrichment program that will see two million young Saudis receive critical training by 2020 and encourage young people to create a bright future. “It is my firm belief that education is the only way,” Al-Falih said.

Journey Of A Lifetime: HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Wardah Khalid | 5.3.12

To say that I was excited to be in the presence of such history would be an understatement. I had been looking forward to this trip for months and was absolutely beside myself. My purpose was to travel with my mother to Saudi Arabia to perform the Umrah, a mini version of the annual Hajj pilgrimage millions of Muslims make each year to Mecca. The historic city of Medina was the first stop on the journey before we continued on to Mecca for Umrah.

Universities Play Key Role In Kingdom’s Transition To Knowledge Economy: ARAB NEWS

5.2.12

Minister of Higher Education Khaled Al-Anqari yesterday highlighted the role of Saudi universities in transforming the Kingdom into a knowledge economy and training young Saudi men and women and developing their various skills and capabilities. Addressing the third scientific conference of higher education students in the Kingdom, which is being held under the patronage of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, he commended the quality of research projects presented by Saudi students at the conference.

2012 Completion Date For First Phase Of UAE To Saudi Arabia Rail Network: WORLD ARCHITECTURE NEWS

5.4.12

The first phase of a 266km railway network across the United Arab Emirates will complete by the end of 2012 it has been confirmed. Etihad Rail unveiled the design of its new locomotives and said that the three trains will take their first journey by the end of the year, transporting 22,000 tonnes of granulated sulphur daily from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais.

U.S. Supports Saudi Arabia’s Clean Energy Goals: IIP DIGITAL

IIP Digital | Louise Fenner | 4.20.12

Nicole Lamb-Hale, assistant secretary of commerce for manufacturing and services, led a trade delegation to Riyadh and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, April 14–18 that included representatives of 13 U.S. clean energy companies, as well as officials from the Ex-Im Bank and the Department of Energy. “We fully support Saudi Arabia’s desire to be a regional renewable energy and efficiency leader,” Lamb-Hale said during round-table discussions in Al Khobar April 17. One of the companies in the trade delegation was First Solar, based in Arizona, the largest solar panel manufacturer in the United States (and second-largest in the world, according to the research company PVinsights). There were several other companies specializing in solar energy, energy efficiency, green building, grid modernization and smart grid technologies. The U.S. delegates met with senior Saudi government officials and business people.

Saudi Arabia Orders Ambassador To Return To Egypt After Diplomatic Spat: AL ARABIYA

5.4.12

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz ordered on Friday the return of the kingdom’s ambassador to Egypt and the reopening of the mission after it was shut last week in the wake of angry protests, state news agency SPA said. The king “instructed the kingdom’s ambassador to Cairo to resume his post on Sunday, and ordered the reopening of the embassy and the consulates in Alexandria and Suez,” SPA reported, quoting an unnamed official.

Saudi Telecom To Reach 500,000 Homes With Fiber In 2012: ARAB NEWS

5.4.12

Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) aims to connect 500,000 homes in the Kingdom with optical fiber for high-speed broadband, but a lack of spectrum is limiting the adoption of next-generation mobile services, a top executive said. Saudi Arabia’s 26.5 million people had 1.95 million fixed broadband subscriptions at the end of 2011, according to the telecoms regulator, while of these only 18,500 are high-speed fiber-to-the-home (FFTH) connections, Informa Telecoms and Media estimates.

Saudia Had 5.72 Million Passengers in First Quarter, Watan Says: BLOOMBERG

Glen Carey | 5.4.12

Saudi Arabian Airlines, known as Saudia, flew 5.72 million passengers in the first quarter of 2012 compared with 4.55 million a year earlier, al-Watan said, citing a report from the national carrier.

Shoura Reviews Performance Of Govt Agencies: ARAB NEWS

MD Rasooldeen | 5.4.12

The Shoura Council on Monday held wide-ranging discussions on annual reports presented by two ministries and governmental organizations. The session was chaired by the council’s Deputy Speaker Muhammed Amin Jaafri. The reports tabled included that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy and Planning, the Saudi Fund For Development (SFD) and the Saudi Post Corporation (SPC).

Friction Grows Between Iran, Saudi Arabia: EURASIA REVIEW

5.4.12

Reuters reports that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Nayef told a meeting of GCC interior ministers in Riyadh: “Any harm that comes across any of our countries is harm that touches us all.” As protests in Bahrain are re-emerging after one year, Arab states are renewing their accusations that Iran is fomenting the unrest. Bahrain has a Shiite majority but is ruled by the Sunni house of Al-Khalifa. Last year, the government brought in Saudi and UAE troops to quell the unrest. While Iran condemned the foreign intervention in Bahrain, it has consistently maintained that it’s had no hand in the Saudi protests. Nayef also touched on the recently revived disputes over the three Iranian islands of Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb and the Lesser Tunb.

Saudi Arabia’s First Ever Hip-Hop Radio Show: ARAB NEWS

Rima Al-Mukhtar | 5.3.12

“Laish Hip-Hop” is Arabic for “Why Hip-Hop.” It is a radio show that educates people about hip-hop music and discusses all related issues in Saudi Arabia and the world in general. The show is a big hit with thousands of Saudi youngsters following. Launched in June 2011, the show runs for an hour and talks about Arabic hip-hop. Big Hass is a 32-year-old Saudi who started this show after being in the hip-hop scene since 2009 as a blogger hosting the blog Re-Volt Radio. “I’ve started this blog because I was sick of what FM Radios was playing on their stations, repeating the same old songs over and over,” he said. “At one time I was thinking why don’t we have interesting music on our FM radio and I felt bad, so I tried to investigate and I had a dream of having my own FM show,” he added.

Emirates Set To Boost Services To Saudi Arabia: CHICAGO TRIBUNE

5.3.12

Saudi Arabia will receive a 12 per cent boost in Emirates services this year, as the airline ramps up its commitment to the Kingdom. Jeddah and Riyadh will benefit from the increased services, with a total of 1722 additional seats, in each direction, per week between Emirates’ hub in Dubai and the Kingdom, up almost 12 per cent from the current 15,140 seats per week. The added capacity will result in an extra four weekly services to Jeddah and three weekly flights to Riyadh. The new services to Jeddah will come into effect from June 1 and to Riyadh from August 1.

More News and Commentary from SUSTG

AL-QAEDA: IN LETTERS, BIN LADEN WORRIED ABOUT AL-QAEDA’S IMAGE

During his last months holed up in a villa in Pakistan, one of the concerns on Osama bin Laden’s mind was image control: Al-Qaida’s branches and allies were making the terror network look bad in the eyes of the Islamic world, AP reports.  BIN LADEN’S TRAVEL METHODS REVEALED: One of the 17 letters seized during the 2011 U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound and published Thursday reveals the lengths the al-Qaida chief went to keep himself and his family hidden and sheds light on how they apparently managed to remain undetected for so long while moving around Pakistan, MSNBC reports. VISITING BIN LADEN’S LAIR: “We climbed the stairs to the third floor, where Osama bin Laden died early in the morning of May 2, 2011. I stepped into the bedroom where he was killed and looked up at the ceiling, where you could still see the patterns of blood that had spurted from bin Laden’s head when the bullet fired by a U.S. Navy SEAL tore through the terrorist leader’s face. The height of the room was low for someone as tall as bin Laden, who was 6 foot 4. Outside the bedroom was a small terrace surrounded by a high wall. Overlooking the enclosed terrace were large and now broken plate glass windows that would have provided a lot of light for bin Laden during the day,” Peter Bergen (CNN) writes.

IRAN: INDIA CUTS BACK ON IMPORTS FROM IRAN

India’s top two importers of crude oil from Iran plan to reduce shipments by at least 15% this financial year, people with knowledge of the move said, in an important victory for the U.S.-led sanctions effort against Tehran, Rakesh Sharma and Santanu Choudhury (WSJ) report. IRAN VOTES IN PRIMARY RUNOFF: Iranians cast their ballots at polling stations across the country Friday in a second round of runoff elections to decide 65 remaining seats in the 290-seat Majlis, or parliament. Images broadcast live on Iranian state TV showed lines of voters waiting at polling stations. In Tehran, voters cast ballots for 25 seats, LAT reports.

BAHRAIN: KING ENACTS PARLIAMENTARY REFORMS
Bahrain’s king ratified constitutional reforms on Thursday that the government hopes will help end a year of protests, but the main opposition party denounced them as inadequate and said the struggle for democratic reforms would continue, Chicago Tribune reports.

SYRIA: FORCES KILL TEENAGER IN ANOTHER ALEPPO ATTACK

Syrian forces opened fire on thousands of protesters in Aleppo Friday, killing a teenager, after a raid on dormitories at the city’s main university killed four students and forced the closure of the state-run school, Zeina Karam (CSM) reports.

EGYPT: FRESH CLASHES OUTSIDE OF MINISTRY

Clashes between protesters and security forces have been taking place near Egypt’s defence ministry in Cairo. The protesters ignored a warning not to approach the ministry building and threw rocks. Police responded with water cannons and tear gas. Calls to join the demonstration have also been broadcast in Tahrir Square, BBC reports.

RUSSIA: DOUBLE BLAST IN VOLATILE REGION KILLS 13, WOUNDS MANY OTHERS

At least 13 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a double bombing at a police station in Russia’s tumultuous North Caucasus region late Thursday night, officials said, a stark reminder of the challenges facing Vladimir V. Putin in the region as he prepares to take over the presidency next week, New York Times reports.

PAKISTAN: SUICIDE BOMBING IN PAKISTAN MARKET KILLS 20

A Taliban suicide bombing in a Pakistani market close to the Afghan border killed 20 people Friday, officials said, a day after the U.S. released letters seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound that criticized Pakistani militants for killing too many civilians, AP 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>