News-2013-01-04

Published: January 4, 2013

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

Saudi jets join US in strikes on al-Qaeda in Yemen

Saudi Arabia has joined the US in prosecuting an undeclared aerial war against al-Qa’ida in Yemen by providing fighter jets to assist Washington with its covert drone strikes against terrorist targets, The Times reported yesterday. US drones are backing Yemeni forces combating militants of …

Saudi Arabia’s 2013 Budget – Jadwa

Budgeted spending is at another all-time high in 2013, as the government continues with its program to upgrade the human and physical infrastructure and spurring economic growth. One highlight of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) budget announcement is the 18 percent jump in revenues. With no new …

Obama’s Next Foreign Policy Battle

Actually, that brings us to the heart of the matter: AIPAC and many leaders of the American Jewish community don’t speak for the overwhelming majority of American Jews who voted for Obama, love Israel and want it to survive as a Jewish democracy but do not favor the military adventurism that …

Saudi Unemployment Rate Above 12 Percent, CDSI Says

The unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia has reached 12.1 percent in 2012, according to new numbers published by the Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI). The stats show that there are 602,853 Saudi nationals who are unemployed, 243,983 of them are men. But the unemployment rate …

How progressive AlterNet and Salon fell for “gang rape” fatwa

It’s a telling sign of how deep and common liberal Islamophobia is that even progressives at AlterNet will believe anything they hear and not stop to ask a question. What these repeated episodes show is that it is easy for many people to believe negative and shocking information about …

Saudi coast guard arrests 21 Iranians

Saudi Arabia has detained 21 Iranian nationals who were aboard two boats near an island off the kingdom’s eastern coast, the Saudi border guard said on Thursday.Separated by about 250 km (150 miles) of Gulf waters, Shi’ite Muslim power Iran and Sunni-led Saudi Arabia have often had tense …

STC launches weather app with Saudi ministry

Saudi Operator STC has launched the Weather Mobile service in collaboration with the country’s meteorology and environment department. Customers can sign up by SMS for the service which delivers information via SMS, MMS, aerial photos and maps. The operator and government department will …

Activists launch petition to free Saudi author

Activists and intellectuals have petitioned Saudi authorities to free a prominent author two weeks after he was detained over tweets deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammad, campaigners said on Thursday. Turki al-Hamad, one of the best known liberal thinkers and writers in the conservative …

Fitch: Expansionary budget to support growth in Saudi Arabia

Fitch Ratings says an expansionary 2013 budget based on a conservative oil price will support another year of healthy economic growth for Saudi Arabia and a further strengthening of the sovereign’s net creditor position. However, overall growth will slow due to a decline in oil production that …

Turkey inks $12 billion energy project with UAE

Turkey signed on Thursday an agreement with the United Arab Emirates for the development of coal fields in southern Turkey to generate electricity. The agreement between Abu Dhabi-based TAQA and Turkey’s state-run power company EUAS marks the biggest Arab investment in the Turkish energy …

The world’s most powerful people

10. King Abdullah Bin Abd al-Aziz — King of a kingdom with a unique power to move markets. The Saudi monarch is not in the best of health, but the choices he makes in determining who lead the world’s hydrocarbon powerhouse into the next generation will help shape the entire global economy for …

Saudi firm Zahid Group invests in Indian car leasing sector

UniTrans is currently one of the largest leasing and car rental players in the GCC region and is majority owned by the Zahid group, a conglomerate based in Saudi Arabia….

What Do People Who Live in Mecca Think of the Annual Influx of Pilgrims?

Personally, I enjoy the liveliness, diversity, and overall festive/holy atmosphere during Hajj and Ramadan. Receiving pilgrims is the main thing that distinguishes Mecca and gives it its reputation, and which we Meccans take pride in. Not to mention the relative ease with which we are able to …

Saudi women outraged at US TV host

Saudi women expressed outrage at Chelsea Handler, the American host of the TV show ‘Chelsea Lately,’ when she swore at Saudi men for being able to receive notification by SMS of their wives’ travels abroad. Some are tired of explaining the situation to foreigners and others say Chelsea should …

Good Taliban, Bad Taliban? Pakistani commander’s killing exposes blurry lines

Mr. Nazir was traveling in a car in troubled South Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan, Thursday, when his vehicle was hit by a missile, according to media reports. He and six other Pakistanis believed to be militants were killed. The attacks highlight the convoluted interconnections among …

How Turkey, Russia Benefit From Iran Sanctions

ougher US sanctions against Iran, recently approved by the US Senate, are expected to create new obstacles to Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program by expanding the list of embargoed items and companies trading in energy and related industries. While crippling the country’s economy, the sanctions …

Opinion: Balance Key in Iran, Iraq Ties

The identity claims of Arab nationalism have long distinguished Iraqi Shiites from their Iranian counterparts. In a similar manner, the religious identity that took root in Iraq, specifically in the city of Najaf, claimed religious authority over the Shiite world — in direct competition with …

Afghan War Commander Gives Options for After 2014

General Allen offered Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta three plans with different troop levels: 6,000, 10,000 and 20,000, each with a risk factor probably attached to it, a senior military official said. An option of 6,000 troops would probably pose a higher risk of failure for the American …

US Embassy Yemen: AQAP Offers Gold Bounty for Ambassador Feierstein

Reuters reported recently that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was offering three kilograms of gold for the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa, Gerald Feierstein. The group also offers to pay about $23,350 to anyone who kills an American soldier in Yemen. The offer, according to …

Car bomb targeting Shiite pilgrims reflects Iraq tensions

With tensions also growing over past weeks between Baghdad and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, analysts say Iraq’s fragile post U.S.-occupation political settlement is facing a stern test magnified by the country’s proximity to the deepening conflict in Syria. ‘We are at this moment in …

Opinion: GCC – Security Comes First

With this in mind, the ostensibly under-the-radar progress on internal security offers a powerful reminder that the GCC is, first and foremost, a security organization that was formed in 1981 to defend the interests of its members against external threat. At that time, the predominant danger to …

Kept out of politics and in the sick bay, Yemen’s former president goes to Saudi for treatment

After signing a November 2011 transfer of power deal, he returned to Yemen where he has continued to lead his General People’s Congress party. Under the terms of the agreement, he enjoys immunity from prosecution in Yemen. ‘Saleh prefers Saudi doctors,’ a source from his party told AFP. ‘A …

Obama Signs Defense Bill, With Conditions

President Obama set aside his veto threat and late Wednesday signed a defense bill that imposes restrictions on transferring detainees out of military prisons in Afghanistan and Guantnamo Bay, Cuba. But he attached a signing statement claiming that he has the constitutional power to override …

Algerian forces kill 2 more radical Islamist insurgents, raising two-day total to 9

Algerian security forces killed two radical Islamist insurgents on Wednesday in the same locality east of the capital where seven were killed a day earlier. The official APS news agency quoted an unidentified security source as saying army troops on a search operation killed the two …

Oil production drains to nine-month low

Output in the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries slipped 110,000 barrels, or 0.3 per cent, to an average 31.434 million barrels per day (bpd) from a revised 31.544 million in November, a Bloomberg News survey of oil companies, producers and analysts revealed. Brent crude …

YouTube clip reveals identity of reckless joyrider

Police in Riyadh have arrested a driver for hitting a number of spectators while recently joyriding in Janadriyah, Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Wednesday. The suspect was driving a yellow Nissan and sped away after the incident. Saudis angered by the video clip asked the police to track …

Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC