/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
Sweeping Changes Proposed For Saudi Arabian Mortgages: THE NATIONAL
Kevin Brass | 3/31/11
“Saudi Arabia appears set to make sweeping changes to its mortgage laws as part of a plan to boost the housing sector.”
Saudi’s New Super Light Crude Blend to Hit Market In April -Source: WALL STREET JOURNAL
Reza Amanat | 3/31/11
“The newly produced blend of super light crude by Saudi Arabia won’t become available until early April, despite speculation that the oil has already been purchased in the Mediterranean, someone familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires on Thursday.”
Saudi Government’s Break-Even Oil Price rises $20 In a Year: WALL STREET JOURNAL
Sudeep Reddy | 4/1/11
Saudi Arabia, due to higher government spending this year, will need its oil to sell for $88 a barrel in 2011 for its government to break even–up from $68 last year, according to a new estimate from the Institute of International Finance, a global bankers’ trade group.
Budgets Could Push Saudis to High Oil Price: FINANCIAL TIMES
Michael Peel, Javier Blas | 3/31/11
“Saudi Arabia could need the oil price to average more than $100 a barrel by 2015 to sustain the big public spending rises it plans in an effort to forestall the political unrest sweeping the Middle East.”
Decades-Long Fight against Illiteracy Starts Bearing Fruits: SAUDI GAZETTE
Laila Awad and Haneen Halwan | 4/1/11
“Illiteracy has fallen by 70 percent in the last 40 years, according to a Ministry of Education report released recently.”
Saudi Arabia Pumps More Cash into Housing: GULF NEWS
Jason Benham, Praveen Menon | 3/31/11
“The bumper cash pledge to build more homes shows the kingdom’s intent to address vast under supply in the world’s biggest oil exporter, but there is no quick fix for its property woes.”
Karyn Peterson, Mark Shenk | 3/31/11
“The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ crude output dropped in March as increases from Saudi Arabia failed to make up for a decline in Libyan production to a 49-year low, a Bloomberg News survey showed.”
Saudi Charity Extends Network Abroad: GULF NEWS
Abdul Nabi Shaheen | 3/31/11
“Saudi charity society Awaser has announced that it has added 681 new needy Saudi families living abroad to the list of its sponsored families. It added that the families comprise 1,961 members in all.”
Zvi Bar’el | 3/31/11
“A regime-linked Syrian website reports on a U.S.-Saudi plan to foment unrest and oust Bashar Assad through killings, mass demonstrations and arson, not unlike what is happening now.”
LIBYA: GATES INSISTS ROLE WILL NOT EXPAND
Facing withering criticism during House testimony, defense secretary asserts U.S. is not the only country capable of providing support to rebel fighters and says the use of US troops in Libya will not occur on his watch, Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) report. Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also told Congress yesterday they “don’t favor using the military to provide weapons or training to the rebels. Mullen said there are ‘plenty of countries who have the ability, the arms, the skill set to be able to do this,’” Bloomberg reports. “Gates said the U.S. doesn’t know enough about the insurgent groups beyond a “handful” of leaders.” UAE AND QATAR: “While the six-warplane Qatari contingent plays an arguably symbolic role in the Western-led coalition against Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, the powerful squadron sent by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will likely pack a real punch, analysts say,” Jerusalem Post reports. ‘OBAMA DOCTRINE?’: “Even as President Obama lays out his vision of America’s obligations to civilians menaced by their own governments, the limits of what some are calling an “Obama Doctrine” are evident in his differing approaches to Libya and another Arab country in turmoil: Syria,” Paul Richter (LAT) reports.
GADDAFI ‘FEELING ISOLATED’: REPORT
“Sources close to Gaddafi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Libyan leader was speechless upon hearing the news of Musa Kusa’s defection, describing Gaddafi’s reaction as being one of deep shock. The sources, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, claimed that Kusa travelled to Tunisia as part of an official mission on behalf of the Gaddafi regime, to carry out talks with western coalition states with the objective of finding a political solution to the current crisis. However after these talks reached a stalemate, Kusa decided to resign from his post as Libyan foreign minister, defecting from the Gaddafi regime, in the belief that the Libyan regime is on the verge of collapse,” Khaled Mahmoud (Asharq Alawsat) reports. “The same sources also claimed that Libyan intelligence Chief Bouzeid Dorda, Libyan parliamentary speaker Abu al-Qasim al-Zawi, Libyan Prime Minister Dr. al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, are all in the process of defecting from the Gaddafi regime.”
BAHRAIN: AUTHORITIES RELEASE BLOGGER AFTER US CRITICISM
Bahraini authorities on Friday released popular Internet blogger Mahmoud Al Yousuf whose arrest drew criticism from the US State Department, the official news agency BNA said, Gulf News reports. The United States has criticised the arrest, while also renewing its condemnation of violence the country where anti-government broke out in mid-February.
SYRIA: NEW PROTESTS ON ‘DAY OF MARTYRS’
“Tens of thousands of Syrians took to the streets in several key cities on Friday calling for freedom, despite attempts by the government to silence the dissenters by creating new committees to investigate some of their greievances,” Lina Saigol (FT) reports. “Syrian activists dubbed Friday a ‘Day of Martyrs’ in honor of those killed by security forces last week in the southern city of Deraa and the port city of Latakia.”
ISRAEL: EFFORTS TO BOOST SECURITY UNDERMINING DEMOCRACY?
A flurry of votes in Israel’s parliament on controversial legislation affecting the country’s Arab minority is reigniting a debate about whether the right-leaning majority is trampling democratic norms in an effort to bolster the security of the Jewish state,” Joshua Mitnick (CSM).
/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>