/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
Wael Mahdi | 4/17/11
“The value of Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical exports rose 31 percent in February from a year earlier as crude oil prices stayed above $100 a barrel.”
Walaa Hawari | 4/17/11
The Human Rights Commission (HRC) launched an orientation program for 300 judges and security personnel on Sunday. The course is within the framework of cooperation between the HRC and judicial and security sectors with regard to human rights issues. It is also the first in a chain of similar initiatives in collaboration with other sectors of society.
Saudi Arabia is Serious About Solar Energy: SAUDI ECONOMIC SURVEY
Lucien Zeigler | 4/17/11
“Saudi Arabia is making strides in the right direction on solar energy, essential for Saudi Arabia’s energy and economic future. There are many big challenges for the Kingdom in catching up to other countries on solar energy, but evidence is abundant – just like Saudi sunshine – that the Kingdom is serious about solar energy.
The New Cold War: WALL STREET JOURNAL
Bill Spindle, Margaret Coker | 4/17/11
“There has long been bad blood between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but popular protests across the Middle East now threaten to turn the rivalry into a tense and dangerous regional divide.” RELATED: “Saudi Arabia has threatened to recall its diplomats from Iran unless it provides adequate security provisions for them, the Kingdom’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Prince Turki bin Mohammed, told reporters on Sunday,” Sara Ghasemilee (Al Arabiya) reports. RELATED: “President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran on Monday accused the United States of wanting to create tension between Iran and Arabs. His comments came after the Gulf Cooperation Council called upon the United Nations to take action against Tehran to prevent its “interference” in the domestic affairs of the six Gulf Arab states,” Al Arabiya reports.
Saudi King Receives Phone Call from US President: SAUDI NEWS TODAY
“The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received Saturday a telephone call from US President Barack Obama who offered his condolences on the death of Princess Sita bint Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman.”
Poll Says 59% Against Women Voting: SAUDI GAZETTE
Jaza’ Al-Mutairi | 4/18/11
A survey of public opinion on the municipal council elections has revealed that nearly 59 percent oppose women voting in the elections and 72.5 percent are opposed to female membership on the councils.
Empower Youth, Says Governor: ARAB NEWS
Abdul Ghafour | 4/17/11
“The Makkah Youth Forum, which opens at Jeddah Hilton on Tuesday, aims to develop the skills of Saudi youth and boost their cultural and sporting capabilities, said Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal on Sunday while launching the forum’s page on social networking site Facebook.”
Kingdom To Boost Air Defense: ARAB NEWS
“Prince Khaled bin Sultan, assistant minister of defense and aviation, has emphasized the importance of strengthening the Kingdom’s defense forces in the light of the changing regional power balance.”
Agreement To Establish New Advertising College Signed: SAUDI GAZETTE
Fouzia Khan | 4/17/11
“The College of Business Administration (CBA) signed a contract Saturday to establish the Jeddah College of Advertising (JCA) with the University of Buckingham (Bucks). It will be the first such advertising college in the city.”
Mohamed Jamal And Sonia Farid | 4/18/11
Many shopping malls in Saudi Arabia ban or restrict youths who are not accompanied by their families from entering them in an attempt to protect female shoppers from harassment.
SYRIA: UNITED STATES FUNDS POLITICAL OPPOSITION GROUPS
“The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables,” Craig Whitlock (Washington Post) reports.
BAHRAIN: SECURITY FORCES CONTINUE WIDE, DEEP CRACKDOWN
“Hundreds of demonstrators, political figures, human-rights activists and Shiite professionals including doctors have been arrested in security sweeps since the Bahraini authorities crushed the Shiite-led protest movement in mid-March. According to a list compiled by the Bahraini opposition political group Wefaq National Islamic Society, 499 people are currently in government custody in Bahrain,” Alexandra Sandels (Babylon and Beyond) reports.
LIBYA: REBELS FLEE KEY TOWN
“Large numbers of rebel fighters fled Adjabiya on Sunday after a rocket and artillery attack by government forces who were reportedly on the western outskirts,” Rod Nordland (NYT) reports. “Scores of rebel pickups and other vehicles could be seen leaving the eastern approaches of Ajdabiya, and explosions could be heard in the city. They were headed toward the rebel capital, Benghazi, about 100 miles north.” EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: In an exclusive interview with the Washington Post, “Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the influential second son of Moammar Gaddafi who was once seen as the great hope for reform in Libya, is clear on two points: He and his government have done nothing wrong, and they are not going to back down,” Simon Denyer reports. “In an interview that reflected the defiance of the Gaddafi family more than two months into its efforts to put down a rebellion supported by the United States and its allies, the 38-year-old said the world had gone to war with Libya based on nothing more than rumor and propaganda.” MISRATA SHELLED: “The nightmare in Libya’s war-torn city of Misrata intensified Monday amid more shelling on the city and desperate measures to get medical care, an opposition spokesman said,” CNN reports.
EGYPT: COURT ORDERS DISSOLUTION OF NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (NDP)
“The decision, which meets a key demand of the revolutionaries, comes after several moves by Egypt’s interim military rulers that indicate a desire to defuse criticism that they had not been moving quickly enough to dismantle the old power system Egyptians went to the streets to overthrow. Last week, for instance, Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered Mubarak and his two sons detained for 15 days for corruption investigations,” Kristen Chick (CSM) writes.
10 MUST-READ BLOGS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST
“Political unrest across the Middle East has increased appetite in the wider world for comment from within the region, and some are turning to bloggers for insider views on the events unfolding on their television screens. Social media — including blogging, Twitter and Facebook — has played an often-crucial role in organizing the protests sweeping the region. But it’s not all politics, and blogs about the ups and downs of daily life can offer a fascinating glimpse of real life in the Middle East. CNN provides “an entirely unscientific list of 10 of the most interesting blogs from the region.”
/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>