News – 2012.08.10

August 10, 2012

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

Saudi tops Gulf telco competition rankings

Saudi Arabia has the most competitive telecommunications sector in the Arab world, according to new research. The Arab Advisors Group’s Cellular Competition Intensity Index 2012 ranked the Gulf kingdom as the most competitive Arab market. Jordan came in second, followed by Palestine. Saudi …

What ‘All Options Are on the Table’ With Iran Actually Means

American and Israeli officials repeat the phrase ‘all options are on the table’ with Iran so often it sounds like a ritual incantation. But what does it mean? When Washington makes a promise or threat, it carefully decides how clear it wants to be. Plain and transparent language means that the …

Saudi Athletes in London

London 2012 was historic for both Saudi Arabia and the Olympic games. Saudi Arabia sent its first female athletes ever to the Olympics, completing a strong talking point for the games’ organizers: London 2012 was the first time every country competing in the Olympics sent at least one …

Saudi Women at the Olympics

the IOC has an admirable tradition of extending Olympic invitations to increase the presence of athletes from underrepresented countries. One of the more famous wildcard athletes is Eric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea, who competed in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney despite having only swum in a …

US Missile Umbrella

The US has a long-standing commitment to the Gulf States—and considering the recent tensions with Iran—the Obama administration probably believes that now is the time to both reassure its allies and send a message to Tehran that Washington is determined to contain its regional (and possibly …

Researchers Find Possible State-Sponsored Virus in Mideast

A security firm said on Thursday that it had discovered what it believed was the fourth state-sponsored computer virus to surface in the Middle East in the last three years, one apparently aimed at collecting information from computers in Lebanon. The virus appears to have been written by …

Diversity within Islam

Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya TV carries a story from Agence France Press reporting on a new study from the Pew Research Center looking at diversity across Muslim populations. [Full survey] I find one section particularly interesting, where people are asked about Muslim identity and whether …

Tensions flare in France over veil ban

France, which has Europe’s largest Muslim population, is the only country with a national ban against full-face veils, usually called a niqab. The law has been supported across the political spectrum in Paris. But the U.S. State Department, in an annual report on religious freedom, recently …

Iran’s Big Crisis: The Price of Chicken

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has a lot on his mind these days. Especially chicken. The rising price of this food staple is the cause of such anxiety among Iranian officials that last month, Iran’s police chief, Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, urged the …

The Sikh Temple Shooting: What Is America’s Real Terrorist Threat?

The Oak Creek murders reflect upon another neglected subject: the surprising pattern of terrorism in America since September 11th. In partnership with a team of researchers at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Public Policy, some of my colleagues at the New America Foundation collated and …

Crime Wave Engulfs Syria as Its Cities Reel From War

The consequences of the war here have become familiar: neighborhoods shelled, civilians killed and refugees departed. But in the background, many Syrians describe something else that has them cowering with fear: a wave of lawlessness not unlike the crime wave Iraq experienced during the …

Is Syria’s balance of firepower close to a tipping point?

There is a modern military saying: amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics. If evidence were needed of the truth of that, it was supplied last month in the fighting in Syria’s capital, Damascus, when an offensive by opposition forces sputtered out as its fighters ran short of …

Syria Civil War: Algerian Lakhdar Brahimi to Replace Kofi Annan as UN’s New Syria Envoy

Former UN official and veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi is expected to become the new UN envoy to Syria following the resignation of Kofi Annan, according to reports. The appointment has become almost certain and an announcement is expected shortly, barrying any last-minute …

How Iran’s Spies Are Losing The Shadow War With US and Israel

The powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, its infamous expeditionary unit, the Quds Force, and the network of Hezbollah operatives it supports around the world, are starting to look like the proverbial gang that couldn’t shoot straight. They’re still dangerous, to be sure, but a series of …

US soldiers killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand

An Afghan man wearing a uniform has shot and killed three US soldiers in the southern province of Helmand, a NATO spokesperson has announced. The incident took place early on Friday morning, and details were still being gathered, Major Lori Hodge, the spokesperson for the the military …

Car bomb kills Yemen security official, al Qaeda suspected

A senior Yemeni security official has been killed by a car bomb in the south-eastern city of Mukalla, in a suspected al Qaeda attack, a local security official said. Brigadier Omar Barasheed, dean of the Command and General Staff College, died in hospital after a bomb hidden inside his car …

Egypt tribes back offensive against militants in Sinai

Bedouin tribal leaders in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula have agreed to help restore security in the lawless border area with the Gaza Strip and Israel. In talks with Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal al-Din, they also backed plans to destroy smuggling tunnels into Gaza. The move comes as Egyptian …

Saudi catches the UK train

Saudi Arabia and the UK have reached agreement on a new $3 billion programme to provide the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) with cutting-edge officer and aircrew training….

UK opens probe into EADS unit Saudi defence dea

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office has formally launched a criminal probe into allegations that European defence group EADS bribed Saudi Arabian officials to win a communications contract. The allegations involve a $3.3 billion contract awarded to the EADS unit, GPT Special Project Management, to …

Swiss-Saudi tie-up targets $500 bln Islamic charity market

Veteran Geneva-based banker and Islamic finance expert John Sandwick has teamed up with Saudi adviser Wafi International to target the Islamic endowment market, a $500 billion capital pool he said had been poorly served to date. Waqf, or charitable endowments invested according to Islamic …

Saudi Taqa’s Profit Rose 74 Percent in First Half, Riyadh Says

Saudi Arabia’s Industrialization & Energy Services Co., which counts Saudi Aramco as its main customer, recorded a 74 percent increase in first-half profit, Riyadh newspaper reported, citing a company statement. The company known as Taqa, in which the Saudi government holds a 45 percent …

Saudi Arabia looks to female workforce

Saudi Arabia is aggressively promoting its “Saudisation” policy of boosting citizen workforce participation, and trying to cut a jobless rate of 26.9 per cent among women – four times that of men, according to research by Booz and Co. The state is now pushing to replace foreign salesmen with …

/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/</pre>

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