News – 2010.12.31

Published: December 31, 2010

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

12.31.2010 EDITION

A Good Year: ARAB NEWS

Editorial | 12/31/10

“As 2010 comes to an end, the assessment for Saudi Arabia is that it has been an extremely good one. While much of the rest of the world is still coping with the fallout of economic crisis two years ago, the Saudi economy has prospered and grown. Growth in 2010 was 3.8 percent – an achievement that many industrialized economies must envy.”

Nine dead in Egypt, Saudi flooding: YAHOO! NEWS

12/30/10

“Flash flooding killed a man and three children in the Mecca region of Saudi Arabia on Thursday, as waste-high water snarled traffic in the nearby Red Sea port of Jeddah, where 123 people died in flooding last year.”

Saudi Arabian Transport Sector Seen Growing At 10pct Annually: STEEL GURU

12/31/10

“The transport sector in Saudi Arabia is estimated to be growing by 6% to 10% annually, driven by aggressive construction of new roads, railways and integrated community development projects across the Kingdom.”

Arab Stocks End Year Upbeat Over Surging Oil Prices, Earnings: MONSTERS AND CRITICS

12/31/10

“Arab stock markets ended 2010 on an optimistic note, with investors upbeat over rising oil prices and predictions of good annual earnings by listed firms, financial analysts said Friday.”

‘Govt Hospitals Come Under The Microscope’: SAUDI GAZETTE

Nawaf Afit | 12/31/10

“The Ministry of Health is monitoring a wide range of mistakes, security lapses and medical errors in government hospitals, Dr. Muhammad Al-Kheshaim, the ministry’s undersecretary for Planning and Development, said Wednesday.”

Shanghai Keeps Five Foreign Expo Pavilions: AFP

12/31/10

“The pavilions of France, Italy, Russia, Spain and Saudi Arabia have been donated to the city and will soon reopen to the public, the Oriental Morning Post reported, citing Expo officials.”

More News and Commentary from SUSTG

“Exploratory drilling off Israel’s northern coast this week has confirmed the existence of a major natural gas field — one of the world’s largest offshore gas finds of the past decade — leading the country’s infrastructure minister to call it “the most important energy news since the founding of the state,” Ethan Bronner (NYT) reports.

“While many US and European leaders are focused on curbing Iran’s nuclear program in 2011, in Tehran the emphasis is more on domestic challenges such as economic reform,” writes Scott Peterson (CSM).

Robert S. Ford is the first US ambassador to Syria since 2005 and represents the Obama Administration’s “belief in engagement over isolation,” Robert F. Worth (NYT) reports, but “few hold out much hope that Mr. Ford’s arrival in Damascus will change much.”

The latest series of bombings in Baghdad on Tuesday night targeted Christians in at least six coordinated attacks, Aaron C. Davis (Washington Post) reports. “The attacks began after dark with two near-simultaneous explosions and continued for about two hours. The deadliest blast occurred in central Baghdad in an area where some of the city’s last remaining Christians are known to live.”

Yemen is releasing hundreds of jailed insurgents after the president’s directive to free 500 detainees under a new peace deal, CNN reports.

The Economist magazine publishes a review of US policy and strategy in the Middle East, asking: Has America’s obsession with this region been worth it?

/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./