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Rising Saudi Thirst for Oil Drives Plans to Go Nuclear: WALL STREET JOURNAL
Angus McDowall | 6/23/11
“Rapid population growth, wastefulness and economic development are driving up Saudi Arabia’s thirst for energy, steadily reducing the amount of oil available for export and driving the kingdom’s interest in nuclear power. “By eating into its own oil supplies, Saudi Arabia risks reducing a formidable spare capacity that it could pump to counter disruptions to output elsewhere.” KINGDOM MUST CURB ENERGY APPETITE: “The Kingdom needs to curb its energy appetite and redouble its efforts to use alternative energy streams, a leading investment banker told oil-industry professionals in Alkhobar,” Arab News reports.
Highlights of BP’s 2011 Statistical Review of World Energy: CONSUMER ENERGY REPORT
“BP recently released their highly respected annual Statistical Review of World Energy for 2011. Most of the news stories on the report have focused on the exceptionally strong growth in global energy consumption. While that is without a doubt a major story that I will discuss here, I also want to highlight some lesser known facts from the report.”
From Wellhead to Wire: Diversification and its Challenges in Saudi Arabia: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS BLOG
“Utilising the high oil price regime since 2003, as well as renewing century’s old trade links with China and India, Saudi Arabia is now in a position to manage a gradual transition towards a diversified economy that includes development across all sectors. The education and health sectors are both experiencing rapid expansion and reform, and privatisation is leading Saudi Arabia more rapidly into industries such as energy, petroleum, infrastructure, services and large scale projects such as its economic cities. However, there are challenges which could significantly alter the timescale and nature of a future diversified Saudi economy.” OIL BOOSTS SAUDI MARKET: “Saudi Arabia’s bourse, the largest and busiest in the Middle East, is expected to remain strong because of high oil prices despite political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa and Greece’s financial crisis,” Emirates 24|7 reports.
Mohamed Sudam | 6/23/11
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Saudi Arabia recovering from serious injuries suffered in an attack on his palace earlier this month, is not likely to return home soon, a Western diplomat said on Thursday.
AP | 6/22/11
“A group supporting a campaign to end Saudi Arabia’s male-only driving rules says two more women drove through the Saudi capital — and one even encountered an apparently sympathetic policeman.”
Saudi Arabia’s Shiites: Caught in the Middle: THE WASHINGTON NOTE
Salman Al-Rashid | 6/22/11
“Against the backdrop of this watershed moment in Arab history, a Cold War between Saudi Arabia and Iran has emerged. Mistrust and tension between the two states, one predominantly Sunni Muslim and the other predominant Shia, is nothing new.”
Glen Carey and Mourad Haroutunian | 6/22/11
“Halah Alduhaylib strolls among the recruitment stands at a jobs fair in Riyadh where there are 10,000 positions available. Only Saudis need apply.” 1.5M LINGERIE SHOP JOBS: “Saudi Arabia aims to create nearly 1.5 million jobs for national women when it starts enforcing a decision to replace all salesmen with females at its lingerie shops next month, according to officials,” Emirates 24|7 reports
Saudis Give $70m for Palestinian Housing in Gaza: ASHARQ ALAWSAT
“A U.N. agency aiding Palestinian refugees says Saudi Arabia is contributing $70 million for new housing units in the Gaza Strip.”
Muhammad Humaidan | 6/23/11
“Experts in the Saudi tourism market believe the upcoming Jeddah summer festival will attract 50 percent more tourists than last year as many tourist destinations in the Arab world are roiled in political unrest.”
Al-Qaida Operative Invested In Chicago Brokerage House in 2005: CHIAGO TRIBUNE
Annie Sweeney | 6/21/11
“A key al-Qaida member who had access to Osama bin Laden and allegedly financed terrorism invested millions of dollars with a Chicago futures brokerage firm — and now the U.S. government wants to take control of the remaining cash.”
Economists Laud Cabinet’s Decision: ARAB NEWS
Hamid Omar Al-Attas | 6/22/11
“A number of economists and businessmen have praised the Cabinet decision to set up the Saudi Development and Technical Investment Company, saying this will help to meet the country’s economic needs.”
Galal Fakkar | 6/23/11
“A number of expatriates, especially laborers, drivers, masons and salesmen have said they would cancel their plans to travel home this summer following strong rumors that exit and re-entry visas would be converted into final exit visas at the airports.”
“Indonesia is to stop allowing its citizens to work as domestic servants in Saudi Arabia after the execution of a maid for murder last week.”
AFGHANISTAN: OBAMA PULLOUT PLAN TO REMOVE ‘SURGE’ TROOPS BY NEXT YEAR
President Obama delivered a speech yesterday in which he outlined the U.S. plans to remove 30,000 troops from what has been a hugely costly conflict, both politically and in terms of lives lost and money spent. “In a prime-time address from the White House, Obama said he will bring home 10,000 U.S. troops by the end of the year and 23,000 more by next summer, a withdrawal window that will conclude two months before voters decide whether to give him a second term. The first troops will leave Afghanistan next month,” the Washington Post writes. DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS SPLIT ON PLAN: Republicans and Democrats are split within their respective parties about the plan, with some on the left and right wanting a faster drawdown, CNN reports. FEAR, RELIEF IN AFGHANISTAN: “President Hamid Karzai, who has warned the U.S. and NATO they risk becoming occupiers after nearly 10 years of war, called the drawdown “a good measure” in a speech Thursday and asserted that the Afghan youth would guard their nation against Taliban and other insurgents who have just begun a new offensive,” the AP reports. OBAMA TAKES OWNERSHIP: “In taking this course, he took ownership of the policy more decisively,” David Ignatius (Washington Post) writes. OBAMA WILL BE ‘ISOLATED POLITICALLY: “Obama, pushed into an awkward position in which the general public is strongly against the war but much of the military brass reportedly favored a smaller drawdown, gave a speech that acknowledged the political realities of the decision and let Americans know exactly where he stands.
Firmly in the middle. And surprisingly lonely there.”
UNITED STATES: OBAMA TO RELEASE OIL FROM US PETROLEUM RESERVES
“The Obama administration has decided to release 30 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of a broader international effort to pump more 60 million barrels onto the world market over the next month,” the AP reports.
YEMEN: AL-AHMAR VOWS OPPOSITION WILL FIGHT TERRORISM
“Gen. Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar, long one of Yemen’s most powerful military commanders and now a prominent opposition figure, continued his criticism of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is a longtime rival,” Laura Kasinof (NYT) reports.
TUNISIA: CITIZENS FREE, UNEMPLOYED
“The lack of jobs for university graduates — a root cause of the revolution in Tunisia — remains to be addressed as the country steps slowly toward democracy,” Angela Guiffrida (NYT) writes.
EGYPT: COMEDIAN ‘STANDS UP FOR ARAB RIGHT TO LAUGH’
“When Ahmed Ahmed, an Egyptian-American stand-up comic, started doing comedy tours of the Middle East his friends in the U.S. assumed he was performing at military bases. “They were surprised to learn that I was performing for Arabs, that they understood English and that people actually laughed,” said Ahmed,” CNN reports.
AUDIO: DID OBAMA OVERSTEP AUTHORITY ON LIBYA?
“The White House says it is confident President Obama has followed the law when it comes to U.S. involvement in Libya. But members of Congress and legal scholars aren’t so sure. They’re debating whether the president exceeded his authority by not getting approval from Congress,” writes NPR’s Morning Edition.
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