/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
Ecstatic Women Say Ready For Public Role: SAUDI GAZETTE
Shahid Ali Khan | 9/27/11
“Acknowledging the inherent challenges, several Saudi women have said they were ready to join the Shoura Council and contest the next municipal elections. They have whole-heartedly thanked King Abdullah for granting them the right to vote in the municipal elections and join as members of the Shoura Council.” GULF’S LIBERAL SHIFT IS MORE THAN SOP TO ARAB SPRING: “The king of Saudi Arabia has lived up to his reformist reputation by giving women the right to vote in future elections. A day earlier, neighbouring UAE held the country’s second elections. The changes mean both countries are still far from Western concepts of democracy and nearby revolutions, but the reforms have financial benefits too,” Una Galani (Reuters for Arabian Business) writes. QUESTIONS FOLLOW ANNOUNCEMENT: Some women’s rights activists who were initially elated by Sunday’s announcement said they were feeling disappointed because the changes do not kick in immediately. “We don’t really think now that we’ve been promised a real right,” said one. But a member of Saudi Arabia’s Consultative Council called one of the changes the king announced “hugely important,” Mohammed Jamjoom (CNN) reports.
Yemen President Accused Of Tricking Saudis: FINANCIAL TIMES
Anna Fifield, Roula Khalaf and Abigail Fielding-Smith | 9/27/11
“Yemen’s president appears to have tricked his Saudi hosts when he unexpectedly returned home last week, exacerbating the stand-off between his regime and the country’s pro-democracy protest movement. According to a senior US official, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had been undergoing medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, ‘bolted the kingdom under the pretence of going to the airport for something else’.”
S. Vipulananda | 9/28/11
“Saudi Arabia is likely to keep a long-standing peg between the riyal and the dollar despite recent weakening of the US currency and fears that this could fuel inflation, according to regional economists and market analysts.”
Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor cut his forecast for the kingdom’s economic growth this year to 5 percent and said inflation is set to slow.
OPEC Won’t Interfere With Falling Oil Prices, For Now: CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Reuters | 9/28/11
Oil prices may be $20 off April’s $127-a-barrel peak but there is no panic in Riyadh, Kuwait City or Abu Dhabi. Far from it.
Arif Sharif | 9/27/11
“Bond sales from the Persian Gulf region have slumped to the lowest level since 2008 as the threat of another global recession fueled the steepest surge in the region’s credit risk in seven quarters.”
1m To Cast Votes In Elections Tomorrow: SAUDI GAZETTE
Faris Al-Rashidi | 9/27/11
“Wednesday is the last day of campaigning by municipal council candidates before voters cast their ballots. It is expected that more than one million voters will cast their ballots in the Saudi elections. Five hundred lawyers and observers have been assigned to observe the election process, to make sure it runs smoothly.”
Saudi Oil Assets ‘Safe From Attack Risk’: TRADE ARABIA
“Saudi Arabia is sure its 35,000-strong security force can protect its oil installations from the rising threat of terrorist attack in the region, the former chief of Saudi intelligence services said.”
GCC To Add $70b To Islamic Funds: E&Y: SAUDI GAZETTE
“Wealth from investors in the Gulf Cooperation Council region will add more than $70 billion to the so-called addressable Islamic fund universe by 2013, Ernst & Young MENA said Monday.”
Al-Makkiah: The Multicultural Saudi Arabia: ARAB NEWS
Roberta Fedele | 9/28/11
“Saudi Arabia is generally associated with the idea of a closed society, eager to preserve its own traditions from external cultural influences. For different reasons, Western countries too are starting to suffer from fear of cultural contamination. However, even in such peculiar context, it is possible to find personalities like Architect Sami Angawi who try to reassert the importance of enhancing the common cultural heritage shared by western and Islamic societies and the risks of a theoretical construct based on the ‘clash of civilizations’.”
Tadawul Continues Its Upward March: ARAB NEWS
“In Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) rose 0.4 percent to 6,128.47, up for a second day, as sharp gains in world markets boosted sentiment. Petrochemical stocks led by turnover, with the sector index climbing 0.6 percent. Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) rose 0.5 percent.”
SYRIA: NUCLEAR SCIENTIST ASSASSINATED
Syria’s state-run news agency says a nuclear engineer has been assassinated in a hail of bullets in the restive central city of Homs. Engineer and university professor Aws Khalil is the fourth Syrian academic to be assassinated in Homs recently, Zeina Karam (AP) reports. TANKS POUND ANTI-ASSAD PROTESTERS FOR A SECOND DAY: Tanks pounded a Syrian town that has become a refuge for army deserters for a second day on Wednesday, residents said, in the first major battle with defecting soldiers since a six-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad began, Khaled Yacoub Oweis (Reuters) reports. OPINION: A FRESH START NEEDED: “The Syrian government is making a serious mistake by refusing to talk to the protesters whose regular massive marches are paralysing life in Syria. No long-term answer can possibly come from the Syrian army shooting Syrian citizens every week,” Gulf News writes.
YEMEN: WHY SALEH RETURNED
This may have been his first opportunity, medically speaking, to return. Until his meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia last week, Saleh had been wearing medical sheaths over his hands – presumably as a result of the burns sustained in the attack on his presidential palace last June. His recovery since the attack has been clearly visible, the Guardian writes.
PAKISTAN: RELATIONS WITH U.S. FRAY AS SIDES ESCALATE FINGER-POINTING
A top Pakistani official has warned that public anger toward the US is getting beyond the government’s control, and blamed the recent spike in tensions on a US administration increasingly anxious to fulfill its mission in Afghanistan ahead of a planned 2014 withdrawal, Christian Science Monitor reports. CLASHES, BOMBINGS ON THE RISE IN AFGHANISTAN: The U.N. says the average monthly tally of armed clashes, roadside bombings and other violence has increased sharply this year in Afghanistan, AP reports.
IRAQ: FIRST PAYMENT MADE FOR US F-16 FIGHTER JETS
LIBYA: GADDAFI BELIEVED HIDING NEAR ALGERIAN BORDER
Provisional authority officials in Libya say the military believes former leader Moammar Gadhafi could be hiding in the western town of Ghadamis near the Algerian border, VOA reports.
ISRAEL: WESTERN POWERS ‘ANGERED’ BY NEW ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS
Western powers have expressed dismay at Israeli plans to build 1,100 more homes on a settlement on Jerusalem’s edge, BBC reports.
ANALYSIS: THE TWITTER GENERATION
“Twitter garnered a lot of attention during the Arab Spring, with some commentators giving great credit to the platform for initiating and guiding the widespread civil uprisings. A new generation in the Middle East is certainly using social media to express themselves and shape their society and world around them. Mainstream media and society as a whole are finding this social media phenomenon and its users an important new partner, but to what extent is this new generation redefining the Middle East?” Caryle Murphy (The Majalla) writes.
/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>