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Haj agreement 2020 signed by Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi at Jeddah

Haj agreement 2020 signed by Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi at Jeddah

Jeddah: Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Hon’ble Minister for Minority Affairs of the Government of India, is on a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia leading a high-level delegation for signing of India-Saudi Arabia bilateral agreement on Haj-2020 arrangements for Indian pilgrims on 01 December 2010. Hon’ble Minister is accompanied by Shri Jan-e-Alam, Additional Secretary (Haj) …

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‘Never going to Riyadh again’? Lil Wayne tweets & deletes mysterious angry rant

Preview US rapper Lil Wayne has targeted Saudi Arabia in an angry tweet, allegedly after running into drugs-related troubles with the law following a concert there. The tweet then mysteriously disappeared amid a wave of mockery and jokes.
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Ring girls dumped from Joshua vs Ruiz rematch in Saudi Arabia 'out of respect for local customs'

Preview The rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia will be without a familiar sight for boxing fans after promoters reportedly ruled that ring girls will be absent.
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Current Affairs Podcast: How FE's dramatic season opener played out

The 2019-20 Formula E season began in typically dramatic fashion, with Saudi Arabia playing host as the season opened in Diriyah

The Wikipedia article about opinion polls regarding who the public believes is responsible for 9/11, the words “Saudi Arabia” do not appear even one time

by chudslayer Anyone else thinks that’s a bit weird? The mainstream narrative is that Al Qaeda is responsible, and Al Qaeda appears as an option in the poll. While there is ... Read more

Uh, oh, Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia's new combat sports venue is looking pretty good

As the Middle East's most powerful countries jockey for prominence on a world stage, who knew combat sports would be a chief beneficiary?

Iran, Russia, China To Hold Joint Naval Drills In The Indian Ocean


Iran, Russia and China will hold joint naval drills in the Indian Ocean from December 22, 2019 -to January 20, 2020, Iranian navy commander Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi confirmed. India And Saudi Arabia To Hold A Joint Naval Exercise In A Bid To Strengthen Ties Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi on November 30 said the manoeuvres […]

The post Iran, Russia, China To Hold Joint Naval Drills In The Indian Ocean appeared first on EurAsian Times: Latest Asian, Middle-East, EurAsian, Indian News.


Why Saudi Arabia, UAE Ignored Pakistan To Build Strong Ties With India?


Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have talked about setting up a refinery plant worth at least $ 70 billion in India. The giant oil and petrochemicals refinery project will be built jointly by Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) in Maharashtra’s Raigad. Saudi Arabia Confirms Investing A Whopping $100 Billion In India Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman […]

The post Why Saudi Arabia, UAE Ignored Pakistan To Build Strong Ties With India? appeared first on EurAsian Times: Latest Asian, Middle-East, EurAsian, Indian News.


A320 Captains Flynas Saudi Arabia



Somalia resumes banana export - First shipment to Saudi Arabia

Somalia has announced the resumption of its banana export for the first time in decades. According to a source from the Ministry of Agriculture, the first shipment of the banana export -which consists of two containers- will be shipped to Saudi Arabia. Somalia’s Agriculture Minister, Hussein Said, told…

The 2020 Dakar Is All Set To Storm The Desert In The Middle East

For its 42nd Edition, the Dakar Rally will start in Jeddah on the 5th of January 2020 and conclude 12 stages later, near the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. The World’s toughest race will cover an overall distance of close to 7,900 kilometres, among which, competitors will slug it out in the sand for over […]

Oil output slips

LONDON. — OPEC oil output has fallen in November as Angolan production has slipped due to maintenance and Saudi Arabia has kept a lid on supply to support the market before the initial public offering (IPO) of state-owned Saudi Aramco, a Reuters survey found.

Saudi Arabia assumes 2020 G20 Presidency

Saudi Arabia assumes 2020 G20 Presidency Riyadh, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – 1 December, 2019 • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia assumes the 2020 G20 Presidency today, 1 December, 2019. • The Saudi G20 Presidency will focus on “ Realizing ...

Let’s start with the appearance of that mysterious letter r


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Saudi Arabia Assumes 2020 G20 Presidency



Saudi Arabia Assumes 2020 G20 Presidency


Reform and repression go hand in hand in Saudi Arabia

Sweeping social reforms have been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, says Sebastian Usher.

Taken to Brink by Trump, Gulf States Are Backpedaling on Iran


Taken to Brink by Trump, Gulf States Are Backpedaling on Iran(Bloomberg) -- An expanded soccer tournament, a direct flight, clandestine meetings and a pledge to release prisoners of war; diplomacy is breaking out as Gulf Arab nations back away from a Donald Trump-inspired confrontation with Iran. And the signs are everywhere.Last week, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain played their first games of the 2019 Arabian Gulf Cup in Qatar after a last-minute decision to take part -- an apparent breakthrough in a 30-month feud that saw them halt trade and flights over Qatar’s links with Iran and support for Islamist groups.Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition that’s fought Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015 began releasing jailed Houthis, as efforts to end the conflict gather momentum. Oman is quietly hosting high-level meetings, according to people familiar with the matter, and even Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has hinted at direct channels with the U.A.E.Spooked by the prospect of a catastrophic war with Iran and its proxy militias across the region, Gulf monarchies are in the midst of a strategic rethink. The U.A.E., whose economic model relies in large part on its international links, quickly realized it had most to lose from a military escalation. It had removed most of its troops from Yemen by the end of a turbulent summer that saw oil tankers targeted and a U.S. drone downed in the Gulf without significant American response.While the humanitarian catastrophe unleashed by the Yemen war trained an unwelcome spotlight on Saudi Arabia, it took a brazen strike on Saudi oil installations -- which knocked out half the country’s crude production -- to ram home the risks and prove that Trump was not about to ride to his allies’ rescue.“The attacks shattered any illusion of this magical U.S. security umbrella,” said David Roberts, an assistant professor at King’s College London who studies the Gulf. “It burst the bubble and showed that Iran had the willingness to both do something astonishing like the attack on Aramco facilities and the capability to carry it out.”Iran denies U.S. and Saudi assertions it carried out the Sept. 14 strikes, pointing to Houthi claims of responsibility. But people familiar with investigations into the attacks say they were almost certainly launched from southwestern Iran -- an explosive escalation in Tehran’s pushback against an economic offensive unleashed by Trump and enthusiastically backed by the Saudis.The Trump administration withdrew last year from the 2015 deal meant to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, and reimposed sanctions that have crippled its oil exports. But the “maximum pressure” policy is designed to coax Tehran into more concessions not to drag the U.S. into a new Middle East war just as it draws down troops in Syria.Rolling back Shiite Muslim Iran’s power remains a priority for the Sunni Gulf Arab leadership. There’s an increasing recognition, however, that no one stands to gain from a military escalation in the world’s top oil-exporting region.Saudi Arabia’s Center for International Communication didn’t respond to an email seeking comment. The U.A.E. declined to comment. But in a Nov. 10 speech, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said he saw “a path to a deal with Iran that all parties might soon” be ready to embark on if Tehran demonstrated commitment.War to ‘Cold Peace’In search of a breakthrough, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, a former cricketer elected with the backing of a powerful army that provides extensive support for the Saudi military, shuttled between Tehran and Riyadh in October. He met Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Rouhani, as well as Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, describing talks as “encouraging.”Khan said he traveled at the request of Trump and Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the diplomacy wasn’t prompted by the kingdom. But deepening unease in the Gulf catalyzed the effort.Turning these overtures into lasting peace between countries that have grown further apart since the 1979 Iranian revolution remains far off.The Gulf states resent Iran’s deep reach into Arab nations. While ongoing protests in Iraq and Lebanon suggest Iran has reached the limit of its regional influence, they are unlikely to reverse political and military advances decades in the making.“Cold peace is possible but we are certainly far from a grand bargain,” said Afshin Molavi, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins. “For that, both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi would have to accept a role for Iran in Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.”As they explore ways forward, Gulf states are moving at different speeds.The U.A.E. broke with the U.S. and Saudi Arabia by not naming Iran as the culprit behind attacks in May and June on oil tankers as they sailed toward the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s foremost oil shipping chokepoint.It sent coast guard officials to Iran for the first time in six years and Rouhani hinted at other meetings with senior U.A.E. officials. “We’re moving toward improved relations,” he said Oct. 14. Saudi Arabia is catching up.Washington built a multilateral naval operation to protect shipping in the Gulf after the attacks and sent more troops to Saudi Arabia. Both actions resulted in a “down tick” in Iranian actions,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Nov. 13. “The Iranians should not mistake our restraint for weakness.”Where the U.S. holds back, however, others are crowding in. Besides his role in saving Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Russian President Vladimir Putin has forged a partnership with Iran, created an oil alliance with Saudi Arabia and built ties with Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who was warned by the U.S. last month against plans to purchase Russian jets.Putin traveled to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. in October after visits by the Saudi king and the U.A.E.’s de-facto leader Mohammad bin Zayed to Moscow. The two Gulf countries and Russia have signed deals valued at billions of dollars.For Iran’s Rouhani, the case for regional engagement is obvious.“Don’t you know that Iran is going to stay here and we will remain neighbors throughout history?” he has said, referring to Iran’s Arab neighbors. “Trump will only be around for a few years and will go back to whatever it was he was doing.”\--With assistance from Golnar Motevalli and Glen Carey.To contact the reporter on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at, Mark WilliamsFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird reveals all on Formula E's watershed season

Ahead of the opening round in Saudi Arabia on Friday, Sportsmail visited Virgin Racing's expanded Silverstone base to meet Sam Bird and get his thoughts on the new campaign...

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WWE Survivor Series 2019: NXT Joins Raw, SmackDown At One Of WWE’s Biggest Events

WWE champion Brock Lesnar (L) speaks during a WWE news conference as his advocate Paul Heyman looks on at T-Mobile Arena on October 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lesnar will face former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and WWE wrestler Braun Strowman will take on heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury at the WWE's Crown Jewel event at Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 31.The card for WWE's Survivor Series 2019 is mostly complete, with headliners across NXT, Raw and SmackDown scheduled to clash in Sundays's pay-per-view.

When Personal Offense Is Made Injustice – Part 3


Earlier articles this month considering the topic of the title have focused on the consequences of making personal offense to be an injustice in itself. They showed that this makes it impossible for people to relate to one another individually on the basis of objective reality (instead counselors must deal with clients as clients define themselves at the moment). And religious organizations cannot have standards which someone in the organization does not agree with at the moment (even if they agreed to the standards when entering the organization).

Commentators on the social liberalism decreed by the Supreme Court and lower courts have commented on their use of emotivism as a legal standard. Its essential idea is that moral judgments are statements of preferences, and inducements to persuade others. But they are not statements about reality itself. While emotivism has a history spanning several centuries in the modern world, it would seem that only since the mid-twentieth century has it become important in law and the wider society. Traditional societies, and certainly traditional Christianity, believe that ethical statements and moral claims are either true or false. The need for salvation from the wrath of a holy God depends crucially on a morality rooted in God, and moral theology assumes that God is good and violation of his law is sinful (evil). In making moral judgments we naturally assume that what we say is not only a statement about the reality that we would like, but the reality that ought to be. Even if one did not like it, and no one else in the world did, the judgment would still be true (or false, as the case may be).

Emotivism seems to be a natural part of our modern, scientific civilization, and the affluence that it has made possible. Certainly we could not live as we do today with nineteenth century technology. While emotivism existed before the twentieth century, it was then unpersuasive. The prudence and hard work needed for many people simply to survive, the tugs at the heart of traditional religion and society (so powerfully reinforced for many by the love and joy found in the traditional family structure), and the coercive power that traditional authorities of family, church, state, employers, and the general society then possessed were sufficient to persuade people of the wisdom of traditional religion and morality.

The first half of the twentieth century saw tremendous threats to the moral order, freedom, and prosperity that people believed were the destiny of American society. As just stated, science and technology are a threat in itself to this order. It helped power the “Progressive Era” of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But political threats appeared in the form of fascism and communism. The energy of Western society was directed to defeating them, with the threat that all would be lost in a new dark age, and with the promise of a culmination of history in freedom and prosperity if these threats were surmounted.

The threats were successfully surmounted. The question, then, is what happens when you settle down to paradise. The 1950s are often taken as the standard against which the cultural revolution which followed is judged. Communism was yet to be defeated, but was far off from the America heartland. The pace of the cultural revolution picked up substantially when it was.

What happened in paradise is that discontents came to the fore, stoked by activists who didn’t like the status quo, with the aid of the mass media. But this writer believes that discontents in life need not have exploded into the cultural conflict that it did. It was really powered by the loss of faith in Biblical Christianity that had occurred among the educated classes in the previous century. And in addition, there was the genuine unresolved problem of racial inequality, which was incompatible with either a Biblical understanding of the unity of mankind, or with the commitment of the American project of freedom from tyranny.

But the “tyranny” from which the cultural revolution of the 1960s proposes to free people is the tyranny of having any discontents in life. Sex is the cutting edge issue of the revolution, the issue used to attack traditional belief and practice. Unlike race, which is a superficial difference between human beings, sex is profound, and deeply embedded in who we are physically and psychologically. It runs throughout the human species, and indeed, throughout nature. It is a very reasonable basis from making distinctions in much of life, and thus a very reasonable basis for choices (discrimination). By attacking its reality, today’s social radicals have found a powerful weapon to attack the traditional religion and society in which they disbelieve.

Because God’s revelation in the moral law of the Bible is well suited to human nature, it is necessary for its enemies to go out of their way to attack it, requiring others to be complicit in sin. People have ready access to goods and services that violate Biblical doctrines of the right to life and sexual purity without requiring believers to participate. But this is not good enough. As Rousseau said at the beginning of the revolutionary era, people must be “forced to be free.” And in the case of sexual ethics, that has meant the enlightened imposing the will to self determination on the general public to change the “general will,” which is supposed to be the ultimate authority.

One of the most ghastly examples of this was the case of Storman’s Pharmacy in the state of Washington. Although people in the community had ready access to abortion inducing drugs from other pharmacies in the area, the pharmacy was targeted first by pro-abortion activists, and then by the state for its refusal to stock the drugs. While the initial claim was that people were being deprived of access to legal drugs, it was ultimately admitted that it was religious objection to abortion that the state was targeting. Failure to stock other legal drugs was not being pursued, nor was nonreligious objection to a particular drug objectionable. What was objectionable was the religious claim that abortion is sinful, and the fornication that often occasions it. Despite the obvious denial of free exercise of religious belief even by standard of the infamous Smith decision (1990), the Supreme Court declined to take this case. The obvious objective is to create a world in which everything agrees with the belief that people are entitled to the sexual gratification that they want, and to have this belief be a normal part of life.

Reasons can be given for sexual purity, but beyond the clear divine command they involve claims of philosophy and scientific research that can easily be set aside in ordinary life, or debunked by a skilled critic. But in the case of abortion, it is clear that a human life is being taken to protect the way of life someone else wants. Perhaps the demand for universal agreement against common sense is even more striking with transgenderism. Here one’s immediate desires, even if a sexually developing child, are made absolute. Thus two distraught fathers, one in Texas, the other in British Columbia, have been silenced (forbidden to speak to the media), and the Canadian father required to engage in forced speech (use of a gender pronoun which is not correct for the child’s biological sex). All this to accommodate the immediate wishes of their still sexually developing and psychologically maturing children.

This is made to seem plausible to judges by activists and professionals in medical and psychological professions who have been deceived and/or coerced by an ideology that says that, as a matter of justice, people are entitled to the reality they want. As this writer noted in the spring, the enemies of Christian morality have converted sins into rights, and made wild irrationality into scientific discoveries, charging believers with irrational animosity to boot.

How can Christians, especially ordinary Christians who must focus on other things for most of their lives, respond to this juggernaut of lies and evil, which has now captured the mainstream of American and Western culture? There is no easy way. God has prescribed the narrow gate as part of Christian life, and we must pursue it. Modern thought and life have made faith hard for many people (although there have always been people who found faith difficult, as the Bible clearly indicates). And Christian morality has also always been hard, but the Bible indicates that is because of original sin. Today that sin is aided by modern and post-modern attacks, so that the easy route is to accept the demands of the cultural revolution, even though self-determination is finally unworkable, and in the case of transgenderism in particular, will surely come to grief.

Everyone cannot have the reality that they want. That is the lesson that the post-World War II, post-Cold War world must learn. We deny it at our peril. In reality, it is the aspects of Judeo-Christian morality that secularists find offensive that are singled out for attack; true self determination is impossible (one cannot be President of the United States or a millionaire by saying so).

To defend against the irrational and emotional demands of the cultural left, the first line of defense is an appeal to conscience and noncompliance with legal and social requirements. It should be obvious to everyone that it is wrong to take an action believed to be evil (as opposed to merely unwise or profoundly bad policy). Nor is the personal pain of others at one’s belief at all comparable, evil is evil, sin is sin.

But it will be much easier to find accommodation, and more people will be willing to listen to the gospel, if people understand its claims to be reasonable. This is the province of apologetics, which has experienced a renaissance in recent decades. The “warm audience” that the American church had in the past, with much of the public familiar with at least the basics of Christian doctrine and practice, and assuming it to be a good thing, is increasingly not there. Now we face a cold audience, unfamiliar and perhaps misinformed about Christian teaching. And people in our own churches and those still part of the dwindling “warm audience” must be aware of how to defend the Christian faith against attack.

In the end, however, we must rely on God and his gift of faith to those who have received him as lord and savior. This is all believers have in North Korea or Saudi Arabia, and the only thing we are guaranteed over time. Our first duty is to love God, which means obedience to him. In taking care not to offend others (which is Biblical), we must first take care not to offend God.


Working in the Netherlands - For residents for Saudi Arabia


Do you currently live in Saudi Arabia? Are you considering working in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is considered one of the strongest member states of the European Union. With its huge investment in building business infrastructure and a strong policy framework, the Netherlands has become the epicenter of the global economy. Highways cover almost all major EU countries, such as Germany, Belgium, France, Denmark, etc. It makes sense to build your European base in the Netherlands. In addition to its charming location and infrastructure, the Netherlands also has a stunning business environment. Compared to other EU countries with direct compliance prerequisites, Dutch corporate tax rates are extremely low.


The European Union continues to be Saudi Arabia's main trading partner for goods and services. As the KSA economy is currently in a downturn, more and more companies want to set up a local company in Europe to sell it to local customers. The Netherlands is the preferred destination for Saudi Arabian companies because they can now own 100% of the company in the Netherlands. Now you can register a BV (private limited company) company in the Netherlands with only 1 Euro of capital. Choose On Demand International's low-cost Dutch company registration plan and start using it in 15 days or less. This is an excellent opportunity for you to build European credibility and reputation for your company, and most importantly, it can provide services such as local shipping, euro currency invoices, etc. to serve local major customers.

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Taken to Brink by Trump, Gulf States Are Backpedaling on Iran


Taken to Brink by Trump, Gulf States Are Backpedaling on Iran(Bloomberg) -- An expanded soccer tournament, a direct flight, clandestine meetings and a pledge to release prisoners of war; diplomacy is breaking out as Gulf Arab nations back away from a Donald Trump-inspired confrontation with Iran. And the signs are everywhere.Last week, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain played their first games of the 2019 Arabian Gulf Cup in Qatar after a last-minute decision to take part -- an apparent breakthrough in a 30-month feud that saw them halt trade and flights over Qatar’s links with Iran and support for Islamist groups.Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition that’s fought Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015 began releasing jailed Houthis, as efforts to end the conflict gather momentum. Oman is quietly hosting high-level meetings, according to people familiar with the matter, and even Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has hinted at direct channels with the U.A.E.Spooked by the prospect of a catastrophic war with Iran and its proxy militias across the region, Gulf monarchies are in the midst of a strategic rethink. The U.A.E., whose economic model relies in large part on its international links, quickly realized it had most to lose from a military escalation. It had removed most of its troops from Yemen by the end of a turbulent summer that saw oil tankers targeted and a U.S. drone downed in the Gulf without significant American response.While the humanitarian catastrophe unleashed by the Yemen war trained an unwelcome spotlight on Saudi Arabia, it took a brazen strike on Saudi oil installations -- which knocked out half the country’s crude production -- to ram home the risks and prove that Trump was not about to ride to his allies’ rescue.“The attacks shattered any illusion of this magical U.S. security umbrella,” said David Roberts, an assistant professor at King’s College London who studies the Gulf. “It burst the bubble and showed that Iran had the willingness to both do something astonishing like the attack on Aramco facilities and the capability to carry it out.”Iran denies U.S. and Saudi assertions it carried out the Sept. 14 strikes, pointing to Houthi claims of responsibility. But people familiar with investigations into the attacks say they were almost certainly launched from southwestern Iran -- an explosive escalation in Tehran’s pushback against an economic offensive unleashed by Trump and enthusiastically backed by the Saudis.The Trump administration withdrew last year from the 2015 deal meant to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, and reimposed sanctions that have crippled its oil exports. But the “maximum pressure” policy is designed to coax Tehran into more concessions not to drag the U.S. into a new Middle East war just as it draws down troops in Syria.Rolling back Shiite Muslim Iran’s power remains a priority for the Sunni Gulf Arab leadership. There’s an increasing recognition, however, that no one stands to gain from a military escalation in the world’s top oil-exporting region.Saudi Arabia’s Center for International Communication didn’t respond to an email seeking comment. The U.A.E. declined to comment. But in a Nov. 10 speech, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said he saw “a path to a deal with Iran that all parties might soon” be ready to embark on if Tehran demonstrated commitment.War to ‘Cold Peace’In search of a breakthrough, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, a former cricketer elected with the backing of a powerful army that provides extensive support for the Saudi military, shuttled between Tehran and Riyadh in October. He met Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Rouhani, as well as Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, describing talks as “encouraging.”Khan said he traveled at the request of Trump and Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the diplomacy wasn’t prompted by the kingdom. But deepening unease in the Gulf catalyzed the effort.Turning these overtures into lasting peace between countries that have grown further apart since the 1979 Iranian revolution remains far off.The Gulf states resent Iran’s deep reach into Arab nations. While ongoing protests in Iraq and Lebanon suggest Iran has reached the limit of its regional influence, they are unlikely to reverse political and military advances decades in the making.“Cold peace is possible but we are certainly far from a grand bargain,” said Afshin Molavi, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins. “For that, both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi would have to accept a role for Iran in Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.”As they explore ways forward, Gulf states are moving at different speeds.The U.A.E. broke with the U.S. and Saudi Arabia by not naming Iran as the culprit behind attacks in May and June on oil tankers as they sailed toward the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s foremost oil shipping chokepoint.It sent coast guard officials to Iran for the first time in six years and Rouhani hinted at other meetings with senior U.A.E. officials. “We’re moving toward improved relations,” he said Oct. 14. Saudi Arabia is catching up.Washington built a multilateral naval operation to protect shipping in the Gulf after the attacks and sent more troops to Saudi Arabia. Both actions resulted in a “down tick” in Iranian actions,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Nov. 13. “The Iranians should not mistake our restraint for weakness.”Where the U.S. holds back, however, others are crowding in. Besides his role in saving Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Russian President Vladimir Putin has forged a partnership with Iran, created an oil alliance with Saudi Arabia and built ties with Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who was warned by the U.S. last month against plans to purchase Russian jets.Putin traveled to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. in October after visits by the Saudi king and the U.A.E.’s de-facto leader Mohammad bin Zayed to Moscow. The two Gulf countries and Russia have signed deals valued at billions of dollars.For Iran’s Rouhani, the case for regional engagement is obvious.“Don’t you know that Iran is going to stay here and we will remain neighbors throughout history?” he has said, referring to Iran’s Arab neighbors. “Trump will only be around for a few years and will go back to whatever it was he was doing.”\--With assistance from Golnar Motevalli and Glen Carey.To contact the reporter on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at, Mark WilliamsFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Ragheb Alama: Lebanon needs a president like Prince Mohammed bin Salman


WAAR_DUHOK     The Lebanese singer Ragheb Alama responded to criticism made by people for having a concert in Saudi Arabia despite the crisis in Lebanon.   Ragheb Alama revealed that in order to eliminate corrupt in Lebanon they need a president like Prince Mohammed bin Salman.   Alama added that Lebanon is going through ...

The post Ragheb Alama: Lebanon needs a president like Prince Mohammed bin Salman appeared first on WAARmedia.


Senior Capital Markets Specialist | ISDB - Islamic Development Bank

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Key Accountabilities: Capital Market management Prepares, in coordination with other team members, the yearly resource mobilization plan, covering the target size, terms, currency, maturity i

Comment on Is US Oil Production Growth Slowing??? by Matt Mushalik

Thanks for this clarification. (a) Out of the 990 Gb undeveloped reserves how much is from Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE? (b) 20% of the 148 Gb of tar sands is from shallow surface mining (produced at an annual 3% of current reserves), 80 % from in-situ (produced at an annual 0.8 % of current reserves). For the purpose of calculating a production peak much of the in situ reserve will not be relevant. It will moderate the decline, though. Provided bush fires don't burn down the production facilities

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Iraq: Abductions Linked to Baghdad Protests


An image that a friend of Mustafa Munthir Ali, who was arrested from a Baghdad protest on November 15, posted to an Instagram account, lostiraqiprotesters2, where people across Iraq are posting information about protesters who have gone missing, asking for information about his whereabouts before his family found out he was in custody.

© 2019 Private

(Beirut) – At least seven people, including a boy of 16, were reported missing since October 7 from or near Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, where they were participating in ongoing protests in Iraq’s capital, Human Rights Watch said today. Four were still missing as of December 2. The families said they visited police stations and government offices seeking information without success, and the government took no tangible measures to locate their relatives. It is unclear whether government security or armed groups carried out the abductions. In another two cases, security forces arrested and arbitrarily held protest supporters.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi announced he was submitting his resignation as prime minister to parliament on November 29.

“Whether the government or armed groups are behind the abductions in Baghdad, the government bears the responsibility for keeping people safe from such targeting,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Authorities are failing Iraqi citizens by allowing armed groups to abduct people, and it will be up to the government to take swift action against these abuses.”

On November 5, 2019, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq reported that it knew of six abductions of protesters or volunteers helping them in Baghdad. The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights began tallying the number of people security forces and unknown elements had abducted and detained during protests on October 1, but stopped its tally on October 31. However, on November 25, the commission said on Facebook that authorities had arrested 93 protesters in Baghdad between November 21 and 24 – 14 of whom they had released – and noted continued reports of kidnappings of activists, journalists, and lawyers by “unknown persons.” On November 21, it said the government should investigate, secure people’s release, and bring those responsible to justice.

In a November 27 press conference, Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi announced that authorities had released 2,500 people they had arrested since protests began.

Human Rights Watch was able to get some information about seven abducted people and two people who was arrested. But in nine other cases, families, friends and lawyers of people kidnapped or detained at or after they participated in protests in Baghdad, Karbala and Nasriya, said they were too frightened or worried about the consequences for the detained person to provide details.

Human Rights Watch reported on the abduction of Saba Farhan Hameed, 36, on November 2, as she was on her way home from providing food, water, and first aid kits to protesters in Tahrir Square. Hameed’s family said she was blindfolded throughout her abduction and released on November 13, but could not provide other details. Human Rights Watch had also documented the abduction of Maytham al-Helo, a Baghdad resident, on October 7, during the first wave of protests. He was released on October 24 and was also unable to provide any details about his abduction.

The brother of Omar Kadim Kadi’a said on November 26 that Kadi’a had been living in Tahrir Square since a second wave of protests started on October 25. Kadi’a came home on November 20 to take a shower, he said, but then left, and his family has not been able to reach or find him since. His brother said that on November 25, his phone was turned back on, because it suddenly showed that their messages to him had been read, but they called many times and got no answer. He said that Kadi’a’s older brother filed a missing person complaint at a local Baghdad police station but that the police showed little interest and that as far as he knew, did not investigate. Kadi’a was released on November 28, and told Human Rights Watch that Federal Police had arrested him at a checkpoint en route to the protests on November 20 and brought him before a judge on November 21, who told him he was not being charged with anything. The police released him on November 28.

A man in Baghdad said on October 22 that he had last spoken to his brother Abbas Yaseen Kadim, who was at the Tahrir Square protest, by phone on October 3 at 5 p.m. When the brother tried to call Kadim at 8 p.m., the phone was turned off. The brother went to four police stations seeking information but found out nothing, and police did not offer any assistance in locating him. Kadim is still missing.

Another man said that a relative, Saif Muhsin Abdul Hameed, had come to Baghdad on October 25 for the protests and was sleeping in a tent with friends at Tahrir Square. He said he spoke to Abdul Hameed at around noon on October 28. Abdul Hameed told him he was on Jumhuriya Bridge, the front line of the protests, but after that, Abdul Hameed's phone was turned off. He said he went to police stations and government offices but was not able to get any information, and police said they did not have enough information to follow up on the case. Abdul Hameed remains missing.

A relative of Mari Mohammed Harj, a woman from Baghdad, said on November 13 that on October 29, Harj posted a video of herself on Facebook criticizing the prime minister and expressing support for the protesters. The video went viral, her relative said, at which point Facebook users the family did not know started posting accusations that Harj had ties to Saudi Arabia and making death threats against her.

The relative said she last spoke to Harj, who was at Tahrir Square, at 5 p.m. on November 8, but that when she called at 9 p.m., Harj’s phone was turned off. She said Harj’s father and uncle went to two police stations in Baghdad but got no information. They asked the police to seek cell phone tower data to help figure out where she was and file a missing person report, but did not think the police had investigated. Harj was released on November 12 but could not share details of her abduction with Human Rights Watch.

The sister of Mustafa Munthir Ali, who was in Tahrir Square every day helping as an ad hoc medic, said he stopped answering her calls at 3 a.m. on November 15. She said she went to Tahrir Square later that morning and could not find Ali at police stations or on any prisoner lists they checked. She said she did not know how to file a missing person claim and the police would not help. Ali managed to call his family on November 17, said his father, who was able to visit him on November 20 in detention in Muthana, an old military base in Baghdad that now houses detention facilities by various government security apparatuses.

Ali told his father that at midnight on November 14, a man in civilian clothes dragged him from the protest to a group of officers who arrested him, took him to the Baghdad Operations Command office, and beat him. Ali said that on November 16, officers brought him before a judge, who told him that he was not being charged but that the judge could not order his release until “the government resigns or the protests end.” The father said Ali confirmed that other protesters were being held at Muthana. Human Rights Watch was not able to directly verify his account.

A cousin of Sinan Adil Ibrahim said on November 25 that he spoke on November 21 to Ibrahim, who was at the Tahrir Square protest. He called Ibrahim again at 2 a.m. on November 22 to find that his phone was turned off. The family was afraid to describe steps they have taken to secure his release.

Hassan Ahmed Hatim, 16, went to the Tahrir Square protest on November 28, and his family has not been able to reach or find him since, his father said. His father went to three police stations but got no information and none offered to file a missing persons claim or any other help.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Iraq has one of the highest number of missing people in the world. The International Commission on Missing Persons, which has been working in partnership with the Iraqi government to help recover and identify the missing, estimates that the number of missing people in Iraq could range from 250,000 to 1 million people. Human Rights Watch published a report documenting enforced disappearances of predominantly Sunni Arabs between 2014 and 2017.

Iraqi authorities should ensure an independent investigation into all abductions. The authorities should release all protesters who have not been charged with a recognizable criminal offense or anyone detained solely for exercising their right to peaceful assembly and protest. Those responsible for unlawful detention should be investigated and prosecuted, including both state security forces and private individuals.

“In Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, it is unacceptable for the police to continue to treat these abductions with seeming indifference,” Whitson said. “They should put a stop to them and investigate.”


China: FIFA Broke Own Rules for Club World Cup


Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, attends the FIFA Council Meeting, officially announcing the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup will be held in Shanghai, China, October 24, 2019. 

© 2019 Imaginechina via AP Images
(New York) – FIFA’s surprise selection of China to host the 2021 Club World Cup disregarded its own human rights commitments in the bidding process, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing correspondence with the global football governing body.
In March 2019, FIFA abolished the Confederations Cup and used the available slot in the calendar to create a new 24-team FIFA Club World Cup. Eight months later, on October 24,  the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, announced in Shanghai that FIFA had chosen China to be the host of the inaugural 2021 Club World Cup. Contrary to FIFA statutes and policies, there was no public bidding process, no stakeholder consultations, and no human rights risk assessment. 
“FIFA flouted its own human rights commitments by granting hosting rights to China for the Club World Cup,” said Minky Worden, global initiatives director at Human Rights Watch. “FIFA is sending the message that the rules that apply to other governments don’t apply to Beijing.”
FIFA’s correspondence with Human Rights Watch refers to “internationally recognized human rights standards” that apply to China – but FIFA has not made these hosting arrangements or any agreement with Beijing public.
As human rights groups and the media have documented, the Chinese government is committing serious human rights violations, including labor abuses, mass arbitrary detention, mass surveillance, torture, severe restrictions on journalists, and mistreatment of more than one million Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in “political education” camps in Xinjiang. Such abuses will directly affect groups participating in the FIFA Club World Cup, including athletes and fans from around the world, workers building venues, and journalists, among others. China has no domestic media or internet freedoms, core requirements for FIFA event hosts.

In an October 29 letter to FIFA, Human Rights Watch asked the global football governing body to explain its decision to grant a flagship tournament to China’s state-run federation without stakeholder consultation or assessing the obvious human rights risks, steps set out in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the “Guiding Principles”), which FIFA has endorsed and which are enshrined in FIFA policy.

FIFA’s Human Rights Policy, adopted in 2017, outlines the global football authority’s responsibility to identify and address adverse human rights impacts of its operations, including taking adequate measures to prevent and mitigate human rights abuses. Article 7 of FIFA’s Human Rights Policy states that “FIFA will constructively engage with relevant authorities and other stakeholders and make every effort to uphold its international human rights responsibilities.” This should include working with its independent Human Rights Advisory Board and consulting a wide range of stakeholders, including potentially affected groups and individuals and their legitimate representatives, before making major hosting decisions. In the foreword to FIFA’s “reformed bidding process,” Infantino writes: “It is FIFA’s responsibility towards the world of football to conduct these bidding and selection procedures in an ethical, transparent, objective and unbiased way.”

Questioned in Shanghai in October about the Club World Cup bidding process and independent human rights review, Infantino replied: “The mission of FIFA is to organize football and to develop football all over the world,” sidestepping a direct question about why it had ignored its own policies. 

FIFA’s November 7 letter in response to Human Rights Watch does not dispute that it should have consulted stakeholders in advance in keeping with its “far-reaching human rights requirements in the bidding and hosting of FIFA tournaments,” but asserts that the Club World Cup in China is a “pilot edition” on a “shorter timeline.” 

“Timing doesn’t overcome FIFA’s responsibilities to address human rights requirements in China and other host countries,” Worden said. “The shorter timeline actually makes assessing human rights risks even more important.”

Human rights issues have previously been addressed on tight timelines, Human Rights Watch said. In May, FIFA consulted human rights groups about whether to expand the 2022 World Cup to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf countries. In 2018, FIFA required Canada, Mexico, Morocco, and the United States to conduct independent human rights risk assessments, stakeholder consultations, and to present a Human Rights Strategy in order to bid. 

Football players from China are not exempt from Beijing’s crackdown on basic rights and freedoms. In 2018, Xinjiang authorities detained a teenage Uyghur professional footballer, Erfan Hezim, also known as Ye Erfan, a member of China’s national youth football team. Deemed “one of China’s most promising young footballers,” Erfan was placed in a “political education” camp in Xinjiang for supposedly visiting foreign countries to train and play football matches. He was released in 2019, but FIFA never commented on his case. In early 2019, an aspiring professional footballer, Erpat Ablekrem, was also detained in a camp in Xinjiang after he maintained contact with family members who had fled the country. Erpat remains in custody.   

The awarding of hosting rights comes with a written agreement between FIFA and the host country. But the terms of FIFA’s Club World Cup hosting arrangements with China have not been made public. Transparency is a key part of the UN Guiding Principles. The International Olympic Committee has made its host city contracts public since 2014.

“If there’s to be any integrity in what remains of this process, FIFA needs to immediately make public its hosting arrangements and any agreement with China, put human rights front and center, and then make sure protections are fully carried out,” Worden said. 


Saudi Arabia releases 11 people questioned over foreign ties: official

Saudi Arabian authorities have released 11 citizens who were detained for several days last month for questioning over suspected links to foreign entities, a Saudi official told Reuters.


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Solar Energy Offers Lifeline in Power-Starved Yemen

  Yemen’s civil war has resulted in widespread power outages across the country. The United Nations estimates that about 90 percent of the country’s population lost electricity after the war broke out in 2015. The severe power shortage has led some Yemenis to buy solar energy equipment to produce their own electricity. Ebrahim al-Faqih recognized this need four years ago and started selling solar panels. The demand for solar equipment has continued to rise, leading more people to get into the business. “Even people who used to work selling food moved to work in solar energy because of the high demand,” Faqih told the Reuters news agency. He runs a store in the capital Sanaa which sells solar water heaters and panels imported from India and China. Solar energy systems are providing answers to people struggling to meet their personal power needs. The availability of electricity was already extremely limited in Yemen’s rural areas even before the conflict began.     In many areas, electricity is needed to provide one of life’s main necessities, water. Pumps are used to bring water to the surface for drinking and farming. Muhammad Yahya bought solar panels to power his home in the capital. He told Reuters that solar energy has become an important lifeline for many. “Electricity these days isn’t just for lighting, electricity is life,” he said. Yahya said solar energy is clearly being used by many as a way to help them get through the conflict. But he hopes people will keep using it as a main source of electricity when the war ends. Sanaa is controlled by the Houthi movement, which ousted internationally-recognized President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from power in 2014. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting a ground and air campaign in support of the government of Hadi, who fled to exile in Saudi Arabia. Iran supports the Houthi rebels. Some Yemenis use diesel fuel generators to produce electricity. But such equipment pollutes the air and is too costly for many people. “Alternative energy is better, it changed my life dramatically,” said Akram Noman, who lives in Sanaa. He says he now has very little use for traditional electrical power. Noman said the government should offer tax breaks for people to use solar energy and should help farmers buy solar equipment. Omar Homadi has a farm south of the capital in the Houthi-controlled rural area of Dhamar. He told Reuters he could not cover the cost of running a diesel generator to water his land, so he bought a solar-powered pump. “Our land had dried up but now it has come back to life thanks to the solar energy,” he said. Dhamar’s water production had fallen to 30 percent of pre-war levels, said local water official Muhammad Ali al-Habshi. But production has now returned to 70 to 80 percent of levels before the war because of solar projects supported by international donors. “People used to get water every 10-12 days,” Homadi said. “Now it is every three days...Solar energy was like a dream.” I’m Bryan Lynn.   Reuters news agency reported on this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor. We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page. _________________________________________________________________ Words in This Story   panel – n. piece of equipment that attaches to the surface of something generator – n. a machine that produces electricity alternative – adj. different from what is usual or traditional dramatically –adv. suddenly and to an extreme extent  

When Militants Took Mecca: A Short Siege With An Immense Legacy

Forty years ago, militants held one of Islam's holiest sites — Saudi Arabia's Grand Mosque — and thousands of pilgrims hostage for two weeks. Though they failed, they shaped the future of the region.

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South Africa Blocks New Arms Transfers to Saudi Arabia and UAE

The South African government blocked the sale of new arms to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and several other countries over a dispute over inspections.

Safety Engineer (Relocation to Saudi Arabia) - Saudi Aramco - Houston, TX

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Saudi exchange to limit Aramco index weighting with cap

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul has introduced an equity index cap of 15% which is set to address concerns over the weighting oil giant Saudi Aramco will have when it lists on the exchange.


10 things you need to know today: November 30, 2019



A 28-year-old man who had previously been jailed for his role in a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange in 2012 carried out a stabbing attack at London Bridge that resulted in the deaths of a man and a woman Friday and injuries to three others. Police believe that Usman Khan, who is affiliated with an al-Qaida-inspired terrorist group, acted alone in the attack, which is considered a terrorist incident. Khan was shot dead by police after civilians restrained him. Khan was reportedly wearing a GPS police tag and was out on parole. Police are now investigating how he was able to launch the attack despite authorities monitoring his movements. Police confirmed that, prior to the attack, Khan was attending a Cambridge University conference on prisoner rehabilitation. [BBC, The Guardian]


President Trump has until Dec. 6 to alert the House Judiciary Committee if his counsel intends to call witnesses and introduce evidence in the committee's upcoming impeachment hearings as the inquiry transitions away from the House Intelligence Committee to the judiciary panel. Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) set the deadline in a letter sent to the president Friday. Nadler also set the same deadline for Republican lawmakers on the Democrat-led committee to let him know about any intended witnesses and evidence they wish to involve in the hearings. The lawmakers will then have a meeting on Dec. 9. Trump has also been invited to attend the committee's initial hearing scheduled for Dec. 4. He must decide by Sunday evening if he will accept. It is unclear how Trump or his counsel will respond to either request. [Reuters, The Washington Post]


Neither the Taliban nor the Afghan government indicated the sides were close to a cease-fire agreement, despite President Trump's assertion while visiting U.S. troops in Afghanistan for Thanksgiving on Thursday that the Taliban was ready to strike a deal. "We are ready to talk, but we have the same stance to resume the talks from where it was suspended," the Taliban said in a statement in response to Trump's announcement. Talks between Washington and the Taliban sputtered in September without any formal conclusion. Sediq Seddiqi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, said "it is too early to comment on any changes or any perceived changes" in negotiations. [The Washington Post, The New York Times]


Danielle Stella, a Republican challenging Rep. Ilhan (D-Minn.) for her Congressional seat, had her Twitter account permanently suspended for repeatedly violating the social media platform's rules, a Twitter spokesperson said. Most notably, Stella wrote Tuesday that Omar should be tried for treason and "hanged" if a baseless claim that the congresswoman passed sensitive information to Iran was proven to be true. She reportedly later added a link to a blog post that included a drawing of a stick figure being hanged. Omar said Stella's tweets are the "natural results of a political environment where anti-Muslim dogwhistles and dehumanization are normalized by an entire political party and its media outlets." [CNN, Fox News]


About 1,000 secondary school students and senior citizens joined together for a peaceful march Saturday in Hong Kong as part of the city's pro-democracy, anti-government movement. It was the first of several rallies planned for the weekend, as protesters continue to push back against what they consider to be police brutality and unlawful arrests. The demonstration was reportedly organized to show that Hong Kong's demands for freedom and democracy are cross-generational. Police authorized the march, which took place a week after the pro-democracy movement dominated the polls in Sunday's elections, taking 17 of the city's 18 district councils. One student said it was "inspiring to see that we are all striving for the same ideologies" despite the age gap. [The South China Morning Post, Reuters]


Two 15-year-old girls and a 13-year-old boy were injured Friday by a male suspect in a stabbing attack Friday in the Dutch city, The Hague. The victims have since been released from the hospital. The attack took place in the city's main market square while shoppers were out during Black Friday, which led to unusually large crowds. Police are still hunting for the suspect, and the motive remains unclear. An earlier description of the suspect was later rendered incorrect. Police have asked for patience and said that the complexity of the case means it will take time. [BBC, Deutsche Welle]


The initial public offering from Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco has drawn total bids of $44.3 billion so far from retail and institutional investors, about 1.7 times the amount the kingdom plans to reel in. The sale is on pace to be the world's largest listing when it formally prices next week. Most of the bids came from Saudi investors, however, hinting that international investors are wary about the state-owned company's valuation of $1.6 to $1.7 trillion set by the government. The Saudi government is aiming to sell a 1.5 percent stake and raise $25.6 billion, which would beat out Alibaba's $25 billion IPO in 2014. The IPO is a central part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plan to diversify the Saudi economy. [Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal]


Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Friday announced his resignation following Wednesday's firebombing of the Iranian consulate in Najaf and weeks of antigovernment protests that have left hundreds dead. In a statement, Mahdi said that his decision would allow Iraq to "preserve the blood of its people, and avoid slipping into a cycle of violence, chaos, and devastation," although his successor has not been named. At least 400 protesters have been killed since the beginning of October, with 40 shot dead by security forces in three cities Thursday and early Friday. [The New York Times]


A massive winter storm that has already prompted warnings from Arizona to Wisconsin will be lumbering east in coming days, almost certainly interfering with Thanksgiving return-travel plans for millions. By the time it's finished, the storm, created by the same conditions that caused the "bomb cyclone" in California and Arizona earlier in the week, could pummel an area stretching from the Sierra Nevadas to New England — where a nor'easter is predicted to begin on Sunday night. [The Washington Post]


Arizona Cardinals cornerback Josh Shaw received an indefinite suspension from the NFL that will at least last through the 2020 season for betting on NFL games multiple times this season. Shaw has not played for the Cardinals this season after landing on injured reserve in August following a shoulder injury. As a result, he reportedly hasn't been around the team very much during the season. The league did not find that Shaw used any inside information to bet on games or that any game was compromised. Shaw's teammates and coaches were also reportedly unaware of his gambling and were not involved. Betting on football is prohibited for anyone who works for the NFL in any capacity. Shaw is the first player to be suspended for gambling by the league in 36 years. [ESPN, CBS Sports]


First renewable energy project connected in Saudi Arabia


ACWA Power has announced the successful connection of the Sakaka Solar PV Plant - the first renewable energy project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - to the national grid. The project has commenced ...


Don’t expect too much from sanctions, by Scott Sumner


Countries often rely on economic sanctions as a lever to change policy in foreign countries.  The recent example of Huawei provides a good example of why sanctions are often (not always) ineffective:

American tech companies are getting the go-ahead to resume business with Chinese smartphone giant Huawei Technologies Co., but it may be too late: It is now building smartphones without U.S. chips. . . .

“When Huawei came out with this high-end phone—and this is its flagship—with no U.S. content, that made a pretty big statement,” said Christopher Rolland, a semiconductor analyst at Susquehanna International Group. He said that in recent meetings, Huawei executives told him that the company was moving away from American parts, but it was still surprising how quickly it happened.

In this case there seem to be two issues.  First, sanctions were weakened after US firms complained that they were losing valuable exports opportunities in China.  Second, the ability of firms to substitute away from key inputs is often greater than expected. Indeed this is a point that goes well beyond economic sanctions.  For instance, environmental regulations often prove to be less costly than expected, as firms find other (cleaner) ways of producing goods at a cost that is less than expected.

In my view, sanctions are only justified when there is a need to deter military aggression.  However one can make a reasonable argument for sanctions in the case of severe human rights abuses.  The situation in Hong Kong certainly does not justify sanctions; if there were a case, it would be the far more severe human rights abuses in Xinjiang.  But in that case it would be hard to justify not doing the same regarding India, which is committing severe human rights abuses against millions of Muslim citizens in Assam and Kashmir.  Do we really want to have sanctions against India, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Syria, Iran and many other countries, comprising half the world’s population?  Or would that do more harm than good?

In general, economic growth is the best way to improve human rights in the long run.  In the short run it doesn’t always work (as we see in India and China) but it’s our best hope for the long run.


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France Seeks to Fill Void in Middle East Left by U.S.

France laid out a new posture for itself in discussions in the Gulf this week, chiding the Americans for not standing up to Iran's threats against Saudi Arabia and other countries. Paris now wants to play a more robust role in maritime security as

Mueller, Barr, Giuliani, Comey and Kallstrom Once Fought Terror Together—Now Trump Has Them Fight Each Other


Mueller, Barr, Giuliani, Comey and Kallstrom Once Fought Terror Together—Now Trump Has Them Fight Each OtherPhoto Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyThe constellation of federal investigators, attorneys, prosecutors and judges orbiting Donald Trump in the last three years have a unique, shared history.Relatively unknown to the American public is the fact that before many of them became household names, cast as either the heroes or villains of the Trump saga (depending on where you stand on Trump), they were colleagues in the trenches of some of America’s biggest terrorism cases. They crossed paths numerous times in courtrooms and at crime scenes, often united by a single case.  From my perch working for the House Intelligence Committee, at the FBI as a congressional liaison, and then on the 9/11 Joint Inquiry, I observed what in many respects were their finest achievements, how those played out politically, how they fought their turf battles at home and with foreign governments, how they learned to communicate with the American public after each tragedy—and ultimately, fundamentally how they changed America’s approach to national security.  If Trump’s Rage Brings ‘Civil War,’ Where Will the Military Stand?In the 1990s, as hundreds of Americans were being slaughtered in acts of terrorism from Oklahoma City to Kenya to lower Manhattan—and while Donald Trump was hosting teenage beauty pageants—these men helped capture, extradite, prosecute, and put away for life some of the worst mass murderers of American citizens in our nation’s history. But now they have become caricatures and cable news fodder—and their reputations are part of the professional carnage that comes to almost everyone who is part of the Donald Trump story. They are known to the American public primarily for the things they have said, for one reason or the other, about Trump—and even more to the point, for what he has said about them.Rudy Giuliani, James Comey, Robert Mueller, William Barr, James Kallstrom, and Louis Freeh have all taken divergent paths over the past few years. But in the more than two decades that preceded Trump’s descent down the golden escalator on election night 2016, their résumés overlapped as they worked to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice in such cases as Pan Am 103, a 747 blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland; the devastated Federal Building in Oklahoma City; the Khobar Towers full of American personnel, blown up in Saudi Arabia; the Atlanta Olympics bombing; the devastated American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya; the attack on the USS Cole at anchor in Yemen; then, of course 9/11. And it’s a sad fact that the work they did during their impressive law enforcement careers got lost in the noise created by Trump’s presidency.Most interesting of all, however, is the fact that for most of these men, what they thought of Trump in 2016 had a lot to do with their opinion of the occupants of the White House—Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton—during those years their lives had intersected. Those opinions proved to be enduring and consequential. * * *THE DIRECTOR* * *In September 1993, Federal Judge Louis J. Freeh walked out of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and into FBI Headquarters as its new Director. Both his youth, 43 years of age, and his background as a former FBI agent, made him an inspired choice to lead the Bureau when nominated by the new American President, Bill Clinton. Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection viaGettyFreeh’s predecessor, William Sessions, had not completed his 10-year term as director before a report alleging ethical improprieties was released by President George H. W. Bush’s Attorney General William Barr (yes, the same William Barr who is today Trump’s Attorney General).Sessions refused to exit his position voluntarily, so it was left to Clinton’s new attorney general, Janet Reno, to fire him. Clinton may wish he had held on to Sessions. The new president and the new FBI Director would soon be at loggerheads. Although there was still a sense of excitement in Washington over the generational shift that the 1992 election represented, the fact was the Clinton administration began as an unmitigated disaster. It seemed undisciplined and chaotic to Freeh, and its early days were consumed with FBI investigations into Filegate, Travelgate, Whitewater, Paula Jones and Jennifer Flowers, and even an investigation into China’s attempts to meddle in the 1992 elections. And, most mysteriously, there was the investigation into the shocking suicide of Bill and Hillary’s long-time friend from Arkansas, Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster. FBI agents walked around the halls dispirited, talking about their affection for George H.W. Bush and their disdain for the dirty campaign they felt the Clintons had waged against him. While Clinton came off cool (playing sax on The Arsenio Hall Show, for example), “The Wimp Factor” tagline stuck to George H.W. Bush—a man who had flown 50 combat missions during World War II, had been one of the Navy’s youngest aviators and was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.  Freeh, who had been appointed a federal judge by the senior Bush, had a deep affection for him. He accepted the job as FBI Director even though he believed not only that the wrong man had won the presidency, but was firmly convinced that the winner, Clinton, was dirty. In those years, the FBI’s antipathy towards the Clintons flowed from the top down—and would become ingrained in its organizational culture. For his part, had Clinton wanted an FBI Director who would do his bidding and sweep his scandals under the rug (which the current president seems to believe is part of the job description), he knew damn well it wouldn’t be Freeh. Yet, he courted Freeh. Freeh, considered tough and clean as a hound’s tooth, would give the new Clinton Administration a patina of ethical validity it desperately needed. But Freeh’s FBI was immediately immersed in investigating Clinton’s skeletons. Freeh gave back his White House pass that had allowed him unlimited, unrecorded, access to the White House believing it would pose a conflict of interest while the Clintons were under investigation. Clinton, now realizing Freeh would be breathing down his neck, was not happy with this slap in the face. But during his entire administration, and with the endless ethical clouds that hung over him, Clinton did not dare fire Freeh.Freeh and Clinton would not speak for four years, until the bombing of the USS Cole.* * *THE HILL* * *Freeh was an instant darling with Members of Congress, and was accorded great deference and latitude. He would need it. The FBI Freeh walked into had a plethora of problems and investigations of its own to contend with. His earnest demeanor served him well—and he was complemented by his equally earnest Congressional liaison chief, John Collingwood, who was spectacularly effective at putting out the FBI’s fires. Without a drop of arrogance and possessing a deep belief in the mission of the Bureau, Collingwood was also a master at turning every FBI screw-up into an opportunity—for more resources or more law enforcement authorities. He was perhaps the greatest asset the Bureau had when facing its many challenges with Congress. When I worked in his office, I learned from Collingwood a simple formula for dealing with the Hill that most federal agencies refused to learn: Congress can be your best friend if you don’t treat its members and staff like the enemy. Give them (most of) what they ask for, be personable and on a first-name basis with staffers, and give them a heads-up to important stories before they hit the media—even if its means calling them at home at 2 a.m. (which we often did). If trust is built, Congressional staffers will, in turn, give you a heads up to potential problematic or embarrassing issues that could otherwise blindside the Director at an oversight hearing. (The first rule of any good staff work, anywhere: never, ever allow your boss to be surprised by bad news.)Collingwood could wrap his arm around the shoulder of Senator Robert Byrd (the most powerful man in Congress at the time), and Byrd would feel the entire goodwill of the FBI in that gesture—especially after Byrd made it possible for the FBI to move its badly outdated Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) to Clarksburg, West Virginia, Byrd’s home state. The CJIS is the largest division of the FBI responsible for, among other things, its automated fingerprint identification lab and national instant criminal background check system. Byrd was known as “the king of pork” for his ability to shovel millions of dollars to West Virginia. The FBI was smart enough to seize on the opportunity Byrd was offering, thus giving him a stake in the sustainability of the FBI, as well as much needed jobs for West Virginians.And the FBI’s sustainability was not a given. Freeh took charge of an FBI still reeling from its role in the carnage that occurred at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas. Both locations had been the site of standoffs between citizens and federal agents, and Waco and Ruby Ridge had become rallying cries for anti-government militias. The overly aggressive actions of federal agents had left 83 Americans dead. The country’s faith in federal law enforcement was at an all-time low. Armed, anti-government militia groups were sprouting up across the nation. At the same time, far removed from Ruby Ridge and Waco, in lower Manhattan an even more insidious threat was about to make itself known. On Feb. 26, 1993, a rental truck carrying 1,400 pounds of ammonium nitrate exploded under the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Six people were killed in an attack right in the heart of America’s financial center.The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan had energized the jihadist movement around the world. After the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan, mujahideen veterans and fellow-travelers seemed to replace their anti-Soviet fervor with an extreme anti-American ideology. Many began congregating in Islamic centers and mosques across the U.S., including New York and New Jersey. Although American military assistance had helped turn the tide for the mujahideen in their war against the Soviets, they now turned their sights toward the U.S. This was known as “blowback.” But blowback would not be coming just from Afghanistan’s jihadists. It was also developing in America’s heartland.* * *OKLAHOMA CITY* * *The security guard sitting outside the offices of the House Intelligence Committee stopped me and pointed to the television on his desk. On the screen was a horrific scene coming out of Oklahoma City. A building was sheared in half. Under tons of rubble lay an unknown number of bodies. A moon-like crater was obvious in the street where a Ryder rental truck had detonated 4,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate—a much bigger and more powerful bomb than the one used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.  Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Ralf-Finn Hestoft/CORBIS viaGettyWhen Timothy McVeigh was apprehended, the motive for the carnage became clear. The date of the slaughter was April 19, 1995, exactly two years after the federal standoff at David Koresh’s compound in Waco, Texas. This was McVeigh’s revenge—blowing up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people, including 19 children.The scale of the Oklahoma City attack, the very audacity of it, the very cruelty of it, committed by an American against other Americans, seemed like evil incarnate. Here was an “all-American white boy,” as people said, brutally killing fellow innocent Americans and children right in America’s heartland because of his hatred for federal agencies. If this level of anger existed out there in the country, how and where else might it express itself? Federal law enforcement and the media became obsessed and slightly hysterical over the idea of anti-government militias, even though McVeigh had no formal ties to any of them. Ultimately, however, McVeigh’s actions had an effect opposite to the one he intended. Instead of adding fuel to the anti-government movement, militia members resented the fact that the Feds would now be breathing down their necks. And they certainly were disgusted by the killing of so many innocent children. Some militia members began cooperating with the Feds, alerting them to possible violent extremists in their midsts. The FBI created a Domestic Terrorism Planning Section which found itself handling mostly threats against abortion clinics and crimes committed by radical animal rights groups, like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Without reasonable cause, there was little the FBI could do to surveil American citizens traipsing through the woods with legally owned firearms playing weekend warrior. They couldn’t be arrested simply for their views. But after Oklahoma City, the FBI drafted a wish list of expanded authorities to monitor potential terrorists domestically. A coalition of left and right civil libertarians on the Hill thwarted attempts to pass these measures. (Some of the expanded authorities gained new life after 9/11 when they became part of The Patriot Act.)Trump Is First to Use PATRIOT Act to Detain a Man Forever* * *THE SAUDI MIRROR* * *One again the terror spotlight was about to shift. On June 26, 1996, just weeks after the FBI had successfully concluded an 81-day standoff with the anti-government Freeman group in Montana, a truck bomb exploded in a housing complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 Air Force personnel who were there to enforce the no-fly zone imposed on the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Hezbollah in the Hijaz (or “Saudi Hezbollah”) took credit for the attack. Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyThe Saudis knew more than they let on to the FBI about this group, but getting information from the Saudis involved a very delicate diplomatic dance—something FBI agents abhor. The deference paid to the Saudis after Khobar would never be accorded to another country within whose borders American servicemen had been killed. Less than a year before the Khobar bombing, another bomb had exploded in Riyadh, killing five U.S. Defense Department contractors. But before the FBI could interrogate the suspects, the Saudis extracted confessions from them and had them beheaded. Now 19 American airmen had been killed in Saudi Arabia, and the United States was once again saying “pretty please” to Saudi royals to get them to share information. It’s hard to determine whether it was Freeh’s strained relationship with the Clinton administration, or the Clinton administration’s hope for a rapprochement with Iran that led to other roadblocks in the Khobar investigation. Iran was clearly behind Saudi Hezbollah, but it was the Saudis, and the Saudis alone, who held the key to the investigation. With the information they possessed on the attack the year before, Khobar might have been prevented.  To shake information loose from the Saudis, and with less than enthusiastic support from the Clinton Administration, Freeh turned again to his friend, former President George H.W. Bush, who had liberated Kuwait from Saddam’s occupation and guaranteed the security of Saudi Arabia four years earlier. Freeh also weighed in with his own pal, the flamboyant Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.  As Lawrence Wright reported in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Looming Tower, John O’Neill, the chief of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Section, had angered Freeh (who valued his relationship with Bush, Prince Bandar, and his ability to gain access to Saudi Arabia without help from the Clinton White House) by telling him on a flight home from the Kingdom, “Boss, they’re blowing smoke up your ass.” The FBI did finally get access of sorts to the Khobar detainees held by the Saudis—but only by watching behind a two-way mirror as members of the Mabahith, the Saudi secret police, asked the questions. * * *PRECEDENTS* * *To understand how the Bureau developed its response to terrorist attacks you’d have to go back to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people. Pan Am 103 was the first major terrorist attack against American civilians. A Hezbollah bombing of the US Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon three years earlier had killed 220 Marines and 21 civilians. But Pan Am 103 was a watershed: 190 passengers had been American citizens on their way home for the Christmas holidays; 43 were British, and at least 19 other nationalities were represented among the lost. Among those killed were 35 students from Syracuse University returning to the U.S. after a semester studying in London. The U.N. Commissioner for Namibia, the CEO for Volkswagen America, the CIA’s Beirut Deputy Station Chief and a group of other U.S. Intelligence specialists were on that flight, raising suspicion that it might have been specially targeted. Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Bryn Colton/GettyLegislation was passed giving the FBI extraterritorial jurisdiction over investigations wherever Americans were killed, and the Pan Am 103 investigation would be handled by the Justice Department’s Criminal Division—headed by one Robert S. Mueller—a recent Bush 41 appointee. Mueller had been overseeing the prosecution of Manuel Noriega and mob boss John Gotti, but Pan Am 103 had the greatest emotional impact on him. As recently as 2018, Mueller met once again with family members of that ill-fated flight, including the now-adult children of victims, telling them, “There are those who say that time heals all wounds. But you know that not to be true. At its best, time may dull the deepest wounds; it cannot make them disappear.”  Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/GettyOn Nov. 19, 1991, Acting Attorney General William Barr (yes, the same William Barr who is attorney general today), announced the indictments of two Libyan intelligence operatives for placing the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103. A trial would not begin until 2000. In 2003, Libya would pay $2.7 billion in compensation to the families of the victims. The man found guilty, Abdelbasit Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, would ultimately die at home in Tripoli in 2017.But in 1988, never having dealt with a terrorist attack on the scale of Pan Am 103, the Bureau received very poor marks for its outreach to the grieving families. So when the Khobar Towers bombings occurred, Freeh would go out of his way to promise justice to the victims’ families—a justice that would, however, have to be finessed to suit Saudi sensibilities.In his 2005 memoir, My FBI, Freeh credits the ultimately successful indictments of the Khobar Tower suspects to his hand-picked choice as prosecutor, James B. Comey. (Yes, that James Comey.) “I will always be grateful for his leadership and pursuit of justice,” Freeh wrote of Comey, who was responsible for a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia returning a 46-count indictment against 14 defendants charged with the bombing of the Khobar Towers.But the Bureau barely had time to catch its breath. Just three weeks after the Khobar Towers attack, the genuine, overwhelming desire by the FBI to convince grieving families they would receive justice would be tested in unimaginable ways. On July 17, 1996, TWA 800 exploded over the Atlantic shortly after taking off from JFK airport, killing 240 people.END OF PART ONETOMORROW: CONSPIRACIES AND DISASTERSRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Would a Democratic president mean the end of the US special relationship with Saudi Arabia?

Last week was an overwhelming news blizzard, with the impeachment hearings, a debate among Democratic presidential candidates, and the indictment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. Amid the noise, it was easy to miss a key segment from the debate: former Vice President Joe Biden’s extraordinary comments on Saudi Arabia. Biden said the United…


Cain Velasquez wrestles in his second WWE match in Mexico City

WWE held a combined-roster supershow yesterday in Mexico City which also featured the second match of former UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. Velasquez has not showed up on WWE television ever since the Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia where he tapped out to Brock Lesnar in his first WWE match. On this Mexico City […]

PGY1 Pharmacy: King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSHRC) | King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Special Requirements for Acceptance: Graduate of an accredited college of pharmacy, Saudi citizenship, eligible for pharmacist licensure in Saudi Arabia within 3 months of starting the program, and p

Face-to-face Job Interview for Filipina Dialysis Nurses

Diaverum Saudi Arabia is now hiring Filipino female dialysis nurses with at least two years solid dialysis work experience that excludes training, volunteer or per diem. Successful job candidates will be guaranteed to join an organisation that adheres to

Spy? Or Just Another Democrat?

It appears that Ilhan Omar (D-MN) may be on the payroll of Qatar and providing information to that government--which then ships it to Iran.  Or not.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota-5th) was recruited by a foreign government, received funding from a foreign government, and passed sensitive information through intermediaries to Iran, a Florida court has been told.
The claims came during testimony by Kuwati-born Canadian businessman Alan Bender, who was giving evidence in the trial of Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al-Thani....
Bender told the Florida District Court that he met with Qatar’s Secretary to the Emir for Security Affairs Mohammad bin Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Masnad and two other senior Qatari officials. 

According to his sworn deposition, the three officials told him: “If it wasn’t for our cash, Ilhan Omar would be just another black Somali refugee in America collecting welfare and serving tables on weekends.”

Or it could be that she's just another America-hating Democrat.

Meantime, the Daily Caller thinks this story is "dubious"

 ...The Daily Caller News Foundation reviewed the deposition and deemed it not credible. It even gets Omar’s job wrong, repeatedly calling her a senator.

But the Jerusalem Post published that a “Florida court has heard” that Omar was a secret foreign agent, and the story rapidly began making the rounds among American conservatives....
Apparently this Bender dude is employed by Saudi Arabia, which shares a bunch of mutual hatred with/against Qatar.  Who stole whose goat back in 855AD or whatever.....

Stay tuned.

Weekly IntSum 30MAR2017

Personnel flying commercial aviation from the following countries into the United States and the United Kingdom are now required to secure all personal electronic devices larger than a smartphone in their checked baggage. Approved medical devices are not effected by this. The countries in question are:-Saudi Arabia-Qatar-Jordan-Egypt-United Arab Emirates-Kuwait-Turkey-Lebanon-Tunisia-MoroccoThis restriction is believed to be based off of intelligence gained during a raid by US Special Operations [...]

Spies really are everywhere, including Twitter


One of my classmates in business school was a Saudi woman. She was from a very well to do family but not, as far as I know, part of the royal family. After graduation, she stayed in the States. There was no way she could have had much of a business career if she’d gone home.

Saudi Arabia: no country for women, young or old.

It’s also no country for dissidents. male or female, young or old. Those who oppose “reformer” Mohammed bin Salman routinely end up imprisoned and tortured. In the case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it was torture, death, dismemberment…

Social media has afforded Saudi dissidents some element of “freedom” but, of course, the Saudi government invests in spying technology – and in spies - to try to sleuth out who’s saying what under cover of Facebook or Twitter anonymity.

And they’ve apparently gotten Twitter employees to help them figure out who’s tweeting anything that they perceive as against their regime.

“Saudi agents mined Twitter’s internal systems for personal information about known Saudi critics and thousands of other Twitter users,” U.S. Attorney David Anderson in San Francisco said Wednesday in a statement announcing the criminal complaint. (Source: Bloomberg)

The Twitter employees – both former employees – used “their employee credentials to gain access without authorization to certain nonpublic information about the individuals behind certain Twitter accounts.”

One of those ex-employees is Ahmad Abouammo, 41, of Seattle.

Now for all I know Ahmad Abouammo is the John Smith of Arabic names. And Seattle may be crawling with Ahmad Abouammos who are social media gurus who used to work for Twitter. But there is someone (still) on Linkedin who fits the bill, and his tagline is:

I build digital brands


Currently, Ahmad is the cofounder of a startup that focuses on redefining social media. Previousl [sic: the “y” is missing] Ahmad led branding and content strategy for multiple orgs in Amazon, developing and implementing strategic digital media and marketing at scale. Prior to Amazon, Ahmad was Head of Middle East and North Africa at Twitter, where he successfully helped launch Twitter in the region and drove users growth and content, making the Middle East the fastest growing market on Twitter.

So, he “successfully helped launch Twitter in the region and drove users growth and content…” Hmmmm.

In addition to being charged with “acting as [an] illegal agent of a foreign government,” the feds claim that Abouammo messed around with records that their investigation was after. Not a good look.

According to Abouammo’s Linkedin profile:

His time in the region enabled him to build a strong, comprehensive foundation of the region and how brands can transcend boundaries by understanding, contextualizing and adapting. Ahmad endeavors to forge stronger relationships between brands and consumers and transform and build brands for digital age. He is heavily influenced by creative art, innovative design, and social connections.

Well, the Saudi brand – other than in the White House – is pretty awful. But maybe that’s just me and my unwillingness to “transcend boundaries by understanding, contextualizing and adapting.”

But I’m struggling to see how, in giving Saudi agents information that puts dissidents at risk, he is helping “forge stronger relationships between brands and consumers.”

I do get how Abouammo is heavily influenced by social connections, especially  bad actors who got him to play footsie.

It’s one thing for those of us in free societies to wing something off in 280 characters worth of Twitter without having to worry about being rubbed out by our government. (For now, anyway.) But if you’re in a terrible place like Saudi Arabia, it’s very risky. And that risk is heightened when a malign government gets social media insiders to help them do their dirty work.

Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi dissident exile living in Canada, is suing Twitter, claiming that Twitter never bothered to tell him that his account had been hacked. (The person Abdulaziz believes is responsible is not Abouammo but, rather, one of the other men charged.)

Abdulzaia, in his filing:

…claimed the hack led Saudi agents to discover plans for a social media protest that he was planning last year with Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Months later, Khashoggi was slain in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.

Aboudammo appears to be from Lebanon, not Saudi Arabia. Maybe he got duped (or blackmailed) into giving up confidential information that’s put others at grave risk.

On his personal Twitter account (dormant for a year now), he bills himself as a “social media preacher” and “digital believer.”

Something tells me that his career as a digital believer, building digital brands, is about to come to a crashing halt.

Career suicide is always painful to see…


Yemen civil war: 128 detainees sent home from Saudi Arabia

The International Committee of the Red Cross assisted the repatriation of 128 rebels.

Australia rolls out world-first AI camera system to catch drivers on their phones

Australia rolls out world-first AI camera system to catch drivers on their phones

One Australian state government has become the first in the world to implement a statewide camera program to automatically detect drivers using their cell phones.

The program began its rollout in the state of New South Wales on December 1 following a six-month trial earlier this year, which the government claims caught over 100,000 drivers. Similar technology has been tested in England and Saudi Arabia, but the NSW program marks the first time it has been implemented on a wide scale.

There won't be any signs signalling the cameras' presence, either. "We have to unfortunately use the element of surprise to get people to think 'well, I could get caught at any time'," said NSW Roads Minister Andrew Constance. "I want behaviour to change and I want it changed immediately." Read more...

More about Australia, Cameras, Driving, Road Safety, and Cell Phones

Video: Tyga ends up in the hospital after concert in Saudi Arabia

Tyga ends up in the hospital for unknown reasons after his show at the Diriyah Music Festival in Saudi Arabia with Lil Wayne and Future. The 30-year old rapper wears a face mask and thanks Abu Dhabi doctors.

Andy Ruiz: “We Are Meditating, We Are Preparing”


By: Sean Crose

“It’s amazing man,” said WBA, IBF, and WBO world heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz, commenting on Saudi Arabia's newly constructed Diriyah Arena. “It’s crazy how they built everything in a month and a half. It’s amazing to be fighting over here, it’s going to be really historic and I’m planning to make history over here.” The fifteen thousand seat arena has been erected specifically to house next Saturday's rematch between Ruiz and the man he beat, former titlist Anthony Joshua, in an upset thriller last spring. The bout, which will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service, is quite possibly the most anticipated fight of the year.

Per Matchroom Boxing, which is promoting the match: “The 15,000-seater stadium has been constructed in the ancient remains of Saudi Arabia’s first capital, a place fittingly known as the ‘home of kings and heroes.” Ruiz was clearly impressed with how fast the facility had been constructed. “It’s a lot different. When I first got here none of this was here so it’s unbelievable. All the workers and all the people who have put their efforts in, their designs in, this event and this arena is just something amazing.”

Some have been vocally opposed to Ruiz-Joshua2 going down in a nation regularly targeted for engaging in human rights abuses. The promoters decided to move ahead, however, and now all eyes will be on Saudi Arabia, rather than New York, Las Vegas, or London. As for the defending champion, the 33-1 Ruiz is focusing on the considerable challenge of besting the 22-1 Joshua a second time. “Right now, we are meditating, we are preparing, we are getting sharper in the ring and training as well,” the fighter known as “Destroyer” claimed. “We are visualizing the fight and becoming victorious.”

Ruiz literally stunned the sports' world in early June when he stopped Joshua in the Englishman's American debut at Madison Square Garden. It was arguably supposed to be a pit stop in the undefeated Joshua's stunning career, a chance for the man to introduce himself in person to American audiences before eventually moving on to more colorful battles with the likes of Deontay Wilder, and/or Tyson Fury. The pudgy challenger ruined a lot of plans that night, but probably gained a lot of fans, as well, as everyone loves a Rocky story. “To all my fans please come and support me,” said Ruiz. “it’s going to be a huge fight, it’s the Clash On The Dunes. We are two big guys fighting each other looking to be the Heavyweight Champion of the World.”

Although he won the first battle with Joshua, it wasn't a one sided affair, and fans and analysts are wondering exactly how this rematch will turn out. “He’s trying to take my belts away,” Ruiz claimed, “so I’m going to do everything that’s possible to win and I’m going to do it for all my people.” As for what fans can expect on December 7th when he faces Joshua for the second time, Ruiz was abundantly clear. “They can expect to see someone who is not giving up,” he said, “and doing everything possible to win, God willing we are going to take this victory.”

The post Andy Ruiz: “We Are Meditating, We Are Preparing” appeared first on


Dillian Whyte Set to Take on Mariusz Wach on Joshua vs Ruiz Undercard


By: Hans Themistode

Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr was already the biggest boxing events of the year. However, the mega showdown between the two boxing stars that will be vying for Ruiz’s Heavyweight titles, has gotten even bigger with the addition of Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte. The former title challenger will be taking on fringe contender Mariusz Wach on the undercard of the event.

These two big men have been on a collision course for quite some time now. Back in 2017, a contest between them was scheduled to take place but Whyte was forced to withdraw with a foot injury. Since then, their careers have gone in the total opposite direction. Wach suffered three consecutive defeats, albeit to very good opposition in Erkan Teper, Jarrell Miller and Martin Bakole. Give credit to Wach as he has repeatedly taken on stiff competition throughout his career.

Most recently, the 39 year old Wach was last seen in the ring scoring a quick knockout win over the unheralded Giorgi Tamazashvili in October, earlier this year.

As for Whyte, since suffering his lone defeat to Anthony Joshua back in 2015, he has reeled off tenth straight wins. His competition hasn’t been against bottom dwellers either as he has defeated top contender after top contender. Some of his most notable victories are against David Allen, Dereck Chisora (twice), Joseph Parker and Lucas Browne. The latter two were world champions recently in there respective careers.

Whyte’s run up the rankings has been an impressive one, but it has been somewhat sullied as of late. On the 20th of July, earlier this year, Whyte defeated Heavyweight contender Oscar Rivas. After the bout, it was revealed that Whyte failed a drug test but many were under the impression that he did not. It has led to massive confusion around the boxing world as it is unclear whether Whyte failed a test or not.

Still, even with that blimp, Whyte is bonafide Heavyweight contender. He is routinely ranked within the top five of every sanctioning body and has recently been given a mandatory spot for the WBC title in 2021.

When discussing his upcoming contest against Wach, Whyte couldn’t help but express his excitement for not only the fight itself, but also about the opportunity to be fighting in Saudi Arabia on one of the biggest cards ever.

“I’m delighted to be fighting in Saudi Arabia against Mariusz Wach,” said Whyte. “He’s probably got one of the best chins in the Heavyweight division. I have been training and working hard to fight so it’s great to get a date and it’s very exciting for me to be fighting somewhere different like Saudi Arabia. I want to fight in different places and different settings and this card has the biggest Heavyweight fight on it that we have seen in years. I’m just going to keep chasing the World titles, so if I keep winning then I hope to land that World title shot in 2020, that’s the plan for December 7.”

With Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz poised to deliver on one of the best Heavyweight title fights in recent memory, this entire card now stands from head to toe to be one one of the very best of 2019.

The post Dillian Whyte Set to Take on Mariusz Wach on Joshua vs Ruiz Undercard appeared first on


Here's How Much Turkey and Pie Is Being Sent to Deployed Troops Around the World



Here's How Much Turkey and Pie Is Being Sent to Deployed Troops Around the World

By Dorothy Mills-Gregg

More than 131 tons of food will ensure members serving abroad, including those newly deployed to Saudi Arabia, will still have all the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner.

The Defense Logistics Agency, which distributes supplies to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and others, began planning in April on how to deliver 66,741 lbs of roasted turkey, 80,546 lbs of beef and other food in time for the troops' Thanksgiving meals.
Protect Your Family & Home Get Affordable Insurance Today

"I know the feeling of missing family and friends during the holiday season," DLA Troop Support Commander Army Brig. Gen. Gavin Lawrence said in a news release. "Our workforce takes great pride in ensuring deployed warfighters have a taste of the holidays while they are protecting our freedoms."

The DoD is also sending these main dishes downrange:

    4,925 whole turkeys
    44,384 lbs of shrimp
    43,648 pounds of ham

This year's total Thanksgiving fixings are significantly higher than that of three years ago, which was more than 63 tons.

Read more:

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Pegasus adds Madinah flights from Jan 2020


Turkish carrier Pegasus Airlines from January 2020 is adding new route to Saudi Arabia, as the airline offers regular Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen – Madinah flight. From 12JAN20, this route will be served 3 times weekly, with a mix of Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A320.

PC686 SAW2035 – 2350MED 738 14
PC688 SAW2235 – 0150+1MED 320 7

PC687 MED0150 – 0530SAW 738 25


Arabia Saudita asume la presidencia del G20 para 2020


RIYADH, Arabia Saudita, 2 de diciembre de 2019 /PRNewswire/ —

G20 Saudi Arabia 2020 Logo (PRNewsfoto/G20 Saudi Secretariat)

  • El Reino de Arabia Saudita asume hoy, 1 de diciembre de 2019, la presidencia del G20 para 2020. 
  • La presidencia saudita del G20 se concentrará en «Concretar oportunidades del


UPDATE 1-Saudi exchange to limit Aramco index weighting with cap - []


Saudi Arabia's Tadawul has introduced an equity index cap of 15% which is set to address concerns over the weighting oil giant Saudi Aramco will have when it lists on the exchange. Δείτε περισσότερα:


GCC summit to be held in Saudi Arabia next week

Annual meeting of Gulf states in Riyadh on December 10 to discuss political issues and review regional developments.

Joshua v Ruiz II: Kevin Barry warned of a shock but what about the rematch? - BBC News

  1. Joshua v Ruiz II: Kevin Barry warned of a shock but what about the rematch?  BBC News
  2. Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr ring girls axed for Saudi Arabia rematch  Mirror Online
  3. Sportswashing won't hide crimes of brutal kingdom  The Times
  4. oshua vs Ruiz 2: Watch incredible video that shows how stunning 15,000 purpose-built arena will look on fight  The Sun
  5. Anthony Joshua taking advice from Wladimir Klitschko ahead of Andy Ruiz Jr rematch  Irish Mirror
  6. View full coverage on Google News


I want my respect back, not belt Joshua

The Nigerian-born British heavyweight boxer had endured all sorts of criticism since falling to a shock defeat in New York against Ruiz. Ahead of his much anticipated rematch with Mexican, Andy Ruiz Jnr, in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, Anthony Joshua has said that he is more interested in earning back his respect than winning the

Nigeria assures OPEC on total commitment

Nigeria has given assurance of its total commitment to the full implementation of the agreement entered into by the organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and ten Non-OPEC Member States. In a tele-conference with the Chairman of the OPEC-Non-OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) and Minister of Energy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince []The post Nigeria assures OPEC on total commitment appeared first on Daily Trust.

Reform and repression go hand in hand in Saudi Arabia

Sweeping social reforms have been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, says Sebastian Usher.

Ring And Card Girls Banned From Anthony Joshua And Andy Ruiz Fight

The sanctions are starting to come in now, the modifications and exceptions; Ring girls have been banned from the Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua Saudi Arabia bout in line with the strict Islamic laws that govern that region. It is still unclear if alcohol and booze will be allowed at the venue as Saudi Arabia []The post Ring And Card Girls Banned From Anthony Joshua And Andy Ruiz Fight appeared first on Miss Petite Nigeria Blog.

Taken to Brink by Trump, Gulf States Are Backpedaling on Iran

(Bloomberg) -- An expanded soccer tournament, a direct flight, clandestine meetings and a pledge to release prisoners of war; diplomacy is breaking out as Gulf Arab nations back away from a Donald Trump-inspired confrontation with Iran. And the signs are everywhere.Last week, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain played their first games of the 2019 Arabian Gulf Cup in Qatar after a last-minute decision to take part -- an apparent breakthrough in a 30-month feud that saw them halt t

World title fight: Joshua taking tips from Klitschko ahead of Ruiz rematch

Anthony Joshua has been taking advice on his training regime and diet from former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko ahead of his title rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 7. Mexican-American Ruiz [...]

Saudi Arabia wants OPEC+ to deepen oil cuts due to Aramco IPO

OPEC and its allies plan to deepen oil cuts and have the deal in place so it runs at least until June 2020 as Saudi Arabia wants to deliver a positive surprise to the market before the listing of Saudi Aramco, two sources familiar with the talks said.



Male, 12 - Saudi Arabia

Saudi exchange to limit Aramco index weighting with cap

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul said on Monday that it has introduced an equity index cap of 15 percent, a move which will address concerns over the weighting Saudi Aramco will have when it lists on the

Saudi Arabia wants OPEC+ to deepen oil cuts due to Aramco IPO

OPEC and its allies plan to deepen oil cuts and have the deal in place so it runs at least until June 2020 as Saudi Arabia wants to deliver a positive surprise to the market before the listing of Saudi Aramco, two sources familiar with the talks said.


Latido Films Boards ‘Born a King’ as Movie Mints Millions in Saudi Arabia, UAE (EXCLUSIVE)

BUENOS AIRES  —  Bringing onto the market what looks like by far the biggest new movie at Ventana Sur, Latido Films has acquired international sales rights to Agustí Villaronga’s “Born a King,” starring Ed Skrein, fresh off his star-turn in “Midway.” Latido Films’ director Antonio Saura and Juan Torres, intl. sales head, will introduce “Born […]


OECD releases peer review reports on dispute resolution

The reports of Brazil; Bulgaria; China (People's Republic of); Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia published contain around 190 targeted recommendations that will be followed up in stage 2 of the peer review process.

Anthony Joshua says he’s Going into the Andy Ruiz fight with the Mindset of a Champion


Heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua is more about gaining back his respect than winning the belts he lost to Andy Ruiz Jnr. His last match in New York with Ruiz was a shock to many. In anticipation of his rematch with in Saudi Arabia, Anthony Joshua said he is going into the fight as a champion. He said: […]

The post Anthony Joshua says he’s Going into the Andy Ruiz fight with the Mindset of a Champion appeared first on BellaNaija - Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.


QU’s SESRI conducts survey to gauge views on the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup


During November 19-22, 2019, the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) at Qatar University (QU) surveyed nationally representative samples of Qatari citizens (n = 695) and white-collar residents (n = 721) on the upcoming 24th Arabian Gulf Cup. Responses to a short telephone survey revealed that both Qataris and white-collar expatriates are quite aware of the forthcoming Gulf Cup and are positive about its potential impacts.

The vast majority of Qatar’s citizens and white-collar residents are aware of the participation of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup to be held in Doha, Qatar.
Overall, the vast majority of Qatari nationals (92%) and white-collar expatriates (84%) reported being aware of the upcoming 24th Arabian Gulf Cup, which is being held in Doha, Qatar from November 26 to December 8, 2019. Moreover, 95% of Qatari nationals and 87% of white-collar expatriates are aware of the participation of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the games.

Qatari nationals (82%) and white-collar resident expatriates (94%) in large numbers said that they welcome the participation of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in the 2019 Arabian Gulf Cup.

With regard to whether football fans from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE should be permitted to fly directly to Doha to attend these games, the results differ between Qatari nationals and expatriates. About one quarter (24%) of Qatari nationals think the fans should come directly to Doha, whereas nearly two-thirds (63%) want them to come to Doha indirectly via Kuwait or Oman. By contrast, among white-collar expatriates,a majority (58%) feel that the fans should travel directly to Doha and 25% indirectly through Kuwait or Oman. The remainder of both groups responded that they did not know.

The majority of white-collar expatriates and about half of Qataris think that the participation of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup in Doha is likely to lead to the end of the blockade of Qatar.

Nevertheless, the survey indicates that Qatari nationals and white-collar residents hope that the games will lead to an end of the blockade of Qatar. About half (48%) of Qatari nationals and slightly more than three-quarters (76%) of white-collar expatriates think the participation of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE is either very likely (12% of Qataris) or somewhat likely (36% of Qataris) to lead to the end of the blockade. These percentages are significantly higher among white-collar expatriates (at 34% and 42%, respectively). The remainder of both groups were neutral or said they did not know.

In terms of public awareness of the games, the Internet, social media, and the television were most commonly cited by Qataris and expats as their initial source of news about the Gulf Cup.

A total of 1,416 Qatari nationals (695) and white-collar expatriates (721) completed the survey, yielding a response rate of 48.6 percent and a maximum sampling error for a percentage at the 95% confidence level of +/- 3.02 percentage points. The calculation of this sampling error takes into account design effects. The final dataset was weighted to adjust for probability of selection and non-response. SESRI thanks everyone who participated to ensure that public opinion would be fairly represented.


Saudi exchange to limit Aramco index weighting with cap

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul has introduced an equity index cap of 15per cent which is set to address concerns over the weighting oil giant Saudi Aramco will have when it lists on the exchange.

Expat Focus Financial Update November 2019

Saudi Arabia Announces Continuing Fees Saudi Arabia's fees for expats will continue to increase in 2020, according to the Finance Ministry. Currently, expats have to pay 300 SAR (£62 GBP / $80 USD) per month for any dependents they bring into the country. In 2020, this fee is slated to rise to 400 SAR (£83 GBP / $106 USD).

Kenya retains seat at global maritime council


Kenya has retained its seat on the Council of the International Maritime Organisation, giving it a chance to continue playing a role in global shipping rule making. The vote on Friday evening in London saw 174 member states take part with Kenya retaining its seat under Category C of 20 countries usually reserved for those with special interest in maritime transport or navigation. In Africa, Morocco, South Africa, Liberia and Egypt are the other members of Category C. Kenya holds special interests in maritime transport and navigation as the coastal, port and flag state “whose strategic location along the Eastern Africa coast makes it a most important cog in the wheel of steering global shipping,” according to Maritime Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu who led the delegation to the polls. “Our re-election to Council will ensure continued representation of a major geographic area in Eastern Africa and the Great Lakes region consisting of the countries Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda,” she said on Saturday. Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK Manoah Esipisu, also the Permanent Representative to the IMO, said he was delighted by the vote result. “It confirms the world’s confidence on our leadership around maritime transport and safety, and our commitment to the Blue Economy,” he said. Kenya joined the IMO in 1973 and was first elected to the Council under Category “C” in 2001 and has been re-elected in subsequent elections to date, the last being in 2017. It is one seat at a UN agency where Kenya has dominated lately. But this election saw heavy lobbying. Some marine and shipping giants like Sweden, Nigeria and Liberia lost their bids. Qatar, a wealthy oil producer as well as Saudi Arabia also lost out. The IMO is the specialised agency that determines rules on shipping safety and environment. With more than 80 per cent of global trade running on seas, the IMO’s regulatory framework determines how shipping lines and ports operate. By The Eastafrica 

The post Kenya retains seat at global maritime council appeared first on Alleastafrica.


Devastating Anthony Joshua ‘dropping sparring partners and sending them home early’ ahead of Andy Ruiz Jr fight

ANTHONY JOSHUA is dropping his sparring partners and sending them home early. That’s according to one boxer who has been working with AJ in camp, Timothy Moten. Joshua is just days away from his shot at redemption when he rematches Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia. The boxing world was left stunned as the Brit […]

Joshua vs Ruiz 2 UK time CONFIRMED: What time does huge Saudi rematch start and how do I watch on TV and online?

ANTHONY JOSHUA is in Saudi Arabia as he prepares for his huge rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr this weekend. The British boxer, 30, is looking to reclaim his WBA, IBF and WBO world titles – having suffered a shock defeat to lose them to the Mexican, also 30, in New York last June. What time […]

Brazil: Presidential Visit To Three GCC Countries - Veirano e Advogados Associados

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visited three GCC countries in October — Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.

Too many heads remain in the sand when it comes to hosting of sport | Sean Ingle


Anthony Joshua’s fight in Saudi Arabia this week once more raises questions about the choice of venue for big events

Two scenes. Two British sporting icons. Variations on a theme. Scene one: a supremely jet-lagged Anthony Joshua in a Heathrow hotel in September. After several softballs about his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr, the question finally comes. Why fight in Saudi Arabia when Amnesty International says the regime is using you to sportswash its “abysmal” human rights record that includes using public beheadings as a weapon to crush dissent?

“I appreciate them voicing an opinion,” replies Joshua, before stressing he is not a superhero who can zap away the world’s problems by donning a cape. When pressed, he mumbles something about “reforms” and then suggests he can use his relationship with the Saudis to ask difficult questions rather than “just accusing, pointing fingers and shouting from Great Britain”.

Continue reading...

Saudi Arabia wants OPEC+ to deepen oil cuts due to Aramco IPO

OPEC and its allies plan to deepen oil cuts and have the deal in place so it runs at least until June 2020 as Saudi Arabia wants to deliver a positive surprise to the market before the listing of Saudi Aramco, two sources familiar with the talks said.


Saudi Arabia wants OPEC+ to deepen oil cuts amid Aramco IPO

OPEC and its allies plan to deepen oil cuts and have the deal in place so it runs at least until June 2020 as Saudi Arabia wants to deliver a positive surprise to the market before the listing of Saudi Aramco, two sources familiar with the talks said.


128 Detainees Repatriated Back to Yemen From Saudi Arabia


Press Release – Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday facilitated the repatriation of 128 detainees from Saudi Arabia to Yemen following a request from the Coalition’s Joint Forces Command and in agreement with both parties. Before the operation, the ICRC confirmed the detainees’ identities and verified that they […]

The post 128 Detainees Repatriated Back to Yemen From Saudi Arabia appeared first on My Social Good News.


Saudi Arabia Real Estate Market Outlook to 2025: Ken Research

Saudi Arabia Real Estate MarketBuy Now The report titled “Saudi Arabia Real Estate Market Outlook to 2025 – By Retail Real Estate Market (Super-Regional Malls, Regional Malls and Community Centre), By Hotel Real Estate Market (3 Star, 4 Star, 5 Star and Other Hotels), By Office Real Estate (Premium Offices Grade A and Grade B) and Residential Real Estate [...]

Arabia Saudita asume la presidencia del G20 para 2020


RIYADH, Arabia Saudita, 2 de diciembre de 2019 /PRNewswire/ —

G20 Saudi Arabia 2020 Logo (PRNewsfoto/G20 Saudi Secretariat)

  • El Reino de Arabia Saudita asume hoy, 1 de diciembre de 2019, la presidencia del G20 para 2020. 
  • La presidencia saudita del G20 se concentrará en «Concretar oportunidades del


By association: livestock trading/climate change

Last week a live export trade ship carrying 14 600 sheep destined for Saudi Arabia, capsized in Romania. Left to sink with the ship, these gentle animals didn’t stand a chance from the moment they were sold into the live export trade. A few hours after the accident Animals Australia, a non-profit organization working to […]

‘All eyes on the Kingdom’ as Saudi Arabia takes helm of G20

Mon, 2019-12-02 06:23

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Sunday assumed the presidency of the G20, the world’s most economically powerful group of nations.

The Kingdom takes over the role from Japan, and will direct the G20’s work for the next year. As chairman, King Salman will host the group’s 2020 summit in Riyadh over two days next November.

The Saudi presidency will focus on three aims: Empowering people, by creating the conditions in which everyone — especially women and young people— can live, work and thrive; safeguarding the planet, by fostering collective efforts on food and water security, climate, energy, and the environment; and long-term strategies to share the benefits of innovation and technological advancement.

“The Saudi G20 presidency is committed to continuing the work from Osaka and promoting multilateral consensus,” said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Working with our G20 partners, we will strive to deliver concrete actions and realize opportunities to enable us to face the challenges of the future.

“In hosting the G20, the Kingdom will have an important role to play by sharing the perspective of the Middle East and North Africa region. We believe this will be a unique opportunity to shape consensus on international issues as we welcome the world to the Kingdom.”


Saudi Arabia will guide work of the G20 under the theme “Realizing opportunities of the 21st century for all” and will focus on three aims:

• Empowering people

• Safeguarding the planet

• Shaping new frontiers

For the next year, “all eyes will be on Saudi Arabia,” political analyst Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri told Arab News.

“We know Saudi Arabia’s strength is both economic and diplomatic, and this will be the time to showcase it to the world,” he said.

Other countries realized that Saudi Arabia’s strength lay in oil, but it was charting a different course through Vision 2030 with a future focused on the non-oil economy, Al-Shehri said.

He pointed out the strategic significance of Saudi Arabia’s location, connecting three continents and linked to crucial maritime straits at Bab Al-Mandab, Hormuz and the Suez Canal. These shipping lanes were vital for international trade, Al-Shehri said, and Saudi Arabia protected them not just for itself and the region, but the whole world.

The G20 presidency was “a chance for the world to see the significance of our country and what it has to offer. It is a lively nation,” he said.

Main category: 
Saudi Arabia takes on G20 presidencyGrowing tourism to be a key topic of G20 Riyadh summit

Dhahran conference to outline new vision for Arab world

Mon, 2019-12-02 04:54

DHAHRAN: The annual FIKR 17 conference begins today at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra). 

The Arab Thought Foundation has organized the four-day event in collaboration with Ithra in Dhahran. The theme of this year’s conference is “Outlining a New Arab Vision.”  Around 60 leading literary figures and decision-makers are scheduled to attend the event. 

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who is also the chairman of the Arab Thought Foundation, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Prof. Henry Uwait, the foundation’s director, will also attend the conference. 

The foundation aims to invite leading thinkers to come up with innovative solutions to social issues and to enrich Arab thought in light of the modern global challenges. 

Ithra Director Fatmah Al-Rashid explained that Ithra’s participation in the conference is in line with its vision to develop innovation in the fields of literature and culture. Al-Rashid also emphasized that Ithra promotes the importance of meaningful dialogue and an exchange of ideas. AN Dhahran 

Main category: 
FIKR17 to address challenges facing Arab world Line-up for FIKR17 conference in Saudi Arabia announced

Monshaat offers SR691 million government fee refunds to Saudi SMEs

Mon, 2019-12-02 04:46

RIYADH: The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) General Authority (Monshaat) has paid SR691 million ($185 million) to 7,500 small- and medium-sized companies as part of the government fee refunding initiative.

Monshaat’s Gov. Saleh Al-Rasheed revealed the details during a meeting organized by the Riyadh Chamber in the presence of its chairman, Ajlan Al-Ajlan, and several businesspeople, professionals and business stakeholders.

Al-Ajlan highlighted the importance of raising the contribution of this group of enterprises to the gross domestic product. 

Al-Rasheed said that the most prominent initiatives of “ease of doing business” in cooperation with the Labor Ministry were to issue nine visas to full-time employees of enterprises, provide a grace period of one year for registration and to enroll newly appointed Saudi employees in the Nitaqat program as soon as being registered in the social security fund. Other initiatives include the Saudization of leadership positions and supporting the employment of those enrolled in the “Incentive” program and other initiatives.

Al-Rasheed said that Monshaat had established business support centers that formed an integrated environment to provide the training programs, consultancy and guidance services needed by entrepreneurs. SPA Riyadh

Main category: 
Monshaat and Kafalah announce initiatives to support SMEs in Saudi ArabiaMonshaat spends over SR800m on 824 small and medium Saudi enterprises

King Salman receives prime minister of Eswatini

Mon, 2019-12-02 03:24

RIYADH: The prime minister of Eswatini, Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, who is also special envoy of the king of Eswatini, Mswati III, called on King Salman at his palace in Riyadh on Sunday. Dlamini conveyed greetings from Eswatini king to King Salman. 

On Sunday, King Salman received the 59th annual report of the General Auditing Bureau (GAB) for the year 1439/1440 AH.

GAB President Dr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Al-Angari presented the report to the king in the presence of several other top officials from the bureau.

The king thanked the bureau’s staff for their efforts and wished them success in their future endeavors. 

According to Al-Angari, the bureau managed to add SR20 billion ($5.34 billion) to the Kingdom’s treasury, an increase of 127 percent as compared to last year. The meeting was attended by Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, state minister and Cabinet member.

Main category: 
Hajj Minister: 1.1 million pilgrims have arrived in Kingdom since start of Umrah seasonKing Abdul Aziz Falconry Festival takes off in Riyadh

Dr. Abdulrahman bin Ibrahim Al-Khudairy, associate professor at Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz University in Al-Kharj

Mon, 2019-12-02 02:47

Dr. Abdulrahman bin Ibrahim Al-Khudairy is an associate professor of mathematics at the faculty of science and humanities at Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz University in Al-Kharj.

Al-Khudairy has also been serving as the vice rector of the university for graduate studies and scientific research and educational and academic affairs since May 2017.

His research papers have been published in several scientific journals. His areas of interest include data processing and analysis and applications of operational research in the field of communication networks, health and others.

Al-Khudairy has participated in many scientific conferences in the region and abroad. He is also a member of Al-Kharj’s Intellectual Protection Committee. He was also the chairman of the public relations and media committee at the 3rd Saudi Science Conference held at Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz University in 2010. 

He did his Ph.D. in statistics and mathematics from the University of Birmingham, UK. He obtained a master’s degree in science in operations research from Lancaster University, UK. He did his bachelor’s in statistics and operations research from King Saud University’s College of Sciences, Riyadh.

In a message available on the university’s website, he said: “Developed countries give great attention to scientific research because they realize that the greatness and strength of nation lie in their scientific, research and intellectual capacities.”

Main category: 
Maj. Gen. Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Moghedi, secretary-general of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism CoalitionHassan Al-Taley, manager of Al-Arabiya's Jeddah office

King Abdul Aziz Falconry Festival takes off in Riyadh

Mon, 2019-12-02 02:12

RIYADH: The second edition of the King Abdul Aziz Falconry Festival, organized by the Saudi Falcons Club, began on Sunday in Malham, in the north of Riyadh. The festival was inaugurated on Dec. 1 and will continue until Dec. 16.

The Saudi Falcons Club has allocated more than SR21 million ($5.6 million) cash prizes for the winners of the 400-meter falcon training competition and a camel competition, which will be held at the festival. The camel competition’s prizes amount to SR3 million ($800,000). The competition will be divided into five stages, with SR600,000 allocated to the top three of each stage.

A total of SR1.2 million will be granted to the winners of the two-stage competition for young falcons, while SR1.8 million will be given to the winners of the three-stage competition for fully grown birds.

The falcon training competition is divided into two categories — owners and professionals and prizes will amount to SR14.6 million. There will also be special stages for internationals with prizes amounting to SR3.5 million.

In addition, SR2.35 million will be allocated to 230 winners in 23 qualifying stages for falcon owners, while SR2 million will be allocated to 120 winners in 12 qualifying stages for professionals.

Main category: 
Saudi falconry festival adds another feather to its cap with new world recordSaudi falconry festival draws big crowds

Minister wants Makkah Route initiative coverage for all Pakistani Hajj pilgrims next year

Mon, 2019-12-02 01:59

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will ask Saudi Arabia to expand the Makkah Route initiative for all Pakistani Hajj pilgrims next year, Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, federal minister for religious affairs, said in an exclusive interview with Arab News in Islamabad on Friday.

The initiative by Saudi Arabia was finalized during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s maiden visit to Pakistan in February. Some 22,000 Pakistani pilgrims were cleared for immigration and customs prior to their Hajj departure during this year’s pilot project in Islamabad.

“I will reach Jeddah on a five-day official visit on Tuesday to talk with Saudi authorities and sign an agreement for Hajj 2020,” Qadri said, adding that there are “many things on our agenda,” such as the expansion of the Makkah Route initiative, Hajj quota and e-visa facilities.

Thousands of Pakistani pilgrims have already benefited from the pilot program in Islamabad.

“This year, we are going to request the Saudi government to expand it to the whole country, otherwise at least Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta should be included,” the minister said. 

He added it would ultimately be the Kingdom’s decision based on costs related to the expansive project.


• Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri will arrive in Jeddah on Tuesday to sign an agreement for Hajj 2020.

• Other things on the agenda include expansion of the Makkah Route initiative, Hajj quota and e-visa facilities.

However, Qadri was hopeful that the project would at least be extended to all provincial capitals by next year and said that the Saudis had delivered on almost all of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s requests.

“They have given us the Makkah  Route initiative, an e-visa facility and an increase in the Hajj quota to 200,000,” he said.

Pakistan is the fifth country to get an e-visa facility with Saudi Arabia, in addition to Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria and France, the minister said.

Qadri said that he would ask the Saudi government to relax rules that required all Hajj tour operators to be registered with the International Air Transport Association.

Qadri said the Vision 2030 reform plans under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had revolutionized Hajj and Umrah operations in a short amount of time, especially through technological innovation.

“The pilgrims have been provided with maximum facilities. He is making Hajj very easy,” he said.

Main category: 
Over 170,000 Pakistani pilgrims return home from Hajj200,000 Pakistani pilgrims reach Saudi Arabia as annual Hajj ritual begins today

OIC counter-extremist center reaches 54m people on social media

Mon, 2019-12-02 01:52

JEDDAH: The Sawt Al-Hikma Center (Voice of Wisdom) at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has reached 54 million people around the world through social media, distributing messages in three different languages: Arabic, English and French.

The center is considered the intellectual branch of the OIC in its fight against extremist speech. It was established in 2016 at the OIC’s headquarters to work on using media platforms to dismantle extremism, reveal its religious and intellectual concepts, call for tolerance and co-existence and reflect the true spirit of Islam. 

Since its establishment, the center has focused its efforts on cyberspace, as the internet has become fertile ground for violent ideas and an environment that helps extremists spread their poison. 

The center has launched 11 pages on social media, in three languages, publishing content prepared by specialists to deal with calls for extremism and violence in the name of religion and to challenge Islamophobia and those trying to distort Islam.

The center added that it has also worked on combatting extremist ideologies on the ground through conferences in Saudi Arabia, Somalia and the UAE. The symposiums have focused on examining and fighting terrorism, promoting intellectual security and spreading the values of tolerance and acceptance.

Now it has launched a new initiative: The “Samahet Din” (tolerance of religion) contest of short videos, to encourage young men and women to express themselves on camera.

Main category: 
OIC chief demands international law to criminalize IslamophobiaSaudi Arabia to host OIC event on water

Saudi Arabia recovers 52,000 illegally taken priceless artifacts

Mon, 2019-12-02 01:12

RIYADH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has recovered thousands of illegally taken antiquities.

SCTH is encouraging citizens and residents inside and outside of Saudi Arabia to hand over national antiquities. This is so the items can be displayed in museums and exhibitions to highlight their historical value, since they represent essential evidence for the study of civilizations that once prevailed in the Kingdom.

SCTH has formed a special committee to work on the inventory of lost artifacts and recover them in coordination with the authorities at the Saudi ministries of interior and foreign affairs.

These efforts resulted in the return of about 32,000 national artifacts from outside the Kingdom, and about 20,000 national artifacts from within it, according to the SCTH website.

Dr. Nayef Al-Qanoor, director general of the Registration and Protection of Antiquities department in SCTH, said that the archaeological survey is considered the pillar of archaeological works in the Kingdom. The search began with a small group of Saudi researchers.



The priceless items recovered include arrowheads and stone tools, a 1,000-year-old clay pot, basalt grinding stones, a neo-Babylonian seal stamp and Roman-era glass bracelets.

“It has initiated since the 1980s the establishment of an organization responsible for the antiquities of the Kingdom and the enactment of laws and regulations to protect national cultural property,” Al-Qanoor told Arab News. “Since that time, that organization began to inventory and document national antiquities from within the Kingdom and abroad that have been taken illegally.”

Al-Qanoor said that SCTH has missing antiquities that are documented and registered on their database.

There is a red list on the commission’s website of stolen national and cultural property with a picture and a description of each item and when it was stolen.

He said that SCTH is working in cooperation with its partners to track down the antiquities. “Most of the national heritage artifacts that have been returned came from the US,” he said.

Al-Qanoor said that there is a joint cooperation agreement between the commission and Saudi Aramco “in returning national antiquities that were taken out of the Kingdom illegally.”

The antiquities were voluntarily returned from American citizens who worked in the Kingdom in the 1960s or from their relatives in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Others have also voluntarily returned national antiquities from France, Britain and Canada.

Marian Ferguson collection. (Supplied)


Al-Qanoor said that SCTH honors those who returned the antiquities.

Arthur Clark, assistant editor at AramcoWorld and editor of the twice-yearly magazine Al-Ayyam Al-Jamilah, became involved with the Antiquities Homecoming Project through Saudi Aramco’s King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran in late 2011. 

“The center launched the Antiquities Homecoming Project in cooperation with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to encourage Aramco retirees and family members to repatriate archaeological antiquities that they had collected during their years in the Kingdom,” Clark told Arab News.

Aramco’s Houston-based subsidiary publishes Saudi Aramco’s magazine for retirees, Al-Ayyam Al-Jamilah, of which Clark is editor. “Through the magazine, we reached out to annuitants around the globe for help in locating objects of national historical interest,” he said.

Clark has worked with Ithra in its cooperative agreement with SCTH arranging for antiquities to be returned to Saudi Arabia.   

Clark said that he had helped to return hundreds of antique pieces. “They range from hundreds of arrowheads and other stone tools from the Empty Quarter desert to a 1,000-year-old clay pot from Al-Ahsa in the Eastern Province, basalt grinding stones from Mada’in Saleh, and a neo-Babylonian seal stamp and Roman-era glass bracelets, also from the Eastern Province,” he said.

The center launched the Antiquities Homecoming Project in cooperation with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to encourage Aramco retirees and family members to repatriate archeological antiquities that they had collected during their years in the Kingdom.

Arthur Clark, Assistant editor at Aramco World and editor of twice-yearly magazine Al-Ayyam Al-Jamilah

Clark said that he is not an antique collector but likes to view antiquities on-site in the Kingdom or in its museums. “My work in contacting retirees and family members has turned up many ‘unexpected antiques’,” he said.

According to Clark, “each piece is fascinating.”

“One of the most intriguing (antiquities), because of its age (and the journey it made), was a clay bowl found near Jubail by Marian Ferguson, who lived in Dhahran with her husband Kenneth and their son Ken from 1953-1970,” he said.

Daniel Potts, a highly regarded scholar of Arabian archaeology, said that it was almost certainly a Mesopotamian bevel-rim bowl dating to 3400-3000 BCE “and, if so, the first one to turn up in the Eastern Province.”

“Another notable ‘find’ was what looks to be a bead-drilling tool — perhaps the first of its kind— found in the Eastern Province and donated with other artifacts by retiree Mark Goldsmith,” Clark said.

Al-Qanoor said that the removal of antiquities from the Kingdom took place before the establishment of an official body concerned with national heritage. “These events were at a time when there was not full knowledge of the importance of national heritage, which led to some of them exiting the country illegally,” he said.

Al-Qanoor said that all shops with heritage antiquities in the Kingdom are subject to regulations. There was continuous monitoring of these markets, and the commission worked with their owners from the perspective of sustainable partnership.

He said that all returned antiquities pieces come back via official channels and underwent a series of procedures before they are restored — checking the authenticity of the piece and if it belongs to the civilizations of Saudi Arabia.


• The Antiquities Homecoming Project dates back to a donation in 2001 of a 2-foot stele covered with Greek letters found in 1968 by Tom Barger, Aramco’s CEO, in Mada’in Saleh. It is part of the T.C. Barger Collection at the National Museum in Riyadh. Barger’s son, Tim, said his father, a geologist, ‘read anything he could find about the archaeology of Arabia and collected about a dozen significant pieces.’

• When Tom Barger retired in 1969, he placed the stele and nine other artifacts he had discovered in the Semitic Museum at Harvard University until arrangements could be made to transfer them to the Kingdom.

• More than 40 donors, including some with indirect connections to the company (Saudi Aramco), have returned antiquities since 2011.

“This is followed by the initiation of formal restoration procedures in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other partners,” Al-Qanoor said.

He said that most of the items returned are in their original and intact condition. Some have suffered minor fractures and have been treated by the Department of Restoration of the Heritage and Museums Sector.

Mohammed Al-Maghthawi, a Saudi expert in early Islamic inscriptions, has discovered more than 3,000 early Islamic inscriptions and has read, studied and linked many of them to historical sources.

He contributed to the discovery and registration of three archaeological sites on the old caravan route called the path of the prophets and was registered on the National Archaeological Register.

Al-Maghthawi handed in three pieces of early Islamic inscriptions from the 7th and 8th century AD and received an award from Prince Sultan bin Salman, former president of SCTH, for his discoveries.

“The Kingdom has many archaeological and historical sites, inscriptions and drawings that are not found in any other country. We are working with SCTH under the regulations and instructions to preserve this valuable national heritage,” he said.

Hamdan Al-Harbi, an expert in the historical antiquities found in the villages crossing prophets pathway and migration (Hijrah) and caravans between Makkah and Madinah, found tombstones from a village underground, and was the first to see many of these historical tombstones when a flood swept through part of the village in 1992.

SCTH: Saudi Arabia to boost tourism to 10% of GDPSCTH funds second group of Saudi hotel and tourism projects

GCC meeting to be held on Dec. 10 in Riyadh

Sun, 2019-12-01 19:57

RIYADH: The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will meet in Riyadh this month.

King Salman will chair the 40th session of the GCC Supreme Council on Dec.10, GCC Secretary General Abdel-Latif Al-Zayani said. A preparatory meeting will take place a day before.

GCC leaders will discuss a number of important issues relating to defense, economics and law.

Main category: 
GCC states look to new taxes as oil revenues remain weakGCC defense ministers: Al-Baghdadi’s killing important step in eliminating Daesh cells

Evaluating Saudi Aramco’s Green Investments Ahead of Its IPO


Investors in Saudi Aramco’s upcoming IPO could be purchasing a stranded asset if the oil behemoth sticks to its guns on fossil fuels.

Despite Saudi Arabia’s big plans for solar and Aramco’s own impressive spend on renewables, the state-owned petrochemical behemoth largely views clean energy as a means to improve the efficiency of extraction, said Bloomberg New Energy Finance oil specialist David Doherty.

That’s not likely to change as Aramco seeks to attract outside investment, Doherty told GTM.

While other major oil and gas firms have started diversifying into clean energy fields ranging from offshore wind to electric vehicle charging, Aramco has “pretty much focused on technologies that can push demand for their products,” he said.

This includes 3D printing, which could boost the market for petrochemical-based composites, as well as carbon capture and storage. The company has invested significant amounts into renewable energies such as solar, but almost entirely with a view to powering extraction or refinery operations, Doherty said.

In terms of diversification, Saudi Aramco has "been pretty lackluster compared to other companies of that size,” he said.

“They’re moving toward using solar panels to power their refineries,” he said, and “looking at securing demand for their products — as opposed to jumping into wind like Equinor or everything like Shell.”

In September, Aramco trumpeted a collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s Power Systems Renewables Department to deploy renewable energy in on- and off-grid oil extraction facilities.

“Over the years, technological improvements and decreasing costs in the energy storage field have made the use of solar photovoltaics and off-the-grid solar photovoltaic energy storage systems preferable to more traditional forms of energy at industrial sites,” the company said.

"The greenest possible barrel"

Aramco’s media relations department confirmed that the company is committed to deploying renewables as a way of reducing emissions from its current operations.

“In order to achieve a low-carbon future, we believe it is necessary to meet both global energy demand for ample, reliable and affordable energy and lower emissions,” the company said in an email.

“That must include responsible investments which reduce the overall carbon footprint of the oil and gas industry and end-use markets.”

Saudi Aramco's clean-energy achievements include “near-zero gas flaring and the lowest carbon intensity of any major oil producer," the company said.

It's researching low-emission transport systems, including next-generation internal combustion engines, “as well as the fuels to power them.”

A tough sell

None of this amounts to an admission that the company intends to diversify away from oil in the future. Instead, said Doherty, “they want to find the greenest possible barrel.”

This does not mean Aramco’s cleantech investments should be ignored. In areas such as carbon capture and storage, a concerted spend by an investor the size of Aramco might have a material impact on the pace of progress.

So far, there is no evidence that a more determined diversification strategy has made companies such as Shell any more palatable to environmentally conscious investors.

In September, Danish pension fund MP Pension joined a growing list of institutional investors divesting from the oil sector, blacklisting 10 companies — including rapidly diversifying majors Shell, Equinor and BP.

Growing animosity toward the oil sector could be a problem for Aramco as it seeks to carry off the biggest IPO in history.

In theory, the fact that it is the most profitable company on the planet would seem to make Aramco a magnet for investors after the Saudi administration announced it was putting 1.5 percent of the business up for sale on Dec. 4.

So far, however, the listing looks likely to be heavily reliant on local investors, having not yet drawn big interest from investors around the world, Reuters reported on November 22.

Concerns over the response to the IPO have already led Aramco to scale back its listing ambitions. On Nov. 17, the company lowered its proposed valuation from $2 trillion to between $1.6 trillion and $1.7 trillion.

At the same time, it canceled investor roadshows in Europe and pulled marketing in American and Asian markets to focus instead on local investors. It remains to be seen whether Middle Eastern backers will be put off by Aramco’s apparent lack of diversification plans.

For any investor looking to put money into Aramco in the long term, the decreasing attraction of oil as an asset should give pause for thought.

"Shell wants to become a big energy company," Doherty said, whereas Aramco's approach amounts to this: "The last barrel to be taken out of the ground will be the cheapest."


Why Saudi Arabia Might be Having Seller’s Remorse Over the Imminent Saudi Aramco IPO

The Saudis have faced enough disinterest and indifference in marketing the Aramco IPO to the West that it could ultimately alter the axis of influence in the region—away from the traditional ties to the U.S. and more towards China and Russia, some analysts say.

[Video] Daily Compliance News: November 27, 2019, the Are You Cool? edition

In today’s edition of Daily Compliance News: Saudi Arabian businessman charged with attempted bribery. (Gulfnews) Are you cool? Trying using the term ‘narrative violation’. (NYT) Feds change position in Och-Ziff restitution case. (WSJ) Ousted Papa...
By: Thomas Fox

Politics Briefing: Trudeau urged to intervene in CN rail strike

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Saudi Arabia: Further Information: Disappeared Qatari Father And Son Released


PGY2 Critical Care Pharmacy: King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSHRC) | King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Special Requirements for Acceptance: Graduate of an accredited college of pharmacy, completion of an accredited PGY1, Saudi citizenship, eligible for pharmacist licensure in Saudi Arabia within 3 mon

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How the Trudeau government white-washes Saudi crimes


United States Defense Secretary James N. Mattis meets with Saudi Arabia’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., Mar. 22, 2018. DoD photo by Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kathryn E. Holm (Flickr).

The following is an excerpt from Martin Lukacs’ new book, The Trudeau Formula: Seduction and Betrayal in an Age of Discontent, released this year by Black Rose Books. You can read Canadian Dimension’s review here.

In late, April 2019, the stunned friends and relatives of Abdullah Salman Al Asreeh held a prayer ceremony for the 24-year old man in Toronto. Without a warning by phone-call, they had learned on the evening news that he had been executed by the Saudi government.

He was among 37 men, most belonging to the country’s persecuted Shia minority, killed in one of the biggest executions in recent Saudi history. Al Asreeh, just 20 at the time of his arrest, was a human rights activist and worked on his father’s farm near the town of Awamiyah in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province. “He was a normal person,” his cousin said. “He wanted to build his life, but the government didn’t give him a chance.”

Awamiyah, long a centre of protest, had been targeted by Saudi security forces for a massive raid in 2017. It soon emerged that the operation—which killed more than two dozen civilians, razed an historic neighbourhood, and displaced tens of thousands of people—had involved Canadian military combat vehicles. But the Liberal government didn’t seize the chance to collect evidence and make it the basis for a re-evaluation of their exports. They undertook a breath-taking exercise in white-washing.

Since 2011, residents in Awamiyah had protested peacefully to demand equality for Shia. It was the country’s brief Arab Spring-moment, soon brutally crushed. A popular cleric and driving force behind the movement, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, was charged with “terrorism.” It didn’t matter that Nimr had been a vocal advocate of non-violence, preaching that the “weapon of the word is stronger than bullets.” After a rigged trial, he was executed. According to human rights organizations, several non-violent activists from the town were arrested, tortured, and faced death sentences, including Al Asreeh a few years later. Others fled or went into hiding.

To flush out these activists, the Saudi government announced it would demolish—“renovate,” in their words—the town’s oldest neighbourhood, Al-Masora, a 400-year old walled village lined with narrow streets, mosques, farmers markets, clay buildings and sea-stone houses. The situation was closely monitored by the United Nations’ special rapporteurs on cultural rights, adequate housing and extreme poverty. The UN experts petitioned the Saudi government to halt the planned demolition, which in their words threatened “the historical and cultural heritage of the town with irreparable harm, and may result in the forced eviction of numerous people from their businesses and residences.”

When many families refused to leave their homes, the Saudi government cut-off their electricity and water-supply. Soon after, Saudi security forces laid siege to the town, with some residents taking up arms in self-defence. According to testimonials collected by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Saudi forces shot into populated areas, occupied a public school, closed clinics and pharmacies, and barred access to ambulances.

The siege, which “surrounded and sealed off” the town, continued for months. One resident told HRW that “the town was constantly bombarded by shelling and security forces were going around shooting in residential neighbourhoods at random. We were too scared to leave our homes and most of the shops were shut down or burned. Anything that moved became a target.” Some 20-25,000 of the town’s 30,000 population were forced to flee. By August, Saudi security forces had forced out “terrorists and criminal elements,” they claimed, and completed the demolition of its oldest neighbourhood. “The scale of devastation was shocking,” wrote a BBC journalist who was a rare reporter allowed by the Saudi authorities to visit. “It looked like a war zone—as if we were in Mosul or Aleppo.”

Researcher Anthony Fenton was monitoring social media and was the first to discover that pro-Saudi military accounts had posted videos showing Canadian Terraydyne Gurhka vehicles rolling through the streets, firing ammunition, amidst crumbling and destroyed buildings.

Fenton wrote an email to Globe & Mail journalist Steve Chase, who, according to government documents released through access-to-information, forwarded the email to the Ministry of Global Affairs, asking for comment. A flurry of emails passed between government officials and Minister Freeland. By the time the news hit the front pages, Minister Freeland was already announcing an investigation. “I have instructed our department and my officials to very energetically and very carefully review the reports and review the information, and research what is happening,” Freeland said, while temporarily suspended permits for the export of Terradyne vehicles.

“It is something that I’m checking on a very-very regular basis, this is a serious issue. Obviously we have to look into it and investigate carefully and we have to be sure that we’re acting on fully reliable information we can stand by. Having said that, we need to act with a real sense of urgency.”

Six months later, in February 2018, Freeland announced the outcome of the investigation. What was the conclusion of this very serious, very diligent, very reliable undertaking? “Officials at Global Affairs Canada found no conclusive evidence that Canadian-made vehicles were used in human rights violations,” Freeland told the Parliamentary foreign affairs committee. “That was the independent, objective opinion of our public service and the advice given to me as minister.” The export of the armoured vehicles recommenced.

The investigation itself, released in partially-redacted form months later, makes for fascinating reading.“There is no credible information,” it states, “that Saudi Ministry of Interior forces committed serious human rights violations in the conduct of that operation, with Gurkhas or otherwise.” The use of force, it suggests, was “proportionate and appropriate.”

Had they interviewed residents of Awamiyah, who might have quibbled with this view? No. Had they spoken to the human rights organizations that had documented far from proportionate actions? No. How about the United Nations experts who had issued warnings about the consequences of Saudi actions? No again. Their sources were “close allies and like-minded partners,” mostly, it turns out, unnamed Saudi government officials.

What kind of picture had these Saudi officials helped Canadian investigators draw? Coincidentally enough, one that corroborated the self-serving perspective of the Saudi government. The town was not an courageous epicentre of civil resistance, but a “haven for criminality.” Its situation was “deteriorating,” not because the state had set itself to bulldozing a neighbourhood against the will of its residents, but “due to militancy in the Shia community.” Saudi forces were “deployed in response to increased security threats” and “made a concerted effort to minimize civilian casualties.” No mention of years of violent harassment of peaceful activism. And that video evidence of the Canadian armoured vehicles rolling through the town’s street? It was dismissed as not providing “any insight as to the context or nature of the activity.”

The only organization named to back up the investigation’s findings was the Saudi National Society for Human Rights, which “did not express concerns about the conduct of the operation.” Why might this have been? Perhaps because this “human rights group” is funded by a trust of former Saudi King Fahd’s estate, is populated by government figures, and was in fact created by the Saudi dictatorship to ward off calls for more meaningful reform (none of which is mentioned in the Canadian government’s report).

One person described by investigators as a “credible military source”—whose identity is blacked out—advised them that the operation was “considered to be proportionate, necessary, and timely.”

The investigation concluded by expressing concern for Terradyne, which would lose business if they couldn’t sell the custom-made vehicles selling to the Saudis. “It is reasonable to expect that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would continue to use Ghurkas to mitigate risk to security forces during the conduct of legitimate security operations.” But there was yet more astonishing commentary. “While one can question the wisdom of the Saudi plan to evacuate and raze the old section of Al-Awamiya and the manner in which the operation was conducted, one cannot dismiss the security-related motivations at play in the exercise.” Question the wisdom? In its haste to protect and preserve a major arms deal, the Canadian government had stooped to toying with a justification for the political cleansing of a city. When a group of NGOs called for a truly independent investigation, it was no surprise that it went unacknowledged by the government.

Martin Lukacs is a journalist living in Montreal.


Saudi Arabia wants OPEC to deepen oil cuts due to Aramco IPO

Saudi Arabia wants OPEC  to deepen oil cuts due to Aramco IPO The deal being discussed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, known as OPEC , would be to add at least 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to existing cuts of 1.2 million bpd. The current deal runs to March.

Democrats Want to End U.S. Support for the Yemen War — but They Might Continue Funding It Anyway


Progressives want to use the defense budget to stop support for Saudi Arabia’s war, but are enough Democrats willing to take a stand?

The post Democrats Want to End U.S. Support for the Yemen War — but They Might Continue Funding It Anyway appeared first on The Intercept.


Labour Party leader vows to end weapons sales to Saudis if elected

Al-Thawra Net Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Sunday that he would stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen if he wins the election this month, according to Reuters. “Labour will stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen and work to end the war there, and not

Report: Saudi Arabia admits loss of Apache attack helicopter and crew

Al-Thawra Net Saudi Arabia has admitted the deaths of two of its pilots in what it called the “crash of their Apache helicopter in Yemen.” This coincided with broadcasting of video footage scenes by the military media of the Yemeni army on Saturday, showing the moment when a surface-to-air missile hit the Apache helicopter in

Saudi Arabia wants OPEC+ to deepen oil cuts due to Aramco IPO - CNBC

  1. Saudi Arabia wants OPEC+ to deepen oil cuts due to Aramco IPO  CNBC
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Joshua taking tips from Klitschko ahead of Ruiz rematch

Britain's Anthony Joshua has been taking advice on his training regime and diet from former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko ahead of his title rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 7.


China PS picture Frame production line


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of WPC (wood-plastic composites) extrusionmachines,Plastic  
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In the past 10 years, many experts in SKY WIN have
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Enterprise advisor of China WPC Committee.
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China PS picture Frame production line


Pediatrics Neurology Consultant

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location: Saudi Arabia, Riyadh
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Radiology Consultant

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Saudi Arabia Wants More Oil Cuts Ahead Of IPO


Saudi Arabia wants fellow OPEC members to extend an agreement to lower oil production when the group meets on Dec. 5 and 6.

What Saudi Arabia Wants

OPEC and other oil rich...


Kaine threatens Senate intervention if no briefing given on Saudi Arabia troop increase

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on Tuesday threatened Senate intervention if Defense Secretary Mark Esper did not provide a briefing to explain the Pentagon’s decision to send an additional 3,000 troops to Saudi Arabia.In a letter to Esper, Kaine...

Andy Ruiz Does Not Intend to Let Joshua “Grow Balls in the Ring”


By: Hans Themistode

Andy Ruiz Jr (33-1, 22 KOs) is currently all the way across the world in Saudi Arabia. On December 7th, he’ll be looking to prove that his June 1st contest against Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) was no fluke.

Ruiz pulled off the unthinkable when he stopped Joshua in the seventh round of their contest at Madison Square Garden, in New York City. In doing so, he lifted the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO Heavyweight titles.

Since winning, Ruiz has been seen wearing flashy jewelry, riding around in expensive cars and even upgraded to a much bigger home due to the payday he had received. Whispers has since circulated that maybe the fame and fortune has gotten to his head. Ruiz on the other hand has assured everyone that he hasn't changed in the slightest.

“I’m still the same Andy Ruiz,” said Ruiz. “I’m still the same chubby little fat kid with the big dream. I’m still that person”.

It’s a bit difficult to visualize Ruiz as the Heavyweight champion wouldn’t you agree?

It isn't because of his skill set as Ruiz is easily one of, if not the best boxer in the entire division. It also is not because of his appearance. Too much is being made of his tubby and stout body.

The reason why it is difficult to envision Ruiz as the Heavyweight champion of the world is because of his demeanor. Former champion Anthony Joshua had a mean streak in him that was apparent time and time again. Current WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder symbolizes fear more than anyone else. Ruiz on the other hand, is just about the nicest young man you will ever meet in your life.

With that being said however, don’t take his mr. nice guy attitude for weakness. Not only is he a cold blooded killer once he steps foot in the ring, but fight fans can expect him to be the same ferocious fighter come fight night.

“Inside the ring, I’m the champion of the world. I’m Mr Hulk in there and I’ve still got a lot to accomplish. This journey now is what I’ve been dreaming about all my life. I accomplished my dreams on June 1 and I’ve still got a lot to prove on Dec 7. Fight fans are going to see the same thing [in Saudi Arabia] they saw on June 1. The guy with big dreams going in there to dominate and to be heavyweight champion. Of course, they’re going to see a lot of fireworks. If he knocks me down, I’m going to get up and knock him down. I know he’ll try to do the same if I knock him down. The main thing is to stay focused and disciplined.”

With one of the biggest upsets in boxing history already in his possession, don't expect Ruiz to simply walk in with the same game plan. Anthony Joshua was a proud champion and is as motivated as ever to regain his championship glory.

“He is going to try to make adjustments,” said Ruiz. “I don’t know if he wants to exchange punches, but I’d love for him to do that because I’m the more skilled boxer. He’ll try to box me round and use his jab. But for how long? How long can he keep me away from hunting him down? That’s what we’ve been working on most of all right now, heading into the fight. I want to impose myself in this fight, but I don’t want to overlook him. He’s still a dangerous fighter. I respect him and all the fighters who risk their lives inside the ring. He’s going to have some tricks up his sleeve and it’s my job to not let that affect me. The main thing is pressure, throw combinations and use my speed. I can’t let him grow balls in there.”

It’s an interesting choice of words from Ruiz. If Joshua intends to reclaim his titles, he will have to do the one thing that Ruiz hopes does not happen, and that is to grow some balls in the ring.

The post Andy Ruiz Does Not Intend to Let Joshua “Grow Balls in the Ring” appeared first on


Joshua Claims Klitschko Helped Him Prepare For Rematch With Ruiz


By: Sean Crose

Anthony Joshua has turned to an old foe to help him train for his rematch with Andy Ruiz this Saturday in Saudi Arabia. “He said loads of stuff to me,” England’s the Daily Sun quotes Joshua as saying of former heavyweight kingpin – and opponent – Wladimir Klitschko. “Wlad was definitely ahead of the game.” Fans and analysts have noticed that Joshua’s physique has changed somewhat in the leadup to this weekend’s heavyweight title matchup. The Londoner thinks that may be the result of taking Klitschko’s advice. “He was giving me dietary and training advice,” Joshua is quoted as saying, “and that is maybe what people are talking about now when they see a difference in my body.”

It makes sense that Joshua would turn to Klitschko – or accept an offer from the Ukrainian for help. For starters, both men are extremely tall and extremely fit. In other words, they fit the bill of the modern “supersized” heavyweight. On top of that, they’re now both famous for being destructible. Ruiz’ stunning stoppage win over Joshua last June at Madison Square Garden in New York showed that, appearances aside, Joshua can be stopped. Klitschko, on the other hand, was stopped numerous times earlier in his career.

Now, it looks as if Joshua may change things up a bit, as Klitschko did before him. Under the tutelage of famed trainer Emanuel Steward, Klitschko went from a power puncher with a glass jaw to a methodical, hard hitting, not always exciting heavyweight force that dominated his division for years. The question, of course, is how much Joshua is willing to change his style in the ring. A frequent criticism of Klitschko during the second half of his career was that the heavyweight kingpin played it too safe, using his enormous size, long reach, and consistent holding tactics, to keep opponents at bay.

Although fans may not be too eager to see Joshua change from the knockout artist who rose to his feet and stopped an aging Klitschko in a 2017 thriller to a safety-first technician in line with the man he once defeated, some are suggesting that might be a smart strategy. For Joshua was done in by going for the kill against Ruiz after he dropped his opponent last spring at Madison Square Garden. Rather than crumble, Ruiz chose to aggressively engage – and it was all downhill for Joshua from there. A more conservative ring strategy might end up serving Joshua well.

If one thing is certain, it’s the fact that Joshua was enormously impacted by the loss to Ruiz. Feeling betrayed by fair weather fans and analysts who proved all too quick to write him off, the 22-1 fighter clearly feels he has a lot to prove when he slips in between the ropes to face the 33-1 Ruiz for a second time. Admitting that Klitschko is “more disciplined” than himself, the 30 year old looks eager to take things up a notch. “I now have things to prove to myself,” the Daily Star quotes him as saying. “I want to take it more seriously because I'm going to that next level.”

The post Joshua Claims Klitschko Helped Him Prepare For Rematch With Ruiz appeared first on


"Two Female Passengers Attempt To Leave The Country, Officers Doubted The Age Of The Passengers Due To Inconsistencies In Their Answers." Bureau Of Immigration Port Operation Division Grifton Medina


PASAY, Philippines—Two more suspected human trafficking victims were stopped from leaving by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for falsifying their birthdates. Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said the two female passengers, who presented valid overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) documents, were intercepted last Wednesday at the NAIA terminal 1 by members of the Bureau’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU). According to reports, the duo attempted to depart via a Scoot Airways flight to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia allegedly to work as household service workers when they were flagged for secondary inspection by frontline immigration officers. Medina said the officers doubted the ages of the passengers as indicated in the passports due to inconsistencies in their answers and their demeanor.




GCC summit to be held in Saudi Arabia next week

Gulf leaders and representatives will meet for an annual summit in Saudi Arabia next week...

GCC summit to be held in Saudi Arabia next week

Gulf leaders and representatives will meet for an annual summit in Saudi Arabia next week...

Andy Ruiz fires warning at Joshua: “I’ll Beat Him Even Faster In Saudi Arabia”


Andy Ruiz Anthony Joshua Boxing News British Boxing‘The Destroyer’ fires warning at ‘AJ’ ahead of historic rematch Andy Ruiz Jr has warned Anthony Joshua that he could beat him “even faster” than he did when he ripped the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO belts from ‘AJ’ on […]

Read: Andy Ruiz fires warning at Joshua: “I’ll Beat Him Even Faster In Saudi Arabia” @Boxing News 24/7


15,000-seat Diriyah Arena ready for Joshua – Ruiz II Fight


Andy Ruiz Anthony Joshua Press RoomIn less than a week Saudi Arabia will host what is regarded as one of the biggest sporting events to ever be staged in the Middle East, the highly-anticipated Heavyweight World Championship fight dubbed ‘Clash on the Dunes’ presented by […]

Read: 15,000-seat Diriyah Arena ready for Joshua – Ruiz II Fight @Boxing News 24/7


India first country to make entire Haj process digital: Minority Affairs Minister

Naqvi made the remarks after signing the bilateral annual Haj 2020 agreement between India and Saudi Arabia with Haj and Umrah Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten.

Saudi Arabia takes over G20 presidency from Japan

The G20 presidency, which Saudi Arabia takes over from Japan, will see it host world leaders for a global summit in its capital next November 21-22.

The Saudi G20 Presidency will focus on “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia assumes the G20 Presidency today, leading up to the Leaders’ Summit in Riyadh on 21-22 November, 2020. The Saudi G20 Presidency commends the work of the Japanese G20 Presidency in 2019 and will continue to support the group’s efforts to forge global cooperation. Commenting on the Presidency launch, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin …


Canada as a middle power in an upended world: Time for a foreign policy reset?


The world has rarely looked this inhospitable from Ottawa's vantage point.

Authoritarianism, nationalism and isolationism are on the rise, even in the neighbourhood. The liberal world order is in apparent decline, or at least being severely tested.


Add to that Canada's uncharacteristically craggy relationship with not one but three major global powers — Russia, China and the United States — and several lesser powers (Saudi Arabia chief among them), and things haven't entirely been going Canada's way.

If, as former prime minister Lester B. Pearson once said, diplomacy is letting someone else have your way, then Canada needs to step up its diplomacy.

As a middle power, there are limits to what Canada can do to influence global machinations that turn on the say-so of major powers, many of them in flux.

But experts believe it can do more, and better. A growing chorus is calling on Ottawa to urgently review — and then rescript — Canada's role in light of the shifting international terrain.

And if Ottawa isn't willing to lead that self-examination, then the intention is to go ahead with a "citizens' foreign policy review" anyway.

'Canada needs a clearer, crisper foreign policy'

It was the palpable sentiment at the end of a one-day think-tank in Toronto last month convened by the Canadian International Council (CIC) and Global Canada — both non-partisan, ground-up organizations that focus on engaging Canadians on Canada's role abroad. Some 150 academics, NGOs, diplomats, business leaders and interested citizens took part.

"We heard repeatedly that Canada needs a clearer, crisper foreign policy," said Robert Greenhill, executive chairman of Global Canada.

The idea of a "root-to-branch" review came up when Justin Trudeau's former foreign policy adviser, Roland Paris, suggested it in the midst of the election campaign — during which foreign policy was barely mentioned beyond a Conservative Party promise to cut foreign aid by a quarter. The lone planned debate on foreign policy was cancelled when Trudeau refused to participate.

We should be the most actively multilateralist in the world, and there is a greater need for us now than ever.- Joe Clark, former Progressive Conservative prime minister

The last foreign policy review, Paris points out, was held in 2005.

"We held the conference before a new government was formed because Canada's role in the world is not only the responsibility of our elected leaders and our diplomats," says Ben Rowswell, president of the CIC. The gathering was timed right after the election "to remind citizens that it is up to us, as Canadians, to project our country's influence abroad."

The momentum for a review continues to build ahead of a major summit hosted by Ottawa this week, also on retooling Canada's global leadership in an upended world.

The flurry of free foreign policy advice for the new government — and for Canada's latest foreign minister, François-Philippe Champagne — comes at a crucial time.

The challenges of the fast-evolving global picture, which among other things has seen the U.S. withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change, and the U.S. and Russia unravel a cornerstone nuclear arms treaty, is increasingly alarming.

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin both pulled out of a 32-year-old arms control treaty on Aug. 2, 2019, freeing the U.S. to test new weapons systems. ( Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

"Our most critical ally is continuing to disengage globally, and sometimes that disengagement is dramatic," said Jennifer Welsh, professor and director of the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies at McGill University, at the one-day conference.

"It's not showing a deep interest in sustaining the multilateral system, let alone strengthening it. It's reconfiguring alliances almost daily. And it is flouting key rules." Some of those trends, she added, are likely to outlast the Trump administration.

Among other challenges Welsh outlined are the rise of nationalism, the return of proxy wars and backsliding on democracy and values such as human rights.

We cannot pretend that we have … the level of capacity and power that we did when we were one of the original members of the G7.- Bill Graham, former minister of foreign affairs 

The larger question is how and whether Canada can be influential on the world stage amid such transformation.

There is no shortage of issues to take up or resolve: from climate change, to human rights abuses, major conflicts, poverty, mass displacement, governing big tech, cyberwars, to bolstering multilateral organizations against a sustained challenge.

Can Canada reinvent the multilateral order?

Canada has historically made its biggest impact globally by working within multilateral organizations like the UN. But international diplomacy is nothing like it used to be in Pearson's time, and neither is the global power game itself.

"We cannot pretend that we have … the level of capacity and power that we did when we were one of the original members of the G7 with an economic base higher than that of Russia — we were a world player. It's a totally different world [now]," said Bill Graham, one of four former foreign ministers invited for a rare discussion moderated by CBC Radio's Ideas at the CIC/Global Canada gathering in Toronto.

The UN Security Council, which Canada is bidding to join next year, "doesn't represent the global structure anymore," Graham said, adding, "And Canada's been, to some extent, a victim of that."

So what's a middle power to do to help reinvent the multilateral order? What can it do?

The view from abroad, from experts on Canadian foreign policy, is similar.

"I am rather pessimistic about the prospect of Canada becoming a global influencer in the upcoming years of Trudeau's second term in office," says Tomek Soroka, a Canadian expert and assistant professor at the Institute of American Studies at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.

That skepticism has less to do with Trudeau's plans, he added, and more to do with geopolitics, the "shift toward populism and isolationism of some of Canada's stronger and most influential allies."

From left to right: Ideas host Nahlah Ayed; Joe Clark; Lloyd Axworthy; Bill Graham and Peter MacKay. The Canadian International Council and Global Canada convened a discussion with four former foreign ministers to reflect on Canada’s foreign role and how it can evolve in an upended world. (Eric Carriere/Canadian International Council)

Joining the Security Council is one thing — though winning that seat is by no means guaranteed. Other options proposed by the ministers include seeking out allies beyond traditional turf, and building coalitions issue by issue.

"We should be the most actively multilateralist in the world, and there is a greater need for us now than ever," Joe Clark, former Progressive Conservative prime minister, said.

"We have some extraordinary assets outside the developed world. There is a real risk that we will not take advantage of those assets. Africa is a case in point."

"We better start doing a diplomacy of climate," said Lloyd Axworthy, foreign minister under Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien, who helped make a global landmine treaty a reality in 1997.

Canada can use its reputation and "soft power" as a foreign policy tool, especially on standing for progressive values, says Soroka. But to do that, Canada has to be "credible and reliable."

"It is not easy to believe that multilateralism is a serious matter for the Canadian government when Canada's participation in foreign development aid or its participation in peacekeeping missions has for years been, euphemistically speaking, rather modest," he said in an email conversation.

"It is also hard to trust Ottawa's declarations to fight the climate crisis when Canada is the highest emitter of GHG per capita among all G20 members. Selling arms to such notorious women's rights violators as Saudi Arabia does not make Canada a credible defender of human rights, either."

Canada's role in the world

Canada's posture on the world stage since Trudeau first declared "we're back" in 2015 also came in for criticism at the conference for focusing more on being a "moral superpower" and less on acting as a convener and consensus-builder on the world stage.

Peter MacKay, foreign minister in 2007-8 and a possible contender for an eventual Tory leadership contest, called out the previous government's foreign-policy-by-tweet. Chrystia Freeland's public comments on Saudi Arabia's human rights record, for instance, unleashed a ferocious response last year.

Foreign Policy CAN@CanadaFP

Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in , including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful activists.


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"You can't lecture countries, you can't hector them," said MacKay.

"We have seen examples of that, where this has actually harmed Canada's interest."

Similar criticism came from another former foreign minister in the room — Perrin Beatty, who is currently president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

He was among six participants who pitched ideas for a renewed foreign policy: everything from using Indigenous know-how in international development, to stepping up the engagement of Canada's diaspora, to "greening" foreign aid. Those ideas will now be taken to CIC events across the country for further discussion, said Rowswell.

Former Progressive Conservative prime minster Joe Clark says Canada needs to find new allies on the international stage beyond the West. (Eric Carriere/Canadian International Council)

At the conference, the majority of participants backed Beatty's pitch for an urgent review of Canada's foreign policy.

"Canada's role in the world should be to do what we've historically done very well: to engage, to convene, to present innovative ideas and to build consensus," he said.

Ideally, he said, a review would be led by political leaders.

"But if they are incapable of doing so … business, the academic world, non-governmental institutions and others like those in this room have the obligation to lead the way.

"The world won't wait for us. The stakes are simply too high." 


  • This story has been updated to note that Joe Clark was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party when he served as prime minister, not the Conservative Party of Canada.

    Nov 25, 2019 7:22 PM ET


Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua 2: Fight undercard, time, rumors, odds, date, location

A look at the fight card for Andy Ruiz Jr.'s rematch with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia

Latido Films reportedly acquires international sales rights to ‘Born a King’

Mon, 2019-12-02 16:45

DUBAI: According to Variety, Spanish agency Latido Films has acquired international sales rights to “Born a King,” the Agustí Villaronga-directed movie, which premiered in Saudi Arabia and the UAE in September, that tells the story of a young King Faisal Al-Saud during his trip to the UK on a diplomatic mission.

Latido Films’ director Antonio Saura and international sales head Juan Torres will introduce the movie to select buyers from all over the world at Ventana Sur, a Latin American film market organized by the National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA) and Marché du Film – Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on Dec. 2.

“I’m very happy to give the world sales rights on the film to Latido, a Spanish company that defends good cinema and, headed by Antonio Saura, will grow in the future into one of the independent cinema specialists of greatest international reach,” said the film’s producer Andrés Vicente Gómez as per Variety.

“This is Latido’s first collaboration with Agustí Villaronga – one of the most admired film directors in Spain, a creative, inventive talent that knows like very few how to portray the complexity of the human mind,” quipped Saura. “And with Andrés Vicente Gómez, one of Spain’s legendary film producers,” he added.

The UK-Spanish co-production, which stars Ed Skrein and “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” actress Hermione Cornfield, is the first big international feature to shoot in Riyadh.

Set in 1919, the film was partly shot in Riyadh and Diriyah, and sees a teenage Faisal, later to become king of Saudi Arabia, as the young hero sent by his father to lead negotiations in London aged 13 with the fate of his nation resting on his shoulders.

It cost almost $20 million to make and has since racked up $4.2 million since its premiere in the Middle East. 

Main category: 


Carla DiBello’s new documentary ‘Electric Kingdom’ tracks major moments in Saudi Arabia

Mon, 2019-12-02 14:41

DUBAI: Set to be released early next year, new documentary “Electric Kingdom” tells the behind-the-scenes story of Saudi Arabia’s first Formula E electric car race in 2018 and explores the other firsts in the country, including the first mixed concert, the first female race car drivers hitting a national track and the moment visitors landed on government-issued tourist visas.

US producer Carla DiBello worked with a crew from Los Angeles to capture these watershed moments on film in a project helmed by Oscar-nominated director David Darg.

For DiBello, it was all about showing the world the real face of her new home in the Gulf.

“This was a project that I was so passionate about and I really fought to make because it was so important that I wanted my peers in the US to really see what I experience living in the Middle East,” she told Arab News.

The documentary, which premiered at the Washington West Film Festival on Oct. 27, is particularly important because it portrays a series of firsts in the Kingdom.

“There were many firsts.  It was the first electric car race that was held in the Gulf, it was the first Western concert — Jason Derulo was the very first artist to step on a stage in front of a mixed crowd,” she said.

For the producer, it was all about showing the world the real face of her new home in the Gulf. (Supplied)

DiBello filmed the documentary with a crew from Los Angeles, who she says were surprised by what they found in Saudi Arabia.

“I think a lot of people, especially from my crew in Los Angeles, that came out to visit were just so blown away by the hospitality and the culture and how catering everyone is to everyone’s needs and they really saw a different side of Saudi Arabia that they imagined.”

And that’s one of the main points the former “Keeping up with the Kardashians” producer is keen to get across in her latest documentary.

The documentary was filmed with a crew from Los Angeles. (Supplied)

“I think my purpose in making this was to really be able to show people in America and all over the world what Saudi Arabia really is… it’s not just based on what you see in the media or what’s portrayed,” she said.

BiBello was impressed by the organizer’s ability to pull off the race, despite serious setbacks, including adverse weather conditions at the time.

A poster for the new documentary. (Supplied) 

“It was definitely a challenge waking up at five in the morning to go shoot the day of the race and the track being close to flooded.  So, there were a lot of fun experiences everyday — we woke up to something new or a new challenge. Nowhere else in the world can they pull something off in such a short time and execute it in such a positive way,” she said.

Main category: 


US rapper Tyga hospitalized in Abu Dhabi

Mon, 2019-12-02 10:50

DUBAI: Following his second performance in Saudi Arabia, rapper Tyga has recently shared that he’s been hospitalized in the UAE.

The “Taste” singer was in the UAE capital for an appearance in the side lines of F1 on Saturday night, the same day he performed at Riyadh’s Diriyah Season.

On Sunday, he uploaded a series of snaps on his Instagram Stories of himself wearing a surgical mask at a hospital in Abu Dhabi. He simply captioned the first shot with a crying emoji and a sick emoji.

“Thank you for the doctors in Abu Dhabi for treating me w the best care (sic),” he wrote alongside the second clip.

The rapper shared two snaps of himself wearing a surgical mask. Photo: Instagram/@Tyga

It’s unclear why the rapper has been admitted into the medical institution, but if his trip to a hospital in India last week is any indication, it could very well be from exhaustion.

According to the Times of India, Tyga—born Michael Ray Stevenson— told fans at his Mumbai concert that he was “feeling under the weather.”

While it’s not yet known whether the rapper is still in the hospital or not, he is expected to take the stage in Hamburg tonight. 

Main category: 


Arabia Saudita asume la presidencia del G20 para 2020


RIYADH, Arabia Saudita, 2 de diciembre de 2019 /PRNewswire/ —

G20 Saudi Arabia 2020 Logo (PRNewsfoto/G20 Saudi Secretariat)

  • El Reino de Arabia Saudita asume hoy, 1 de diciembre de 2019, la presidencia del G20 para 2020. 
  • La presidencia saudita del G20 se concentrará en «Concretar oportunidades del


Reform and repression go hand in hand in Saudi Arabia

Sweeping social reforms have been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, says Sebastian Usher.


12/1/2019: Opinion: Belated block on arms exports to Saudi Arabia, UAE is right thing to do


● Just three months into SA’s transition from apartheid to constitutional democracy, Armscor was caught red-handed exporting AK-47s, G3 semiautomatic rifles and ammunition to Yemen. Then as now, Yemen was torn apart in a vicious civil war, and subject...

Assistant Professor, Law

Department: College of Law Institution: Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University AL-KHOBAR, KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA POSITION Assistant Professor, Law DEPARTMENT Law SCHOOL Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University REPORTS TO Department Chair; College Dean INTRODUCTION The College of Law provides a dynamic, engaging, student-oriented, quality competency-based innovative and globally-oriented curriculum that leads current and prospect... (Visit for the complete position description.)

Thackeray drops cases against Nanar refinery protestors

Thackeray drops cases against Nanar refinery protestors

Mumbai: In yet another jolt to the Bharatiya Janata Party, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray late on Monday withdrew all cases filed against protestors opposing the proposed Rs 3 trillion Nanar oil refinery and petrochemicals complex with Saudi Arabian collaboration in Ratnagiri. There were multiple cases filed against 23 protestors, including eight women, for taking part …

Check out more stories at The Siasat Daily


The Education Department is Investigating Foreign Influence at Two Prominent Universities

The agency wants detailed records of what the institutions received from the Russian, Chinese, Saudi Arabian and Qatar governments, as well as Huawei, ZTE and others.

Boxing: Pressure is all on Joshua, says Ruiz Jr

World heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr believes his re-match with Anthony Joshua will be a harder fight than his stunning victory in June but says all the pressure is on the Briton ahead of their showdown in Saudi Arabia this weekend.


11/29/19: The new collusion is Ukraine (CLASSIC EPISODE)



--On the Show:

--Unless things change, Donald Trump could easily be heading towards a 2020 re-election

--Donald Trump authorizes troops to Saudi Arabia, and we discuss the context as well as the almost total lack of corporate media coverage

--Donald Trump allegedly withholds $250 million in aid from Ukraine unless they agree to smear Joe Biden and Biden's son to help Trump in 2020

--Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani denies and then immediately admits to asking Ukraine to smear Joe Biden

--A visibly red and disheveled Donald Trump admits to demanding collusion

--New data related to YouTube's crackdown confirms exactly what we've been predicting

--The latest book recommendations from David!

--Voicemail caller says Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are the "dream team"

--On the Bonus Show: Colt suspends manufacture of AR-15, Area 51 raid chaos, Cory Booker desperately needs to raise money, much more...

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--Leave us a message at The David Pakman Show Voicemail Line (219)-2DAVIDP


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Phil Mickelson will skip a PGA Tour event he's never missed as a pro to play in Saudi Arabia

Phil Mickelson's early 2020 schedule will look a lot different than in years past after swapping desert events on different continents.

Successful One Country Team Approach para sa isang Human Trafficking Victim sa Saudi Arabia

Nobyembre 20, 2019, limang araw mula nang mabuo ang One Country Team, kasama ang inyong lingkod, si Dir Iric Cruz Arribas ng DFA OUMWA at si Admin Hans Cacdac ng OWWA, nasarado ang kaso ng...

Saudi Human Rights Violation

As millions of Muslims don robes and flock to Mecca for hajj, a small counter movement to boycott the pilgrimage in protest at Saudi Arabia’s politics has won limited support online. Although the numbers are dwarfed by the 1.8 million who have arrived in Mecca for Friday’s hajj, more than 100 Muslims from Australia to ... Read more

Anthony Joshua says hes Going into the Andy Ruiz fight with the Mindset of a Champion

Heavyweight boxerAnthony Joshua is more about gaining back his respect than winning the belts he lost to Andy Ruiz Jnr. His last match in New York with Ruiz was a shock to many. In anticipationof his rematch with in Saudi Arabia, Anthony Joshua said he is going into the fight as a champion. He said: []The post Anthony Joshua says hes Going into the Andy Ruiz fight with the Mindset of a Champion appeared first on BellaNaija - Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

Before And Now Photos Of Boxer Anthony Joshua That Got People Talking

Heavyweight boxer, Anthony Joshua has shed some weight ahead of his bout with Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Oil Prices Trim Gains After Ross Renews Tariff Hike Threat

© Reuters. — prices bounced sharply on Monday after a report suggesting that Saudi Arabia will push for deeper output cuts when it meets with OPEC and non-OPEC allies later this week. However, they trimmed gains after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross renewed the threat of higher tariffs on Chinese imports. The next tariff increase […]

Stop the Ethanol Madness


The idea of requiring the nation’s gasoline supply to contain a certain amount of renewable biofuel was born in a short-lived doomsday fad of the 1970s. With experts warning that the world was quickly running out of oil, the shocks of ’73 and ’79 led President Jimmy Carter to call for wartime-style rationing of fuel and other draconian measures to avoid a “national catastrophe.” His proposals, fortunately, didn’t get much further than a small subsidy for corn ethanol.

Just a few years later, with its market share under assault from new non-OPEC oil producers, Saudi Arabia suddenly doubled production. Oil prices crashed around the world, and a decades-long oil glut ensued. So much for that doomsday fad.

As a way to replace dwindling reserves of oil, ethanol subsidies had a certain brutal logic, especially if oil prices were going to keep rising with no end in sight. But as a way to address climate change, the program never made any sense. Corn ethanol may well be worse for the climate than fossil fuels, and the program does significant damage to both the economy and the environment. Its sole beneficiaries are large agricultural corporations—and the politicians who serve them.

Corn ethanol is the mainstay of the nation’s Renewable Fuel Standard, which was created in 2005 when gasoline prices finally rose again, though that price shock, too, proved fleeting. The RFS creates a complex web of targets for both corn ethanol and “advanced biofuels.” To qualify as “advanced,” biofuels such as biodiesel (from sources such as palm oil and recycled cooking oil) and futuristic cellulosic ethanol (from sources such as prairie grass and tree bark) must have a significantly lower greenhouse effect than corn ethanol. The RFS program created both a gradually rising biofuel mandate, and within that mandate, a gradually rising proportion of advanced biofuels (particularly cellulosic ethanol) relative to corn ethanol, such that advanced biofuels are supposed to make up the majority of the mandated volume by 2022.

But the EPA has substantial authority to waive the statutory targets. In practice, that has rendered the RFS unpredictable and arbitrary, in addition to its other fine qualities. And, because cellulosic ethanol has never been able to overcome the technological hurdles it needs to clear to be viable, the EPA has had to waive the overall target every year since 2013.

Each year the EPA dictates the required overall volumes of various biofuels for the following year or two. It then combines those numbers with federal projections of overall fuel consumption to arrive at a percentage amount of ethanol that each gallon of gasoline produced by a refinery must contain. Responding to the government-created demand, ethanol producers swing into action. To create a credit-trading scheme, each new gallon of pure renewable biofuel is assigned a unique renewable identification number. That “RIN” becomes a tradable credit when that gallon of biofuel is blended with enough regular gasoline to meet the RFS.

The scheme creates a major conflict between two of America’s most powerful special-interest groups: oil producers and refineries on the one hand, and corn-ethanol producers on the other. With many hundreds of billions of dollars at stake, the result is tectonic political pressures on the government. The fault line, as it were, is the “blend wall”: how much ethanol can be blended into the nation’s fuel supply without corroding automobile engines or violating the EPA’s own emissions standards for ozone and particulate matter. With the nation’s current automobile fleet, that number turns out to be about 10 percent, which is why virtually all the gasoline you put in your car is at least E10.

But because the EPA’s percentage-volume obligations are set above the effective blend wall for many refiners, many still “owe” the EPA lots of RINs even after blending all the ethanol they reasonably can into their gasoline. So refineries have little choice but to buy RINs from those who have already blended fuel for themselves or someone else, usually purchasing RINs related to biodiesel instead. That leaves a lot of refiners chasing a small number of excess RINs. The resulting scarcity drives up prices, and produces volatility in both the ethanol and biodiesel markets.

The compliance burden falls most heavily on large refiners, but it most immediately threatens the small ones, for whom the law has created a case-by-case hardship exemption. As a result, small refiners put enormous pressure on the White House and the EPA to exempt them from the RFS. And because the EPA tends to grant the small-refinery exemptions in batches (in August of this year it granted 31 of them), the exemptions drive RIN prices down. Angry corn producers then besiege the White House with an army of hired lobbyists and members of Congress, demanding that the EPA allow the sale of higher-percentage ethanol blends and promulgate a higher overall target-volume RFS. As a result of these opposing forces, the government oscillates between helping refineries and helping corn producers, in a pattern that has been almost perfectly continuous since the Obama administration first exercised the refinery exemptions, in 2013.

Ethanol mandates are a marvelous candidate for deregulation—but they are caught in the middle of such a withering cross fire of special-interest groups that nobody in the White House wants to touch the issue with a 10-foot pole, as I saw firsthand during my years there. In October 2018, after months of hesitation and internal consternation, President Donald Trump ordered the EPA to move toward allowing E15 to be sold year-round and suggested fixes to the RIN market, and earlier this year the EPA proposed a higher overall volume RFS. The sale of E15 may create a backlash once the public learns about the downsides of higher ethanol blends, especially for older vehicles. Moreover, the problems of the RIN market are not endogenous to that market; they are created by the underlying RFS program, and a higher-volume RFS will make those problems worse. Officials in the EPA’s Office of Air Regulation, who have the misfortune of being required by law to administer the program, struggle to make anyone happy. It’s an impossible task.

A major 2011 study by the National Academies of Sciences found that biofuels can be cost-competitive with fossil fuels only in an economic environment of high oil prices. It assessed that biofuels would only be competitive with fossil fuels by 2022 (when the statutory RFS targets expire) if gasoline was about $5 a gallon (or $191 per barrel of crude oil). Even then, that represented the Department of Energy’s worst-case scenario projection for 2022. Then came the shale revolution, and now the Department’s projected worst-case scenario for 2022 is significantly lower, about $4 a gallon ($140 per barrel of crude oil), and more likely $2.50, or even $2.

In fact, perversely enough, the RFS expands the supply of gasoline, thereby helping keep fossil-fuel prices low in the long run. That’s particularly perverse from the climate’s point of view. The single biggest obstacle to a completely carbon-free future is the fact that automobiles, airplanes, and ships are tethered to oil as an energy source—whereas almost everything else that consumes energy just needs to connect to the electricity grid. If federal officials ever got serious about climate change and facilitated rapid deployment of nuclear energy, electricity production could be down to zero carbon emissions within a decade or two. If on top of that all, vehicles were electric, you’d be close to zero carbon emissions for the economy as a whole. By expanding the supply of gasoline, the RFS program helps ensure that gasoline-powered cars remain on the road longer.

Cheap gasoline is nice in the short term, but in exchange for that, the RFS gives us more expensive food. In the United States, the cultivation of corn for ethanol now requires a staggering 38 million acres of land—an area larger than the state of Illinois. By comparison, the total area of cropland used to produce grains and vegetables that humans eat is only about twice that acreage. In other words, the U.S. devotes enough land to corn-ethanol production to feed 150 million people.

The diversion of arable land for ethanol production constricts the supply of both crops and cropland that are available for food, with a particularly pronounced impact on livestock feed, and hence on meat. Price signals cause farmers to switch from other crops to corn production, seeking higher returns. As a result, the price of all foods—not just those directly related to corn—increases, and because the U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of food, food prices increase all over the world. Few Americans realize that to subsidize corn-ethanol production, they are paying almost twice as much for ground beef as they did before the RFS was created. The supermarket price of both flour and rice jumped about 50 percent after the RFS was created, and never fell back. The ethanol program functions as a hidden food tax—the most regressive of all taxes. And the effects on poor Americans are magnified for poor countries that depend on imports of food.

The RFS program mandates that corn ethanol have at least 20 percent lower carbon emissions than petroleum-based gasoline. But in the decade since the program’s full implementation, many studies have shown that the greenhouse-gas impacts collaterally associated with ethanol production—the full “carbon-cycle” effect—negate that 20 percent reduction and may even make corn ethanol worse for the climate than fossil fuels.

A large amount of fossil fuel is required to produce, grow, harvest, transport, and especially process a gallon of ethanol, eating up much of the difference in carbon emissions between ethanol and regular gasoline. As a National Academies report puts it, the RFS “may be an ineffective policy for reducing global greenhouse-gas emissions because the extent of emissions reductions depends to a great degree on how the biofuels are produced and what land-use or land-cover changes occur in the process.” Moreover, as the report notes, the production and use of ethanol results in higher emissions of ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur oxide than fossil fuels. Studies have demonstrated that corn production with nitrogen-based fertilizers releases high levels of nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere, which not only destroys ozone but has a higher greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide. And when those costs are added to the lost carbon sequestration from deforestation and other land-use changes, the impact on greenhouse-gas emissions from ethanol production is at best only slightly beneficial, and could be even worse for the climate than gasoline.

For all its problems, corn ethanol is not the worst biofuel. That title must go to palm and soybean oil, the mainstays of Europe’s biodiesel programs. Whereas corn ethanol leads to significant loss of temperate forests and prairies, the European Union’s biofuel programs have led to devastating losses of tropical rain forests around the world as countries from Indonesia to Brazil clear them rapaciously to tap into the EU’s rich subsidies for palm seed and now soybeans. In 2018, the EU finally voted to end palm-oil subsidies, but its equivalent of the RFS remains, and it still encourages biodiesel from plants that grow best in the tropics. The policy is environmentally suicidal.

Rain forests are the planet’s single most valuable mechanism of carbon capture. Palm-oil biodiesel may have 80 percent lower emissions than regular diesel, but much of that palm oil is grown on land cleared of tropical rain forests, and when you take that reduced carbon-capture into account, according to a 2009 United Nations report, palm-oil biodiesel may result in 800 percent more carbon emissions than fossil-fuel diesel. And diesel isn’t just for trucks: Ninety-four percent of the world’s freight moves by diesel fuel on sea and land.

Worse still, the loss of natural habitat to produce biofuels has dramatically accelerated the global biodiversity crisis. The most conservative estimates are that by 2050, at least 20 percent of all current land species will have been driven to extinction, almost entirely due to the loss of natural habitat from agriculture. The need to feed a rapidly increasing human population already spelled big trouble for biodiversity, but regulators in the U.S. and Europe have managed to make the problem dramatically worse in just a decade with a climate policy that leaves the climate worse off as well.

Renewable biofuels are not necessarily doomed. If advanced biofuels can be economically competitive and avoid the impacts of corn ethanol on poor people and on the environment, they will be a welcome addition to our future energy portfolio. But today’s corn-ethanol program is a glaring failure, and it is unconscionable that politicians of both parties are conspiring to keep it alive despite knowing full well what its problems are.

Originally published at The Atlantic.

Mario Loyola
Saturday, November 23, 2019
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Media appearance type: 
The idea of requiring the nation’s gasoline supply to contain a certain amount of renewable biofuel was born in a short-lived doomsday fad of the 1970s. With experts warning that the world was quickly running out of oil, the shocks of ’73 and ’79 led President Jimmy Carter to call for wartime-style rationing of fuel and other draconian measures to avoid a “national catastrophe.” His proposals, fortunately, didn’t get much further than a small subsidy for corn ethanol.
The mainstay of the Renewable Fuel Standard is an unmistakable social and environmental failure. Why does it persist?


Uh, oh, Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia's new combat sports venue is looking pretty good

As the Middle East's most powerful countries jockey for prominence on a world stage, who knew combat sports would be a chief beneficiary?


A Sex Educator Decodes Indian Women's Complicated Relationship With Sex Toys

Representative image. 

Simran has a husband. She even has a lover. Yet, she reserves a special place in her heart for her trusty vibrator. “I cannot think of parting with it ever,” says the 40-year-old business development professional from Delhi. She is one amongst thousands of women who are coming out of their sexual shells and taking charge of their own pleasure, with a bouquet of products designed just for them.

No longer must women experiment with penile-shaped vegetables,old Nokia phones, or furtively purchased items of dodgy provenance from Palika Bazaar. Instead, all they need to do is log on to one of the many e-commerce sites (just Google!) dealing exclusively in adult toys. Despite the layers of moral policing, judgment and guilt imposed on sexual desires in the land of the Kama Sutra, sex toy sales have been seeing unprecedented growth in India, claim online vendors

For the latest news and more, follow HuffPost India on TwitterFacebook, and subscribe to our newsletter.

According to Raj Armani, co-founder of IMbesharam—a site that’s endorsed by no less than Sunny Leone—the demand for sexual wellness products has seen a huge upswing from women shoppers. While 2018 saw more than 46,000 women buying products from the site, 2019 has already welcomed more than 56,000 shoppers. A survey by ThatsPersonal, another online adult store, has also found that women in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities are getting in on the act. Now, more than ever, women are pursuing sexual pleasure for its own sake and they are willing to spend for a better experience.

Sex toys for women are even making their way into mainstream popular culture, with Kiara Advani recently playing the part of a dissatisfied wife who is shown masturbating withthe help of a vibrator in Karan Johar’s Lust Stories

For Simran, too, a blah marital sex life, especially after childbirth, led her to take matters more firmly into her own hands. She asked her Canada-based cousin to get her a vibrator after experiencing a lull in her married sex life due to the rigours of childcare, changes in her body, and a general postpartum dip in mood. The few times she had sex with her husband left her unfulfilled, and she was physically more distant from her lover—with whom she had previously enjoyed a fantastic sex life and multiple orgasms. Simran’s cousin responded to her request with a bunch of product pictures sent over e-mail to help her choose the right vibrator. This was 10 years ago, and Simran hasn’t looked back. Since then, she has graduated from a simple massager to a more versatile vibrator that stimulates the clitoris as well as the so-called G-spot.

So, how does her partner feel about her seeking sexual pleasure from a device? Simran says it is her boyfriend more than her husband who feels more insecure since she is less dependent on him for her sexual satisfaction. When she says she is not in the mood for sex, he worries that the vibrator has reduced her need for a man. 

Unfortunately, not every woman can let go of the taboos around female sexuality they have grown up with.

Simran says such concerns are unfounded. “I do long for human touch. It is irreplaceable,” she says. “I long for lingering kisses, embraces and foreplay—these are things that a vibrator cannot provide.” One thing is for sure, Simran is glad she is not like her friends for whom “sex has become duty-bound and is done and dealt with once in two or three months”. Her vibrator keeps her in tune with her own desires and sexuality and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Unfortunately, not every woman can let go of the taboos around female sexuality they have grown up with. Myra, a married woman in her 30s, says she had a hard time enjoying sex after she wed—she was a virgin, and her husband was not. She says she was not accustomed to receiving pleasure or treating her body as a vehicle for sexual pleasure. She had not yet discovered her own sexual likes and dislikes.  She depended on her husband for calling the shots in the bedroom—to her, sex was a response, it was reactionary.

And then, just as she was beginning to enjoy sex, her husband ceased all physical contact because he was dealing with some major stresses. He completely ignored her needs, leaving her feeling deprived and abandoned.  At around this time, Myra had a work trip to the US. While she was there, she remembered what an American co-worker had said during an India visit. “This woman had asked us girls in the India office about where to buy a vibrator. Most of us cringed and giggled, but a seed had been planted in my mind.” Myra proceeded to buy a vibrator for herself in the US but using it was difficult because she had always been taught it was wrong to touch her vagina.  “I am still dealing with a lot of taboos that restrict my ability to touch myself,” she sighs. After a month of trying to use the vibrator, Myra gave up. “I want human touch,” she says. “Maybe the vibrator can help add to the experience of love-making but it cannot replace it.”

So, this brings us to the question: have sex toys really given women their sexual freedom? Can the possibility of women’s sexual self-reliance jolt men out of their patriarchal comfort zone, and thus perform better in bed—maybe actually think about their partner’s orgasm too? Too many Indian women, after all, are left high and dry by men who come in five seconds, oblivious to the crushing disappointment they’ve caused.

The answer would be yes, and no.

Yes, because sex toys do empower women to have more agency with their lust. No, because sexual conservatism and a lack of sex education still prevail in India. It will certainly take more than a vibrator for men to be mindful lovers. 

Ultimately, it’s the mind that holds the key. We can all have better sex when we free ourselves from the moral, puritanical and regressive attitudes that make us see sex as ‘dirty’. Orgasms will come a lot more easily when we realize that sex is not bad, wrong, abnormal, gross, evil. We will have healthy sex lives when we start viewing (consensual) sex as nice, pleasurable, loving, and good for you. There is a lot of discussion, rightly so, about abuse, rape, and sexual violence. But it is also important to have conversations about the fact that sex is normal and should be associated with openness, love, and kindness. Online spaces likeAgents of Ishq andRedWomb are doing a creditable work in this direction, but we all need to work on our beliefs, maybe even with a vibrator in hand for some help.

Pallavi Barnwal is a writer and a sex educator.


WWE Survivor Series 2019: NXT Joins Raw, SmackDown At One Of WWE’s Biggest Events

WWE champion Brock Lesnar (L) speaks during a WWE news conference as his advocate Paul Heyman looks on at T-Mobile Arena on October 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lesnar will face former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and WWE wrestler Braun Strowman will take on heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury at the WWE's Crown Jewel event at Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 31.The card for WWE's Survivor Series 2019 is mostly complete, with headliners across NXT, Raw and SmackDown scheduled to clash in Sundays's pay-per-view.

Uber founder receives $400m in investment from Saudi Arabia


Uber founder Travis Kalanick has received investment of $400m from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund according to reports in The Wall …

The post Uber founder receives $400m in investment from Saudi Arabia appeared first on


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Saudi Arabia Embraces Western Sports to Rehabilitate Global Image

Critics accuse the kingdom of “sportswashing” as international entertainment businesses shrug off human rights concerns.

The Productive Muslim - Where Faith Meets Productivity


Ever wondered if there's a practical way to lead a productive lifestyle that combines the best of Islamic tradition and modern psychology and science?

In "The ProductiveMuslim" Mohammed Faris, the founder of, provides this practical framework that helps urban global Muslims lead a productive lifestyle ­ Spiritually, Physically, and Socially.

Combining his love for Islam with modern productivity techniques, in this book, Mohammed will teach you:

How spirituality can boost your productivity
How to manage your sleep, nutrition, and fitness (spiritually, physically, and socially)
How to be socially productive outside your home and community
How to manage your focus in an age of distractions
How to build productive habits and routines
How to manage your time and invest in your hereafter
How to be productive during Ramadan

About the author
Mohammed Faris is an internationally sought speaker, coach, and author who spearheaded the niche of productivity. He is the Founder of, the popular online platform, blog, and productivity training organisation that serves the Muslim World. He has delivered talks and trainings at numerous events and seminars across the world including UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Nigeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and USA, as well as featured on international media. In 2014, the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre added him to the World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims list.

"For personal productivity, I don’t give my email out. But one person I've remained in communication with all these years is Mohammed Faris. Time and again he has impressed me with his commitment to productive action. He walks his talk. And because he has concentrated on this topic for so long, his productivity distinctions are invaluable"
- Muhammad Alshareef; Founder AlMaghrib Institute & DiscoverU

"Mohammed and his team at Productive Muslim provide great productivity advice – on working well, living well, and applying the Islamic face in a modern and practical way. It’s always really inspiring working with him – he’s a true Productivity Ninja"
- Graham Allcott, Managing Director, Think Productive.

ISBN: 978-1905837380
Forfatter: Mohammed Faris
Udgiver: Awakening Publications (2017)
Sider: 232
Indbinding: paperback 


不禁止沙烏地阿拉伯商Saudi Arabian Oil Company及沙烏地阿拉伯商Saudi Basic Industries Corporation結合案。

公平交易委員會新聞資料      108年11月27日 公平交易委員會(下稱公平會)於108年11月27日第1464次委員會議通過,沙烏地阿拉伯商Saudi Arabian Oil Company(下稱Aramco)及沙烏地阿拉伯商Saudi Basic Industries Corporation(下稱SABIC)結合案,依公平交易法第13條第1項規定,不禁止其結合。 公平會表示,Aramco擬取得SABIC之70%股份及控制權,符合公平交易法第10條第1項第2款及第5款之結合型態。另參與結合事業於我國相關產品市場之市占率及上一會計年度銷售金額達公平交易法第11條第1項第2款及第3款之申報門檻,且無同法第12條規定除外適用情形,故依法提出結合申報。 公平會指出,Aramco之原油及SABIC之甲醇在我國市場占有率逾四分之一,惟結合後對該等產品市場應無影響;另參與結合事業於我國皆有銷售「聚丁二烯橡膠(PBR)」、「乙烯」、「乙烯丙烯橡膠(EP(D)M)」、「聚乙烯(PE)」、「聚丙烯樹脂(PP)」、「甲基丙烯酸甲酯(MMA)」等產品,惟市場占有率不高,且結合後於該等產品市場占有率增加幅度微小,尚無顯著限制競爭疑慮。 公平會最後表示,對於結合案件之准駁,係著眼其是否對整體經濟利益大於限制競爭之不利益。本案經該會函詢相關產品競爭同業及下游交易相對人意見,並綜合研判前揭考量因素,依公平交易法第13條第1項規定,不禁止其結合。 (承辦單位:製造業競爭處;服務中心2351-0022、2351-7588轉380;  新聞聯繫窗口:張志斌科長2351-7588轉501)

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