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Saudi blames Al-Qaeda for deadly anti-Shiite attack

THE LEVANT – Saudi authorities have blamed militants linked to Al-Qaeda for an unprecedented attack that killed Shiite worshippers and stoked sectarian tensions in the Sunni-dominated kingdom. Saudi authorities have blamed militants linked to Al-Qaeda for an unprecedented attack that killed Shiite worshippers and highlighted sectarian tensions in the Sunni-dominated …

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Turkey and KSA continuous challenges

THE LEVANT –  By Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh – Across the region, some of the more stable countries continue to face political and military challenges. Of particular note at this point in time is Turkey and Saudi Arabia, for very different reasons. Turkey is currently mired in a dilemma triggered …

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Saudi Arabia curbs ISIL recruitment attempts

THE LEVANT – By Sultan al-Barei – Security and outreach campaigns are under way in Saudi Arabia to prevent youth from traveling abroad to fight alongside extremist groups at the urging of some imams and religious scholars, officials told Al-Shorfa. These efforts include the recent arrest of an imam and seven others in …

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Saudi Arabia hands down sentences

THE LEVANT – A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced 18 men to prison terms of 10 months to 25 years for their part in a series of militant attacks against government and foreign targets between 2003-06, state media reported late on Wednesday. The men were part of a group of 50 …

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Saudi Prince is attacked in Paris

THE LEVANT – Kalashnikov-wielding robbers have attacked the motorcade of a Saudi prince in Paris, making off with 250,000 euros ($335,000) in cash and reportedly stealing “sensitive” documents, French police said Monday. The theft took place in northern Paris as the motorcade was making its way from the Saudi embassy …

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Outrage in Saudi Arabia over headscarf-free TV presenter

THE LEVANT – The unprecedented appearance of a female newsreader on Saudi state television without a headscarf has caused a scandal in the deeply conservative Islamic state.  The unnamed anchor, who has previously worn a hijab in clips circulated online, was reading a bulletin from London for the Al Ekhbariya channel. Strict Islamic …

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Saudi Arabia takes the lead in condemning Israel

THE LEVANT – Saudi King Abdullah said Friday that world silence over Israeli “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip was “inexcusable,” in a speech published by the official SPA news agency.“We see the blood of out brothers in Palestine being shed in collective massacres, that have spared nobody, and in war …

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Rejected by relatives, 400 stay in Taif mental hospital

THE LEVANT – Spokesman for Health Affairs Siraj Al-Hemaidan said there are 400 mental patients in the city’s mental hospital whose families have refused to accept them. He told Al-Hayat daily that these patients have been provided with the proper treatment and their conditions have greatly improved, and medical teams have …

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Water bribery case: BIP set to summon new suspects

THE LEVANT – The Saudi  Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIP) will soon summon new suspects in the “water kickbacks” case, Al-Watan daily reported citing unnamed sources. Several officials are accused of receiving bribes from private companies during a water rationing campaign. They are also allegedly involved in embezzlement of …

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Human development boost: KSA ranked 34th

THE LEVANT – Saudi Arabia ranked 34th in the Human Development Index (HDI) of 2014 out of a total of 187 countries and territories.Saudi Arabia’s HDI value increased from 0.583 to 0.836, an increase of 43.3 percent, or an average annual increase of about 1.10 percent, between 1980 and 2013.The current …

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KSA boosts renewable energy investments

THE LEVANT – The Kingdom has confirmed its commitment to allocate over $109 billion of investment to develop a strong renewable energy sector by 2032, according to energy industry sources.The Kingdom’s strategy targets renewable energy to contribute 20-23 percent of its energy needs, with the world’s most valuable company, the Saudi …

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How Saudi Arabia helped ISIS take over the north of Iraq

Written by Patrick Cockburn – For The Independent – How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in …

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