April 10, 2012 |
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Mohammad Fahad Al-Qahtani is a busy man with a dangerous passion. A human rights activist and relentless writer of letters and legal briefs, he challenges a kingdom that demands unquestioned authority. He slips videos onto the Internet and fires off missives to King Abdullah, calling for the freeing of political prisoners and the arrest of the king's half brother and heir apparent. He smiles at such audaciousness at a time when Saudi authorities are trying to contain calls for change encouraged by Arab rebellions, but turns somber when pondering the consequences.
April 5, 2012 |
Just when you thought Saudi Arabia might be edging its way into the 21 st century - or even the late 20 th - the country's sports minister dispelled that notion with the disappointing and troubling announcement that no women will officially represent the country at the 2012 Olympics. Only last week, Prince Nayef ibn Abdulaziz had said women could represent Saudi Arabia as long as their participation did not conflict with Islamic laws....
March 29, 2012 |
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - The Saudi royal family prizes stability as much as the oil that secures its wealth, but political upheaval across the Middle East has shaken the kingdom's sense of balance, forcing it to press for radical change in Syria and confront a bid by longtime nemesis Iran to wield greater influence. The decades-old rivalry between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shiite-controlled Iran for prominence in the region is one of the volatile subplots embedded in the "Arab Spring.
January 26, 2012 |
President Obama declared the United States the "Saudi Arabia of natural gas" Thursday as he plugged an energy policy that would offer incentives to companies that power their vehicles with natural gas. Speaking to a crowd at a UPS facility here, Obama praised the company for being among the first to respond to an administration call last year to reduce the use of fossil fuels. "That's how they roll," Obama said of UPS. The remarks come as the White House is rolling out more details of its energy proposals, which administration officials call the "all of the above" plan for reducing reliance on foreign oil. Officials on Thursday also announced an oil and natural gas lease sale in the central Gulf of Mexico, scheduled for late June.
January 26, 2012 |
Declaring the United States the "Saudi Arabia of natural gas," President Obama began pushing Thursday for greater use of the fuel resource under domestic soil as he continued to pitch his economic plan on a tour of battleground states. Speaking to a crowd of United Parcel Service workers at a facility here, Obama said the government should encourage U.S. shipping companies and other large users to reduce reliance on foreign oil to power their fleets. Tapping natural gas sources in the U.S. could "power our cars and our homes and our factories in a cleaner and cheaper way," Obama said.
January 24, 2012 |
An Arab League peace plan for Syria appeared to be near collapse Tuesday as six Persian Gulf nations announced their intention to withdraw monitors from the country and urged the United Nations Security Council to take "all needed measures" to pressure Syrian President Bashar Assad to relinquish power. The gulf monarchies, including regional giant Saudi Arabia, said in a statement that Assad's government had failed to comply with demands by the 22-member regional bloc designed to curb months of bloodshed in Syria.
December 25, 2011 |
Women in Saudi Arabia won a small but promising victory this year. No, they aren't being allowed to drive; that's still forbidden. Most of the time, they still can't work, travel or even open bank accounts without the approval of a male guardian. But they do have this: Saudi women can now buy lingerie in stores from female salesclerks, instead of the sometimes leering men who used to staff the counters. If this modest wave of liberalization continues, they may even get fitting rooms. It doesn't sound like much, but in the glacial process of modernization in the tradition-bound kingdom, it's an important step.
December 13, 2011 |
In a new effort to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program, the Obama administration and its European allies are asking Saudi Arabia to help them squeeze Iran's vital oil sector without driving up world energy prices and damaging the global economy. Officials in the United States, France, Britain and other countries have been lobbying the Saudis in recent weeks to produce billions more barrels of oil to provide an alternative source for buyers of Iranian oil. The goal is to keep global prices stable while cutting Iran's ability to sell oil on world markets.
November 17, 2011 |
A compound on a lot once owned by Saudi royal family member Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah has sold in Beverly Park for $16.875 million. The two-house Mediterranean compound on more than three acres was built in 2002 in the gated community. Its combined 29,069 square feet of living space include 18 bedrooms and 28 bathrooms. The grounds include a swimming pooling, sun deck, cabana and a changing area. For the Record, 11:04 a.m. Nov. 18: An earlier version of this online article said that Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah was the seller of the Beverly Park property.
October 22, 2011 |
The death of the heir to the Saudi throne has cast a spotlight on the aging leadership of the key U.S. ally amid the upheaval of the "Arab Spring" rebellions in the Middle East. Crown Prince Sultan ibn Abdulaziz was at least 80 when he died Friday after years of failing health. He had been the designated successor to Saudi King Abdullah, 87, who has been hospitalized several times in recent years for what the kingdom has termed back problems. Sultan is likely to be succeeded as crown prince by Prince Nayif ibn Abdulaziz, the interior minister and second deputy prime minister, who is in his late 70s. Like Abdullah, Nayif has opposed Islamic militants, but he also favored ultraconservative traditions such as the country's law prohibiting women from driving cars.