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Feature Article

By Senior Analyst Talal Kapoor

Is Saudi Arabia's reluctance to take action to stem the collapsing price of oil part of a deliberate strategy to weaken regional foes, or is the Kingdom caught in the unpleasant position of having to weather a short- term economic storm in order to retain market share? Though all evidence points to the latter, the long-term fallout could yet be severe.
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Royal Family News
King Salman a big hit on Twitter
King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz has become a widely followed world leader on Twitter Inc while his popularity is progressively growing on other social media networks. The new king has overtaken many leaders on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and he is currently being followed on all social sites by Saudi citizens scholars and world leaders.
King Announces Major Government Shake-up
Saudi Arabia's new King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz further cemented his hold on power, with a sweeping shakeup that saw two sons of the late King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz fired, and the heads of intelligence and other key agencies replaced alongside a cabinet shuffle.
King Salman Issues Major Royal Orders
Saudi Arabia's newly inaugurated King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz has issued a series of landmark orders that ushered in fresh new faces into state institutions and awarded financial support for many Saudis.
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Saudi Business News
Saudi Prince becomes new owner of Raimondi Cranes
His Royal Highness, Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed Al Saud has purchased Raimondi Cranes SpA for an undisclosed fee. The Saudi royal, who is the only son of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, is now owner and chairman of the 150-year-old company.
SABB/HSBC PMI Index indicates slower activity growth in July
Saudi Arabia: The Saudi British Bank "SABB" has published the results of the headline SABB/HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for July 2013 - a monthly report issued by the bank and HSBC.
STC provides Business customer with BlackBerry Q5
Saudi Arabia: STC has launched BlackBerry Q5 for the first time in Saudi Arabia for the Business customers along the chance of getting the device free of charge within Business smart device bundles.
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Islamic Community News
Giant screens outside Two Holy Mosques
The Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has installed 14 huge electronic screens around the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah and the Grand Mosque in Makkah to guide and enlighten pilgrims and visitors. The presidency has also installed 32 middle screens on lighting posts in the squares of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque. A large number of technicians have been trained to program and operate the giant screens. â?? SPA
Fatwa allows citizens to pledge allegiance via social websites
A member of the Council of Senior Scholars said pledging allegiance to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman through social networking websites is allowed, especially since the monarch is the first Saudi king to have a Twitter account.
Over 1m Umrah pilgrims pass through Jiddah
More than a million pilgrims have either arrived or departed through King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) since the Umrah season started on Dec. 7. Quoting a report by the airport's management, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday that 523,672 pilgrims are still in the Kingdom performing Umrah in Makkah or visiting Madinah while 484,613 have departed for their respective homes.
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Commentary
King Abdallah: A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing? (Part Two)

Prince Mit'ab bin Abdallah, head of the National Guard, has just returned from a high-profile visit to the United States, underscoring the prominence of the king's sons in public life. Is Abdallah, like King Saud before him, scheming to bypass the succession process and start an alternate line of succession?
The Kingdom's War Against ISIS - Shadows Of The Past?

As Saudi Arabia joins the coalition against the Islamic State after its lightning expansion across Iraq, it must confront its own past, whose shadows still fall across the present.
The Paris Heist: An Embarrassment of Riches?

The daring daylight robbery of a playboy prince in Paris has become an embarrassment not only to France, coming just before the visit of Crown Prince Salman, and on the heels of a number of high-profile robberies, but to the royal families of the Gulf, as the media spotlight shines on their often vulgar and "blingtastic" ways abroad.
King Abdallah: A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing? (Part One)

King Abdallah has worked to place his own sons in positions of power and influence, much as the late King Saud did for his progeny. During Saud's reign, it was thought that the king was preparing the ground for one of his sons to take the throne after him, altering the rules of succession. Could the same charge be levelled against Abdallah now?
Khalid al-Tuwayjri - The "Uncrowned King"?

Often spoken of as a "power behind the throne", the king's close adviser Khalid al-Tuwayjri plays an important role as gatekeeper to the Royal Court, but has often been fiercely criticized for his supposed influence in royal family politics. But is al-Tuwayjri really an "uncrowned king", or is it more a case of some members of the royal family venting their displeasure at a non-royal's rise to power?
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