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Feature Article

By Senior Analyst Talal Kapoor

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?
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Royal Family News
Saudi Prince's News Channel to Go Live in February
Saudi billionaire Prince al-Walid bin Talal bin Abd al-Aziz' pan-Arab news channel will finally take to the airwaves early next year. Officials for the channel, dubbed al-Arab, said Monday it will begin broadcasting on February 1 from its base in the Bahraini capital, Manama.
Prince Sultan bin Salman Opens Saudi Colors Forum
Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) President Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abd al-Aziz inaugurated the third edition of the Saudi Colors forum, the largest event in the Kingdom for photography and short films in tourism, culture and heritage, here on Sunday night
Prince Mit'ab bin Abdallah Honorary President of Saudi Record of Stem Cells Donors
Prince Mit'ab bin Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz, Minister of the National Guard, agreed to be the honorary president of the Saudi record of stem cells donors. The move encourages the donation of stem cells in the Kingdom, as a noble humanitarian act contributing to the treatment of many incurable diseases .
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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
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Islamic Community News
al-Ghamdi faces lawsuit
A number of Saudis in Jeddah are planning to file a lawsuit against Ahmed Qassim Al-Ghamdi, a leading scholar, for allegedly encouraging women to show their faces and appear before the public in styl
Saudi Rulers Reconsider Ties to Wahhabi Clergy
Saudi Arabia's ruling Al Saud royal family are trying to adjust their relationship with the country's strict Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam as they increasingly view the teachings of some of its ultra-conservative clergy as a domestic security threat.
Retract remarks and repent, Grand Mufti advises Al-Ghamdi
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Aal Alsheikh has asked Sheikh Ahmad Al-Ghamdi, former Makkah chief of Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia), to repent for his recent comments on niqab (face veil) which have created a lot of controversy in the country. During a local program presented by Dr. Badriya Al-Bishr, a prominent Saudi media personality, Al-Ghamdi said women were not required to wear niqab (face veil). Al-Ghamdi was accompanied by his wife without a niqab.
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Commentary
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?
The Next Generation - Passive Bystanders or Partners in Power?

The king has moved to place his own sons in positions of power and influence, while at the same time the sons of former kings and crown princes are being pushed aside. The notable exception is the sons of Nayif. Are they too strong to remove, or have they allied themselves with the current leadership to extract later advantage?
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