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Feature Article

By Senior Analyst Talal Kapoor

With the conflict in Yemen intensifying by the day, the young and untested Defense Minister Muhammad bin Salman, who is also the king's son, has his work cut out. With so much riding on the success of the military operation, the largest Saudi effort in almost 100 years, can he afford to fail?
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Royal Family News
Death of Mother of Prince Faysal bin Abd al-Majid
The Saudi Royal Court announced in a statement issued on Wednesday that the mother of Prince Faysal bin Abd al-Majid bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud has died. Saudi Press Agency, SPA, quoted the Royal Court's statement as saying that funeral prayer for the deceased will be performed at Makkah's Grand Mosque after Asr prayers on Thursday.
Defense Minister Meets Egyptian Officials
Egypt and Saudi Arabia have discussed holding a "major military manoeuvre" in Saudi Arabia with other Gulf states, the Egyptian presidency said, after the two countries discussed the progress of a Saudi-led campaign against Shi'ite militias in neighbouring Yemen.
King Relieves Second In A Month
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz has relieved Health Minister Ahmad al-Khatib of his post, removing a second minister handling social welfare issues in the space of a month as he reshapes the cabinet soon after coming to the throne.
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Saudi Business News
Universities under probe for financial discrepancies
Saudi Gazette report JEDDAH mdash; The Ministry of Education has uncovered financial discrepancies at some universities reaching millions of riyals and has formed a specialized committee to investigate the possible violations, Al-Watan daily reported. A source at the ministry reported that undocumented and unauth
Water supplied to Najran villages polluted, residents claim
nbsp; Saudi Gazette report nbsp; NAJRAN mdash; Residents of villages and small towns in Najran Province claim their water supplies are polluted and requested the Najran General Directorate of Water to fulfill its promise of providing potable water to the region, Al-Watan daily reported.
Haia chief stands by his predecessor
The new head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) has ordered an investigation into offensive videos and photos posted on social media against his predecessor, A
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Islamic Community News
Hay'a chief goes to front line
Abdul Rahman Al-Sanad, president of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia), on Thursday visited the armed forces stationed in the Kingdomâ??s southern borders as part of Operation Decisive Storm and commended their bravery and efforts to defend the country.
Saudi youth 'must join national cause'
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has stressed the need for enlisting young Saudis in the army in order to utilize their capabilities for defending the country against enemies. He called on the authorities to be prepared financially and morally to train and make Saudi youths capable of defending the country.
Grand Mosque expansion project in final stages
The expansion of the mataaf (circumambulation area) and the northern arena of the Grand Mosque is in its final stages, said Sultan Al-Qurashi, General Director of Projects at the General Presidency of Grand Mosque and Prophetâ??s Mosque Affairs. He added the expansion project of the two mosques has been expedited to ensure the completion of the project before Ramadan.
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Saudi Business Directory
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Commentary
The King's Gambit - Crown Prince Muqrin and the Succession

The unusual circumstances surrounding the appointment of Muqrin bin Abd al-Aziz to the post of crown prince, and the rapid pace of change since the new monarch, Salman, came to power, raises disturbing questions over succession planning. Did Salman acquiesce in the late king's nomination of Muqrin because he was the best man for the job, or was his support part of a grander design?
The Royal Succession - Dawn Of A New Era?

Immediately following King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz' death, newly crowned King Salman lost no time in rearranging matters to his own liking, dismissing Abdallah's sons and allies from their posts and advancing the interests of his own favorites.
The Oil Price Collapse of 2014: Will Budget Shortfalls Alter The Succession Dynamic?

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.
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.
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