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Feature Article

By Senior Analyst Talal Kapoor

With rumors of an impending coup against King Salman, apparently inspired by resentment at the unprecedented influence of his son Muhammad, it is worthwhile looking at the issue of succession and leadership challenge within the historical context of the first two Saudi states. Part Two examines parallels to the current crisis within the framework of internal family dissension and external threats to the regime. The final part of this series will look at family political rivalries in the context of the modern era.
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Royal Family News
Prince Faysal bin Salman Launches Projects Worth SR100m
Madinah Gov. Prince Faysal bin Salman bin Abd al-Aziz launched a series of charity and developmental projects during his recent visit to Khaibar Province at costs exceeding SR100 million.
Late Saudi King's Son is RM2.6 Billion Donor, Reveals A-G
A son of late King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz was the person who donated RM2.6 billion to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali - See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/late-saudi-kings-son-is-rm2.6-billion-donor-reveals-a-g#sthash.KztjBDhj.dpuf
Prince Khalid al-Faisal Opens Makkah Pavilion
Prince Khalid al-Faysal bin Abd al-Aziz, the advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Governor of Makkah Region, on Wednesday evening opened the pavilion of the Governorate of Makkah region at the 30th National Festival for Heritage and Culture (Janadriyah.) He also visited some features of the pavilion.
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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
More imams to be hired for mosques in prisons
The Directorate General of Prisons, in coordination with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, DaĆ¢??wah, and Guidance has increased the appointment of imams for civilian prisons in view of the rise in the number of mosques and prayer areas in various prisons.
Shoura pushes for Haia 'behavior book'
The Shoura Council has urged the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) to implement its strategic plan, which includes compiling a list of banned behaviors that can help prevent adverse interpretations by its field workers.
Grand mufti tells youth not to be misled
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh has warned Saudi youth against falling prey to mischief makers and their deviant agendas. Al-Asheikh, who is also the chairman of the Council of Senior Ulema, urged them to follow the principles of Islam and obey their parents, saying that they should avoid those bent on dividing people as well as those who are intent on spilling the blood of the innocent.
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Commentary
A Manifesto For Change: Reactionary Or A New Way Forward?

In response to rumors of an impending coup by disgruntled princes, the Kingdom's leadership released a manifesto outlining a wide-ranging programme of change, signalling a fresh approach in areas as diverse as economic development and women's rights. The considered and deliberate plans beg the question - just who is opposing the current leaders?
Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Breakdown in Discipline?

Reports of Saudi royals in legal trouble have been making headlines, adding to Al Saud embarrassment over reports of family dissension and an internal power struggle. Princes behaving badly is not a recent development, but in the age of mass media, reports of their transgressions can no longer be swept under the carpet.
Royal Dissension - Without Precedent Or Playing By The Rules? (Part One)

A group of senior princes has proposed removing King Salman from power and replacing him with someone more to their liking. While observers react with alarm to the supposedly "unprecedented" dissension, the history of the Saudi state from the mid-eighteenth century shows that challenges to Al Saud leadership from within the internal ranks of the family are an inherent feature of this particular form of personality-based dynastic rule, and commonly arise during times of internal and external crisis.
The Triumvirate: A Sudayri Resurgence? (Part Two)

The elevation of the king's nephew and son to the roles of crown prince and deputy crown prince, respectively, has rekindled talk of the re-emergence of the al-Sudayri faction in royal family politics. But should the shifting succession dynamic be framed in such terms?
Summer on the Cote d'Azur: A Colossal Blunder?

King Salman's planned three-week stay at the family villa in the south of France quickly deteriorated into fiasco, with one controversy after another dogging the royal visit. Was the royal party driven out by the undue attention?
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