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Feature Article

By Senior Analyst Talal Kapoor

The appointment of Prince Muqrin as heir to the crown prince is a remarkable innovation, ensuring political stability for the near term while delaying yet again the difficult decision over the transfer of power to the next generation of princes. But is the real object to line up the king's son Mit'ab for a place in future succession?
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Royal Family News
Prince Mish'al Leaves Kingdom for Abroad
Prince Mish'al bin Abd al-Aziz, President of Allegiance-Pledge Commission left Jiddah today for Abroad. The Prince was seen off at King A
Prince Bandar bin Sultan Removed as Spy Chief
Saudi Arabia has replaced intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz, the kingdom's pointman on the Syrian conflict, "at his own request", official news agency SPA announced Tuesday. In a royal decree, the powerful official was "exempted... from his position at his own request" and replaced by his deputy, Yousef al-Idrissi.
Prince Turki bin Abdallah Holds Reception
Prince Turki bin Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz, Deputy Amir of Riyadh, received on Thursday night a number of citizens who pardoned people convicted of killing their close relatives following the intervention of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz. Addressing the reception at the royal palace in Riyadh, Prince Turki prayed to Allah to give ample reward to the victims and their kin. S
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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
Makkah authorities brace for increased number of pilgrims
Makkah is bracing for the increased number of visitors and pilgrims in the holy month of Ramadan. Authorities including the Presidency of the Grand Mosque and Prophet's Mosque, the Civil Defense, the Police Department, the Makkah Municipality, the Haj and Health ministries have begun strategic planning in their preparations to facilitate the visitors.
The rich fail to pay Zakat, scholars claim
If rich Saudi citizens had paid their Zakat (alms) regularly, there would not be a single poor family in the Kingdom, according to a number of Muslim scholars. They told Makkah daily on Wednesday that there would be no poverty with the payment of Zakat, which is one of the pillars of Islam.
Imams talking politics to be fired
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance has warned imams that they may lose their jobs if they talk about politics in their Friday sermons.
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Commentary
Crown Prince Salman's Maldives Holiday - Business or Pleasure?

Crown Prince Salman's official visit to the Maldives generated controversy after it was revealed that he had fully booked three private resort islands for himself and a large entourage, forcing other holidaymakers to make cancel their holiday plans.
A Shift In Saudi Foreign Policy - Doubling Down On Iran?

As the Syrian civil war drags on, the royal family has reigned in Bandar bin Sultan and his efforts to orchestrate a victory for Sunni rebels, as alarm builds at home over the potential for serious blowback from returning jihadis. With the Muslim Brotherhood crushed in Egypt, and frayed relations with the United States on the mend, the royals can let events in Syria run their course while they turn their attention to arch-rival Iran.
A Royal Execution: A New Accountability?

In a highly unusual case, a Saudi royal faces public execution for murder. Prince Turki bin Faysal, of the al-Turki branch, who shot a friend in a Riyadh park last spring, faces the death penalty after the king and crown prince made it clear that the law would be applied equally to all.
Crown Prince Salman: Caught In The Middle?

Against the backdrop of a disintegrating foreign policy, rival groups are vying for influence, with an eye on succession. The controversy caused by Bandar bin Sultan's adventures adds an urgency to rival machinations.
Royal Outbursts: Petulance Or Bluster?

Senior royals have spoken bluntly of the Kingdom's disappointment with the United States, stating that Saudi Arabia will make a "major shift" and "limit interaction" with the US. Is this just empty rhetoric, or does it herald a rupture in the dynamic of Saudi-US diplomatic relations?
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