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Feature Article

By Senior Analyst Talal Kapoor

Amidst speculation over palace coups and angst over the wholesale upheaval of the established order, one figure has been largely absent from the discussion. Does the fate of the Kingdom's hinge on the National Guard?
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Royal Family News
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Patronizes Final Match of King's Cup
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz patronized the final match of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup competition of the current sports season, which was held this evening at Kin
Marriage of Prince Salman bin Abdallah
Prince Salman bin Abdallah bin Faysal celebrated his marriage to a daughter of Prince Sa'd bin Faysal bin Sa'd in a ceremony at the Palace of Culture in Riyadh.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to Patronize King's Cup Final Soccer Match on Sunday
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz will patronize the final match of the soccer competition of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup, which will be held between al-Ahli and al-Nasr teams on Sunday evening at the Stadium of King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz Sports City in Jiddah.
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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
Meet Saudi Arabia's stars of social media
For a nation whose king calls himself "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques", it's probably not surprising that Saudi Arabia's "superstars" of social media are clerics. Naturally, that fame does not come without controversy. So who are these prolific religious Tweeters whose followings compare to that of pop stars and world leader
Prominent Saudi cleric injured in Philippines shooting
A gunman shot and wounded a prominent Saudi Arabian cleric who was on an Islamic State hit list after he gave a speech to fellow Muslim preachers in a city in southern Philippines on Tuesday evening, local police said. Ayed al-Qarni, a pro-government cleric with over 12 million followers on Twitter, was shot as he left an Islamic forum in a school auditorium at around 8.30 p.m. by a man who had attended the speech, police spokeswoman Inspector Helen Galvez said.
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.
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Commentary
A Crackdown On Royal Dissent - Fear Or Frustration?

Challenges to the leadership structure during times of crisis are a persistent feature of Al Saud rule, but does a clampdown on expressions of royal dissent represent in all cases the response to a threat to the established order and warn of an impending crisis? Or are there situations where intolerance for opposition is simply the result of the need to mop up any remaining bits of resistance in the aftermath of great upheaval?
The Incredible Shrinking Prince: The Fall Of Muhammad bin Salman?

The Kingdom's Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince, under the gun for the lack of military success in Yemen and the target of princely ire for the way he has leapfrogged others in the line of succession, has seen his public profile shrink dramatically in recent weeks. Meanwhile, his cousin Mit'ab bin Abdallah, Minister of the National Guard and once thought to be a strong contender for the position Muhammad now occupies, is recapturing the media spotlight. Are major changes afoot in the Kingdom?
The Rise of Muhammad bin Salman: Saviour or Bogeyman?

As the Deputy Crown Prince raises his profile and captures the spotlight, he is maligned both in the regional and western press as inexperienced and reckless - the architect of the Kingdom's impending downfall, owing his position solely to his father's grace. But is the truth more nuanced?
Royal Dissension - Without Precedent Or Playing By The Rules? (Part Two)

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.
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?
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