• Eighty percent of Syrian chemical weapons shipped out: monitors

    Reuters | 4.21.14

    Syria has shipped out or destroyed approximately 80 percent of its declared chemical weapons material, the head of the international team overseeing the disarmament process said on Saturday. hide

    Saudi spy chief removal may not change U.S. ties — or end his career

    Los Angeles Times | Sherif Tarek | 4.21.14

    Robert Lacey, a noted British journalist, historian and author of the 2009 bestselling book "Inside the Kingdom," said “Saudi relations with the U.S. are not as broke" as some reports have suggested. Lacey believes Bandar was relieved of his ... Continue Reading post for “health not policy reasons … so I foresee no major change of Saudi policy" toward the Syrian conflict. hide

    April 18th, 2014 Edition

    Turkish president rules out role swap with Erdogan

    Reuters | Orhan Coskun and Humeyra Pamuk | 4.18.14

    Turkey's president appeared to rule himself out as a potential future prime minister on Friday, saying a "Putin-Medvedev model" under which he might swap roles with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was not suitable for Turkey. hide

    Syria’s Real Scoreboard

    New America Foundation - Weekly Wonk | Jessica Ovington | 4.18.14

    Syria’s Real Scoreboard It’s simpler when war is binary. Easier to understand – and discuss – when one side is winning, and the other is losing. When it comes to Syria, which entered its fourth year of civil war this spring, many policymakers and media elites here have ... Continue Reading fallen into the binary trap, suggesting that President Bashar Al Assad is the inevitable victor, and characterizing his snowballing power as inexorable. hide

    Saudi Arabia to build world’s tallest building one kilometer tower

    CNN | 4.18.14

    Dubai -- long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive -- will soon have some competition from neighboring Saudi Arabia. Building a structure that tall, particularly on the coast, where salt water could potentially damage it, ... Continue Reading is no easy feat. The foundations, which will be 200 feet (60 meters) deep, need to be able to withstand the saltwater of the nearby ocean. As a result, ACTS will test the strength of different concretes. hide

    Gulf Arab states agree on measures to heal internal rift

    Reuters | Sami Aboudi | 4.18.14

    Gulf Arab states agree on measures to heal internal rift Gulf Arab states took a step towards resolving a severe rift in the U.S.-backed alliance on Thursday by agreeing on ways to implement a security agreement they reached last year. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates withdrew ... Continue Reading their ambassadors from Qatar on March 5, accusing Doha of not abiding by November's agreement, which called for not interfering in each other's internal affairs. hide

    Arab-Israeli Activist Is Moved to House Arrest

    New York Times | Isabel Kershner | 4.17.14

    Mr. Kayyal is a web editor at Adalah, a legal center promoting Arab minority rights in Israel, and a freelance contributor to several publications. He had been invited to Beirut, the Lebanese capital, to attend a conference marking the 40th ... Continue Reading anniversary of As Safir, a Lebanese newspaper where his writings have appeared regularly. hide

    The gloomy future of the Saudi economy

    Saudi Gazette | Abdulaziz Al-Dekhayel | 4.17.14

    Officials in the Kingdom believe we are witnessing a golden economic era which many people envy. When I view this golden era from the perspective of sustainability, the picture tends to turn gray and gloomy. Let me explain. hide

    Film in Arab Countries: What to see and what not to see – Poll

    Saudi Gazette | Al Arabiya | 4.17.14

    Film in Arab Countries: What to see and what not to see – Poll The majority of Arabs want tighter censorship of films and TV shows, according to a six-nation poll. Around 69 percent of respondents felt romantic content should be more regulated, while 74 percent said more should be done about on-screen ... Continue Reading violence, according to the survey by Northwestern University in Qatar in partnership with the Doha Film Institute. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said films or other entertainment programs should be banned altogether if they are found offensive. hide

    April 17th, 2014 Edition

    Middle East ‘Mad Men’ Embrace Social Media

    Wall Street Journal | Rory Jones | 4.17.14

    Middle East ‘Mad Men’ Embrace Social Media Some two million Saudis have watched Abo Hayat, an aloof character in a recent YouTube video, slap a coffee salesman across the face because he's slow offering up a second cup of instant coffee. The scene is from a show called La Yekthar ... Continue Reading sponsored by Nestlé SA, and it provides a window onto how YouTube owner Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., and other video platforms are reshaping the Middle East's video advertising market. hide