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Saudi Arabian women gain right to vote

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has announced women will be allowed to vote in the country and run for municipal elections there. The modifications will apply from 2012.

Abdullah made this announcement at the start of a new Shura Council term. In a speech, the king said “we refuse to marginalise women in society in all roles that comply with sharia” and so made the decision “to involve women in the Shura Council as members, starting from next term”.

Abdullah clarified that female adults “will be able to run as candidates in the municipal election and will even have a right to vote.” Such changes are to be put in place “according to Islamic principles,” he said. Muslim women, he continued, “must not be marginalised in opinion or advice”.

Activists have sought women’s right to vote in Saudi Arabia for years. As it stands, women in Saudi Arabia cannot drive, nor travel without male permission, based on Sunni Islam principles.

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On this day May 20, 1927

By the Treaty of Jeddah, the United Kingdom recognized the sovereignty of King Ibn Saud over Hejaz and Nejd, which later merged to become Saudi Arabia.

Abdul Aziz Al Saud

Following the defeat of Hussein, the British government signed the treaty which abolished the Darin protection agreement and recognized the independence of the Hejaz and Najd, covering much of what is today Saudi Arabia, with the Al Saud as its rulers.

At this point, Ibn Saud changed his title from Sultan of Nejd to King of Nejd. Initially the two parts of his dominion (Nejd in the east and Hejaz in the west) were administered separately.

From 1927 to 1932 Ibn Saud continued to consolidate power throughout the Arabian Peninsula. In March 1929 he defeated elements of the Ikhwan, which had disobeyed his orders to cease raiding and had invaded Iraq against his wishes, at the Battle of Sbilla. In 1932, having conquered most of the Peninsula, Ibn Saud renamed his dominions “Saudi Arabia” and proclaimed himself “King of Saudi Arabia”.

Nuclear Security Summit

President Barack Obama open the 47-nation Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.  The president says he wants new commitments to secure weapons-grade plutonium and uranium to prevent nuclear terrorism.

With concerns about the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea a major backdrop to the conference, this is the biggest U.S.-sponsored gathering of world leaders in more than 60 years.

The New START treaty was signed on April 8, 2010 in Prague by U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev and Iran will hold the Tehran International Conference on Disarmament and Non- Proliferation, 2010, announced on April 4, 2010 and to be held April 17–18, 2010.

The Summit is the largest gathering of heads of state called by a United States president since the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization. Delegations from forty-six governments plus the United States are attending, thirty-eight of which are represented by heads of state or government. Read More…

Saudi terror plot suspects arrested

According to the Saudi Arabian interior ministry, over 100 people in the country have been arrested on suspicion of links to the al-Qaeda terrorist group.

A statement, which was read read out over television, was released by the government on Wednesday. It said the arrested people were suspected of plotting attacks on security and oil installations. Members from three total cells were seized – 101 from one large cell, and six apiece from two smaller ones. Cameras, computers, and weapons were also confiscated by officials.

The statement reported that, out of the large cell, 51 members were Yemenis and 47 members Saudis; a Bangladeshi, Eritrean, and a Somali comprised the rest of the group. The other cells consisted of eleven Saudis and a Yemeni. Read More…

Al-Qaeda threatens further attacks inside Saudi Arabia

Militant-activist group Al-Qaeda has recently issued new threats to Saudi Arabia of more attacks, incidentally following what appeared to be a suicide bomber’s unsuccessful attempt to kill a Ryadh interior minister last month, Prince Mohammad bin Nayef.

A Middle East-based Al-Qaeda leader by the name of Abu Baseer al-Wuhayshi was heard saying the following on a video posted online: “If you can flee with your skin, then do so. By Allah, they will climb your walls and will come to you from where you do not expect.” Read More…