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Saudi King Raises Benefits, Warns Against 'Sedition'

King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz speaks to the press in Riyadh n February.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah today ordered that billions of dollars be paid out in benefits to Saudi citizens in what is seen as an apparent attempt to prevent popular unrest in the Arab world from spreading to Saudi Arabia.

In a brief statement aired on state-run television, the king also warned that security forces will "hit" anyone who "considers" undermining the kingdom's security and stability.

The benefits range from monthly payouts for the unemployed to building 500,000 new homes and spending on healthcare.

In addition, the king ordered the creation of 60,000 new security jobs within the Interior Ministry.

compiled from agency reports