Saudi Arabia

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Saudis End Bombing Campaign in Yemen

They say it worked, but facts on the ground suggest otherwise

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia has ended its month-long bombing campaign of rebels trying to take over neighboring Yemen, reports Reuters . Saudi officials say the air campaign conducted by it and other Arab nations had achieved its goal of keeping Houthi militants out of power. But the BBC notes that the rebels—widely... More »

Washington Sends Warship to Yemen

The USS Theodore Roosevelt may intercept Iranian arms

(Newser) - Proxy war, anyone? A US Navy aircraft carrier is headed for waters near Yemen amid concerns that Iran is sending fresh arms to Shiite Houthi rebels there, the AP reports. The USS Theodore Roosevelt will join other US ships in the area while roughly eight Iranian vessels, possibly carrying arms,... More »

Yemen Ports Frozen by Saudi-Led Forces: Coalition Rep

No weapons are coming in or going out of the country in strike against Shiite rebels

(Newser) - The spokesman for the Saudi-led campaign against Yemeni rebels says coalition naval forces have besieged the country's ports. Ahmed Asiri told reporters today that the naval forces are blocking the movement of ships to prevent weapons and fighters from entering or leaving Yemen. Asiri, speaking from the Saudi capital... More »

Arab Nations to Form Joint Military Force

Saudi Arabia, Egypt will likely be at the helm

(Newser) - Arab League member nations formally announced an agreement today to form a joint military force. While details of how such a force would actually operate remain thin, the agreement is a telling sign of a new determination among Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and their allies to intervene aggressively in regional hotspots,... More »

Yemen on the Brink: Leader AWOL, Saudis Begin Strikes

Will proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran follow?

(Newser) - The most common word in reports and headlines out of Yemen today is "chaos." The nation once seen as a vital ally in the fight against al-Qaeda is now on the brink of civil war, with Saudi Arabia launching a military operation and the AP reporting that President... More »

Unsavory Donors Put Clinton in Bind on Women's Rights

Saudi Arabia has provided some $10M to Clinton Foundation since 2001

(Newser) - Next month will likely see Hillary Clinton announce she's running for president, the New York Times reports, and women's rights are set to be a theme of her campaign. Though she has long championed the issue, things have recently gotten complicated: The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation... More »

Blogger Facing 950 Lashes Could Get Death Sentence

Wife says apostasy charge may be reinstated

(Newser) - After an international outcry over the harsh sentence handed out to a Saudi Arabian blogger, the kingdom now appears to have decided a decade in prison and 1,000 lashes is too lenient. Raif Badawi's wife tells the Independent that official sources say charges of apostasy against him may... More »

9/11 '20th Hijacker': Saudi Royals Funded al-Qaeda

Zacarias Moussaoui says Saudi official spoke of shooting Air Force One

(Newser) - When the families of 9/11 victims decided to sue Saudi Arabia , Zacarias Moussaoui wanted to testify. In October, a team of lawyers interviewed the so-called "20th hijacker" from the Colorado supermax prison where he's serving a life sentence. What he had to say was shocking: He alleges that... More »

New Pan-Arab News Channel Lasts a Few Hours

Early guest may have been too controversial for Bahrain

(Newser) - A new Pan-Arab news channel backed by a billionaire Saudi prince stopped broadcasting from its base in Bahrain today, just hours after it went on the air and carried an interview with a prominent opposition activist. The Alarab television station said on its official Twitter feed that it halted coverage... More »

Saudi Arabia Delays Blogger's Lashes Again

Raif Badawi's wife: He can't endure more

(Newser) - Amnesty International says authorities in Saudi Arabia have delayed the planned flogging of a blogger convicted of insulting Islam for a third straight week in the face of growing international pressure against the punishment. An AI rep says the London-based rights group confirmed today's planned flogging of 31-year-old Raif... More »

Saudis Grumble About 'Immodest' Michelle Obama

She didn't wear headscarf during brief visit

(Newser) - The Obamas cut short their India visit to visit Saudi Arabia after the death of King Abdullah , and while Michelle didn't do anything truly outrageous like leave her arms uncovered or drive a car, some Saudis were annoyed by her failure to wear a headscarf. More than 1,500... More »

Obama to Cut India Trip Short, Head to Saudi Arabia

He will go in place of Joe Biden

(Newser) - The White House has rethought its Mideast protocol: President Obama himself will travel to Saudi Arabia Tuesday instead of Joe Biden to meet with the nation's new king, reports Reuters . Obama will cut short a visit to India, ditching a trip to the Taj Mahal, to pay his respects... More »

Meet the New Saudi King

Things unlikely to change under King Salman

(Newser) - With the death of King Abdullah , there's a new face at the top in Saudi Arabia, but not new blood: Like every other Saudi king since 1953, King Salman is a son of Ibn Saud, also known as King Abdulaziz, though he's the first king born after his... More »

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Is Dead

Crown Prince Salman will succeed his older brother

(Newser) - The world's No. 1 oil exporter has a new ruler in place: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died at about age 90 and was immediately replaced by his brother, Crown Prince Salman. Abdullah, ill with pneumonia of late, had ruled officially as king for the last decade, though he... More »

Saudi Arabia Arrests Man Who Filmed Beheading

Human rights activists distributed video showing public execution

(Newser) - Earlier this month, the world got a graphic look at how Saudi Arabia performs executions—and now the man who filmed the execution in question has been arrested. In the unnamed man's video, a woman who had been convicted of murder was "proclaiming her innocence" in the street... More »

Blogger's Wounds Delay 2nd Round of 50 Lashes

Raif Badawi sentenced to 1K in all, on top of 10 years in prison

(Newser) - A Saudi Arabian blogger and rights activist was set to receive his second set of 50 lashes today, but the flogging has been delayed. Raif Badawi, whose crime was creating a blog perceived as a slight to Islam, got his first 50 lashes last Friday, and Saudi Arabia planned to... More »

Saudis Building Anti-ISIS 'Great Wall'

600-mile barrier on Iraq border designed to keep militants out, Mecca safe

(Newser) - If ISIS wants to infiltrate Mecca and Medina (Muhammad's burial location), it may have to find another way in other than crossing the Iraqi border. Since September, Saudi Arabia has quietly been erecting a 600-mile east-west barrier between itself and its northern neighbor, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The... More »

Saudi Cleric: Snowmen Are Sinful

He forbids 'un-Islamic' fun after rare snowfall

(Newser) - After a fierce winter storm blanketed much of the Middle East—including northern Saudi Arabia—with snow last week, a prominent Saudi cleric issued a ruling banning people from making snowmen, calling them un-Islamic. Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid said "it is not permitted to make a statue out of... More »

Why Oil Prices Keep Hitting New Lows

US oil prices briefly dipped under $50 a barrel today

(Newser) - Wonder whether gas prices will hold at their incredible $2.20 national average? Based on today's news, filling up the tank won't get harder over the next few weeks, the Wall Street Journal reports. US oil prices dipped below $50 a barrel for the first time in nearly... More »

Politicians to Oppose 9/11 'Coverup'

Former Sen. Bob Graham leads charge to release 28 redacted pages

(Newser) - A group seeking to declassify data on 9/11 will speak out this week and highlight the possible involvement of Saudi officials in the terror attack, the New York Post reports. Leading the charge is Bob Graham, a former Democratic senator who co-chaired the panel that released the redacted congressional 9/11... More »

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