Saudi Arabia

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Saudis Find Huge Beer Shipment Disguised as Pepsi

48K cans of Heineken, to be exact

(Newser) - A ban on alcohol in Saudi Arabia recently drove a smuggler to try to cross into the Arab state from the UAE with 48,000 cans of Heineken beer—all disguised as Pepsi cans, Al Arabiya reports. "A truck carrying what first seemed to be normal cans of the... More »

US Won't Budge on One Key Point as Syria Talks Begin

US, allies want Assad gone from Syria—and want Russia, Iran on board

(Newser) - Talks designed to seek peace in Syria began Friday in Vienna, and this time there's a new player involved in the negotiations: Iran, Bashar al-Assad's No. 1 ally, Reuters notes. "Those who tried to resolve the Syrian crisis have come to the conclusion that without Iran being... More »

Man Facing 'Most Gruesome' Penalty Wins Elite Award

Raif Badawi gets Sakharov Prize for human rights—but he's stuck in Saudi prison

(Newser) - A Saudi blogger has joined the ranks of Nelson Mandela, Malala, and all other notables who've taken home one of the European Union's most elite human-rights prizes—but as of now, he can't go and collect his award in person. EU leaders announced Thursday that Raif Badawi... More »

Flogging of Saudi Blogger Said to Be Resuming Soon

Wife says Raif Badawi could receive another 50 of his 1K lashes any day

(Newser) - Whippings could soon resume for a blogger in Saudi Arabia sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam," CNN reports. Raif Badawi, who advocated for secularism on his blog Saudi Arabian Liberals, has been in prison since 2012 and received the first 50... More »

Persian Gulf Is Getting Too Hot for Humans

Heat, humidity will create killer conditions, study warns

(Newser) - A stark warning, even by the standards of climate research: If emissions continue at their current level, parts of the Persian Gulf region will simply become too hot and humid for people to survive in. Researchers say that by the end of this century, the combined heat and humidity "... More »

Saudi Prince Arrested at Airport With 2 Tons of Drugs

Authorities allegedly found amphetamines on his private plane

(Newser) - A Saudi prince was arrested in Beirut Monday after Lebanese security forces at Rafik Hariri International Airport allegedly found an incredible two tons of drugs on his private plane. Abd al-Muhsen bin Walid bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud was about to fly back to Saudi Arabia at the time, RT.... More »

Mom Begs Obama to Save Son From Crucifixion

'Head of this world' can 'interfere and rescue my son'

(Newser) - A Saudi Arabian mother is begging President Obama to intervene before authorities behead her son and crucify his corpse. Nusra al-Ahmed, whose son, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, was 17 when he was arrested for taking part in anti-government protests, tells the Guardian that the gruesome punishment is "backwards in the... More »

Family: 360 Lashes for Wine Could Kill Elderly Brit

Karl Andree, 74, faces steep punishment in Saudi Arabia

(Newser) - British PM David Cameron is personally appealing for the release of a British who faces 360 lashes in Saudi Arabia—a punishment family members say will kill him. Karl Andree, 74, was arrested for transporting homemade wine in the port city of Jiddah in August 2014, reports the New York ... More »

India: Saudi Employer Cut Off Maid's Arm

Attack was revenge for complaining of mistreatment

(Newser) - Indian diplomats say they are disturbed by reports that one of their nationals working in Saudi Arabia had her arm cut off by a vengeful employer. The family of 58-year-old Kasturi Munirathinam says that when Saudi officials conducted a routine check of the home where she was working as a... More »

Wife Posts Video of Husband With Maid, Could Face Jail

A lawyer says she could be fined more than $100K for defaming her husband

(Newser) - A Saudi wife who posted footage of her husband pursuing and groping their maid could face jail time and a stiff fine for defaming him—and in the process has caused a social media outcry, largely in her defense, reports Emirates 24/7 . The woman let the footage of her husband'... More »

Judge: 9/11 Families Can't Sue Saudi Arabia

Evidence doesn't overcome 'sovereign immunity'

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia, homeland of 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers, can't be sued by families of victims for its alleged role in the attacks, a federal judge decided on Tuesday. US District Judge George Daniels ruled that the evidence—including "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui's claim that... More »

Iran: Diplomat Is Missing in Hajj Disaster

Tehran blames stampede Saudi 'incompetence'

(Newser) - As the hajj religious pilgrimage entered its final day today, officials in Saudi Arabia continued to grapple with the aftermath of a deadly stampede that killed at least 719 people. Iran announced in a state TV broadcast that among those Iranians still missing are a former ambassador to Lebanon as... More »

Why Saudis Will Take Rare Step of Crucifying This Man

Activists say they're trying to scare other protesters

(Newser) - Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, a Saudi pro-democracy protester arrested when he was 17, has been sentenced to a grisly death , and activists fear his crucifixion could take place any day unless authorities step in. Activists say al-Nimr, who is now 21, was tortured into confessing, and United Nations human rights experts... More »

How the Mecca Stampede Happened

'Fluid dynamics' can cause disaster, experts say

(Newser) - With crowds the size of those on the hajj pilgrimage, normality can turn to chaos and horror in a matter of minutes, according to experts who say yesterday's stampede near Mecca followed a grimly familiar pattern. A big part of the problem is "fluid dynamics—except people are... More »

Hundreds Die in Stampede at 'Stoning the Devil' Ritual

Disaster hits hajj pilgrimage once again

(Newser) - A stampede at the "stoning the devil" ritual has become the hajj pilgrimage's worst disaster in a decade. Saudi authorities say at least 717 people were killed; previous reports said at least another 450 were injured in the crush of people at Mina, near the holy city of... More »

Man Arrested at 17 in Saudi Arabia to Be Crucified

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr's appeals have run out

(Newser) - Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was just 17 when he was arrested in 2012 and accused of taking part in anti-government protests and illegally possessing firearms; he was sentenced to death by crucifixion in 2014. Now, Saudi Arabia has dismissed his final appeal and he has no other legal options to fight... More »

Wind Blamed as Mecca Disaster Toll Tops 100

238 injured after crane falls on Islam's holiest site

(Newser) - The head of Saudi Arabia's civil defense directorate says high winds caused a massive crane to topple over and smash into Mecca's Grand Mosque yesterday, killing at least 107 people at Islam's holiest site ahead of the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The official says unusually... More »

65 Dead in Mecca Crane Collapse

Construction accident occurs as holy city prepares for annual pilgrimage

(Newser) - A crane crashed through the roof of the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca today, Saudi Arabia officials announced. The death toll from the tragedy currently sits at 65, the BBC reports. Details are few, but the crane collapsed as Mecca prepares for the yearly Muslim Hajj... More »

Saudi Women Rock the Voter Registration for First Time

Historic moment as women prepare to cast ballots in December elections

(Newser) - Not unusual: A well-known businessperson and a schoolteacher registered to vote Sunday in Saudi Arabia's municipal elections in December. Unusual: that they were both women. Jamal Al-Saadi and Safinaz Abu Al-Shamat earned the honors of being the first two females ever in the kingdom to register (Saadi in Medina,... More »

Saudis Arrest 400 in Anti-Terror Sweep

Announcement comes day after devastating ISIS bomb in Iraq

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia announced today it has broken up planned Islamic State attacks in the kingdom and arrested more than 400 suspects in an anti-terrorism sweep. The Saudi Interior Ministry accused those arrested over the past few weeks of involvement in several attacks, including a suicide bombing in May that killed... More »

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