Saudi Arabia

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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 »

Saudis Send Women Drivers to Terror Court

Defendants spoke out online against driving ban

(Newser) - Two Saudi women detained for nearly a month for defying a ban on women driving were referred yesterday to a court established to try terrorism cases, several people close to the defendants say. The cases of Loujain al-Hathloul, 25, and Maysa al-Amoudi, 33, were sent to the anti-terrorism court in... More »

Saudi Oil Chief: Cheap Oil Isn't a Conspiracy

As neighbors worry Saudis are depressing prices

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia's oil chief today dismissed allegations that his kingdom conspired to bring down oil prices in order to harm other countries and told a summit of Arab energy leaders that he was confident the market would stabilize. The kingdom, which is dependent on oil revenues, is able to... More »

Saudi Gunman Kills One American, Wounds Another

Motive appears to be workplace dispute at military contractor, not terrorism

(Newser) - A gunman in the capital of Saudi Arabia today killed one American and wounded another after opening fire at a gas station, reports the Guardian . The unidentified victims worked for a US defense contractor called Vinnell Arabia, and the shooting initially set off fears that it was a terror strike... More »

US Pounds ISIS Targets in Syria

Airstrikes aimed at degrading group's capabilities

(Newser) - The US and five Arab countries launched airstrikes late Monday on ISIS targets in Syria, the Pentagon says. Using a mix of manned aircraft—fighter jets and bombers—plus Tomahawk cruise missiles, the strikes were part of the expanded military campaign that President Obama authorized nearly two weeks ago in... More »

Saudi Fined for Driving Herself to Hospital

She says she won't sign pledge to never drive again

(Newser) - A Saudi woman who suffered a medical emergency when there was no man around is in trouble for driving herself to the hospital. Aliyah Al Farid, a member of the National Society for Human Rights, was pulled over by the country's religious police when she was behind the wheel... More »

Saudi Arabia 'Full Partner' in Fight Against ISIS

Kingdom to arm, train militant group's foes

(Newser) - Islamic state versus Islamic State: Saudi Arabia has agreed to help step up the fight against ISIS and will host a training camp for moderate Syrian rebels fighting the extremists as well as the Syrian regime, reports the New York Times . A senior Obama administration official says details are still... More »

Saudi Cops Beat Expat Who Went to Woman Cashier

He tried to pay at women-only desk

(Newser) - Going to the wrong cashier in Saudi Arabia can be a painful mistake. Video has surfaced of a British expatriate being beaten by religious police after mistakenly trying to pay at a women-only supermarket cash desk accompanied by his Saudi wife. Only women are allowed to pay female cashiers in... More »

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