King Abdullah

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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 »

Advisers to Saudi King: Let Women Drive

Council's transport committee to mull proposal

(Newser) - This year, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah appointed 30 women to the advisory Shoura Council—the closest thing the country has to a parliament, Reuters notes. Now, women on the council are urging the king finally to allow women to drive. When a member of the panel, Latifa al-Shaalan, called... More »

Saudi Arabia Gets a New Weekend

Aligns working week with fellow Gulf states with Friday-Saturday move

(Newser) - A notable change for working Saudi Arabians: The weekend will now come a day later. Its people had enjoyed a Thursday-Friday weekend, but Oman's recent switch to Friday-Saturday made Saudi Arabia the odd man out among the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. The change to a Friday weekend start, described... More »

Saudi Crown Prince Takes Charge for First Time

King Abdullah on 'special leave' in Morocco

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia's defense minister is getting his first shot at wielding absolute power. Crown Prince Salman, who became next in line to the throne in June , will be running the country while King Abdullah is on "special leave" in Morocco, reports AP . Saudi officials didn't say how... More »

Saudi Arabia Names Salman New Crown Prince

He will become deputy prime minister

(Newser) - As expected , Saudi Arabia today named Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz the new crown prince following the death of Crown Prince Nayef, who was buried yesterday. Salman, now next in line to the throne, will remain defense minister and will also become deputy prime minister. Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz will... More »

Saudi Crown Prince Dead

Nation's succession plan shaken up again

(Newser) - The Saudi royal family says Crown Prince Nayef has died in a US hospital. The statement from King Abdullah says the prince died today and will be buried tomorrow after prayers in Mecca, but it gave no more details. Nayef, in his 70s, was the hard-line interior minister who spearheaded... More »

Saudi King Fires Adviser After Remarks on Women

They're getting too much freedom, he said

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has dismissed an ultraconservative adviser after he publicly criticized reforms aimed at easing restrictions on women. Sheik Abdul-Mohsen al-Obeikan had told a local radio station that officials were working to Westernize and secularize the country's laws by "legalizing taboos." The "situation... More »

Saudi Heir to Throne Dies

Crown Prince Abdel Aziz al Saud was king's half-brother

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia's crown prince has died of colon cancer, but the country is expected to have an orderly process to figure out who is next in line to the throne, reports the BBC . Crown Prince Abdel Aziz al Saud was 85, according to the AP , and he reportedly died... More »

Saudi Female Driver Won't Be Lashed

Saudi King Abdullah overturns court ruling

(Newser) - Saudi King Abdullah has overturned a court ruling sentencing a Saudi woman to be lashed 10 times for defying the kingdom's ban on female drivers, a government official said today. The official declined to elaborate on the monarch's decision. A Saudi court yesterday found Shaima Jastaina guilty of... More »

Saudi Women Get Right to Vote

But let's not rush into things: Wait til 2015, says King Abdullah

(Newser) - Good news for the ladies of Saudi Arabia: You can vote and even run for office, Saudi King Abdullah said today in an announcement that many are hailing as major progress for women's rights. Of course, there's a caveat: Abdullah's announcement won't take effect until after... More »

Saudi King Was Popping Viagra at 92

And he's 10 years older than we thought: WikiLeaks telegram

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia’s king isn’t letting age slow him down—even if he’s a decade older than the US thought he was. Even at 92, he hadn’t given up on romance, though he needed a little boost from Viagra, a WikiLeaks release shows. The US State Department... More »

Saudi King Condemns Syrian Violence

Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia withdraw ambassadors

(Newser) - With tanks continuing an onslaught against Syria’s uprising, Saudi Arabia’s king voiced harsh criticism of the crackdown and withdrew his ambassador to the country. “What is happening in Syria is not acceptable for Saudi Arabia,” King Abdullah said in a televised statement, calling on authorities to... More »

Obama Presses Saudis to Arm Libyan Rebels

No response yet to top secret request

(Newser) - The Obama administration is reluctant to take any obvious action to help rebels in Libya—so it's pressuring Saudi Arabia to do so instead, according to reports. Officials have asked the Saudis to airlift American weapons—paid for by the Saudis—into Benghazi. The Saudis haven't yet responded to the... More »

Cables Reveal Saudi Royals' Money Grabs

US messages detail royal welfare program, and royal schemes

(Newser) - The handouts Saudi King Abdullah is granting to his people are nothing compared to the handouts his family's thousands of princes and princesses have received over the past two decades. American diplomatic cables recently released by WikiLeaks detail the royal welfare program, which has cost the country an estimated $2... More »

Next Big Question: What Will Saudis Do?

Op-ed: King Abdullah has difficult choice to make soon

(Newser) - One crucial voice has yet to be heard from amid this Arab revolution, observes Jackson Diehl in Washington Post —Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah's regime is clearly nervous about the unrest, especially in next-door Bahrain, which also has a majority Shiite population that lives under Sunni rule. Abdullah will soon... More »

Saudi King Hands Out $37B

But some say they want reform, not money

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia has escaped, so far, the protests raging throughout the Arab world—and King Abdullah wants to keep it that way. He returned to his country today after a three-month convalescence in Morocco, where he was recuperating from back surgery, and before he arrived state media announced a... More »

As Mideast Seethes, Saudis Stand Alone

Kingdom feels encircled by enemies around the region

(Newser) - Popular unrest roiling the Middle East is is rocking the ultra-rich, ultra-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia, leaving its rulers feeling isolated both from regional allies and the United States alike, reports the New York Times . King Abdullah has called President Obama at least twice to voice his concerns about Egypt,... More »

Jordan's King Fires Cabinet After Protests

But opposition leader says they're not like Egypt

(Newser) - King Abdullah II cleared out his government today, after thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand the ouster of Prime Minister Samir Rifai, who many blamed for high fuel prices and slow political reform, according to al-Jazeera. The king has asked Marouf Bakhit, an ex-army general and former... More »

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