Saudi Arabia

Regional News • Middle East
Saudi Arabia lifts the blockade of Qatar
Mohammed bin Salman and Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani
Mohammed bin Salman and Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani Credit: bandaralgaloud (Instagram)

In a major thawing of relations, leaders from Saudi Arabia and its regional allies reached a breakthrough agreement with Qatar on Tuesday, ending three and a half years of impasse and restoring ties between the Arabian Gulf neighbours. The agreement brokered by Kuwait and the United States, among others, took place at an annual summit of Gulf Arab leaders, with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner in attendance, along with Avi Berkowitz, special representative for international negotiations.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan told a news conference after the annual GCC gathering in the city of Al-Ula, also attended by Egypt, that there were political will and good faith to guarantee the implementation of the agreement to restore diplomatic and other ties, including the resumption of flights.

Regional News • Middle East
Saudi Arabia: Temporary travel ban ended and international flights resumed

Saudi Arabia lifted its temporary travel ban on 11 o'clock Sunday after closing borders following the UK's new Coronavirus strain detection. The ministry of interior announced lifting the “precautionary measures related to the spread of a new variant of coronavirus” in a statement.

Regional News • Middle East
Explosion at Yemen airport after arrival of new government
Explosion at Yemen airport after arrival of new government
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

A heavy explosion occurred at the airport in the Yemeni city of Aden on Wednesday. According to witnesses, the incident occurred shortly after the landing of a plane coming from Saudi Arabia carrying Yemen's new government.

However, the head of the government and its members are fine, according to Information Minister Muammar Al-Erjani. "We assure our people that all cabinet members are safe," he wrote via Twitter. He said it was a "cowardly terrorist attack by the Iran-backed Huthi militia."

Regional News • Middle East
Saudi Arabia suspends all international flights for a week
Saudi Arabia suspends all international flights for a week
Credit: Stefan Krasowski from New York, NY, USA, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights for travellers, as well as entry through land and seaports for a week following the detection of a faster-spreading Covid-19 variant in the United Kingdom.

Regional News • World
Houthi court in Yemen sentences Donald Trump, Saudi king and crown prince to death
Houthi court in Yemen sentences Donald Trump, Saudi king and crown prince to death
Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

In the case of the Arab coalition’s bombing of the Dahyan student bus in Yemen, a Houthi court has sentenced ten people to death.

These people include the king of Saudi-Arabia Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the crown prince of Saudi-Arabia Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and United States President Donald Trump.

In addition the death sentence they've also been funded $10 billion.

Technology • Internet & Web
Apple becomes first U.S. company to reach a $2 trillion market cap
Apple becomes first U.S. company to reach a $2 trillion market cap
Credit: Apple

Apple hit a market cap of $2 trillion Wednesday, doubling in valuation in just over two years to become the first publicly traded U.S. company to reach the milestone.

The stock market value of Apple company has doubled since March in the midst of the technology rush and equals the Italian GDP.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Juan Carlos, former king of Spain has allegedly left country over corruption investigation
Archive picture from 2007
Archive picture from 2007 Credit: Image by א (Aleph) (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)

According to Spanish media the former king of Spain Juan Carlos has left the country. "La Vanguardia" and "ABC" state that he has allegedly traveled trough Portugal and to the Dominican Republic.

The Spanish royal court has published a letter by Juan Carlos where he tells his son about his intentions to move into a foreign country. The alleged move into the Dominican Republic happens while Carlos is under investigation for possible corruption and tax fraud after allegedly having gotten $100 million in bribes from Saudi-Arabia for the building of a high-speed train route in Saudi-Arabia by a Spanish syndicate.

During the regency a Spanish king is granted immunity. Carlos has forfeited the title in 2014.

Regional News • Middle East
Saudi King Salman admitted to hospital in Riyadh
Saudi King Salman admitted to hospital in Riyadh
Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States (Public Domain)

The King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 84, has been admitted to the King Faisal hospital in Riyadh to undergo tests for an inflamed gallbladder.

The minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud has announced that the visit of the Prime Minister of Iraq will be postponed until King Salman is out of the hospital again.

Regional News • World
Public records: UK has sold surveillance technology to 17 repressive governments
Public records: UK has sold surveillance technology to 17 repressive governments
Credit: Jonathan McIntosh

The Independent reports that public records show exports of security technology from the United Kingdom to repressive regimes despite rules to prevent it. Security technology such as wiretaps, spyware and other telecommunications interception equipment shouldn't be exported to regimes that might use them for internal repression purposes.

Public records show that despite the rules exports worth £75 million have been approved to 17 countries including China, Saudia Arabia, the United Arba Emirates and Bahrain. All 17 states have been rated "not free" by the Non-Governmental Organisation Freedom House.

Regional News • Middle East
Yemen's Houthis attack Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with armed drones and ballistic missiles
Houthis protest against airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Sana'a in September 2015.
Houthis protest against airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Sana'a in September 2015. Credit: Henry Ridgwell (VOA) (Public Domain)

The cabinet of Saudi Arabia has condemned Yemen's Houthis for attacking Riyadh. In a statement, Saudi Arabia called the attacks "terroristic" and stated that it was carried out by eight armed drones and three ballistic missiles. According to Aljazeera, two large explosions have been heard in Riyadh. There are no reports of injuries or damages, but the Houthi movement claims that they've hit the defence ministry and a military base while Saudi Arabia claims that they have shot a missile down.

Lifestyle • Religion
Covid-19: Saudi Arabia has banned international pilgrims for Hajj this year
The Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque
The Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque Credit: Tahir mq (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Saudi Arabia authorities announced on Monday strong restrictions to the Islamic pilgrimage, or Hajj this year. Only citizens who are already resident in the country will be allowed to journey to Mecca.

The Saudi ministry of hajj said the decision was aimed at preserving global public health because of the risks associated with large gatherings.

Law
Spanish Supreme Court prosecutors to investigate Juan Carlos over kickback scheme
King Emeritus Juan Carlos I
King Emeritus Juan Carlos I Credit: א (Aleph) (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

Spanish Supreme Court prosecutor has opened an investigation into King Emeritus Juan Carlos in connection with a high-speed train contract between Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement released today, the public prosecutor said: "This investigation focuses, precisely, on establishing or discarding the criminal relevance of deeds that happened after June 2014, when the King Emeritus was no longer protected by inviolability,".

Regional News • Middle East
Son of murdered journalist Khashoggi says that his family forgives the murderers

In a tweet the son of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi has announced: "that we pardon those who killed our father, seeking reward God almighty". The journalist was murdered in October 2018 when he went into the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul where he wanted to pick up documents for his planned wedding.