Saudi Arabia is investing in sporting events, like an upstart golf tour, as part of a yearslong drive to turn the country into a hot spot for business and tourism and to blunt criticism of its human rights record.
Yemen was already the Arab world’s poorest country before its civil war began in 2014. Then a Saudi-led coalition joined the fight against the Iran-backed Houthi militia, spreading the ruin.
Women say Saudi Arabia has advanced significantly in just the past year, with more choices regarding work, fashion (including colored abayas) and social spaces, but restrictions remain everywhere.
But the Biden administration sent only a deputy commerce secretary to the high-profile gathering, amid shifts in global politics and diplomatic strains.
The unexplained absence of Yasir al-Rumayyan, who oversees the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, has highlighted concerns about a lack of transparency.
In the first foreign policy speech of his administration, the president said he would rebuild “the muscle of democratic alliances that have atrophied over the past few years of neglect and, I would argue, abuse.”
As the summit’s host, the kingdom hopes to showcase its advances, while critics see an opportunity to pounce. But the virtual event will have a lower profile.
Saad Aljabri, a former top intelligence official, filed suit in Washington alleging that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a team of agents to Canada to kill him.
Record high temperatures were recorded in Baghdad and Damascus, and experts warned of the effects of prolonged heat waves as the planet warms.
Military sales were suspended over concerns about Saudi human rights violations in Yemen. Now, Britain argues that Saudi violations there are “isolated incidents.”
Surging outbreaks in the U.S. Embassy and the kingdom and quiet congressional pressure led the State Department belatedly to allow voluntary departures. Some demand more action.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seemed to be keeping a low profile. Then he detained senior members of the royal family and started an oil price war.