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Showing 1484 results for King Abdulaziz sorted by

SnapshotsOct 19, 2020 | 22:14 GMT
A protester uses a loudspeaker to talk to the crowd during an anti-government rally in Bangkok, Thailand, on Oct. 19, 2020.
Gauging the Thai Government’s Response to Growing Protests
The recent escalation of the monthslong Thai student protest movement will compel the government to step up its restrictions on dissent and intensify efforts to co-opt the protesters’ less controversial demands through a limited constitutional reform process. This could cause protests to drag on amid continued controversy over the scope and pace of such amendments, even as it eases overall public support for demonstrations. Between Oct. 13 and Oct. 19, Thai protesters turned out on the streets of Bangkok for the most sustained period of protest-related disruptions since the movement kicked off in earnest in July. Demonstrators also appeared in 20 other locations nationwide in smaller numbers. 
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SnapshotsSep 24, 2020 | 19:59 GMT
COVID-19 Tests Jordan’s Stability
Jordan’s deteriorating social and economic conditions due to COVID-19 are driving support to Islamist parties, raising the risk of a government crackdown that could fan the flames of radicalism. Despite recording fewer than 5,000 COVID-19 cases since March, Jordan has taken a strict lockdown approach, with tight border controls and restricted incoming arrivals for tourist locations. The subsequent impact on business activity, and in particular tourism revenue (which accounts for nearly 20 percent of Jordan’s GDP), has in turn taken a steep toll country’s economy, with unemployment now expected to hit an all-time high of 25 percent by the end of this year. 
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AssessmentsSep 22, 2020 | 19:33 GMT
A woman wearing a face mask stands at a terrace on top of a building in Fnideq, Morocco, on Aug. 28, 2020.
COVID-19 Forces Morocco to Mull a Risky Election Delay
The economic impact of COVID-19 could force the Moroccan government to delay upcoming elections, which would raise the risk of social unrest and rare public scrutiny on the country’s elected and unelected officials. Morocco is currently scheduled to hold parliamentary and local elections in the summer and fall of 2021. Some Moroccan political parties have pushed for delaying elections in favor of forming a national salvation government that can more deftly handle the country’s pandemic-induced economic crisis, while other parties support holding the ballot on time, arguing that such stressful circumstances require the stability of regular elections. 
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AssessmentsAug 3, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An oil pumpjack operates in Signal Hill, California, on April 21, 2020, a day after oil prices dropped to below zero amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid a Global COVID-19 Resurgence, Oil Prices Are Poised to Stall
The resurgence of COVID-19 infections in many countries around the world has undermined the oil market's notion that the recovery in petroleum product demand will continue upward in the absence of a vaccine. Expectations of a swift demand recovery in recent weeks have also been hampered by concerns about new mandatory lockdowns in places where economic activity had resumed, as well as slower economic recoveries elsewhere. Crude oil prices are thus likely to stall heading into the fourth quarter of 2020 as global demand remains sluggish, while modest rises in OPEC+ supply undermine efforts to rapidly balance the market and drain excess inventories. This means the fiscal position of countries highly dependent on oil export revenues will likely continue to be strained, and that any recovery in drilling activity and the oilfield services sector will also be slow.
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AssessmentsJun 8, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Members of the Saudi special forces stand aboard a landing ship off the coast of Bahrain during a military exercise in the Persian Gulf on Nov. 5, 2019.
Austerity Will Force Saudi Arabia to Revise Its Military Priorities
Facing severe budgetary strain due to COVID-19 and low oil prices, Saudi Arabia will likely reduce its arms purchases, while avoiding spending cuts that could impede its internal security or the development of its defense sector. Riyadh will be careful not to trim spending that hampers the monarchy’s internal security or goal of building its domestic defense production capacity. Saudi leadership will calibrate its decisions and seek to limit damage to its Vision 2030 goals, as it keeps an eye on the U.S. presidential election and plans for increasing U.S. scrutiny of its human rights and security policies.
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SnapshotsMar 9, 2020 | 20:06 GMT
The Crown Prince Consolidates Control as Saudi Arabia Faces Trouble Ahead
In a series of arrests of high-profile princes, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has once more shown he will brook no royal challengers. Four senior princes -- Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a former crown prince; his brother, Prince Nawaf bin Nayef; Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, the 78-year-old brother of King Salman; and Prince Nayef bin Ahmed, Prince Ahmed's son and former head of army intelligence -- were arrested over the weekend by Saudi security forces. Dozens of other lower-level officials were detained as well. Some news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, have reported that some princes may soon be released.
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SnapshotsFeb 25, 2020 | 22:07 GMT
Saudi Arabia Arms Its Vision 2030 With an Investment Ministry
On Feb. 25, Saudi Arabia's King Salman issued eight royal orders designed to jump-start the country's Vision 2030 program after nearly four years of mixed results. The most notable of these orders included converting the General Investment Authority into a full Ministry of Investment and creating tourism and sports ministries. The former energy minister and Saudi Aramco CEO, Khalid al-Falih, will serve as the first investment minister. Al-Falih's appointment may indicate that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman realizes the greater pitfalls of chasing such big, high-profile announcements. It will thus be important to track whether Saudi Arabia starts winding down its pursuit of megaprojects at home and abroad, including the country's large investments into companies such as Uber and Tesla, which have been criticized as having more to do with prestige than profit.
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Contributor PerspectivesJan 20, 2020 | 09:45 GMT
A picture taken on Jan. 11, 2020, shows portraits of Iraq's slain Popular Mobilization Unit deputy chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the late founder of Kataib Hezbollah, on the southern exit of the Lebanese capital Beirut.
Reflections on the Life and Death of an Iraqi Militant
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis fought Saddam Hussein, engineered attacks on Western embassies and took on the Islamic State. His death in the same strike that killed Iran's Qassem Soleimani increased local hostility to the U.S. presence in Iraq.
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Contributor PerspectivesDec 30, 2019 | 10:30 GMT
A photograph of "The Family of Henry VIII: An Allegory of the Tudor Succession," a 16th century painting attributed to Lucas de Heere.
The U.K. May Find That Getting to Brexit Was the Easy Part
Plenty of pundits have weighed in on the electoral implications of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's recent landslide victory, but fewer have addressed its strategic implications for the United Kingdom's position in the world. In part, I suspect, this is because there are few obvious analogies for the political crisis Brexit has precipitated, and, without historical comparison cases, forecasting too easily becomes guesswork. There is, though, one suggestive parallel for what Britain is going through. Extrapolating possible futures from an isolated analogy is open to obvious objections; however, it is surely better than working without comparisons of any kind -- and it prompts some sobering thoughts.
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Contributor PerspectivesDec 25, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Whether and how people celebrate Christmas is clearly a complicated affair, bearing only a subtle relationship to Christianity itself.
The Geopolitics of Christmas
Whether and how people celebrate Christmas is clearly a complicated affair, bearing only a subtle relationship to Christianity itself. The contemporary, increasingly international version of Christmas is less a religious festival than a celebration of affluence, modernity, and above all Westernness. Without anyone willing it, Christmas has become part of a package of Western soft power.
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On SecurityDec 24, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Mexican Secretary of Public Safety Genaro Garcia Luna, right, in Bogota, Colombia, on May 19, 2011.
The Business Impact of Corruption and Impunity in Mexico
The detention in the United States of Mexico's former secretary of public security highlights how corruption reaches to the highest levels of Mexico's government. Former Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna was arrested Dec. 10 in Grapevine, Texas. He has been charged in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York with three counts of cocaine trafficking conspiracy and one count of making false statements related to bribes he allegedly received from the Sinaloa cartel to help facilitate its smuggling operations. Garcia Luna held the national security post in Mexico during the administration of former President Felipe Calderon from 2006 to 2012. Before then, he headed Mexico's Federal Investigations Agency from 2001 to 2006.
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AssessmentsDec 20, 2019 | 10:30 GMT
Tribesmen loyal to the Houthis ride in the back of a vehicle during a gathering to mobilize more fighters on Nov. 1, 2016, on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen.
In Yemen, Saudi Arabia Takes the Path of Pragmatism
After close to half a decade involved in Yemen's conflict, Saudi Arabia appears to be changing tack. No longer as determined to vanquish the Houthis, the desert kingdom is increasingly trying to protect itself economically and security-wise from a conflict that Riyadh cannot realistically hope to win militarily. In adjusting its strategy, Riyadh is now acknowledging that it will have to allow the Houthi rebels a permanent place in Yemen's political future, even if this leaves the Yemen conflict unresolved to Riyadh's liking, opens the door to semi-permanent Iranian influence on the Arabian Peninsula and -- most crucially for the Saudis -- fails to give them the peace they crave on their southwestern front.
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AssessmentsDec 4, 2019 | 11:00 GMT
This photo shows a sign for Saudi Aramco's initial public offering during a news conference in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 3, 2019.
The Saudi Aramco IPO Will Hit Its Valuation Goal but Fail to Fund Vision 2030
As the Saudi Aramco initial public offering (IPO) culminates this week with the final pricing announcement on Dec. 5, some observers will tout it as a success for having reached the notional valuation range of $1.6 trillion to $1.7 trillion for the company set on Nov. 17 in the prospectus. In domestic Saudi political terms, the IPO will be seen as a major achievement for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his Vision 2030 campaign. In reality, though, it will fail on two more important metrics. It will not bring in a substantial amount of foreign money to invest in the economic diversification projects envisioned under Vision 2030, other than $1.5 billion from Abu Dhabi. It also has not played out in accordance with the expectations of transparency and sound management laid out when the crown prince announced the idea more than three years ago in his landmark interview with
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