Jamal Khashoggi is neither the first or the only Saudi to disappear

Sarah Aziza reports that the mysterious disappearance and possible murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey is not the first such act taken against dissident Saudis abroad but simply the most daring. It is something that has gone on for decades but has been escalated dramatically by current strongman and friend of Jared Kushner, crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The situation has become so bad that expatriate Saudis wonder if there is any distance that they can put between them and their home country that will be safe.
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Small but good start on Yemen

The war in Yemen is a horrendous catastrophe causing immense suffering for its people and the US has been complicit in it by providing the Saudi Arabian regime with weaponry to prosecute their attacks on Yemen. Joe Biden has now declared that the US will end its support for the Saudi offensives.

Joe Biden has announced an end to US support for Saudi-led offensive operations in Yemen, as part of a broad reshaping of American foreign policy.

In his first foreign policy speech as president, Biden signaled that the US would no longer be an unquestioning ally to the Gulf monarchies, announced a more than eightfold increase in the number of refugees the country would accept, and declared that the days of a US president “rolling over” for Vladimir Putin were over.
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Palace intrigues in Saudi Arabia

Lost in the news about the coronavirus is a big story emerging from Saudi Arabia about the arrest of several members of the family of the 84-year old ruler King Salman, along with other leading figures.

Among those held in the sweeping crackdown are two of the most prominent royal family members: Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, a younger brother of Saudi King Salman, and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the king’s nephew and former crown prince.

The sweep broadened on Saturday, the Journal later reported, to include dozens of interior ministry officials, senior army officers and others suspected of supporting a coup attempt. Prince Nayef bin Ahmed, a former army head of intelligence, was also among the detainees.

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The World interview with UN rapporteur on Khashoggi murder

Agnes Callamard is the UN’s special rapporteur who issued a scathing report about the Saudi Arabian government’s involvement in the brutal murder of reporter Jamal Khashoggi inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, saying that there was evidence of high-level involvement in what was a pre-meditated murder and that the role of crown Mohammed bin Salman’s needed to be investigated.

The World‘s reporter Shirin Jaafari scored an interview with Callamard and asked her about the evidence that she saw and how she arrived at her conclusions. Callamard was remarkably frank and forthcoming and the seven-minute interview is illuminating and also damning in its portrayal of how the Saudi government behaved.

Callamard describes what she heard on the audio recordings that were obtained by the Turkish government, where the Saudis casually discuss the planned murder. It is quite extraordinary how coldly and clinically the Saudi officials discussed the planned murder.

UN report says that bin Salman should be investigated for Khashoggi murder

It has long been clear that the brutal murder and dismemberment in a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was working for the Washington Post had to have been ordered at the very highest levels of the Saudi government. That crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was likely to have been involved was also apparent though he denied it and placed the blame on that familiar scapegoat ‘rogue elements’. The amount of high-level support that these murderers had in carrying out this crime makes that claim laughable. The only purpose of that claim was to provide Donald Trump and his family with a fig leaf to not disassociate themselves from bin Salman.
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More Saudi Arabian atrocities

That country’s barbarism is well documented. But Mehdi Hasan writes that it continues to sink even lower, now threatening to execute someone for an offense that was committed when he was just ten years old.

IN 2011, as Arab Spring protests swept across the Middle East, demonstrations also kicked off in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. Members of the kingdom’s repressed Shiite minority took to the streets, calling for equal rights and a fairer distribution of oil revenues. The protesters included a group of around 30 kids on bicycles. As a video released last week by CNN shows, those children were led by a smiling 10-year-old in flip-flops named Murtaja Qureiris.
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Saudi Arabia helps accused criminals flee the US

Saudi Arabia has one of the worst governments in the world, ruthless and oppressive. It is however a close ally of the US and because of the value it provides as a friendly source of oil and its willingness to act as a regional surrogate power against Iran and Yemen, the US turns a blind eye to even the most outrageous actions. The most obvious recent example is of course the way that the country and its de facto leader Mohammed bin Salman have suffered no consequences at all for the brutal murder of reporter Jamal Khashoggi.

But that is not all. The Saudi government brazenly allows its citizens in the US to escape the consequences of their crimes by paying their bail and spiriting them out of the country before they can be tried, even if their passports have been impounded. It is hard to imagine how this could only happen unless the US government has decided to look the other way. The right to justice for the victims of the crimes is simply ignored.
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The Saudi spying operation in the US exposed

Remember the story of photographs of Jeff Bezos that the National Enquirer and its parent organization AMI was trying to use to blackmail Amazon and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos to stop his investigation into how they got the photos and issue a statement saying that he absolved them of all wrongdoing? Instead Bezos went public and gave his investigator Gavin De Becker all the resources he needed to continue his investigation.

Now De Becker says that he has completed his investigation and issued a statement that is quite extraordinary.
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Hasan Minhaj’s critique of Saudi Arabia censored by Netflix

I have been praising Hasan Minhaj’s new weekly show on Netflix for its hard-hitting exposes of important news items wrapped up in comedy. But he seems to have been a little too tough on Saudi Arabia’s leadership and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman following its murder of reporter Jamal Khashogi for that government’s taste. Minhaj’s sponsor Netflix seems to be too weak-kneed and cowardly because it has removed that particular episode from its Saudi Arabian service..
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