President of Yemen Flees by Sea; Saudis Begin Air Strikes

Originally posted on TIME:

(SANAA, Yemen) — President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled Yemen by sea Wednesday as Shiite rebels and their allies moved on his last refuge in the south, captured its airport and put a bounty on his head, officials said. Hours later, Saudi Arabia announced it had begun airstrikes against the Houthi rebels.

The departure of the close U.S. ally and the imminent fall of the southern port of Aden pushed Yemen further toward a violent collapse. It also threatened to turn the impoverished but strategic country into another proxy battle between the Middle East’s Sunni powers and Shiite-led Iran.

Saudi ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir said his country had begun airstrikes against the rebels. He said his government had consulted closely with the U.S. and other allies but that the U.S. military was not involved in the operations.

The White House said in a statement late Wednesday that…

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This is why Obama should not meet the new Saudi king

Originally posted on Quartz:

This coming week, Barack Obama is to cut short a trip to India to visit the new ruler of Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah last week. That the American president is so keen to abandon a fast-growing and important ally to visit the dementia-struck 79-year-old leader of an old one shows what sway the House of Saud still has over US foreign policy.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Amnesty International, British politicians angry at the Union Jack being flown at half-mast for Abdullah, and The Economist are just a few of those have called on Western politicians to rethink their close relationship with the conservative kingdom. Here are a few reasons why Obama should reconsider his trip to meet King Salman.

The human-rights record

Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger, was flogged 50 times on Jan. 9 in front of mosque in Jeddah—part of a sentence of 10 years in prison and…

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Saudi Arabia: Persecution News Update

The link below is to an article reporting on persecution news from Saudi Arabia.

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Saudi Arabia: Life of Princesses

The link below is to an article reporting on a disturbing story from Saudi Arabia, which gives a glimpse of life for Saudi princesses and women.

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