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Trump in Saudi on first foreign trip

By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland | RIYADH for Reuters — Dogged by controversy at home, Donald Trump opened his first presidential foreign trip in Saudi Arabia on Saturday and won a warm reception as he looked to shift attention from a political firestorm over his firing of former FBI Director …

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Saudi Arabia to build Chinese UAVs

Jeremy Binnie, London – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly –Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) announced on 16 March that its president and the chairman of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) had signed a partnership agreement covering the manufacture of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). …

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Saudi police kill suspected ISIS militant

The Levant News – Saudi security forces killed a suspected ISIS militant when he pulled a gun on a patrol in the capital Riyadh, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday. The patrol was trying to check a complaint on Tuesday evening that a resident of a flat in the capital’s …

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Saudis expel 39,000 Pakistanis over terror fears

By Richard Spencer for THE TIMES — Saudi Arabia has expelled 39,000 Pakistanis in the past four months amid what it says is a crackdown on terrorism, according to the Saudi Gazette. Most deportations were for standard visa violations, reported the English-language daily newspaper, published in Jedda. However, officials were …

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U.N. experts urge Bahrain to halt “persecution of Shi’ites”

The Levant News — Bahrain is targeting its Shi’ite Muslim community through arrests and prosecutions of clerics, activists and entertainers, a group of United Nations-appointed independent experts said on Tuesday. In a statement, the experts urged Bahraini authorities to halt what they said were “arbitrary arrests” based on religion and …

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Three Saudi cities hit by suicide bombers

The Levant News — Suicide bombers hit targets in three Saudi cities on Monday, killing four security guards and wounding five other people. The apparently coordinated attacks come amid the Islamic State’s worldwide bombing campaign to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The four security officers died as …

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Iraq warns Saudi Arabia against meddling in its affairs

The Levant News — Iraq’s ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Saudi Arabia for its “repeated interventions in Iraqi internal matters” in a statement today. The warning follows remarks by Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Wednesday that called for the dissolution of the Shiite-dominated Popular Mobilization Forces fighting alongside …

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Saudi deputy crown prince lands in Washington

Saudi Arabia’s powerful deputy crown prince and defense minister, Mohammed bin Salman has landed in the United States for meetings today with US President Barack Obama and high-ranking US officials. Talks will cover regionals issues, including Syria, Yemen, Iran and the Islamic State. The visit will also include a meeting …

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“Al Arabiya” Chops Beirut Bureau

By Magda Abu-Fadil* — Director of Media Unlimited in Lebanon — It wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. The ax fell hard today on the Beirut bureau of Saudi-owned Al Arabiya and Al Hadath satellite news channels: total closure. “My wife is pregnant and will deliver in a month,” said one …

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Saudi newspaper says Lebanon an April Fools’ joke

BEIRUT: Saudi-owned daily Asharq al-Awsat published a caricature in its Friday edition depicting the Lebanese state as an April Fools’ joke, provoking angry reactions by Lebanese citizens. The cartoon shows a Lebanese flag with the text “April Fools… the Lebanese state” written over it. Ali Hashem, a Lebanese journalist said …

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Trump wants to leave U.S. allies in the lurch

By Bill Schneider for Reuters — Thanks to Donald Trump, Americans now know what a populist foreign policy looks like: “Not isolationist, but America First.” That’s how the Republican presidential front-runner defined his views to an interviewer last week. “I like the expression,” Trump said, implying that he had never …

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Children in Yemen bear brunt of brutal war: UNICEF

THE LEVANT NEWS — Hundreds of thousands of children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition and millions lack access to health care or clean water due to the year-old war there, the U.N. Children’s Fund said on Tuesday. A UNICEF report also said all sides in the war had “exponentially increased” …

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