Monday, July 3, 2017

"Interesting Things Happening" in the Middle East

The new heir to Saudi Arabia’s throne has launched a crackdown on dissent in recent weeks, attempting to silence activists and critical clerics as well as his deposed predecessor [Mohammed bin Nayef, Salman's nephew "who has deep ties to U.S. intelligence"], according to U.S. and Saudi officials familiar with the events.


The newly elevated crown prince has limited the movements of Mohammed bin Nayef, the officials said. He has also replaced Mohammed bin Nayef’s guards with ones loyal to the royal court.


Some activists and religious figures viewed as stirring protest on social media have also been summoned in person to meet with interior ministry officials, and at least one of those people was told by officials to quiet down or face jail time, according to people familiar with the matter.


A few weeks ago, they began summoning journalists, activists, preachers and others who were viewed as being publicly critical to meetings in which they were told to stop expressing these views, according to people familiar with these meetings.


Political parties are banned in Saudi Arabia as are protests, unions are illegal, the press is controlled and criticism of the royal family can lead to prison.

Which reminds me of this:

The recent crackdown follows the royal power shuffle and a move earlier in June by the kingdom to lead an economic blockade of neighboring Qatar, and is raising concerns among U.S. officials and observers that more political upheaval may be on the way.
Don't worry. The Donald can handle it. He's their good friend. They touched the orb together.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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