US News Opinions | Trump’s embrace of Mohammed bin Salman is now costing him dearly
A dramatic escape, an affair with a bodyguard and a £5.2m battle royal: How British-schooled Olympic horsewoman Haya bint al-Hussein took on her potentate husband Sheikh al-Maktoum after fleeing to the UK
Her Royal Highness Haya bint al-Hussein, 45, is the only princess to have successfully escaped one of the world's richest and most powerful families. She is the youngest wife of the ruler of Dubai.Her Royal Highness Haya bint al-Hussein stepped off the opulently-appointed Boeing 737 – and became the third princess to flee one of the world’s richest and most powerful families.
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Donald Trump made one of the biggest mistakes of his presidency in the spring of 2017, when he offered an unconditional embrace to the then-emerging 31-year-old ruler of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, and adopted his agenda of aggressively confronting Iran. Three years later, as Trump grapples with the greatest crisis he has faced, that choice is costing him dearly.
Trump campaign files defamation suit against CNN
President Trump's reelection campaign is suing CNN for defamation, filing its third lawsuit in two weeks against major media outlets over opinion columns about Russian efforts to assist his 2016 presidential bid. The lawsuit is accusing CNN of publishing a libelous opinion piece on its website about Russia's efforts to influence U.S. elections."The statements were and are 100 percent false and defamatory," Jenna Ellis, a legal adviser for the campaign, said in a statement.
Video: New Book Reveals Fate Of Orb Trump Touched During Saudi Arabia Visit (GeoBeats)
Trump’s slow and stumbling response to the novel coronavirus pandemic helped accelerate last week’s stock market dive and mounting public uncertainty. But the trouble in the markets was also turbocharged by the latest reckless moves by the Saudi crown prince. Against the advice of his own ministers, Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, moved to flood markets with cheap Saudi oil, causing the global price to plunge and endangering the U.S. oil industry.
That, no doubt, prompted the phone call Trump made to MBS last Monday, as stocks were plunging. It’s an easy guess that the president’s message resembled the public statement of his Energy Department, which decried “attempts by state actors to manipulate and shock oil markets.”
Trump's speeches 'get longer as his list of enemies grows'
A expert has worked out that Donald Trump's speeches are getting longer as he fends off an ever longer list of enemies. Brian Ott, a Texas Tech University professor of communications, says the average length of the US president's campaign speeches has increased from 59 minutes in 2016 to 80.7 minutes in 2020.The professor, who is also co-author of The Twitter Presidency: Donald J Trump and the Politics of White Rage, said: "An overwhelming percentage of his discourse is about attacking others, and he simply has more enemies now.
Yet MBS’s reaction was to thumb his nose at the U.S. president. On Wednesday, his oil minister announced another big increase in petroleum production. U.S. stocks swooned again.
Then came the rocket attack by an Iranian-backed militia on a base in Iraq, which killed two U.S. servicemen. That set off a tit-for-tat cycle of U.S. airstrikes and new rocket attacks that has brought Trump back to the brink of war with Iran — a resumption, at the worst possible moment, of an entirely unnecessary conflict that he embarked upon at the behest of MBS and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Since making Riyadh the site of his first foreign trip as president, Trump has stubbornly defended the Saudi ruler through multiple misadventures, from the disastrous war in Yemen and failed boycott of neighboring Qatar to the murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The big Saudi purchases of U.S. weapons that MBS promised Trump have not materialized. Instead, the president’s reward is to be stiffed by his supposed ally at his moment of greatest need, with U.S. markets whipsawing and U.S. soldiers dying.
Twitter puts 'manipulated' tag on edited Biden video retweeted by Trump
A tweet featuring edited footage of former Vice President Joe Biden that incorrectly made it appear as though he was endorsing President Trump’s reelection has been labelled “manipulated media” by Twitter.The tweet, the president's social media manager Dan Scavino posted on Saturday, shows edited footage from a speech Biden delivered in Missouri earlier that day. The clip was edited to show Biden saying, "Excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump," right before it ends mid-sentence.
The Saudis claim that MBS is not intentionally seeking to sabotage Trump. The crown prince’s real quarrel, they say, is with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who refused to go along with a Saudi proposal to cut oil production to stabilize prices, thus prompting MBS to rashly pump more while cutting prices.
Yet, in doing so, the crown prince is merely abetting a prime Putin aim, which is to drive the fragile U.S. fracking industry out of business. Not surprisingly, the Russians reacted calmly to MBS’s dumping gambit, saying they could live with rock-bottom oil prices for six to 10 years. U.S. frackers can’t — nor, for that matter, can MBS, who has already strained the kingdom’s finances to the breaking point.
Gallery: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: lifestyle, spending (Business Insider)
Opinions | What happens when Google loses your address? You cease to exist.
Every day, users contribute more than 20 million pieces of information to Google Maps. There are bound to be errors.Two and a half years ago, my dad and his wife took an Uber from the airport to my house in Washington, D.C., as they’ve done many times before. Only this time, it took them to the wrong place: an empty lot by a cemetery, two miles from my house. My dad told the Uber driver it was not my house, but the driver didn’t believe him.
Saudi Arabia still depends on the United States for its survival. U.S. warships are still protecting tankers carrying Saudi oil in the Persian Gulf, even though the United States needs imported petroleum far less than it did in 1987. What’s more, Trump has dispatched thousands of U.S. troops to the kingdom to defend oil fields from Iranian attack, escalating tensions that have now led to multiple U.S. deaths and injuries.
And yet, Trump has been curiously passive as MBS has repeatedly worked against U.S. interests. Consider the case of Saud al-Qahtani, the close aide to the crown prince who is believed to have overseen the murder of Khashoggi and a hacking campaign targeting MBS’s foreign critics. Senior U.S. officials have repeatedly pushed MBS to hold Qahtani accountable, or at least sideline him; yet as Ben Hubbard of the New York Times reports, “he is still commanding armies of bots and overseeing the kingdom’s electronic spying operations.”
Or consider Trump, with his reelection prospects in danger of crumbling along with the U.S. economy, asking the crown prince to act in his own, as well as the U.S., interest and stop pushing down oil prices amid a market panic — and then remaining silent as a dictator he has coddled for three years does the opposite. Surely, Vladimir Putin is laughing.
US names IS chief on terror blacklist .
The United States on Tuesday placed the new leader of the Islamic State group on its blacklist of terrorists, naming him as Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that al-Mawli was named leader of the ultra-violent group after an October raid by US commandos killed its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.