Apr 24, 2019

Saudi Arabia beheads 37 citizens convicted of terrorism

Photo: Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto/Getty Images

In the largest mass execution since 2016, Saudi Arabia publicly beheaded 37 citizens for alleged links to terrorism, reports CBS News.

Why this matters: The executed citizens were mostly Shia Muslims, a religious minority in Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia. This will likely add to the growing tensions between the Gulf state and Iran, the predominantly Shia power in the region. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has been trying to curb Iran's influence in the Middle East since his rise to power.

What they're saying: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad, Javad Zarif, publicly criticized both the Saudi royal family and the Trump administration over the executions. However, Iran has executed more people than any country other than China over the past several years, according to Amnesty International.

Details: The official Saudi Press Agency said the condemned men were "aiming at destabilizing security, spreading sedition and chaos, and harming the homeland."

Go deeper: Saudi Crown Prince: Iran's supreme leader "makes Hitler look good"

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

7 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.