Saudi Arabia continues crackdown on women’s rights activists

A Saudi woman practices driving in Riyadh. Photo: Yousef Doubisi/AFP/Getty Images

At least three additional women‘s rights activists have been arrested in Saudi Arabia, Reuters reports, joining seven other people who were arrested under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's authority, who portrayed himself as bringing social reform to the kingdom.

Why it matters: A visiting professor at the London School of Economics, Madawi al-Rasheed, told Reuters: “Mohammed bin Salman wants all the credit for any kind of success story; he wants to tell the world and the audience that the rights of Saudi women and every Saudi citizen come from him.”

The details: Many of these arrests are of people — mostly women — who were involved in protesting the ban on women driving, which is set to be lifted soon. The government blamed the previous seven arrests on the people’s contacts with foreign entities, and offering financial aid to “enemies overseas,” per Reuters.

What they're saying: State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters, “We support space for civil society and also free speech. But overall, we’re concerned about it and we’re keeping a close eye on it.”

What's next

⚖️ Live updates: Democrats close out their opening arguments

House managers wrapped up their three-day impeachment presentation with a direct appeal to the senators to think about the precedent their actions — or more notably their inaction — would have on democracy and Congress’ future ability to serve as a check on the president.

The close: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) anticipated attacks on him, other House managers, the Ukraine whistleblower, and the Bidens from Trump's team, which begins its defense of the president on Saturday. He appealed directly to GOP senators: “Real political courage does not come from disagreement with our opponents, but disagreeing with our friends and our own party.”

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020 - Politics

Death toll climbs in coronavirus outbreak

41 people have died from an outbreak of a coronavirus strain that originated in Wuhan, China, AP reports.

The latest: The respiratory illness has made its way to Europe, with France confirming three cases, Reuters reports. France's Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said Friday two patients are hospitalized in Paris. The other case is in the southwestern city of Bordeaux. They had returned from a trip that had a stop in Wuhan.

Go deeperArrowJan 20, 2020 - World

Lawyer alleges Giuliani associate recorded Trump comments on Ukrainian ambassador

Photo: Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The lawyer for Lev Parnas, a Rudy Giuliani associate, claims there is a recording of President Trump saying former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch should be fired, the Daily Beast reports.

The latest: Parnas said on Friday that he has turned the recording over to the House Intelligence Committee, per the New York Times — as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) led House Democrats in laying out the case for impeaching Trump before the Senate.