Jan 25, 2020

MBS's sovereign wealth fund could buy Newcastle United

Newcastle players during a training session. Photo: Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

An investment fund controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is in talks to buy U.K. Premier League soccer team Newcastle United F.C. for around $445 million.

Why it matters: MBS has been working to diversify Saudi Arabia's investments, with a focus on sports and entertainment. The sale could give Newcastle a fresh infusion of cash for fresh talent and renovated facilities, the Wall Street Journal writes.

The state of play: The deal could finalize in the coming weeks, but there's still time for things to fall apart.

Worth noting: The team's current owner is British businessman Mike Ashley, who bought the team for about $175 million and is one of the least popular team owners in English soccer, per the Wall Street Journal.

Go deeper: Human rights concerns overshadow Saudi campaign to attract tourists

Go deeper

What the top 2020 Democrats think of Saudi Arabia

Trump, Egypt's Sisi, King Salman and an orb in Riyadh. Photo: Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Royal Council/Getty

No U.S. partner will fear a change in administrations more than Saudi Arabia.

Flashback: Trump’s first overseas trip was to Riyadh. Since then, his administration has worked to shield Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from bipartisan outrage, most notably over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

SurveyArrowFeb 11, 2020 - World

Khashoggi's fiancée to attend Trump's State of the Union

Hatice Cengiz speaks during an exclusive interview in the U.S. on May 18, 2019. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) announced Monday that he's taking researcher Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, as his guest to this week's State of the Union.

Driving the news: It's an attempt to press President Trump to step up action against Saudi Arabia for its role in his death. A CIA report concluded in November 2018 that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's killing. The prince denies doing so.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Americans don't trust Saudi Arabia's crown prince: poll

"They don't trust me? Why not?" Photo: Eliot Blondet/AFP via Getty Images

Just 20% of Americans have confidence in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to "do the right thing regarding world affairs," per a new Pew survey.

By the numbers: Trust is also low in Israel (6%), Lebanon (23%), Turkey (14%) and Tunisia (18%), though the latter two countries have even less faith in President Trump.

Go deeperArrowFeb 4, 2020 - World