Aug 7, 2018

State Department issues impartial statement on Saudi-Canada dispute

President Donald Trump during a bilateral meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in March 2018. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool viaGetty Images

The U.S. State Department provided a comment to HuffPost Monday evening in response to the high-stakes spat between Saudi Arabia and Canada over the imprisonment of human rights activists.

"Canada and Saudi Arabia are both close allies of the United States...The United States supports respect for internationally recognized freedoms and individual liberties including dissent and due process. We have asked the Government of Saudi Arabia for additional information on the detention of several activists. We continue to encourage the Government of Saudi Arabia to respect due process and to publicize information on the status of legal cases. We address these broad concerns in our annual Human Rights Report."
— A State Department official

The big picture: As HuffPost's Akbar Shahid Ahmed points out, Saudi Arabia is not a treaty ally of the United States, unlike Canada, and has a long history of human rights abuses. The Gulf state is, however, a strategic ally for peace talks in the region and the beneficiary of several billion-dollar arms deals from the U.S.

Go deeper

Repatriated American citizens have doubled coronavirus cases in U.S.

Face mask discarded outside the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

The official number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. just doubled — to 34 — but public health officials are pointing out that these are mostly people who've been repatriated.

Why it matters: As concerns grow about a global pandemic, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to make sure the message gets out: "We are not seeing community spread here in the United States," Nancy Messonnier says.

Go deeperArrow36 mins ago - Health

Bernie opens up massive lead among college students

Data: College Reaction; Note: ±3.4 margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

In the last two months, Bernie Sanders has surged 20 points among college students to become the group's clear 2020 favorite, according to a new College Reaction/Axios poll.

Why it matters: The numbers reflect the extent to which young Democratic voters are embracing socialism and rejecting moderate choices.

Situational awareness

Photos: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  2. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  3. Trump misrepresents 2020 Russia briefing as Democratic "misinformation"
  4. Bernie Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone
  6. Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars