Nov 5, 2019

Saudi Arabia announces peace deal between Yemen and southern separatists

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) announced Tuesday that Yemen's official government and southern separatists have signed a power-sharing deal to stop fighting, reports Al Jazeera.

Why it matters: MBS says the "Riyadh Agreement" is an important part of the political solution to end the civil war in Yemen — which has raged on for four years and led to one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, per Al Jazeera.

Context: The conflict involves two main factions that claim to constitute the official Yemeni government, and is widely see as a proxy war between regional powers Saudi Arabia and Iran.

  • The internationally recognized Yemeni government is led by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and backed by Saudi Arabia. Southern separatists have fought alongside the formal government but are seeking a separate state.
  • The Houthi rebels, who mainly come from the north, are backed by Iran and want to oust the formal government.

The big picture: The power-sharing deal calls for a new government to include the southern separatists and for Hadi to return to the temporary capital Aden, according to AP. The separatists' militias will also be disbanded.

  • Troops from the United Arab Emirates have pulled out of Yemen in the days leading up to the signing, reports Reuters.
  • Houthi rebels have increased the number of drone and missile attacks targeting Saudi Arabia, as fighting between the group and the Yemeni government has escalated, per the Financial Times.

Go deeper: Why the U.S. got (and stayed) involved in Yemen's brutal war

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Netflix CEO defends pulling episode of show critical of Saudi Arabia

Reed Hastings. Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gave a full-throated defense of the company’s decision to remove an episode of the show "Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj" from its platform in Saudi Arabia after a complaint from the Saudi government about Minhaj's criticisms of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"We're not in the news business. We're not trying to do 'truth to power.' We're trying to entertain."
— Hastings at the New York Times Dealbook conference
Go deeperArrowNov 6, 2019

CEOs' allergy to geopolitics

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If CEOs are the new politicians, many of them don't seem to have thought carefully about foreign policy — particularly about working with autocratic regimes.

Why it matters: Corporate America continues to do business with the Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, who allegedly oversaw the beheading of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and to court business in places like China and Turkey.

Go deeperArrowNov 12, 2019

Death toll in Iraqi protests reaches 350 over last two months

Iraqi demonstrators gather as flames start consuming Iran's consulate in the southern city Najaf on Wednesday night. Photo: Hairda Hamdani/AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi security forces killed 27 anti-government protesters in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll from the past two months to 350, AP reports.

Why it matters: The country remains engulfed in its worst protests since 2016, with protesters calling for the government to resign over corruption and lack of government services. And as the violence continues to escalate, protesters are calling on the government to investigate.

Go deeperArrowNov 28, 2019