Saudi Arabia said Tuesday that because of the coronavirus only "very limited numbers" of people will be allowed to perform the annual hajj pilgrimage that traditionally draws around 2 million Muslims from around the world.
The decision comes after weeks of speculation over whether Saudi Arabia would cancel the pilgrimage altogether or allow the hajj to be held in symbolic numbers. It's unclear why the government waited until just five weeks before the hajj to announce its decision, but the timing indicates the sensitivity around major decisions concerning the hajj that affect Muslims around the world.Full Story
The sons of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said Friday they "forgive" the killers of their father, an announcement analysts said effectively grants clemency to five convicted people on death row.Full Story
Saudi Arabia will enforce a round-the-clock nationwide curfew during the five-day Eid al-Fitr holiday later this month to fight the coronavirus, the interior ministry said Tuesday, as infections spike.Full Story
Saudi Arabia has abolished flogging as a punishment, the supreme court announced, hailing the latest in a series of "human rights advances" made by the king and his powerful son.Full Story
Impoverished Yemen is mired in a devastating conflict between Iran-backed rebels and government forces, which intensified after Saudi Arabia led a military intervention five years ago.Full Story
Saudi Arabia said Saturday it would suspend international flights for two weeks in response to the coronavirus outbreak.Full Story
Stock markets in the energy-rich Gulf states made a strong rebound in opening trade Tuesday, led by the Saudi bourse which jumped 5.6 percent, as oil prices bounced after heavy losses.
Energy giant Aramco, which dominates the Saudi Tadawul market, gained 5.5 percent after a series of sessions in the red where it tumbled below the price where it listed last December.Full Story
Saudi Arabia on Sunday cordoned off an oil-rich Shiite stronghold, suspended air and sea travel to nine countries and closed schools and universities, in a series of measures to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus.Full Story
Saudi Arabia reopened Saturday the area around the sacred Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest site, reversing one of a series of measures introduced to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Saudi authorities this week suspended the year-round umrah pilgrimage, during which worshippers circle the Kaaba seven times, and also announced the temporary closure of the area around the cube structure.Full Story
Saudi authorities have detained three princes including King Salman's brother and nephew on charges of plotting a coup, the US media reported Friday, signalling a further consolidation of power by the kingdom's de facto ruler.Full Story