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Mohammed bin Salman, hard-charging heir reshaping Saudi Arabia

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has shaken up the conservative kingdom with head-spinning reforms while quashing any threats to his status since becoming de facto ruler of the world's biggest oil producer five years ago.

The hard-charging heir drew international revulsion after Saudi agents killed and dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, but U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to the kingdom this week looks set to restore his position on the international stage, forcing world leaders to deal with him whether they want to or not. 

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Saudi mindset shows signs of shift towards Israel

Israeli journalist Yoav Limor did not know what to expect when he travelled with a colleague this month to Saudi Arabia, a country long notorious for promoting anti-Israel sentiment in textbooks and in sermons by some imams.   

They were in for "a pleasant surprise", he wrote in a subsequent column for the Israel Hayom newspaper, as Saudi market vendors and taxi drivers mostly greeted them with curiosity rather than disdain.

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Israeli politics a chaotic backdrop for Biden's visit

President Joe Biden, facing his own set of challenges back in Washington, will spend Thursday navigating Israel's chaotic politics as he meets with the country's leaders to bolster cooperation with the United States and other nations.

Biden begins the day by sitting down with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who became head of an interim government earlier this month after the previous coalition collapsed. The country is holding its fifth election in less than four years in November.

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Huawei redefines Lebanon’s future through advanced technologies

Huawei announced Wednesday it is working to help Lebanon lift its economy through technology.

"Lebanon stands at the precipice of change – it needs to move forward and prioritize the implementation of a resilient ICT strategy in order to secure its bright future," the CEO of Huawei in Lebanon, Aiden Li, said in a statement.

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The consequences of the euro's fall to dollar parity

The euro on Tuesday fell to parity with the dollar for the first time in nearly 20 years. Here are the concrete consequences of the decline in the value of the single European currency. 

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Abe, Gadhafi and other political assassinations this century

Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated Friday by a gunman who opened fire on him as he delivered a campaign speech on a street in western Japan.

Here's a global look at other high-profile assassinations in the 21st century:

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In Mideast, Biden struggling to shift policy after Trump

Joe Biden took office looking to reshape U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, putting a premium on promoting democracy and human rights. In reality, he has struggled on several fronts to meaningfully separate his approach from former President Donald Trump's.

Biden's visit to the region this week includes a meeting with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the oil-rich kingdom's de facto leader who U.S. intelligence officials determined approved the 2018 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

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Working for the future Lebanon deserves: An op-ed by outgoing UK ambassador

British Ambassador to Lebanon Ian Collard has written a farewell op-ed reflecting on his one year as the UK’s envoy to Lebanon.

Below is the op-ed’s full text as received from the British embassy:

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From Brexit to Partygate, a timeline of Johnson's career

He was the mayor who basked in the glory of hosting the 2012 London Olympics, and the man who led the Conservatives to a thumping election victory on the back of his promise to "get Brexit done."

But Boris Johnson's time as prime minister was marred by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and a steady stream of ethics allegations, from alcohol-fueled government parties that broke lockdown rules to how he handled a sexual misconduct scandal involving a senior party lawmaker.

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The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam

The annual hajj pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, will start on Wednesday with one million vaccinated Muslims from around the world allowed to take part this year.

In 2019, some 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world participated.

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