Saudi Arabia’s missile race

IN 2016 Muhammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto ruler, announced the latest stage of “Saudisation”—the replacement of foreign workers with Saudi ones. It now appears the policy does not stop at swapping out bankers and bakers, but extends to ballistic missiles. Satellite photos analysed by researchers from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and reported by the Washington Post, appear to show that Saudi Arabia has been building a factory for rocket engines, at an existing missile base in al-Watah, south-west of Riyadh

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Gabon: President Expected Home After Prolonged Medical Absence

[Deutsche Welle] President Ali Bongo is returning to Gabon after receiving treatment for a stroke he had in October, government sources say. It comes a week after a coup attempt was thwarted and days after he appointed a new government.

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Africa: No Coups Occurred in 2018. Will Next Year Be So Stable?

[The Conversation Africa] The past year may have felt politically tumultuous, between Saudi Arabia’s brazen killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, the resurgence of authoritarianism in Eastern Europe and Donald Trump’s unorthodox approach to U.S.

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A mysterious Shia group has Nigeria worried

THE STREETS are quiet and the tear gas has dissipated, but no one knows for sure how many protesters were killed in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, at the end of October. The army claims six people died when soldiers stopped demonstrators from overrunning a checkpoint. Human-rights groups say at least 45 were killed—and that the demonstrations were peaceful

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