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POPULAR NEWS
Gold Futures Post Their First Gain in 3 Sessions

Gold futures climbed on Monday to score their first gain in three sessions, moving back toward the nearly nine-year high they reached on Wednesday. Investors eyed the rising number of cases in the U.S., which lifted expectations for further central bank stimulus measures to offset the effects of the pandemic's hit to the economy. August gold rose $12.20, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,814.10 an ounce. Prices on Wednesday settled at $1,820.60, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 14,...

Gold Trades Steady as Virus, Equities’ Advance Weighed

Spot gold was steady in Asian trading as investors weigh virus developments in the U.S amid expectations Asian equities will open higher on Monday. Asia stocks are set for a higher open on Monday as investors look to the start of earnings season for clues on how companies are faring in the pandemic. Spot gold +0.1% to $1,801.02 at 7:40 a.m. in Singapore. Spot silver gained for second day. Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index

Dollar Falls as U.S. Earning Season Kicks Off

The U.S. dollar edged lower on Monday as investors looked to domestic corporate earnings and upcoming retail data to gauge whether guarded optimism on the country's economic outlook is justified. The index that measures the dollar against a basket of six other major currencies - which often serves as a safe-haven for investors seeking high-quality assets in moments of market volatility - was down 0.31% in North American morning trade. The dollar ended its third week of losses on Friday as...

Hong Kong Stocks Close Higher (Review)

Hong Kong stocks finished Monday on a positive note as hopes for a virus vaccine overshadowed concerns about a fresh wave of infections in the financial hub. The Hang Seng Index added 0.17 percent, or 44.71 points, to 25,772.12. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.77 percent, or 59.96 points, to 3,443.29 while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China's second exchange jumped 3.48 percent, or 78.39 points, to 2,329.40. Source : AFP

Oil Extends Drop on OPEC+ Taper Jitters and U.S.-China Tension

Oil dropped for a second day on expectations that OPEC+ will start winding down production cuts next month and as escalating tension between Washington and Beijing worsened sentiment across financial markets. Futures in New York fell below $40 a barrel after retreating 1.1% on Monday. OPEC+™s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meets Wednesday and the group is expected to stick to its plan of tapering the cuts from August even as the coronavirus rages unabated in many...

Family of exiled top Saudi officer Saad al-Jabri 'targeted'
Monday, 25 May 2020 12:03 WIB | GLOBAL |Global

A senior Saudi security official who for years was the key go-between for Britain's MI6 and other Western spy agencies in Saudi Arabia is now being persecuted along with his family, according to former Western intelligence officials.

Dr Saad al-Jabri, who helped foil an al-Qaeda bomb plot against the West, fled into exile three years ago, ahead of a purge by the all-powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Now his children have been seized as "hostages", according to his eldest son, Khalid.

"Omar and Sarah were kidnapped at dawn on 16 March and taken out of their beds by about 50 state security officers who arrived in 20 cars," says their brother, Khalid al-Jabri.

The family house in Riyadh was then searched, the CCTV memory cards removed and the pair, aged 21 and 20 respectively, held incommunicado at a detention centre.

There have been no charges given and no reason offered to the family for their arrest, Khalid tells me on a phone call from Canada where he and his father live in self-imposed exile. "We don't even know if they are alive or dead."

He believes they are being held as bargaining chips in an attempt to force his father to return to Saudi Arabia where he fears he will face immediate arrest and imprisonment.

"They can make up any lies they want about him but he is innocent."

The Saudi authorities have not responded to the BBC's requests for comment on the allegations made by the family of Dr Saad al-Jabri and those who worked with him.

Who is Saad al-Jabri?

For years he was the right-hand man, the gatekeeper, to Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was widely credited with defeating the al-Qaeda insurgency in the 2000s. He was also the linchpin in all Saudi Arabia's relations with the "Five Eyes" (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) intelligence agencies.

In 2010 this crucial link "helped save hundreds of lives", according to a former Western intelligence officer who worked with him.

Al-Qaeda in Yemen had smuggled a powerful bomb on-board a cargo plane bound for Chicago, hidden inside a printer ink toner cartridge. But Saudi intelligence had a human informant inside al-Qaida who provided the tip-off to MI6, even relaying the serial number of the device it was hidden in.

British counter-terrorism police then located and defused the bomb inside the plane at East Midlands Airport. "If that had gone off as planned over Chicago hundreds would have been killed," said the former intelligence officer.

"Dr al-Jabri transformed Saudi counter-terrorism efforts," says another former western intelligence official.

"He changed it from being a crude, violent, confession-based system into one that used modern forensics and computer-based data mining.

"He was the smartest guy we dealt with amongst so many others who were dysfunctional," he says.

A quiet-spoken man with a doctorate in artificial intelligence from Edinburgh University, Dr al-Jabri rose to the rank of cabinet minister and held a major-general's rank in the interior ministry.

But in 2015 everything changed. King Abdullah died and his half-brother Salman ascended to the throne, appointing his young and untested son Mohammed Bin Salman (known as MBS) as defence minister.

MBS then ordered his country's forces to intervene in Yemen's civil war, a move opposed by Dr al-Jabri who pointed out that there was no exit strategy. More than five years later Saudi Arabia is still looking for a way out of the costly stalemate in Yemen.

In 2017 MBS carried out a bloodless palace coup with his father's blessing. He effectively usurped the next in line to the throne, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, becoming crown prince himself.

Today that deposed prince is under arrest, his assets seized and those who worked for him have been removed from their posts. Dr al-Jabri fled into exile in Canada. But former Western intelligence officials believe MBS still sees him as a threat to his legitimacy.

"He can't afford to have that guy as a free radical and a galvanising force against him," says one of them.

His family say they have tried in vain to meet the Saudi authorities "on neutral ground" and have now decided to go public.

"There are signs that Dr Saad is being targeted with a wide range of threats and the (Canadian) authorities are taking it seriously," says his son Khalid.

"We were pushed into this," he adds. "We are patriots, we love our country, we don't want to embarrass Saudi Arabia but kidnapping Omar and Sarah like this, it's daylight thuggery by a state."

Source: BBC News

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POPULAR NEWS
Gold Futures Post Their First Gain in 3 Sessions

Gold futures climbed on Monday to score their first gain in three sessions, moving back toward the nearly nine-year high they reached on Wednesday. Investors eyed the rising number of cases in the U.S., which lifted expectations for further central bank stimulus measures to offset the effects of the pandemic's hit to the economy. August gold rose $12.20, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,814.10 an ounce. Prices on Wednesday settled at $1,820.60, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 14,...

Gold Trades Steady as Virus, Equities’ Advance Weighed

Spot gold was steady in Asian trading as investors weigh virus developments in the U.S amid expectations Asian equities will open higher on Monday. Asia stocks are set for a higher open on Monday as investors look to the start of earnings season for clues on how companies are faring in the pandemic. Spot gold +0.1% to $1,801.02 at 7:40 a.m. in Singapore. Spot silver gained for second day. Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index

Dollar Falls as U.S. Earning Season Kicks Off

The U.S. dollar edged lower on Monday as investors looked to domestic corporate earnings and upcoming retail data to gauge whether guarded optimism on the country's economic outlook is justified. The index that measures the dollar against a basket of six other major currencies - which often serves as a safe-haven for investors seeking high-quality assets in moments of market volatility - was down 0.31% in North American morning trade. The dollar ended its third week of losses on Friday as...

Hong Kong Stocks Close Higher (Review)

Hong Kong stocks finished Monday on a positive note as hopes for a virus vaccine overshadowed concerns about a fresh wave of infections in the financial hub. The Hang Seng Index added 0.17 percent, or 44.71 points, to 25,772.12. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.77 percent, or 59.96 points, to 3,443.29 while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China's second exchange jumped 3.48 percent, or 78.39 points, to 2,329.40. Source : AFP

Oil Extends Drop on OPEC+ Taper Jitters and U.S.-China Tension

Oil dropped for a second day on expectations that OPEC+ will start winding down production cuts next month and as escalating tension between Washington and Beijing worsened sentiment across financial markets. Futures in New York fell below $40 a barrel after retreating 1.1% on Monday. OPEC+™s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meets Wednesday and the group is expected to stick to its plan of tapering the cuts from August even as the coronavirus rages unabated in many...

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