Saudi Arabia has spent the past year taking actions that have alarmed and angered some of its neighbors, especially Iran. There have been warnings this could provoke a war. So who's driving these policies, and why?
Tensions in the Persian Gulf are high after Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric. Iran sees itself as the champion of Shiite Islam and is furious with the Saudi action. Saudi Arabia has retaliated by cutting off relations.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have never been friends, but their relations went from bad to worse over the weekend. Saudi Arabia and allies Sudan and Bahrain have broken off diplomatic relations with Tehran and ordered Iranian diplomats out of their nations within 48 hours.
The price of a barrel of oil has fallen to its lowest level in more than half a decade — and it's still falling. That's put a major dent in the economies of some of the world's largest oil producers, like Iran and Russia. But in the US, it's cause for celebration, as falling oil prices are translating into plummeting prices at the pump.
What if instead of increasing spending on the military, that money was spent in other ways. Use our interactive and find out how a cut in global military spending could fund projects like climate change mitigation or ending world hunger.
World leaders and regular people gathered Tuesday in South Africa to honor Nelson Mandela — a man who was labelled a terrorist by the US until 8 years ago, a friend of China and Cuba, and now a symbol of hope and reconciliation for millions. We also look at Saudi Arabia's interest in its own human genome project, one of the most extreme zipline rides in the world, and a video game where the villian is alcoholism. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah died Friday morning in Saudi Arabia, in his 90s. The king who had effectively led the Middle East kingdom for two decades, though officially for just one, was known as a reformer — even if it was not always evident to outside observers.