Saudi Arabia

The open letter to Jacinda Ardern to show some spine over alleged crimes against Anne-Marie Brady feels vital in the face of a less than urgent response thus far. The professor was only a mechanic away from being another Jamal Khashoggi or Fernando Pereira

The precise words Jacinda Ardern chooses when she finally addresses the claims by University of Canterbury professor Anne-Marie Brady will be telling, but at least she has Donald Trump to look to and the case of Jamal Khashoggi as inspiration.

The Auditor General has found that Murray McCully (and the rest of his National Party cabinet colleagues) are not corrupt criminals. They just entered into a deal with a Saudi businessman without really knowing why, what that deal would do, or the basis for giving him some $11 million or our money. 

The Auditor-General's report on Murray McCully's "sheep-to-sand" deal (or, rather, her "Inquiry into the Saudi Arabia Food Security Partnership") is hot off the press.

The only reason that makes any sense for giving a Saudi sheep breeder an $11 million farm is because we thought it might buy us a Free Trade Agreement with his country. It's a good thing that we're not a corrupt nation, isn't it?

Let's start off by giving the National Government a bit of a lifeline on the whole "Sheep-to-Sand" saga. Bacause by post's end I'll be using it to hang the Government's handling of the matter.

Saudi King to miss Gulf summit in Washington DC; 2000 refugees on way to Thailand rescued after traffickers allegedly abandoned ship; Pyongyang test-fires ballistic missile; Hollande visits Cuba; Turkish cargo ship shelled off coast of Libya; and more 

Iraqi troops move against ISIS in Tikrit; North Korea test-fires two short-range missiles; Chinese central bank cuts interest rates; 300 die in avalanches in Afghanistan; Saudi diplomat freed in Yemen; and more 

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Iraqi Troops Move Against ISIS in Tikrit