The World Youth Forum gets underway today in Sharm El Sheikh, bringing together 70 official delegations and more than 3,000 youth, Ahram Gate reports, citing sources at Ittihadiya. International figures and leaders, including Emir of Sharjah Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, began arriving at Sharm El Sheikh yesterday ahead of the six-day affair. American actress Helen Hunt is expected to speak at the opening session tomorrow, according to Ahram Gate.
House speaker Ali Abdel Aal and his merry band of parliamentarians are back from making America safe for democracy, meaning the House of Representatives reconvenes from recess tomorrow. That means gridlock on Kasr Al Aini tomorrow morning and lots of newsflow this week on business-relevant topics.
Alwaleed reportedly arrested in sweeping Saudi corruption dragnet: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is one of at least 11 Saudi princes, four current cabinet ministers and as many as two dozen former cabinet ministers said to have been arrested overnight in Saudi Arabia as part of a new campaign against corruption. The arrests were first announced on Al-Arabiya, the Saudi TV network frequently used to send messages for the crown (watch Mohamed bin Salman discuss the shuffle, runtime: 0:59). “The move appeared to consolidate the power of King Salman’s son, who was appointed the head of a new anti-corruption committee hours before the arrests,” speculates David Kirkpatrick in coverage for the New York Times. Alwaleed is a bn’aire investor with significant stakes in major KSA and global companies including Citi, Apple, Twitter, Time Warner and many others. Also sacked: Adel Fakieh, the economy minister who had been playing a high-profile role in Mohamed bin Salman’s reform drive. The story is front-page news in many global outlets. Check out the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times as well as coverage from Reuters and Bloomberg.
Also big for Saudi today: Houthi rebels apparently launched a missile attack on King Khalid International Airport near Riyadh, Bloomberg reports. Themissile was destroyed by air defense systems without any damage north of the city.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday while attending the Sharm forum, the Jerusalem Post reports, citing a Palestinian diplomatic source. The two presidents will discuss progress on the Palestinian reconciliation agreement ahead of another planned meeting between Egyptian and Palestinian officials later this month to iron out “remaining obstacles to reconciliation, including Hamas’s control of weapons.”
Clocks will “fall back” one hour across most of the United States and Canada later this morning (CLT), giving our readers in North America an extra hour’s sleep. New York and Toronto will be seven hours behind us.
Is your kid college-bound? We heartily recommend reading this piece on “six myths about choosing a college major” from the New York Times. Apparently: STEM doesn’t always deliver, the choice of majors may not matter as much as the choice of college, liberal arts majors aren’t unemployable, and more.
We’re loving this suggestion from a Japanese ad agency that non-smokers deserve more days off than do smokers. Yes, nothing is as righteous as a reformed smoker, but still, it boils down to this: “About one-third of the people at the company, Piala, were smokers and stepped away from their desks during the day for cigarette breaks. Despite the time the smokers were away from work, everyone left the office for the night at the same time.” (Read)
Finally, Happy Birthday to JWJFIII and Abdalla S. It pleases us that two of our favorite people on this planet share a birthday.