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Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Houthis fire another rocket at Riyadh

Another ballistic missile fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen targeting the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh was shot down on Tuesday, Reuters reports. No casualties were reported from the attack, the second in as many months. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the “bears all the hallmarks of previous attacks using Iranian-provided weapons.” She pushed the UN Security Council to act.

In other Saudi news, Saudi Arabia’s fiscal deficit is expected to grow in 2018, as the country’s Finance Ministry announced plans to increase spending to a record SAR 978 bn riyals (USD 261 bn), up from SAR 890 bn the original 2017 budget plan and SAR 926 bn of actual spending this year.

Other international news worth noting in brief include:

  • The US House of Representatives almost passed the Republican tax reform plan, but were derailed on a technicality from the US Senate, Reuters reports. Expect another vote this week.
  • The White House on Tuesday blamed North Korea’s government for the massive WannaCry cyberattack in May that crippled hundreds of thousands of computers around the world, according to WSJ.
  • South African Union leader Cyril Ramaphosa won the ruling ANC party’s nomination for leadership, dealing a blow to beleaguered President Jacob Zuma, the FT reports.

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