UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is seen on a TV screen while delivering a speech during the United Nations Conference on Afghanistan at the UN Offices in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2018, file, photo, a severely malnourished boy rests on a hospital bed at the Aslam Health Center, Hajjah, Yemen. A UN report says feeding a hungry planet is growing increasingly difficult as climate change and depletion of land and other resources undermines food systems. A U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization report released Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, said population growth requires supplies of more nutritious food at affordable prices. But raising farm output is hard given the fragility of the environment given that use of resources has outstripped Earth's carrying capacity in terms of land, water, and climate change.
Saudi Arabian diplomats have devoted enormous time and effort in recent days to emphasizing how much aid their kingdom has given to the war-ravaged civilians of Yemen. In at least three events last week at the United Nations, the Saudis stressed that they are, by far, the top donors of food, medicine and money to their neighbor. Yemen has been upended for more than two years by conflict between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led military coalition. But critics contend that the kingdom's public relations campaign comes as the United Nations secretary general is weighing a decision that could embarrass Saudi Arabia: whether to put it on a list of countries that kill and maim children in war. The secretary general, António Guterres, has been reviewing an annual report, called "Children and Armed Conflict," which he is expected to release soon.
An anti-corruption probe that has purged Saudi Arabian royals, ministers and businessmen appeared to be widening after the founder of one of the kingdom's biggest travel companies was reportedly detained. The Saudi stock index was down 1.1 percent in early trade on Monday, and Al Tayyar Travel 1810.SE plunged 10 percent in the opening minutes, after the company quoted media reports as saying board member Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar had been held by authorities. The company gave no details but online economic news service, SABQ, which is said to have close ties to the government, reported Tayyar had been detained in an investigation by a new anti-corruption body headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Dozens of people have been detained in the crackdown, which has consolidated Prince Mohammed's power while alarming much of the traditional business establishment. Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Saudi Arabia's best-known international investor, is also being held, officials said during the weekend.
Houthi rebels say they are willing to offer Saudi princes political asylum in Yemen, days after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman carried out the biggest anti-corruption purge in the kingdom's modern history. A source close to the Houthi leadership told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that any Saudi prince or national seeking refuge would be "welcomed" by Yemen, their "brotherly neighbour". "We are ready to offer sanctuary to any member of the Al Saud family or any Saudi national that wants to flee oppression and persecution," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. The offer was "100 percent genuine" and the Houthis were not interested in gaining any "political mileage" from the situation, the source added. On Sunday, 11 princes, four ministers, and several former ministers were detained in what is seen as an unprecedented crackdown that has shaken the kingdom.