This country has been having a nationwide nervous breakdown since 9/11. A nation of people suddenly broke, the market economy goes to shit, and they’re threatened on every side by an unknown, sinister enemy. But I don't think fear is a very effective way of dealing with things—of responding to reality. Fear is just another word for ignorance.”

- Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist

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Saudi Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has died aged 62, the Saudi monarchy announced on Thursday. Reports in Arabic media claim the prince was killed in a plane crash.

The Saudi royal court announced the prince’s passing in a short statement, saying that funeral prayers for the deceased royal would be performed at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh.

Russian President Vladimir Putin landed in Riyadh on Wednesday, as part of his Middle East tour. He is scheduled to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other officials of the Kingdom, which is about to become a member of BRICS next month.

Half a dozen high-ranking Saudi officials greeted the Russian leader as he stepped off the plane, and escorted him to a motorcade waiting to take him to the royal palace.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister has slammed the door shut to agreeing to phase down fossil fuels at the UN's COP28 climate talks, setting the stage for difficult negotiations in Dubai.

A tentative "phasedown/out" was included in a first draft of an agreement on climate action that delegates are haggling over during talks that are scheduled to finish on December 12.

But Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, a half-brother of de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, told Bloomberg that Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, would not agree.