|Giant Coal Lump, Jim Thorpe, PA.|
Saudi Arabia, despite great wealth, is one of the most socially backward countries in the world. Women can't drive, or open a bank account without permission of a male relative. They only got the right to vote, in municipal elections, in 2015, a year that saw Saudi Arabia conduct 151 beheadings.
Despite being mired in the 12th century, Saudi Arabia still manages to be forward looking when it comes to important business matters.
Such as oil. Oil is what brought Saudi Arabia from being a sandy nowhere of nomadic tribes to a wealthy global power. So it might be surprising, to those paying attention, to see a dramatic shift this week. I will spare you which ministers are ousted and which are in, and give you the first three paragraphs a May 10 story on Gulf News Saudi Arabia headlined, "Shake Up Moves Saudi Arabia Down New Path":
RIYADH: In a series of sweeping royal decrees on Saturday, King Salman of Saudi Arabia replaced a number of top ministers and restructured government bodies in the first moves of an ambitious plan to chart a new direction for the kingdom. The decrees were among the first concrete steps in the plan, which was announced late last month to great domestic fanfare by the king’s son and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is about 30, oversees economic policy and runs the Defence Ministry....
To continue reading, click here.