COVID-19 Was Catalyst in Fight to Free Detained Americans

“Sen. Shaheen was involved from Day 1. New Hampshire should be proud of a senator like this – who will not put up with one of her constituents being unlawfully detained,” Atallah said.

…Shaheen, along with several other senators, also was deeply involved in the push for the release of North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson, who was detained in Turkey for two years on trumped up charges and released in late 2018.

…With Fakhoury en route home, Shaheen late last week thanked Atallah as well as National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, NSC staffer Virginia Boney, Roger Carstens, the presidential envoy for hostage affairs who replaced O’Brien in that position, as well as Shea and several other top State Department officials, including Pompeo and Schenker.

“This is exactly how our government should work,” she told reporters. “… Congress and the administration came together on a bipartisan basis to work together to help Americans in need.”

COVID-19 Was Catalyst in Fight to Free Detained Americans | RealClearPolitics

Analysis: There is a perfect storm brewing in Saudi Arabia | Middle East | Al Jazeera

Although MBS appears to possess the hallmarks of an authoritarian ruler, given his apparent predilection for quashing dissent, his programme of economic and social reforms have been generally well received among Western rulers. With this support, at times tacit, MBS was able to survive the Khashoggi affair, laying the blame on rogue elements in the Saudi security sector.

So why this crackdown on senior royals and top officials now?

Analysis: There is a perfect storm brewing in Saudi Arabia | Middle East | Al Jazeera

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