Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who assumed the throne on Friday, is shown at the G20 conference in Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 15, 2014, when he was the crown prince. His succession went smoothly, but the new monarch faces a region in turmoil. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

For The Saudis, A Smooth Succession At A Difficult Moment

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Jailed Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi Faces Second Round Of Public Flogging

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is welcomed by Saudi Crown Prince Salman in Riyadh on Sunday. The meeting was part of Maduro's diplomatic tour of OPEC members to discuss falling oil prices, which have hit Venezuela's economy hard. Reuters /Landov hide caption

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Reuters /Landov

King Abdullah (right) and Crown Prince Salman (left) are shown in this 2012 poster. The king, who is at least 90, was hospitalized last week and Salman on Tuesday stepped in for the monarch and delivered an annual televised speech to the nation. FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images

With The Saudi King Ailing, Succession Speculation Begins

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A Saudi woman poses in this picture to illustrate driving a car in Jiddah as part of a June 2011 protest. An advisory council recently recommended for the first time lifting a ban on female drivers. Susan Baaghil/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Susan Baaghil/Reuters/Landov

Saudi Arabian women wear their traditional face covering, the niqab, at a coffee and chocolate exhibition in the capital Riyadh on Monday. A prominent religious figure said on Twitter that the face veil is not mandatory, sparking a heated national debate. Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images