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This happened: Saudi Arabia prepared to bury a KIng, Washington removed more staff from its embassy in Yemen and an anxious mother awaited news of her son's hostage plight

A Houthi fighter mans a machine gun atop a miREUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Good morning!

This morning’s news is dominated by increasing instability in the Middle East after the death of King Abdullah of Saudia Arabia yesterday and the collapse of the Yemen government. The situation looked to be intensifying amid rising oil prices and increasing security concerns, particularly in Yemen. Meanwhile, in Japan, a tearful mother of one of the Japanese hostages held by ISIS, appealed for their release as the ransom deadline passed.

Islamic State ransom deadline passed for Japanese captives

The ransom deadline for the release of the two Japanese ISIS hostages,Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa,passed overnight.The Japanese government is still working to secure their release. Goto's mother, Junko Ishido, anxiously awaits news of their fate.


READ MORE:Islamic State ransom deadline passed for Japanese captives

Death of King Abdullah led to increasing oil prices ahead of today’s burial

Oil prices surged overnight as Abdullah’s brother Salman became king of the world's top oil exporter. Saudi Arabia will bury King Abdullah in an unmarked grave in keeping with Muslim tradition today.

READ MORE:Death of King Abdullah led to increasing oil prices

U.S. pulled more staff from Yemen embassy amid deepening security crisis

Amid worsening security in the Middle East the U.S. withdrew more personnel from its embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. Just four months ago President Barack Obama had hailed Yemen as a model counter terrorism partner in the region. Sadly, that's no longer the case.

READ MORE:U.S. pulls more staff from Yemen embassy

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