Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Briefs: Saudi Arabia Outlines Reform Plan for Oil-Addicted Economy

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Briefs: Saudi Arabia Outlines Reform Plan for Oil-Addicted Economy

Article excerpt

Saudis plan a future not tethered to oil

Saudi Arabia unveiled a bold reform plan on Monday aimed at weaning the country off its "addiction" to oil in a bid to prepare the next generation of Saudi leaders for the pressures of youth unemployment and lower revenues.

The project, which includes plans to float a stake in the world's largest oil company, Aramco, and set up one of the world's biggest government investment funds, is meant to provide a blueprint for reforms to steer the OPEC kingdom away from its reliance on cheap-to-produce oil.

King Salman said that the Cabinet approved the plan, known as Vision 2030, and called on Saudis to work to ensure its success.

The plan stresses the importance of women in the economy, but contained little to suggest the kingdom would accelerate reforms.

Venezuela struggles with power cuts * As if daily life in Venezuela wasn't hard enough, people across the country will have to add electricity to their list of things they have to do without.

President Nicolas Maduro's government began rationing power Monday in 18 states for up to four hours a day in a bid to save energy until water levels stabilize at the nation's largest dam.

Even in Caracas, which is being spared the cuts, outages have become more frequent. Over the weekend, residents in a poor neighborhood of El Calvario, on the city's outskirts, blocked roads to protest what they said had been 29 hours without service.

Egyptian police crack down on protests * Thousands of Egyptian riot police on Monday stifled plans for demonstrations against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's rule, using tear gas and beating up young activists to disperse protests by hundreds in what evolved into a day of cat-and-mouse games across parts of Cairo.

With overwhelming numbers, police took over Cairo locations designated by organizers as gathering points, checking IDs and turning potential protesters away under the threat of arrest. …

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