The world’s largest and most efficient oil producer has continued to gain in the stock market.
According to CNN, “the stock gained 10% for a second consecutive day, reaching 38.70 riyals ($10.32) per share before giving up some of its gains.”
Twitter Inc said on Friday it has removed 5929 accounts for being part of a state-backed information operation from Saudi Arabia.
According to a statement published by the company, the nearly 6000 accounts represented the “core portion of a larger network of more than 88,000 accounts engaged in spammy behaviour across a wide range of topics.”
Twitter also stated that the accounts targetted discussions relating to Saudi Arabia and aimed to advance Saudi geopolitical interests.
While a bulk of the discussion occurred in Arabic, Twitter did find that a portion related to a Western audience, especially when it came to topics such as Iran sanctions.
Twitter also named the firm behind the manipulation as Smaat, a social media marketing and management company based in Saudi Arabia.
Smaat notably manages the public presence of high profile individuals as well as Saudi government departments.
In response to the coordinating targeting, Smaat has had all access to the Twitter platform revoked.
The attacks on Saudi oil facilities in September cannot so far be confirmed to have originated from Iran, according to a UN report.
The Saudi Kingdom believes Iran was the nation behind drone and cruise missile attacks which earlier sent a portion of the global oil supply temporarily offline, but a leaked UN report says investigators cannot find enough proof of origin.
“At this time, [the UN] is unable to independently corroborate that the cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles used in these attacks are of Iranian origin,” Secretary General António Guterres wrote in the report, seen by Reuters and AFP news agencies.
The Houthi movement currently fighting against the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has taken responsibility for the attacks, while Iran has denied involvement.
Currently, some believe the Houthis could not execute such a large-scale attack without outside help, but others have argued the opposite pointing to the relatively low cost of drone strikes, with most costing no more than $15,000 per hit, according to an expert speaking to the New York Times.
While drone strikes are relatively cheap, the report interestingly did find that the Houthis “have not shown to be in possession, nor been assessed to be in possession” of the drones used in the attacks.
This key caveat could leave open the possibility of outside help or involvement.
The latest quarterly financial results released by General Dynamics reveals that Saudi Arabia still owes Canada $3.4 billion in late payments for Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs). According to their quarterly earnings statements, the late payment debt has been growing by roughly $200 million every quarter since the beginning of the year.
According to CBC, the Trudeau government endorsed the controversial deal, originally made by the Harper government in 2014, to sell the Saudi government with hundreds of LAVs used to transfer troops.
The $14-billion contract was brokered and is managed by the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), a corporation that aids Canadian companies broker deals and contracts with foreign governments.
“There’s no dispute on the fact that it is owed,” CEO Phebe Novakovic said. “It’s simply a question of timing. And we’re still hopeful that we resolve that by the end of the year.”
According to CCC’s website, “every contract signed has the legal effect of being signed in the name of the Government of Canada, providing foreign government buyers with the assurance that the contract will be delivered per the agreed terms and conditions, guaranteed.”
While the late payments are a serious issue, David Perry, vice president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says that, while the sheer size of the unpaid sum is daunting, it isn’t the Canadian taxpayer or government that’s on the hook, but the CCC.
“Ultimately, right now, it’s not the government of Canada in the short term that is on the hook. It’s not the taxpayers. It’s actually the company that’s facing the impact of this payment shortfall more so than taxpayers,” Perry said.
To deal with the financial shortfall, earlier this year, the Liberal government announced that it will provide a repayable loan of up to $650 million to General Dynamics to keep it afloat in the international defence market.
American troops will once again be returning to the Middle East.
According to the Pentagon, thousands of U.S. troops including fighter squadrons, and air defence systems will be deployed to Saudi Arabia in order to ward off further aggression from Iran.
Saudi Arabia, the United States, as well as most of the western world currently believe Iran was behind the attack on Saudi oil facilities.
Iran has stated in response that it was the Yemeni Houthi rebels who coordinated the drone and missile strike.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.