• Arrest Of 2nd Richest Man In Saudi Kingdom Could 'Destabilize Whole Country'

    The purge in Saudi Arabia continues as the Kingdom's 2nd richest man is arrested and the consequences could bring down an entire country.

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    Saudi authorities have arrested Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi a duel national with Saudi and Ethiopian citizen and is reportedly the second richest Saudi, after Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.

    While bin Talal’s arrest has gained most media attention. Al-Amoudi’s arrest is especially important because it could potentially destabilize the economy of an entire country, according to Middle East Eye.

    Al-Amoudi, who is also known as “the Sheikh”, has invested in almost every sector of Ethiopia’s economy, including hotels, agriculture and astrology.

    According to a leaked diplomatic cable from 2008 “the Sheikh’s influence on the Ethiopian economy cannot be underestimated.”

    In the nearly ten years a since then it has become even harder to estimate the exact value of Al-Amoudi’s total investment in Ethiopia, which is among the fastest developing countries in Africa. One analyst estimated the value of the Sheikh’s investment at $3.4 billion, which represents 4.7 per cent of Ethiopia’s current GDP.

    Another said his companies employ about 100,000 people, which represent 14 per cent of the Ethiopian private sector, according to the latest Labour Force Survey, 2013. However, World Bank analysts warn that these figures might have markedly increased over the past four years as the sector has developed since then. Read More

  • State Of Emergency Declared In Italy After Deadly Gas Explosion

    A deadly explosion and fire that ripped through Austria’s main gas pipeline hub has caused Italy to declare a state of emergency due to a lack of supplies.

    Explosion in Austria causes state of emergency

    One person was killed and 18 injured in the blast on Tuesday in Baumgarten, eastern Austria.

    A police spokesman said: “There was an explosion around 8:45am (0745 GMT) and a fire. A wide area has been sealed off and there are expected to be several injured.”

    In Britain, Europe’s biggest gas market, gas for immediate delivery rose 35% to 92p per therm, its highest level for four years.

    Gas Connect Austria, which operates the Baumgarten site, said the blaze had been brought under control. Police said the cause was technical in origin.

    Footage on social and other media showed a column of flames rising from the site.

    The hub is important for European gas transit, with natural gas transported to Baumgarten through Slovakia and Germany along several pipelines. Gas flows are then delivered throughout Europe via Austria’s transmission network.

    Gas Connect Austria said deliveries to Austria’s southern and south-eastern borders would be affected until further notice.

    Italy’s industry minister said the country must grapple with a “serious” energy supply problem.

    Slovakia’s main gas transit route to Austria was suspended after the fire, said the Slovak pipeline operator, Eustream.

    Russia’s Gazprom Export said it was trying to redirect gas flows and secure uninterrupted supplies.

    Gas prices elsewhere in Europe soared on concerns about supply.

    The Italian wholesale day-ahead price surged 97% to a record high of €47 per megawatt-hour.