Jackie Northam

Loujain al-Hathloul, the jailed activist who led the charge to allow women to drive in Saudi Arabia, is due to stand trial in a special court that deals with national security crimes and terrorism cases.

Hathloul appeared before a Saudi judge on Wednesday to hear that her case was being transferred to the kingdom's Specialized Criminal Court. It was the first time the 31-year-old activist had been in court in more than a year.

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U.S.-China relations are at their lowest in decades, and Canada's relations with China are also at a new low, in part because of a request by the U.S. NPR's Jackie Northam reports.

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Saad Aljabri knows a lot of secrets. The former senior intelligence official in Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry was a valued partner of the U.S. government, a man who had access to troves of sensitive information about terrorism suspects, informants and the vast Saudi royal family.

But Aljabri ran afoul of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and went into exile in 2017. The royal has been hunting for him ever since, he says.

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President Trump's battle with the coronavirus could take him out of action for several weeks, raising concerns that U.S. adversaries such as Iran or China may become emboldened by the perception of an American leadership vacuum.

On Nov. 4, the day after the election, the United States will officially exit the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The date is a coincidence. Still, the timing underscores a crucial victory for the Trump administration in its efforts to derail federal action on global warming, which the president dismisses as a hoax.

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In March 2015, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called a meeting of the kingdom's top military generals at the Saudi Defense Ministry. The rotund, 29-year-old prince had just been named the new defense minister by his father, King Salman, despite having no prior military training.

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In April 2018, Tianna Spears joined the State Department, looking forward to the promise of a fulfilling career. Then 26, she had spent three years learning Spanish in the Dominican Republic and Spain to help land a position in the Foreign Service.

"I was super-excited to start," she says. "I had dreams of being a diplomat and living in several places in Latin America."

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