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Saudi crown prince on goodwill tour as royal family frets

Saudi Arabia's king and crown prince are touring the country and region to drum up support for the heir apparent, whose thuggish behavior has alarmed many in the royal family and abroad.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud receives a gift from Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Manama, Bahrain, November 26, 2018.  Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY? - RC12300BE420

The premeditated murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month was an act of terrorism. The Saudis are desperately trying to salvage the reputation and credibility of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who undoubtedly ordered the assassination. The Donald Trump administration is colluding with Riyadh. But revelations about the prince continue to emerge, further sullying his brand. At home there is unease in the royal family about what his tarnished reputation means for the kingdom.

The prince has done a tour of the kingdom with his father to shore up support at home. It concluded in Tabuk near the Gulf of Aqaba with billions of dollars in new projects and investment promised for the remote province. It is rumored in Riyadh that King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud may retire to Tabuk if his health deteriorates further. He has recently built a new palace in the region.

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