Saudi Arabia

Two former employees of Twitter were charged with spying for Saudi Arabia by snooping into thousands of private accounts seeking personal information about critics of the Riyadh government, according to court documents filed Wednesday in San Francisco.

The world's most profitable company will make its first public stock offering next month, in what could be the biggest IPO ever.

Saudi Aramco, the oil giant owned by the Saudi government, said on Sunday it will sell an unspecified number of shares, thought to be between 1% and 3% of the company. It did not specify a price range.

Three weeks after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed a year ago at Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, an international investment conference got underway in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

The Future Investment Initiative — dubbed "Davos in the Desert" — was set up to showcase business opportunities in the kingdom. A year earlier, it had been a glittering event and brought in some of the biggest names in international banking and investment. But not last year.

On Sept. 14, a major Saudi oil processing plant was rocked by a series of explosions. The facility, and another oil field to the south, had been attacked from the air. Here's what we know — at this time — about the attacks based on physical evidence.

The strike was large and sophisticated

Saudi Arabia's military displayed pieces of missiles and drones Wednesday, saying the wreckage is proof that the recent attack that crippled Saudi oil production was "unquestionably" sponsored by Iran.

At a news conference in Riyadh, the capital, a Saudi military spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said Saturday's strike came from the north — not from Yemen, where Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack. Both Iran and Iraq are to the north of Saudi Arabia.

Iran almost certainly had some role in a major attack on an oil production facility in Saudi Arabia, according to independent analysts reviewing the available evidence.

The question is how big.

The attack came on Sept. 14. Multiple drones or missiles struck Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq facility, causing massive damage and crippling the nation's oil production. The production of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per day had to be suspended, according to the company.

Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET

The price of oil saw a massive price spike Monday following what are believed to be drone strikes on Saudi oil facilities over the weekend that has shut off more than half of the kingdom's daily exports, or about 5% of the world's crude production.

Benchmark Brent crude briefly surged almost 20% in early trading before settling closer to 10%, up $6 to $66.28 per barrel. It rose again in the early afternoon, topping $70 for an increase of some 15%. The U.S. benchmark West Texas crude rose more than 10%.

Updated at 11:30 p.m. ET

Iran says it is not behind Saturday's attacks on oil plants in Saudi Arabia, denying accusations from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Tehran was responsible for "an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply."

Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, said in a tweet on Sunday that Pompeo was turning from "max pressure" to "max deceit."

Updated at 4:51 p.m. ET

Yemen's Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for drone strikes on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities early Saturday, according to a statement by a Houthi spokesman.

From the moment he was named heir to the throne, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has focused on weaning the kingdom off what he calls "its dangerous addiction to oil." The royal says he wants to diversify the economy and create jobs. The irony is he's having to rely on oil in order to break the oil habit.

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