from the making-progress dept.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the World Bank's Women Entrepreneurs Fund, an idea that the president's elder daughter proposed, will work to help women in the Middle East who want to start their own businesses.
The [$100 million] donation from Saudi Arabia and the UAE was set to be announced at a Sunday event with President Trump's daughter, according to the report.
The first daughter spoke with Saudi women who are civil leaders, businesswomen and elected government officials during the president's first foreign trip.
The announcement by World Bank President Jim Young Kim came during a visit to Saudi Arabia by President Trump, who was accompanied by his wife, Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
"We thought it was a fantastic idea," Kim said. "But we had no idea how quickly this would build. This is really a stunning achievement. I've never seen anything come together so quickly, and I really have to say that Ivanka's leadership has been tremendous." The money will help kick off a $1 billion women's empowerment fund that the World Bank will announce in July, he said.
Saudi Arabia will lift its ban on women drivers in June 2018, in a move the interior minister said would "transform traffic safety":
Saudi Arabia's lifting of a much criticized ban on women drivers will reduce the number of car crashes in a country with one of the world's worst traffic-related death rates, its interior minister said on Thursday.
King Salman announced the historic change on Tuesday, ending a conservative tradition which limited women's mobility and was seen by rights activists as an emblem of their suppression in the kingdom where Islam originated.
Saudi Arabia was the only remaining country in the world to bar women from driving, a policy that will officially end in June 2018 after a ministerial committee reports on measures needed for implementation.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef, the interior minister who took over from his uncle in June, said security forces were ready to apply traffic laws to men and women, though he did not mention if women would be recruited as traffic police.
"Women driving cars will transform traffic safety into a pedagogical practice which will reduce human and economic losses caused by accidents," he was quoted as saying on the ministry's official Twitter feed. He did not elaborate.
The current King of Saudi Arabia was crowned on January 23, 2015.
Something is definitely going on in Saudi Arabia:
Saudi authorities arrested at least 11 princes, several current ministers and dozens of former ministers in a sweeping move reportedly designed to consolidate power for the son of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. According to media reports citing Saudi-owned television network Al Arabiya, an anti-corruption committee ordered the arrests hours after King Salman directed the creation of the committee, headed by his favorite son and adviser, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The committee was established by the royal decree, The Associated Press reports, "due to the propensity of some people for abuse, putting their personal interest above public interest, and stealing public funds." Billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is among those detained, The Wall Street Journal reports. Alwaleed holds stakes in some of the world's major companies, including Apple and Twitter.
Remember Prince Alwaleed? Bitcoin could outlive him.
Separately, the heads of the Saudi National Guard and Saudi Royal Navy have also been replaced.
BBC notes that the reform faction is in control here:
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says Prince Mohammed is moving to consolidate his growing power while spearheading a reform programme. [...] Prince Mohammed recently said the return of "moderate Islam" was key to his plans to modernise Saudi Arabia. Addressing an economic conference in Riyadh, he vowed to "eradicate the remnants of extremism very soon". Last year, Prince Mohammed unveiled a wide-ranging plan to bring social and economic change to the oil-dependent kingdom.
Some Soylentils have been skeptical of Saudi Arabia's recent moves towards liberalization (some listed below). Has this apparent purge of internal political opposition changed your mind about the viability of these reforms?