This week around the world: Nov. 4–10

Nov. 4 Saudi Arabia
Lebanon’s PM resigns, Riyadh-bound missile intercepted

Citing threats to his life and condemning Iranian meddling in Lebanese affairs, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri abruptly announced his resignation in a speech from Riyadh. Hariri has yet to return to Lebanon, prompting questions from the Lebanese government, while Saudi officials maintain Hariri is under protection from potential assassination attempts.

A ballistic missile fired from Yemen was intercepted by Saudi Arabia en route to its capital later in the day further ratcheted tensions, with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister describing the incident as an act of war by Iran.

Nov. 4 Saudi Arabia
Saudi elites swept up in anti-corruption campaign

Billionaires, princes, senior ministers and over two dozen other Saudi elites were detained at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh after a royal decree called for their arrest and ignited an ongoing anti-corruption campaign. Several top officials were sacked, including the head of the National Guard. The purge, which has seen over 200 people detained, is widely regarded as a power play by the current heir to the Saudi throne Mohammed bin Salman.

Nov. 6 Worldwide
Trove of leaked financial docs expose global tax havens

Offshore law firms and other entities leaked 13.4 million documents, prompting an investigation by nearly 100 media organizations implicating the Queen of England, a top Trump administration official, Apple, Reed College, and countless other celebrities, corporations and wealthy elites around the world in shady tax-evasion practices. The documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, are the fifth major leak of financial documents in the last four years, second in size only to last year’s Panama Papers.

Nov. 7 Worldwide
Syria joins Paris Agreement, leaving U.S. alone in opposition

Syria announced it would join the Paris climate agreement during talks at a United Nations climate conference in Bonn, Germany, leaving the U.S. as the only country opposed to the global pact. Syria, which has been decimated by an ongoing civil war and is currently under European and U.S. sanctions, has had difficulty sending representatives abroad to negotiate and sign the deal.