Organizers claimed that nearly 2 million Hong Kong protesters took to the streets Sunday in a rally to demand the city's top official resign a day after she suspended — but...China Politicsread more
Heavy rains caused unprecedented delays in planting this year and contributed to record floods across the central United States.Agricultureread more
Although Cook did not mention companies by name, his commencement speech in Silicon Valley's backyard mentioned data breaches, privacy violations, and even made reference to...Technologyread more
U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman called the gesture a "birthday present" to Trump, who turned 73 on Friday.Politicsread more
The agreement, which is on the framework for the plan of adjustment, provide for more than a 60% average haircut for all $35 billion, a 36% haircut on pre-2012 general...Bondsread more
In the survey, 66% of Democratic primary voters say they'd be enthusiastic or comfortable about Biden as their nominee to take on President Trump in the 2020 election. Just...Politicsread more
Target's registers were down on Saturday for several hours preventing customers from checking out.Retailread more
The newspaper wrote that Goldman's executive are hoping CEO David Solomon's changes to a firm that historically thrived in investment banking and trading will boost its...US Marketsread more
The Fed is not likely to make a move on interest rates when it meets next week, but it should clear the way for a rate cut later in the summer.Market Insiderread more
Representatives from the Chinese side say they think it likely that Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the G-20 meeting later this month. But in order to reach a trade...China Economyread more
With uncertainty keeping a lid on U.S. stocks, Ed Clissold of Ned Davis Research says the rest of 2019 is likely to be a "choppy," but somewhat opportunistic, ride for...Futures Nowread more
* Previously called richest man in Ethiopia, second richest Saudi
* Detained in Nov. 2017 crackdown ordered by Saudi crown prince
* At least 8 others freed in past week
* Kingdom's rights record in spotlight after Khashoggi murder (Adds details, context)
RIYADH/ADDIS ABABA, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has freed Saudi-Ethiopian businessman Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi more than 14 months after he was detained in a crackdown on corruption, the latest in a flurry of releases as the kingdom faces intense scrutiny over its human rights record.
Amoudi, whom Forbes once called the richest man in Ethiopia and the second-richest Saudi, was among scores of members of the Saudi business and political elite rounded up Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton Hotel in November 2017 on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The campaign, decried by some critics as mere power play by the powerful young heir apparent, unsettled foreign investors whom Riyadh is courting to support ambitious economic reforms.
Amoudi's release follows that of several other businessmen last week and comes after the kingdom suffered a global backlash over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the reported torture of women activists.
Ethiopian state television was the first to report he had been freed. A family office spokesman said Amoudi had returned home to the western city of Jeddah.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also confirmed Amoudi's release on Twitter, saying he had raised the issue with Prince Mohammed during a trip to Riyadh last May.
Amoudi, in his 70s, became a multi-billionaire investing first in construction, agriculture and mining in Ethiopia, where he was born, and then purchasing oil refineries in Morocco and Sweden. Forbes valued his fortune at more than $10 billion in 2016.
Some of those detained at the Ritz were released after agreeing secret settlement deals with the Saudi authorities, which say they expect to seize more than $100 billion this way.
It is unclear how much -- if any -- of Amoudi's wealth he may have handed over to the state in exchange for his release.
The Saudi authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
OTHERS STILL DETAINED
At least eight other people held as part of the corruption crackdown were released last week, sources told Reuters. They include businessman Amr Dabbagh, former Mecca mayor Osama al-Bar, and Ibrahim al-Muaqel, who headed the Human Resources Development Fund under the then labour minister, Adel Fakieh.
Fakieh is believed to still be in prison, along with former Riyadh governor Prince Turki bin Abdullah and Saudi-American physician Walid al-Fitaihi.
Bakr bin Laden, who was chairman of builder Saudi Binladin Group before the state seized more than a third of the family-run firm last year, was released temporarily last week to attend a funeral. It was unclear if he would return to detention.
After the Ritz reopened to the public last February, those still being held were transferred to other locations, including a Riyadh prison.
The public prosecutor said last year that detainees who refused to settle with the government would be put on trial, but his office has not provided a public update in nearly a year.
Prince Mohammed said last October that eight people were still being held. The recent releases suggest a higher number.
Dozens of clerics, intellectuals and activists are also still believed to be held in an apparent crackdown on dissent over the past 18 months. Among them are several women's rights activists held since last summer.
The authorities have accused some dissidents of belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and supporting Qatar, which is locked in a dispute with Riyadh.
Some detainees have reportedly been tortured, which the government denies.
Muslim clerics Mohammed al-Mohaisany and Mamdouh al-Harbi have also been released in recent days, according to activists and online videos showing them in public.
A group of British lawmakers last week joined international rights groups in calling on Riyadh to allow access to independent monitors. (Additional reporting by Marwa Rashad; Writing by George Obulutsa and Stephen Kalin; Editing by Keith Weir and Raissa Kasolowsky)