Geopolitical Journal: January 23
- Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Azziz al-Saud passed away on Thursday at the age of 90. He had been hospitalized with a case of pneumonia for weeks. His half-brother Salman has assumed the throne to the Kingdom. Onlookers have long worried about the many individuals who have plausible claims to the throne, worrying it could spark a succession risks with various individuals vying for power. The new king has pledged thus far to continue the policies of his predecessor. His reign comes during turbulent times for Saudi Arabia as low oil prices, the Syrian civil war, ISIS’ rise and a potential nuclear agreement between the West and Iran pose significant pressure for the country.