These are the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:
US slips in global standing
The Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace has released its Global Peace Index for 2017. The index gauges global peace using 3 domains namely safety and security in society, domestic or international conflict and the degree of militarization. What is noteworthy, is the United States’ rank in the list. Out of 163 countries, the US stood on the 114th place, in between Rwanda and El Salvador. America's rank dropped eleven spots compared to 2016. The analysis attributes the drop in the US rank to a deterioration in intensity of organized internal conflict and level of perceived criminality in society. This comes as indicators including violence against women and children are not among the factors used to measure the Global Peace Index.
Israel-Saudi Arabia diplomatic ties
New indications have appeared in the British media that show Saudi Arabia and Israel are preparing to normalize their diplomatic relations. The Times in a report said the Saudis and the Israelis are already preparing to establish formal economic ties. This clearly flies in the face of a long history of apparent animosity between the two. But their cooperation may not be a surprise after all. This is specifically true when considering numerous reports lately that officials from both sides have been holding secret meetings in Europe. An immediate sense that one gets from this is that the dynamics of regional politics is set to change sometime soon. The Saudis had over the past decades tried to present themselves as the champions of defending the rights of the Palestinians. But their shift toward the Israelis could mean disaster with unpredictable outcomes for the Palestinians.