Wiretap: King dies as region roils

You may not have thought it possible, but things have gotten even more chaotic in the Middle East. The American-backed government in Yemen has fallen, and the strongest group in the unstable country seems to be Iranian-backed rebels. It’s also home to Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, which recently claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian King Abdullah has died at age 90. By Saudi standards, Abdullah was a reformer. He was also considered an ascetic, or, as the New York Times notes, “as ascetic as someone in the habit or renting out entire hotels can be.” Abdullah’s brother, Crown Prince Salman, says he has assumed the throne.

The new king is thought to be in poor health at age 79, and some think he is suffering from dementia. Via the Washington Post.

What the Saudi king’s death could mean for oil prices. Via Vox.

“The Royal Land Rovers,” an Abdullah story via John Flowers:

flowers tweet

Republicans get back to their war on Obamacare with a hearing on insurance and the 40-hour work week. Let’s just say it didn’t go so well. Via Slate.

How the House GOP’s abortion bill fell apart. Via the National Journal.

The real problem in American education: The wisdom deficit. Via the Atlantic.

Anti-vax deniers stick together, which just makes it harder for everyone else. Via the Washington Post.

Ian O’Connor writes in ESPN that no one seems to believe Tom Brady’s version of Deflategate.

Amy Davidson goes to the movies and finds that “Selma” is more than fair to LBJ. Via the New Yorker.

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