Heir to Saudi throne dies

Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, first in line to succeed King Abdullah, has died, according to the royal family. He was in his late 70's. AP: Nayef's death unexpectedly reopens the question of succession in this crucial U.S. ally and oil powerhouse for the second time in less than a year. The 88-year-old King Abdullah has now outlived two designated successors, despite ailments of his own. Now a new crown prince must be chosen from among his brothers and half-brothers, all the sons of Saudi Arabia's founder, Abdul-Aziz. The figure believed most likely to be tapped as the new heir is Prince Salman, the current defense minister who previously served for decades in the powerful post of governor of Riyadh, the capital. The crown prince will be chosen by the Allegiance Council, an assembly of Abdul-Aziz's sons and some of his grandchildren. It also opens the possibility of moving a member of the so-called "third generation" - the grandchildren of the country's founding...(Read Full Post)