SENATE STEPS UP TO SAUDIS Saudi Arabia has warned that it would be forced to offload U.S. investments if Congress passed a bill to give Sept. 11 victims the chance to sue the kingdom over its alleged support for terrorism. But neither that nor the threat of a White House veto deterred senators from passing the bill Tuesday. The matter now heads to the House, where leaders have not signaled that they are eager to take it up. Should it get through, the White House would likely veto the measure over concerns that it would be detrimental to standards of foreign sovereign immunity the U.S. should maintain.
NO MORE MONEY TO LAY DOWN AFGHAN ARMS Two hundred dollars a month — that’s how much it took to make certain Islamist fighters lay down their arms, enter a safe house and renounce the radical life. But the program that used foreign aid to take 11,000 militants out of commission is running out of cash — and Afghan officials are worried that the consequences could be a return to a life of extremism.
The program had been going for six years before an unofficial suspension a few months ago to reassess goals. It isn’t clear how effectively the program has worked in the long term, whether people who come to the program are really turning over all of their weapons, or if payments of a few hundred bucks a pop are really enough to overcome the radicalizing influence coming from outside the country.