5-speed listening (Level 3)

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah dies



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Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz passed away early Friday morning. The king was the world's oldest leader. He was 90 years old. He was in hospital a few weeks ago with a lung infection. His 79-year-old half-brother Salman has become the new king of the kingdom. World leaders have been quick to pay their respects to the late King Abdullah. US President Barack Obama passed on his sympathies. He said the king was a good friend of the USA. Obama also said the king did a lot for peace and stability in the Middle East. The British Prime Minister David Cameron said Abdullah would be remembered for his, "commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths".

King Abdullah was born on 1 August 1924. He was the thirteenth son of former King Abdulaziz. He grew up in the royal palaces and worked in various positions that would one day prepare him to be king. In 1961 he became mayor of Mecca. This was his first job in public office. In 1963, Abdullah was made commander of the Saudi Arabia National Guard (SANG). He changed the SANG into a modern army. He became King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in 2005. News agencies are reporting that Abdullah was a careful reformer at home. He allowed women to join the kingdom's parliament. The BBC said that he "hinted that more women should be allowed to work".

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