Saudi Arabia: The fire next time

The Times Online
In March 2002, fifteen girls died when Saudi religious police blocked rescue efforts and left victims to perish in a blazing school. But this time the sheikhs are being held to account and pressure for reform is growing.
Four months on, the fire has grown in significance. No one knows if it will be the turning point that Saudi Arabia’s embattled liberals have been awaiting for decades, but this much is clear: it was the moment that reformist Crown Prince Abdullah went public with his bid to modernise the powerful but sclerotic petro-kingdom that he has run since King Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995.