RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- As one nation after another has battled uprisings across the Arab world, the one major country spared is also its richest -- Saudi Arabia, where a fresh infusion of money has so far bought order.
The kingdom is spending $130 billion to pump up salaries, build housing and finance religious organizations, among other outlays, effectively neutralizing most opposition. King Abdullah began wielding his checkbook right after leaders in Tunisia and Egypt fell, seeking to placate the public and reward a loyal religious establishment. The king's reserves, swollen by more than $214 billion in oil revenue last year, have insulated the royal family from widespread demands for change even while some discontent simmers.
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