Bahrain To free U.S. Citizens Accused of Illegal Gathering: Lawyer

DUBAI, Feb 16 – Bahrain’s public prosecution office said on Tuesday it had accused four U.S. nationals of participating in an illegal gathering but ordered them freed pending further investigation. The media campaign group Reporters Without Borders said on Monday that a U.S. journalist and three members of her camera crew had been detained in… Continue reading Bahrain To free U.S. Citizens Accused of Illegal Gathering: Lawyer

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Kenya Urged to Help Women Raped During Post-Election Violence

LONDON, Feb 15 – Hundreds of girls and woman raped during Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence are struggling with devastating health problems including HIV, a rights group said on Monday, as it urged the government to provide help and compensation. Human Rights Watch (HRW), which interviewed more than 170 rape victims, said most were still in… Continue reading Kenya Urged to Help Women Raped During Post-Election Violence

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Saudi’s Social Contract

2015 was a seminal year in the history of Saudi Arabia. Not only did it mark the passing of King Abdullah who had been de facto monarch since 1995 and the ascension to the throne of his brother Salman, it also ushered in a new era of a more assertive foreign policy and a more… Continue reading Saudi’s Social Contract

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The Economic Foundations for Privatizing Aramco

WEB EXCLUSIVE — Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Amir Muhammad bin Salman Al Saud recently proposed the privatization of the national oil company, Aramco. Many analysts’ initial reaction was that Saudi Arabia must be in dire straits if it is even considering—let alone actually implementing—such a policy. However, Prince Muhammad did actually indicate the rationale for… Continue reading The Economic Foundations for Privatizing Aramco

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Iran Says Ready to Put Rivalries Aside With Saudi Arabia

MUNICH, Feb 12 – Iran and Saudi Arabia must overcome strained relations and work for stability in Syria and the Middle East, Iran’s foreign minister said on Friday, a day after Syrian peace talks brought the rivals to the same table for the first time in months. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference hours after… Continue reading Iran Says Ready to Put Rivalries Aside With Saudi Arabia

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With Fewer U.S. Troops in Afghanistan, Pressure Grows for More Air Strikes

KABUL, Feb 11 – Pressure is growing on the U.S. military to do more to help Afghan forces repel the threat posed by Taliban militants, and commanders in Washington and Kabul agree that enhanced air power may be where it can make the most difference. With fewer American soldiers on the ground and their rules… Continue reading With Fewer U.S. Troops in Afghanistan, Pressure Grows for More Air Strikes

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Documents Show Australia Directed Officials How to Address Nauru Rights Concerns

SYDNEY, Feb 11  – Australia’s government has directed senior officials on how to respond to questions about political turmoil and alleged corruption in Nauru, where it has an asylum seeker detention center, documents obtained by Reuters under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request show. The diplomatic cables, ministerial talking points and classified emails between Australian… Continue reading Documents Show Australia Directed Officials How to Address Nauru Rights Concerns

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U.S. & India Consider Joint Patrols in South China Sea

NEW DELHI, Feb 10 – The United States and India have held talks about conducting joint naval patrols that a U.S. defense official said could include the disputed South China Sea, a move that would likely anger Beijing, which claims most of the waterway. Washington wants its regional allies and other Asian nations to take… Continue reading U.S. & India Consider Joint Patrols in South China Sea

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Palestine: The Road Ahead

On January 25, 2006, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip cast their votes for a new Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Hamas, which had not contested the previous PLC elections a decade earlier, was strongly tipped to do well. The U.S. had spent $2 million to try and thwart a Hamas victory, a sum… Continue reading Palestine: The Road Ahead

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Into the Valley of Death

AFTER weeks of hand-wringing and heated debate, the United Kingdom has now joined the coalition in extended military actions in Syria. So far the impact has been fairly limited. U.K. bombs have only fallen on isolated Daesh-controlled oil fields in eastern Syria. But make no mistake, London has also committed to using its military resources… Continue reading Into the Valley of Death

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Saudi King Salman Calls For Others Not to Interfere in Kingdom

RIYADH, Feb 7 – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday called on other countries not to interfere in the kingdom’s internal affairs in what appeared to be a rebuke to Riyadh’s main foe Iran, which it accuses of attempting to stir unrest. “It is our right to defend ourselves, without interfering in the affairs of… Continue reading Saudi King Salman Calls For Others Not to Interfere in Kingdom

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Forever Frenemies

In the imperilled world of India-Pakistan relations, things can change drastically very quickly, while ultimately staying the same. In the final week of 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unscheduled stop to Lahore to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in the first such visit by an Indian leader in 11 years, and… Continue reading Forever Frenemies

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Somewhere They Belong

Ali, not his real name, wakes up every day at dawn to pray and rush to the wholesale marketplace. He buy fresh produce with the little money he has, before touring the streets of Kuwait to sell them under a scorching summer sun or during an unforgiving winter, when the temperature drops to freezing levels.… Continue reading Somewhere They Belong

Dubai Airport 2015 Traffic Up 10.7 pct, World’s Busiest

DUBAI, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Dubai International Airport remained the world’s busiest for international passengers in 2015 as traffic grew 10.7 percent, boosted by the addition of new airlines and routes, the airport’s operator said on Monday. Annual traffic rose to 78 million passengers from 70.5 million in 2014. In the month of December alone,… Continue reading Dubai Airport 2015 Traffic Up 10.7 pct, World’s Busiest

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Oil Over Troubled Waters?

“When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully,” said Dr Samuel Johnson. The same is true of a major oil producer when the price falls below $28 per barrel, as happened on Friday. Saudi Arabia’s economic reform plans, revealed in an Economist interview with the Saudi… Continue reading Oil Over Troubled Waters?

Travesty of Justice

On January 6, 2016, Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami, the leader of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami became the fifth opposition politician to be sentenced to death by the Supreme Court for alleged war crimes committed during the 1971 liberation war. However, with three executions last year for war crimes—two on the same day—the death sentence failed to… Continue reading Travesty of Justice

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Nimr Al Nimr: Anatomy of a Man

SINCE RETURNING TO HIS VILLAGE in eastern Saudi Arabia in 1999, after having spent over a decade studying, teaching and preaching abroad (namely in Iran and Syria) Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al Nimr’s fiery speeches were causing considerable frustration to the Saudi government. Saudi Arabia hoped that with his execution in the first week of January… Continue reading Nimr Al Nimr: Anatomy of a Man

Masked Men Attack Saudi Intelligence Compound With Firebombs

DUBAI, Jan 11 – Masked men threw firebombs at an intelligence service compound in the city of Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia, activists said on Monday, in an apparent reprisal for the execution of a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric earlier this month. A Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman said “there was a failed terrorist attempt to… Continue reading Masked Men Attack Saudi Intelligence Compound With Firebombs

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Turkish Forces Kill 32 Kurdish Militants as Conflict Escalates

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, Jan 10 – Security forces killed 32 Kurdish militants in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast this weekend, the army and security sources said on Sunday, escalating a conflict reignited by the collapse of a two-year ceasefire last summer. It was one of the bloodiest weekends since the three-decades-old insurgency resumed last July, scuppering a… Continue reading Turkish Forces Kill 32 Kurdish Militants as Conflict Escalates

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Saudi Economic Shake-up Shows It is Planning for Cheap Oil

DUBAI, Dec 29 – Saudi Arabia’s planned cuts in spending and energy subsidies signal that the world’s largest crude exporter is bracing for a prolonged period of low oil prices. The OPEC heavyweight shows no signs of wavering in the long-term oil strategy it has orchestrated since last year. Instead, it appears willing to continue… Continue reading Saudi Economic Shake-up Shows It is Planning for Cheap Oil

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Israeli Court Cuts Ex-PM Olmert’s Jail Term, Clears Main Charge

JERUSALEM, Dec 29 – Israel’s top court slashed former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s prison sentence to 18 months from six years on Tuesday after overturning the main count in his 2014 bribery conviction. Olmert, 70, will begin serving his term on Feb. 15, according to live reports from the Jerusalem courtroom, making him the first… Continue reading Israeli Court Cuts Ex-PM Olmert’s Jail Term, Clears Main Charge

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