Blog archive: All

  • 16th November 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Amid chants of "Allahu akbar", huge and angry crowds gathered outside the Supreme Court in Mauritania on Tuesday demanding the execution of a man who complained about religion being used to justify social discrimination. In December 2013 engineer Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir wrote...
  • 15th November 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The war in Yemen has reached a point where all parties now want to halt the fighting, former vice-president Khaled Bahah said on Monday. But he warned that if they fail to seize the moment there may not be another opportunity for six months. The latest peace efforts are focused around a...
  • 10th November 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Four weeks ago there was a flurry of media excitement over Iranian warships that were supposedly about to confront the US Navy off the coast of Yemen. In case you are wondering how the battle went, it didn't happen and was never likely to happen. On October 13, Fox News reported...
  • 6th November 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    At the end of June the UN Human Rights Council decided it needed someone to monitor "protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity" and voted to appoint an "independent expert". In September, the role was assigned to Vitit Muntarbhorn, a...
  • 4th November 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Egypt's Sisi regime has raised the price of fuel dramatically overnight, hours after a decision to let the Egyptian pound "float" (i.e. sink). Both moves are seen as preparing the way for a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. Prices of government-subsidised diesel and gasoline...
  • 2nd November 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This is not a trick question: Why does the governing body for gymnastics in Britain resemble the regime of Saudi Arabia? Answer: Because they both think they are entitled to punish people for blasphemy. In Britain, unlike Saudi Arabia, there is no law against blasphemy – except, apparently,...
  • 30th October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Multiple airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen hit two prisons in a Houthi-run security complex yesterday, reportedly killing dozens of people, including prisoners. Other strikes which hit houses in Taiz province are reported to have wiped out two families, including women and...
  • 27th October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Britain's parliament yesterday rejected calls for "a full independent UN-led investigation" into alleged war crimes in Yemen and for suspension of British support to the Saudi-led coalition "until it has been determined whether they have been responsible for any such violations". A motion...
  • 26th October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Having declared that 2016 is the "Year of Egyptian Youth", President Sisi yesterday inaugurated a conference intended – in Sisi's words – to "have a dialogue and raise hope" among the young. But hope, along with sugar in Egypt, is currently in short supply. At the opening session of the...
  • 20th October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In a story labelled "exclusive", Reuters reports that Iran has stepped up transfers of weapons to Yemen's Houthis: "The increased pace of transfers in recent months, which officials said include missiles and small arms, could exacerbate a security headache for the United States ... "...
  • 18th October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Within hours of airstrikes that killed at least 140 Yemenis attending a funeral on October 8, the Saudi-led coalition flatly denied any involvement. A week later, the Saudis threw up their hands and admitted responsibility. So how did this sudden U-turn come about? The Saudis might be still...
  • 17th October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yesterday the United States, Britain and the UN's special envoy issued a joint call for a rapid and unconditional ceasefire in Yemen. "We are not calling for this in a vacuum," US secretary of state John Kerry said; there have been "communications" with representatives of the Houthis...

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