Blog archive: Oman

  • 23rd February 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When it comes to reporting the conflict in Yemen, Fox News is exceptionally bad. Fox has been fooling its viewers for years but now, with Donald Trump installed in the White House, the problem is becoming a more serious. Trump is a devotee of Fox News: it tells him what he wants to hear – about...
  • 17th January 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    One much-repeated argument in favour of Brexit is that it will "liberate" Britain from the "burden" of complying with EU regulations. For several weeks now, the British government has been trumpeting the prospect of compensating for lost trade with Europe by boosting trade with the Gulf...
  • 7th January 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There was exciting news from Oman last month when Sultan Qaboos – the Gulf state's despotic ruler for the last 46 years – was honoured with the 2016 Arab Human Rights Award. Previous winners have included the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president...
  • 8th December 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A British flag flying shamelessly alongside those of repressive Gulf regimes at the GCC summit in Bahrain yesterday signalled the opening of what prime minister Theresa May hails as "a new chapter" in foreign relations. Mrs May has decided that when Britain extricates itself from Europe the...
  • 6th December 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Britain's prime minister, Theresa May, is in Bahrain today for the annual summit of the rich autocrats' club, the Gulf Cooperation Council. As the official announcement from Downing Street excitedly points out, she is the first British prime minister – and the first woman – ever to attend...
  • 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 ... "...
  • 3rd October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The repressive Sultanate of Oman is to be honoured next month by an official visit from Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne. But one Omani newspaper will definitely not be reporting on the prince's trip: last week a court ordered the permanent closure of Azamn newspaper and...
  • 29th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    According to Islamic tradition the Prophet Muhammed once said: "Pay the labourer his wages before his sweat dries". But in the devout Gulf states that is one religious instruction employers are often content to ignore. Stories abound of workers being unpaid for months – and sometimes never...
  • 21st September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, will pay an official visit to Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates in November. An official announcement yesterday said their tour will "help to strengthen the United Kingdom’s warm bilateral...
  • 16th May 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Today Queen Elizabeth will deliver her annual speech to the British parliament setting out the government's programme for the next 12 months. High on the list of proposals is a renewed effort to combat "extremism", and one idea is to establish a register of "extremists" – similar to the...
  • 24th February 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Rampant military splendour: the despotic Sultan Qaboos    With the killing of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011, Sultan Qaboos of Oman inherited the mantle of the Middle East's longest-surviving despot. Qaboos – described by the US State Department as "a longtime friend of the...
  • 22nd December 2012
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Sultan Qaboos, the Anglophile tyrant of Oman, has come to the aid of Britain's struggling arms industry with a $4 billion order for 20 military aircraft. British prime minister David Cameron (seen enthusing about the deal during a visit to Oman in the video above) says it will support thousands of...

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