Blog archive: Saudi Arabia

  • 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...
  • 26th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Writing for the Independent last week, Middle East reporter Robert Fisk highlighted an event which he claimed "may prove to be even more dramatic than the terror of Syria's civil war". The cause of his excitement was a conference held in the Chechen capital, Grozny, towards the end of August...
  • 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...
  • 13th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The battle over Britain's arms sales to Saudi Arabia is getting dirtier and dirtier, amid talk of disbanding a troublesome parliamentary committee which sought to have sales suspended. In a draft report earlier this month, the all-party Committee on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) warned...
  • 9th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Strenuous efforts are under way to water-down a report by British MPs which – in its draft form – calls for a suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The draft version, prepared by the all-party Committee on Arms Export Controls, was leaked to the BBC and quoted extensively on...
  • 7th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The British government's determination to continue selling weapons to Saudi Arabia – despite credible reports that the Saudis are committing war crimes in Yemen – is facing its most serious challenge yet. A parliamentary committee – the Committee on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) – is due to...
  • 4th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The wealthy autocrats of the Gulf have traditionally relied on money to minimise dissent and keep themselves in power. In the initial alarm over the Arab Spring uprisings, the king of Saudi Arabia dipped into his pockets and produced a £133 billion social spending package to include bonuses...
  • 3rd September 2016
    By
    James M Dorsey
    Global soccer and global sports governance have for the past nine years and certainly since a fateful meeting in late 2010 of the executive committee of FIFA, the world soccer body, witnessed crisis after crisis. Invariably the scandals involved corruption: financial corruption, political...
  • 2nd September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Britain's three worst newspapers – the Daily Express, the Sun and the Daily Mail – along with the dreadful Jihadwatch website and the Russian Sputnik propaganda site have suddenly become excited about the plight of atheists in Saudi Arabia. During the last few days they have all reported that...
  • 24th August 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The British government faces growing calls to review its lucrative arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Yesterday the international charity Oxfam accused Britain of being “one of the most significant violators” of the Arms Trade Treaty.  The UK’s arms sales are, at least in theory,...
  • 21st August 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In a TV interview today, Yemen's ex-president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, appeared to invite Russian military intervention in the country's conflict. He talked of reactivating old Yemeni agreements with the Soviet Union and offfered "all the facilities" of Yemen's bases, ports and airports to Russia...
  • 8th August 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia's second-largest construction firm is likely to declare itself bankrupt, the Saudi Gazette reported today. For several months now, Saudi Oger, the debt-ridden company headed by Lebanese politician Saad Hariri, has failed to pay tens of thousands of its workers – many of them expatriate...

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