Blog archive: All

  • 13th May 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yemen's Houthi rebels began pulling back their forces from three key ports at the weekend in what the UN hopes will start a gradual de-escalation of the conflict and improve the flow of humanitarian aid. However, the ousted Yemeni government – which is backed by a Saudi-led military coalition...
  • 11th May 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    For the twelfth consecutive Friday, protesters took to the streets in Algeria yesterday, continuing their battle to dismantle Le Pouvoir – the corrupt network of political, military and business elites that has ruled the country for decades. Tens of thousands demonstrated in Oran, Tizi Ouzou...
  • 10th May 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    "Labour Friends of Palestine" is a Twitter account that purports to be connected with the British Labour party. Its choice of name seems intended to cause confusion with Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East, a genuine organisation which is recognised and supported by more than 100...
  • 9th May 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    More than five years after Assad regime said it was renouncing chemical weapons, international inspectors are still unable to verify that it has really done so. Syria joined the Chemical Weapons Convention under international pressure in 2013 following a nerve agent attack in Ghouta that killed...
  • 8th May 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A mysterious organisation that calls itself "Labour Friends of Palestine" has started posting tweets in support of Nigel Farage and his Brexit party. It posted two of them on Monday – one from the Brexit party saying "Another fantastic rally in Chester!" ... ... and one from Farage himself...
  • 7th May 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    If you've seen the Monty Python film where the Judean People's Front were enemies of the People's Front of Judea, this story will sound a bit familiar. Here in Britain we have "Labour Friends of Palestine" and "Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East". The latter group – LFPME for...
  • 1st May 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The annual Arab Youth Survey is potentially a valuable source of information about the attitudes of Arabs in the 18-24 age range.  Unfortunately, though, its usefulness is marred by a flaw in the methodology which means views from the smaller Arab countries – mainly in the Gulf –...
  • 28th April 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A dispute is raging in Iraq over the future of children born to Yazidi women who were abducted and raped by Islamic State fighters. The Yazidis are a non-Muslim minority centred mainly around Sinjar in northern Iraq who follow their own distinctive religion. To maintain what they see as the...
  • 27th April 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Yazidis are followers of one of the Middle East's minority religions, centred mainly around Sinjar in northern Iraq. They tend to be secretive about their beliefs and keep themselves to themselves: they don't accept converts and they don't marry non-Yazidis. Over the centuries they have often...
  • 2nd April 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Algerians who have been demonstrating on the streets for more than a month appear to have achieved their primary goal of toppling President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. On Monday the official news agency reported that the 82-year-old president will resign "before 28 April" – the date when his...
  • 27th March 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    At least five members of Britain's special forces have reportedly been injured in gun battles in Yemen. If true, the story has serious implications because the British government has long insisted that it is not a party to the conflict. According to the Mail on Sunday, commandos from Britain...
  • 17th March 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A recent report by the chemical weapons watchdog, OPCW, has caused a flurry of activity among defenders of the Assad regime who claim chemical attacks in Syria have been faked or staged by rebels. The obvious conclusion to be drawn from the OPCW report was that two cylinders of chlorine gas...

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