Blog archive: All

  • 14th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Internet censorship in the Middle East and North African is increasing, according to the latest report from the OpenNet Initiative: Testing has revealed political filtering to be the common denominator across the region; however, social filtering is on the rise. Many Arab countries...
  • 14th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A survey by Human Rights Watch in Lebanon has found that 17 out of 27 beach clubs enforce some kind of restriction on migrants, the BBC reports. The ban is aimed at keeping out the domestic workers from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, etc, who are employed by many Lebanese families. The BBC...
  • 14th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    For a second consecutive day, Yemeni warplanes continued their bombardment of Saada province on Thursday. Various reports speak of “dozens” of casualties.  The Houthi rebels issued a video said to have been recorded in Haidan on Wednesday. One scene shows smoke rising...
  • 14th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    An update on events in Yemen. The governor of Saada province says Houthi rebels have kidnapped 15 Red Crescent workers – doctors, nurses and administrators – at a camp for displaced people in al-Anad district. Speaking on state-run television, he said they were blindfolded, beaten and...
  • 13th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Vienna-based International Press Institute has issued a statement criticising the Iraqi government’s draft media law. I haven’t seen the full text (anyone who has a copy please sent it to me) but from what has been reported it contains the usual statements about protecting...
  • 13th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Yemeni authorities have declared a state of emergency throughout Saada province and imposed an evening curfew on Saada city and surrounding towns, the German Press Agency (dpa) reports. Casualties in the government’s new “iron fist” offensive are unclear but dpa and ...
  • 12th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A few weeks ago I was chatting with my friend Nesrine Malik about the dearth of science fiction in Arabic literature. There are certainly elements of fantasy in Arabic literature, going right back to the 
  • 12th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    “Broad offensive”, “iron fist”, “all-out onslaught” … the news agencies are reporting a large-scale government attack on the Houthi rebels (Reuters and dpa) in northern Yemen.  The army launched “aerial, artillery and missile strikes on the strategic heights of Matra and Dhahian,...
  • 11th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Egypt’s real estate tax collectors are due to start an open-ended national strike today. Strikes are commonplace in Egypt but this one is especially significant. The tax collectors won a major victory in 2007 after a series of protests that  … culminated with a 12-day sit-in...
  • 11th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Despite mediation efforts, the Houthi rebellion in northern Yemen shows no sign of abating. President Salih, speaking at a meeting of Yemen’s Supreme Security Committee, warned the rebels “that the continuation of their assaults and attempts to disturb public security and tranquillity...
  • 10th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    No two ways about it: 
  • 10th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Mohammad Abdul Fatah, a 73-year-old Egyptian Muslim, has been awarded custody of his seven-year-old grandson because the boy’s parents changed their religion. Following the parents’ conversion to the Baha’i faith, the grandfather sought advice from Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Gulf News says. "...

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