Blog archive: All

  • 26th January 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Saudi-owned Al Arabiya News channel has been fined £120,000 ($170,000) for "serious" breaches of Britain's broadcasting code. Yesterday's announcement came after Ofcom, which regulates broadcasting in the UK, upheld a complaint of "unjust or unfair treatment and unwarranted...
  • 25th January 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Taxation has never been a prominent feature of life in the wealthy Gulf states – unlike many other countries. But that is changing. Last year Saudi Arabia introduced a "sin tax", doubling the price of tobacco products and sugary drinks. Then, earlier this month, Saudi Arabia and the UAE went a step...
  • 22nd January 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Atheism is like terrorism and is part of an orchestrated plot to destroy Arab countries, an Egyptian government minister claimed last week. "The ideas of atheists, queers and extremists are time bombs" like the bombs of terrorists, Muhammad Mukhtar Juma'a, minister of awqaf (religious endowments...
  • 20th January 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Since feuding broke out in the Gulf last May, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain on one side of the quarrel and Qatar on the other, the protagonists have been trying to persuade the rest of the world to take their quarrel seriously. They haven't had much success in doing so, though....
  • 13th January 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Palestinian-born journalist Sameh Akram Habeeb is a very busy man. Since November he has been in charge of Fox News 24. He also runs the Amsterdam Times, Australia News Today, Berlin Tomorrow, Ireland Now, Moscow News Daily, the New York Herald, the Norway Post, Sydney Now, Vegas News Today and...
  • 7th January 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The head of an international human-rights-and-development organisation siphoned off more than $1 million of its funds to cover his gambling debts, police and bankruptcy investigators believe. Palestinian-born Loai Deeb founded the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) in 2008,...
  • 5th January 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    As Saudi Arabia relaxes its rules against cinemas and women drivers, Egypt now looks set to inherit the coveted title of Arab country with the most absurd restrictions. Having made little progress in combating an Islamist insurgency, the Sisi regime has turned its attention to the "...
  • 30th December 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A court in Egypt has separated a mother from her two children because she is an atheist. The decision to refuse custody of the children came from a family court in Cairo last Sunday, Radio France Internationale (RFI) reports. RFI gives no further details of the case but notes that it comes...
  • 27th December 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Senior legal figures from Arab and African countries are gathering in Rabat today for the annual Middle East Law Conference. The three-day event is held under the patronage of Morocco's king. Justice ministers, public prosecutors and members of supreme courts from countries in the region...
  • 24th December 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A British organisation linked to the Trump-Russia affair is working with Saudi partners and the Moroccan justice ministry to hold a law conference in Rabat this week. Besides helping to host and publicise the event, the London Centre of International Law and Practice (LCILP) will...
  • 23rd December 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Egyptian parliament's committee on religion has announced plans to make disbelief in God a crime. Under the current law against "contempt of religions" atheists can be prosecuted for expressing their disbelief in public but the committee's proposal would go further and criminalise...
  • 11th December 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When Yemen held parliamentary elections in 1997 Ahmed Ali Saleh, then aged 24, was a first-time candidate. Though new to politics, he won by a handsome margin – a victory that was no doubt helped by having his father, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and many of the ruling party's elite as voters...

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