Blog archive: Saudi Arabia

  • 29th January 2018
    By
    Kristian Ulrichsen
    Fighting broke out in Aden yesterday between southern separatists and forces loyal to Yemen's internationally recognised president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. This was not the first time they have clashed but yesterday's outbreak was the most serious so far. At least 10 people are reported to...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 29th November 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Reports from Saudi Arabia say Prince Miteb – one of the royals held as involuntary guests at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh – has agreed to hand over $1 billion to the authorities after admitting to corruption charges. An unknown number of princes, ex-ministers and...
  • 26th November 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    An anonymously-written book produced by a seemingly fictitious organisation and promoted by a group of French-language websites appears to be the latest weapon in the Saudi-Emirati propaganda war with Qatar. "Qatar: Le Livre Noir" (Qatar: The Black Book) is said to have been compiled by...
  • 31st October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A week after Saudi Arabia unveiled plans to build a $500 billion futuristic megacity free from the kingdom's usual religious restrictions, there's confusion over what, exactly, will be allowed. A video presentation last week envisaged men and women working side by side in the new city, women...
  • 30th October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is on a mission to shake up Saudi Arabia, the most change-resistant of Arab countries. Though still only 32 and not actually king, he appears to have been given unlimited power and is determined to make use of it. Last week alone, he...
  • 24th October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A Saudi court has decided that no one was to blame for the disaster that struck Mecca two years ago when a crane toppled on to the Grand Mosque, killing at least 108 people and injuring more than 200 others. The crane, which had not been properly secured during a storm, was operated...
  • 22nd October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The shadowy figures behind the London Centre for Public Affairs – an apparently bogus PR firm with Qatari connections – have now set up a second organisation. This time it's a mysterious NGO which purports to be monitoring the activities of the United Nations. The new body, known as Independent...
  • 2nd October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In an uncharacteristically magnanimous decision, a Saudi court has cleared 13 people of blame for the disaster that struck Mecca two years ago when a crane toppled on to the Grand Mosque, killing more than 100 people. The crane had been operated by the Saudi Binladin company (founded by...

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