Our sweet allies in the Middle East.
Liam Stack and Robert Mackey writing at NYTimes:
Bahrain Jails Activist for Covering Protests on Twitter
Last Updated, Thursday, 1:19 p.m. Bahrain jailed a leading rights activist for posts on Twitter documenting a protest on Monday in the capital, Manama, the kingdom’s official news agency reported. The activist, Said Yousif al-Muhafda, was being held for “disseminating false information regarding the clashes between the security forces and protestors in the Manama souq last Monday, December 17th, on his Twitter account,” The Bahrain News Agency said.
Mr. Muhafda, the head of documentation for the Bahrain Center for Human Rights is the second member of the group to be jailed for using the social network in the past six months. As The Lede reported in July, the rights center’s president, Nabeel Rajab, was sentenced to three months in prison for joking on Twitter that supporters of Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Sulman al-Khalifa, who was appointed to his post in 1971, had cheered for him only after being bribed....
SANAA (Reuters) - Gunmen abducted three Westerners in the centre of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday, a security official told Reuters.
"People saw a car stop in Tahrir Square, militants snatching three Westerners and speeding away," the official said, adding that police were searching for the kidnappers.
No further details were immediately available about the nationality of the kidnapped or the affiliation of the abductors, but al Qaeda militants and tribesmen have been involved in kidnapping foreigners in the past.....
Daniel Greenfield writing at FrontPageMag on how the Muslim Bros are now beholden to Qatar (second Saudi Arabia-like influence) for the support they got from them.
You didn’t think that this was just about religion, did you? Sure Qatar and the Brotherhood are Islamists, but Islamism is an ideology and behind all ideology is old-fashioned greed and lust for power. Qatar was a major player in the Arab Spring and the overthrow of Mubarak and the rise of the Brotherhood.
Speaking of greed, Egypt is going from a gas exporter to a gas importer and it will be buying Qatari gas at the highest possible price.
Whatever money Qatar invested in the Arab Spring is about to be repaid at a very healthy profit.....
Qatar injecting millions of dollars buying influence here, there and everywhere. A monster is born, folks. Make no mistake of what Qatar is after. A couple of years ago people didn't even know how to spell "Qatar". This monster is a quick learner and has a ready-made set of rules copied from Saudi Arabia.
Qatar will pour up to 200 million euros ($265 million) a year into Paris Saint-Germain under an advertising contract designed to help the French club meet UEFA's financial fair-play rules, according to French media.
The deal, already submitted to French football's controlling body (DNCG), has been struck with the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and will run until 2016, daily Le Parisien said on Thursday......
From Ventures Africa comes this little nugget which shows how powerful Qatar is becoming. I think there's a kind of competition going on between the House of Saud and the Qataris to see which caliph will get the bigger slice of planet Earth.
Nigeria and Qatar have finalised plans to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the investment of $390 million in former’s transport sector in 2013.
BusinessDay quoted Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, who disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, as saying: “Nigeria and Qatar have concluded arrangement on the investment plan. Qatar is expected to invest $390 million in logistics and transport sector of our own economy.”
Aganga noted that the Nigerian government would implement economic measures beginning from the next fiscal year, to reduce the cost of cement in the country and escalate production......
Al-Akhbar English news reports about the whoring antics of UK's Cameron in the UAE. I have maintained elsewhere that the UK and France are in stiff competition with each other for securing business from the ME countries. The more conflict in that region, the better the business for both.
British troops may be deployed to the United Arab Emirates, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said as he concluded a two-day visit to a military base in Helmand, Afghanistan Friday, according to Bloomberg news.
The announcement appears to have been triggered by the UAE expressing interest in ordering up to 60 Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets from the UK.
“What you're seeing specifically with the UAE is not just a plan to sell Typhoon aircraft, but a big significant defense cooperation which could, yes, lead to British troops stationed in their country,” Cameron told reporters in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan before boarding a flight to Oman, which has just purchased 12 Typhoons.
“This is an exciting possibility for both countries to have a proper strategic defense relationship.”
The PM visited the UAE and Saudi Arabia last month, reportedly to push through the Typhoon sales.
The November visit came days after the UAE's Federal National Council expressed shock over a European Parliament resolution calling on the Persian Gulf state to rectify human rights abuses, following the arrest and reported torture of 64 people tied to the Islamist Islah group....
Joshua Stacher writing at ForeignAffairs
It seems like déjà vu all over again in Egypt. Recent clashes between supporters of President Mohamed Morsi and those who oppose his government's draft constitution are reminiscent of the violence in the last days of former President Hosni Mubarak's reign. Both then and now, the military and police have been generally absent from the scene, standing aloof from the chaos around them. To be sure, the generals have issued statements suggesting that they might step in to restore order, but they have never made clear whether they would intervene on behalf of the protesters or Morsi. Further, on December 11, they indicated their interest in brokering a deal between the Muslim Brotherhood and the protesters, only to rescind the offer shortly thereafter.
Yet another Sunni player in the ME, doing its part to destroy the Shiites.
Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister
and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said here Wednesday Kuwait's allocation of a training site for NATO is part of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, which was launched by the alliance in 2004.
Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders, the Kuwaiti minister said Kuwait's NATO training site allocation shows its continuing interest in international missions. . . .
"We are interested in regional security and stability, and we want to be partners with everyone having interest to achieve that," he [Al-Sabah] said.
On his talks with his Belgian counterpart, he said they had discussed ways and means of bolstering and cementing bilateral cooperative ties in various fields, mainly education and health, as well as the latest regional and international developments, according to Kuwait news agency (KUNA).
Members from the house of Saud are filthy rich while 25% of the Saudi population live in abject poverty.
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has bought a USD 485 million "flying palace" and will soon take delivery of the world's first customised A380 superjumbo. Prince Alwaleed, estimated to be worth around USD 21.3 billion, is expected to get delivery of the world's biggest private jet next year.
The prince has reportedly shelled out a whopping USD 485 million for the luxury plane, RIA Novosti news agency reported. Prince Alwaleed's A380 jumbo is believed to include four-poster beds, a Turkish bath, storage space for a Rolls-Royce, a boardroom, a concert hall, five suites with king-size beds, a prayer room featuring computer generated prayer mats which face Makkah and a lift between floors on all three levels.....