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From the BBC: A fascinating report on Arab women cartoonists

Female Arab cartoonists challenge authority
By Severine Dieudonne & Naomi Scherbel-Ball BBC News
In some Arab countries women still have to…

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Current Affairs

Demonstrations were staged in the Bahrain capital

BAHRAIN: Manama jailbreak frees “terrorists”

Gunmen in Bahrain have attacked a prison, killing a policeman and freeing inmates convicted of terror offences, officials say. A security lockdown…

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SYRIA: the muscle flexing continues . . .

There is one big difference between the Iranian and Russian interventions in the Syrian war to save the hide of their mutual ally, Syrian President…

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ISTANBUL: Nightclub bomber dressed as Santa

The armed man who killed at least 39 people in an attack on Turkish nightclub- goers was dressed as Father Christmas, witnesses have said.


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SYRIA: smoke & mirrors in Palmyra

According to reports ISIS (Daesh) terror gangs have retaken control of the ancient city of Palmyra citadel. This comes hours after reports suggested…

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Regional round-up

Ordinary, working Omanis will not be affected by the tax increases, the government has promised

OMAN: New austerity measures include tax hike on the rich

By Sayyid K. Jaffar

With flaccid world markets, all the oil-rich producers of the Gulf are feeling the financial pinch and making their individual…

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YEMEN’S Houthis claim control of Saudi villages

Yemen’s Houthi militia claim to have seized several villages in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Jizan province, the Houthi-run SABA news agency…

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epa04407823 Displaced Iraqis forced to flee their homes ahead of gains made by Islamic State (IS) militants in and around Mosul, shelter at the Bahrka Refugee camp, Erbil, northern Iraq, 19 September 2014. Following massive and swift gains made by IS fighters in Iraq tens of thousands of refugees fled to the mainly Kurdish northern Iraq prompting an international humanitarian response and US and now French airstrikes to assist both Iraqi and Kurdish forces who are attempting to retake areas under IS control.  EPA/MOHAMED MESSARA

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Tightening the screw

Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan – It can be hard to breathe in the Domiz refugee camp, 20km southeast of the city, with a mix of burning rubbish and raw…

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EGYPT ENERGY: In need of reform and foreign investment

In this special report, Nehad Ismail, Senior Analyst at Wikistrat, examines the future of Egypt’s energy sector and finds much cause for optimism…

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The UAE's tax free status has made it a popular destination with professionals from around the world but could things be on the cusp of change?

UAE: banks warn of new tax law implications

UAE  banks are starting to warn their customers about new international tax compliance measures that will take effect in January as governments ramp…

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Agence Francaise de Dèveloppement (AFD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are…

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News and Views


SAUDI ARABIA: multi billion $ scheme will boost renewables

Saudi Arabia has plans to launch a new renewable energy programme, expected to involve investment of between $30bn and $50bn by 2023, within the next…

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LEBANON: An unlikely alliance that could avert conflict

The election of Michel Aoun (below right), as president of Lebanon and his ap­pointment of long-time rival Saad Hariri (below left), as prime…

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The continuing influx of Syrian refugees has stretched the infrastructure of Amman to breaking point

Jordan stretched to breaking point

A group of international donors have agreed to participate in a financial package to help support Jordan as the continuing influx of refugees from…

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A replica of the FIFA Soccer World Cup Trophy is pictured at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich January 23, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Hodel (SWITZERLAND - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP) - RTX17RNS

QATAR will restrict alcohol during WORLD CUP 2020

The official in charge of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup plans has said football fans will not be able to buy or consume alcohol on the streets or public…

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Britain’s Arab Spring – how will it impact on the ME region?

Described in some quarters as the British Arab Spring, the vote for for the UK to leave the European Union, Brexit as it is commonly known, has been…

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IRAQ: Return to the Marshes?

The morning of 20 January 1992 began much like any other for the Mohammed family in the marshlands of southern Iraq. Rising at first light, they…

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Book review – Syrian dust

Syrian dust
Reporting from the heart of the war
By Francesca Borri
Published bySeven Stories
ISBN 9781609806613
Price £12.99…

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Book review – The dove’s necklace

The dove’s necklace
By Raja Alem
Published by Overlook Duckworth
Translated by Katharine Halls and Adam Talib
ISBN 9780715645864          …

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