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8th August 2022
By: Brian Whitaker
Shortly before Christmas in 2012 a mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in the United States left 20 children and six teachers dead. Eight months later an incendiary bomb hit a school in Syria's Aleppo province, killing at least 10 students on the spot. Six other victims died later and… Read more
1st August 2022
Thirteen people charged in connection with the world's worst crane disaster have gone on trial in Saudi Arabia for a third time, after previously being acquitted twice. The latest retrial in the seven-year-old case follows a decision by the kingdom's Supreme Court to quash the earlier verdicts.… Read more
23rd July 2022
By: Brian Whitaker
A few years ago Egypt's Supreme Council for Media Regulation decreed that gay people must not appear in print or audio or visual media "except in recognition and acknowledgment of their misconduct". In other words, if they are to be seen or heard at all, gay people should always be presented in a… Read more
22nd July 2022
Following Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, British prime minister Margaret Thatcher advocated using banned chemical weapons against Iraqi forces, declassified documents show. Despite the 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibiting their use, Thatcher repeatedly pressed the US to be ready to… Read more
11th July 2022
There’s a verse in the Qur’an that cautions Muslims against spreading false news and urges them to check the facts first with people of “sound judgment”. It was good advice in the time of the Prophet Muhammad and it’s good advice now in the age of social media. But is there more to the verse than… Read more
29th June 2022
By: Brian Whitaker
As British troops pulled out of Aden in 1967 the band of the Royal Marines struck up a tune to send them on their way – not Rule Britannia or Land of Hope and Glory but a Cockney song, Fings Ain't Wot They Used To Be. It was an ironic choice but, in the circumstances, probably the right one. "Fings… Read more
7th April 2022
After months of apparent deadlock, the last few days have brought tentative signs of a shift in Yemen's seven-year conflict.  On Friday Hans Grundberg, the UN's special envoy, announced that the protagonists had agreed to a two-month ceasefire. The truce, which came into force on Saturday, was the… Read more
21st February 2022
Human rights organisations have welcomed a decision by Kuwait's constitutional court last week which overturned a law criminalising "imitation of the opposite sex". Amnesty International hailed the ruling as "a major breakthrough for transgender rights in the region" and Human Rights Watch… Read more
31st January 2022
A new book containing a chapter by a prominent defender of Syria's Assad regime has been withdrawn from sale, the publisher confirmed today. The Research Handbook on Political Propaganda comprises 29 chapters by a variety of academic authors. When it first went on sale last December the publishers… Read more
29th January 2022
Record numbers of Covid-19 infections have been reported in the Middle East and North Africa this week – for the third week running. However, this week's increase is smaller than in the previous two weeks, suggesting the sudden spike caused by the Omicron variant may not last very long. Official… Read more