Brexit: Majority of country now think Britain should remain in the EU, new poll finds

Brexit may not be the Middle East, but whatever happens next week in Britain will affect the rest of the world. This is what the latest poll says, as polled by the Independent newspaper. Brexit: Majority of country now think Britain should remain in the EU, new poll finds A majority of the country now think Britain should remain inside the European...
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NZ Super Fund named top sovereign wealth fund prize

This media release came in today about New Zealand's sovereign wealth fund. It's performing well, its success recognised across Asia. The NZ Super Fund has been awarded the Sovereign Wealth Fund prize at the 2018 AsianInvestor Institutional Excellence Awards in Singapore. The editorial team at AsianInvestor noted the NZ Super Fund's "longstanding o...
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Trump's embrace of MBS puts both countries at risk

How the bizarre relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia will play out is open to interpretation. It may be that the bigger bet is with Saudi Arabia on the US rather than the other way around. In this article written by James Foley, a former US ambassador, on Al Jazeera some possibilities are laid out. Trump's embrace of MBS puts both countries...
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NZ education system one of most unequal in world

I was looking at the Unicef website for images of Yemen and I came across this article which I thought was not only interesting but informative. It looks at why New Zealand has one of the most unequal education systems in the world. New Zealand has one of the most unequal education systems in the world and the gap between the highest and lowest per...
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Saudi crown prince on goodwill tour as royal family frets

This article looks at the ramifications for the Saudi Crown Prince (MBS) of the recent killing of Jamal Khashoggi and how he is trying to salvage his credibility, as well as for the country as a whole. Bruce Riedel November 26, 2018 Article Summary Saudi Arabia's king and crown prince are touring the country and region to drum up support for the he...
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Looking upwards and outwards

A review of my time in Yemen. And here's a photo of Sana'a, Yemen's capital, as it was then Imagine sitting on an uninhabited white sandy beach, with a turquoise sea and a turquoise sky. It sounds idyllic. Indeed, it should have been. But we were only on the beach as a bolt hole, for fear we would be shot at, like our colleagues the day before, som...
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Bitcoin falls below $5,000 for first time since 2017

I'm posting an article on the value of Bitcoin falling. It is written by Matein Kahlid, who writes weekly (normally) for Khaleej Times in Dubai. I used to work at Khaleej Times, on the business desk, so know Matein well. He writes fluently and clearly on business topics. So if you are invested in Bitcoin, here is one take on the subject. The virtua...
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Saudi Arabia tortured female right-to-drive activists, says Amnesty

Globally, there's been a lot of excitement about females being able to drive in Saudi Arabia. It's not nearly as straightforward as that, with women in Saudi Arabia saying that some can and some can't. There are age limits in place. Some of the women activists have also be imprisoned in the Kingdom, as Amnesty International points out, as reported ...
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Saudi Arabia faces mounting calls to end war in Yemen

The war in Yemen is a forgotten war. I was in Yemen for New Year about 20 years ago, and it was revelation. At that stage, the Civil War had ended so we were able to travel reasonably easy, much easier than today for example. Sana'a. Yemen's capital, was a delight to behold- a photographer's dream- but I'm sure it has been largely destroyed now. He...
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Turkey and Israel: how the world sees them

The Middle East certainly dominates the news nowadays, so this article I read about Turkey and "fake news" and Israel and Palestine were intriguing to read, especially because I learned something. The first article appeared on the BBC and talks about how Turkey manipulates the news. Turkey is the world's largest jailer of journalists, ranking 157 o...
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Why Israel likes Iranian sanctions

Enter your text here  The issue with Iranian sanctions is a crazy one. Will the imposition of sanctions bring Iran to the negotiating table, as the US hopes, or will they have the opposite effect? With so much uncertainty about the reinstatement of sanctions on Iran I read this article in Al Monitor with considerable interest. Israel pins hope...
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NZ Super Fund wins YWCA Equal Pay Award

I read this media release from the New Zealand Super Fund with interest. I'm sure other companies could take a lead from the Fund in terms of their human resources policy. Features of the NZ Super Fund's new benefits package include a top-up to full pay for 26 weeks during primary carer parental leave, a KiwiSaver lump sum top up for unpaid parenta...
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US gives Iraqis an out on Iran santions

I don't understand sanctions on Iraq. Probably a lot of people don't. While three nuclear sites in Iran are exempt from sanctions this article also shows how the Iraqis are exempt on electricity sanctions from Iran. How does that work? This is how Al Monitor explains it. US gives Iraqis an out on Iran sanctions Bryant Harris November 5, 2018 Articl...
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UAE residents warned of phishing scam on VAT refunds

VAT was introduced in the UAE on 1 January 2018. I'm sure ex-pats find many items more expensive. Most were expensive before. Now, visitors to the UAE can claim back VAT but they are being warned about s phishing scam. This article was in Khaleej Times. The new phishing scam has come to light following e-mails being sent out to customers of a local...
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How VAT IN Bahrain impacts neighbouring GCC countries

Yemen is the forgotten story of the Middle East. The war between the Houthis, and the Saudis and the Emiratis and of course the US and the UK (although not directly) is ongoing. There is little sign of let up, despite the US imposing a 30-day deadline for the warring factions to resolve their differences. I spent time in Yemen, travelling around, a...
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Yemen: the bigger lier

I'm intrigued about the war in Yemen (though that's probably the wrong word). I toured Yemen in 2000, long before the war between the Houthi "rebels" and the Sunni ruler. It is a wonderful country, where there is a considerable good will for the ruler and the people. The fact that there is war is unbelievable, largely led by the Saudias and the Emi...
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Hariri turns witness for MBS defense

One of the forgotten issues in the Middle East is that Lebanon has been without a government since May. On 9 October, Saad Hariri, the Lebanese Prime Minister, said that if a government was not formed without 10 days he would resign. That hasn't happened and he still waiting. (Lebanese also has a complex power sharing structure so that all factions...
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Turkey jails more journalists than any other country

Turkey jails more journalists than China, Russia and Egypt combined. Yet Erdogan speaks about the need to uphold the truth. This doesn't add up. What does Erdogan want? For many Turks, Erdogan is authoritarian and a dictator who is trying to change Turkish society from a secular state to increasingly Islamic. What will happen? This is what The Wash...
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UN speech angers Israeli human rights activists

  The right-wing Israeli government has come into criticism at the UN. This is not surprising. My short time in Bethlehem exposed the difficulty of life for Palestinians, which is controlled on a day-to-day basis by the Israelis. Here's what Al Monitor said. UN speech angers Israeli human rights activists Shlomi Eldar October 23, 2018 Article ...
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Poorer people consume less news, research says

​ Research shows that what happens in the UK, can happen elsewhere ​ f you're poor in the UK you get less, worse news — especially online, new research suggests Poorer people are less likely to go straight to a news site, and the researchers found no online news brand that was read by significantly more poorer people than wealthier people. By Laura...
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