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German churches succeed in blocking Mideast arms deals

Heckler & Koch G36 rifle

Special to LONDON — The church has helped block German arms exports to the Middle East. Leading churches have joined with the opposition to lobby against major German weapons deals with Middle East allies. Clergymen said the lobbying reduced […]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Algeria,BB Middle East,Exclusives,Germany,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories | Read More »

Saudi religious police gets expanded mission: Monitoring social media

File photo of Saudi religious police at training session. / Reuters

Special to ABU DHABI — Saudi Arabia has expanded the role of its controversial religious police force. Officials said the religious police, formally known as Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, was given additional […]

Posted in BB Middle East,Exclusives,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories | Read More »

Darfour attacks continue as Sudan’s Bashir defeats arrest order Security Council failed to enforce

Sudan's President Omar Bashir. / Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah / Reuters

Special to WASHINGTON — The International Criminal Court, lacking cooperation by the United Nations, has shelved plans to prosecute Sudanese President Omar Bashir. ICC said the Security Council failed to pressure African and Middle East states to arrest Bashir, […]

Posted in BB Africa,Egypt,Exclusives,Mideast,Qatar,Saudi Arabia | Read More »

Whether 90 or 98, report concludes Saudi King Abdullah is still calling the shots

Saudi King Abdullah at an emergency session of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, on Nov. 16. / SPA / AP Photo

Special to WASHINGTON — Saudi King Abdullah, past 90 and ailing, still makes major decisions in the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom, a report said. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy said Abdullah remains the leading force in Saudi […]

Posted in BB Middle East,Exclusives,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories | Read More »

As oil prices drop, so do Standard and Poor ratings for Gulf states

Special to WASHINGTON — Two Gulf Cooperation Council states have dropped in ratings by a leading U.S. agency. Standard and Poor’s lowered the outlook of Saudi Arabia from positive to stable amid the decline in crude oil prices and […]

Posted in Bahrain,BB Top Story,Exclusives,Kuwait,Mideast,Oman,Qatar,Saudi Arabia | Read More »

Rival Libyan governments fight to control border with Tunisia

Gen. Khalifa Haftar (4th from left) with Libyan army commanders in Benghazi on Dec. 3. / Stringer / Reuters

Special to CAIRO — Libya’s rival governments, backed by different states in the region have been fighting for control over the border with Tunisia. A government led by Prime Minister Abdullah Al Thini has ordered military strikes near the […]

Posted in BB Middle East,Exclusives,Libya,Mideast,Qatar,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories,Tunisia,Turkey,UAE | Read More »

Holiday cheer here, but gloom in Russia, as fuel prices dip and Obamacare Grinch lurks

Vladimir Putin

Special to By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The precipitous fall in petroleum prices has brought an unexpected holiday season bonus to oil and gasoline consumers throughout North America. And it’s not a moment too soon that the […]

Posted in Bahrain,BB Columnists,Columnists,Exclusives,John Metzler,Kuwait,Mideast,Oman,Qatar,Russia,Saudi Arabia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Economy,U.S. Politics,Washington | Read More »

Report: Arab states not buying U.S. idea that they would fight ISIL

The question of who will fight ISIL awaits an answer.

Special to AMMAN — Arab states were not expected to fight Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, a report said. The Al Quds Center for Political Studies asserted that Arab League members were unlikely to agree to form a […]

Posted in Bahrain,BB Top Story,Exclusives,Kuwait,Mideast,Oman,Qatar,Saudi Arabia,Terrorism | Read More »

U.S. contractors on edge in Saudi Arabia as ISIL influence spreads

Saudi security forces in Riyad.

Special to ABU DHABI — U.S. contractors are uneasy over recent attacks in Saudi Arabia and the spreading influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. Officials and industry sources said U.S. and other Western companies in Saudi […]

Posted in BB Middle East,Exclusives,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Economy,U.S. Intelligence,Washington | Read More »

Hardcore: Saudis failed to rehabilitate hundreds of Al Qaida prisoners

Muhammad al-Zahrani, 45, has been returned to Saudi Arabia from Guantanamo Bay. / Getty

Special to ABU DHABI — Saudi Arabia has acknowledged a high rate of recidivism in Al Qaida. Officials said nearly 20 percent of Al Qaida inmates return to the movement after their release from Saudi prisons. They said many […]

Posted in BB Middle East,Exclusives,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Terrorism,Top Stories | Read More »

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