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Saudi Arabia

The Civil War in Yemen: Britain Supports Our Bastards

The poorest country in the Middle East, Yemen (part of which was the former British colony of Aden) has endured years of instability and poor governance. After the 2011 revolution toppled President Ali Abdullah Saleh who had been in power for more than 30 years, a new president, Hadi, was sworn in with international backing – but he was never able to fully establish authority. Yemen descended into civil war in September 2014 when the Houthis, a Shi’ite sect, seized power. A coalition assembled by Saudi Arabia launched an air campaign in March 2015, to restore the exiled government of Hadi. The Saudi-led bombardments have resulted in massive loss of life, and damage to infrastructure and millions have been driven from their homes. 10,000 people have been killed, many more thousands injured. In addition, many more are indirect victims of the conflict, including those who suffer from chronic diseases, including high blood pressure and diabetes, and are unable to get treatment.

Running Commentary: Betting on Ill-health

Betting on ill-health

While some workers fatalistically accept their position in society as preordained (“if it was meant to be, there’s nothing you can do about it”), others consider their status to be largely determined by luck or, more accurately, the lack of it. That capitalism is a game of chance is true only to the extent that those born into the ruling class (odds of about 20-1 against) have a distinct advantage over the rest of us.

Halo Halo!

Hello Hallo

Religious Police and Women Drivers

Government advice to anyone visiting Saudi Arabia includes the following:

‘Saudi Arabia is an exclusively Islamic (Muslim) kingdom and Islam governs nearly every aspect of life. The public practice of any form of religion other than Islam is prohibited in Saudi Arabia. Severe punishment including imprisonment and deportation can result should such activities come to the attention of the authorities.’ ‘… certain sexual behaviour like adultery or homosexual acts carry the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. So does apostasy (renunciation of the Muslim faith). The death penalty is carried out in public, usually by beheading’ (www.gov.uk/living-in-saudi-arabia).

Voice From the Back

Owners And Non-Owners

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