Im Osten nichts Neues

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:21 pm

Whereas "non-Zionist" (as distinct from anti-Zionist) sects would consider Israel OK in a general way like any free country in the diaspora with no particular Jewish status.
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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Witness » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:12 am

Saudi Gazette wrote:Princes, ministers detained in corruption probe

Riyadh -- At least 11 princes, four sitting ministers and ‘tens’ of former ministers have been arrested on orders of the new anti-corruption supreme committee headed by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman on Saturday evening, according to sources.

The committee announced that it is reopening the file of the 2009 Jeddah floods and investigating the coronavirus issue also known as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5210 ... tion-probe

Draining the swamp? :mrgreen:

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Anaxagoras » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:29 am

Witness wrote:
Saudi Gazette wrote:Princes, ministers detained in corruption probe

Riyadh -- At least 11 princes, four sitting ministers and ‘tens’ of former ministers have been arrested on orders of the new anti-corruption supreme committee headed by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman on Saturday evening, according to sources.

The committee announced that it is reopening the file of the 2009 Jeddah floods and investigating the coronavirus issue also known as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5210 ... tion-probe

Draining the swamp? :mrgreen:
Is this actually neues?
The new guy seems to be something of a reformer. Either that or it's just a purge. Since the price of oil has been low for a few years now and doesn't look like it's going back up anytime soon, maybe even the royal family needs to reign in the corruption a bit.
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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Witness » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:19 am

Anaxagoras wrote:Is this actually neues?
The new guy seems to be something of a reformer. Either that or it's just a purge. Since the price of oil has been low for a few years now and doesn't look like it's going back up anytime soon, maybe even the royal family needs to reign in the corruption a bit.
Yes, it's neu. The "anti-corruption" thingy acted hours after having been set up. Efficient!

Purge? Probably (and they sound quite like the Politburo). Various interpretations in the press (see e. g. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/04/worl ... talal.html), for my part I think the "young prince" Mohammed bin Salman makes a power and money grab.

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Anaxagoras » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:38 am

Witness wrote:
Anaxagoras wrote:Is this actually neues?
The new guy seems to be something of a reformer. Either that or it's just a purge. Since the price of oil has been low for a few years now and doesn't look like it's going back up anytime soon, maybe even the royal family needs to reign in the corruption a bit.
Yes, it's neu. The "anti-corruption" thingy acted hours after having been set up. Efficient!

Purge? Probably (and they sound quite like the Politburo). Various interpretations in the press (see e. g. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/04/worl ... talal.html), for my part I think the "young prince" Mohammed bin Salman makes a power and money grab.
Yeah, two possible ways to see this. The good way: he's rooting out corruption, or the other way: he's tightening his grip on power, purging rivals and seizing a larger slice of the pie for himself.

Future Saudi king tightens grip on power with arrests including Prince Alwaleed (Reuters)
Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of the king and owner of investment firm Kingdom Holding 4280.SE, invests in firms such as Citigroup (C.N) and Twitter (TWTR.N). He was among 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers detained, three senior officials told Reuters on Sunday.

The purge against the kingdom’s political and business elite also targeted the head of the National Guard Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was detained and replaced as minister of the powerful National Guard by Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf.

The allegations against Prince Alwaleed include money laundering, bribery and extorting officials, one official told Reuters, while Prince Miteb is accused of embezzlement, hiring ghost employees and awarding contracts to his own companies including a $10 billion deal for walkie talkies and bulletproof military gear worth billions of Saudi riyals.

News of the purge came soon after King Salman decreed late on Saturday the creation of an anti-corruption committee chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his 32-year-old favorite son who has amassed power since rising from obscurity three years ago.

The new body was given broad powers to investigate cases, issue arrest warrants and travel restrictions, and seize assets.

“The homeland will not exist unless corruption is uprooted and the corrupt are held accountable,” the royal decree said.

Analysts said the arrests were another pre-emptive measure by the crown prince to remove powerful figures as he exerts control over the world’s leading oil exporter.

The roundup recalls the palace coup in June through which he ousted his elder cousin, Mohammed bin Nayef, as heir to the throne and interior minister.

MbS, as he is known, was expected to follow at least by removing Prince Miteb from leadership of the National Guard, a pivotal power base rooted in the kingdom’s tribes.

Over the past year, MbS has become the ultimate decision-maker for the kingdom’s military, foreign, economic and social policies, causing resentment among parts of the Al Saud dynasty frustrated by his meteoric rise.
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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Witness » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:42 am

Putin's Voice wrote:Saudi prince & officials killed in helicopter crash near Yemen border – state media

A Saudi Arabian prince, Mansour bin Muqrin, has been killed along with several other officials in a helicopter crash the near the country’s border with Yemen, local media reported.
[…]
The prince was serving as deputy governor of the southern province of Asir. He was a son of Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who briefly was Saudi Arabia’s crown prince from January to April 2015.
https://www.rt.com/news/408859-saudi-pr ... ter-crash/

Hm-hm…

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Anaxagoras » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:11 am

Yet another story from Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Prince, Asserting Power, Brings Clerics to Heel

I have to agree on that one, if true. Apparently he is stripping power from the religious "morality police":
BURAIDA, Saudi Arabia — For decades, Saudi Arabia’s religious establishment wielded tremendous power, with bearded enforcers policing public behavior, prominent sheikhs defining right and wrong, and religious associations using the kingdom’s oil wealth to promote their intolerant interpretation of Islam around the world.

Now, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is curbing their power as part of his drive to impose his control on the kingdom and press for a more open brand of Islam.

Before the arrests on Saturday of his fellow royals and former ministers on corruption allegations, Prince Mohammed had stripped the religious police of their arrest powers and expanded the space for women in public life, including promising them the right to drive.

Dozens of hard-line clerics have been detained, while others were designated to speak publicly about respect for other religions, a topic once anathema to the kingdom’s religious apparatus.

If the changes take hold, they could mean a historic reordering of the Saudi state by diminishing the role of hard-line clerics in shaping policy. That shift could reverberate abroad by moderating the exportation of the kingdom’s uncompromising version of Islam, Wahhabism, which has been accused of fueling intolerance and terrorism.

Bringing the religious establishment to heel is also a crucial part of the prince’s efforts to take the traditional levers of Saudi power under his control. The arrests on Saturday appeared to cripple potential rivals within the royal family and send a warning to the business community to toe the line.

Prince Mohammed has taken control of the country’s three main security forces, and now is corralling the powerful religious establishment.

As evidence of that, the kingdom’s chief religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, endorsed the arrests over the weekend, saying that Islamic law “instructs us to fight corruption and our national interest requires it.”

The 32-year-old crown prince outlined his religious goals at a recent investment conference in Riyadh, saying the kingdom needed a “moderate, balanced Islam that is open to the world and to all religions and all traditions and peoples.”

But such top-down changes will face huge challenges in a deeply conservative society steeped in the idea that Saudi Arabia’s religious strictures set it apart from the rest of the world as a land of unadulterated Islam. Enforcing those changes will also require overhauling the state’s sprawling religious bureaucracy, many of whose employees fear that the kingdom is forsaking its principles.

“For sure, it does not make me comfortable,” a government cleric in Buraida, a conservative city north of Riyadh, said of the new acceptance of gender mixing and music at public events. “Anything that has sin in it, anything that angers the Almighty — it’s a problem.”
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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Anaxagoras » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:36 am

Meanwhile, in Libya:

The Deterrence Force crashes Libya’s Comic Con and seizes organizers for alleged ‘attack on morals’ (The Japan Times)
TRIPOLI – An armed Libyan group said Saturday it had closed a comic book convention in Tripoli and detained the organizers for an “attack on morals and modesty” in the strife-ridden country.

Hundreds of young Libyans on Friday flocked to the opening of the city’s second Comic Con festival, including some dressed up as their favorite heros from American and Japanese comic books.

Later in the day, members of the Deterrence Force — a group of mainly conservative Islamists that acts as the police for the U.N.-backed government — entered the venue, seized computers and arrested the organizers, a participant said.

The group said those responsible for the event would be handed over “to prosecutors for an attack on morals and modesty” because they looked to prey on youths in the city.

“This sort of festival imported from abroad exploits the weakness in their religious faith and their fascination with foreign cultures,” said a statement posted on Facebook.
Scene from the Libyan Comic Con before the morality police shut it down:

Image
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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Anaxagoras » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:18 am

Witness wrote: Draining the swamp? :mrgreen:
Apparently that's how Trump sees it:

Trump praises Saudi purge, voices confidence in King, Crown Prince
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed a move by Saudi Arabia’s future king that tightened his grip on power through the arrests of royals, ministers and investors in an anti-corruption purge.

The endorsement cemented a U.S.-Saudi relationship that has improved dramatically under Trump’s presidency, partly because of both leaders’ vision of confronting Riyadh’s arch-rival Iran more aggressively in the region.

Trump tweeted on Monday that he had “great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia” following the mass arrests - the biggest such purge of the kingdom’s affluent elite in its modern history.

Trump also tweeted that “they know exactly what they are doing,” adding: “Some of those they are harshly treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years.”
Fwiw, one of the princes arrested had been in a Twitter spat with Trump before the election.

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Witness » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:27 am

They dressed as Gadhafi?

Image

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Witness » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:23 am

NYT wrote:Leading Western Publisher Bows to Chinese Censorship

BEIJING — One of the world’s largest academic publishers was criticized on Wednesday for bowing to pressure from the Chinese government to block access to hundreds of articles on its Chinese website.

Springer Nature, whose publications include Nature and Scientific American, acknowledged that at the government’s request, it had removed articles from its mainland site that touch on topics the ruling Communist Party considers sensitive, including Taiwan, Tibet, human rights and elite politics.

The publisher defended its decision, saying that only 1 percent of its content was inaccessible in mainland China.

Under President Xi Jinping, China has grown increasingly confident in using its vast market as a bargaining chip, forcing foreign firms to acquiesce to strict demands on free speech.

Academic publishers have become a popular target, part of Mr. Xi’s efforts to restrict the flow of ideas at universities.
Continue reading the main story

In August, Cambridge University Press, one of the oldest publishing houses, said it had removed more than 300 articles from the Chinese site of the journal China Quarterly. The articles mentioned the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, the Cultural Revolution and other topics deemed inappropriate by the authorities. The publisher later reversed course after an outcry.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/01/worl ... rship.html

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Anaxagoras » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:23 am

Witness wrote:
Anaxagoras wrote:I wonder what the so-called "international community" is doing about Myanmar?
There's a full Wiki page on "international reactions": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internati ... gya_exodus

Look especially at China: they want a port there and so need stability, of course not giving a fuck about the Rohingya or Myanmar's military regime.
The UN now officially has "grave concern":

UN increases pressure on Myanmar to end violence against Rohingya
Council expresses ‘grave concern’ over human rights violations in a statement that was watered down by China

Tuesday 7 November 2017 01.58 GMT

The UN Security Council has called on Myanmar to rein in its military campaign in Rakhine state and allow hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya driven from their homes to return.

In a unanimous statement backed by China, the council strongly condemned the violence that has forced more than 600,000 Rohingya to flee across the border to Bangladesh.

The council expressed “grave concern” over human rights violations, “including by the Myanmar security forces” against the Rohingya such as killing, sexual violence and burning of homes and property.

It called on the government “to ensure no further excessive use of military force in Rakhine state, to restore civilian administration and apply the rule of law.”

The statement included most of the demands contained in a draft resolution presented last month by Britain and France, but that measure ran into strong opposition from China, a supporter of Myanmar’s former ruling junta.

China had indicated it was willing to resort to its veto power to block a resolution, but Beijing finally agreed to a statement during negotiations, diplomats said.
The atrocities are described only in the blandest of terms:
Since late August, more than 600,000 Rohingya have been driven from their homes by an army campaign that the United Nations has described as ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar authorities say the military operation is aimed at rooting out Rohingya militants who staged attacks on police posts.

The Rohingya have faced decades of discrimination in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and have been denied citizenship since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.

Council members called for full access for humanitarian aid workers to Rakhine and said the government must address the root causes of the crisis by allowing “equal access to full citizenship.”

The statement did not, however, threaten sanctions.

Addressing the council, Myanmar’s ambassador Hau Do Suan said the statement “exerts undue political pressure on Myanmar” and warned it could exacerbate religious tensions.

During negotiations with China, language on citizenship rights was watered down, along with a demand that Myanmar allow a UN human rights mission into the country, diplomats said.
So, what? They won't even demand someone from the UN be allowed in to see what's happening?
Rights groups have accused the Security Council of dragging its feet and are calling for sanctions against those involved in the atrocities in Rakhine.

“Going forward, council members should be clear that they won’t be held hostage by China’s objections, and will instead be driven by the needs of victims and realities on the ground, not what makes China comfortable,” said Akshaya Kumar, Human Rights Watch deputy UN director.
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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Doctor X » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:34 am

Anaxagoras wrote:The UN now officially has "grave concern":
Because if they called it what it is they would have to actually do something.

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Witness » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:39 am

Not news (2015), but amusing:

Image
Long-missing Goya painting found in Imelda Marcos’ collection

The painting Portrait of the 10th Marquesa De Santa Cruz as the Muse [in the background] was now rediscovered among property seized from Imelda by the Philippine government in 2014.
[historical details skipped]
In 1965, it was acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) but in 1977, it disappeared from the inventory list of the museum that only stated the painting has been sold to an “anonymous buyer”, apparently never to be seen again.

It later turned out that the painting was sold to Marlborough Fine Art London – one of the world’s leading contemporary art dealers – from where it seems to have been acquired by Imelda Marcos. However, it was only in the mid-1980s that rumours spread that it had gone to Marcos. It is still not entirely clear why the LACMA actually sold the piece.
[…]
It is unclear where Goya’s painting is kept now after it has been seized by the Philippine government, since it was allegedly purchased with stolen government funds.
http://investvine.com/long-missing-goya ... ollection/

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Anaxagoras » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:33 am

Is that a real photograph? (not "shopped" or something like that?)
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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Grammatron » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:18 pm

Doesn't sound like it was missing at all.

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Pyrrho » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:18 pm

It is now.
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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Witness » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:13 am

Anaxagoras wrote:Is that a real photograph? (not "shopped" or something like that?)
At the Pulse New York art fair a few weeks ago, five large photographs of Imelda Marcos by Filipino artist Steve Tirona drew plenty of attention. The volume of inquiries on the last day prompted gallery owner Isa Lorenzo, a physician, to diagnose herself with a panic attack near closing time. A museum bought a set of five (there are 15 limited-edition sets), European collectors wanted to talk, and passersby stopped to gawk at the images of the former Philippine first lady gamely posing to help her grandson's costume jewelry line. In one image, she sits regally holding her pet dog Venus by a leash, in an opulent room that has seen better days. Photo illustration exaggerates the sparkle of her bling.
http://theswankstyle.blogspot.ch/2009/0 ... auses.html

And the Japan Times version:
Doing her best to upstage them, though, is Imelda Marcos, the flamboyant former first lady of the Philippines, photographed enjoying her life of luxury as cracks in the walls and other potential calamities encircle her. These are not photomontages but the real deal — proving she has a sense of humor, Marcos went along with her nephew’s idea to commission the former commercial photographer, Steve Tirona, to take the images for the promotion of her own fashion brand
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/20 ... east-asia/

So it's more staged than shopped (and yes, with some humor).

Here at an exhibition (Hey! It's art.):

Image

And the Goya painting in its "natural" environment (from the "Despot Housewives" video).

Image

:mrgreen:

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Witness » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:19 am

BBC wrote:Saad Hariri: Lebanon return from Saudi Arabia 'within days'

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri says he will return home "in days" to formally submit his resignation.

Mr Hariri spoke to Future TV from Riyadh, his first public remarks since he announced he was stepping down last week.

His cabinet allies say he is being held captive, but Mr Hariri denied this.

He has blamed the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement for his resignation, citing concerns over his and his family's safety.

The US and UK have warned other countries not to use Lebanon for proxy conflicts.

Mr Hariri, a Sunni leader and businessman, was nominated to form Lebanon's government in November 2016.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41961058

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Re: Im Osten nichts Neues

Post by Witness » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:29 am

Rabwah Times wrote:Pakistani court orders Trump style database of ‘non-Muslims’

A Pakistani court has ordered the government to create a database of non-Muslims employed by the Government. The order was given in response to a petition filed by an Islamic cleric.

In a petition submitted to Islamabad High Court, Islamic cleric Allah Wasaya of Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat demanded that the court:
Direct the respondent No.3 [Federal Government] to maintain, henceforth, a separate database of individuals belonging to Qadiani group/Lahori group entering in civil service so that in future they may not be posted in offices involving sensitive matter(s) such as raised in the instant petition.
Ahmadis who claim to be Muslim are considered heretics by the majority of the Muslims and have been declared ‘non-Muslim’ under the Pakistani constitution. Responding to the request Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui gave the federal government 14 days to submit a reply regarding the request for a database.

Wasaya filed the petition in reaction to a controversial change of oath in Pakistan’s electoral law ─ which according to clerics like him would have allowed the Ahmadis to take part in the election process as Muslims, the government declared it a ‘clerical error’ and subsequently reversed the change.

Meanwhile, on Thursday member of Punjab’s Provincial Assembly (MPA) Ilyas Chinioti, introduced a separate bill demanding a ban on recruitment of Ahmadis in the country’s army, mentioned of religion on the identity card and to celebrate 7th September, the day Ahmadis were declared as non-Muslim, as a National Day. The petition was jointly submitted by MPA Ilyas Chinioti and MPA Ghulam Nizam-ud-Din Sialvi.
https://www.rabwah.net/pakistani-court- ... n-muslims/

Nukes + medieval mentality, what could go wrong? :roll: