As Kurdistan Ponders Independence, Kurds Wonder about Own Currency

As Kurdistan Ponders Independence, Kurds Wonder about Own Currency
Images of fake ‘Kurdistan’ bills have started popping up on the internet. Photo: kurdistanica.com ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - As Iraq slides closer to full-fledged civil war and the Kurds ponder independence, rumors waft through the bazaar: will the Kurdistan Region ditch the national currency and start printing bills of its own? Businessmen whisper that the design of the new currency has been finalized and is ready for print; images of fake “Bank of Kurdistan” bills have started popping up on the internet.  Speculation is fueled by the fact that the Iraqi government has refused to send the Kurdistan Region its budget for half a year... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Crackdown in Saudi Arabia

Crackdown in Saudi Arabia
The authorities’ ruthless determination to throttle all dissent and disloyalty is likely to backfire   By Abdel Bari Atwan The detention last week of the well-known reformist Saudi preachers Salman al-Odeh and Awadh al-Qarni did not come as a surprise. It was only to be expected given the current state of political and tribal polarization in the Gulf, and the determination of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Muhammad bin-Salman to use an iron fist to consolidate his rule and remove potential obstacles to his planned accession to the throne. He is showing that he is ready and able to throttle any opposition on either count, whether it comes from... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Another Saudi U-Turn

Another Saudi U-Turn
After clearly trying to ease tensions with Tehran, why has Riyadh suddenly changed course again?     By Abdel Bari Atwan Saudi Arabia’s angry denial that it is interested in any kind of reconciliation with Iran has come as something of a shock. An official statement on Thursday insisted that the kingdom ‘has not asked for any form of mediation with Iran, and reports circulating to that effect are false; Saudi Arabia adheres to its position of rejecting any rapprochement with the Iranian regime that spreads terrorism and extremism in the region’. This was unexpected. It represents a sharp change in Riyadh’s position, shattering all the... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Syria Reaps the Rewards

Syria Reaps the Rewards
Asad is entitled to feel confident when the two main sponsors of his armed opponents turn on each other   By Abdel Bari Atwan   Syrian President Bashar al-Asad was recently reported to have admitted that corruption is a major problem in Syria. He told Amina ash-Shammat, head of the Central Commission for Inspection, that it had become rampant and needed to be eradicated by ensuring that the law is applied equally to all.   This admission coincided with a number of developments on the ground and on the battlefield which confirm the advance of the Syrian army and the weakness of both the political and armed wings of the opposition, as well as the loss by Islamic... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Sidi Maarouf It is a beautifully designed Moroccan restaurant

Sidi Maarouf  It is a beautifully designed Moroccan restaurant
By : Riyad AL Kadi \ IRAQIBBC - LONDON -  Sidi Maarouf  is part of Maroush group and it is situated a stone throw away from Marble Arch. It is a beautifully designed Moroccan restaurant with a very authentic interior with billowing silk curtains and dark wood furniture. As you set foot into the restaurant you come under the illusion that you are entering a magnificent Arabian tent. Every evening while dining, your guests will be entertained by our live band (Arabic and international songs) and belly dancing performance on weekends and during weekdays upon guests request, which indeed are the perfect complement to the delicious food. The menu... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Saudi Arabia’s New Outreach

Saudi Arabia’s New Outreach
yadh’s wooing of Iraqi Shia leaders won’t be credible without a radical change of strategy   By Abdel Bari Atwan   It came as a surprise to many in the Middle East – specifically in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran – to see Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr pay an official visit to Saudi Arabia. Speculation is rife about the timing of the visit, and about its possible impact – for better or worse – on relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which are currently more tense than they have ever been. The significance of the visit is that it came at the invitation of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin-Salman, as part of a new Saudi policy of... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Finding a Way Out

Finding a Way Out
  The longer the Yemen war continues, the worse it will get for the Saudis and their allies   By Abdel Bari Atwan   Last week, the UAE announced that four of its soldiers were killed when their helicopter was downed in Yemen where they were deployed as part of the Saudi-led coalition. A few days previously, an Emirati warship was attacked in Yemeni waters in the Red Sea off the port of Mocha, apparently by Houthi forces. These incidents suggest that for the first time in months, the war in Yemen is entering a fresh stage of escalation, this time at the hands of the alliance between the Houthis and the former ruling General Peoples Congress (GPC),... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Why have The Killers written a song about Mike Tyson?

Why have The Killers written a song about Mike Tyson?
It's 9am on 11 February, 1990. Mike Tyson enters the ring at the Tokyo Dome as the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world. His opponent, Buster Douglas, is a textbook underdog. Most bookmakers refused to take bets for the fight. The Mirage Casino in Las Vegas was one of the few that did - and they made Tyson the 42-1 favourite. But then, in the 10th round, Tyson was  taken down  by a furious four-punch volley - right, left, right, left. He was left scrabbling around on the floor, badly disorientated and searching for his gum shield, as referee Octavio Meyran counted him out. Back in Tyson's home town of Las Vegas, an eight-year-old Brandon Flowers watched the... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Charlie Gard parents announce death of 'beautiful boy'

Charlie Gard parents announce death of 'beautiful boy'
Charlie Gard, the baby at the centre of a legal row over his treatment, has died, a family spokesman has confirmed. The 11-month-old was moved to a hospice following a High Court ruling. He suffered from an extremely rare genetic condition causing progressive brain damage and muscle weakness. His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, fought a lengthy legal battle with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) to allow him to be taken to the US for treatment. But on Monday they dropped their legal battle after Prof Michio Hirano, the American neurologist who had offered to treat him, said it was too late for it to work. The tragic case of Charlie Gard In a statement... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Game of Thrones season 7 episode 3 plot predictions: Jon meets Daenerys, Greyworm dies, Arya arrives at Winterfell and more

Game of Thrones season 7 episode 3 plot predictions: Jon meets Daenerys, Greyworm dies, Arya arrives at Winterfell and more
And so it is  Game of Thrones   season 7 's third episode this week, which promises to be a meaty one.   'Stormborn'  set up some juicy plot points that should come into fruition in 'The Queen's Justice'. Here are our predictions based on the  trailer ,  episode synopsis  and the fact we've been covering this show until our eyes bled Weirdwood sap. Jon meets Daenerys at Dragonstone, it doesn't go swimmingly   READ MORE What is going on with the Starks and what are their motives?   The meeting itself is actually a certainty, given the closing shot in the trailer of Jon entering the Targaryen throne room. The King in the... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH
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