The large bird, which was carrying a GPS transmitter and a tag bearing the identification code R65 from Tel Aviv University, strayed into rural Saudi Arabian territory at some point last week, according to a report in the Israeli daily Ma'ariv. Residents and local reporters told Saudi Arabia's Al-Weeam newspaper that the matter seemed to be linked to a "Zionist plot" and swiftly alerted security services. The bird has since been placed under arrest. The accusations went viral, according to the Israeli Ha'aretz newspaper, with hundreds of posts on Arabic-language websites and forums claiming that the "Zionists" had trained the birds for espionage. The incident comes amid growing paranoia among Israel's neighbours over the nation's growing military might.
Tag Archives | Saudi Arabia
AFP reports, via CommonDreams:
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In its biggest arms deal ever, the United States announced it will sell up to 60 billion dollars worth of warplanes, helicopters and other weapons to Saudi Arabia, partly to help it counter Iran.
The plan allows for the sale of 84 F-15 fighter jets, 70 Apache attack helicopters, 72 tactical Black Hawk helicopters and 36 light helicopters, assistant secretary for political-military affairs Andrew Shapiro said.
The sale, which also includes the upgrade of 70 used F-15s, is “not to exceed 60 billion” dollars, Shapiro told reporters as President Barack Obama’s administration notified Congress of its plans to make the deal.
Congress has the authority to amend or delay the agreement, according to Shapiro, who said he did not expect Israeli opposition to the sale.
The delivery of the weapons to oil-rich Saudi Arabia would be spread over 15 to 20 years.
“It will send a strong message to countries in the region that we are committed to support the security of our key partners and allies in the Arabian Gulf and broader Middle East,” Shapiro said.
Just in case mahrams, or male guardians, in Saudi Arabia needed a shorter leash. If you’re a man in Saudi and are worried about your woman leaving the country, well, there’s an app for that. Aside from the cultural aspect of gender segregation, this seems like a waste of technology for “keeping tabs” on women. The Guardian reports:
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Want to know whether your wife, sister or daughter has left the county? Well, in Saudi Arabia, there’s an app for that. Reportedly, male guardians or mahrams in Saudi Arabia are now receiving text message notifications when their female charges leave the country unaccompanied. “iMahram”, a friend of mine jokingly called it.
According to Wajeha al-Huwaider, a Saudi female activist, when she left the kingdom for a holiday with her family, her husband received a text message from the foreign ministry notifying him that she had departed.
“It is sad how Saudis use technology in a way not intended to be used for,” she told The Media Line.
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Women in Saudi Arabia should give their breast milk to male colleagues and acquaintances in order to avoid breaking strict Islamic law forbidding mixing between the sexes, two powerful Saudi clerics have said. They are at odds, however, over precisely how the milk should be conveyed.
A fatwa issued recently about adult breast-feeding to establish “maternal relations” and preclude the possibility of sexual contact has resulted in a week’s worth of newspaper headlines in Saudi Arabia. Some have found the debate so bizarre that they’re calling for stricter regulations about how and when fatwas should be issued.
Sheikh Al Obeikan, an adviser to the royal court and consultant to the Ministry of Justice, set off a firestorm of controversy recently when he said on TV that women who come into regular contact with men who aren’t related to them ought to give them their breast milk so they will be considered relatives.
From CNN World:
Amnesty International is calling on Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah to stop the execution of a Lebanese man sentenced to death for “sorcery.”In a statement released Thursday, the international rights group condemned the verdict and demanded the immediate release of Ali Hussain Sibat, former host of a popular call-in show that aired on Sheherazade, a Beirut based satellite TV channel.
According to his lawyer, Sibat, who is 48 and has five children, would predict the future on his show and give out advice to his audience.
The attorney, May El Khansa, who is in Lebanon, tells CNN her client was arrested by Saudi Arabia’s religious police (known as the Mutawa’een) and charged with sorcery while visiting the country in May 2008. Sibat was in Saudi Arabia to perform the Islamic religious pilgrimage known as Umra.
[Read more at CNN World]
Via AFP via Google News:
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RIYADH — A 12-year-old Saudi girl unexpectedly gave up her petition for divorce from an 80-year-old man her father forced her to marry in exchange for a dowry, Saudi media reported Tuesday.
Despite support from human rights lawyers and child welfare advocates, the girl and her mother, who originally sought the divorce, withdrew the case Monday in a court in Buraidah, in Al-Qasim province, newspapers said.
The girl told the court that her marriage to the man was done with her agreement, according to Okaz newspaper. “I agree to the marriage. I have no objection. This is in filial respect to my father and obedience to his wish,” she said.
Saleh al-Dabibi, a lawyer supplied by a charity group to help the girl, said her mother did not inform him of the change of heart, Okaz said.
An unnamed official of the government’s Human Rights Commission, which was originally asked by the mother to help in getting the marriage annulled, told Arab News they too were surprised by the mother and daughter dropping the case.
I have pretty strong feelings about this as a parent, so I can’t say I feel that the animal who was convicted deserves to be treated any better, but is crucifixion after beheading truly necessary, or is it just playing to bloodthirsty appetites? Story from Reuters:
RIYADH (Reuters) – A Saudi court of cassation upheld a ruling to behead and crucify a 22-year-old man convicted of raping five children and leaving one of them to die in the desert, newspapers reported on Tuesday.
The convict was arrested earlier this year after a seven-year old boy helped police in their investigation. The child left in the desert after the rape was three years old, Okaz newspaper said.
International rights groups have accused the kingdom, the birthplace of Islam, of applying draconian justice, beheading murderers, rapists and drug traffickers in public. So far this year about 40 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia…