DEPOSED SAUDI PRINCE IS HOME ALONE
The recently deposed crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Nayef, has been barred from leaving the kingdom and confined to his palace. Until last week, he was next in line to the throne and ran the kingdom’s powerful internal security services. The new restrictions seek to limit any potential opposition for the new crown prince, 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman.
Salman’s elevation ended the political prospects of many older princes, some of whom consider him rash, power hungry and inexperienced. The restrictions are an indication that the new crown prince does not want any rear-guard action within the family. Restrictions have also been imposed on Mohammed bin Nayef’s daughters. A married daughter was told that her husband and their child could leave their home while she had to stay.
CAN TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN KEEP AMERICA SAFE?
Trump has repeatedly promoted his travel ban as a necessity to protect the United States from the threat of international terrorism. But the controversial travel ban would have saved zero lives from terrorist attacks in the last 20 years, said The Washington Post.
The analysis lists successful and attempted terrorist attacks linked to radical Islamic ideology in the US over the past 20 years, and makes an assessment on whether the travel ban might have prevented them. Only two of the 24 attacks might have been prevented had the perpetrator been subject to the full travel ban Trump has proposed. One would have had to have been rejected at the age of 2. No deaths would have been prevented.
NO KURDISH CULTURAL EXPRESSION
Authorities in Turkey have fired people from jobs promoting Kurdish culture, removed statues of Kurdish heroes, shut Kurdish media and jailed pro-Kurdish journalists. Turkey’s only Kurdish-language newspaper, Azadiya Welat, was closed last summer — along with at least 10 television channels that broadcast, at least in part, in Kurdish.
The suffocation of Kurdish expression in Turkey constitutes the latest rollback of reforms that Recep Tayyip Erdogan put in place during his first decade in power. Repression began again after a cease-fire with Kurdish militants fell apart in 2015. It accelerated during the crackdown that followed last year’s failed coup. The crackdown was intended to target the plotters of the coup. But it has also been used as a smoke screen to squeeze other groups and movements that promote narratives deemed problematic by the government.
POEM FOR EXILED QATAR
“We will keep advising Qatar openly in line with the instructions of Prophet Muhammad, who said: A wolf only eats sheep that leave the flock.”
That is a poem that UAE’s prime minister and ruler of Dubai published on his Instagram account. He urged Qatar to “return to the GCC fold” saying “Now it is time to get united and be one heart and protect each other without grudges or hatred.”
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain have implemented a blockade against Qatar, accusing Doha of “supporting terrorism”. Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is known to write poems struck a more conciliatory tone than the UAE’s state minister of foreign affairs, who warned that the blockade against Qatar could “last years” if Doha does not change its policies.
MACRON’S PORTRAIT OF SYMBOLISMS
France unveiled the official portrait of its new president, Emmanuel Macron. There is a lot of symbolism here. There are two flags flanking him, the French tricolor and the flag of the European Union. A clock that tells the time of the shoot, there is France’s national animal,and three books including Charles de Gaulle’s memoirs, a 19th-century novel that deals with an ambitious but provincial young man and a prose-poem first published in 1897.
There are also two cellphones on the desk. Macron is not in the library or the garden. Instead he’s in his office, with the window open to the garden outside — a leader striving to forge a new political path between right and left, tradition and innovation, government and business. But Macron is holding on tightly to the president’s desk.
Here’s a good decoder to the picture tweeted by Financial Times (@FT):