Tuesday, May 23, 2017
More than a thousand people packed the courtyard of a mosque to witness the caning, which was the first time that Aceh, the only province in Indonesia to practice Shariah law, has caned people for homosexuality.
The crowd shouted insults and cheered as the men, aged 20 and 23, were whipped across the back and winced with pain. Many in the crush of spectators filmed the caning with mobile phones as a team of five robed and hooded enforcers took turns inflicting the punishment, relieving one another after every 20 strokes for one of the men and 40 for the other.
Sarojini Mutia Irfan, a female university student who witnessed the caning, said it was a necessary deterrent. » | Associated Press | Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Read the Guardian article here
Monday, May 22, 2017
A business deal worth 350billion dollars was signed between the United States and Saudi Arabia - about one-third of which was for weapons.
The visit also provided an opportunity to realign perceptions of power in the region. Trump's predecessor Barack Obama seemed to distance himself from Saudi Arabia, by working with Iran as a regional leader. As a long-time critic of Iran, Trump is looking to reverse that policy.
But it was his speech, addressing the Muslim world, at the Arab Islamic American summit, that was most widely anticipated - a world he'd been strongly critical of during his election campaign.
Now he was urging Muslim leaders to share the burden in defeating those he described as Islamist extremists, saying a better future was only possible if they helped "drive out the terrorists".
He stuck to the speech written by his Senior Adviser Stephen Miller. But was the overture from Trump genuine? | Presenter: Richelle Carey | Guests: Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia: Ahmed Alibrahim, a Saudi affairs specialist; Henri Barkey, Director of the Middle East Program at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Sadegh Zibakalam, Professor of Political Science at the University of Tehran
"I Could Have Died": Protesters Detail Violent Attack by Turkish President Erdogan's Guards in Washington DC
Medea Benjamin: Congress Should Halt Trump's $110B Arms Deal over Saudi Atrocities in Yemen & Region
Sunday, May 21, 2017
As he said that at a news conference, Mr. Tillerson was standing next to the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, who represents a government that does not guarantee free speech or many other rights. When Mr. Tillerson turned to leave, a reporter asked if he had anything to say about human rights in Saudi Arabia. The secretary departed without answering.
President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia underscored the calculation he and his foreign policy advisers have made when it comes to questions of human rights around the world.
Mr. Trump and his team made clear they are willing to publicly overlook repression in places like Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states whose leaders are meeting here this weekend — as long as they are allies in areas the president considers more important, namely security and economics. » | Peter Baker and Michael D. Shear | Saturday, May 20, 2017