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Saudi Arabia

ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing

ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing
Kristen Gillespie

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

Ahmed Durat, a member of Libya's National Transitional Council, is calling on all rebels to leave Tripoli and return to their hometowns now that the city has been liberated, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The council has the Libyan capital under control, Durat said.

Kuwait police announced that a series of raids on apartments and "gambling dens' during the holy month of Ramadan netted 129 men and women involved in drugs, prostitution and homosexuality. Of the 82 men arrested, "some hold important positions," the Ministry of Interior noted without elaborating. Foreigners who were arrested during the vice raids will be immediately deported. Kuwaiti nationals looking to get out of jail will have to sign a pledge that they will not "frequent suspicious apartments." Cases of wine, illegal in Kuwait, were seized, and one raid on a villa turned up "two girls, three young men and two homosexuals."

Saudi officials have concluded that a car accident in the town of Hayl was caused by magic, Ajel news website is reporting. A car overturned while a man was driving with his family. There were injuries, but no fatalities. Police found pieces of human hair and fingernails wrapped in a handkerchief and hidden under one of the seats. Suspicion has fallen on the maid, who was with the family at the time of the accident. Police and officials in Saudi Arabia regularly attribute mishaps, mental illness, depression or other common conditions to the workings of black magic.

Also on Friday, Al-Sabq.org, a Saudi news website reported on a Saudi women experiencing "worsening health conditions' in the final days of Ramadan. She visited several doctors, who found nothing wrong with her. Her family suspected she was either under a spell or possessed. They called a well-known religious sheikh, who spoke to the genie possessing her. The genie told the sheikh that a spell had been cast on the women, and that it was hidden in her father-in-law's attic. Sure enough, the proof was there in a make-up box – a series of small knots indicating that black magic was at work. The box was inspected by a professional who breaks magic spells for a living. He concluded that the spell was intended to break up the wife and husband. "Sources' told the paper that the woman's brother-in-law, a wealthy man concerned for his brother, was responsible for the spell.

Ten Kuwaiti lawyers have joined the defense team of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The lawyers will hold a press conference next week to explain their reasons for joining the defense team, which already has 1,700 lawyers on it. Mubarak's trial will resume on September 5th.

September 2, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Why Crimea Is Proving So Hard For Russia To Defend

Ukraine has stepped up attacks on the occupied Crimean peninsula, claiming Monday that a missile Friday killed the head of Russia's Black Sea fleet at the headquarters in Sevastopol. And Russia is doing all within its power to deny how vulnerable it has become.

Photograph of the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in smoke after a Ukrainian missile strike.​

September 22, 2023, Sevastopol, Crimea, Russia: Smoke rises over the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters after a Ukrainian missile strike.

Kyrylo Danylchenko

Russian authorities are making a concerted effort to downplay and even deny the recent missile strikes in Russia-occupied Crimea.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Media coverage in Russia of these events has been intentionally subdued, with top military spokesperson Igor Konashenkov offering no response to an attack on Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, or the alleged downing last week of Russian Su-24 aircraft by Ukrainian Air Defense.

The response from this and other strikes on the Crimean peninsula and surrounding waters of the Black Sea has alternated between complete silence and propagating falsehoods. One notable example of the latter was the claim that the Russian headquarters building of the Black Sea fleet that was hit Friday was empty and that the multiple explosions were mere routine training exercises.

Ukraine claimed on Monday that the attack killed Admiral Viktor Sokolov, the commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. "After the strike on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, 34 officers died, including the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Another 105 occupiers were wounded. The headquarters building cannot be restored," the Ukrainian special forces said via Telegram on Monday.

Responding to reports of multiple missiles strikes this month on Crimea, Russian authorities say that all the missiles were intercepted by a submarine and a structure called "VDK Minsk", which itself was severely damaged following a Ukrainian airstrike on Sept. 13. The Russians likewise dismissed reports of a fire at the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet, attributing it to a mundane explosion caused by swamp gas.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refrained from commenting on the military situation in Crimea and elsewhere, continuing to repeat that everything is “proceeding as planned.”

Why is Crimea such a touchy topic? And why is it proving to be so hard to defend?

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