Bahrain

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Bahrain's King to End Emergency Law

Announcement comes as trial against activists begins

(Newser) - Bahrain's king set a fast-track timetable to end martial law-style rule today in a bid to display confidence that authorities have smothered a pro-reform uprising even as rights groups denounced the hard-line measures. The announcement to lift emergency rule two weeks early on June 1 came just hours after... More »

4 Protesters Sentenced to Death in Bahrain

Three more, accused of killing policemen, get life in prison

(Newser) - Four Shiite protesters were sentenced to death in Bahrain today, convicted of killing two policemen during anti-government protests last month. Three other activists who were accused of purposely running down the policemen with a car were sentenced to life in prison. Human rights groups claim the trial, which was conducted... More »

Bahrain Prince Declines Royal Wedding Invite

Under duress; and it's no place for old Labour PMs, either

(Newser) - The news that Bahrain's crown prince was ducking out of his troubled country to attend Prince William's much ballyhooed nuptials raised some eyebrows, and Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa today reversed course, sending Prince Charles his regrets. Saying he was "saddened and troubled" by British media... More »

US Takes Heat as Bahrain Protests Die

US did little to help movement against allied government

(Newser) - Thanks to a violent crackdown and an assist from Saudi troops, the government of Bahrain has just about silenced the protest movement—and that’s left the US facing some hard questions. Even as it fights to free Libya, the Obama administration has done next to nothing to help Bahrain’... More »

Secret Hand in Syria Crackdown: Iran

And it may soon help protesters in Bahrain, Yemen

(Newser) - Iran has a hand in the revolutions currently sweeping the rest of the Arab world. In Syria, Iran is secretly assisting President Bashar al-Assad to quell the pro-democracy demonstrations, US officials say. But in Bahrain and Yemen, Iran is looking to aid Shiite protesters, thus destabilizing the countries—both US... More »

Mideast Regimes Use US Software to Censor Web

Firms cite lack of control over how products are used

(Newser) - Behind Middle Eastern governments' censorship of the Web, an uncomfortable reality—US products help do the dirty work. Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia use filtering programs by McAfee; other US and Canadian firms have sold Web-filtering technology to Yemen and Qatar, among other countries, the Wall Street Journal reports. The... More »

Looking for a Safe Land? Hello, Estonia

Natural disasters are a rarity there, as well as in Qatar

(Newser) - With a devastating earthquake in Burma following on the heels of the one in Japan , which itself followed one in New Zealand , Slate's Explainer blog digs into the question of just which nations are safest from natural disaster. Your winners, based on data from a Belgium center that analyzes such... More »

Bahrain: Foreign Plot Has Failed

Manama, Tehran trade diplomatic expulsions

(Newser) - Following an aggressive crackdown on protesters last week, Bahrain’s king has announced the “failure” of a foreign plot against his country, and thanked Sunni allies for sending troops into Bahrain. “An external plot has been fomented for 20 to 30 years until the ground was ripe for... More »

US Silent as Bahrain Acts Just Like Libya

Just because they're allies doesn't make the crackdown right: Nicholas Kristof

(Newser) - Bahrain's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators is getting more and more violent , and the regime is now getting help from another US ally, Saudi Arabia. Where, wonders Nicholas Kristof, is the outrage from American officials? It's easy to condemn the likes of Moammar Gadhafi, but things get pretty quiet when our... More »

Bahrain Detains Opposition Activists

Security forces take control of central Manama

(Newser) - Bahraini security forces detained at least six prominent opposition activists today, the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights tells the AP . According to the society, two of those taken were also among the 25 Shiite activists who were released earlier in a bid to ease tensions. Their arrests suggest authorities... More »

Out of Bahrain, a Tiananmen Square Moment?

Graphic video shows horrific face-to-face shooting

(Newser) - The news out of Bahrain is bad— six reported dead in an assault on anti-government protesters today—but this video is worse. The extremely graphic and disturbing footage shows an altercation between a protester and a handful of police, who shoot the man from just a few feet away. New ... More »

6 Dead as Tanks Attack Bahrain Protesters

Forces clear Manama square in major tank assault

(Newser) - Bahrain's king has declared martial law in the island nation following the arrival of more than 1,000 troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations to quell an opposition movement. At least three people were killed in clashes between troops and pro-reform protesters yesterday, Reuters reports. Today tanks and... More »

Saudi Arabia Sends 1K Troops Into Bahrain

Opposition groups call move war threat

(Newser) - More than 1,000 troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries entered Bahrain today to protect important oil and power facilities, a Saudi official tells the Wall Street Journal . The move comes a day after violent protests rocked Bahrain, notes Reuters , and mostly-Shiite opposition groups are likening it to... More »

Next Big Question: What Will Saudis Do?

Op-ed: King Abdullah has difficult choice to make soon

(Newser) - One crucial voice has yet to be heard from amid this Arab revolution, observes Jackson Diehl in Washington Post —Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah's regime is clearly nervous about the unrest, especially in next-door Bahrain, which also has a majority Shiite population that lives under Sunni rule. Abdullah will soon... More »

As Mideast Seethes, Saudis Stand Alone

Kingdom feels encircled by enemies around the region

(Newser) - Popular unrest roiling the Middle East is is rocking the ultra-rich, ultra-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia, leaving its rulers feeling isolated both from regional allies and the United States alike, reports the New York Times . King Abdullah has called President Obama at least twice to voice his concerns about Egypt,... More »

It's 'Delirious Joy' in Bahrain

Nichols Kristof: This feels like a 'milestone' for Arab democracy

(Newser) - When Nicholas Kristof heard protesters in Bahrain were going to march to the symbolic Pearl Roundabout again, he feared the worst—more "brutal force" and more live bullets. Instead, after the royal family's decision to stand down , he's happy to report nothing but "delirious joy" from downtown Manama... More »

Bahraini Military Stands Down, Seeks Talks

Protesters jubilant as leaders order military to withdraw

(Newser) - Bahrain protesters reclaimed their symbolic Pearl Square today, after the nation's leaders ordered the military to withdraw in a key concession that came just a day after a brutal crackdown that injured at least 50 and drew a sharp condemnation from President Obama . Members of the opposition chanted, "We... More »

Bahrain Getting Its Tear Gas From...

...Britain, and some politicians aren't happy about that

(Newser) - Some politicians in the UK aren't happy about the "Made in Britain" labels on the tear gas, smoke canisters, and stun grenades being used to crush protests in Bahrain and elsewhere in the Arab world, the Independent reports. The British government approved the export of large amounts of crowd-control... More »

US Looked for Dirt on Bahrain Princes

WikiLeaks reveals that Clinton asked about drug, alcohol use

(Newser) - The State Department secretly asked its diplomats in Bahrain to look for tabloid-level dirt on Bahrain’s princes, a new cable released by WikiLeaks reveals. Hillary Clinton's office asked diplomats to report any “derogatory” info on Nasir bin Hamad al-Khalifa, 23, or his brother, Khalid, 21, such as whether... More »

Obama Ordered Secret Study on Arab Unrest—in August

Report discussed Egypt in detail

(Newser) - It turns out the uprisings shaking the Arab world didn’t take Barack Obama by surprise. Last August, Obama ordered a secret study into the possibility of such unrest, the New York Times reports. His advisers concluded that countries from Bahrain to Yemen to, yes, Egypt, were ripe for popular... More »

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