Spanish king quarrels with British government on Gibraltar


This 4 April 2017 video is called Gibraltar accuses Spain of ship incursion.

Both Britain and Spain at the moment have wobbly right-wing minority governments. Both are European Union allies for the time being. Both are NATO military allies. Nevertheless, recently a politician of the ruling British Conservative party threatened Spain with a Falklands/Malvinas style war about Gibraltar.

And now, King Felipe VI of Spain has counterattacked while on a state visit to Britain. Though he did not (yet) threaten to send an ‘invincible’ Spanish armada to England like his predecessor Felipe II did in 1588

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Spanish king risks diplomatic row after raising Gibraltar during state visit to Britain

King Felipe raises issue during speech in Parliament

Arj Singh, TONY JONES, Andrew Woodcock

Gibraltar has criticised the king of Spain for saying the governments of his country and Britain will find a solution on the Rock’s future that is “acceptable to all involved”.

King Felipe raised the thorny issue as he addressed MPs and peers at the Royal Gallery in the Houses of Parliament during his state visit.

Michael ‘Poundland Pinochet’ Howard Rattles Sabre over Gibraltar: here.

Saudi Arabia’s new warmongering crown prince


This video from the USA says about itself:

Saudi Arabia Bombing Yemen To Quell Demonstrations for Democracy

24 August 2016

The Saudi-led coalition is not just trying to deter Houthi leaders; they want to ensure that pro-democratic Yemeni demonstrations don’t touch the rest of the Arabian peninsula, says Bilal Zenab Ahmed of http://Souciant.com.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Hardliner becomes heir to throne in soft coup

Thursday 22nd June 2017

New crown prince has directed Riyadh’s brutal military campaign in Yemen

SAUDI ARABIA’S King Salman made his son the heir to the throne and deputy prime minister yesterday, at the expense of his nephew and counterterrorism chief.

Mohammed bin Salman — who was appointed defence minister in January 2015, months before the start of the Saudi-led war in Yemen — was named as the new crown prince.

He will retain the defence portfolio while taking on the deputy PM role.

Former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef was stripped of the title, along with his powerful post as interior minister in charge of security.

He told his successor: “I will rest now, and God help you.”

His interior minister job went to another young prince, Abdulaziz bin Saud, whose father is the governor of Saudi Arabia’s vast Eastern province, which is home to most of the nation’s Shi’ites [and much of the oil] and borders Qatar.

Yesterday’s royal decree stated that “a majority” of senior royal members — 31 of 34 — on the shadowy Allegiance Council supported the recasting of the line of succession.

Riyadh’s Gulf Arab neighbours all welcomed the announcement, but in regional rival Iran, the national TV news called it a “soft coup.”

Mr bin Salman was little known before his appointment as defence minister at the tender age of 29.

He has ruled out dialogue with Iran, pushed for the blockade of Qatar this month and led the war in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians and brought that country to the brink of famine.

Mr bin Salman has also supported floating part of state oil firm Aramco on the international stock markets to allow foreign part-ownership and investment.

In remarks aired on Saudi TV in May, he framed the tensions with Iran in sectarian terms, saying Tehran’s goal was “to control the Islamic world” and to spread its Shi’ite doctrine. He also vowed to take “the battle” to Iran.

Alongside Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, appointed in April 2015, Mr bin Salman appears to represent a more aggressive and interventionist Saudi attitude to the region.

Palace coup in Saudi Arabia: here.

35 years prison for criticizing Thai royals


This video says about itself:

8 June 2017

Prosecutions have continued under Thailand’s new king Maha Vajiralongkorn, who took the throne in late 2016 after the death of his … father.

A Thai man was jailed for 35 years on Friday for Facebook posts deemed insulting to the royal family, a watchdog said, in one of the harshest sentences handed down for a crime that insulates Thailand’s ultra-rich monarchy from criticism.

A Bangkok military court convicted the 34-year-old of ten counts of lese majeste for posting photos and videos of the royal family.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Highest punishment ever for insulting Thai royal house

Today, 15:16

In Thailand, a man has been sentenced to 35 years for insulting the royal house. A 34-year-old businessman according to a military court wrote unacceptable things on Facebook. It is the highest punishment ever for someone who is guilty of lese majeste.

Actually, the man would get 70 years in prison, but because he confessed, his punishment will be halved. Lese majeste in Thailand is punished with imprisonment from 3 to 15 years, but the man had committed the same crime several times.

Thailand has a history of severe punishment for lese majeste. For example, a Swiss man was convicted in 2007 when in a drunk mood he spilled paint on portraits of then King Bhumibol. Someone else was charged in 2015 because he was said to have offended Bhumibol’s dog.

No change

King Bhumibol died in October 2016 and was seen as a strict enforcer of Article 112, the article that makes lese majeste a crime. Even after his death, there seems to be no less harsh punishment in Thailand for insulting the Royal House.

The military government of the country says that Article 112 is necessary for maintaining the monarchy and national security. Human rights organizations say that the law is in violation of international human rights agreements, because criticism is oppressed.

Bahraini royals killing Pakistani protected birds


This video is called MacQueen’s Bustard on a mating dance.

Note: the article below here mentions “houbara bustards“. Meanwhile, biologists consider the MacQueen’s bustards of Pakistan and elsewhere in Asia, as a species, separate from the African houbara bustard.

Bahraini royals kill not only female journalists. They, like Qatari princes, kill protected birds in Pakistan as well.

From Dawn daily in Pakistan:

Bahraini king, family members get permits to hunt protected houbara bustard

Bhagwandas — Updated Dec 28, 2016 12:15pm

KARACHI: The federal government has issued at least seven special permits to dignitaries of Bahrain, including King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, to hunt the internationally protected bird houbara bustard in the country during the 2016-17 hunting season, according to sources.

Among those who have been given the permits to hunt the migratory bird in Sindh and Balochistan are an uncle of the king, his defence adviser, a field marshal and armed forces chief, and other members of the Bahraini royal family, according to the sources.

The sources said that not only was Pakistan a signatory to various international nature conservation conventions that restricted the bird’s hunting but the country’s wildlife protection laws also prohibited its killing. The Pakistanis were, therefore, not allowed to hunt the protected species.

The hunting permits signed by the foreign ministry’s deputy chief of protocol, Naeem Iqbal Cheema, have been sent to the members of the Bahraini royal family through Bahrain’s embassy in the federal capital.

The letter Mr Cheema sent to the Gulf kingdom’s diplomatic mission in Islamabad says: “The ministry of foreign affairs of Pakistan presents its compliments to the Embassy of Kingdom of Bahrain in Islamabad and has the honour to state that the government of Pakistan has conveyed its recommendations to the authorities in the provinces concerned for allocation of following areas to the dignitaries of Kingdom of Bahrain for hunting of houbara bustard for the season 2016-17.”

According to the letter, King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa has been allocated Jamshoro district (Thano Bula Khan, Kotri, Manjhand and Sehwan tehsils) in Sindh.

The king’s uncle, Sheikh Ebrahim bin Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, has been allocated Shah Bandar tehsil and Janabad and Sonda union councils in Thatta district. The king’s defence adviser, Sheikh Abdullah bin Salman Al-Khalifa, will hunt birds in Jati tehsil of Thatta district.

Field Marshal and Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defence Forces Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa will hunt the bird in Toisar tehsil of Musakhel district in Balochistan. The king’s first cousin and interior minister, Lt Gen Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, will hunt the migratory bird in Jaffarabad district of Balochistan.