Saudi puppets in Yemen kill each other

This 14 August 2015 video shows United Arab Emirates people crying as UAE soldiers return from the Saudi war on Yemen in coffins.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Yemen: Clashes at Aden airport kill three militia fighters

Monday 13th February 2017

INFIGHTING between Saudi-backed militias broke out yesterday at an airport in the southern port city of Aden.

Riyadh-based exiled president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s presidential guard — backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — reportedly surrounded the airport after three days of fighting.

Helicopter gunships attacked the rival militia, killing three.

The militia have controlled the airport since the invasion in late 2015. They refused to hand over the airport to Hadi loyalists last week.

The UAE is a member of the Saudi-led coalition, and the only other nation with significant ground forces in the country.

Meanwhile in Somalia’s breakaway northern province Somaliland — which lacks international recognition — parliament voted to allow the UAE to build a military base there, across the Red Sea from Yemen.

The move, opposed by neighbouring Ethiopia and Djibouti, sparked vocal protests from nine MPs, who were removed.

British-UAE dictatorship military cooperation

This video says about itself:

UAE secret prisons and torture revealed

13 October 2015

UAE torture survivors reveal cases of enforced kidnapping, arbitrary detention, secret prisons and torture.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Naval forces begin military exercises

Monday 16th January 2017

BRITISH and United Arab Emirates (UAE) naval forces began military exercises yesterday as threatening actions towards nearby Iran continued.

The UAE sits near the mouth of the Persian Gulf and the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which passes nearly a third of all the oil traded by sea.

The current “Sea Dagger” exercises may be meant to intimidate Iran, which lies on the northern side of the Persian Gulf.

United States warships have recently fired warning shots at Iranian vessels.

Britain is massively expanding its military presence is the Gulf, establishing the £30 million HMS Jufair naval base in Bahrain.

This country is a strong backer of the repressive UAE, which was cobbled together in the 1970s when Britain couldn’t afford to keep troops in what was a “protectorate” designed to exert control over the oil-producing region.

UAE forces are equipped with British weapons and 4,000 Emirati troops are deployed as part of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition’s bloodbath in Yemen.

Wild animals banned as UAE pets

This video says about itself:

Dubai prince playing with his pet lions.

14 April 2016

These are Instagram videos of Humaid Albuqaish & his friends playing with his pet lions. He owns lions, cheetahs, tigers and many other exotic animals.

By Nick Visser, Reporter, The Huffington Post:

UAE’s Elite Use Exotic Pets As Status Symbols. Now, They’ll Have To Stick To Buying Sports Cars.

The Gulf state just outlawed ownership of wild animals as pets.

01/05/2017 07:20 am ET

British Theresa May and Arab absolute monarchs

This video from Britain says about itself:

Yemen: Britain’s Unseen War

30 September 2016

Krishnan Guru-Murthy reveals the catastrophic effect of a Saudi-led coalition’s bombing campaign in Yemen – which uses British-supplied weapons – with millions of people consequently facing starvation.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

May and her Tory pals toady up to the Gulf sheikhs

Friday 23rd December 2016

The PM has been sucking up to some odious characters from the Gulf Co-operation Council, writes SOLOMON HUGHES

ON her recent visit to the Middle East Theresa May showed her Tory government intends to creep and crawl to the autocracies of the Gulf, no matter how backward and repressive they are. Because they’ve got oil and money.

May can do this without too much trouble partly because, in the background, there is a flow of money and friendship between her back-bench MPs and the sheikhs.

May went to address the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) in December. This is the alliance of all Arab rulers along the Persian gulf.

The GCC is made up of undemocratic, backward sheikhdoms — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Elections, human rights and even political parties are strangers in the lands of the sheikhs. And May told them they could stay like that as long as the money flows.

She was the first ever British prime minister to address the GCC directly. She came to their inner circle to talk sycophantically.

May told the sheikhs gathered in Bahrain that “just as Gulf security is our security, so your prosperity is also our prosperity.”

She means that her British government will stick with the sheikhs as long as the oil money flows. They can continue dropping bombs on Yemen, chopping off heads, shooting “Arab Spring” protesters: we will supply them with arms as long as the oil and money flow.

When May told the GCC: “We will succeed through our continued commitment to the rules-based order on which our prosperity has been built,” she meant rules written by medieval monarchies, rules that repress and exploit, are fine as long as there is money to be made.

But don’t expect many “freedom-loving” Tories to complain about May’s message to the Gulf dictators. Because her whole party is linked by money to the sheikhdoms.

Just a month before May’s speech there was an expensive jolly for Tory MPs in the Gulf arranged by a sheikh’s lobbyist employing one of their own ex-ministers.

Tory MP for Bristol North West Charlotte Leslie, Tory MP for Mid Sussex Nicholas Soames and Tory MP for Stratford-on-Avon Nadhim Zahawi all went on a “parliamentary delegation” to Dubai to “gain a deeper understanding of the important strategic links between Dubai and the UK.”

The four-day trip cost £4,313 per person for “accommodation and transportation,” so this was a luxury junket to one of the United Arab Emirates. It was paid for by Falcon and Associates International Ltd.

Falcon & Associates is a PR firm owned by the sheikhs of Dubai, which is why it sounds like a cross between an episode of Game of Thrones and a Management Consultancy.

Falcon was established by the emir of Dubai to run Dubai’s abortive bid for the 2020 Olympics. The emir kept the company going to “work to positively influence the conversation about Dubai and the UAE as a place of opportunity for business, culture and lifestyle.”

This is how the conversation should really go: Dubai is an absolute monarchy with no democratic rights and a bad reputation for abusing foreign workers who build and service the city state.

But Falcon have an “in” with the Tories. Former Foreign Office minister Hugh Robertson stood down at the last election and promptly stepped into a new job doing PR for the repressive Middle Eastern government.

Until 2014 he was responsible for the Middle East and counter-terrorism. In 2015 he became head of the London office and director of international relations for Falcon and Associates.

So he used to help run the British government. Now he has used his “democratic” CV to get a job working for the undemocratic sheikhs.

And his firm has become very good at rounding up Tory MPs and sending them on expensive PR jaunts to the Gulf.

So while Prime Minister May is smiling at the sheikhs, her backbenchers are being shipped out on comfortable trips abroad by the same absolute monarchs and former Tory ministers.

Hooded wheatears in the UAE

This video says about itself:

Hooded Wheatear

Filmed at Eilat area Israel 2 June 2011

Latin name: Oenanthe monacha

From Birding Frontiers, with photos there:

Hooded Wheatears in the UAE

Elusive and Enigmatic

Oscar Campbell

One of harder resident species to find in the UAE is Hooded Wheatear, arguably the king of a superbly evocative genus. Stunning good looks (male) or a subtle palette of plumage shades (female), stupidly long wings (leading directly to a habit of floating, Hoopoe-like, over the wadi walls whilst attempting to flycatch its next meal), an affinity for the most sweepingly vast of montane landscapes and, not least, a simultaneously frustrating and delightful will-o-the-wisp unpredictability (you just never know when – or if – you are about to bump into one) all add up to tremendous allure.

In the UAE, as seemingly across almost all its limited range from Sinai to southern Pakistan, the species is very local and uncommon. Most visitors, if they haven’t been lucky enough to see one on a previous trip to Israel, generally haven’t seen one anywhere. And often they won’t see one in the UAE either, for birds come and go erratically and temporarily reliable spots suddenly and abruptly go quiet for months or longer.

For that reason, whilst guiding three fortunate UK and South African birders on an insufferably humid and sweaty mid-September morning earlier this year, I was delighted to find a young male at the migrant hotspot of Wamm Farms, on the UAE’s east coast. This site is one of most birded in the country and has a superb track record for both vagrants and large numbers of common migrants. However, despite this, and despite the fact that it’s overlooked by the towering Hajar mountains (with several known – if not especially reliable – sites for the species within 30 or 40 km) this was the first ever record of Hooded Wheatear at the food-rich farm.

The ‘normal for autumn’ regular and intensive coverage (well, ok, in the UAE this means a few birders each weekend…) failed to relocate the bird until, in mid-November, there I was again and so was he, in pretty much exactly the same spot, feeding from the sprinkler heads on the edge of a stony, barren field. As is typical for the species here in the UAE, when you do manage to locate one, views were stunning as Hooded Wheatears are often fearless and very approachable; this one was audibly snapping for insects at ranges down to 2 metres! Watching and digiscoping this sensational bird for over 30 minutes at point-blank range was easily the highlight of my morning, and, on a day that produced Pallid Harrier, Amur Falcon and seven species of pipits, that is saying quite something.