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Posts Tagged ‘ Saudi Arabia ’

Realpolitik: Big Boy Games, Big Boy Rules

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Today we learned of a fracture in the western alliance system as French and German leaders head off to Russia for peace talks on the Ukrainian crisis. This is a desperate and misguided attempt to reach a resolution, which in all likelihood is going to fail. The inescapable fact is that Russia is an aggressive state with a belligerent leader, who has thus far only played the realpolitik game. Already torn up is the German-brokered ceasefire from late 2014, not to mention treaties from the nineties which guaranteed Ukrainian border integrity. Without anyone effectively challenging Putin, there is no reason to believe that he will sit down and settle a political solution. The famed strongman of world politics will only back down and make terms when the alternative for him, continued belligerence, is the worse option.

One can only wonder where Angela Merkel’s reputation as the Iron Lady of Europe came from. So far she has only continually reiterated her country’s unwillingness to fight or supply arms to the Ukrainians as well as opposing proposals for new stationing of NATO troops in Eastern European countries. This stance is undoubtedly popular in a Germany which is still dealing with war guilt towards Russia and is more sceptical of its relationship with the United States. Merkel has also previously been praised for her understanding of Russia, having grown up in East Germany and for her fluent Russian. However her understanding had an obvious blind spot in the Crimea crisis. German-backed energy deals with Russia were no hindrance to the illegal annexation of Crimea and invasion of East Ukraine. Europe has effectively been caught with its pants down. Continue reading

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Saudi – Women In The Kingdom

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‘This is a man’s world’. Nowhere are James Brown’s words truer than in Saudi Arabia. While most women in Europe and America have the option to choose their careers and have equal rights, female Saudis in this Islamic monarchy that leads using strict ‘sharia’ law are still officially considered second class citizens. Their primary role is to support the man of the family and to bring up the children.

Saudi Arabia is a high income economy, its main products being oil, gas and other natural reserves. Its people have grown hugely wealthy due to the world’s reliance on oil. In a country filled with such riches, life should be wonderful for all 26 million of its citizens. However, the lack of equality for women in the Kingdom is shocking by today’s developed world’s standards. A quick browse of random websites on the internet throws up numerous examples of the injustices heaped upon women born into the constraints of life in the Kingdom. But women are standing up against this inequality, beginning to clamour for change. Continue reading

Irish In Exile #6 : Patrick Moynagh

Drumgoon Arabian LinkIf someone was asked to name the most common destinations for individuals emigrating from Ireland, it’s highly likely that most people would offer places such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the U.S. as the most popular ports of call.

That said, there will always be those emigrants that end up in places considered by most to be somewhat off the beaten track – and sometimes significantly so.

So it was for Patrick Moynagh, who in 2010 decided to move to Saudi Arabia and take up a position as an Economic Advisor to the Saudi Arabian Central Bank. Continue reading

End of an Era As Ireland’s Greatest Calls It A Day

Ireland winger Damien Duff has announced his retirement from the international game, following in the footsteps of Shay Given.

The Fulham star brought an end to his 14 year stint in the Irish jersey ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The 33-year-old earned his 100th and final cap when he led the national side against Italy at Euro 2012.

The Dubliner has been a regular in the side since making his debut against the Czech Republic in 1998.

Shay Given, the Republic of Ireland’s most-capped player of all time, announced his retirement earlier this month after an international career that saw him make 125 appearances for the Boys in Green. Doubts remain over the future of Richard Dunne while the Irish management team have hinted that captain Robbie Keane will remain in the fold.

Duff told the Football Association of Ireland’s website: “I found it very difficult to make this decision, not least for the respect in which I hold Giovanni Trapattoni.

“I have enjoyed so many good times in the green jersey and want to thank everyone involved, especially the fans for making the last 14 years so special.

“I want to wish Giovanni, Marco [Tardelli] and everyone involved with the Irish team every success for the future and will be supporting them every step of the way.”

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni said: “Damien will be missed by us and by Irish fans everywhere.

“He was immensely skilful and a great example to the players who come after him. I give him my warmest best wishes for his future career.”

Duff, who featured at both the World Cup 2002 and Euro 2012, will be remembered fondly by Irish fans for his skilful displays on the wing. The Ballyboden native was a handful for every opposition defence and Ireland’s World Cup opponents will no doubt be glad he has called it a day.

The former Blackburn, Chelsea and Newcastle star was arguably in his prime during the World Cup in 2002 when he was voted Ireland’s player of the tournament. The winger did his best to lift the spirits of a team plagued by infighting and scored a memorable goal against Saudi Arabia, after which he made a bowing gesture to the adoring Asian fans. To this day he is still revered for that gesture and held in high esteem by Asian football fans, some of whom have visited The Cottagers training ground in order to catch a glimpse of the star.

Tributes have been flooding in quickly for Duff, who will go down in history as one of Ireland’s greatest ever players.

Shortly after he announced his decision some of his Irish colleagues took to Twitter to offer their praise for the wing wizard and darling of Irish football.

Shay Given (@No1ShayGiven) “Sorry to see Damien Duff has retired from international football. It was an honour to play with such a great player & pro. Well done Duffer.”

Simon Cox (@SCoxy31real) “Sad to see the news about Duffers decision to retire I can say what a absolute gent and true pro he was. It was an honour to play with him.”

Sean St Ledger  (@seanstledger12)  “Really sad to hear of Duffers international retirement. He’s a true legend and it’s been an honour to play with him. He’ll be missed in camp.”

The Ireland squad to face Kazakhstan was announced shortly after Duff’s decision to retire. The following squad will travel to Astana on September 7th.

Westwood, Forde, Randolph, Wilson, O’Shea, St Ledger, O’Dea, Ward, Kelly, McShane, Gibson, McCarthy, Coleman, O’Brien, McGeady, Keogh, McClean, Keane, Doyle, Long, Cox, Walters.

World News: Berlusconi, Protistutes and More

Acting President sworn in after Tunisia riots

The country`s parliamentary speaker has taken over as interim president after violence forced the nation`s president to flee to Saudi Arabia. The Department of Foreign Affairs are currently trying to aid Irish people in the country in an effort to get them home. 

100 Feared dead after Indian Stampede

Up to 100 people are feared dead after a stampede at the Sabarimala Shrine in India. Large crowds had gathered to mark the start of the annual Hindu religious festival of Makaravilakku. 

 Wikipedia Celebrates 10th Birthday  

The online encyclopedia founded by Jimmy Wales has reached its milestone tenth birthday

Flood Efforts Continue

Rescue attempts are still ongoing after large floods have damaged large parts of Australia, Brazil and Sri Lanka. 

Berlusconi Facing Prostitute Investigation

The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is being investigated after claims emerged that he paid for sex with an underage prostitute.

EU Freezes Ivory Coast Assets

The European Union has tightened sanctions against Ivory Coast’s incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, freezing the assets of the country’s main ports, the state oil firm and three banks.

Ryanair Boarding Pass Charge Illegal (Spain)

A judge in Spain has ruled that Ryanair cannot charge passengers for failing to print out their own boarding cards.

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