Hi, I sometimes use Ruptly as a source because they often cover stuff like strikes, antifascist (counter-)demos, riots etc that other media ignore, even if it’s in their own countries.
Yes, of course I know Ruptly is part of Russia Times and therefore everything they report on should be looked at with the knowledge that they have a clear Russian state bias. Of course, this goes for any news source, you should always consider the bias of the source you’re getting your news from, even if RT is way worse of course than many others.
That said, while RT and Ruptly probably report on demonstrations, labor protests and antifascist stuff because it makes the EU and the US look unstable or internally divided and stuff like that, that doesn’t mean that those protests/demos/riots aren’t real or important! You just have to keep a skeptical eye out for when they start editorialising, because RT (and many others) are full of shit.
Like, don’t watch fox or cnn without taking into account their american bias, and their us partisan bias. Don’t use BBC without acknowledging their British bias and their pathological need to seem balanced, don’t watch AFP without remembering theyre french and have no problem with french colonialism, don’t watch NOS without remembering their Dutch state/Dutch royalty bias, don’t watch al-jazeera without keeping in mind they’re funded by Qatar, etc.
This should be basic media literacy, but I only get people trying to be clever on my posts about RT, for some reason. also, keep in mind that most of these news sources benefit by supporting the status quo of liberal capitalism, because that is the system they are working in and making their money from.
On June 5, three GCC members; Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, announced their decision to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar. This included a land, air, and sea blockade on the country.
Those announcements were only the first phase of a number of extremely bizarre decisions that were announced over the following week, most of which were issued in the very early hours of the morning by the three governments and bizarrely targeted their own citizens.
Here are a few of the most prominent, and the strangest, of these decrees.
Breaking up families
The Saudi-led bloc issued orders of forced movement against their own nationals, as well as Qatari nationals.
Qatari residents resident of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain were given two weeks’ notice to leave and return to Qatar. Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini citizens residing in Qatar were told by their governments to return immediately or face serious consequences.
Thousands of individuals and families suffered under these orders, as the deep familial and interpersonal ties between GCC countries mean that there are a huge number of families where one spouse is Qatari and the other is a national of another GCC country.
These families were split up. Qatari mothers residing in Saudi, the UAE or Bahrain took the brunt of these decisions, since they were forced to leave their children, who only have their father’s citizenship, behind.
WATCH: Amnesty slams embargo on Qatar over rights violations (2:19)
An overwhelming sympathy for Qatar expressed by social media users across the GCC created a PR nightmare for the countries who severed relations, and they took steps to intimidate their citizens from expressing opinions that opposed their policies.
The UAE Attorney General Hamad Saif al-Shamsi announced that any objections to the UAE’s strict measures against the government of Qatar or expression of sympathy with Qatar would be a crime punishable by a prison sentence of 3-15 years and a fine of no less than $136,000 (500,000AED), whether on a social media platform or via any written or spoken medium.
Shamsi added that the UAE had taken decisive action against Qatar as a result of “its hostile and irresponsible policy against the UAE and a number of Gulf and Arab states”. He noted that these infractions would be prosecuted in accordance with cybercrime laws because they were deemed to be harmful to the nation’s higher interests and social stability.
Shamsi stated that the general prosecutor’s office would be implementing the law on offenders who were guilty of what he called “crimes”. He stressed that this decision was taken to preserve the national security of the UAE and its higher interests and the interests of its people.
The criminalisation of sympathy with Qatar was implemented in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain with slight differences in the length of prison sentences and size of fines. The Bahraini Ministry of Interior stated “any expression of sympathy with the government of Qatar or opposition to the measures taken by the government of Bahrain, whether through social media, Twitter or any other form of communication, is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine”.
WATCH: Blockade on Qatar ‘toying’ with people’s lives (24:39)
Banning Al Jazeera
Hotel residents in Saudi Arabia can no longer watch Al Jazeera channels, after the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage warned against airing Al Jazeera inside any hotel or tourist establishment.
The commission stressed that all channels belonging to the Al Jazeera Media Network are to be removed from the list of satellite stations in “all hotel rooms and touristic facilities and furnished residential units … including the TV lists kept within”, in order to avoid punishments that included fines up to $27,000 (100,000 Saudi riyals) and a cancellation of the hotel’s licence.
This general directive was sent to the owners and operators of tourist facilities, and it stressed that channels screened should be “compatible” with “official Saudi channels”.
In addition, the commission ruled that no individual receiver units be available inside rooms, each hotel to must have a central receiver programmed in accordance with official Saudi policy.
At the end of May 2017, Egypt blocked 21 websites, including Aljazeera.net, claiming that they had content “supporting terrorism and extremism as well as publishing lies”. A source at the official Middle East News Agency said that most prominent among those blocked sites were Aljazeera.net, al-Sharq, Masr al-Arabia, al-Shaab, HuffPost Arabi, Rassd, and Hamas Online. (Literally Huffington post was blocked for supporting terrorism??)
➡➡Among the blocked sites was also Mada Masr, an Egyptian news site that works from within Egypt and describes itself as progressive and not linked to “Islamists” or to Qatar.🚩🚩🚩📣📣🤔🤔🤔HNMMMMM
The Saudi-led bloc against Qatar followed suit and blocked websites from the Al Jazeera Media Network and the Qatari newspapers al-Watan, al-Raya, al-Arab, and al-Sharq.
Saudi internet users were greeted by the statement “The requested site is in violation of the systems and directives of the Ministry of Culture and Information”.
Users within the UAE attempting to access a number of sites, including Aljazeera.net, see a message from the telecommunications regulatory authority stating that the sites’ content is restricted and does not comply with the standards of the telecommunications authority.
Closing postal services
On June 8, the Emirates Post Group, a government agency, announced that all postal services to Qatar would be halted in accordance with instructions from the government of the UAE.
The group further stated that all postal offices within the country had been informed to stop accepting any mail being sent to Qatar.
On June 8, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt issued a joint press release in which they designated a number of individuals and organisations of differing nationalities as “terrorist”.
The list included 59 individuals, including Yusef al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, as well as 12 bodies including Qatar Charity and Eid Charity.
The UN responded to this statement by reiterating that they are bound only by the “terrorist designations” issued by its own agencies, not those issued by any other party.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the secretary-general of the UN, said that the UN has strong cooperation with Qatar Charity, including a number of joint projects being implemented in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.
An official at the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded said that accusing Qatar Charity of “terrorism” is not only a defamation of humanitarian charitable work, but also constituted a violation of international standards and rules.
He pointed out that the inclusion of a number of journalists on the list indicated that the purpose was to intimidate and to muzzle freedom of expression guaranteed by international accords.
Over the weekend, the AP referred to Amal Clooney as “actor’s wife” in a press briefing about representing an Al-Jazeera journalist in court. So we decided to set the record straight with all the times Amal Clooney kicked lawyer butt
“I have been playing the violin for nearly ten years now. In the early years, it was frown upon for woman to play the violin, especially in public areas. I used to hear negative comments from people. But that has changed, it is more socially accepted now. I teach young girls how to play violin now.” Lama Abdullah Mohamed Ahmed Eyon, a 31-year-old violin player from Khartoum, Sudan
The UAE threatened to impose an economic embargo against Qatar while Bahrain said “any options” were on the table as the crisis in the Gulf showed no signs of abating on Thursday.
The tough talk from the Gulf Cooperation Council members came on Wednesday despite efforts by US President Donald Trump and Kuwait’s emir to prevent a further escalation of the dispute, which started on Monday when Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain announced they were severing diplomatic relations with fellow GCC country Qatar.
UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash told Reuters news agency there would be more economic curbs on Qatar, if necessary, and said Doha needed to make ironclad commitments to change what critics say is a policy of funding armed groups.
Qatari officials have repeatedly denied the allegations.
Gargash later told France 24 television any further steps could take the form of “a sort of embargo on Qatar”.
Kuwait’s ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, travelled from the UAE to Qatar on Wednesday after visiting Saudi Arabia the day before to resolve the crisis.
But in some of the strongest comments yet, Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, reportedly told the Saudi newspaper Mecca he doubted whether Qatar would change its behaviour.
“We will not hesitate to protect our interests and the road is open to any options to protect ourselves from Qatar,” Sheikh Khalid was quoted as saying.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and several other countries cut their ties with Doha on Monday, accusing it of supporting armed groups and their arch-foe Iran - charges Qatar says are baseless.
Gargash said measures taken against Qatar this week were not aimed at seeking new leadership in Doha.
“This is not about regime change - this is about change of policy, change of approach,” Gargash told AFP news agency in Dubai.
After apparently showing support for the moves against Qatar in tweets sent on Tuesday, Trump on Wednesday called Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani and later UAE’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to calm the situation.
Trump even suggested a White House meeting among Gulf officials to resolve the crisis.
“First, and most importantly, the leaders agreed on the importance of implementing agreements reached in Riyadh to counter extremism and to combat the funding of terrorist groups,” a White House statement said on the talks between Trump and Nahyan.
“Additionally, the president emphasised the importance of maintaining a united Gulf Cooperation Council to promote regional stability, but never at the expense of eliminating funding for radical extremism or defeating terrorism,” it added.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Gulf states could resolve the row with Qatar among themselves without outside help.
“We have not asked for mediation, we believe this issue can be dealt with among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council,” he told a news conference in Berlin.
Jubeir declined to confirm a list of 10 demands published by Al Jazeera, which included shutting down the Doha-based news channel, but added that Qatar knew what it needed to do to restore normal relations.
In a sign of economic damage from the dispute, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Qatar’s debt on Wednesday as the country’s riyal currency fell to an 11-year low amid signs that portfolio investment funds were flowing out because of the rift.
S&P cut its long-term rating of Qatar by one notch to AA- from AA and put the rating on CreditWatch with negative implications, meaning there was a significant chance of a further downgrade.
Qatar’s ministry of defence, meanwhile, played down news reports that its military forces were put on high alert on the country’s southern border with Saudi Arabia.
“The ministry of defence is always on alert to protect the borders of the state of Qatar from a 360-degree approach - land, sea and air - 24 hours a day, every day of the year,” said a ministry statement sent to Al Jazeera.
(Prat Note: it is fucking fascinating, the tonal shift of al Jazeera in this time, because al Jazeera, previously the ProWestern, pro gulf mouthpiece of the Arab gulf states, is based in Qatar and now faces Direct action from other gulf states in this bizarre diplomatic crisis. Probably because the royal family of qatar has a stake in the broadcaster)
Saudi shuts Al Jazeera channel in Qatar row - 6 June 2017
Saudi Arabia on Monday shut the local office of Al Jazeera, Qatar’s influential satellite channel, hours after the kingdom and other Arab powers cut ties over Doha’s alleged support for Islamists and Iran. Riyadh views Al Jazeera as critical of its government, but the outlet says it is an independent news service giving a voice to everyone in the region. The move was announced by state television.
“The reaction has been extreme, as always with most of my work. It has weeded out a lot of hate from like, neo-nazi groups and people thinking it’s gonna cause ‘white genocide’ and that’s what I’m ‘promoting’…”
Described by many as the ‘new scramble for Africa’, the US, China and other nations are attempting to consolidate their grip on Africa’s natural resources and its growing consumer class. Empire travels to Kenya, France and the USA to examine who is gaining, who is losing and what it means to Africans.
Over the past four years, the Unist'ot'en clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation have literally built a strategy to keep three proposed oil and gas pipelines from crossing their land. Concerned about the environmental damage a leak could cause on land they’ve never given up, they’ve constructed a protection camp to block pipeline companies. As opposition to the development of Alberta’s tar sands and to fracking projects grows across Canada, with First Nations communities on the front lines, the Unist'ot'en camp is an example of resistance that everyone is watching.
To understand the core audience of Qatari propaganda channel known as Al Jazeera, look at this poll. 80% of their audience who responded to this poll support the actions of ISIS in Iraq & Syria. This is the same channel that only days ago reported the ISIS take over of a Syrian city as “rebel gains”, one day later ISIS executes 400 people. If this is where you get your Middle East news from..you might want to look for an alternative.