The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia announced their intention to block Blackberry reception in response to Research In Motion (RIM)’s failure to facilitate government monitoring of transmissions. Mohammed Al Ghanem, director general of the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), said “In their current form, certain Blackberry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the UAE.”
[L]awmakers say the dearth of calls for Rangel’s head reflects a mix of respect for both him personally and the institution. They see a veteran member of Congress and a war hero who has served the nation and Harlem in Washington and don’t want to “jump on his bones,” as one Democrat put it. ...
Second, Democrats believe the Rangel scandal isn’t really hurting them all that badly back in their home districts. Some House Democrats think the media are overplaying the possible national implications of the case.
“I am not aware of anyone who is going to lose their election over this,” said one senior Democrat. “Until it becomes a problem for other members, they will stick with Charlie.”
Rangel’s three-stage defense: “I didn’t do it. I did it, but was inattentive. Others lawmakers were allowed to do the same thing without penalty.”
Wall Street Journal reports on a UN leak revealing a month-old event. The appearance of the news story is probably related to a more recent development. It may represent a warning to North Korea, saying in essence, don’t bother sending that loaded container ship out of port, we arranged the seizure of the last one, and we can do it to the one you just loaded, too.
Authorities in the United Arab Emirates recently seized a shipment of military hardware from North Korea aboard a vessel bound for Iran, according to people familiar with the seizure.
The seizure could fuel efforts by the U.S. and other Western powers to push for greater economic sanctions against Tehran, if diplomatic outreach fails.
The equipment included detonators and ammunition for rocket-propelled grenade launchers, according to a diplomat to the United Nations Security Council, but no nuclear-related material.
Their purchase by Iran would violate new U.N. sanctions imposed against North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s test of a nuclear device in May. They would have been legal under earlier sanctions regimes.
According to the Security Council diplomat, the weapons were carried on an Australian vessel, the ANL-Australia, which was flying under a Bahamian flag. According to an Aug. 14 letter sent to the U.N. sanctions committee, the exporting company was an Italian shipper, Otim, which exported the items from its Shanghai office.
“The cargo manifest said the shipment contained oil-boring machines, but then you opened it up and there were these items,” the diplomat said. ANL and Otim officials couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.
The sanctions committee replied to the letter earlier this week, informing the U.A.E. it had an obligation to “seize and dispose” of the weapons. The weapons have been offloaded from the ship, and the ship has been released, according to people familiar with the action.
The seizure took place roughly a month ago, according to an Emirati official. It was earlier reported on the Web site of the Financial Times.
Memri quotes an article in the Syrian government daily Teshreen, in which the former Syrian information minister Dr. Mahdi Dakhlallah asks some of the right questions.
In the early 60s, if a person took a taxi in Kuwait or in one of the tiny Gulf states, he would hear on the radio a Syrian, Lebanese, or Egyptian song. Today, if one takes a taxi in Damascus, Cairo, or Beirut, he will hear a song from the Gulf [states]. How did this come about? ...
Why has the Arab cultural and media [primacy] passed from the Nile, Syria, and Mesopotamia to the tiny Gulf states?
Why are books published in 50,000 copies in Kuwait, but in [only] 3,000 copies in Damascus?
Why are state-of-the-art satellite stations being set up in Qatar and Dubai, but not in Beirut, Damascus, or Cairo?
Why is the city planning in the Gulf states perfect, while Beirut, Damascus, and Cairo look like large villages or regions that are chaotic and far from perfect?
Why are the streets of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, and Manama sparkling clean despite the water shortage, while in the streets and on the pavements of Beirut, Damascus, and Cairo one can find anything but hygiene? ...
Why have the Gulf states managed to adapt themselves to the technological and social reality of modern times, while at the same time preserving their traditional Arab culture (e.g. dress), while Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt have adopted only trousers, shirts, and ties? ...
I believe that our problem – whether in Syria, Lebanon, or Egypt – is that we have forfeited the wisdom of desert nomads, without having caught up with the rational and modern ways of the West.”
Syria and Egypt became National Socialist dictatorships, devoted to militarism and a futile quest for grandeur with dirigist, and therefore stagnant, economies. Syria destroyed Lebanon with help from Iran.
The rulers of the Gulf States devoted themselves to falconry, coursing, and hedonism, presiding over more open economies largely operated by guest workers.
The road to Progress seems everywhere to lead through the Palace of Consumerist Pleasure. Militarist statism does not make you rich, happy, or wise.
The United Arab Emirates has impounded the cargo of a vessel bound for Iran after discovering that “hazardous materials” aboard contravened UN sanctions placed on the Islamic republic to curtail its nuclear development programme.
In a further ratcheting up of the UAE’s determination to curb misuse of its ports, an official there confirmed that the cargo, detained for testing last month, contained materials banned by UN Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747, while the purchaser of the materials had also been barred by the same resolutions.
But he declined to identify the contents of the cargo or the Iranian company that had ordered the materials.
Alistair Weaver says he has identified the greatest stretch of road for driving in the world.
The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the greatest driving road in the world. Stretching for 7.3 miles (11.75 km) and climbing nearly 4,000 feet, it boasts 60 corners and a surface so smooth that it would flatter a racetrack. It could easily be described as the eighth wonder of the world, but almost nothing is known about its creation.
The road is cut into the Jebel Hafeet mountain, the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates, the oil-rich Persian Gulf state. The mountain spans the border with Oman and lies about 90 minutes’ drive southeast of the thriving city of Dubai.