03rd-09th May

Sultan Qaboos, absolute monarch without Crown Prince -05/05/2014- Courrier international

Sultan Qaboos, in power for the past 44 years, has no designated successor. An activist-journalist, who went to prison after the events of 2011 and who is now living in exile, fears power struggles after his death.

 © Mohammed Mahjoub / Photo AFP. Sultan of Oman, December 31, 2011

Qatar to launch Al Jazeera counterweight -05/05/2014- TheNational

Qatar is launching a new television station as a political counterweight to Al Jazeera amid concern the network has become too supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt’s atheists find each other on social media -07/05/2014- Al-Monitor

Following the January 25 Revolution in Egypt, several changes occurred in Egyptian society, most of which involved breaking away from the habits and customs that various generations were raised with. One example is the trend of young people abandoning the religion they once embraced and declaring themselves atheists.

Clientelism and authoritarian trend in Iraqi Kurdistan -08/05/2014- Orient XXI

Iraqi parliamentary elections of April 30, 2014 constituted a privileged moment to analyze the functioning of the Iraqi Kurdish political system. Beyond the democratic institutions which the region has since 1992, electoral competition between the Kurdish parties reveals practices of coercion and clientelism with an authoritarian trend that limit the chances of a real political change. However, a real opposition emerges.

Why Hezbollah is looking for full vacuum… -08/05/2014- L’Orient-Le Jour

Hezbollah promotes the vacuum at all levels, contrary to his official speech? It is that the sources of the March 14 believe, stressing that the vacuum is in the interests of the party at the local and regional levels, and it is useful for the party and Tehran.

Doubts on the size of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal -08/05/2014- NRC Handelsblad

Members of the Security Council have expressed their concern about the chemical weapons of the Syrian government. Some concerns have been raised on the credibility of the data of the chemical weapon’s program procured by the regime of President Assad earlier.

© ANP/Crown/Alex Knott. A British frigate accompanies a Norwegian ship with chemicals from Syria