Entries in Gulf Daily News (5)
How did the US Ambassador allow himself to be manipulated by the Gulf Daily News?
The answer probably lies in last week's regime upset that Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner had expressed Washington's "deep disappointment" at the renewed, if reduced, sentences on 11 medics last week. Some regime figures, including the Minister of Defense, have accused the US of trying to undermine the monarchy, and Posner's statemet led to headlines like "US Double Standards in Human Rights Criteria Are Rejected by the Bahraini Community".
Opening of "A Taste of Freedom" ice cream shop in Binnish in Syria
See also Syria Snap Analysis: Is the US Preparing for Intervention? br>
Syria Wired: The Latest from Social Media and EA's Readers br>
Thursday's Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Is Hunger Striker Alkhawaja Still Alive? br>
Turkey Live Coverage (26 April): From the Kurdish Language to Iranian Banks
1631 GMT: This morning, we noted an apparent slip by the regime-linked Gulf Daily News about Day 79 of the hunger strike of detained activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja --- in its haste to establish that he was well and "in high spirits", it tipped off that the authorities might now be force-feeding Alkhawaja.
Mike Diboll, a blogger who worked at the University of Bahrain, takes up the story:
[Alicia de Haldevang of the Gulf Daily News] takes a strong interest in his nutrition, mentioning by name “Ensure”, the nutritional drink that Abdulhadi is supposed to be “taking”:
At the beginning of her piece, she says that he is “drinking” the supplement, but in paragraph five he is “taking” it. “Taking” it in what sense? Perhaps this image of the force feeding kit used against Guantanamo Bay hunger strikers can help answer the question of exactly how Abdulhadi is “taking” Ensure. Below is a photograph of a force feeding kit used at Guantanamo Bay:
And another twist --- Alicia de Haldevang, the Gulf Daily News reporter, was taken to task by Alkhawaja's wife over the story until she said, "I believe you should have access to your husband+he shld be released. Pls don't think that I follow GDN policy in my personal beliefs." Now she appears to be none too happy with the regime for putting her in this position:
Until this govt actually responds properly to questions+provides officials to answer them, we have to use reliable "unnamed sources".— Alicia de Haldevang (@aliciadehal) April 27, 2012
The image accompanying today's New York Times' article on the situation in Bahrain: "A policeman tried to put out fires set by protesters in Budaiya, west of Manama, on Sunday" (Photo: Hamad Mohammed/Reuters)
We have often noted the Bahraini regime's efforts to put out the "right" story since mass protests began in February 2011, but this article from the Gulf Daily News --- posted after a Grand Prix when foreign reporters were turned away at the international airport, subjected to strict security checks, detained, and deported --- may take the prize for breath-taking audacity: "Taste of Bahrain's Hospitality for Foreign Journalists".
A piece which could well be satire --- but isn't --- proclaims:
FOREIGN journalists who attacked Bahrain for hosting the Formula One race were spotted happily tucking into a free BBQ run by the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).
Many of them called for the race to be scrapped but were seen enjoying Bahraini hospitality during the "Flavours of Sakhir Bahrain-style BBQ" at the Paddock area on Saturday, which was attended by teams, sponsors, media and other guests.
"There were many of them (foreign journalists) there, who had just weeks ago had been advocating the race should not be held in Bahrain and said they would not be happy at going there," said one journalist, who attended the event.
"They must have realised Bahrain is not the place to miss. Bahrain is certainly not Syria. It's a very hospitable country and life goes on as usual."
Perhaps not the best-measured "news" in the post-barbecue circumstances of Sunday's clashes and arrests. But if the Gulf Daily News has failed, Bahraini officials can celebrate success in a very different outlet --- The New York Times.
Claimed footage of Syrian troops and tanks moving into Ghouta suburb, east of Damascus
See also Syria Opinion: "Women Have Been Essential in the Uprising" br>
Bahrain Feature: Rubber Bullets --- Another "Non-Lethal" Weapon For The Police br>
Saturday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: More than 100 Die But Opposition Slowly Advances
2052 GMT: Earlier today (see 1535 GMT) we posted video of a march in Kafranbel in northwest Syria, with Free Syrian Army soldiers holding their weapons high. Now we are pointed to claimed footage of the insurgents standing in a "liberated" main square:
2045 GMT: Video from Dumistan in Bahrain on Friday, as police shoot tear gas inside a car --- a woman, reported to be driving, faints after she gets out of the vehicle: