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Iran (update)

Aghazadah, Khamenei, Iran As the dweller’s guide reported last week… With American sanctions about to bite and the value of the Iranian rial having fallen 80% since January, while food prices have doubled, it’s no surprise that Iranians are looking for someone to blame. But what is revealing is who they are blaming this time: …

Egypt

Does Reading This Deserve A Year in an Egyptian Prison? Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s opposition fearing President, has just given the courts the right to block websites ‘deemed a threat to national security’ – a standard euphemism for ‘being critical of the regime’ or ‘concerned about human rights.’ Anyone who browses such sites will face …

Turkey

Don’t call us Mr. Erdogan. We’ll call you. Erdogan urges Turkey to boycott i-phones In the latest round of the dispute between Turkey and the USA, Erdogan says Turkey will boycott the US technology such as i-phone and buy Samsung and Turkey’s own Vestel instead. This dispute is superficially about: Andrew Brunson, the Presbyterian pastor …

Iran

Which is the real Great Satan, Khamenei or Trump? How odd, that just when many Americans, have come to believe they have elected their own ‘Great Satan’  and have made the traditional Iranian epithet sound reasonable, Iranians themselves are thinking it might be a better description of their own ‘supreme leader’, Ali Khamenei. With American …

New Zealand

The Gates of Paradise are Closing. New Zealand bans foreign house buyers. New Zealand was disqualified from The Dweller’s Guide To The Planet on the basis of climate change threat. It was, admittedly, a marginal decision. It seems though, that if it survived the chapter on ‘angry gods’, it would not have made it through …

Turkey

Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not All Out To Get You, Mr Erdogan – Chapter Two (See the 12th July post for Chapter 1.) Ever since the small scale attempted coup in 2016 Mr Erdogan has been desperately arresting anyone he can think of, not just who might have been involved, but who …

USA Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico: The USA Domestic disaster no one wants to talk about. Today we learned officially what was already widely known – that the death toll on Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria (followed by Hurricane Irma) was more than 1400 people, not the 64 people its government originally estimated. There will be some discussion about …

Argentina

Argentina votes against legalising abortion It’s not for this blog to comment on the rights and wrongs of abortion, but the vote in Argentina rejected legalised abortion as expected (38 senators against, 31 for)  even though the text was approved by the Senate last week and Congress have already passed it – (make sense? not …

China

China’s Two Baby Policy is announced through new Piglet Stamps but Pooh is banned.   So fragile is Xi- Jinping and so afraid of the cartoon character Winnie the Pooh, that he has banned the new Disney film, Christopher Robin. Who would have thought that ‘a bear of very little brain’ could pose such a …

Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro is a terrible leader of a terrible regime, but assassination is never a good idea. There was allegedly an assassination attempt on Maduro yesterday and, at first glance, you might wish it had been successful – after all he leads a regime which would rather see its people go hungry and its HIV …