Late Night: Rock ‘n’ Roll Fail in Dubai, Scorpion Drummer Jailed

By: Tuesday April 29, 2014 8:00 pm

Heavy metal band band the Scorpions got a stinger of a lesson: Don’t get drunk on a plane and drop trou when you land, especially if your point of arrival is Dubai.

 

Delusions Drive (More) U.S. Aid to Afghanistan

By: Monday February 10, 2014 12:50 pm

The Obama administration unveiled Monday yet another aid package for Afghanistan. The announcement from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) of three new development initiatives worth almost $300 million is part of a U.S. effort to ensure that Afghanistan, as its ‘war economy’ ends, won’t “reverse gains made over the last twelve years.”

American Sentenced to a Year in United Arab Emirates Jail for Parody Video

By: Monday December 23, 2013 3:16 pm

No joke. A parody video in the UAE can get you in serious trouble. Shezanne Cassim has been sentenced for a year in jail and faces fines of over $2,700 because of a satirical video he posted on YouTube poking very gentle fun at gangster culture in the Dubai, UAE neighborhood of Satwa.

Why the Dubai Strike Matters

By: Tuesday June 4, 2013 3:30 pm

From a distance, Dubai shines like an oasis of modernity in in the desert, with its glass towers and opulent hotels. Beneath the glittering surface, however, lies an underbelly of indentured servitude. The city-state’s brutal labor system was abruptly exposed last month when workers finally threw down their tools to demand fair pay and working conditions.

Thousands of employees at the United Arab Emirates-based construction firm Arabtec went on strike on May 19, calling for wage increases in an unprecedented act of rebellion under a notoriously authoritarian government. According to Reuters, the UAE Labor Ministry announced that it was working closely with Arabtec to suppress the protests. Some 200 protesters were taken into custody in response to the four-day strike, and many were reportedly threatened with deportation or arbitrarily terminated.

Late Night: Crappy New Year

By: Thursday December 27, 2012 8:00 pm

In any normal country, there would be no particular reason to expect 2013 to be an awful year. The right-wing Presidential candidate, who preached austerity, family values, and military adventurism, was soundly defeated by the center-left candidate, who favored, well, austerity-lite, personal freedom, and a fiscally convenient “peace dividend.” Overconfident and overfunded Republicans were similarly trounced in the House and Senate, losing seats in both despite stunning structural advantages.

It seemed that the Right’s perennial hobby horses, from favoring the wealthiest above all others and demonizing minorities of every type, to demanding that every non-military expenditure be slashed to the bone, had clearly been sent to the glue factory by the electorate. Alas, things are never what they seem in Washington.

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