Friday, 22 November 2019
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Reviewed by Roger Green

Yemen is an obscure and impoverished country that has for a long time been an enigma to Western countries. Victoria Clark was born in Aden, the daughter of the BBC's South Arabia correspondent, and this accident of birth gave her the motivation to write this eponymous book.  Over the years she has made several visits to the country and has met most of the influential leaders as well as many ordinary people.  She paints a graphic pen picture of the cultural and social heritage of the country.

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By Elayne Jude, Great North News Services

Forever smiling, fixed at the age of eighteen, Cheryl James' portrait beams at us spotlit on the wall of her parents' Llangollen living-room, as Nicholas Blake QC announces to the press from the marble halls of Canary Wharf that his 2007 review of the deaths of four young recruits at Deepcut Barracks will not recommend a public inquiry.

On the 'balance of probabilities', and against the current of alternative evidence, three of the deaths are pronounced likely to have been self-inflicted. No suspicion of foul play is established in the case of the fourth.

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Afghan News Round Up: December 5, 2012 Compiled by Elayne Jude for Great North News Service

Petraeus fallout, Kite Runner onstage, four-legged bomb disposal and Russia on the rise

How the Military are Fallen: Petraeus looks sheepish

Re Petraeus' affair with Paula Broadwell, a married woman, a former Taliban Cabinet minister turned insurgency leader commented: "The American general's sex disgrace is a slap not only to the character of the U.S. but also to the faces of Karzai and all others who are pro-Western. The bloodshed addict General Petraeus was not only after the blood of unfortunate Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was also taking the chastity of married women."

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By Kamran Bokhari

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia historically has played a major role in the development of jihadism. Key pillars of the Saudi state - oil, Wahhabism (a conservative form of Sunni Islam) and the strength of tribal norms - were instrumental in facilitating the rise of Islamist extremism and terrorism around the world prior to 9/11. These same pillars allowed Riyadh to contain al Qaeda within Saudi Arabia in the wake of the insurgency that kicked off in the kingdom in 2003-2004. After this success on the home front, Riyadh is still using these pillars to play an international role in counterjihadist efforts - a role welcomed by the United States.

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