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Media wars highlight regional tensions
High-profile resignations, bilateral disputes and threats to journalists’ lives over controversial comments and contested news stories made November a difficult month for Gulf media. In Qatar, Jaber Al-Harmi resigned as editor-in-chief of local daily Al-Sharq a few days after making thinly veiled criticism of Saudi Arabia’s austerity programme, which he compared unfavourably with Qatar’s boost to public sector salaries. There was also controversy when Saudi-owned, London-based Asharq Al-Awsat ran a story about Shia women in Iraq being sexually harassed by Iranian pilgrims during Arbaeen (40 days after Ashura) events.
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