Qatar

Middle East spins deeper into crisis

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Foreign intervention is pushing the Middle East into a series of wars with no end in sight.

The war in Syria and Iraq is threatening to spill into a war between the Saudis and Iran, Turkey is preparing to crush the restive Kurdish regions, while the prospect of a defeat for ISIS threatens a deeper and bloodier struggle over its old strongholds.

Qatar: pulled back into line

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One of the many casualties of the end of the Arab Spring is the Gulf state of Qatar, a country that up till recently had seemed best placed to emerge as a leading power in the new post-revolutionary Arab world.

Its main allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have turned on the island kingdom, withdrawing their ambassadors and hinting that the gas rich monarchy would be expelled from the powerful bloc.

Recent reports appear to indicate that Qatar is recanting its support for the Arab Spring, and reining back its sponsorship of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The high price of oils

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The art market is awash with cash, and Qatar is now hoovering up classical and modern collections thanks to its oil and gas dollars. This puffed up market of speculators has distorted creativity, argues Ben Windsor.

Each year Art Review magazine compiles a list of the 100 most powerful people in the art world. This year, the highest ranked artist, Ai Weiwei, languishes at No 9. All places above him are taken by directors of public museums and private galleries (the trend setters of the art world) with one exception.

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