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Dubai sheikh posts cryptic poem as wife Princess Haya attends court for start of custody battle

Dubai sheikh posts cryptic poem as wife Princess Haya attends court for start of custody battleThe ruler of Dubai published an online poem about “shining swords with sharp blades” on the day his estranged wife asked a British judge to make an arranged marriage protection order.  The billionaire Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 70, posted a verse online called “Swords of the Excellencies” as Princess Haya attended the High Courts of Justice in London for the start of their bitter legal battle over their two children She was seen in public for the first time on Tuesday after fleeing United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the youngsters earlier this year while apparently “in fear for her life”. The vice-president and prime minister of the UAE has applied to the British courts for the “summary return” of his two children from Britain. On Tuesday afternoon – the first day of the preliminary hearing – Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the Family Courts Division, allowed the media to report how the princess was applying for a “forced marriage protection order.”  The 45-year-old Jordanian princess is also asking seeking a non-molestation order, it emerged. As those details became public triggering headlines around the world, the sheikh, a self-proclaimed poet, posted his latest poem. The verse was uploaded at 4.06pm British time.  Princess Haya bint Al-Hussein (R) and her husband Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (L) arrive for the Epsom Derby Credit: Rex The sheikh has earlier published a poem which accused an unnamed woman of “treachery and betrayal”.  The verse, called ‘Live or Die’, includes the line: “You no longer have a place with me. I don’t care if you live or die.” However, in the latest poem released on Tuesday, it has locally been interpreted as an ode to the UAE’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, or MBZ as he is known in the region. “He (his Excellency) has shining swords with sharp blades. In their sheaths, they can cut if drawn,” he wrote on his official Instagram page. “For confronting and keeping away the enemies, he has many soldiers. He has protected heroes so that nobody will conspire against them.” In Arabic, he appears to be speaking figuratively but it could be viewed as a veiled threat, possibly to regional enemies such as Iran or Qatar, with whom the UAE has had strained relations in recent years. Sheikh Maktoum suggests the UAE has not shown its true power and asks what would happen if this sword were ever to be used. The sheikh, thought to have more than 20 children by six wives, is known regularly to write poetry. Before he and his sixth wife split earlier this year, they were often photographed together with the Queen, a friendship cultivated from their shared passion for horses.  The Queen greets Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Credit: AP As the founder of the Godolphin horse racing stable, the Sheikh this year received a trophy from the Queen after one of his horses won a race at Royal Ascot. The break up – likely to result in a £4 billion divorce battle – has become increasingly acrimonious in recent months. It is understood the Princess, the sheikh’s youngest wife, flew on a private jet with her children to the UK in April. It is not known why she left, but speculation has focused on how two of the sheikh’s children – Princess Shamsa and Princess Latifa – had tried unsuccessfully to flee the emirate. Full details about the orders applied for and the identities of the children discussed in the two-day preliminary hearing, which ended yesterday, cannot be reported for legal reasons.  The trial is due to start properly in November.



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Dubai sheikh posts cryptic poem as wife Princess Haya attends court for start of custody battle

Dubai sheikh posts cryptic poem as wife Princess Haya attends court for start of custody battleThe ruler of Dubai published an online poem about “shining swords with sharp blades” on the day his estranged wife asked a British judge to make an arranged marriage protection order.  The billionaire Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 70, posted a verse online called “Swords of the Excellencies” as Princess Haya attended the High Courts of Justice in London for the start of their bitter legal battle over their two children She was seen in public for the first time on Tuesday after fleeing United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the youngsters earlier this year while apparently “in fear for her life”. The vice-president and prime minister of the UAE has applied to the British courts for the “summary return” of his two children from Britain. On Tuesday afternoon – the first day of the preliminary hearing – Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the Family Courts Division, allowed the media to report how the princess was applying for a “forced marriage protection order.”  The 45-year-old Jordanian princess is also asking seeking a non-molestation order, it emerged. As those details became public triggering headlines around the world, the sheikh, a self-proclaimed poet, posted his latest poem. The verse was uploaded at 4.06pm British time.  Princess Haya bint Al-Hussein (R) and her husband Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (L) arrive for the Epsom Derby Credit: Rex The sheikh has earlier published a poem which accused an unnamed woman of “treachery and betrayal”.  The verse, called ‘Live or Die’, includes the line: “You no longer have a place with me. I don’t care if you live or die.” However, in the latest poem released on Tuesday, it has locally been interpreted as an ode to the UAE’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, or MBZ as he is known in the region. “He (his Excellency) has shining swords with sharp blades. In their sheaths, they can cut if drawn,” he wrote on his official Instagram page. “For confronting and keeping away the enemies, he has many soldiers. He has protected heroes so that nobody will conspire against them.” In Arabic, he appears to be speaking figuratively but it could be viewed as a veiled threat, possibly to regional enemies such as Iran or Qatar, with whom the UAE has had strained relations in recent years. Sheikh Maktoum suggests the UAE has not shown its true power and asks what would happen if this sword were ever to be used. The sheikh, thought to have more than 20 children by six wives, is known regularly to write poetry. Before he and his sixth wife split earlier this year, they were often photographed together with the Queen, a friendship cultivated from their shared passion for horses.  The Queen greets Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Credit: AP As the founder of the Godolphin horse racing stable, the Sheikh this year received a trophy from the Queen after one of his horses won a race at Royal Ascot. The break up – likely to result in a £4 billion divorce battle – has become increasingly acrimonious in recent months. It is understood the Princess, the sheikh’s youngest wife, flew on a private jet with her children to the UK in April. It is not known why she left, but speculation has focused on how two of the sheikh’s children – Princess Shamsa and Princess Latifa – had tried unsuccessfully to flee the emirate. Full details about the orders applied for and the identities of the children discussed in the two-day preliminary hearing, which ended yesterday, cannot be reported for legal reasons.  The trial is due to start properly in November.



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Princess Haya, Dubai ruler’s wife, urges UK court to grant a forced marriage protection order

Princess Haya, Dubai ruler’s wife, urges UK court to grant a forced marriage protection orderPrincess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the youngest wife of the multi-billionaire ruler of Dubai, has urged a British court to protect one of her ­children by granting a forced marriage ­protection order. The Jordanian princess, who fled to Britain in May with her two children “in fear for her life”, is fighting an ­application from her husband, Sheikh Mohammed, for the “summary return” of the youngsters to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Jordanian princess is also seeking a non-molestation order, a process normally used to protect someone who claims they have been subjected to ­domestic violence. However, the ­details surrounding the order, ­including to whom it applies, cannot be reported. The children are living with their mother in her £85 million home in Kensington, west London. The princess has applied successfully for them to be wards of court, and any decisions about their ­future cannot be made without the approval of the presiding judge, Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the Family Courts Division. Princess Haya, 45, attended the first day of the preliminary hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. It is the first time she has been seen in public since she left her family home in the Gulf last month. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Princess Haya bint Al Hussein attend Derby Day at Ascot in 2016 Credit: David M Benett/Getty In what is likely to be one of the most expensive child welfare cases in British family court history that may reveal how women are treated in the Dubai royal household, Princess Haya sat next to her lawyer, Baroness Shackleton, and stared intently, listening to proceedings. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, 70, the founder of the Godolphin horse racing stable and thought to be worth £9 billion, is not in court but is represented by Lady Helen Ward, a family and divorce lawyer. He and his estranged wife are both friends with the Queen, due to their shared love of horses. A court order is in place which means the names, ages and gender of their two children and details of the case cannot be reported. However, according to the Government’s website, the “forced marriage protection order” the princess is seeking for one of her children is commonly used to prevent someone “threatened with a forced marriage” leaving the country. The former Olympic equestrian, who became the sheikh’s sixth wife in 2004, was said to have flown on a private jet to Germany, before making her way to the UK. While the exact details of why she left are not known, some have said it stemmed from the earlier treatment of two of the sheikh’s princess daughters who also tried to flee. Princess Latifa, 33, ran away from Dubai last year to try to seek asylum. Princess Haya bint al-Hussein greeting Queen Elizabeth II in 2016 at Royal Ascot Credit: Jason Dawson However, she was seized off the coast of India by commandos and returned to Dubai. She recorded a video before her capture in which she warned her life was a sham and claimed she had suffered abuse. In December last year, Princess ­Latifa was pictured alongside Mary Robinson, the former president of ­Ireland and friend of Princess Haya, in the Dubai family home in what was largely seen as a publicity stunt. In 2000, Princess Shamsa ran away from her father’s estate near Chobham in Surrey. It is believed she was later abducted and returned to Dubai. It has been claimed Princess Haya, the half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, fled Dubai because she learnt “the truth” about Princess Latifa. The sheikh, the vice-president and prime minister of the UAE as well as leader of Dubai, is said to have 23 ­children by his different wives. A poem recently appeared on his ­official Instagram page thought to have been written by him which accused an unnamed woman of “treachery and ­betrayal”. The judge on Tuesday allowed the ­media to report how Princess Haya had applied for wardship of their children, as well as for a forced marriage ­protection order and a non-molestation order. Rejecting an application by Sheikh Mohammed’s lawyers for those details to be subject to reporting restrictions, Sir Andrew ruled that “there is a public ­interest in the public understanding, in very broad terms, proceedings that are before the court.” The hearing continues.



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Saudi princess tried in absentia for alleged Paris beating

Saudi princess tried in absentia for alleged Paris beatingThe only daughter of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman was put on trial in absentia Tuesday in Paris for allegedly ordering her bodyguard to strike a plumber she suspected of taking photos and video at the Saudi royal family’s apartment in the French capital. Prosecutors allege Princess Hessa bint Salman became enraged when she saw the plumber allegedly capturing her image, fearing the pictures could be used to harm her as the Saudi monarch’s daughter due to her country’s conservative traditions. The princess’ lawyer said she was not present because correspondence was sent to the Paris address, not to the royal palace in Saudi Arabia.



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A Saudi princess, a bodyguard and a workman: French trial to open

A Saudi princess, a bodyguard and a workman: French trial to openThe king of Saudi Arabia’s daughter is a “caring, humble” person who is the victim of false allegations that she ordered a bodyguard to beat up a workman in her luxury flat in Paris, the princess’ lawyer said. Princess Hassa bint Salman is due to go on trial in absentia on Tuesday on charges of complicity to violence with a weapon and complicity to kidnap an Egyptian-born artisan who was carrying out repairs at her father’s residence on the exclusive Avenue Foch in September 2016. According to the indictment, seen by Reuters, workman Ashraf Eid told police the bodyguard bound his hands, punched and kicked him and forced him to kiss the princess’ feet after she accused him of filming her on his cell phone.



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A Saudi princess, a bodyguard and a workman: French trial to open

A Saudi princess, a bodyguard and a workman: French trial to openThe king of Saudi Arabia’s daughter is a “caring, humble” person who is the victim of false allegations that she ordered a bodyguard to beat up a workman in her luxury flat in Paris, the princess’ lawyer said. Princess Hassa bint Salman is due to go on trial in absentia on Tuesday on charges of complicity to violence with a weapon and complicity to kidnap an Egyptian-born artisan who was carrying out repairs at her father’s residence on the exclusive Avenue Foch in September 2016. According to the indictment, seen by Reuters, workman Ashraf Eid told police the bodyguard bound his hands, punched and kicked him and forced him to kiss the princess’ feet after she accused him of filming her on his cell phone.



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Saudi princess becomes country's first female ambassador with US role

Saudi princess becomes country's first female ambassador with US roleA Saudi princess has been named the country's first ever female ambassador, and its next envoy to the United States, amid strained diplomatic relations.  Princess Reema bint Bandar al-Saud's appointment comes as the conservative kingdom is under international scrutiny over the alleged torture of imprisoned female activists and the murder of dissident Jamal Khashoggi.  The kingdom’s strict guardianship laws were highlighted last month after teenager Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, made a dramatic escape from the country, citing an abusive family and state-sponsored oppression. Princess Reema, whose father Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud held the post from 1983 until 2005, grew up in the US and Saudi Arabia, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in museum studies from George Washington University. A high-profile businesswoman, she has worked in the public and private sector, notably as the CEO of a retail company with Harvey Nichols in its portfolio.  She is also known for her advocacy work around women’s rights, increased women’s participation in sport, and breast cancer awareness.  Princess Reema will take over the role from Prince Khalid bin Salman, the younger brother of  crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, who has been named Saudi deputy defence minister. The US envoy oversees one of Saudi’s most valuable relationships, which has been strained over the murder of Mr Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, and Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.  The two countries, are bound by shared interests in the Middle East, such as controlling an ascendant Iran, and hundreds of billions of dollars in arms deals. In May 2017, US President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman inked a series of letters of intent for Saudi to purchase US$ 110 billion worth of US arms  immediately, and another $ 350 billion over 10 years. Many of these weapons end up in Yemen, which has attracted mild statements of concern from the US.



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Thai Princess Ubolratana Says She's Sorry for Causing Problems

Thai Princess Ubolratana Says She's Sorry for Causing ProblemsThe post follows a political party’s failed bid to make the princess its prime ministerial candidate, after her brother King Maha Vajiralongkorn said it was inappropriate for her to seek office. Thailand officially treats top royals as semi-divine and apolitical. Thai Raksa Chart is linked to exiled former prime minster Thaksin Shinawatra.



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Thai Election Talk Turns to Economy After Princess Shock

Thai Election Talk Turns to Economy After Princess ShockKittiratt Na Ranong, a former finance minister and deputy leader of Pheu Thai — one of several parties backed by Thaksin along with Thai Raksa Chart — said his colleagues are “going forward in full gear” ahead of the March 24 vote. “People across Thailand have been feeling the effect of a bad economy,” he added. Thaksin’s camp is seeking to rally poorer voters who have helped his allies win every election in Thailand since 2001, drawn by policies such as cheap health care and crop price support.



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Thai princess disqualified from list of candidates for PM

Thai princess disqualified from list of candidates for PMThai Princess Ubolratana was on Monday formally disqualified for running for prime minister, ending her brief and ill-fated political union with a party allied to the powerful Shinawatra clan, just days after a stern royal command rebuking her candidacy was issued by her brother, the king. Uncertainty and conjecture have coursed through Thailand since Friday when the Thai Raksa Chart party made the explosive announcement of Princess Ubolratana, King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s elder sister, as their candidate for premier after the March 24 election. A royal command from the king put a pin in her unprecedented political aspirations, insisting the monarchy was above politics and describing his sister’s candidacy as “highly inappropriate”.



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