January 12, 2014 |
DOHA, Qatar - As the hot sun cut through the morning haze of the seemingly perpetual summer of this Persian Gulf city, commanders of Syria's Western-backed opposition forces convened for a series of high-level meetings. The participants, leaders of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, were desperately engaged in damage control after a loose coalition of Islamist groups had taken over the council's warehouses on the Syria-Turkey border, seizing U.S. donations and prompting a suspension of American aid. The choice of Doha, Qatar's capital, was not a strange one. The tiny emirate of Qatar, home to the world's third-largest natural gas reserves and its highest per capita wealth, was once the opposition's staunchest and most vocal supporter.
January 8, 2014 |
FIFA, the soccer's world governing body, has generally displayed a unique grasp on reality that often differs from the world the rest of us live in. But in two interviews with European media outlets this week, the group's highest-ranking officials have shown they may indeed understand the obvious. First FIFA President Sepp Blatter told a Swiss newspaper that Brazil is hopelessly behind in construction for this summer's World Cup and predicted that the event will be the target of protests, as was last summer's Confederations Cup. And now, CNN reports, FIFA is conceding it's hot in the Middle East in summer and appears ready to change the dates of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to avoid summer temperatures that frequently soar above 112 degrees.
January 4, 2014 |
Rafael Nadal opened his 2014 campaign by winning his first title of the year, defeating Gael Monfils , 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-2 at the Qatar Open tennis tournament on Saturday. Nadal showed why he's the top player in the world throughout the week. Although he wasn't in top form in his first event of the season, he battled to win his 61st career title, one shy of Guillermo Vilas' total, seventh on the all-time Open era list. "I think I played my best match of the season -- of the tournament -- today," Nadal said after the exciting, two-hour final.
October 4, 2013 |
Faced with continuing criticism over their decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, international soccer leaders have concluded a two-day meeting by deciding to put off any immediate decisions. Qatar was a controversial choice from the start, if only because the Persian Gulf can be oppressively hot in summer. More recently, there have been reports of widespread labor violations in that country. After meeting in Zurich, members of FIFA's executive committee said Friday they will begin a consultation process to further examine moving the summertime tournament to a winter date in 2022.
July 30, 2013 |
QUITO, Ecuador -- Much of Ecuador was in mourning Tuesday over the sudden death in Doha, Qatar, of one of its most popular soccer players, 27-year-old Christian “Chucho” Benitez. Benitez was a stalwart on the South American country's national team, the leading scorer this year in the Mexican league, and most recently an imported star on the Al Jaish team in Doha. Benitez also was expected to play a major role in Ecuador's bid for the World Cup next year in Brazil.
June 25, 2013 |
CAIRO -- The emir of Qatar handed power to his son Tuesday at a time when the country has parlayed its media empire and natural gas riches into prominent regional influence that includes arming Syrian rebels and building a grandiose Museum of Islamic Art. In a nationally televised speech, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani tapped his fourth son, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, 33, to succeed him. A Cabinet shuffle is expected in the transition, but...