The King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships took place in Riyadh at the end of December. They got more publicity than chess competitions often do, but most of it was bad publicity, mostly because the Saudi government had refused to issue visas to competitors from three countries with which it doesn’t have diplomatic relations: Qatar, Iran and Israel. This would appear to be in conflict with the statutes of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), which say that ‘FIDE events may be hosted only by federations where free access is generally assured to representatives of all federations.’
Outrage over Ukraine. Demonstrators blockade the government headquarters in protest against the government. The prime minster causes further offence by referring to the demonstrators as 'Nazis and criminals'. The government then tries to close down protest using force. John Kerry expresses 'disgust'. Less outrage over Spain, where the conservative government is to introduce legislation to forbid, among other things, unauthorised demonstrations outside government headquarters.