World: A Sultan Speaks His Mind

In the Cabinet room of his new $15 million royal palace on the Muscat waterfront, Sultan Qaboos bin Said sits on a throne emblazoned with the royal coat of arms, crossed swords held together by a khanjar, the distinctive dagger worn by Omani males. On his desk, along with several folders marked "top secret," is a copy of Jane's Fighting Ships. His headdress is purple silk; his robe is white and partially covered by a black cloak trimmed with gold. At his waist is a khanjar, the hilt marked with a design to be used only by the ruler. The following...

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