Monday, April 28, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry: If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state

    Monday, April 28, 2014   No comments
Senior American officials have rarely, if ever, used the term “apartheid” in reference to Israel, and President Obama has previously rejected the idea that the word should apply to the Jewish state. Kerry's use of the loaded term is already rankling Jewish leaders in America—and it could attract unwanted attention in Israel, as well.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Hemmed in by hate, last Muslims in Central Africa capital pray for escape

    Friday, April 25, 2014   No comments
Hundreds of Muslims, among the last remaining in the Central African Republic’s capital after months of brutal sectarian violence, are trapped in a slum desperately hoping to be saved from militia attacks.
Some 1,300 refugees are thought to be holed up in the PK-12 neighbourhood — an area 12 kilometres outside the capital Bangui — having fled from all corners of the conflict-ravaged country. Many have been here for months. Almost 100 were evacuated under international protection on Monday, but the rest are stuck, hemmed in by the mostly Christian “anti-balaka” militias that have launched fierce attacks against the Muslim community.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

U.N.: Hundreds of civilians killed in South Sudan ethnic massacre

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014   No comments
U.N.: Hundreds of civilians killed in South Sudan ethnic massacre

Rebels slaughtered hundreds of civilians when they seized the South Sudan oil hub of Bentiu, hunting down men, women and children who had sought refuge in a hospital, mosque and Catholic church, the United Nations said on Monday.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Syrian rebels in Homs: "We are killing them, those rotting carcasses"

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014   No comments
Weakened Syrian rebels are making their last desperate stand in Homs, as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad launch their harshest assault yet to expel them from the central city, once known as the capital of the revolution.
Some rebels have escalated suicide car bombings in government-controlled areas dominated by Alawites, the minority Shiite offshoot sect that Assad belongs to. At least five such bombings in April killed more than 60 people, one of the bloodiest months for residents in government-controlled areas, a local reporter there estimated. The most recent, on Friday, killed 14.
"We are killing them, those rotting carcasses," said Abu Bilal, the fighter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jordanian ambassador seized in Libya, kidnappers demand prisoner release

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014   No comments
Jordan's ambassador to Libya was kidnapped on Tuesday by gunmen who demanded an Islamist militant be released from a Jordanian jail in exchange for the diplomat's freedom.

The masked gunmen shot and wounded the driver of Ambassador Fawaz al-Itan's car as they snatched the diplomat from a street in the capital Tripoli, Libya's Foreign Ministry said.

Essam Baitelmel, a member of the Libyan team investigating the abduction, said the kidnappers had demanded the release of Mohamed Dersi, a Libyan Islamist militant jailed for life in 2007 for plotting to blow up the main airport in Jordan.

Erdoğan threatens judges, prosecutors in party group speech

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014   No comments
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who claims that there are “gangs” inside the Turkish judiciary, has vowed to “purge those gangs and networks from courthouse hallways.”
Speaking at his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Erdoğan reiterated his earlier allegation that there are centers, both foreign and domestic, that are trying to undermine his government. “There have been some very aggressive attacks seeking to wear out our government ahead of the elections, both from the outside and inside. At home, there was a campaign against peace, stability, democracy, the settlement process and the economy, while outside there was a planned and ill-meaning campaign against Turkey's image.”

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Turkey 'aided Islamist fighters' in attack on Syrian town: Rebels and eye-witnesses claim that Turkish authorities allowed fighters to enter Syria through a strategic border post to carry out assault on Armenian town of Kasab

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014   No comments
Turkey facilitated an attack carried out by Islamist fighters against the Armenian town of Kasab inside Syria, eyewitnesses have told the Telegraph.
In an operation that was months in the planning, Turkish authorities gave rebel groups the mandate they needed to attack, allowing them access through a heavily militarised Turkish border post, whose location was strategically vital to the success of the assault.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and other "moderate" Arabs meeting Israeli officials

    Monday, April 14, 2014   No comments
Saudi foreign minister
Israel is holding secret talks with some Arab states that do not recognise it, looking to establish diplomatic ties based on a common fear of Iran, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday.
Amongst the countries he was in contact with were Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Lieberman told newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth - the first such disclosure by a senior Israeli official.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gül-Erdoğan meeting inconclusive on top leaders' presidential plans

    Saturday, April 12, 2014   No comments
A meeting on Thursday between Turkey's two top public officials, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül, did not yield a decision on who will run in the nation's first popular election for president.
Turkish media reported after the meeting that the president and prime minister will sit down once again in late April or early May to come to an agreement on who will run for the presidency in elections to be held in August.

Earlier, both Erdoğan and Gül had said they would reach a joint decision on the presidency; both are considered likely contenders for the spot. Gül, answering a question on Tuesday from a journalist at a reception for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, said: “I will sit down and talk with my colleagues, together with the prime minister. I have said that we will draw our roadmap according to our talks. Of course, what I think and will say about issues that concern me is important.”


Friday, April 11, 2014

Inside the FBI’s secret relationship with the military’s special operations

    Friday, April 11, 2014   No comments
When U.S. Special Operations forces raided several houses in the Iraqi city of Ramadi in March 2006, two Army Rangers were killed when gunfire erupted on the ground floor of one home. A third member of the team was knocked unconscious and shredded by ball bearings when a teenage insurgent detonated a suicide vest.

Despite a New Constitution, the Fight for Gender Equality in Tunisia Continues

    Friday, April 11, 2014   No comments
After more than two years of arguments and concessions between Islamic and secular parties, on January 26, the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly ratified the country’s new Constitution.

When it was signed, assembly members spontaneously started to chant the national anthem and congratulated each other for the achievement. Indeed, there was cause for celebration. Tunisians signed one of the most progressive Constitutions in the Arab world, one that includes a commitment to gender equality. Yet, the celebratory media coverage failed to mention that other Arab countries, such as Algeria and Morocco, have also committed to gender equality in their Constitution.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Accepting the Other: Faith in Oman

    Wednesday, April 09, 2014   No comments
 Oman Episode 1 of 2
Duration: 29 minutes
First broadcast: Saturday 05 April 2014
 In the Islamically conservative Gulf region, Oman stands out for its religious tolerance. Members of other faiths – Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and others – enjoy freedom of worship. Interfaith dialogue is a government priority. All this puts the country in sharp contrast to its neighbour Saudi Arabia, where the public practise of any religion other than Islam is banned.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels: Erdoğan's men behind the chemical attack in Syria

    Monday, April 07, 2014   No comments
In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.​ Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Le Pen: "Let them eat pork!"Jewish and Muslim schoolchildren will not be offered alternatives to pork dishes in towns run by National Front

    Saturday, April 05, 2014   No comments
France’s far-right National Front party will prevent schools from offering Muslim and Jewish pupils pork-free lunches in the towns where it won in recent local elections, its leader Marine Le Pen announced on Friday.

She said that arrangements catering to Muslim and Jewish, pupils who cannot eat pork according to religious restrictions, contradict the country’s secular values.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Iran, Russia working to seal $20 billion oil-for-goods deal: sources

    Thursday, April 03, 2014   No comments
Iran and Russia have made progress toward an oil-for-goods deal that sources said could be worth up to $20 billion and enable Tehran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions, people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.

In January, Reuters reported that Moscow and Tehran were discussing a barter deal that would see Moscow buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.

The United States has said such a deal would raise "serious concerns" and be inconsistent with the nuclear talks between world powers and Iran.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tunisian PM, Mehdi Jomaa, to visit the United States and meet Obama first week of April

    Tuesday, April 01, 2014   No comments
Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa started, Tuesday, a four-day official visit to the United States, at the invitation of President Barack Obama.

Jomaa will be received at the White House by President Obama, April 4.

"Mehdi Jomaa's visit to U.S.A. testifies to the solid friendship relations binding the American and Tunisian peoples and the Government's commitment towards the democratic transition," a White House statement pointed out.

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