Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Syrian Rebels Describe U.S.-Backed Training in Qatar

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014   No comments

With reports indicating that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad are gaining ground in that country’s brutal civil war, moderate Syrian rebels have told a visiting journalist that the United States is arranging their training in Qatar (watch video).

Echoing Syria's brutal civil war, dozens dead, morgues overflowing after siege turns one of Ukraine’s largest airports into a war zone

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014   No comments
DONETSK, Ukraine — High-calibre weapons fire echoed sporadically Tuesday through the eastern city of Donetsk and the mayor urged residents to stay home a day after fighting between Ukrainian troops and separatist rebels reportedly killed dozens.

Donetsk mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko said 40 people, including two civilians, were killed after troops repelled a rebel attempt Monday to seize control of the airport, Ukraine’s second-largest.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Assad's staying power leaves Turkey frustrated and exposed

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014   No comments
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's certain victory in an election next month, derided internationally as a charade, leaves Turkey facing a bitter truth - its assumption of his quick demise was a costly miscalculation.

With al-Qaeda-linked armed groups controlling patches of territory across Turkey's southern border and a registered refugee influx set to top a million within months, Syria's three-year old war presents Ankara with an increasing financial burden and a growing security threat.

Monday, May 26, 2014

House leaders nix bill that would give Obama power to kill Benghazi terrorists

    Monday, May 26, 2014   No comments
The House Republican leadership has abolished an amendment that would have given President Obama the authority to kill the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, according to a legislative aide.

Some Republicans are wary of granting the president more power and, together with Democrats, could have defeated the measure on the House floor, the aide said on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Who’s Killing Pakistan’s Shia and Why?

    Monday, May 26, 2014   No comments
C. Christine Fair

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, in 2013 nearly 700 Shia were killed and more than 1,000 were injured in more than 200 sectarian terrorist attacks. Over 90 percent of those attacks occurred in Quetta, Karachi, Kangu, Parachinar, Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Since the beginning of 2000, nearly 4,000 persons have been killed and 6,800 injured (see figure below).  Who is hunting Pakistan’s Shia and, most importantly, why?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Libyan Coup General Welcomes Protesters' Backing

    Sunday, May 25, 2014   No comments
Khalifa Belqasim Haftar
Libya's embattled parliament has approved an Islamist-backed government despite boycotts from non-Islamists and threats from a renegade general who considers the chamber illegitimate.

The Islamist-dominated parliament convened Sunday under heavy security and protection in a palace east of the capital. It was hours before quorum was achieved. Lawmaker Mohammed Samud said 83 out of 93 parliamentarians present voted in favor of Ahmed Maiteg, an Islamist-backed businessman from Libya's third city, Misrata.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Leaders of the countries affiliated with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, gather in China, discuss security and economy issues

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014   No comments
Chinese President Xi Jinping met his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon here on Monday, and the two leaders vowed to push ahead with bilateral cooperation in a variety of areas.

Rakhmon is in Shanghai to attend the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia slated for Tuesday and Wednesday (see Shanghai Cooperation Organisation).

Sunday, May 18, 2014

    Sunday, May 18, 2014   No comments
 The self-declared Libyan National Army led by a renegade general told civilians on Saturday to leave parts of Benghazi before it launched a fresh attack on Islamist militants, a day after dozens were killed in the worst clashes in the city for months.

Families could be seen packing up and driving away from western districts of the port city where Islamist militants and LNA forces led by retired General Khalifa Haftar fought for hours on Friday.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Erdoğan allegedly punches a protester in Soma, his aide kicks a mourner

    Thursday, May 15, 2014   No comments

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan allegedly punched a young man several times in Soma on Wednesday, after a large crowd angrily protested the recent mining disaster in which an explosion and fire killed at least 282 mineworkers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tunisie : arrestation du cyberactiviste Azyz Amami

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014   No comments
Le cyberactiviste, Azyz Amami, 31 ans, a été arrêté avec un ami, Sabri Mlouka, dans la nuit du lundi 12 mai à la Goulette, en banlieue de Tunis, sans aucun motif officiel. De nombreux proches du blogueur, dont son père, affirment qu’il a été agressé physiquement par les agents de police lors de son interrogatoire.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Inside the Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo

    Monday, May 12, 2014   No comments
Inside the Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo, 15 students of calligraphy raptly practice writing verses from the Qur’an. Yet when the call to prayer is heard, few stir. The instructors and students are Japanese, and only two are Muslims. Here, their calligrapher’s pens (qalam in Arabic) are not made of reeds, as is traditional in much of the Islamic world. Nor do they use the brushes (fude) favored by Japanese calligraphers. Their pens are made of bamboo, which is plentiful in Japan.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New videos show more rebel groups in Syria have U.S.-made anti-tank missiles

    Wednesday, May 07, 2014   No comments
Advanced American-made anti-tank missiles can be seen in numerous videos posted by Syrian rebel groups over the weekend, an indication that what experts thought was a limited trial program to arm moderate pro-Western units recently has been expanded.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Death Stalks Muslims as Myanmar Cuts Off Aid

    Tuesday, May 06, 2014   No comments
SITTWE, Myanmar — By the time the baby girl was brought to the makeshift pharmacy, her chest was heaving, her temperature soaring. The supply of oxygen that might have helped was now off limits, in a Doctors Without Borders clinic shut down by the government in February.

Monday, May 5, 2014

al-Qaeda infighting shows that even if Assad is removed, Sunnis will countinue to suffer: 60,000 civilians forced to leave Islamist controlled areas

    Monday, May 05, 2014   No comments
The British-based Observatory said the Nusra Front had taken over control of the town of Abreeha from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a former al Qaeda affiliate formally disowned by the group this year.

At least 62 fighters had been killed in around four days of clashes in the area, which have emptied Abreeha and the towns of al-Busayrah and al-Zir, whose populations total over 60,000, the Observatory said.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Tunisian National Constituent Assembly approves new electoral law

    Saturday, May 03, 2014   No comments
Tunisian members members of the Constituency Assembly  have adopted a sweeping new electoral law that paves the way for general elections later this year and is a milestone in this country's new democracy.

The law requires party lists for legislative elections to be half women and half men. It also allows members of the authoritarian regime ousted in 2011 to run for office.

The elections are now expected no later than Nov. 23.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Breakthrough law strives to bring gender equality to Senegal’s government

    Friday, May 02, 2014   No comments

The women of Senegal are entering an unprecedented age of political empowerment. A breakthrough law doubled the number of women in the country’s parliament, far surpassing the United States’ female representation in Congress. Women all over the country are mobilizing to meet the new opportunity head on. But how is the traditional, patriarchal West African nation responding to the sudden change?

Syrian forces poised to recapture Homs after truce agreed with rebels

    Friday, May 02, 2014   No comments
48-hour ceasefire will allow hundreds of rebel fighters blockaded in old quarters of city to flee north, activists say

Syria's government and rebels have agreed to a ceasefire in Homs to allow hundreds of fighters holed up in the old quarters of the city to leave – a deal that will bring the country's third-largest city under the control of forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad.

If the agreement holds, the capture of the city will be a significant victory for Assad weeks before presidential elections set for 3 June.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Iraq’s Kurds Keep One Eye on Iraqi Elections, Another on Local Polls

    Thursday, May 01, 2014   No comments
For the second time in seven months Iraqi Kurds head to the polls on Wednesday, this time to elect new representatives for the Iraqi parliament and provincial councils for their own autonomous Kurdistan Region.

Five major Kurdish parties are vying for voters, with rivalries divided into geographical areas where each party feels it has strongest support.

The largest Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) enjoys a strong popular base in the Kurdish capital of Erbil, where it sits in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and in Duhok. The Partriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), meanwhile, is most confident in Sulaimani province and the Garmiyan region.

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