Showing posts tagged as "NEWS"

Showing posts tagged NEWS

22 Aug
"The government, parliamentary opposition, demonstrators and the security apparatus must all respect the constitution and rule of law. Otherwise it would be next to impossible to resolve Pakistan’s security challenges, including militancy and terrorism that have claimed thousands of lives."

—From Crisis Group’s latest Conflict Alert: Protecting Pakistan’s Threatened Democracy

Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms | Agence France-Presse
Thousands of armed Shiite rebels in Yemen strengthened their positions in the capital Sanaa this week as they pressed their campaign to force the government to resign.
The rebels have been fighting an off-conflict with government troops in the northern mountains for the past decade but analysts warned their bid for a greater share of power in a promised new federal Yemen was creating a potentially explosive situation.
The Zaidi Shiites are the minority community in mainly Sunni Yemen but they form the majority in the northern highlands, including the Sanaa region.
Rebel activists used cranes to build walls around protest camps across the capital, where protest leaders have given the government a deadline of Friday to meet their demands.
FULL ARTICLE (Agence France-Presse via France 24)
Photo: AJTalkEng/flickr

Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms | Agence France-Presse

Thousands of armed Shiite rebels in Yemen strengthened their positions in the capital Sanaa this week as they pressed their campaign to force the government to resign.

The rebels have been fighting an off-conflict with government troops in the northern mountains for the past decade but analysts warned their bid for a greater share of power in a promised new federal Yemen was creating a potentially explosive situation.

The Zaidi Shiites are the minority community in mainly Sunni Yemen but they form the majority in the northern highlands, including the Sanaa region.

Rebel activists used cranes to build walls around protest camps across the capital, where protest leaders have given the government a deadline of Friday to meet their demands.

FULL ARTICLE (Agence France-Presse via France 24)

Photo: AJTalkEng/flickr

"The protests rocking Islamabad threaten to upend the constitutional order, set back rule of law and open the possibility of a soft coup, with the military ruling through the backdoor. Renewed political instability at the centre would imperil any progress that has been made in addressing grievous economic, development and security challenges."

—From Crisis Group’s latest Conflict Alert: Protecting Pakistan’s Threatened Democracy

Tunisia crackdown raises fears of rights rollback |  Bouazza Ben Bouazza And Paul Schemm
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Mosques are being closed, local organizations banned and at least 1,000 people have been arrested as Tunisia cracks down on those suspected of sympathizing with radical Islamists.
Tunisia was the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings, but the nation’s battle against terrorism is raising fears that it might be returning to its old ways of political repression.
Since overthrowing long-ruling dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and kicking off region-wide pro-democracy protests, Tunisia has been moving slowly toward setting up a new representative government, but increasingly it has come under attack by radical Islamists capitalizing on the chaos in neighboring Libya. Weapons and extremists from both Libya and Algeria are threatening Tunisia’s security as all of North Africa has become increasingly jittery over rumors of new attacks by al-Qaida’s local branch.
FULL ARTICLE (Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek)
Photo: Richard Mortel/flickr

Tunisia crackdown raises fears of rights rollback |  Bouazza Ben Bouazza And Paul Schemm

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Mosques are being closed, local organizations banned and at least 1,000 people have been arrested as Tunisia cracks down on those suspected of sympathizing with radical Islamists.

Tunisia was the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings, but the nation’s battle against terrorism is raising fears that it might be returning to its old ways of political repression.

Since overthrowing long-ruling dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and kicking off region-wide pro-democracy protests, Tunisia has been moving slowly toward setting up a new representative government, but increasingly it has come under attack by radical Islamists capitalizing on the chaos in neighboring Libya. Weapons and extremists from both Libya and Algeria are threatening Tunisia’s security as all of North Africa has become increasingly jittery over rumors of new attacks by al-Qaida’s local branch.

FULL ARTICLE (Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek)

Photo: Richard Mortel/flickr

21 Aug
Second Thoughts in Beijing: ‘We Are Still Facing a Powerful Japan’ | Yanmei Xie
BEIJING — After two years of tension, China and Japan are at last inching toward some sort of detente, gingerly sounding out the possibility of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The opportunity is as fragile as it is fleeting and requires both sides to proceed with extreme caution.
The meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyidaw last week was a significant step. Just days before, Xi received former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who was reportedly on a “stealth mission” to Beijing to broker a rapprochement.
Prior to these encounters, high-level engagement had been frozen since September 2012, when a dormant dispute over a group of islands — called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan —was reignited. Although Xi and Abe had a brief encounter during last year’s APEC summit in Bali, the unplanned meeting was so awkward that Beijing did its best to downplay it.
The renewal of contacts marks a significant change from December 2012, when Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine to Japan’s war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals. For China, the shrine symbolizes Japan’s refusal to atone for its aggression in World War II. After the visit, the Chinese foreign ministry declared: “Abe himself closed the door of dialogue with the Chinese leaders. The Chinese people do not welcome him.”
FULL ARTICLE (The Huffington Post)
Photo: Jacob Ehnmark/flickr

Second Thoughts in Beijing: ‘We Are Still Facing a Powerful Japan’ | Yanmei Xie

BEIJING — After two years of tension, China and Japan are at last inching toward some sort of detente, gingerly sounding out the possibility of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The opportunity is as fragile as it is fleeting and requires both sides to proceed with extreme caution.

The meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyidaw last week was a significant step. Just days before, Xi received former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who was reportedly on a “stealth mission” to Beijing to broker a rapprochement.

Prior to these encounters, high-level engagement had been frozen since September 2012, when a dormant dispute over a group of islands — called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan —was reignited. Although Xi and Abe had a brief encounter during last year’s APEC summit in Bali, the unplanned meeting was so awkward that Beijing did its best to downplay it.

The renewal of contacts marks a significant change from December 2012, when Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine to Japan’s war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals. For China, the shrine symbolizes Japan’s refusal to atone for its aggression in World War II. After the visit, the Chinese foreign ministry declared: “Abe himself closed the door of dialogue with the Chinese leaders. The Chinese people do not welcome him.”

FULL ARTICLE (The Huffington Post)

Photo: Jacob Ehnmark/flickr

Seleka rebels threaten to split CAR | Hilke Fischer
Dar El Kouti is the name of the new state according to a Seleka press release dated August 17, 2014. The document also lists the names of people who are supposed to lead this state. Top of the list is Michel Djotodia, Central African Republic’s fugitive Seleka leader. In the new state of Dar El Kouti he would supposedly become the new head of state and government.
Djotodia was forced to exile in Benin in January 2014 after intense international pressure. He was the man behind the March 2013 coup which threw the Central African Republic into chaos.
Dar El Kouti is the name of a sultanate which existed in the early 19th century. It was located on the territory of present-day north-western Central African Republic.
The Sultan, Muhammad al-Sanusi, fought against the French colonialists. Some people wish to see his legacy revived in the region around the city of Birao, some 800 km (497 miles) north of the capital Bangui. This lies outside the territory that once formed the Sultanate.
FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)
Photo: hdptcar/flickr

Seleka rebels threaten to split CAR | Hilke Fischer

Dar El Kouti is the name of the new state according to a Seleka press release dated August 17, 2014. The document also lists the names of people who are supposed to lead this state. Top of the list is Michel Djotodia, Central African Republic’s fugitive Seleka leader. In the new state of Dar El Kouti he would supposedly become the new head of state and government.

Djotodia was forced to exile in Benin in January 2014 after intense international pressure. He was the man behind the March 2013 coup which threw the Central African Republic into chaos.

Dar El Kouti is the name of a sultanate which existed in the early 19th century. It was located on the territory of present-day north-western Central African Republic.

The Sultan, Muhammad al-Sanusi, fought against the French colonialists. Some people wish to see his legacy revived in the region around the city of Birao, some 800 km (497 miles) north of the capital Bangui. This lies outside the territory that once formed the Sultanate.

FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)

Photo: hdptcar/flickr

Israeli airstrikes kill 3 top Hamas commanders in Gaza Strip | William Booth and Ruth Eglash
JERUSALEM — Israeli airstrikes killed three top Hamas commanders in Gaza early Thursday, marking the most significant blow to the leadership of the Palestinian militant group’s armed wing in six weeks of fighting in the battle-scarred enclave.
Hamas spokesmen confirmed that Israel killed the three men, whose bodies were pulled from a demolished building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
The killings came a day after an assassination attempt on Mohammed Deif, the top commander of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing. Hamas leaders mocked Israel for failing to kill Deif, although Israeli analysts said it was possible that the organization was withholding information on his death to maintain morale.
The al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement that Mohammed Abu Shamala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum were killed in the al-Sultan neighborhood of Rafah.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the targeted killings “a despicable crime for which Israel will pay dearly.” He vowed, “The strike won’t break the resistance of the Palestinian people,” according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
FULL ARTICLE (The Washington Post)
Photo: RafahKid Kid/flickr

Israeli airstrikes kill 3 top Hamas commanders in Gaza Strip | William Booth and Ruth Eglash

JERUSALEM — Israeli airstrikes killed three top Hamas commanders in Gaza early Thursday, marking the most significant blow to the leadership of the Palestinian militant group’s armed wing in six weeks of fighting in the battle-scarred enclave.

Hamas spokesmen confirmed that Israel killed the three men, whose bodies were pulled from a demolished building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

The killings came a day after an assassination attempt on Mohammed Deif, the top commander of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing. Hamas leaders mocked Israel for failing to kill Deif, although Israeli analysts said it was possible that the organization was withholding information on his death to maintain morale.

The al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement that Mohammed Abu Shamala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum were killed in the al-Sultan neighborhood of Rafah.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the targeted killings “a despicable crime for which Israel will pay dearly.” He vowed, “The strike won’t break the resistance of the Palestinian people,” according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

FULL ARTICLE (The Washington Post)

Photo: RafahKid Kid/flickr

20 Aug
Hopes of Prolonged Truce Dashed as Gaza Conflict Reignites | David Stout 
Fighting in Gaza continued into the early hours of Wednesday morning after talks between Israel and Hamas over a cease-fire collapsed in Cairo.
The negotiations in the Egyptian capital came to an abrupt end after three rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel eight hours before the latest truce was set to expire. Hamas denied launching the initial barrage of artillery on Tuesday night, but later claimed responsibility for rockets fired at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Israel responded to the salvos with renewed airstrikes into the Gaza Strip and pulled its negotiation team from Cairo, where it had been engaged in talks with Palestinian representatives over the establishment of a prolonged truce.
FULL ARTICLE (TIME)
Photo: Iyad al Baba/Oxfam International/flickr

Hopes of Prolonged Truce Dashed as Gaza Conflict Reignites | David Stout 

Fighting in Gaza continued into the early hours of Wednesday morning after talks between Israel and Hamas over a cease-fire collapsed in Cairo.

The negotiations in the Egyptian capital came to an abrupt end after three rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel eight hours before the latest truce was set to expire. Hamas denied launching the initial barrage of artillery on Tuesday night, but later claimed responsibility for rockets fired at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Israel responded to the salvos with renewed airstrikes into the Gaza Strip and pulled its negotiation team from Cairo, where it had been engaged in talks with Palestinian representatives over the establishment of a prolonged truce.

FULL ARTICLE (TIME)

Photo: Iyad al Baba/Oxfam International/flickr

Tunisia’s Border Dilemma | Adel Al-Nouqti
Tunis, Asharq Al-Awsat—Like all border zones across the world, Tunisia’s borders have never been completely secured. But the nature of problems along Tunisia’s southern border with Libya and western border with Algeria have seen radical shifts in recent years, mainly due to the political developments that have taken place both in Tunisia and its neighboring states.
Tunisia itself witnessed massive political changes after the fall of former President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, 2011 while turmoil also ripped through Libya in the aftermath of the ouster of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, also in 2011. In the western part of Tunisia, fierce clashes with armed militias positioned in the mountainous area along the border with Algeria have resulted in the deaths of more than 50 Tunisian military and security officers. As for its southern border with Libya, the flow of smuggled weapons has increased, bringing increased concerns over security.
Tunisia’s national economy has been a major casualty of its porous borders. Smuggling from Libya and Algeria costs Tunisia over one billion US dollars every year, a study prepared by the International Monetary Fund revealed.
FULL ARTICLE (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Photo: Richard Mortel/flickr

Tunisia’s Border Dilemma | Adel Al-Nouqti

Tunis, Asharq Al-Awsat—Like all border zones across the world, Tunisia’s borders have never been completely secured. But the nature of problems along Tunisia’s southern border with Libya and western border with Algeria have seen radical shifts in recent years, mainly due to the political developments that have taken place both in Tunisia and its neighboring states.

Tunisia itself witnessed massive political changes after the fall of former President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, 2011 while turmoil also ripped through Libya in the aftermath of the ouster of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, also in 2011. In the western part of Tunisia, fierce clashes with armed militias positioned in the mountainous area along the border with Algeria have resulted in the deaths of more than 50 Tunisian military and security officers. As for its southern border with Libya, the flow of smuggled weapons has increased, bringing increased concerns over security.

Tunisia’s national economy has been a major casualty of its porous borders. Smuggling from Libya and Algeria costs Tunisia over one billion US dollars every year, a study prepared by the International Monetary Fund revealed.

FULL ARTICLE (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Photo: Richard Mortel/flickr

Al-Shabab: A Close Look at East Africa’s Deadliest Radicals | Peter Dörrie
More than any other organization, Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahedeen, widely known as al-Shabab, has left its mark on the recent history of Somalia. Political and radical Islam have a long history in the country, but no group has survived longer than al-Shabab, and no group has emerged stronger from challenges and setbacks.
More than any other actor involved in the two-decade-old Somali conflict, al-Shabab has demonstrated its ability to adapt. Today, the group has emerged from an existential crisis and looks stronger than it has in years. Though al-Shabab is often referred to as simply a “terrorist group,” the term does not accurately describe the range of the group’s activities. As perhaps the most important spoiler on Somalia’s way toward peace, al-Shabab’s current situation warrants an assessment.
FULL ARTICLE (World Politics Review)
Photo: Rick Scavetta, U.S. Army Africa/flickr

Al-Shabab: A Close Look at East Africa’s Deadliest Radicals | Peter Dörrie

More than any other organization, Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahedeen, widely known as al-Shabab, has left its mark on the recent history of Somalia. Political and radical Islam have a long history in the country, but no group has survived longer than al-Shabab, and no group has emerged stronger from challenges and setbacks.

More than any other actor involved in the two-decade-old Somali conflict, al-Shabab has demonstrated its ability to adapt. Today, the group has emerged from an existential crisis and looks stronger than it has in years. Though al-Shabab is often referred to as simply a “terrorist group,” the term does not accurately describe the range of the group’s activities. As perhaps the most important spoiler on Somalia’s way toward peace, al-Shabab’s current situation warrants an assessment.

FULL ARTICLE (World Politics Review)

Photo: Rick Scavetta, U.S. Army Africa/flickr