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14 Apr 2011 - 25 Jan 2021
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SATURDAY, 19 May 2012
Greek election race tightens into dead heat
Saturday, 19 May 2012
A flurry of polls on Saturday showed the race to lead Greece has tightened into a dead heat ahead of an election next month that could determine whether it remains in the euro. Greece was forced to call the new vote for June 17 after an election on May 6 left parliament divided evenly between groups of parties that support ... Read More
Decades after ‘reunification’ a divided Jerusalem remains
Saturday, 19 May 2012
Israelis this week mark Jerusalem Day, celebrating the “reunification” of the Holy City, but 45 years on, the contrast between quality of life in the Jewish west and the Arab east remain stark. The status of Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ... Read More
Spat with Iraq bares Turk plunge into regional power game
Friday, 18 May 2012
A bitter rift with Iraq has exposed Turkey’s role in a wider Middle East power struggle, with Ankara acting to protect its stability and prosperity from an Iranian-Iraqi “Shiite axis” it fears in the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq. Turkey, a Sunni Muslim but secular regional power bordering Iraq, Iran and ... Read More
New French President Hollande faces likely NATO ire on Afghanistan
Friday, 18 May 2012
For President Barack Obama’s relationship with France, it’s out with “Sarkozy the American” and in with Francois Hollande the Socialist. Freshly inaugurated, French President Hollande visits the White House on Friday and plans to announce a pullout of all French combat troops from Afghanistan by year’s end. ... Read More
Israel becomes target in Egypt’s presidential vote
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Israel has become a punch-bag for politicians vying for votes in Egypt’s presidential election, playing on popular antipathy in Egypt towards its neighbor, but the realities of office are likely to ensure a 33-year-old peace treaty is not jeopardized. Officials in Israel have watched Egypt’s political turmoil with ... Read More
Iran attack decision nears, Israeli elite locks down
Thursday, 17 May 2012
A private door opens from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in central Jerusalem directly into a long, modestly furnished, half-paneled room decorated with modern paintings by Israeli artists and a copy of Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence. It contains little more than a long wooden table, brown leather ... Read More
Mubarak’s last premier polarizes Egypt’s voters
Wednesday, 16 May 2012
The face of Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister beams down from huge billboards on major highways promising “Egypt for everyone”, but Ahmed Shafiq is polarizing voters ahead of next week’s presidential poll. For some, his government experience and background as a former air force commander promise an end to the ... Read More
Iran’s tough nuclear stance masks struggles at top
Wednesday, 16 May 2012
The negotiating stance from Iranian officials never varies: The Islamic Republic will not give up its capabilities to make nuclear fuel. But embedded in the messages are meanings that reach beyond Tehran’s talks with world powers. It points to the struggles within Iran’s ruling system as it readies for the ... Read More
Palestinian hunger strike: A coup for non-violent protest
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
The deal which ended the Palestinian prisoners’ mass hunger strike not only headed off a confrontation with Israel, but it also proved the growing success of their strategy of non-violent protest. The agreement, signed just hours before Nakba Day when Palestinians mourn the “catastrophe” which befell them in ... Read More
Shift on marriage energizes immigration activists
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
President Barack Obama’s shift to support gay marriage is energizing young Hispanic voters who have been working side-by-side with gay activists in their push for immigration reform. The alliance has been growing across the U.S., helping dispel what many say is an outdated notion that Hispanics are less tolerant of gays than ... Read More
Egypt vote won’t push the generals aside as army will continue to have big say
Monday, 14 May 2012
Near the rock-strewn scene of a bloody anti-army protest, Islamist, liberal and other politicians sat with ruling generals this month to haggle over Egypt’s future after its first presidential vote since Hosni Mubarak’s fall. At stake in the Defense Ministry meeting, held just hours after 11 people were killed in another ... Read More
Drowned Libya oil chief feared going home
Sunday, 13 May 2012
Spat at in public by a fellow Libyan who called him a thief, watching his back on long walks through Vienna, eating poorly; Muammar Qaddafi’s fugitive oil supremo was a troubled man in the months before he was found drowned in the Danube two weeks ago. Just whom, or what, Shokri Ghanem feared may hold a key to his mysterious ... Read More
Vote confirms Algeria as Arab spring exception: Analysts
Saturday, 12 May 2012
The Arab Spring’s wind of change fell dead on an Algerian regime that derives its strength from two brutal conflicts and prior experience of Islamism, analysts said Saturday. The results of Algeria’s first polls since the wave of uprisings born in neighboring Tunisia started sweeping the Arab world bucked the ... Read More
U.N.’s oldest refugee camps look at sensitive upgrades
Friday, 11 May 2012
Three generations of Palestinians displaced by the founding of Israel in 1948 know only life in U.N. refugee camps, going to schools beneath the blue-and-white U.N. flag and drawing their food stocks from U.N. warehouses. For these Palestinians whose long-cherished goal is “right of return” to the lands they lost 64 ... Read More
Israel frets on sideline as fall of Assad delayed
Friday, 11 May 2012
Keen for a little bit of certainty in a turbulent Arab world, Israeli leaders persuaded themselves last year that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- the devil they knew next door -- was finished, and something possibly better might be on the way. But it was not to be. With the Syrian uprising now into its 14th month and ... Read More
Damascus blasts push Syria ever closer to civil war: analysts
Thursday, 10 May 2012
The recent escalation of violence in Syria, including twin bombings on Thursday that killed scores, has pushed the country closer to war and could spell an end to a U.N. ceasefire mission, experts say. “The country is in a civil war vortex, and all this is happening while the international community is not ... Read More
Arab media struggle to adapt to new-found freedom promoted by social networks
Thursday, 10 May 2012
Caught out by last year’s Arab Spring uprisings, the region’s media are still coming to terms with their new-found freedom from the strong-arm tactics of now toppled dictators, participants in a Dubai conference say. “Turmoil, chaos, change... words that perfectly capture the situation in the Arab world and ... Read More
Libyan government starts to get tough on road to democracy
Wednesday, 09 May 2012
The tendency to resort to the arms which toppled Muammar Qaddafi poses a roadblock to democracy in the new Libya, analysts warn, while recognizing the government’s growing capacity to defuse crises. Libyan authorities resorted to force on Tuesday for the first time to repel dozens of armed men who had laid ... Read More
Euro 2012 a political headache for Ukraine
Wednesday, 09 May 2012
The June Euro 2012 football championship was Ukraine’s chance to shine: forge closer ties with the West, boost its international standing and aid its struggling economy. Instead, it has turned into a major headache. In a move reminiscent of the Cold War, top EU officials have vowed to boycott ... Read More
Netanyahu emerges as Israel’s strongman with unity deal
Wednesday, 09 May 2012
Now backed by a parliamentary supermajority, Benjamin Netanyahu has tremendous room to maneuver on Israel’s most pressing issues: peace with the Palestinians, possible war with Iran, and the growing rift at home between religious and secular Jews. The stunning partnership with the opposition Kadima party, ... Read More
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