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WEDNESDAY, 19 December 2012
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Israeli Arabs unenthusiastic about Jan. 22 vote
Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Israeli Arab activist Rasool Saada is crisscrossing the country to encourage fellow Arab citizens to vote in Jan. 22 parliamentary elections, convinced they can make a difference. Numerically, he’s right. Historically, it hasn’t worked out that way. Arabs make up about a fifth of Israel’s population, but ... Read More
People with ‘no religion’ third world group after Christians, Muslims
Tuesday, 18 December 2012

People with no religious affiliation make up the third-largest global group in a new study of the size of the world's faiths, placing after Christians and Muslims and just before Hindus. The study, based on extensive data for the year 2010, also showed Islam and Hinduism are the faiths mostly likely to expand in the ... Read More
From central Damascus, war seems ever closer
Tuesday, 18 December 2012

From the center of Damascus, Syrians can see the shrouds of smoke rising overhead and feel the shake of explosions that warn of a frontline creeping ever closer. The same squares where President Bashar al-Assad once drew tens of thousands to cheer in support lie empty and walled off by concrete barriers up to two meters (six ... Read More
Afghans turn to AK-47, fearing Taliban return or civil war
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Afghan father-of-four Mohammad Nasir has a secret he’s been keeping from his family. The aid worker pulls a television bench out from the living-room wall of his Kabul home. Behind it is a carved out shelf, hiding what he hopes will keep loved ones safe when Western troops withdraw by the end of 2014 -- an AK-47 assault ... Read More
The scream: Yemeni women make their voices heard
Monday, 17 December 2012

At the peak of the uprising against now ousted Yemeni strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, Khadija al-Salami left her diplomatic post in Paris to film the mass participation by long-marginalized women in the revolt. In her documentary “The Scream,” screened at the Dubai International Film Festival, Salami -- who was ... Read More
In French countryside, Taliban edges towards peace table
Monday, 17 December 2012
Efforts to draw the Taliban into a peace process to prevent Afghanistan from collapsing into civil war after NATO troops pull out in 2014 will take a small, but potentially significant, step forward in France this week. Under the auspices of a French think-tank, two senior Taliban officials will sit down for ... Read More
Kidnap gangs use leaked bank details to prey on Afghan tycoons
Monday, 17 December 2012
Afghan construction magnate Haji Asadullah Ghaznawi was dragged from his office with a gun to his head and locked up in a slaughterhouse for almost three weeks. Ghaznawi was later shocked to discover someone had leaked details of his bank account to the kidnap gang who pulled up in a car in broad daylight in Kabul a year ago ... Read More
Lieberman resignation a gamble: Israeli media
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Avigdor Lieberman is hoping for a quick return to government after resigning as Israel’s foreign minister over graft charges, but his bid for a quick plea deal could be a gamble, Israeli media said Sunday. Lieberman announced he was stepping down on Friday, a day after the attorney general decided to charge the ... Read More
Child deaths and bitter cold in Syrian refugee camps
Sunday, 16 December 2012
One-year-old Ali Ghazawi, born with a heart defect, faced a battle for survival even before his family fled Syria’s civil war. It was a struggle he lost two weeks ago in the bitter winter cold of a tented refugee camp in north Jordan. Ali died two days after undergoing a heart operation in Zaatari camp, which houses at ... Read More
U.S. Muslims to reclaim 'Jihad' with an ad campaign
Saturday, 15 December 2012
US Muslims launched an advertising and social media campaign Friday in the hopes of reclaiming the word jihad from extremists who insist on equating the spiritual quest with Read More
Israel's Women of the Wall pray for equality
Friday, 14 December 2012
Israeli security guards at the Western Wall on Friday searched women worshippers arriving at the holiest place where Jews can pray for a seemingly inoffensive object - the Jewish prayer shawl, which under the Orthodox tradition can be worn only by Read More
Videos against the Egyptian draft constitution surface social media
Friday, 14 December 2012
A group of Egyptian youth designed a series of video clips on YouTube campaigning against the draft constitution to be put to vote on Saturday. The clips come along a series of videos called in Arabic “Fahmni” or “Explain to Me,” tackling political and legal concepts and terms. The clips discussed some articles of the ... Read More
Arab spring countries in turmoil two years on
Friday, 14 December 2012
Tunisians, already troubled by the rise of radical Islamists, are eyeing the political and economic paralysis gripping their country with a dismay shared across much of the region two years after the Arab Spring began. In Sidi Bouzid -- the central town where Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire on December 17, ... Read More
Syrian refugees call home from Jordanian camp
Friday, 14 December 2012
As the violence intensifies and spreads in Syria, some 250,000 people have fled into Jordan, according to Jordanian official sources. About 45,000 Syrians are sheltering in al-Zaatari refugee camp, 15 km from the Syrian border. Fearful for the safety of family members still in Syria, refugees cover their faces for interviews ... Read More
Scuds: mobile missiles that sow terror
Thursday, 13 December 2012
The mobile, medium-range Scud missile, which U.S. officials say Syria’s embattled regime has fired on rebels, is a fearful, indiscriminate weapon with a bloody history in the region. The Soviet-designed missiles can carry a warhead of up to 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) but, owing to their relative inaccuracy, ... Read More
Oman eyes broader role for private sector to create jobs, diversify from oil
Thursday, 13 December 2012
When Oman unveiled a plan this year to build a large petrochemical complex alongside a $6 billion refinery in the southern coastal town of Duqm, officials hailed the project as a step towards diversifying income and creating jobs. Promoting new industries and expanding downstream oil operations such as petrochemicals have ... Read More
Winter brings more troubles for displaced Syrians
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
This tent camp sheltering Syrians uprooted by their country’s brutal civil war has lost the race against winter: The ground under white tents is soaked in mud, fights erupt over scarce blankets and volunteer doctors routinely run out of medicine for coughing, runny-nosed children. The 21-month-old battle ... Read More
Beneath the burqa: Afghan women opt for cosmetic surgery
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Despite living much of their lives behind a veil, some Afghan women are feeling pressure to conform to ideals of female beauty and are lining up for cosmetic surgery at a handful of clinics in Kabul. A few years ago, most operations would have been to repair war wounds or scars from family violence, acid ... Read More
In Cairo’s chic clubs, Egypt’s youth protest to a beat
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Egypt’s deep political crisis is not only playing out in street protests, it is pushing its way into all social settings -- including the high-decibel clubland of Cairo’s privileged youth. In one of the night spots, the Nile Maxim, on a ship moored on an island in the center of the capital, cocktail-sipping ... Read More
Doomsday believer’s to seek refuge in Turkish village
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Believers of the Mayan calendar prediction that the world will end on December 21 have flooded into a small village in western Turkey, near the ancient Greek city of Ephesus. Some New Age spiritualists are convinced of a December 21 “doomsday” foretold by Mayan hieroglyphs -- at least according to some ... Read More
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