Operation to retake Tikrit begins: Iraq state TV

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Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces on Monday began a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein’s hometown from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), state TV said, a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by the militants. BAGHDAD – The Associated Press – ... Read More »

Boris Nemtsov, Critic of Putin, Is Shot Dead in Moscow

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MOSCOW — A prominent Russian opposition leader, Boris Y. Nemtsov, was shot dead in central Moscow late Friday night within sight of the Kremlin walls. The New York Times – By ANDREW ROTH The murder of Mr. Nemtsov, 55, a first deputy prime minister under Boris N. Yeltsin who later helped organize opposition demonstrations against President Vladimir V. Putin, was confirmed ... Read More »

Libya: Getting Geneva Right

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ICG – Middle East and North Africa Report N°157 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Libya’s deteriorating internal conflict may be nearing a dramatic turning point. Over six months of fighting between two parliaments, their respective governments and allied militias have led to the brink of all-out war. On the current trajectory, the most likely medium-term prospect is not one side’s triumph, but that rival ... Read More »

Former police intel chief detained as key figure in Dink murder

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A high-ranking Turkish police chief has been detained inAnkara as part of the investigation into the 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Hurriyet – Toygun Atilla Ramazan Akyürek, who was detained in Ankara on Feb. 26, had served as the head of the police in the Black Seaprovince of Trabzon between December 2003 and May 2006. He then served as ... Read More »

More weapons are not the answer to Libya’s jihadi upsurge

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In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Libya Senior Analyst Claudia Gazzini discusses the upsurge in Islamic State activity in Libya. ICG – After the Islamic State (IS) beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya, and Egypt bombed IS camps in response, it seems clear that there is an IS problem in Libya that didn’t exist before. By Claudia Gazzini How did Libya ... Read More »

Islamic State militants abduct at least 150 Christians from Syrian villages, activists say

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Jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) group have kidnapped at least 150 Assyrian Christians in north-east Syria, activists say. The abductions took place on Tuesday after IS seized two Assyrian villages – Tal Shamiram and Tal Hermuz – from Kurdish forces in the province of Hassakeh, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A Syrian Christian group representing ... Read More »

The Cultural Boycott of Israel Isn’t Solidarity, It’s Condescension


Whose side am I on? That’s the question I find myself asking after reading the statement drawn up by Artists for Palestine, and signed by over 700 British artists and self-styled “cultural workers,” announcing their cultural boycott of Israel last week (see Jeremy Deller, Ed Atkins, and Hundreds of UK Artists Support Cultural Boycott of Israel). Declaring their solidarity with ... Read More »

Palestinians ordered to pay over attacks

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A US jury has found Palestinian authorities liable for six attacks in Jerusalem that killed and injured Americans, awarding victims and their families more than $US218 million in damages. The Australian BY JENNIE MATTHEW AAP UNDER the US anti-terrorism act, the damages are automatically tripled, meaning that the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organisation are liable to pay more than ... Read More »

Q&A panel shows why we can’t move beyond the basic questions in domestic violence

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Instead of capitalising on their expertise in family violence, Rosie Batty and Natasha Stott Despoja were used on a Q&A special to interpret and validate men The Guardian – Amy Gray, Contact author @_AmyGray_ Simon Sentosha said “we need to start listening to women”. It’s a shame Q&A wasn’t going to give them the opportunity. Instead, only two women panelists featured on a ... Read More »

Australia Is Closing Immigration Detention Centres But it’s Not All Good News


The Australian government has hailed its “stop the boats” policy as a success. So much so that they’ve closed 11 detention centers in the past year, a number that will soon include Darwin’s Bladin Alternative Place of Detention, as announced over the weekend. Bladin, which houses families and children, will close its doors on April 7, only months after the ... Read More »