Middle East

Welcome to ‘the world’s largest death row’

Pakistan - Al Jazeera

Despite allegations of rights abuses, Pakistan continues to be one of the five most prolific executioners in the world. Asad Hashim Al Jazeera News Lahore, Pakistan – Exhausted from a full day’s work, 25-year-old student Sohail Yafat knew he had one last stop to make before heading home: a visit to a colleague’s ailing father at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology hospital, in his… Welcome to ‘the… Read More »

Liberal defenders of free speech curiously silent over banning of Bassem Tamimi

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Where were the advocates for changes to 18C, who so fiercely defended free speech, when a Palestinian activist had his visa… Jeff Sparrow The Guardian Less than a fortnight after the 18C debate inspired so many thunderous denunciations of censorship, the Liberals have been… The Turnbull government has intervened to prevent the Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi from lecturing in Australia, cancelling his… Liberal defenders of… Read More »

Renegade ultranationalists could derail Erdoğan

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Meet Meral Akşener, the wildcard ahead of Sunday’s neck-and-neck… ANKARA — As Turkey prepares to vote on the expansion of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers on Sunday, a small band of renegade ultranationalists may hold the… ZIA WEISE Politico The nationalist opposition has declared its support for Erdoğan, but a… At the forefront of this insurgency is Meral Akşener, a… Renegade ultranationalists could… Read More »

Who are Egypt’s Coptic Christians and why are they persecuted?

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Coptic Christians, known as Copts, are the largest ethno-religious minority in Egypt, constituting roughly 10 per cent of the country’s… Steven Viney ABC Although many now identify as Arabs, Copts do not historically believe themselves to be of Arab origin, but are instead… The word Coptic is derived from the ancient Greek word for… Who are Egypt’s… Read More »

Why can’t America just take out Assad?

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The Trump administration has done an abrupt about-face on Syria, contradicting its own nascent foreign… David Alpher The Conversation Within 24 hours, it went from calling out the Assad regime for using chemical weapons to launching missiles at military… As limited as the strikes were, there are also statements that plans are in the… Why can’t America… Read More »

Russia sends warship to battlegroup off Syrian coast

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Naval move will overshadow US secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s visit to… Alec Luhn Moscow The Observer The Guardian A warship armed with cruise missiles has joined the Russian battlegroup off the coast of Syria as part of Moscow’s response to US cruise missile strikes on the Syrian airbase of… Russia’s angry declarations, a world away from hopes of a rapprochement voiced in Washington and… Russia sends warship… Read More »

The US Provided Cover for the Saudi Starvation Strategy in Yemen

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As Yemen’s population has teetered on the brink of mass starvation in recent months, the United States has played a crucial role in enabling the… Gareth Porter Truthout Both the Obama and Trump administrations have prioritized the US’s alliance with the Saudis and their Gulf allies over the… Although the UN agencies have offered no public estimate of the… The US Provided… Read More »

Palestinian activist’s Australian visa cancelled on eve of speaking tour

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Government says there is a risk people may react adversely to Bassem Tamimi’s presence, and his views on the Middle… Christopher Knaus The Guardian The federal government has cancelled the visa of an outspoken Palestinian activist on the eve of his Australian speaking tour… The activist, Bassem Tamimi, was due to board a plane this week to begin his… Palestinian activist’s Australian… Read More »

Canada was briefed on and ‘fully supports’ U.S. missile strikes against Syria: PM

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U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis told Canada that Syria was responsible for gas… Peter Zimonjic John Paul Tasker CBC News Canada was briefed in advance of the U.S. missile strike on an airbase in western Syria that the U.S. says was used by… During question period in the House of Commons on Friday, Trudeau said Canada was informed about the… Trudeau said U.S. Secretary of… Canada was briefed… Read More »

Can Pakistan Remain Neutral in the Saudi-Iran Rivalry?

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Raheel Sharif’s role in a multinational coalition has tilted Pakistan toward Iran’s sphere of… Arif Rafiq The National Interest Islamabad has given clearance to recently retired chief of army staff Gen. Raheel Sharif to command what is being described as a “Muslim NATO” based in Saudi… Sharif’s new position is… Can Pakistan Remain… Read More »

Crude oil jumps, yen gains, stocks slide as US attacks Syria

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Bonds and other so-called safe haven assets gained in Asia trading ASIA TIMES AND REUTERS Asia Times Oil prices jumped and the yen gained against the US dollar in Asia on Friday after the United States fired multiple cruise missiles at… Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, jumped by… US President Donald Trump said he had ordered missile… Crude oil jumps… Read More »

Chemical Weapons 2017: What Just Happened In Syria?

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Yet again, on cue, the Western corporate press is on fire with stories of “Assad’s brutality,” and “chemical weapons” attacks against… Australian National Review Obviously, the United States, NATO, and their media mouthpieces are united in condemnation of the Assad government and the Syrian military despite their… Indeed, the Western powers may blame Assad all they want but all the… Chemical Weapons 2017… Read More »

The obscure religion that shaped the West

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It has influenced Star Wars and Game of Thrones – and characters as diverse as Voltaire, Nietzsche and… Joobin Bekhrad BBC So what is Zoroastrianism? Joobin Bekhrad finds out. Talk of ‘us’ and ‘them’ has long dominated Iran-related politics in the… At the same time, Christianity has frequently been used to define the identity and values of the US and Europe, as well as to contrast those values with those of a… Yet, a brief glance at an… The obscure ... Read More »

Germany investigating 20 Turks on suspicion of spying: Die Welt

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German authorities are investigating 20 Turkish citizens on suspicion of conducting espionage in Germany, a… Berlin, Reuters Hurriyet Die Welt said it received the information in an official government response to a question about the issue filed by Sevim Dağdelen, a German lawmaker with the… Tensions are running high between the two NATO allies ahead of the April 16… Germany investigating 20… Read More »

UN calls on major actors in Syria to work for truce

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The United Nations urged the United States, Russia, Turkey and Iran on April 6 to help establish a 72-hour cease-fire in Syria in order to deliver humanitarian aid, two days after a… Geneva Hurriyet “We [told] Russia, Turkey, Iran and the U.S. that we need green lights for the… Noting that only one-third of this request had been approved by the… UN calls on… Read More »

The Spoils Of War: Where Your Party Sits On The Saudi-Led War On Yemen

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‘Political things’ are finally happening in Australia over the War on… If you’re a Green, opposition is… Michael Brull New Matilda If you’re Labor, you’ll be very… And if you’re a Liberal, then you’re making a lot of… Michael Brull continues his series on the humanitarian… The war on Yemen appears to… The Spoils Of… Read More »