Middle East

Lebanese activists succeed in first step to repealing controversial ‘rape law’

The Lebanese parliament’s Administration and Justice Committee agreed Dec. 7 to abolish Article 522 of the penal code, which allows rapists to avoid prosecution if they marry their victims. Al Monitor Florence Massena The committee is currently discussing a draft law that will be presented later on to parliament, and it is considering amending articles 503-522 about misdemeanors and honor violations, by adding penalties and forcing stricter punishments. Civil society and feminist organizations have… Lebanese activists succeed in first step ... Read More »

Who was behind Cairo church bombing?

CAIRO — Egyptian officials said today they have arrested four suspects and identified a man they believe to be the suicide bomber responsible for a blast that ripped through a Coptic church Saturday in Cairo, killing 25 people and wounding dozens of others. Al Monitor Ayah Aman Authorities said Monday they had arrested three men and a woman and were searching for two more people in connection with the bombing. No group as of yet has accepted responsibility for… Who ... Read More »

Honeymoon for Syrian refugees over as ‘Month 13’ looms

Uncertainty is in store for many of the 35,000 Syrian newcomers to Canada who will see their financial support from Ottawa and private sponsors soon coming to an end. The Star By NICHOLAS KEUNG, Immigration reporter Bedrettin Al Muhamad and his wife, Mariam, have been taking English classes and… Honeymoon for Syrian… Read More »

Ruth Davidson defends Boris Johnson’s Saudi remarks

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has defended Boris Johnson over his public criticism of British ally Saudi Arabia, saying he was “absolutely right”. The Scotsman By SARAH BRADLEY The Foreign Secretary suffered a humiliating slap down from No 10 after accusing the… Ruth Davidson defends… Read More »

Policemen killed in Cairo blast

Bomb was placed in a bin beside a security checkpoint, sources say, in attack that also hurt several civilians. Al Jazeera News Six policemen were killed and three wounded on Friday when a bomb placed in a rubbish bin exploded at a security checkpoint in Cairo, security sources and state media said. Egypt’s state run news agency MENA said the… Policemen killed in… Read More »

Aleppo battle: UN says hundreds of men missing

Hundreds of men appear to have gone missing after crossing from rebel-held areas of Aleppo into government territory, UN officials say. BBC News Forces led by Syria’s government have seized at least 75% of eastern parts of the city from rebels in recent weeks. Tens of thousands of civilians have fled those… Aleppo battle: UN says hundreds of… Read More »

Is Israel’s education minister abandoning secular schools?

“For anyone who still doesn’t understand why I’m ‘obsessive’ about revolutionizing math, English and science education, these are the results of the international PISA [Program for International Student Assessment] test conducted two years ago, before I took office,” wrote Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett on his Facebook page Dec. 7. Al Monitor Akiva Eldar This so-called obsession is apparently a direct boost to the campaign he launched upon taking office to encourage expanded math studies in high school. “We will not ... Read More »

Facebook Struggles to Put Out Online Fires in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

JERUSALEM — When fires raged across Israel last month, Anas Abudaabes began to type on his laptop. The New York Times Peter Baker What came out would land him behind bars and ignite a debate over whether he had tried to fan the flames of hatred, in this case literally. On his Facebook page, Mr. Abudaabes wrote that… Facebook Struggles to Put Out Online Fires in… Read More »

Erdogan’s Gritted-Teeth Peace with Israel

Excerpt … Turkey is normalizing its relations with Israel — in theory, at least. The Gatestone Institute by Burak Bekdil Ankara and Jerusalem agreed to appoint ambassadors to each other’s country after an absence of more than six years. Two prominent career diplomats, Kemal Okem and… Erdogan’s Gritted-Teeth… Read More »

WikiLeaks reveals 57,000 emails from the son-in-law of President Erdogan, ‘proving his connection to ISIS operation smuggling oil into Turkey’

WikiLeaks has released a tranche of more than 57,000 personal emails from the account of Turkey’s Minister of Oil Berat Albayrak. By HANNAH AL-OTHMAN FOR MAILOLINE Albayrak is the son-in-law of the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The emails span a six-year period from 2000 to 2016 and allegedly reveal his level of influence in the country’s political scene. The emails appear to have been obtained by Turkish hacktivist group Redhack, and which threatened to make his communications public back in… ... Read More »

Israel artist displays golden statue of Netanyahu in protest

Tel Aviv residents woke up on Dec. 6 to an unusual site – a golden statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu displayed prominently in front of City Hall in an act of protest. Hurriyet TEL AVIV – The Associated Press Itay Zalait, the artist behind the protest, said he worked on the life-size statue for two… Israel artist displays… Read More »

Erdoğan’s call to citizens: Sell dollars for lira, gold

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on Turkish citizens on Dec. 2 to convert their foreign exchange into gold or the Turkish Lira, adding that there was no option other than cutting interest rates to spur growth. Ηurriyet Following his remarks in Ankara, the lira saw fresh lows against the U.S. dollar. “Those who… Erdoğan’s call to… Read More »

Is Michael Flynn Donald Trump’s Machiavelli?

President-elect Trump has not yet chosen a Secretary of State, but his most important foreign policy advisor has already been named. The National Interest Christopher J. Fettweis The national security advisor is the primary aide to the president for international affairs, the first and last one in the room for all major decisions. It will be General Michael Flynn’s job to… Is Michael Flynn Donald Trump’s… Read More »