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January 1, 2014

News and Analysis (1/1/14)

“The outgoing head of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) has said Muslim states ought to broaden rights for religious minorities … [and] also said western countries should do more to combat an increase of prejudice against Muslims there”::

The regime accelerates it s repression of the Muslim Brtherhood and its Hamas allies:
“[P]roposals to develop an “inclusive secularism” in France have sparked a firestorm of criticism. Jean-François Copé, the leader of France’s main opposition party, the conservative UMP, said in a statement that the proposals are “explosive and irresponsible” because they replace “the one and indivisible French Republic with a motley assembly of communities, ethnicities and groups of all kinds”:

“Muslims who read the Quran, and not all of them do, but ones that do notice the Quran speaks to the Bible all the time, and the people in the Bible, so it’s a natural progression of curiosity” — Hans Wiersma,  Augsburg College, Minneapolis:

“Security concerns, bureaucracy, bad weather and a complex multinational procurement effort for equipment were the reasons for the delay, an official from the UN’s Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said”:

“Three members of a persecuted ethnic minority from China have been released from Guantanamo Bay and sent to the Central European country of Slovakia, officials said Tuesday, resolving a diplomatic dilemma that had kept the men imprisoned long after a judge had ordered their release”:

“Defence Minister Fayez Ghosn told AFP that Majid al-Majid, the Saudi “emir” of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades, was being held by Lebanese army intelligence in Beirut” …

… and Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington says, that if the Saudi intervention into Lebanon “is being done as a means to confront Hezbollah, or change the internal balance of power, then the effort might be somewhat misguided.” —  …

… but the Lebanese militia’s  intervention into Syria is something else, where in the “Syrian border town of Qusayr …, Hezbollah stormed the town from the south, achieving in three weeks what the army it supports had been unable to do in two years”:

“Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said the experts would report back to their capitals and contacts would continue to ‘finalize a common understanding of implementation’. He declined comment on Iran’s assertion that there was an agreement on the timetable for implementing the accord”:

As the former military ruler faces the death penalty for “treason charges relate[d] to his decision in 2007 to suspend the constitution and impose emergency rule., his “defence team is arguing that Mr Musharraf cannot get a fair trial in Pakistan. Defence lawyer Anwar Mansoor said the current prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, “has a bias against” his client. Mr Musharraf seized power from Mr Sharif in a coup in 1999″:

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