News and Analysis (1/22/14)

With Iran locked out and a background of hurled claims and counter-claims of terrorism and atrocities and with the principals closed-minded on the main bone of contention (whether either side will allow the other a role in future elections, let alone the transition government), the Syrian talks are off to a rocky start:

“The list of failings in the trial … [includes a]rrests without judicial warrants, allegedly falsified arrest dates in court documents; months of secret detention and solitary confinement with no access to a lawyer; show that the fundamental rights of the defendants have been completely disregarded”:

” Shortly after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran had taken those steps and begun diluting its 20-percent stockpile, modest sanctions relief by the US and European Union kicked in, in accordance with the deal signed on Nov. 24 in Geneva”

State vandalism is an anti-terrorism measure:

“The first Saudi women’s law firm … opened its doors … just months after the first four women lawyers were licensed to practice law as advocates in Saudi Arabia….  This development, largely ignored in the mainstream media in the U.S., is very likely to improve the status of women in Saudi Arabia”:

“Correspondents say the resignations will deepen the deadlock in the interim parliament, which has so far made little progress due to political infighting”:

“Despite growing optimism, both sides warned a peace pact would not immediately end the violence in the south of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation where at least three other armed Islamic groups have opposed the Malaysian-brokered talks and vowed to continue an uprising for a separate Muslim homeland”:

 

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