News and Analysis (11/22/07)

In spite of last-ditch efforts to avoid a power vacuum in Lebanon, various parties to the talks say an agreement over a consensus presidential candidate is unlikely before current president Emile Lahoud leaves office on Nov. 24th, leading to a possible constitutional crisis and violence:

In a statement decrying foreign intervention and showing nationalist sentiments, 300,000 Iraqi Shi’a sign a petition denouncing “Iranian influence” in southern Iraq:

A sign of waning influence among ordinary Iranians and hardline supporters, an editorial in a newspaper tied to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei attacks President Ahmadinejad for attacking opponents to his headstrong drive to attain nuclear power:

In a blatant and illegal attempt to inject fearmongering into the national election, Australian Prime Minister John Howard fights for his political career as members of his party are caught red-handed distributing leaflets attributed to a fake group of Muslim extremists and falsely linking them to the country’s main opposition party:

Abdul-Rahman al-Lahem, the Saudi lawyer defending a recent gang rape victim, has his legal license revoked but nonetheless is optimistic, viewing the heavy-handed action as signaling “‘the death throes of the judiciary’s old guard’”:

An emasculated judiciary clears the sixth and final legal challenge to legalizing Musharraf’s farce election as president:


Alejandro Beutel is program assistant for the Minaret of Freedom Institute with expertise in religious freedom, democratization and security issues.

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