News and Analysis (5/21/12)

Only days before Egypt’s presidential elections, polling shows doubts about the sincerity of the leading Islamists’ campaign posturing has cut into their support, helping both Mubarak’s PM into the top three and a sdar-horse socialist who has snagged the support of the Coptic Church that had earlier denied that it would support any candidate:

“Algeria’s May 10 legislative elections resulted in a crushing win for two pro-government parties, with more than 60 percent of the seats.Opposition parties have said the election was rigged”:

An “eye-opening, eyebrow-raising, 127-page document just uploaded to the internet gives a unique glimpse into the motivations of the increasing numbers of young men now fighting in the ranks of Somalia’s Al Qaeda affiliate, Al Shabab”:

The clashes followed the killing of an anti-Assad Sunni cleric and his colleague at an army checkpoint in north Lebanon on Sunday, triggering angry protests in Sunni districts of northern cities and the capital… Protests over the shooting spread on Sunday night to Beirut where gunmen firing rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns clashed”:

“Board general secretary Maulana Syed Nizamuddin demanded the right of inheritance to Muslim women, including widows, divorcees and married daughters. The Board drew attention to the fact that in UP this privilege vests only with the unmarried daughters while the rest of the categories have been arbitrarily left out”:

Ethiopian Muslims demand elections to the supreme Islamic council should be held in mosques rather than government buildings because, in the words of computer science teacher Ibrahim Hassan, “There must not be interference of government in such tasks”:

The Kuwiati defendant “told police that he did not write the comments and that his Twitter account was hacked” and his lawyer “argued that [he] should be granted bail because Kuwaitis charged with similar crimes had been granted it in the past” …

… while Pakistani “activists suspect the democratically-elected civilian government is using the sensitive topic of blasphemy as cover for constricting the space for political debate ahead of national elections”:

“The video footage raises grave suspicions that the soldiers present did not act to prevent the settlers from throwing stones and firing live ammunition at the Palestinians,” said B’Tselem. “The soldiers did not try to remove the settlers and in fact are seen standing by settlers while they are shooting and stone throwing”:

“The closed route has been a bone of contention between the US and Pakistan ever since NATO forces attacked two military checkpoints in Salala, along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers and injuring an additional 13”:

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