News and Analysis (5/6/13)

UN investigator “Carla del Ponte told Swiss TV there were ‘strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof’. However, she said her panel had not yet seen evidence of government forces using chemical weapons”:

Israel says its attacks are a response to alleged transfer of sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah, but it could transform the civil war into a regional conflict:

The opposition pledged “to tackle corruption and end race-based policies favoring ethnic Malays in business, education and housing” but failed to end the ruling party’s 56-year old hold on power:

As Pakistanis struggle to improve female participation in the upcoming election, they overlook the effect that integrated polling places have on a village like Mateela, where “the men say they are willing to let women vote if the election commission sets up a separate polling station”:

An anti-government demonstration sparked by anger over the group that “called for the death penalty for Jamaat-e-Islami leaders convicted of war crimes charges that date back to 1971, when Bangladesh won its independence from Pakistan” turned violent …

… meanwhile, “one of nine people being held in connection with the disaster on 24 April, which the government has blamed on the building’s faulty and illegal construction”  has been “arrested after a four-day hunt as he appeared to be trying to flee across the border to India.”

“You have to be a true patriot to take a job in the cabinet now…. Certainly the opposition seems much more comfortable watching the current government fail than in sharing the blame” — Elijah Zarwan, a Cairo-based political analyst …

… but “[m]any Egyptians are looking to the army, or to more radical Salafi Muslim groups, rather than to liberal or leftist parties as Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and his cabinet struggle to revive a sick economy, restore security and build institutions”:

The law “could lead to the dismissal of many current leaders, some of whom had defected to the rebel side during the country’s 2011 civil war or had been elected to office since Gadhafi’s ouster and killing” and may “stall the country’s already rocky transition to democracy by ousting elected lawmakers”:

“The move only applies to private schools, perhaps as a test of social receptivity before a possible expansion to public schools” …

… but in Turkey a new “guideline follows other restrictions on employees’ appearance and on serving alcohol. Critics say they reflect the influence of the government’s conservative religious values at the fast-growing state-run airline, one of Turkey’s most recognized brands”:

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