Archive for May, 2008

News and Analysis (5/7/08)

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

The 60th anniversary of Israel has Palestinians like Akram al-Shamali bitter over he and his parents being forced out of their home by the violent birth of the Zionist state:

Gitmo defense lawyers make the “most specific [assertions] to date” about the government eavesdropping on their conversations with detainees:

Hardliners slam leading reformist figure Mohamed Khatami for giving a speech on Ayatollah Khomeini that may implicate possible Iranian military involvement in Iraq:

Lebanon’s presidential crisis turns more ugly as a politicized workers strike morphs into a violent clash between pro and anti-government supporters:

Members of a heterodox Turkish Muslim sect fight to free themselves from state-controlled and state-imposed courses on religion in public schools:

Failure of London’s Big Brother surveillance to combat ordinary crime sheds doubt on its supposed value as role model for terrorism prevention in New York and Washington DC :

After a scathing GAO review, the US finally conducts minimal oversight of its massive military assistance to Pakistan, rejecting small portions of its total annual billion-dollar aid package:

News and Analysis (5/6/08)

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Politically tainted Gitmo military commissions are unlikely to begin their so-called trials until after Bush leaves office:

Turkey uses its “historical Ottoman ties” to the Middle East to facilitate peace talks between Israel and Syria:

Indonesian survey of over 900 civil society activists finds the government has become more respectful of transparency and the rule of law, but freedoms of speech and religion declined…

…despite activists’ efforts to overturn a State board’s recommendation to declare a heterodox sect illegal:

IDF soldiers in Gaza, occupying and looting the home of innocent civilians, violate Palestinians’ property rights…

…while extremist Jewish politicians attack Arab parliamentarians within Israel’s so-called liberal democracy as “terrorists” and a “fifth column”:

After peace talks with regional Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud break down, militants resume their attacks military and police personnel:

News and Analysis (5/5/08)

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Analysts say Kuwait’s mixture of non-party democracy and persistent monarchical power have led to political and economic stagnation:

ABA gives award for Abdurrahman al-Lahem for his legal defense of human rights in Saudi Arabia:

Baghdad’s contradictory messages on Iranian influence in Iraq are shaped by the costs and benefits of attempting to simultaneously maintaining good relations with Tehran and Washington:

Rumors swirl in Turkish media of possible plans by AKP members to form a new party in case the “judicial coup” succeeds:

Global food crisis rocks war-torn Somalia, leading to unrest in the capital:

Indonesian Muslim scholars assert that media outlets need to focus less on radicals and more on mainstream religious figures promoting compatibility between Islam and democracy…

…however that does not remove the obligation of governments and civil society to protect people’s human rights, including religious freedom:

News and Analysis (5/3-4/08)

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

In a sign of further political and cultural glasnost, Saudi Arabia allows its first public performance of classical music before a mixed-gender audience …

… while Malaysia contemplates a step backwards:

Turkish Muslim schools teach modern curriculum in the class, but Islam “in lifestyle and prayer” to provide students with an education making them competitive on the job market without losing their religious identity:

Local media development NGO finds physical violence has directly affected over 700 journalists in Pakistan…

…meanwhile Arab media companies feel the heat from Arab states seeking to tighten their grip on the content of broadcasts:

Former peace negotiation experts involved in N. Ireland talks head to the Philippines to jump start talks between the government and Muslim separatists:

The leaning minaret of Jam, despite being one of Afghanistan’s defining historical symbols is threatened by “conflict, looting and neglect”:

News and Analysis (5/2/08)

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

After being detained for six years at Gitmo, Al-Jazeera reporter Sami Al-Hajj is freed and speaks out harshly against his detention:

Freelance Mideast reporter Ben White reflects on the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, finding Palestinians’ persistence deserves praise, not just mourning, amid their struggle:

Washington Post editorial slams secular extremists’ latest attempt to undermine the faith-based and democratically-elected AKP:

Senators propose bill forcing Iraq to share larger costs of the occupation, including reconstruction efforts and paramilitary support, but is likely to get shot down by Congressional Bush supporters:

Disclosed court papers reveal a secret, deliberate and coordinated attempt by the Bush administration and telecoms to block civil lawsuits accusing the companies of privacy violations:

Washington Post editorial asks whether an unprecedented third terrorism trial against the “Liberty City Seven” has more to do with saving face than serving justice:

News and Analysis (5/1/08)

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Civil libertarians and security experts criticize plans for a massive surveillance ring in DC as expensive, invasive and ineffective:

Sponsored by the Danish government, a team of former Israeli and Palestinian officials jump start an economically driven peace plan to remove the largest 2% of all checkpoints in the West Bank:

Female Saudi historian Hatoon Al-Fassi finds sexist interpretations of Islam originate from later integration of Greco-Roman culture, not early Arab-Islamic traditions:

Academics and religious leaders slam Western and Arab media outlets for blowing Sunni-Shi’a disputes out of proportion and having an excessive focus on extremists:

Pakistani opposition leaders agree to reinstate deposed judges through a parliamentary motion, and will debate broader reform packages in separate talks:

After many misses and civilians killed, US airstrikes finally take out Somalia’s top Al-Qaeda operative, but tribal elders says this will lead to more fighting…

…meanwhile Saudi Arabia thwarts another Al-Qaeda attempt to attack the global economy by arresting 172 alleged militants suspected of bombing oil installations: