News and Analysis (1/10/14)

Karzai’s spokesman denies U.S. claims that there is “strong evidence” against most of the prisoners and insists, “We cannot allow innocent Afghan citizens to be kept in detention for months and years without a trial for no reason at all”:

“One court in Cairo sentenced 63 people to three years in prison and a fine of $7,000 for taking part in protests in November…. The Egyptian government in November passed a law banning all but police-sanctioned protests” …

… and the repression of secular journalists and Facebook activists continues:

Survey shows Muslims are not monolithic. Again:

“Regional leaders had put pressure on Djotodia to step down after he failed to halt months of inter-religious violence that has forced 1 million people from their homes. Talks to decide a new leadership will take place in Bangui, Central African Republic’s capital, at a later date.” Residents of city began celebrating the news:

“The 2012 suicide of 16-year-old Amina al-Filali after seven months of marriage to the 23-year-old she said had raped her shocked the country and spurred calls” to prevent a provision of Islamic law intended to exempt people who have engaged in pre-marital sex from punishment from being used as a loophole for rapists:

“Aitzaz Hasan, 15, is being hailed as a hero for confronting the attacker, who then detonated his vest…. ‘Shaheed Aitizaz’s brave act saved the lives of hundreds of students and established a sterling example of gallantry and patriotism,’ a statement from the prime minister’s office said”:

Juan Cole says, “For Netanyahu’s demand to make any sense, he first has to define ‘Jewish.'” Does he mean “Jewish” in the sense of “those recognized by Talmudic law as members of the Jewish ‘race’ via maternal descent,” (as Nazi Germany was “Aryan”) or does he mean “adherents of the Judaic religion” (as Saudi Arabia is Islamic)?

“The Hamas movement in the West Bank awaits positive decisions that will enable it to resume its public, social, trade union and political activities” — Khaled al-Haj, Hamas official. In turn, “a member of the Fatah Central Committee, called in turn for Hamas to implement the unity deal”:

With the nuclear talks in their final phases, and Iranian state press issuing ultra-optimistic statements even as Khamenei continues to vilify the US, Russia and Iran close in on a deal to side-step sanctions on Iran’s oil trade:


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