News and Analysis (3/8/14)

An “X, cut deep into the gray metal of the gate,… [evoked] a memory … of 1944,” when Stalin’s police tagged the houses of … the native Muslim residents of the peninsula … and all of them—almost two hundred thousand people—were evicted from their homes, loaded onto trains, and sent to Central Asia”:

“Turkey banned YouTube for more than two years until 2010 after users posted videos the government deemed insulting to the republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk”.” Now Erdogan threatens to bring back the bad old days, with himself in the role of Ataturk …

… “Erdogan is still going to remain as a central figure…. But he’s no longer going to be seen as the transformative leader he had aimed to be. The United States no longer looks at him this way, but … sees him as creating uncertainty and potential instability” — Turkey specialist Henri Barkey:

“President Hassan Rouhani told reporters Saturday that it was wrong to close down a newspaper on its first offense just because one writer was seen as inappropriate. His comments were broadcast live on state TV. Rouhani said his opponents were free to attack him”:

Subjecting members and sympathizers to prison for up to 20 years, the ban escalates “a new campaign against the group across the region with a sweeping ban that imposes lengthy prison sentences for even expressing sympathy with” the non-violent and unarmed pro-democracy group:

A Malaysian court on Friday sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail on sodomy charges, overturning an earlier acquittal and ending his hopes of contesting a local election this month…. International human rights groups say the legal moves … are politically motivated”:

“UN chief Ban Ki Moon wants 12,000 peacekeepers for conflict-riven CAR. Muslims say they may be killed or driven out by the time the blue helmets arrive”:

“There is ample scientific evidence that religious slaughter is at least as humane as conventional mechanical slaughter…. By contrast, many of the studies that suggest that religious slaughter causes unnecessary pain have been agenda-driven and methodologically flawed”:

“The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague has said that after decades of Muammar Qaddafi’s corrosive and capricious rule, Libya remains too insecure and its court system too weak to guarantee that big fish suspects are properly investigated and tried”:

“The statement by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant came a week after the leader of the powerful al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front gave the breakaway faction a five-day ultimatum to accept mediation by leading clerics to end infighting or be “expelled” from the region”:

“The Islamic Jihad denied involvement on Friday. Khalid al-Baths, an Islamic Jihad leader, said his group has ‘nothing to do with” the ship seized by Israel:






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