News and Analysis (2/15/15)

“There are so many different people from so many different places, … backgrounds and religions. But here we’re all one. It’s beautiful to see. People of different areas interacting and being family, one community.” Obama has denounced the murders and the FBI will investigate if federal law applies …

… hate crime “happened to the Japanese, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, and now we are in an era where it is happening to Muslims. We have to stay strong and stay together because that’s only way we will be able to survive” …

… but it’s not just the South. A Kroger employee in Michigan claimed he was only trying to break up a fight, but a witness insists he held that victim so the that the attackers could keep punching. A store manager declined to comment:

“Instead of allowing his spirit to be crushed and giving up, instead of allowing himself to be filled with anger and frustration, Jafar Panahi created a love letter to cinema. His film is filled with love for his art, his community, his country and his audience” — Darren Aronofsky, Berlinale jury president:

“We were abducted and tortured to pressure us to confess falsehoods” — defendant Amin al-Serafy, a secretary in the presidency under Mursi:

“Zarif admitted that he has often raised his voice … sometimes so much their bodyguards would enter the room to make sure everything was all right. Zarif said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran, told him to speak softly and with a smile – the same as he would in public” …

… and at the same time, the Wall Street Journal reports that Khamenei sent Obama a “respectful but noncommital” letter “in recent weeks in response to a presidential letter sent in October”:

“[T]he Burmese envoy in Hong Kong, hoped to dissuade others from feeling sympathy for the Rohingya. His method for doing this was by revealing his shocking racism. The Rohingya, he said, “are as ugly as ogres” and do not share the “fair and soft” skin of other Burmese ethnic groups”:

“[M]ilitants from Ansar al-Sharia had warned the station to stop broadcasting music. The group … is accused of being involved in a deadly 2012 attack on a U.S. mission and annex in Benghaziz. Its branch in the city of Derna has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group”:

“Malaysia next election must be held by 2018 and sympathy for Anwar could stoke support for the opposition.” Wan Saiful Jan (the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs) says this gives the  broader, diverse opposition alliance an “opportunity to show they can function without Anwar”:

It is common in Lebanon for supporters of political groups to celebrate by firing guns into the air whenever their leaders give speeches. Supporters of Hezbollah’s rival, Saad Hariri, unleashed a round of celebratory gunfire after Hariri started to speak on Saturday”, but Nasrullah wants none of it:


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