News and Analysis (6/8/15)

“Retired Saudi general Anwar Majed Eshki and former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold publicly announced that since the beginning of 2014, representatives from Israel and Saudi Arabia have had five secret bilateral meetings to discuss Iran in India, Italy, and the Czech Republic”:

“The majority of those killed in Sunday’s air strikes were soldiers who were at the headquarters to collect their pay cheques, Saba news agency said” …

… “The Saudi-led air campaign and ground fighting have killed more than 1,000 civilians and displaced more than 1 million people since mid-March, … [but] has so far failed to force the Houthis to withdraw from any territory they hold or blunt their advance in southern Yemen”:

“Blogging is not a crime and Raif Badawi is being punished merely for daring to exercise his right to freedom of expression” — Philip Luther, Amnesty International. Badawi’s wife had hoped “that the advent of Ramadan and the arrival of a new king would bring a pardon for the prisoners of conscience”:

“[E]l-Sissi issued a rare apology Sunday over a police officer beating a lawyer with a shoe last week, an attack that sparked a general one-day strike by the country’s lawyers”:

“[T]he ruling AK Party … failed to win an outright majority in a parliamentary election for the first time. Erdogan, Turkey’s most popular modern leader but also its most divisive, had hoped a crushing victory for the AKP would allow it to change the constitution and create a … U.S.-style presidency”:

The “line of brave brothers and sisters of other faiths standing in front of the mosque, demonstrating more of what [Americans] are about than anything the anti-Islam crowd could muster… That’s the solution to situations like this. Not Congress. Not the Department of Justice”:

“While secular feminism has been the main approach to the quest for women’s rights in the United States, ‘faith-based feminism’ is the preferred tactic for a growing number of Afghan women looking to make a change in the country”:

“Israel’s defense, when it claims it is a democracy, is that the West Bank is not part of Israel — just as Iraq was not part of the United States after the 2003 invasion. But … Israel builds towns there: about a half-million Israelis live either in West Bank settlements or in … land incorporated into east Jerusalem” …

… and now the daughter of a Zionist immigrant to Israel has made a “heart-wrenching documentary, On the Side of the Road, [that] reveals the Big Lie at the heart of the myth of the creation of Israel”, and a “proposed law will make it illegal to mourn ‘the catastrophe’ on [Israel’s] Independence Day”:

“Libya used to bankroll Africa. Now it begs for aid. Landlords hold out to rent to the government which is willing to pay high prices, but the average person is facing major problems”:






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