News and Analysis (5/21/08)

Violence and tensions in the Levant ebbing? Lebanon appears to be getting its house back in order, ending eighteen months of political deadlock…

…meanwhile Hamas and Israel look to be nearing a ceasefire agreement…

…and Syria and Israel confirm their involvement in indirect talks over a permanent peace agreement centered on the Golan Heights:

Injustice in Saudi Arabia continues as the government arrests prominent democratic dissident Matrouk al-Faleh…

…meanwhile Indonesian activists reflect on the 10th anniversary of Suharto’s fall and find sweeping reforms like decentralization and establishing the rule of law have yet to be fully implemented:

An Inspector General’s report from the DoJ finds strong dissent among FBI special agents over CIA’s torture tactics, and massive failure by higher-ups to bolster those views:

Peace between Khartoum and southern Sudanese factions remain fragile as fighting breaks out between both sides over an oil-rich region of the country:

Internet visionary Jimmy Wales predicts the Internet’s expansion in the Mideast will widen the marketplace of ideas and strengthen mainstream Arab voices:

Parties in the unofficial republic of Somaliland agree to hold their next round of elections in the middle of December 2008:


Alejandro Beutel is program assistant for the Minaret of Freedom Institute with expertise in religious freedom, democratization and security issues.

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