News and Analysis (3/7/13)

The decision adds uncertainty to Egypt’s struggling democracy when it least needs it, and the Mursi administration is sending mixed signals as to whether it will appeal, but insists it will uphold “the value of the rule of law and the constitution and implementing the principle of the separation of powers“:

“Stuart Bowen put the ‘limited positive effects’ down to corruption, poor security and insufficient consultation with Iraqi authorities. The eight-year war in Iraq cost the US about $800bn and nearly 5,000 lives”:

The meeting of “leading Muslim scholars from across the world … in a modestly sized hotel conference room to hammer out the rights and wrongs of the conflict in Afghanistan” is “the brainchild … of a professor of conflict resolution” who started “as a mujahid fighting the Soviets in his native Afghanistan” and “to stop Afghans from fighting Afghans”:

“Families of four of the hostages issued a statement Monday calling on Hollande to suspend attacks temporarily to allow time for negotiations with the Islamist guerrillas … but French officials made it clear that their combat operations would continue despite the families’ fears. ‘We are going to finish the job,’ said a senior official” …

… but in Malysia, a cease-fire offer by hostage takers is rejected:

The suspected leader of the Boko Haram, continues to insist that the group “would not enter dialogue with the government so long as its members were being arrested and detained.” Nigeria’s top Muslim leader insists that a general amnesty would be embraced by “many of those young men who have been tired of running and hiding”:

“Arafat had been beaten with repeated blows against his chest and body, and had a total of six broken bones in the spine, arms and legs, his lips were lacerated and his face severely injured. The class of injuries sustained by Arafat before he died at the hands of the Israeli Shin Bet is common to many Palestinians who pass through Israeli prisons” …

… among the 4800 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel are 15 members of parliament, a football player, a political cartoonist, hundreds of stone-throwing youths and a handful of what Amnesty International calls human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience”:

Employing an old-fashioned filibuster, in which he actually talked for 13 hours straight, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) complained “how difficult it had been to get President Barack Obama’s administration to clearly define what qualifies as a legitimate target of a drone strike. ‘No president has the right to say he is judge, jury and executioner’:

The kidnapping of peacekeeping forces further erodes the image of the rebels, already under investigation by human rights advocates for alleged extra-legal executions:

Some see the pre-election turmoil as a symptom of Khamenei’s attempt to keep an firm grip on power by keeping out not only the would-be reformers, but potential Ahmadinejad allies as well:

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