News and Analysis (6/17/13)

“It’s not just that we can’t prove a sarin attack; it’s that we’re not seeing what we would expect to see from a sarin attack” – Jean Pascal Zanders, a leading expert on chemical weapons who until recently was a senior research fellow at the European Union’s Institute for Security Studies …

… and Putin challenges the alleged humanitarian motives behind Western intervention …

… while a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman in Egypt boasts that his “movement backed a declaration issued by a group of regional clerics on Thursday that called for ‘jihad with mind, money, weapons – all forms of jihad” in Syria” …

… yet, “[u]p to 3,000 American ‘advisers’ are now believed to be in Jordan, and the creation of a southern Syria ‘no-fly zone’ – opposed by Syrian-controlled anti-aircraft batteries – will turn a crisis into a ‘hot’ war”

… and French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas spills the beans, “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me, that they were preparing something in Syria”:

Will the U.S. blow the opportunity afforded by the election of Iran’s reform-minded president?

The Turkish situation continues to simmer:

“Besides the new Brotherhood governors, the appointment of … a member of the political arm of ex-Islamic militant group Gamaa Islamiya, drew attention…. In 1997, his group claimed responsibility for what became known as Luxor massacre, when 58 tourists and four Egyptians were killed”:

The cleric and his son “were ordered to pay a fine of 5,000 Egyptian pounds (£446). The ruling can be appealed…. It was a rare prosecution over attacks on faiths other than Islam…. According to Egyptian law, showing contempt toward Christianity, Islam and Judaism known as ‘heavenly’ religions is a crime”:

A police officer stabbed at a mosque in Birmingham believes he could have died if it was not for the “great community effort” to confront the attacker.

“The Guardian report claimed GCHQ – Britain’s electronic eavesdropping agency – spied on foreign politicians attending two G20 summit meetings four years ago”:

We don’t consider “[W]e periodically make required decisions to close accounts unrelated to the make-up of our communities, and consistent with all applicable regulatory requirements” to be an explanation:

 

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