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05 Jan 2012 14:20


World: Bloody day in Iraq as sectarian tensions deepen

  • 72 killed in Iraq by bombings in various Shia provinces source
  • » Danger and strife: Provincial government sources suggest grimly conventional tactics being used — a suicide bomber detonated himself amidst a group traveling to Karbala, and in Sadr City a man parked a motorbike near a group of day laborers seeking work, which exploded minutes after he left. The upheaval is both lethal and political; an arrest warrant is out for Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi (a Sunni) on terrorism charges, which he denies. In response, the Sunni bloc of parliament has accused Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of power monopoly and abuse, and threatens to boycott the assembly.

01 Dec 2011 23:13


World: Egyptian elections: Muslim Brotherhood lead, Salafis surprise

  • The Salafis have been underestimated from day one, because it is hard to imagine how this guy with a long beard and some aggressive ideas can actually gain much support.
  • Shadi Hamid, a researcher at the Brookings Institution in Doha, Qatar • Discussing the elections in Egypt. So far, the Muslim Brotherhood’s party has received 40 percent of the Egyptian Parliament’s votes. Meanwhile, the Al Nour party, formed by ultra-conservative Salafis, has secured 25 percent. The Islamist party began re-entering politics after Mubarak was ousted, and rallied around millions of Egyptians who were already organized politically. That’s at least double the members of the Muslim Brotherhood. While they may not have pulled ahead in this election, the Salafi sect has become a prominent political force nonetheless. (EDIT: Modified wording based on reader suggestion.) source

28 Nov 2011 23:53


World: New elections, new attitude? Egypt’s elections go smoothly (so far)

  • Egypt headed to the polls today: In this photo via ITV News, you can see a small portion of the crowds that gathered to vote in this week’s elections in Egypt. No protests broke out on the first day — a change of pace from last week’s protests in Tahrir Square. In fact, reports of violence were rare, and voter fraud was rare. Here’s to hoping the events have begun to usher in a new era and a more positive Egypt.  source

22 Nov 2011 00:29


World: Egypt: Cabinet offers resignations ahead of parliamentary elections

  • Protests in Egypt ahead of parliamentary elections: Last week, Egypt’s military-backed cabinet introduced plans for a new constitution — one that gave the military a lot more power, and the parliament a lot less. Reacting to the sudden changes, the Muslim Brotherhood started protests in Tahrir Square on Friday; over the weekend, hundreds camped out and continued protests. That growing group of people was met with riot police. As a result of all this, the interim cabinet offered their resignation Monday; this hasn’t stopped the protests, however. The elections start a week from now. source

15 Feb 2011 14:19


World: Iranian leaders, lawmakers call for execution of political rivals

  • What makes Iran different from Egypt: Well, innumerable things, really, but here’s a good example: the Iranian parliament, chanting from their chamber for the executions of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. The extent of the totalitarian power the Iranian regime holds over its people is immense, and to this point the strategy of media blackout has worked far more successfully than it did in Tahrir Square, but make no mistake – a video of a parliament chanting for the deaths of their political opponents should chill you no less than a video of some thugs beating up people in the streets. source

09 Dec 2010 21:23


World: Rich people caught among commoners don’t know what hit them

“These college kids ruined our nice day, Charles!” “I know, dear … driver, do we have one of those Popemobiles in our fleet? If so, we need one!” source

12 May 2010 20:56


World: Three things Britain’s new coalition government wants to do

  • More consistent votes Create a more consistent schedule of leadership change by setting elections for parliament for every five years. The legislature can do it sooner if 55 percent of parliament votes to do so.
  • Austerity measures Like much of Europe, the coalition government plans to do something about the large amount of debt it’s built up. It won’t be quite as insane as Greece, but expect some things to get cut out of the budget.
  • Creating jobs 2.5 million Britons are unemployed, a number that might affect the strength of the coalition if they don’t do something about it. Expect Clegg’s people and Cameron’s people to be on it. source

10 May 2010 12:15


05 May 2010 11:16


World: Thailand’s red shirts on deal with prime minister: Try again, dude

After two months, they’ve reached a sorta-agreement with the prime minister. But they won’t leave until parliament gets a dissolution date. So much for making things easy. source

17 Apr 2010 11:59


World: Nick Clegg’s starting to sound a little like Obama circa mid-2008

  • I can’t predict what is going to happen in the election campaign, but I think something exciting is starting to happen. … If a growing number of people do that then the possibilities of doing things differently really are huge.
  • British Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg • Regarding the increase in support his party has seen in recent weeks. The center-left party is doing well in the polls of late, especially in the wake of Clegg’s solid performance during a TV debate earlier this week. He suggests it could be a break from “old politics.” Other British parties are finding ways to criticize this possibility, though: Labour representatives are down on the party’s stance on the Trident nuclear defense system, and Conservative leader David Cameron is quick to leap on the possibility of a hung parliament of the Lib Dems get any more power. source