Monday, November 28, 2011

Top Stories November 28, 2011

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Shoura demands Qatif troublemakers be tried - There were riots in Qatif (eastern SA), and the Shoura Council wants action taken against whomever started them

Lebanon Daily Star:  Arab League agrees sanctions on Syria - The Arab League is trying to exert pressure on President Assad of Syria.  I'm not sure how much power he actually has.  I've heard from some people that some of the military may still be in charge.  Here's an old article on the subject.

Haaretz (Israel):  Ruling military, opposition, urge Egyptians to vote ahead of parliamentary election - Let's hope the elections are peaceful and successful.

Turkish Daily News:  Arab League joins sanctions on Syria - Turkey has already come up with its own sanctions for Syria.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Madness

If you're in the United States, today is Thanksgiving Day.  It mainly involves eating lots of turkey with family and friends, and watching football on TV.  It's sort of a religious holiday, depending upon how religious your family is.  But in the latest Islamophobia, the crazies are worried about Islam taking over Thanksgiving.  Why?  Because Butterball has Halal turkeys.

Whole Butterball turkeys are being processed according to Halal methods.  Apparently some people consider this an attack upon America because they are forced to eat "stealth halal turkeys."  First of all, how come these crazies are not attacking Kosher turkeys?  Secondly, here's my favorite quote:
Across this great country, on Thanksgiving tables nationwide, infidel Americans are unwittingly going to be serving halal turkeys to their families this Thursday. Turkeys that are halal certified -- who wants that, especially on a day on which we are giving thanks to G-d for our freedom?
So, you're giving thanks to God for your freedom.  Then wouldn't you WANT to eat a turkey that's been consecrated to God?

Here's more from a blogger for the Houston Chronicle.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top Stories November 21, 2011

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Hail road crash kills 14, including 12 women students - The women were students at Hail University in Hail.

Lebanon Daily Star:  11 killed in Egypt's Tahrir Square: AFP - Security forces are fighting the protesters.

Haaretz (Israel):  Jordan King to visit Ramallah, discuss Palestinian unity government with Abbas - This will be King Abdallah's first visit in 5 years.

Turkish Daily News:  Turkey can be EU's growth engine: Gul - President Gul is visiting the UK Monday.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More Saudi Craziness

If it isn't bad enough that women have to cover their whole body in Saudi Arabia, now they may have to cover their eyes!  Apparently some women have "tempting" eyes and the religious police in Ha'il may force them to cover those eyes.

I have an idea.  Maybe the men of Ha'il should learn to control themselves.  Or if looking at a woman's eyes is enough to cause them discomfort, maybe they should wear blindfolds.  Perhaps one day the Kingdom will enter the 20th century (I've given up on the 21st).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lingerie Shops in Saudia Arabia

Apparently they do exist.  And the Kingdom has decided that only women should work or shop in those stores.  The shops will be exclusively female, and should have mostly Saudi workers in them.  This law takes effect at the beginning of 2012.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Top Stories November 14, 2011

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Transparency, frankness: Prince Salman's focus - Prince Salman is the new Defense Minister.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Jordan deepens Assad's isolation - King Abdullah II of Jordan has called for Assad to step down as the President of Syria.

Haaretz (Israel):  Knesset passes controversial bills amid criticism of an 'assault on Israeli democracy' - Two new bills may strengthen the Israeli right's power in the judicial system.

Turkish Daily News:  Germany: Worst days since 2nd World War - German Chancellor Merkel says that the current economic crisis is the worst time for Europe since World War II.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I've been ill and without Internet for a few days.  Should be back by Monday.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Top Stories November 7, 2011

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Salman, Sattam take the oath - The new Defense Minister is Prince Salman, and the Governor of Riyadh is Prince Sattam.  Also, the Hajj is going on.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Pilgrims stone Satan in most dangerous rite of Hajj - There are so many pilgrims that sometimes people get trampled.

Haaretz (Israel):  Israel government denies cyber-attack, says malfunction brought down websites - Anonymous threatened to attack Israeli government websites in response to the stopping of the Gaza Flotilla.  The websites went down, but Israel says it was a "malfunction."  The downed sites include IDF, Mossad, Shin Bet and some government ministries.  Thank you Anonymous.

Turkish Daily News:  Parliament the key to solving Kurdish issue - Masoud Barzani, the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (northern Iraq), had a good meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New Gaza Flotilla! Update II

Israel has intercepted the two ships of the flotilla.  Some of the activists have already been deported.  According to the article
On Thursday, the Obama administration warned U.S.citizens on the boats that they may face legal action for violating Israeli and American law. The activists include Americans and citizens of eight other countries.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. was renewing its warning to Americans "not to involve themselves in this activity."
The U.S., like Israel and the European Union, considers Hamas a terrorist organization. 
 Wow.  So if you're trying to right a wrong, but it's illegal, you can go to jail.  Reminds me of all the attacks that happened in the South during the Civil Rights Movement.  As for Hamas being a terrorist organization.  Yes, it's a terrorist organization.  It's also a political organization and an aid/charity organization.

I don't understand how the United States can condone all of its dealings with Yasser Arafat, the former leader of the Palestinian National Authority, leader of the PLO (terrorist organization), founder of Fatah (political organization that carried out terror attacks), but then get upset when Hamas wins a democratic election and threaten Americans with legal action for helping Palestinians.  What hypocrisy!

And why haven't I heard anything about this Gaza Flotilla on American news?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Women's News November 3, 2011

Women in Tunisia are demonstrating for women's rights.  They are concerned because an Islamist party won the election.

Apparently there are few women pictured in advertisements in Jerusalem.  A group is trying to change that by hanging up posters of volunteer women.  The group thinks that advertisers are self-censoring ads because they're worried the ultra-Orthodox Jews will complain and cause problems.

You may remember the Iranian women's soccer team had to forfeit their Olympic bid because FIFA would not let them wear headscarves.  It looks like FIFA has finally changed its mind and will now allow women to wear headscarves.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Gaza Flotilla! Update I

Another flotilla is now underway, heading towards Gaza.  The organizers kept it secret until they reached international waters, because they were worried about being stopped before they left Turkey.  Israel is tracking the ships and plans to stop them from reaching Gaza.

Democracy Now! (a US radio/TV program) has a correspondent on board one of the ships.  See photos here.

Israel vs. Iran?

Apparently Israeli PM Netanyahu and Defence Minister Barak are trying to persuade their government to make a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear program.  See Yahoo! articleIran says that would cause a lot of damage to Israel and the US.  Meanwhile, a UK report says that Israel is trying to upgrade its nuclear capability.  And The Guardian (UK) reports that the UK is getting ready to help the US in a possible military attack against Iran.

Several Haaretz bloggers are speaking out against an attack:
I'm a bit concerned about this situation.  This wouldn't be the first time Israel has bombed another country's nuclear reactor.  Israel wants to be the only country in the Middle East with nuclear capability and I don't know how far they will go to ensure that.  I understand that they don't trust Iran, but the general idea behind having nuclear weapons is not to actually use them, but to use them as a deterrent.  Like the Cold War between the US and the USSR. 

Yes, there are some crazy individuals out there.  People often don't realize that Ahmadinejad is NOT the Iranian government.  But I don't think even the real Iranian government would actually nuke Israel because Israel would respond in kind.  It's called Mutually Assured Destruction, and it's why the US and USSR generally fought each other through proxy wars. 

Maybe if more countries in the Middle East had nuclear weapons, Israel would actually sit down at the negotiation table and be willing to negotiate instead of demand.  And maybe then there would be peace.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Palestinians Get UNESCO Membership

UNESCO, the UN cultural organization, voted to admit Palestine as a member, 107 to 14.  This was followed by the United States cutting US funding to UNESCO.  According to the BBC article:
A US law passed in the 1990s bars giving funding to any UN body that admits the Palestinians as full members before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached.
My question is: then why does the US fund Israel when there is no peace deal?

Internet service and some phone service was down in Gaza and the West Bank today, thanks to hackers.

BBC News has a guide to the Palestinian membership bid.