Monday, July 30, 2012

Top Stories July 30, 2012

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Syrian fighters seek heavy arms as Assad unleashes 'killing machine' - The Syrian opposition is fighting in Aleppo, but needs heavier weapons.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Rebels hold off Syrian forces in Aleppo - Assad declares victory in Damascus but rebels still hold parts of Aleppo.

Haaretz (Israel):  In Jerusalem speech, it was Romney's voice but Netanyahu's words - A Haaretz blogger's take on Romney's visit to Israel.  NOTE: Haaretz is now requiring free registration.

Turkish Daily News:  Assad will go; terror can not prevail: CHP - The Republican People's Party (CHP) thinks Assad will go, but doesn't want Turkey to become entangled in Syria.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Okay to Joke on Twitter!

Some of you may remember when a disgruntled air passenger tweeted about blowing up an airport in 2010.  He was originally charged and found guilty of sending threatening messages.  Well, the UK High Court finally decided that yes, the man was joking.  This whole situation was of real concern to anyone interested in preserving free speech in the West.  Thank goodness for common sense!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

NYC Police Overstep Bounds

This story originally broke a while back, but new information is now available:  The 911 tape that started it all.  In 2009, the New York City Police Department was caught with a safe house in New Jersey.  Specifically, they were watching local Muslim groups and putting all their information into a database.  Then the NYC police department tried to claim that they weren't doing anything illegal, because the police officers weren't doing anything "official."

This really upsets me.  It reminds me of McCarthyism in the 1950s, when people were terrified of being accused of being a Red.  Except, most Muslims tend to have darker skin.  If the police were doing this to Catholics, people would be horrified. So why is it acceptable to treat Muslims this way?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Top Stories July 23, 2012

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Syrian rebels say fight for Aleppo has begun - The Kingdom may be funding the rebels, and is starting a campaign to raise more money.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Hezbollah may get chemical arms if Assad falls: Netanyahu- The Israelis are growing increasingly concerned about the conflict in Syria.

Haaretz (Israel):  Egypt begins allowing Palestinians free entry into country - Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem may now enter Egypt.  This ends a 5-year closure of Gaza.

Turkish Daily News:  Ankara mulls options to 'dead' Geneva deal - Turkey has been hoping for a transitional government in Syria, but Russia and China vetoed the UN resolution.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sexy Australian Hurdler

By now you've probably all seen this video - the sexy hurdler from Australia doing a little dance before the race.  This is the link that showed up on my Yahoo! page.  What I found amusing is that if you look in the top right corner, you can see what looks like the Al-Jazeera logo.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tennessee Mosque Opens

Finally!  That mosque in Tennessee that seems to have a lot of Tennesseans freaked out, may finally be able to open.  This has been going on for TWO YEARS.  The range of Islamophobia in this country really makes me think of McCarthyism in the 1950s.  It's pathetic.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Top Stories July 16, 2012

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Fisherman killed as US ship fires on boat off Dubai - Four Indians were fishing on a small boat that approached a US Navy ship that was refueling.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Syrian army briefly enters east Lebanon, clashes with armed group - The soldiers entered Mashari al-Qaa then returned, after fighting with an unknown group.

Haaretz (Israel):  Clinton: U.S., Israel on the same page regarding Iran -  The US prefers diplomacy at this point.

Turkish Daily News:  CHP eyeing return to social democrat roots - The leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP) will release a "Democracy and Freedom Manifesto."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

YemenWatch July 12, 2012

A suicide bomber killed 10 soldiers at the police college in Sana'a.

Two of the AQAP escapees from Hodeida have been captured.

Sharaf Mahfooz, a leader in the Southern Movement, was killed in Aden.

Repairs are about done on the oil pipeline that keeps getting sabotaged.

The UAE Red Crescent has opened 5 new food centers in Sana'a to aid poor families.  Which is a lot of Yemen at this point.

Some current statistics on life in Yemen.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Top Stories July 9, 2012

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  King receives director of CIA - The director of the American CIA is visiting King Abdullah.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Hezbollah uncovers Beirut-based spy network: report - It's a little fuzzy, but Hizbollah may have found CIA operatives in Beirut.

Haaretz (Israel):  Israel Navy demands NIS 3 billion for protection of gas rigs - This is to protect Israeli natural gas rigs in the Mediterranean.

Turkish Daily News:  6.0 quake hits near Rhodes, felt in Turkey - It happened around 5 pm.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Islam is a Religion?

A really sad article from the US state of Louisiana.  A state representative there was supporting a program to allow kids to use educational vouchers to go to private religious schools.  Because everyone deserves a Christian education in Louisiana!  Apparently, she did not understand that Islam is also a religion, and it is also protected by the US Constitution.  So some kids were going to use those vouchers to go to a Muslim school.  Once the representative discovered this, she was very upset and now wants to cancel the whole voucher program.

This is probably the biggest problem that I have with the far right religious group in America.  They want all of these religious protections and exceptions, or whatever, but they believe that religion = Christianity.  It never occurs to them that if prayer is allowed in public schools, it might be a Hindu prayer, or a Muslim prayer, or any other prayer.  For them, everything is Christian.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

YemenWatch: July 5, 2012

Things really went crazy in Yemen right after I went on hiatus.  Sorry I wasn't here to keep you apprised of the situation.  Here's a summary of current events.

More clashes in Ta'iz.  It's not quite clear who is doing the fighting.  It looks like the military attacked a neighborhood affiliated with Sheikh al-Mikhlafi.  Iran is also getting into the picture, with money and even possibly weapons training for certain Yemenis in Ta'iz.

Abyan Province is in horrible condition after fighting with the AQAP-group Ansar al-Sharia.  As many as 200,000 people have been displaced and land mines are a severe problem.

The Yemeni military, tribal fighters, and the United States have been trying to drive AQAP forces out of Abyan Province.  Yesterday the Yemeni air force carried out several air strikes.

The US has accused Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani of supporting terrorism, which he denies.  Sheikh al-Zindani is a member of the Islah Party and founder of Al-Iman University in Sana'a.

The Marib oil pipeline is almost repaired following attacks last year and this year by saboteurs.

Yemeni security forces arrested 14 suspected Al-Qa'eda members, 9 of them non-Yemeni.

Three Yemeni fishing vessels were arrested by Eritrean forces, although it's unclear if they were actually encroaching on Eritrean waters.

Saudi Arabia no longer has an embassy in Yemen, since it's vice-consul was kidnapped in March.  Many Yemenis are very upset that they may not be able to make the pilgrimage to Mecca.  The Kingdom is not allowing Yemenis in on tourist or work visas.  A number of prospective pilgrims held marches in Sana'a and Tai'zz.  There was a new video this week from vice-consul Al-Khalidi asking for the release of female AQAP prisoners in exchange for him.

I'm not sure what's going on in Aden.  There are reports of the southern separatist movement (Al-Harak) fighting the military.  There was also a prison break.

There was a prison break in Al-Hodeida.  Five AQAP member escaped.

Something is going on with some security forces and the Transportation Minister (Waeed Bazeeb of the Yemeni Socialist Party).  This is the 3rd time his convoy has been shot at.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Top Stories July 2, 2012

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Cabinet approves new mortgage laws - Mortgages can now be sold.

Lebanon Daily Star:  S&P: High debt a factor in Lebanon downgrade - Standard and Poor downgraded Lebanon's outlook in May.  It went from Stable to Negative.

Haaretz (Israel):  Romney to visit Israel ahead of U.S. presidential vote, Netanyahu aide says -Romney will meet with the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers

Turkish Daily News:  Turkish football guilty of match-fixing, court rules - A number of football people are going to jail over this.