Egypt is the most populous country in the Arab world, and its revolution in February 2011 was the capstone event of the Arab Spring, inspiring demonstrators in Libya, Syria and elsewhere.
But in June 2012, a series of events threw the country’s troubled transition to democracy deeper into confusion as Egypt’s two most powerful forces — the military establishment and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group — moved toward a showdown. A swift series of steps by the military and its allies in the judiciary left many observers in Egypt and the West wondering if they were witnessing a subtle military coup, or even a counterrevolution.
With no progress in sight, Turkish Cypriots await UN to declare talks dead
12 August 2012
Almost exactly four years after Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders launched talks on reuniting the divided island under the UN auspices, a breakthrough is as unlikely as ever. Frustrated with the lack of settlement and persisting international isolation, the Turkish Cypriot leadership says it may be long overdue for the UN to tell the world the obvious truth that no solution is in sight, so that the Turkish Cypriots can move beyond a limbo they have been stuck in for years.
The escalating militarization of the Syrian conflict only favors foreign players' interests, claims Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute of Policy Studies, and…
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian rebels claimed on Monday that they had brought down a Syrian fighter jet for the first time as battles raged in Aleppo and Damascus, and the United Nations said it had removed a third of its observers in advance of its mandate expiring later this month.
The developments — three weeks into a ground battle for Aleppo, and as fighting spreads in Damascus, Dara’a and other areas — highlight the conflict’s recent spiral away from diplomacy and toward widening war.
Powerful uncle of North Korea leader in China to talk business
By Jack Kim
Mon Aug 13, 2012
(Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's uncle and the man seen as the power behind the young and untested dictator went to Beijing on Monday in the latest signal that the reclusive state is looking seriously at ways to revive its broken economy.
For some Assad loyalists, a gory death at rebel hands
13 August 2012
(Reuters) - Disturbing footage of Syrian rebels slitting the throat of a blindfolded young man and throwing bodies off a rooftop to a cheering crowd below have appeared on YouTube.
It was not possible to independently verify the authenticity or the circumstances in which the videos were recorded and some activists argue that one of them was staged by supporters of President Bashar al-Assad to discredit the rebels.
CAIRO — President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt forced the retirement on Sunday of his powerful defense minister, the army chief of staff and several senior generals, in a stunning purge that seemed for the moment to reclaim for civilian leaders much of the political power the Egyptian military had seized since the fall of Hosni Mubarak last year.
Mr. Morsi also nullified a constitutional declaration, issued by the military before he was elected, that eviscerated the powers of the presidency and arrogated to the military the right to pass laws. It was not immediately clear whether he had the constitutional authority to cancel that decree.
(Reuters) - Syrian rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad need the protection of foreign-guarded no-fly zones and safe havens near the borders with Jordan and Turkey, a Syrian opposition leader said on Sunday.
Battles raged on in the northern city of Aleppo, where tanks, artillery and snipers attacked rebels in the Saif al-Dawla district next to the devastated area of Salaheddine.
Coalition and Afghan special operations forces captured "three suspected insurgents" during a raid that targeted an al Qaeda associate who operates in the southeastern province of Ghazni.
The combined special operations team attempted to capture the "al Qaeda associated insurgent" during a raid in the Gelan district in Ghazni today, the International Security Assistance Force stated in a press release. It is unclear if he was captured during the raid.
Washington - Ever since Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad struck a deal with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for weekly air service between the nations' distant capitals, American officials have worried that Iranian-backed terrorists could reach the rim of Latin America, pick up fake Venezuelan passports and sneak into the United States.
Now, with growing talk of a pre-emptive attack by Israel to slow Iran's suspected nuclear-weapons program, Iran has threatened that it would retaliate across the globe. And Iran's easy access to the Western Hemisphere has U.S. officials particularly concerned.
Turkey signals to US, may go ahead ‘solo' with safety zones in Syria
12 August 2012
While NATO allies Turkey and the US have started synchronizing their contingency operation plans for Syria amid the influx of thousands of refugees into Turkey in recent days, Turkey has made it clear that it will go ahead with setting up “safety zone” pockets inside Syrian territory to handle the mounting humanitarian crisis.
LONDON –- When Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, publicly proclaimed that the ECB would do “whatever it takes” to ensure the future stability of the euro, the effect of his remarks was immediate and remarkable.
HAVE reached a nightmarish conclusion: President Christofias and the AKEL leadership are consciously leading us to bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, their behaviour leaves no room for any other interpretation of their actions. No rational person could any longer excuse the blatantly catastrophic course they are following by citing ignorance, incompetence and irresponsibility.
Maslak is a neighborhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey.
“For the 25 years I’ve been in Turkey, EU accession has been 10 years away,” said Hugh Pope, Turkey/Cyprus project director of Crisis Group. “At the moment, the process is dead in the water. That doesn’t mean it can’t be revived.”
NICOSIA: The sun falls behind the jagged, mountain-peaked horizon, and the sky dissolves from a scarlet stained backdrop to soft, empurpled nighttime. In my native Texas, the lengthy battle between night and day paints a polychromatic scene of carnage across the sky; in Cyprus, the transition is so gradual that one scarcely has time to greet twilight.
Merkel Handed Sub-Zero Yields as ECB Plan Gains Traction
12 August 2012
“There is no way that Germany will not be affected by this,” Thomson, who helps oversee $109 billion as a money manager at Ignis Asset Management in Glasgow, Scotland, said in an Aug. 3 interview. “Spain won’t be able to survive without external help. The bailout will add more burdens on Germany.”