Robert Fisk: Hijab defection drives wedge into fractured party
7 August 2012
The highest ranking-defector yet – the Syrian Prime Minister, Riad Hijab – deserted President Bashar al-Assad yesterday and headed for the highest-paying supporter of the country's rebels: the oil-stuffed state of Qatar.
The UN has appointed a high-level panel to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015 when the Millennium Development Goals are expected to be achieved. The panel's first meeting will take place in September.
As Greece Rounds Up Migrants, Official Says ‘Invasion’ Imperils National Stability
New York Times
6 August 2012
ATHENS — A vast police operation here aimed at identifying illegal immigrants found that, of 6,000 people detained over the weekend, 1,400 did not have proper documentation, leading the minister of public order to say that Greece was suffering an “unprecedented invasion” that was threatening the stability of the debt-racked nation.
Iran tests short-range missile with new guidance system
By Yeganeh Torbati
Sat Aug 4, 2012
(Reuters) - Iran has test-fired a new, more accurate short-range missile capable of striking land and sea targets, it said on Saturday, a show of strength that underscored its ability to hit shipping in the Strait of Hormuz if attacked.
TURKEY: Caught Between Syria’s Kurds and a Hard Spot
By Dorian Jones
Aug 4 2012 (EurasiaNet) -
In a display of muscle-flexing, Turkish tanks this week carried out military exercises on the Syrian border, just a few kilometres away from towns that Syrian Kurds had seized from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
Israel Finds $240 Billion Gas Hoard Stranded by Politics: Energy
3 August 2012
Israel, reliant on imported energy since the state’s foundation in 1948, now has more natural gas than it can handle.
Noble Energy Inc. (NBL), Delek Group Ltd. (DLEKG) and other explorers have discovered enough gas under the Mediterranean Sea to supply Israel’s needs for 150 years. To profit from the finds sooner, the companies want to export the gas by pipeline or ship. As the Ministry of Energy prepares to publish a blueprint for developing the fields later this month, officials say the country’s economy and security must come first and shipments abroad limited.
Interview with Dr. Andrew Mango: “Turkey’s Walk from 1923 to 2023: A Critique of the Past and Recent Political Challenges”
August 3, 2012
Probably, not that many non-Turkish scholars have been read, referred to, admired and criticized by the students of political science and history as well as the not-so-academic followers of politics in Turkey as much and intensely as Dr. Andrew Mango had.
(Reuters) - Barbed wire and concrete-filled oil drums surround Maria Riri Myles' family apartment in a snake- and rat-infested no-go zone of northern Cyprus occupied only by patrolling Turkish soldiers. But it still feels like home.
International disarray over the bloody crisis in Syria has been starkly underlined when the UN envoy Kofi Annan announced that he was resigning because of the failure of what he said had become a "mission impossible".
The former UN secretary general said it had been a "sacred duty" to take up the position five months ago to try to find a solution to the conflict. But growing militarisation and a lack of unity among world powers had changed the circumstances.
U.S. lawmakers are a step closer to finalizing new sanctions aimed at further restricting Iran's oil revenues after negotiators from the Senate and House of Representatives agreed upon a compromise bill on Monday.
Syrian forces and rebels have clashed violently in and around Aleppo as the battle for control of the country's largest city raged into a fourth day, with both sides claiming advances.
The Syrian army said on Monday it had overrun part of the city's rebel-held Salaheddin district, which sits in the southwest in the face of the government advance, but that claim was denied by a rebel Free Syrian Army commander.
As Syria's crisis deepens, Turkey is greatly concerned about a PKK-controlled Kurdish state in Turkey's immediate neighborhood. Ankara's fear is not a Greater Kurdistan, but a PKK-controlled semi-state, analysts say.
Ankara's support for a regime change in Syria has started to backfire, threatening Turkey's own national security, with Syrian Kurdish groups forming a de facto state in the north of Syria.
Syrian government forces mounted new ground attacks against rebel-controlled neighborhoods in Syria's commercial hub of Aleppo, the state media said Monday, but failed to dislodge the opposition from their strongholds, according to activists.
An expert on Islam is concerned that some California politicians and city officials are ignoring the facts about sharia law.
A town hall meeting at the Islamic Society of Orange County earlier this year declared there is no conflict between sharia law, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Several lawmakers and officials in The Golden State -- including Democratic U.S. Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Loretta Sanchez; Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Downing; and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca -- urged support for sharia law. In several recently released videos from the event, officials said that sharia is not a threat to the United States.