Thursday, January 31, 2013

US Senate Shoots Down Bid to Halt Sales of F-16s, Tanks to Egypt

The U.S. Senate Thursday defeated an amendment that aimed to prevent the Obama administration from transferring F-16 fighter aircraft and Abrams tanks to an Egypt in disarray. Read

Iran Says It’s Uncovered Anti-Regime Plot Linked to the BBC

In a new act of defiance towards its Western adversaries, Iran said Wednesday a recent spate of arrests of journalists had uncovered an anti-regime plot linked to the British Broadcasting Corporation. Read

Vietnam Frees and Deports American Detained for ‘Terrorism,’ ‘Subversion’

Vietnamese authorities have released and deported an American national who had been detained for nine months on charges of subversion, claiming that he had “admitted his crimes” and requested leniency. Read

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Influential U.N. Body Elects Sudan to Leadership Position

Three months after Sudan was controversially elected onto an influential United Nations body with key human rights-related responsibilities, Khartoum’s Islamist regime scored a further diplomatic coup this week when other members elected it as vice president. Read

Republicans Ask Clinton to Answer Key Questions Left Unanswered on Benghazi

With just three days to go before her last day at the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to be dogged by questions about the deadly terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last fall. Read

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Israel Refuses to Subject Its Human Rights Record to a U.N. Body It Views As Biased

Ten months after it severed ties with the U.N.’s top human rights body – accusing it of hypocrisy and bias – Israel looked set Tuesday to become the first U.N. member state to boycott the council’s review of its human rights record. Read

U.N.’s Ban Ki-Moon Wants ‘Peace Enforcement’ Mission in DR Congo

Two decades after the United Nations carried out its last “peace enforcement” mission – the ill-fated operation in Somalia that culminated in the infamous “Black Hawk Down” incident – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is pushing for a new one, to tackle the drawn-out conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read

Monday, January 28, 2013

Obama Recalls His Response to Libya Crisis as One Marked by U.S. Leadership

Defending his response to Middle East crises during his first term, President Barack Obama said in an interview aired Sunday that the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi would likely disagree with the view that the U.S. administration had abdicated leadership. Read

Iran Says It Will Allow Key Suspects in 1994 Argentina Terror Attack to Be Questioned

Iran’s government on Sunday said it has agreed to an investigation into the worst terrorist attack in Argentina’s history – a bombing of a Jewish community center blamed by Argentine prosecutors on top Iranian officials including the current defense minister and a former president. Read

Sunday, January 27, 2013

'Mockery of Justice': Iran Sentences American Pastor to 8 Years in Prison

An Iranian court on Sunday sentenced Iranian-born American pastor Saeed Abedini – a convert from Islam to Christianity – to eight years’ imprisonment for “threatening the national security of Iran” by leading underground house churches, according to a U.S. religious organization closely involved in the case. Read

Friday, January 11, 2013

BBC Scandal: What About Those Staff Meetings Promised by NY Times CEO Mark Thompson?

As British police released a report Friday revealing the "unprecedented" scale of broadcaster Jimmy Savile’s pedophilia, the New York Times Co. remains mum about when its new chief executive Mark Thompson will hold planned town hall meetings to answer any questions his staff may have about the scandal that roiled his previous employer, the BBC. Read

British Christians Await Top Court Ruling on Wearing a Cross at Work

Europe’s highest court next week will hand down rulings in the cases of four British Christians who claim to have been discriminated in the workplace because of their religious beliefs. Read

American Pastor Jailed in Iran Reports Beatings, Death Threats

An Iranian-born American pastor imprisoned in Iran has told his family in a letter he is being beaten and threatened with death, the American Center for Law and Justice reported Thursday, adding that the State Department has “done very little” to help a U.S. citizen in peril. Read

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

CIA Nominee John Brennan Has Touted Hezbollah’s ‘Moderate Elements’

CIA director-designate John Brennan’s stated views on the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah at times has appeared to be out of step with others in the Obama administration, which he has served as White House counterterrorism adviser since 2009. Read

Islam ‘Helped to Shape’ CIA Nominee John Brennan’s World View

As a college student in the 1970s, John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee for CIA director, traveled in Indonesia where – he recalled in a speech in New York in 2010 – “despite my long hair, my earring and my obvious American appearance, I was welcomed throughout that country, in a way that is a reflection of the tremendous warmth of Islamic cultures and societies.” Read

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Nadarkhani Freed Again, But Other Iranian Christians Languish Behind Bars

Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s long battle with the Islamic Republic’s legal authorities took another turn Monday when they released him from prison, 14 days after arresting him on Christmas Day to serve the rest of a three-year sentence for “evangelizing Muslims.” Read

Monday, January 07, 2013

Hagel Nomination May Have Some Democrats Opposing Obama

President Obama’s reported plan to nominate former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as secretary of defense on Monday risks a pushback by Republican senators troubled by his stance on Israel and Iran, but the move also will test whether Democrats leery about Hagel are prepared to confront the administration over the issue. Read

Defying U.S., Abbas Orders ‘State of Palestine’ Terminology

Five weeks after the Obama administration asserted that a United Nations vote on upgrading the Palestinian entity’s status “does not establish that Palestine is a state,” Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday ordered that all references to the Palestinian Authority be changed to the “State of Palestine.” Read

Friday, January 04, 2013

Many Muslims Ordered to Steer Clear of Christmas: ‘But You Can Say Happy New Year’

Muslims have mixed views about Jesus Christ, and the recent Christmas season witnessed a variety of responses to the celebration from different parts of the Islamic world. Read

Russia Gears Up for Biggest Naval Exercises in Decades, Major Fleet Expansion

Amid simmering tensions with the United States, Russia enters the new year with plans for what may be its biggest naval exercise since the fall of the Soviet Union, and an announcement that it will add dozens of new vessels, including nuclear submarines, to its navy. Read

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Populist Islamic Scholar Vows to Turn Islamabad Into World’s Biggest ‘Tahrir Square’

As Pakistan heads towards a springtime election, a charismatic religious leader has vowed to turn Islamabad into the world’s largest “Tahrir Square” on January 14, predicting that millions will gather in support of a peaceful revolution against what he describes as a corrupt and feudal capitalist system. Read

New Details Emerge on World War II ‘Tsunami Bomb’ Project

The revelation that the United States and New Zealand carried out “tsunami bomb” tests during World War II, first made public 14 years ago when secret documents were declassified, is making headlines again after a researcher dug up more archived material. Read

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood Again Accused of Attempting to Destabilize Gulf States

Weeks after a group of Egyptians was arrested in the United Arab Emirates, media in the Gulf state reported Tuesday that investigators suspect the men of working on behalf of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, seeking recruits and giving lectures on bringing down government in Arab countries. Read

Elections in 2013 to Give Pointers to Future Direction of ‘Arab Spring’

Among dozens of elections scheduled around the world this year, several in countries across the Middle East will provide further clues about the future of a movement that sparked much optimism when it erupted two years ago, followed by doubt and disillusionment as it began to derail during 2012. Read