NEWS OF THE DAYAn Egyptian court sentenced a leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed El-Beltagy, to one year in prison on Saturday for insulting the judiciary, the first sentence handed to a leader of the organization since it was outlawed last year, security and judicial sources said. Beltagy is standing trial along with former president Mohamed Morsi and 13 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders on charges of inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace during unrest in late 2012.
SLAVYANSK: A deadly gunfight in a town in restive east Ukraine on Sunday shattered a fragile Easter truce, with Russia declaring it was “outraged” at the return to violence in the crisis-hit former Soviet republic. Three pro-Russian militants and one attacker were killed in a firefight at a roadblock close to the separatist-held town of Slavyansk, said a local pro-Kremlin rebel leader, Vyatcheslav Ponomarev. Vladimir, a masked 20-year-old pro-Russian rebel who was at the barricade, told AFP: “Four cars pulled up to our roadblock around 1:00am (2200 GMT Saturday). We wanted to conduct a check, and then they opened fire on us with automatic weapons.” He said there were around 20 attackers,... more ›
NEW YORK: The United Nations Saturday night warned that more than 20,000 civilians are in imminent danger of starving to death in a Palestinian refugee camp that has become a key battleground in the Syrian civil war. The looming humanitarian crisis in Yarmouk, on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus, was described as “beyond desperate” by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees. A fragile agreement between the warring factions to allow food into the camp has broken down, and for 10 days no food has been allowed through a government blockade of the area, the scene of fierce fighting between the Syrian Army and rebels. Chris Gunness, of... more ›
UPPER NILE: When not plotting military strategy to seize South Sudan’s crucial oil fields, sacked vice-president turned rebel chief Riek Machar spends time reading the economic and political history “Why Nations Fail”. Cynics might argue he would do better to simply look around his basic bush camp, where mutinous soldiers and an allied ethnic militia crammed with child soldiers ready themselves to attack government forces, as a brutal four-month-long civil war in which thousands of people have already been killed intensifies. “I didn’t want to fight any more war again,” Machar told AFP in a recent interview at his rebel hideout, saying people had had enough of fighting during Sudan’s long civil war,... more ›
WASHINGTON: Could the 2016 presidential election turn into a contest between a Bush and a Clinton? Political debate in America last week revolved around whether or not Jeb Bush, Florida’s former governor who is son or brother to two former US presidents – both named George – would jump into the 2016 battle for the Republican presidential nomination. For a nation that fought a war for independence from the hereditary power of the British Crown, in the person of another fellow named George, the concept of nominating a third Bush to run for the White House against a second... more ›
BAGHDAD: With fears that women’s rights are being eroded in Iraq, prospective female lawmakers are determined to push women’s issues to the fore of campaigning for this month’s elections. Despite a constitutional requirement that a quarter of all MPs be women, Iraq lags on key indicators such as female employment and literacy, and there is a bill before parliament that opponents say dramatically curtails women’s rights. Also at issue ahead of April 30 elections are high levels of violence against women, discrimination at the workplace, and poor school attendance. “I did not expect that we will fight for women’s rights in this country,” said Inam Abdul Majed, a television news presenter and an... more ›
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