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Entries in Barack Obama (348)


Burma Opinion: Obama Visits, But the Political Prisoners Remain

President Obama's speech at the University of Yangon on Monday

As Obama sets foot in Burma for the first time, it was confirmed that at least 44 political prisoners have been released. Campaigners cautiously welcomed this gesture while reminding the international community that these people are essentially being released into an open prison. They are not allowed to study, many are denied passports, lawyers are stripped of their licences and prison sentences remain unchanged. This means that they can be re-arrested at any time. They can also be replaced: since January 2012, at least 200 individuals have been detained and arrested for political reasons.

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Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: 30 Killed in Gaza's Bloodiest Day

2152 GMT: The Guardian reports:

Two teenage brothers have been killed and an unknown number wounded in an Israeli strike on a home near the Rafah border crossing, according to local reports. The names of the dead were given as Ahmad al-Nasasra, 17, and Mohammed al-Nasasra, 15.

This matches other social media reports we've seen, including this picture which was posted on Facebook:

Ahmad and his brother Muhammed AL-Nasasra were murdered...An Israeli missile leveled a home in Rafah

2132 GMT: Amnesty International has called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council "to impose an international arms embargo on Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza".

Speaking about the current crisis, Amnesty International’s MENA Deputy Director Ann Harrison also said that the NGO has "serious concerns" that Palestinians are being killed by "indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks by Israeli forces.

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EA Video Analysis: The Real Story of General David Petraeus

Forget the sex scandal that brought him down. This is the reason why we should remember General David Petraeus --- a man whose ambition and supporters led to the exaggeration of military "success" and the corruption of US foreign policy.


Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: Day 2 of Operation Pillar of Cloud

2239 GMT: It's been hard to balance the reports of intense bombing and explosions in Gaza with the similar reports from Israel. The clearest reason for this is that most rockets fired from Gaza do not appear to have landed near residences. Contrast this with the explosions in Gaza which are happening in the center of heavily populated areas.

One need look no further than Israel's own IDF Spokesperson Twitter account to see this play out. Below is their latest summary:

If this is true, then the number of rockets that have been launched from Gaza are equal to the amount of sites in Gaza that Israel says it has hit. However, the IDF has barely produced any pictures or video of the damage on the groun in Israel. Instead, they have focused on how effective their own airstrikes have been:

We've contacted IDF's spokesperson and asked them to post more videos from inside Israel. So far we have received no response.

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The Latest from Iran (15 November): Tehran's Open Call for Nuclear Talks

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Iran's Secretary of the National Security Council, Saeed Jalili

1759 GMT: A Death in Detention. Head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani has declared that he will deal "firmly" with anyone found guilty of abuse, torture, and/or wrongful behaviour in the case of blogger Sattar Beheshti, who died during interrogation in prison last week.

See Iran Feature: The Last Blog of Sattar Beheshti, Murdered by Security Forces in Prison

1753 GMT: Health Watch. Minister of Health Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, trying to stave off criticism and calls for her impeachment (see 0945 GMT), has declared that Iran has risen from 56th to 20th in the world in medical care in the last 10 years, and that the Islamic Republic is 14th in the world for pharmaceuticals.

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Israel-Palestine Opinion: Why Obama's Re-election Offers Renewed Hope for an Agreement

Obama has four years to craft a legacy, and there is reason to suspect he wants to include a Nobel Peace Prize with no accomplishment justifying it.

Taking another crack at a tenable two-state solution is as daunting as ever, but the cost is lower than once thought. Furthermore, after this past Tuesday, perhaps Republicans will realize that being superficially “pro-Israel” is irrelevant to the voters they most need to reach. The GOP will not help, but perhaps it will not stand in the way.

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US Elections 2012 Audio: Obama's Victory and What Happens Next --- A Conversation with Ideas Lab

I spoke with the University of Birmingham's Ideas Lab on Thursday about the US elections, President Obama's victory, and the political challenges that lay ahead both for him and for the Republican Party. Topics ranged from the debate over the economy and Government budget to the new social dynamics revealed by the vote to American foreign policy.

The full SoundCloud discussion:

The shorter version featured on Ideas Lab:


Yemen Feature: How A Country Was Lost in Obama's "War Laboratory" (Johnsen)

Photo: ReutersIn the final presidential debate, more than 11 years after the Bush administration launched its global war on terror, President Barack Obama identified "terrorist networks" as the gravest national security threat facing America. But Yemen, which is home to the most dangerous al Qaeda affiliate, has attracted precious little attention from either of the candidates in this election.

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US Elections 2012 Opinion: A "Poisoned Kiss" for Europe in Obama's Victory

Barack Obama and Angela MerkelDespite euphoria for Obama and the sense of stability for Europe, the second Obama term brings more perils than prizes. There will be renewed disagreement between European leaders and the Democrats on how to deal with the Eurozone Crisis, while the American focus shifts further east.

This re-election is a poisoned kiss.

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The Latest from Iran (9 November): So 2 Iranian Fighters Fired on a US Drone and Then....

See also Iran Special: "Iranian Fighters Fire on US Drone" --- What is the Connection with US-Iran Nuclear Talks?
The Latest from Iran (8 November): Death of a Blogger in Detention?

1835 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update (Revised). It appears that Press TV does not think Ayatollah Jannati's discussion of the political tensions inside Iran (see 1336) is worth a mention. Instead, this passage is more important:

The recent US presidential election only brought disgrace on the United States due to the low voter turnout....If this scandalous and disgraceful election had been held in a country opposing US policies, they would have created a hype about low voter turnout.

“Ninety percent of eligible [American voters] did not participate in this election and after spending billions [of dollars], which has no justification, a person by force to continue on his deviated path."

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