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Entries in King Abdullah of Jordan (21)


Jordan Feature: Troubled "Reform" as Prime Minister Resigns (Murphy)

Former Prime Minister Khasawneh, a long time adviser to Jordan's royal family, who helped negotiate the country's peace deal with Israel in 1994, was appointed to his post last October in an attempt to mollify growing street protests demanding an opening of the political system.

The election law he's been working on was intended to deliver that opening. But he's been hemmed in on two sides: one, by tribal leaders close to the court and the security services worried that it would end up delivering power into the hands of Jordan's opposition. And two, by the opposition, which has complained loudly that the new law doesn't go far enough.

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Jordan Feature: Meaningful Changes or Token Reforms? (Yom and Tarawneh)

King Abdullah of JordanLast week, the Jordanian regime presented a series of Constitutional changes purportedly addressing questions of power between the monarchy, the Cabinet, and the legislature.

But are the amendments significant? Sean Yom, writing for Foreign Policy, and Naseem Tarawneh, writing on the blog The Black Iris, present two views.

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Jordan Feature: "Some Kind of Silence Has Broken" (Fahim)

Protest in Amman, January 2011Since January, when Jordan’s protest movement started holding regular demonstrations, the marches have grown, and persisted, but have never reached a critical mass. Hobbled by infighting and outflanked by King Abdullah II and his security forces, the protesters keep calling for greater freedoms and an end to corruption, but remain frustrated that their regular gatherings — sometimes only two-hour affairs — have hastened no real change.

Their quandary was illustrated in the demonstrations this past weekend here in Amman. On Friday, riot police officers beat demonstrators trying to stage a sit-in during clashes that spilled into a busy market district.

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Jordan Feature: The King Speaks, But Will There Be Reform? (Tarawnah)

This was a very interesting video to watch. It is perhaps the first time I have heard the King speak to a local audience about a “national vision” (which in Jordan translates to “royal vision”) that states the end goal as being an elected government. All the magic words are reiterated. Democracy. Dialog. Constitution. Freedom. Reform. Combating corruption. Media. Institutions.

We have been given royal visions before. This is obviously no secret. In fact, these visions are very public. Never have I personally heard that vision to include an elected government, so in some way, it is important to have this on the record. If anything than for the sake of being able to tell others “see, I told you so”, as it seems many are convinced that the King does not support giving up his political powers for an elected government. What this speech, and others that have been given by the King in recent weeks seem to outline is the dawn of a new Jordan. They are designed to breathe hope into a decaying political and social arena.

But then comes the quintessential question: will any of this be realized?

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Libya, Syria, Jordan (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Beat of Fighting, A Promise of Reform

1940 GMT: A witness has said six rockets hit an oil refinery near the port of the opposiiton-controlled Libyan city of Misurata.

The rockets appeared to have hit the refinery's power generators and did not strike storage facilities.

1935 GMT: Back after an extended academic break to note that 11 male doctors went on trial today in Bahrain, accused of taking control of a hospital during anti-regime protests, storing weapons, and detaining people.

One of the doctors tried to tell the judge that his confession had been extracted under torture, but the judge told him to stop and that he would be able to give evidence later in the trial.

Defense lawyers asked for civilian doctors to examine their clients, who have only been seen by military medical staff. The judge agreed and adjourned the until next week; he denied a request from some defense lawyers that the doctors be released while the trial is ongoing.

The 11 doctors are among 47 medical staff facing trials.

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Iran Interview: Leading Conservative Cleric on Ahmadinejad Advisors --- "Spies Give Them Money. Traitors Give Them Money"

Hojatoleslam Jafar ShojouniIf anyone, Ahmadinejad or others, disregards the directives of the Leader, then they will have the same fate as Bani-Sadr, the hypocrites (a reference to the "terrorist" Mojahedin Khalq Organization), Shariatmadari, Montazeri and others. We respect Mr. Ahmadinejad but reject his obstinacy and the issue is [Presidential advisor Esfandiar Rahim] Mashai.

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Jordan Analysis: A Regime Running Out of Time? (Yom)

King Abdullah IIThe Jordanian regime now faces a crucial juncture. Bloggers and journalists warn of the possibility of civil conflict unless the palace shifts course and negotiates with, rather than patronizes, its critics. However, King Abdullah has only offered another open-ended promise for considering reforms through the National Dialogue Committee, whose remaining members are bitterly arguing whether to take the king's word seriously anymore. Bakhit seems to be in little danger of losing his job, and parliament has predictably rejected any initiative to review, much less curtail, the crown's constitutional supremacy. At the same time, pro-government loyalists will assuredly attack opposition groups again, who now have little incentive to moderate their position and put faith in dialogue. The March 24 Shabab have already promised to return to the streets this Friday, heightening social tensions. If they are assaulted once again, tragedy could ensue.

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Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Covering Uncertainty

2155 GMT: Claimed footage of a demonstration today in opposition-held Misurata, 210 km (130 miles) east of Tripoli. The second clip is of a sit-in in the city's Tahrir Square in support of the citizens of Zawiyah, who had been holding out (ultimately unsuccessfully) against regime attacks:

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Libya, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Contrasts Heightened

2340 GMT: That, quite frankly, was a bizarre experience. No word on what has happened to Muammar Qaddafi, but Saif al Islam Qaddafi did appear to concede that some of the country is in the hands of the opposition. At the same time, there was the combination of the surreal threat --- drug dealers, foreign media, outside powers, Arabs and Africans --- and defiance.

More tomorrow. Meanwhile, coverage continues on our Live Feed from Al Jazeera English.

2338 GMT: Qaddafi's son concludes, "Our morale is high. May God make Libya a safe country. May God be with you."

2337 GMT: "We will fight to the last," he continues "We will not leave Libya." The Qaddafis will not allow Al Jazeera or Al Arabiya or the BBC to triumph.

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Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Settling In for the Long Game

0132 GMT: We end tonight's liveblog with this report from Al Jazeera: 

 0036 GMT: There are reports of gunfire in Cairo. We cannot confirm where exactly it is coming from or who's shooting. 

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