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Entries in Kuwait (54)


Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Death Toll Rises Again

2136 GMT: Syria. The situation in Aleppo may feel like a stalemate to the residents of the city, but there is plenty of efforts being made by both sides to lift that stalemate. For the last week or so the FSA has been sieging the Air Force Intelligence building in Aleppo. Snipers have pinned down the building periodically, and the FSA has hit it with all sorts of RPGs, small arms fire, and recoilless rifles. Videos have even showed the FSA conducting improvised rocket attacks against the building.

But this video is interesting. It shows insurgents using some sort of small field artillery piece to target the building. An activist translates the talking, and suggests that the insurgents are using a radio to make sure that the shell hits the target, and also to make sure that they are not being targeted by snipers:

2120 GMT: Syria. The FSA is sacking bases around Aleppo, and has the city nearly completely cut off from the outside world. However, while the FSA is advancing in the east, sieging the last vestiges of the Assad regime in Idlib province, making inroads in Daraa, and turning up the heat on Damascus, Aleppo is in much the same position it was a month ago, and the conflict has seen little change in even longer than that. With some of the regime's strongest units still operating in Aleppo, it's clear that while the co0nflict is dynamic, and the the momentum clearly on the insurgents' side outside Aleppo, city itself could remain in this state for some time.

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Syria, Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Internet Returns as Regime Tries to Hold Damascus "Periphery"

Saturday's rallies for Egyptian President Morsi and the draft Constitution

See also Syria Feature: How the Assad Regime Shut Down the Internet
Syria, Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Breaking Through the Blackout

2135 GMT: Yemen Two tribesmen have been killed following intensive Government shelling in Marib province, east of the capital Sanaa. According to Associated Press, citing an anonymous official, the shelling "was aimed at intimidating militants who attacked a crude oil pipeline just half an hour after repairs to it were completed a day earlier".

2130 GMT: Syria. Journalist Jenan Moussa reports on food shortages and rising prices in Aleppo:

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Insurgents Challenge the Regime in the Air

2122 GMT: Syria. The Free Syrian Army has captured yet another anti-aircraft base near Aleppo, this time near Assan, south of the city (map).

Another source suggests that this base is the headquarters of the 608 regime, though that is unclear. Still, there are plenty of videos that have been posted in the last few hours:

Another major victory? There's also a trend. The FSA is targeting relatively small anti-aircraft bases, capturing equipment that can be used against the Assad regime, but also looking for ways to confront the Assad airforce. Furthermore, there is a suspicion that they may have received encouragement to specifically target anti-aircraft bases, as this removes a threat to any foreign aircraft that could potentially engage in a no-fly zone.

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Egypt, Gaza, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Morsi, the New Pharaoh?

2109 GMT: Israel-Palestine. This may be the strangest thing we've seen all week (and that is saying something). This video, entitled "Holidays 2012: A Dinner for Peace," was released by the Israeli embassy in Washington DC. Cartoons with cut-out heads (a la South Park's Saddam Hussein) representing many prominent world leaders are gathered around a table, apparently for some sort of holiday feast. They all look bored as they wait for President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. suddenly, the phone rings and Abbas says, "I am on my way to the UN. I am not coming to the table," in a creepy voice, while he drives a bus full of civilians, including children. This is an apparent reference to Abbas's pursuit of UN recognition for Palestine at the United Nations.

What does the bus represent? Why the weird voice over? Is this really the best way to represent this argument? Does this conveniently dismiss inaction by most of the other parties that are pictured sitting at "the table"? We'll just let the viewers decide the answers to these questions themselves.

2100 GMT: Syria. According to the LCC, the death toll has grown to 70:

26 in Damascus and suburbs including 7 were field executed in Qadam, 17 in Aleppo, 6 in Daraa, 4 in each Deir Ezzor, Latakia and Hama, 3 in Idlib, 2 in Homs and a martyr in each Banyas and Qunaitra...

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Suicide Car Bomb Kills More than 50 Regime Troops

2205 GMT: Bahrain. EA's John Horne reports:

The Bahrain government has revoked the citizenship of 31 Bahrainis who are members of the opposition. The individuals include opposition leader Dr Saaed Shehabi, former AlWefaq MPs Jalal Fairoz and Jawad Fairooz, academic Abdulhadi Khalaf, and Ali Mushaima, the son Hussan Mushaima, leader of Haq and current political prisoner. In a statement published by Bahrain State media, listing the names, the Interior Minister claims it was done on grounds of "state security".

Bahrain expert Marc Owen Jones notes that Twitter account @7areghum tweeted the names before state media:

This is a concerning return to the worst of last years repression. In a recent article, Owen Jones noted that the @7areghum account was still active, despite it being cited in the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report:

Trolling in Bahrain has became so severe that a report commissioned to investigate human rights abuses in the country last year actually mentioned it. In particular, it focused on the actions of @7areghum, a Twitter account that “openly harassed, threatened and defamed certain individuals, and in some cases placed them in immediate danger”. The legal experts charged with compiling the report concluded that @7areghum broke Bahraini law and international law. Despite this, the Bahrain government do not appear to have asked the US government to subpoena Twitter to release information about the account.

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Kuwait Feature: A Moment of Truth for the Country? (Lynch)

A car hits two protesters on Wednesday --- both survived

Wednesday's violent clashes in Kuwait have brought its long-brewing political crisis to a dangerous point. It did not have to be this way, in a Gulf state that has long stood out for its robust public sphere, electoral traditions and vibrant parliament. But a series of unusually provocative steps by both the royal family and the opposition, in the context of a long-running battle over the powers of parliament and accountability for the royal family, have taken their toll and tempers are running hot. After months of growing popular mobilization and a complex crisis of political institutions, Kuwait's political future suddenly seems deeply uncertain.

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Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: "All Rallies and Gatherings Are Illegal"

See also Yemen Opinion: Questioning Washington's Model of Drones and Permanent War
Monday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A "Ceasefire" Ends

2121 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees claim that 134 people have been killed today, including 50 in Idlib Province --- most from shelling of insurgent-held Ma'aret Al-Numan and attacks on Saraqeb and Kafar Batekh --- and 43 in Damascus and its suburbs.

1929 GMT: Bahrain. Russia Today discusses the banning of all protests in Bahrain:

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Kuwait Feature: The Rise of Political Tension and Protest (Diwan)

The "March of Dignity" on Gulf Road, 21 October 2012

Organizers of the March for Dignity tapped into the national reformist ethos and youthful activism of the 2006 campaign. The orange color chosen for the march established the continuity with the earlier electoral reform campaign and the more liberal and urban constituencies that had championed it, linking them to the more Islamist and more tribal activists of today. The theme of "dignity" elided the differences among them and resonated with the citizen demands of the early Arab Spring. Protesters demonstrated their expertise in civil disobedience and nonviolent struggle through speeches and videos quoting Gandhi and playing the U.S civil rights era protest song "We shall overcome."

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The UN Talks Cease-Fire --- Is Anyone Listening?

The devastastion in the Khalidiya section of Homs

See also Israel-Palestine Live Coverage (23 October): Gaza, Settlements, Iran, and Elections
Monday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: "Revolution Was Won When Wall of Fear Was Broken Down"

1709 GMT: Kuwait. Last Thursday, former MPs Bader Al-Dahoum, Falah Al-Sawwagh, and Khaled Al-Tahous were arrested and charged of criticising the Emir at an opposition gathering on 10 October. The following picture was taken shortly after their arrest:

Today, they appeared in court with shaved heads, wearing prison uniforms:

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Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Ripping Up King Hamad, Taking Out Assad's Air Force

1932 GMT: Syria. With military progress largely stalled, the Syrian military is expanding their bombing campaign in Idlib - and the target is civilians. According to the AFP, at least 44 people were killed in airstrikes in Ma'arrat al Nouman. This video shows a bomb falling on Ma'arrat Harma (map), to the west of most of the fighting:

Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army reportedly launched an all-out attack on the Wadi al Daif base, just east of Ma'arrat al Nouman, the largest base in the are, and one that the FSA has had surrounded for days:

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