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Entries in Medicins Sans Frontieres (4)


Egypt (and Beyond) Live: Mubarak Retrial Opens

See also Syria Live: "We Are Stronger Than Those Who Would Divide Us"
Friday's Israel (and Beyond) Live: A Quiet "Freeze" on Settlement Expansion?

1925 GMT: Palestine. West Bank Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has submitted his resignation to President Mahmud Abba, despite US efforts for him to stay on.

"Fayyad met Abbas for half an hour in the president's headquarters in Ramallah in the West Bank and officially handed him his written resignation," a Palestinian official said.

Abbas tasked Fayyad with the role of caretaker for the current government until a new Prime Minister is appointed, another official said.

Late Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Abbas to press him to find common ground with his prime minister over economic policies, Palestinian officials said.

A senior Palestinian official said Fayyad had had his letter of resignation prepared since 23 March but put off submitting it because of a visit to Israel and Palestine by US President Barack Obama and Abbas's overseas trips.

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Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Deadline for a Cease-Fire

Analysts on Al Jazeera English's Inside Story discuss whether a peace plan can succeed in Syria

See also Bahrain Document: Activists Appeal to BBC and Sky Not to Broadcast Grand Prix
Turkey Live Coverage (12 April): Erdogan "If the UN Does Not Follow on Syria, What Will It Follow Through?"
Wednesday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Deadline? What Deadline?
Turkey Live Coverage (11 April): Erdogan Taking the Lead on Syria?

2005 GMT: A significant update from Bahraini photojournalist Mazen Mahdi:

The family of Ahmad Ismail Hassan, the citizen journalist killed two weeks ago as he filmed protests on Salmabad --- allegedly by a regime operative firing from a Land Cruiser --- had refused to accept the body from the hospital because "shooting" was not put as cause of death on the certificate.

Now that the family has taken Ismail Hassan for burial, the march promises to be one of the largest in recent months on the island.

1945 GMT: The Local Co-ordination Committees of Syria have issued a clarification about today's claimed death toll of 37:

The Local Coordination Committees would like to note that the martyrs of Deir Baalba's Massacre [in a section of Homs] that was discovered today have actually fallen on the 8th of April, 2012; and it was until today that their bodies were discovered.

This happened because of the heavy presence of the army and the lack of communications in the city during the last week. Therefore, the number of martyrs who were killed 22 martyrs, distributed as follows: 9 martyrs in Homs, 6 in Idlib, 5 in Damascus Suburbs and 2 martyrs in Aleppo.

An evening demonstration in Hama:

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Bahrain Propaganda 101: How a US PR Firm Puts "News" in American Newspapers (Whitaker)

So what progress has Qorvis made so far towards rehabilitating Bahrain's repressive regime? 

The past week has brought a stream of press releases, all proclaiming good news about Bahrain and presumably drafted by Qorvis on the government's behalf:

  • Bahrain's Ambassador to the United States Acknowledges the Tenth Anniversary of September 11, Reaffirms Strong Bi-Lateral Ties (Sept 11)

  • Bahrain Prepares for the New Academic Year (Sept 9)

  • Bahrain's Government Continues to Move Forward With Reforms (Sept 8)

  • Bahrain Establishes National Audit Court to Combat Corruption (Sept 8)

  • Bahrain's National Dialogue Draws Support from Turkish President (Sept 7)

The basic message, then, is that Bahrain remains a steadfast ally of the United States, that it is pressing ahead with reforms as calm returns and (if we are to believe the Turkish president) is working for peace and stability in the Middle East.

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Bahrain Feature: Medicins Sans Frontieres on "Military Crackdown on Patients"

Health facilities in Bahrain have been drawn into the center of the country’s current unrest and clashes between government and opposition protestors that began in February 2011. The result is an unacceptable circumstance in which medical facilities --- which are generally functioning well in terms of material, infrastructure and skilled staff --- now no longer impartially serve the medical needs of the population.

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