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Entries in Susan Rice (15)


Jordan (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Parliamentary Election --- But What Does It Mean?

Election queue in Jordan on Wednesday (Photo: Khalil Mazraawi/AFP)

See also Syria Live Coverage: A Growing Crisis Over Food?
Wednesday's Israel (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Netanyahu Claims Narrow Victory

1530 GMT: Jordan. Opposition candidates have won a significant minority of the seats in Parliamentary elections, despite a boycott by some oppositon groups.

Initial results released by the Independent Electoral Commission had 18 opposition Islamists winning seats in the 150-seat Parliament. About a dozen leftists affiliated with pan-Arab nationalist groups, who are vocal critics of the Government. Fourteen victors from a centrist party are expected to lean toward the opposition rather than the Government in the legislature.

While supporters of King Abdullah claimed the majority of the seats, their vote total was far short of that in 2010.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Assad Remains Defiant

2232 GMT: Syria. Brigadier General Salim Idris talks to Al Jazeera English, saying that his forces need more ammunition and weapons to fight Assad. Idris also says that special rebel units are working to protect and monitor chemical stockpiles.

2149 GMT: Bahrain British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt has criticised the Court of Cassation's decision to uphold the sentences against the 13 leading Bahrain activists and politicians. In a statement, Burt said:

At the time these individuals were sentenced, reports which were acknowledged by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry suggested that some had been abused in detention, denied access to legal counsel and were coerced into confessing.

I call on the government of Bahrain to meet all its human rights obligations and guarantee its citizens the fundamental liberties to which they are entitled.

I am deeply dismayed at the decision.

2006 GMT: Libya. In order to establish law and order and find a place for many former soldiers, over 6000 militiamen have been trained to be police, according to the new Interior Minister Ashour Shuail:

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Palestine, Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Statehood for the Palestinians, A Constitution for Morsi

1513 GMT: Kuwait Tens of thousands of Kuwaitis took to the streets earlier, calling for a boycott of tomorrows elections (see 1213 GMT entry).

Reuters reports:

"The people want to bring down the decree!" demonstrators chanted, a spinoff from the main slogan in popular uprisings that have ousted four autocratic Arab rulers since early 2011.

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Palestine Analysis: A 6-Point Guide to the "Style and No Substance" of the UN Vote for Statehood

Mahmoud Abbas Addressing the UNThe upgrade in status at the UN will not be produce a two-state solution in weeks. Indeed, there is still no practical alternative to the reality before Palestine, with a political stalemate not only between Israel and the Palestinians but also between Gaza and the West Bank.

A 6-Point Guide....

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Israel-Palestine Live Coverage (26 October): Netanyahu and Lieberman Declare Their Alliance

1430 GMT: British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt has welcomed a truce between Palestinians in Gaza and Israel after recent clashes, airstrikes, and firing of rockets: "The UK welcomes reports that a truce has been reached and calls on all sides to show restraint and prevent further such escalations in future. We urge all parties to prevent civilian casualties and loss of life."

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Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Shelling of a Damascus Suburb

UN observers arrive in the Damascus suburb of Douma today

See also The Real Net Effect and Libya: The Information Campaign against the Qaddafi Regime
Bahrain Special: How Regime Supporters Became The "Silent Majority" for 3 Foreign Journalists
Turkey Live Coverage (25 April): Clashes with Kurdish Insurgents, Tension with Iraq
Tuesday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: 80 Dead As UN Says Ceasefire "Incomplete"

2245 GMT: The US State Department has issued a statement expressing their deep concerns about the "increase in violence in Bahrain". This follows a renewal of their travel alert to Americans traveling to Bahrain, released earlier in the day. The State Department has been noticeably quiet on Bahrain in the past fortnight, following the US Ambassador's visits to the Defense Minister and Prime Minister on April 10th and 11th. Indeed, with the exception of a question on Friday about safety at the F1, Bahrain hasn't merited a mention in the recent daily State Department Press Briefings, despite the noticeable escalation in violence, suppression and regime intransigence.

The statement goes on to "urge the [Bahrain] government to consider urgently all available options to resolve the case of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja". With serious concerns about the current condition of AlKhawaja, who has been cut off from his family, his lawyer and the Danish Ambassador, this specific call by the State Department is a strong indication that they are very worried about the possibility of his death and the consequence that could have for the situation in Bahrain. However, with AlKhawaja now on day 77 of his hunger strike, such a call from the State Department may very well be too little too late.

The statement reads in full:

We are deeply concerned about the increase in violence in Bahrain, including the recent death of a protester, as well as the explosion last night that injured four policemen, two critically. We welcome the Ministry of Interior’s investigation into these incidents and look forward to seeing appropriate action taken to hold those responsible for these acts of violence to account.

We condemn the use of violence in all its forms – whether against peaceful demonstrators or police and government institutions – and urge all parties to reject such actions. Violent acts are counterproductive to efforts to rebuild trust and pursue meaningful reconciliation in Bahrain. We call on the Government of Bahrain to permit peaceful protest and to exercise maximum restraint in maintaining order, just as we call on all those demonstrating to do so peacefully.

As a longstanding partner, we continue to urge the Government of Bahrain to fully implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, including the need to commute the sentences of those charged with offenses involving peaceful political expression and to review all sentences rendered in State of National Safety Courts in a way that ensures the fundamental principles of a fair trial are respected. Specifically, we urge the government to consider urgently all available options to resolve the case of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. We also renew our call for the government, opposition parties, and all segments of Bahraini society to engage in a genuine dialogue leading to meaningful reforms that address the legitimate aspirations of all Bahrainis.

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The Latest from Iran (19 November): The International Front

1810 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Turkish Front). More fencing between Ankara and Tehran, even as Iran tries to get Turkish support on issues such as its nuclear programme....

Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, has said "Iranian air forces are strong enough" when he was asked if Turkey could use Iranian air space for "war against [the Kurdish insurgenct group] PKK".

Boroujerdi was in Ankara on Friday for talks with Turkish officials.

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Libya (and Beyond) Special: Paradigm Shift --- What the Experts Get Wrong Tells A Much Bigger Story

There is a larger problem with the way the West is approaching this issue. The old power structures still exist, but all evidence points to them fading. Regimes are falling apart, though remnants remain. Tribalism is giving way to unity, though old divisions still threaten that unity. Al Qa'eda, in almost 20 years, has failed to do what the Arab Spring has done in 250 days. Iran, Israel, weapons of mass destruction, Western imperialism...all of the old bugbears have proven false alarms. They still exist, but their importance, and influence, is fading quickly.

Problems persist in Tunisia and Egypt, and questions remain about Libya, but what is unquestionable is the dedication and spirit of the youth of these countries, a brave and defiant youth that will not sit down while the old powers hijack their revolutions. Perhaps there are still forces that wish to co-opt the Arab Spring, but the indications are that these forces are weaker than their predecessors. Yes, these movements are rooted in a new way of thinking, or at least a new embodiment of an old way of thinking --- through the persuit of equity, freedom, democracy, and unity, the people will triumph, not the power- hungry.

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Syria, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Occupation

2110 GMT: Witnesses and an activist report that two divisions of the Syrian army clashed with each other on Monday as the military occupied the southern town of Daraa.

Battalions of the 5th Division reportedly were trying to protect civilians and clashed with battalions of the 4th Division, commanded the President's brother, Maher al-Assad.

The battle reportedly lasted for several hours.

2100 GMT: Two photos from a protest today in Nawa, near the occupied town of Daraa in southern Syria. Posters include "80,000 people are under siege for five days, No water, no food, no electricity, no communications" and "No water, no medicine, no food":

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Syria, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A Slowing of News

2120 GMT: After restrictions and attacks on its staff, Al Jazeera has suspended its operations inside Syria indefinitely.

Syrian authorities have expelled Cal Perry, a correspondent for Al Jazeera English in Damascus, and prevented reporters from entering the town of Daraa in the south. Authorities also told staff "not to communicate with Al Jazeera's headquarters in Doha, and not to appear on air to present the news from the bureau, even if by telephone", producer Hassan Elmogummer Taha told the Committee to Protect Journalists in an e-mail.

For the past three days, unknown assailants have pelted Al-Jazeera's Damascus bureau with eggs and stones. Men in plainclothes have harassed and intimidated employees since then, Taha told CPJ.

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