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Israelis and Palestinians agree long-term truce

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A long-term ceasefire has been agreed between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip after 50 days of After 50 days of violence in Gaza that has killed more thant 2,160 Palestinians most of whom were civilians and over 418 children compared with only 64 IDF soldiers and three Israeli civilians. The truce, ending the fighting, was brokered by Egypt. Israel is to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow in aid and building materials, Israeli officials said.

Features | Ali Bahaijoub | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 18

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The growing alliance between Russia and China

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Recently, two of America’s biggest antagonists – Russia and China – struck a $400bn deal which will send natural gas from Siberia to China via pipeline, writes Fanklin Adesegha According to Russian president Vladimir Putin, the epic agreement will enable his country to sell 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China, the biggest contract in the gas sector of what used to be the Soviet Union. The agreement comes at a particularly convenient time for Moscow as US sanctions and average European demand for gas put a strain on state-run gas company, Gazprom.

Features | Franklin Adesegha | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 18

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Nearly 200,000 people killed in Syria

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The civil war in Syria is now a regional war and one of the most ‘catastrophic humanitarian disasters we are facing. The number of people killed in Syria is double the number documented a year ago, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, criticizing the international community for its failure to stop the “killers, destroyers and torturers” that have torn the country apart. In a third report on Syria carried out on behalf of the UN Human Rights Office (OH CHR ), data specialists identified 191,369 people killed between March 2011 and the end of April 2014.

Features | Ali Bahaijoub | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 13

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Ferguson riots and America’s racial tension

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The tragic and apparent unjust killing of a young black man in a US suburb of St Louis, Missouri, last month, shows that for all the progress on civil rights, America’s racial wounds are still wide open, Franklin Adesegha writes No one knows what happened in the moments before 18-year-old Michael Brown died. The police say he attacked Darren Wilson, a white policeman, and tried to seize his gun.

Features | Franklin Adesegha | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 15

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Conflict alert: Protecting Pakistan’s threatened democracy

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A little over a year ago, Pakistan entered an unprecedented second phase of democratic transition, with one elected government handing power to another by peaceful, constitutional means. This fragile transition will be gravely threatened unless a fastescalating political crisis is urgently defused. The protests rocking Islamabad threaten to upend the constitutional order,

Features | International Crisis Group | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 18

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No winners and only losers in the Ukraine crisis

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The tit for tat between the West and Russia over Ukraine appears to benefit no one least of all the Ukrainians. The crisis in Ukraine that dominated global news since the beginning of the year has no end in sight as the US -Russia standoff gets worse. The drama will continue to unfold in the third quarter, as the battle along the frontier rages with accusations and counter-accusations from both sides.

Features | Ali Bahaijoub | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 15

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Eritrea: Ending the Exodus?

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The large emigration of youths is the clearest sign of extreme domestic discontent with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki’s government. Social malaise is pervasive. An ever-growing number of young people have fled over the last decade, frustrated by open-ended national service – initiated in 1995 and expanded during the war with Ethiopia (1998-2000). Yet, this flight has resulted in neither reforms nor a viable movement to create an alternative to the current government.

Features | International Crisis Group | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 18

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Libya’s militias still have the upper hand

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After a battle lasting nearly a month over the seizure of Tripoli’s international airport, Islamist militias in Libya have challenged the legitimacy of the new parliament and accused it of complicity with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that they believed launched a deadly air strike on their positions at the capital’s airport. Egypt and the UAE have secretly teamed up to launch air strikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials told the New York Times. This is a major escalation between the supporters and opponents of political Islam.

Features | Ali Bahaijoub | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 15

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Can Imran Khan be game-changer in Pakistan?

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Rumous are rife in Pakistan that the besieged Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been assured by the country’s military there will be no coup providing he “shares space with the army”. Last month, as tens of thousands of protesters advanced on the Pakistani capital Islamabad to demand his resignation, Sharif apparently dispatched two emissaries to consult with the army chief Raheel Sharif in the garrison town of Rawalpindi. He wanted to know if the military was quietly engineering the twin protest movements taking place by cricket

Features | Alan Brown | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 14

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Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims denied citizenship

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Myanmar’s downtrodden Rohingya Muslims have been denied citizenship, targeted in deadly sectarian violence and corralled into dirty camps without aid. To heap on the indignity, Myanmar’s government is pressuring foreign officials not to speak the group’s name, and the tactic appears to be working. UN officials say they avoid the term in public to avoid stirring tensions between the country’s Buddhists and Muslims.

Features | NorthSouth | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 16

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Erdogan set to turn Turkey’s presidency into an executive one

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A stable middle power on the northern edge of the troubled, collapsing Middle East, Turkey wants to maintain its stability and image and has just re-elected Recep Tayyip Erdogan as head of state and hopes to keep clear of becoming entangled in the collapse of Iraq. In regional terms it is a substantial military power.

Features | Guy Arnold | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 17

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Israel-Palestine: no solution in sight

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The Israeli air strikes against Gaza have left more than 2100 Palestinians dead mostly civilians including 417 children while more than 10,600 people have been injured in the Israeli military assault, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Israeli air raids have killed 13 Palestinians in Gaza, a day after an Egyptian call for an open-ended ceasefire to enable new truce talks. Around 460,000 people have fled their homes in Gaza - more than a quarter of the enclave’s 1.8 million population.

Features | Alan Brown | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 15

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British Jihadists in Iraq and Syria

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The involvement of a man with a British accent in the apparent beheading of US journalist James Foley underlines the leading role being played by British Jihadists in Iraq and Syria, writes Franklin Adesegha Suggestions that the attack may have been carried out by a UK national are particularly concerning for the Government who must now work with its global partners to establish the facts and uncover any possible information about the perpetrator.

Cover Stories | Franklin Adesegha | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 16

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Who wants Iraq’s oil?

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US President Barack Obama has warned us that the Middle East crisis will last for some time. The liberation of Kuwait in 1991 (the first Gulf War) was not, we were told, about oil. The next Gulf War came in 2003 with the US invasion of Iraq and we were again told that it was not about oil. Meanwhile we were

Cover Stories | Guy Arnold | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 18

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Who are the Yazidis?

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They are part of an ancient, secretive religion founded in the 11th century (1,000 years old) that forbids marriage to non-members. It is impossible to become a Yazidi. Where are they from? Yazidis are Kurdish speakers. There are just 700,000 Yazidis worldwide and, of that umber, 600,000 are concentrated in northern Iraq. Their heartland is the north-western city of Sinjar, although most have fled. Where do their beliefs come from? Some of it is pre-Islamic and their faith has borrowed from multiple

Cover Stories | Franklin Adesegha | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 19

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The Kurds: Another chance

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Kurdistan, comprising eastern Turkey, northeastern Syria, northern Iraq and north- western Iran –each contiguous to the others has lasted for millennia. Now, due to the upheavals in the region, there is the best chance in a century to create a fully independent Kurdish state. This possibility was last considered at the end of WWI. One of US President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points read as follows: that the non- Turkish nationalities of the Ottoman Empire should be assured of an absolute unmolested opportunity of autonomous development. Under the terms of the Treaty of Sevres of 1920 the creation of a Kurdistan state was

Cover Stories | Guy Arnold | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 16

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ISIS is now the enemy within

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The level of foreign fighters flowing into Syria has become a major concern for the international community especially Western countries as well as some Gulf States leaders who were supporting them and providing them with arms and funds. Little did they know that these jihadist groups may one day become a major security challenge in the region and elsewhere threatening the very existence of some states in the region and the Iraqi crisis is a case in point.

Cover Stories | Ali Bahaijoub | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 15

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US dilemma in Iraq

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An Islamic State video last month depicting the beheading of the American journalist James Foley prompted revulsion in the West and calls for tougher action against the jihadists, including taking the fight to them in Syria as well as Iraq. The group is also threatening to kill other American citizens being held by the extremists in Syria. The US Special Forces who were sent into Syria to carry out the rescue mission did not find the hostages at the location where the military thought they were being held.

Cover Stories | Ali Bahaijoub | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 16

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Shambolic Western response to the Middle East crisis

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Chaos is not too strong a word to describe the present western reaction to developments in Iraq and its neighbours. There is no policy, no Anglo-American coordination, no sense of direction. The story of the Yazidis illustrates the confusion that we have created. Are the Yazidis to be rescued from their mountain retreat or not? At first there were about 100,000 Yazidis, refugees from the advancing ISIS forces, desperately in need of food and other assistance and the West prepared apparently for a major humanitarian crisis.

Cover Stories | Guy Arnold | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 18

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US back door re-entry into Iraq

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The American President Barack Obama said that the air strikes against Islamic militants in northern Iraq would be used to prevent the killing of religious minorities by the insurgents who have taken over large swathes of northern Iraq and Syria in recent months. US military airstrikes targeted artillery that was being used by the Islamic State (IS or ISIS ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)) against Kurdish forces defending the city of Irbil. “We have a mandate to help - in this case a request from the Iraqi

Cover Stories | Ali Bahaijoub | 1 September 2014 | Hits: 17

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