“Do you remember the tomorrow that never came?” asked a sad piece of street graffiti in Cairo , referring to the fate of the Arab Spring that once promised to overthrow the brutal autocracies that rule the Middle East . That tomorrow moved even further into the future this week when a coup displaced the last surviving democracy to emerge from the Arab uprising of 2011. Appropriately, it took place in Tunisia , where the Arab Spring began a decade ago after a vegetable seller burned himself to death in a protest against the actions of the corrupt and dictatorial regime. On 25 July, Kais Saied, the Trump-like populist president of Tunisia, sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and declared himself prosecutor general. As with Donald Trump, he had spent the years since he was elected in 2019 blaming members of parliament, critical media and government institutions for the dire state of the country. Polls show that many Tunisians believe him. The takeover … [Read more...] about The last survivor of the Arab Spring has fallen – as the Middle East returns to a dark past
Foreign doctors in war zones have to talk to the bad guys. Always. NGOs need protection, they have to negotiate checkpoints, they sometimes have to bribe gunmen with food – think Darfour. Sometimes – remember Afghanistan and the ICRC – they are murdered. But the sieges of cities and towns in the Middle East these past two years have produced a new and more profoundly disturbing challenge: medical aid groups who embed themselves in armies and militias and thus align themselves with one side in the conflict. Jonathan Whittall of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) first raised the alarm during and after the siege of Mosul when doctors and medical personnel sometimes allowed local security forces to check the identity of patients entering their hospitals or aid centres. “Sometimes they gave the names of patients to the local secret services,” Whittall told The Independent. “Horrific compromises were made to work hand-in-hand with the international military coalition. The wounded were often … [Read more...] about Why are doctors in the Middle East cosying up to foreign armies?
President George W. Bush made waves in Washington this month when he became the latest critic of President Biden Joe Biden First lady leaves Walter Reed after foot procedure Biden backs effort to include immigration in budget package MyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News MORE ’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying “the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad.” While it’s no surprise that the author of the doomed nation-building forever-war would be against ending it, the most unexpected critic has come from one of Afghanistan’s neighbors: China. Earlier in July, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that the “United States, which created the Afghan issue in the first place, should act responsibly to ensure a smooth transition in Afghanistan.” The U.S. should not, he added , “simply shift the burden onto others and withdraw from the country with the mess left behind unattended.” Minister Yi reveals much in that last statement. He … [Read more...] about Afghan withdrawal may complicate matters for China
Published 1 hour ago Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Two European crew members are reported to have been killed in an attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea. Zodiac Maritime, the London-based company that operates the tanker, said a British and a Romanian citizen had died in the attack late on Thursday. A spokesperson for the UK government confirmed that a British national had been killed and said it was trying to "urgently establish the facts". Details of the attack remain unclear. "Our thoughts are with the loved ones of a British national who has died following an incident on a tanker off the coast of Oman," the statement said. It added that vessels "must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law". In a statement shared on social media on Friday, Zodiac Maritime announced the two deaths with "profound sadness". … [Read more...] about Deadly oil tanker attack in Arabian Sea
advertisement advertisement advertisement The COVID-19 pandemic has rewound the clock on a decade-long progressive trend of people around the world moving out of poverty and into the middle class. At the end of 2020, there were an estimated 54 million fewer people in the middle class than had been projected at the start of the year, and 131 million more in poverty. advertisement advertisement Those figures are based on analysis by the Pew Research Center conducted in March. To complement that research , the nonpartisan think tank this week published an interactive income calculator that anyone can use to determine where they fit into Pew’s five defined global wealth categories. Pew assesses that in 2020, 17% of the global population was categorized as middle class (living on $10 to $20 per day); 51% as low income ($2.01 to $10), and 10% as poor (less than $2); 15% as upper-middle ($20.01 to $50), and 7% as high income (more … [Read more...] about Are you in the global middle class?