Following two successful protest movements on either side of the country, Libya itself fell victim to the encroaching Arab Spring. The protests spread quickly in Libya, beginning in mid-February in the east of the country, and then quickly moved to the outskirts of Tripoli in the west within a week. There were celebrations in the streets of Libya, and the optimism spread to Libya’s politicians and diplomatic corps as nearly every major embassy shifted their allegiances from Muammar Gaddafi to the people.
On 7 June 1981, Iraq’s nuclear programme suffered a literal blow when its nuclear reactor in Osirak was levelled to the ground. Almost immediately after the operation, Israel admitted to orchestrating the attack to protect its citizens from a potential nuclear threat. Osirak was the first practical demonstration of what came to be known as the Begin Doctrine, named after Menachem Begin, the then Israeli Prime Minister, who ordered the 1981 attack.
Formed within five days of the 6 May 2010 UK general election, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat (Lib Dem) coalition government was a new and unlikely development in British politics. One year on, with the British electorate having delivered a comprehensive “No” in the May 2011 referendum on whether to switch the voting system to the Alternative Vote (AV) and with the Lib Dems having suffered huge losses in English local elections and elections to the devolved Scottish and Welsh parliaments, this unlikely partnership is enduring a rocky patch. Many analysts are predicting imminent divorce.
For author Robert Slater, it really is all about the oil. From manipulative government tactics, to aggressive moves by multinationals, to the minute diplomatic endeavours of politicians, the quest for oil lies at the centre of it all. While the book Seizing Power: The Grab for Global Oil Wealth is clearly slanted toward the resource narrative, the substantiating evidence Slater provides makes the bias seem justified.
Last month British deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited Mexican President Felipe Calderón. In addition to the improvement of trade, the two leaders also agreed for their countries to tackle together such global concerns as security and human rights. Yet while Calderón is intending to address these issues on an international level, the Mexican people are facing serious domestic difficulties.
Two men, one dream: justice, peace and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. Both dedicated their lives to this dream and both ultimately had theirs taken in its pursuit. April has been a tragic month for all who fight for reason, dialogue and humanity in the face of injustice and oppression. On 4 April, Juliano Mer-Khamis - an Arab-Israeli political activist, director and actor - was brutally gunned down in Jenin. Ten days later, Vittorio Arrigoni - an Italian journalist and peace activist affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) - was abducted and later executed by a fringe group of Salafi militants in Gaza City.
The Egyptian intelligence-brokered reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah have apparently finally borne fruit. On 27 April, Egyptian intelligence announced that the two Palestinian rivals have finally agreed on forming an interim government, and have made such progress that they will now fix a date for a general election. In addition, it appears that both parties have agreed to release their respective prisoners with Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior political figure in Hamas, confirming that Hamas will release all who have a non-criminal background; a clear hint at political prisoners.