27/08/2010

August 23 to 27, 2010

– Hot wind of crackdown on Algerian summer (Vent chaud de répression sur l’été algérien)(24/8/2010) – Babelmed

Ghania Khelifi denounces in her article an increasingly strict attitude of the Algerian government on religious observance but also its denial of freedom of expression. Surprisingly, two workers were arrested for drinking water at the beginning of this month of Ramadan. The trial provoked strong reactions and was thus postponed to late September. Similarly, while I one hand the Algerian government is again authorizing the presence of foreign NGOs on the ground, it does not yield an inch on freedom of speech, muzzling requests as those coming from families of missing persons.

– Mired in poverty: Palestinian refugees in Lebanon see little hope in new law (24/8/2010) – The Guardian

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have been granted wider rights to employment. They are indeed forbidden to practice certain professions, relegating them to the moment in the most menial jobs. However, according to Human Rights Watch, the new law will not change much if the unions are not associated to combat discrimination. The most important brakes are coming from the Christian community in Lebanon, which fears the extra weight that would represent the Palestinians in the Sunni community.

– Difficult Ramadan in Egypt (Difficile Ramadhan en Egypte) (22/8/2010) – El Watan

The Algerian newspaper describes the difficult situation experienced during the month of Ramadan by millions of Egyptians: rising prices, fear to run out of stock of wheat, electricity and water cuts, all this with a background of an especially difficult Ramadan because of heat. The shortage of Russian wheat can indeed cause serious consequences for Egypt, which imports most of its food. Anger rises in the population. For its part, the government tries unsuccessfully to reassure on the state reserves.

– U.S. Aids Lebanese Military Because of, and Despite, What It Gets in Return(21/8/2010) – NY Times

Following the episode of the uprooted tree that resulted in exchanges of fire between Lebanese and Israeli armies, friends of Israel in Congress have raised the question of the relevance of the US military aid to Lebanon. Robert F. Worth nevertheless noted that American aid is essential if Washington wants to avoid the worst scenarios, as an influence or aid from Russia, Syria or Iran.