16th-23th May

Libye : the comeback of Haftar, the general who wants to erradicate Islamists – 19/05/2014 – Le Nouvel Observateur

The militia of Zentan managed on Sunday to occupy some areas. The militias, which were positioned for months on strategic locations around Tripoli, have been waiting for months for the slightest opportunity to return to the capital of which they have been oust in November 2013.

This led to serious battles between the Zentan miltia and the Ben Haj militia, causing a fire in the hotel where the MP’s were having a meeting which they had to report.

The mining disaster darkens the future of Erdogan – 20/05/2014 – Knack

Observers agree that during his visit to Soma, Erdogan held a pitiful speech. According to him, such disasters ‘just happen’, as if it was due to fate and not the politics and the mine management which are to be concerned about safety. His statement « it also happened in England in the 19th century » does not stroke at all to the image he wants to give of a modern Turkey, but rather refers to the similarities between the capitalist Manchester and Turkish capitalism, which pays a high price for its economic growth.

erdogan mine

© Kayhan Ozer/AP. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan visited the mine in Soma, where a fire killed 301 people.

What Saudi-Iranian rapprochement means for Assad– 21/05/2014 – Al Jazeera

After months of back-channel talks, Saudi Arabia and Iran seem to be on their way towards rapprochement. This can only be bad news for Bashar al-Assad. While Saudi Arabia’s stance towards Assad remains unchanged, aimed as it is at removing him from power, Iran’s stance is likely to migrate closer to Saudi Arabia’s, albeit for different reasons.

Pope visit to boost Palesitinian calls for statehood – 22/05/2014 – Al Monitor

The Palestinians are looking to Pope Francis to help legitimize their aspirations of independence and statehood, and hope the visit will shine a light on their decades of refugee existence, occupation and colonial settlement.

« Arrests over the Happy dance video in Iran reflect hardliners’ frustration – 22/05/2014 – The Guardian

It is not the first time the question of Iran’s social mores has hit the headlines. Six young Tehranis got into trouble after their contribution to an internet phenomenon – a lip-synched dance to an innocent pop song, Happy – went viral on YouTube. They were arrested, forced to strip naked and perform squats, and then paraded on state television.

The presidential elections are already decided in Egypt – 23/05/2014 – Le Figaro

« Sissi has the networks and the money, we have the ideas » says Abdel Rahman Saïd, member of the pro-Sabahi campagne, who does not want to lose this campaign. « Hamdine Sahabi », he insists, « is one of us (which is one of their main slogans). He loves the crowd and is one of the last hopes for the January 2011 revolutions. »