Anti-regime protests sweep Khartoum
Dubai TV - A wave of popular rage is sweeping the Sudanese capital following calls to launch protests from local mosques in condemnation of the deteriorating economic conditions and to demand change. Yesterday, fierce confrontations broke out between Sudanese police and al-Khartoum University students. Anti-riot police used batons and fired tear gas and rubber bullets, in a new development described by the Sudanese opposition as 'the first step towards change.'
Kuwait court dissolves parliament, declares polls illegal
Al Jazeera - Al Jazeera correspondent in Kuwait reported that opposition representatives resigned from the former National Assembly that was reinstated today by the Constitutional Court. This comes after the Constitutional Court issued a ruling voiding the parliamentary elections that were conducted earlier this year. According to the court, since the parliamentary elections are invalid, the current assembly must be dissolved, and the former assembly, whose majority supports the government, is to be restored.
Delayed poll results keep Egyptians on edge and on the streets
Al-Alam - In Egypt, Secretary-General of the Supreme Presidential Elections Commission Hatem Bagato said the presidential election results will be announced on Saturday or Sunday. Bagato said that looking into the appeals presented by both candidates, Mohamed Morsy and Ahmed Shafiq, requires some time. Protests and sit-ins are continuing in Cairo and other Egyptian cities over the military council's decisions and especially the constitutional declaration that limits the powers of the next president. Protestors expressed fear of fraud in the presidential election results after the Supreme Elections Commission decided to postpone announcing the results.
Iran, P5+1 powers fail to settle another dispute
Dubai TV - The talks between the West and Iran over the latter's nuclear program have failed in Moscow. The two-day talks ended with the two sides agreeing to meet again next month in Istanbul. Both sides confirmed they have started to tackle critical issues, but warned that significant gaps still exist between them. With this, the Russians have failed to achieve political gains on the international front.
Syrian pilot defects after landing in Jordan
BBC Arabic - Jordan granted political asylum to the defected Syrian pilot Hassan Mari, after his MiG-21 fighter jet landed in Mafraq Airport this morning. Syrian TV had announced contact was lost with the warplane during a training mission in Daraa. Activists said this is the first defection of an air force pilot with his plane since the uprising began.
Dire humanitarian conditions loom in southern Yemen
Al-Forat - Widespread disease, destruction, and a lack of food and medicine, is the status of Yemen's southern provinces, after having been afflicted by war and armed conflicts. This state of the security and humanitarian conditions in Yemen's southern provinces are the result of heated battles between the Yemeni army and armed elements of al-Qaeda. It is a humanitarian crisis that threatens the life of over half a million refugees, who were displaced by battles that caused widespread destruction to the southern regions' infrastructure.
Image: Al Jazeera
Yemen: Deputy Minister of Information Abdu al-Janadi says President Ali Abdullah Saleh will soon address the nation. Saleh will be interviewed by Saudi state television in Riyadh, where he has been staying for the past three weeks for medical treatment. The ruling Congress Party announced that Saleh will soon return to the country and that he plans to transfer his authorities to parliament and to form a coalition government to prepare for early elections. The opposition described the announcements as "a coup against the Gulf Initiative."
Libya: Libyan Justice Minister Mohamed al-Gamudi said that the International Criminal Court's decision to issue arrest warrants for Muammar Gaddafi, his son, and his intelligence chief is politically motivated and is being used as a cover-up for NATO's crimes. He vowed to prosecute members of NATO. The decision has prompted the opposition to reject any dialogue with the regime.
Syria: Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council of Russia, Mikhail Margelov, met with the Syrian opposition's delegation in Moscow today. The delegation called on Russia to use its influence to push the Syrian regime to end the violence against peaceful protestors. Margelov urged Syria to implement real reforms and stated that Russia will do everything possible to prevent the Syrian crisis from descending into a Libya-style war.
Morocco: The February 20 Movement has once again taken to the streets, this time in protest of the constitutional amendments proposed by King Mohamed VI. They assert that the amendments do not sufficiently reduce the king's authority. While the amendments give the government executive authority, the king remains the head of the army and retains religious and judicial authority. The new constitution also maintains the king's right to appoint the prime minister.
Libya: The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanussi. ICC Attourney General Luis Moreno Ocampo requested the arrest warrants in May after obtaining evidence of their crimes against humanity. It has been estimated that 3,000 people have been killed since the Libyan revolution began. Gaddafi has been in hiding since NATO escalated its bombing of Tripoli and his whereabouts still remain unknown.
Syria: Opposition leaders are meeting in Damascus today to discuss the future of Syria. This is the opposition’s first gathering sanctioned by the government since protests began three months ago. Many anti-government activists see the meeting as an attempt to bargain with protestors and divide the opposition. Syrian authorities announced that July 10 will be the date of the first session of meetings called for by the National Dialogue Body, headed by Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa.
Yemen: A UN team is due to arrive in Yemen today to asses the country’s humanitarian situation. The team will investigate the opposition’s claims against the Yemeni government about the crackdown on the popular protest movement. The UN team will meet with Yemeni authorities, members of the opposition, human rights activists, and victims of violence. The spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that it will take the team ten days to complete the investigation.
Bahrain: Several protests were held today throughout the country to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Victims of Torture. Demonstrators called for an end to the regime's crackdowns on civilians and for the release of all political prisoners. Al-Wefaq Society released a statement reporting that over 1,000 Bahraini citizens have been arrested and tortured. It said that male as well as female medics, scholars, and students, and others were targeted in the regime’s campaign of torture and harassment.
Syria: Residents of Daraa, the town at the heart of Syrian anti-government protests, discovered a mass grave today containing thirteen bodies. The Interior Ministry has denied that the grave exists, while Syrian state TV referred to reports of the grave as a “campaign of incitement, slandering, and news fabrication” by the media. British Minister of State for the Armed Forces Nick Harvey said there is a strong possibility that the International Criminal Court will issue an arrest warrant to President Bashar al-Assad for his role in the repression of protestors.
Libya: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov informed Libyan envoys in Moscow that the country must comply with all stipulations of UN resolution 1973. He requested that the Libyan authorities end all operations against civilians and fully implement the resolution. NATO launched new air strikes this morning, targeting the police headquarters and the Ministry for Inspection and Popular Control in Tripoli. The two buildings are located near Muammar Gaddafi’s residence in Bab al-Aziziya.
Yemen: A number of Republican Guard soldiers have joined demonstrators in the capital Sana’a, where hundreds of thousands marched to demand the downfall of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime. In Taiz, thousands took to the streets to condemn the use of violence against demonstrators. The protest movement’s leaders have rejected attempts by the Gulf Cooperation Council to end the crisis. They say the GCC initiatives do not meet the demands of the Yemeni people.
Syria: The "Friday of Free Women” kicked off after morning prayers today with demonstrations in cities around the country. Two demonstrators were killed in Homs during today’s protests, following the news that four women were killed in a village near Banias several days ago. Friends of Humanity, a Vienna-based human rights organization, reported that 16 women were arbitrarily arrested in Syria’s most recent protests. Activists say that Syria’s death toll has risen to 850 since protests began eight weeks ago.
Libya: Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the International Criminal Court is likely to issue an international arrest warrant for Muammar al-Gaddafi by the end of the month. Frattini also expects other warrants to be issued to his family members and a number of Libyan officials. The Libyan National Transitional Council announced that opposition forces have taken control of Misurata and its surrounding areas. The revolutionaries headed west towards Zentan and are requesting that NATO provide them with more advanced weaponry to help them defeat Gaddafi’s forces there.
Egypt: Protestors gathered in Tahrir Square today on “The Friday of National Unity” to emphasize the importance Egyptian unity, especially between Muslims and Christians. They are also demanding that the prosecution of former President Hosni Mubarak and members of his regime be expedited. The protests, which came amid heightened security measures, also called for supporting the Palestinian cause and a third Palestinian intifada.
Bahrain: Saudi and Bahraini forces were deployed throughout the country in anticipation of protests following Friday prayers. Large marches occurred in Karazhan and al-Diya, where government forces shut down streets and fired on the demonstrators. Protestors condemned the authorities’ systematic destruction of religious sites and incitement of sectarian strife, and announced the launch of new phase of protests called “Sacred Defense.”
(Al Jazeera English: 0806 PT, May 11, 2011) The Jerusalem District Court says the lands of Lifta should not be offered for sale to real estate developers, but Israel's Land Authority could act otherwise
(Euronews: 0811 PST, April 13, 2011) Ivory Coast's main city is trying to get back to normal but 10 days of fierce fighting for control of Abidjan have left deep scars. The winner in the power struggle - internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara - said his priority is to restore security and basic services.
(Russia Today: 0329 PST, April 13, 2011) Video has emerged showing the moment pro-Ouattara forces captured Ivory Coast's strongman Laurent Gbagbo and his wife at the presidential residence in Abidjan. The footage shows fighters loyal to internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara storming the presidential palace and seizing Gbagbo and his wife. Gbagbo was arrested on Monday and taken to Ouattara's Abidjan headquarters at the Golf Hotel. The UN said on Tuesday that he had been moved but would not say where to.
(Al Jazeera English: 1120 PST, April 7, 2011) Three high-profile Kenyans have appeared at the International Criminal Court at the Hague. They're members of the so-called Ocampo Six. The group is accused of masterminding the violence that killed more than 1,000 people after Kenya's 2007 elections. Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons reports.
(Al Jazeera English: 2146 PST, April 6, 2011) Al Jazeera's Catherine Soi reports on the background to the trial from Eldoret in Western Kenya.