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[Transcript]  Mosaic News - 11/29/12: World News From The Middle East [VIDEO]

UNGA approves Abbas' request to issue 'birth certificate' for Palestine

Press TV, Iran
Palestinians gained the status of non-member observer state at the United Nations. The UN General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Palestinians' bid amid strong opposition by Israel and the US, who have threatened to punish the Palestinian Authority. There were 138 "yes" votes to nine "no" votes, with 41 abstentions. Acting Palestinian chief Mahmoud Abbas called on the international community to affirm its support for freedom by approving the Palestinians' bid. The status allows the Palestinians to participate in debates at the UN, and grants them access to the International Criminal Court, where they could file complaints against Israel.

US warns cutting aid as Abbas seeks historic state backing at UN

Dubai TV, UAE
Presenter, Male #1
The diplomatic gains that will be achieved by the Palestinians also expose them to losses, as indicated by the diplomatic and economic pressure they have been under for over a year, particularly from Washington. The administration of Barack Obama has vowed to raise the pressure that could lead to negative repercussions on the relationship between the two sides. Nasser Abu Diab reports from Washington.

Reporter, Male #2
At times with a carrot, but mostly with a stick, the US is attempting to dissuade Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from heading to the United Nations. This reflects the fluctuating relationship between the two sides, which has reached a critical phase.

Guest, Male #3 (Yusuf al-Munir, Political Writer and Analyst)
The American position is represented by focusing on negotiations as a solution to the struggle. But at the same time, the United States is unable to play the required role as an honest broker.

Reporter, Male #2
Cutting the Palestinian Authority's American financial aid, and hinting at closing the Palestinian representative's office in Washington, are threats that didn't change the Palestinian position. A position that reached a frustrating point during the four years of Obama's rule, where no real progress was achieved in the peace negotiations.

Guest, Male #4
We sincerely hope that, by practicing our right in a sound diplomatic operation at the United Nations, all countries will respect the decision of the General Assembly, and will not take punitive measures against us simply for taking a legal action.

Reporter, Male #2
The Palestinian Authority, in turn, places the Unites States in the face of a dilemma. Washington realizes that a full halt to financial aid could mean a collapse of the Palestinian Authority, and therefore an end to the peace process.

Reporter, Male #2
The Palestinians' decision to head to the United Nations comes at a critical phase for this American administration, which is still shaping its foreign policy for Obama's second term. Many believe that Washington's reaction to this Palestinian move is an indicator of how Obama will tackle the Palestinian issue during his next four years. Nasser Abu Diab, Dubai TV, Washington.

Israeli ex-PM Olmert endorses Palestinian statehood bid in surprise move

IBA, Israel
Shortly before presenting their request, the Palestinian Authority received support from an unlikely source: former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Olmert endorsed the bid in a letter posted on the Daily Beast news website, saying that he believed the Palestinian request is in keeping with the concept of a two-state solution, and will help to advance peace talks with Israel, adding that the time has come to encourage moderate Palestinian forces, and that PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad need Israel's help, and the time has come to give it to them.

Israel's ex-Minister of Justice Beilin: Palestinian UN move is 'sacrifice'

IBA, Israel
According to former Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin, who represented peace negotiations under Yitzhak Rabin, the Palestinians are taking a risk by presenting their statehood request at the United Nations. Beilin says that the Palestinian move is a "sacrifice," not just in risking the withholding of aid, but in risking the possibility that the international community may think it solved the Palestinians' problem.

Peace Now organization rallies for Palestinian statehood in Jerusalem

IBA, Israel
Scores of left-wing activists led by the Peace Now organization staged a rally in Jerusalem in support of the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN. Demonstrators unfurled a large banner with the prime minister's nickname, reading "Bibi say yes, Israel supports a Palestinian state." The demonstrators insisted that the Palestinian effort at the UN is actually good for both the PA and for Israel.

IAEA chief: 'No concrete results' from Iranian nuclear negotations

IBA, Israel
The UN nuclear chief is reporting that no progress has been achieved in trying to clarify concerns over possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program. International Atomic Energy Agency Director Yukiya Amano told the organization's governing body that despite his best efforts, no concrete results have yet been accomplished, reiterating his request for Iran to provide immediate access to the Parchin military site, where the IAEA suspects explosive tests have been conducted.

Internet shutdown reported across Syria as fighting rages near Damascus Airport

New TV, Lebanon
Presenter, Female #1
A communication blackout was reported in several areas of Syria, especially in Damascus, as the government is working on fixing the problem, and regime forces are waging a campaign on the Damascus Airport road.

Reporter, Female #2
Syrian regime forces began a wide-ranging military campaign Thursday night in areas located on the Damascus Airport road. Areas near the airport are witnessing their most violent clashes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Emirates airline announced it will suspend flights from and to Damascus until further notice. The Egyptian airline canceled its Thursday flight to Syria due to the communication cutoff from its office in the Syrian capital. This comes as the Syrian minister of information denied reports that Damascus Airport was shut down.

Reporter, Female #2
Two American network firms that monitor web traffic said internet was cut off on Thursday in Syria. Activists said that telecommunication networks were also cut off in several Syrian areas, especially in the capital Damascus. They expressed concern of possible attacks by regime forces.

Reporter, Female #2
On the other hand, 15 people were killed, including five children, and more than 20 others were injured in an air raid on al-Ansar neighborhood that is located west of the city of Aleppo in northern Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. This comes after opposition gunmen took control of a military base in northern Syria and seized a number of surface-to-air missiles, and nearly 15 tanks, and a soviet armored vehicle, in addition to heavy artillery, rocket launchers, and mortars, according to a defected second lieutenant speaking to Agence France-Presse.

Reporter, Female #2
On Thursday morning, violent confrontations erupted between regime forces and armed opposition fighters, especially near Wadi al-Daif military base in the northwestern part of the country. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights indicated a large number of combat brigades are attempting to raid the camp, noting that clashes are being accompanied by shelling from both sides.

Tunisia's army replaces police in Siliana following violent clashes with strikers

Al Jazeera, Qatar
Presenter, Female #1
In Tunisia, clashes continued for the second consecutive day between security forces and protesters calling for the dismissal of the governor of Siliana. The number of injured due to the confrontations rose to nearly 200. Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry considered the security forces to be legitimately defending themselves, calling on the residents of the city not to be drawn by those it described as advocates of chaos.

Reporter, Male #1
The city welcomes its visitors. However, these days, very few respond to this welcome. The city has been overshadowed by violence, and its streets have been destroyed. It turned into an open field for confrontations between protesters and security forces. Protesters are throwing stones, and security forces are firing sound grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets, and at times live ammunition. Voices are shaking with complaints.

Guest, Male #2
They fired tear gas at us. They fired tear gas at our homes; they fired rubber bullets and live ammunition.

Guest, Male #3
They burned everything. They killed us and killed our brothers. They fired bullets at our neighbors, and they threw Molotov cocktails.

Reporter, Male #1
The protest movement began peacefully, calling for the dismissal of the governor. The stories differ on who initiated the violence. The authorities say that protesters attacked the headquarters of the governorate, which forced the security forces to respond. The protesters' narrative is different.

Guest, Male #4
We held a peaceful protest in front of the governorate building, because the governor is putting his interests first. The security forces fired tear gas at us, and hit us with batons.

Reporter, Male #1
The situation got out of control and the demonstrations that began peacefully turned into violent confrontations. Who bears the responsibility? The answers differ, but everyone here is asking a different question: When will this violence end?

Reporter, Male #1
Its continuation means more of these images, and its effects are visible on the bodies of some protesters. Even some of those who did not participate in the protest got their share of the tear gas that seeped into the houses.

Guest, Female #2
My children's eyes are burning. I didn't go anywhere. I didn't move anywhere. I didn't even do anything.

Reporter, Male #1
In the headquarters of the Tunisian Regional Labor Union, it was announced that the general strike will continue, and with it, calls for dialogue were issued.

Guest, Male #5 (Najuib al-Sabti, Regional Labor Union)
The union's door is open until the social problems are solved. We are ready to have a dialogue at any time in order to preserve public properties, and to protect the lives of our children in Siliana.

Reporter, Male #1
While awaiting another day, the future of this situation seems unknown if the events are not dealt with wisely by all parties. Mohamed Al-Baqaly, Al Jazeera, Siliana, northwest Tunisia.

Iraq's Shiites targeted in deadly bomb blasts

BBC Arabic, UK
Presenter, Male #1
Over 170 people were injured in car bombings that hit various areas of Iraq. The explosions targeted the capital Baghdad, and the areas of al-Hilla, Karbala, Mosul, and Fallujah. These explosions are considered the bloodiest in two months.

Reporter, Female #1
Today, Iraq is witnessing the bloodiest day in nearly two months. Four different areas witnessed explosions, some with car bombs, and others with explosive canisters. In Karbala, that received a few days ago nearly three million visitors commemorating Ashura, was targeted today with a car bomb, leading to the killing of a number of people and injury of dozens. An official at the police department said the road leading to the old town was closed. The search is ongoing for a second car bomb.

Guest, Male #2
A car bomb exploded here, and there were four or five martyrs, and 23 or 20 injured. The number is still increasing.

Reporter, Female #1
Another car bomb exploded in al-Hilla, south of Baghdad. It was followed by the detonation of an explosive device in front of the building of the Chamber of Commerce of al-Hilla in the center of the city. It caused the killing of a number of people and injury of dozens, including policemen and soldiers.

Guest, Male #3
They are all civilians. That's who they're targeting. They're not targeting officials, only civilians.

Reporter, Female #1
In al-Karama district, east of Mosul, a car bombing targeted a police patrol, causing the killing of a number of policemen and the injury of others. A suicide bomber also detonated a car bomb at a military checkpoint at the Jordan intersection in the middle of the city of al-Fallujah. It also caused the death and injury of several people.

Reporter, Female #1
These attacks come nearly a week after the explosion of car bombs that targeted three Husseiniyat north of Baghdad. These attacks are considered the largest in Iraq since September 9, when nearly 80 people were killed in a series of attacks that targeted different parts of the country. Janay Boulus, BBC.

Egypt assembly votes on constitution as thousands gather at Tahrir Square for anti-Morsi protest

Jordan TV, Jordan
Presenter, Female #1
Egypt's Constituent Assembly started voting on each article of the draft constitution that will then be handed to the president of the republic and put to a popular referendum. This comes as the number of people protesting the expanded authorities President Mohamed Morsi granted himself is growing. A million-man march is being organized in Tahrir Square on Friday, the second of its kind in one week. Meanwhile, the president's supporters are planning another protest on Saturday.

Reporter, Female #2
The critical situation witnessed in Egypt did not prevent the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the constitution from voting on each of the 234 articles of the final draft constitution. Following the vote, the constitution will require the approval of President Morsi. It will then be put to a popular referendum. This step comes as only 11 of the assembly members who resigned were replaced since liberals, Christians, and those protesting the president's decision are boycotting the assembly. One official described the referendum on the constitution as distorted, saying it will divide the country. The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties saw the step as means to exit the crisis Egypt is passing through, calling on thousands to protest on Saturday to support the decisions of the Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi.

Reporter, Female #2
On the other hand, opposition political parties and movements called for mass protests in Tahrir Square on Friday to demand the constitutional declaration be revoked. In a scene reminiscent of the popular uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Tahrir Square is erupting in a confrontation with President Mohamed Morsi, who issued a constitutional declaration granting himself immunity from judicial review. Protesters object to his declaration, and are calling him a dictator. The constitutional declaration also angered judges of Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council, in addition to criminal and civilian court judges, who have gone on strike and suspended judicial work.

US 'suicide' label for death of Yemeni Gitmo inmate discounted

Press TV, Iran
Investigators are questioning the suspicious death of a Yemeni detainee who was held at Guantanamo Bay. Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif was found dead in September at the military prison. The death was reported as a suicide from an overdose of psychiatric medication. However, US and Yemeni officials are questioning how he got his hands on the excess medication. Atif's lawyer, David Remes, has voiced skepticism about his client being able to hoard his daily dosages without detection.

Latif, was seriously injured in an auto accident in his native Yemen and was in Afghanistan, seeking free or charity medical treatment when he was taken captive by US-led occupation forces. He had been cleared for transfer back to his homeland before by both the Bush and Obama administrations; however, he wasn't sent home.

Kashmiri traders grapple with governmental restrictions

Press TV, Iran
Press TV reports that in Indian-administered Kashmir, traders are grappling with many government-imposed restrictions across the control line. Trade between the two sides of the line began in 2008, with the hope of expanding ties between India and Pakistan. Four years on, not much has been achieved. Despite traders' interest to exchange more goods, the government is imposing new limitations that have limited the original 22 items that could be legally traded to two or three. "On paper," says one trader, "the government is not imposing any ban, but in reality, there are many restrictions."

Amnesty International calls on Saudi Arabia to release or charge prisoners

Press TV, Iran
Amnesty International calls on Saudi Arabia to release or charge over a dozen people arrested for holding an anti-government protest in the capital Riyadh. Rights groups say that Saudi security forces detained 15 men outside the offices of the kingdom's rights commission in Riyadh. They were calling on the Saudi regime to free their jailed relatives.

Fresh anti-regime protests held in Bahraini capital

Press TV, Iran
Bahrainis once again take to the streets to demand the downfall of the regime, this time in the capital Manama. Demonstrators also call for the release of political prisoners, including the head of Bahrain Human Rights Center, Nabeel Rajab.

Freelance journalists' films on Libya, Syria, Sudan win Rory Peck Awards

BBC Arabic, UK
Presenter, Male #1
At the British Film Institute's gala, there was a strong presence of what is known as the Arab Spring. Journalists from France, Spain, and Britain won the Rory Peck Awards for freelance journalists.

Reporter, Female #1
These impressive images from Syria's Homs were taken by French photojournalist Mani during protests against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. He was nominated for the Rory Peck Award for freelance video journalists.

Guest, Male #2
The winner of this year's Rory Peck Award for News for his work in Homs is Mani.

Reporter, Female #1
The result was announced during a gala held at the British Film Institute in London, and Mani won the prize for best video news report. In his comment about the prize, he described his journey as a dangerous adventure.

Reporter, Female #1
The wave of protests now known as the Arab Spring wasn't a source of inspiration for just Mani. Spaniards Alberto Arce and Ricardo Vilanova won the award for best self-funded film. Their film recounts the story of Libyan fighters from Misrata during the siege of the city by forces loyal to al-Gaddafi.

Guest, Male #3
Without freelance journalists, there is no journalism to begin with. There are places that many have a difficult time reaching, even large organizations. Only freelance video journalists can work there.

Reporter, Female #1
The prize for vocational impact was also related to the Arab region. The prize was awarded to British Daniel Bogato for his film that monitored different scenes of the struggle between Sudanese civilians and government forces.

Guest, Male #4 (Jason Parkinson, Rory Peck Awards Participant)
These journalists must be helped, and large organizations must support them with everything they need. They risk their lives without any guarantees that they'll obtain good results.

Reporter, Female #1
The idea behind the Rory Peck Awards began in 1995, two years after the killing of cameraman Rory Peck during his work in Moscow.

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