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Tensions rise between Iraq’s Sunnis and Shias

Some international observers are growing concerned about renewed civil war between Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites. The city of Fallujah represents a hotbed of Sunni protest against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite. One can’t overlook the protest camp when entering Fallujah from the main road connecting the city with Baghdad. A smattering of tents, a stage showing photos of dead ... Read More »

Japanese leader shows signs of his old self

Before Shinzo Abe was re-elected prime minister, there were rumblings of discontent among Japan’s neighbors over his nationalistic attitude and conservative track record. Recent events have rekindled the fears. On Sunday, Yomomi Inada became the fourth member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet to pay his respects at Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, triggering an angry response from South Korea’s leader and ... Read More »

Obama’s Middle East push must break the mold

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been decoded. Both sides and the US know exactly what it takes to solve it. Now it is time for Barack Obama to show that he is not just going through the motions again. Every effort to advance Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations can expect to face four separate but related crises: confidence-destroying activities on the ground; political ... Read More »

Netanyahu says Iran yet to cross nuclear ‘red line’

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday that Tehran’s nuclear programme was getting closer to crossing a crucial “red line” but had yet to reach it. “It has not yet crossed the red line which I laid out in the United Nations but it is systematically approaching it and we cannot let it cross,” he told senior members of ... Read More »

Obama vows new bid to close Gitmo ‘no man’s land’

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama said Tuesday the military jail at Guantanamo Bay is damaging US interests and vowed a renewed push to close it, as around 100 prisoners take part in a hunger strike there. Condemning the prison as a legal “no man’s land,” Obama told a White House news conference that it was time Congress agreed to shut the jail ... Read More »

US report warns of crisis for Pakistan minorities

WASHINGTON: A US government-appointed panel urged Washington Tuesday to step up pressure on Pakistan over religious freedom, warning that risks to its minorities have reached a crisis level. In an annual report, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom also raised concerns about what it called a worsening situation in China, as well as problems in Egypt, Iran, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia ... Read More »

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