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At the urging of US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Minister William Hague, representatives from the Syrian National Coalition have agreed to attend an 11-nation Friends of Syria conference in Rome on Thursday. The Coalition had initially planned to boycott the meeting in protest of the world’s inaction toward the violence and ever-increasing death toll in Syria. However; Kerry and Hague managed to persuade them at a meeting in London.
“I want our friends in the Syrian [...]
Samer Issawi, who is allegedly near death from being on a hunger strike for 200 days, is due to be released next month. Issawi was sent to an Israeli prison by the Jerusalem Magistrates Court after being found guilty of violating the terms of his release under the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap in 2011. He has already been in jail for more than six months. He has claimed to be striking against Israel’s ‘administrative detention,’ which allows authorities to detain [...]
For the first time since the Western Schism, nearly 600 years ago, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church has resigned from his office. The Vatican has stated that he will officially cease to be Pope at 8 pm on February 28. Pope Benedict cited his age and waning health as his primary motivation for resigning. As this is such a rare occurance, what Benedict’s role in the church will be after his resignation can only be speculated at. He [...]
On February 12th, North Korea conducted its third ever underground nuclear test. The action drew swift condemnation, especially from the United States. The White House released a statement calling the test “a highly provocative act that, following its December 12 ballistic missile launch, undermines regional stability, violates North Korea’s obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation.”
“The United States remains [...]
The funeral of assassinated Tunisian politician Chokri Belaid was a largely peaceful event. Across the rest of the country, police struggled to contain emotional protests and thousands of workers went on strike to honor Belaid’s memory. The nation was shut down for a day as workers across Tunisia engaged in the nation’s first general strike in more than 30 years.
“With our blood and our souls we will sacrifice ourselves for the martyr,” the mourners shouted.
Members of the crowd [...]
By an overwhelming vote of 400 to 175, the British House of Commons voted in favor of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales. The vote comes as a victory for British Prime Minister David Cameron, but has sharpened division within his conservative Tory Party. More than 140 of the 175 votes against the bill were from Tories.
“We are alienating people who’ve voted for us for all of their lives, leaving them with no one [...]
France is intensifying its military activities in Mali as it attempts to build on gains it has made against Islamist militants that recently seized control of a stretch of land in the northern region of the country roughly the size of Afghanistan. Not long after French airstrikes in the region began, the insurgents, allegedly linked to Al Qaeda, abandoned key cities such as Timbuktu and retreated into their mountain hideouts.
“The goal is to destroy their rear bases,” French Foreign Minister [...]
The State Department has confirmed that its embassy in Ankara, Turkey has been attacked by a suicide bomber at about 1:15 pm local time. One Turkish guard was killed and several others were wounded.
“A suicide bombing on the perimeter of an embassy is by definition an act of terror,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary. “It is a terrorist attack.”
“We can confirm a terrorist blast at a check point on the perimeter of our embassy compound in Ankara,” [...]
Earlier this week the Israeli military conducted airstrikes within the Syrian borders. The target was a shipment of weapons and ammunition intended for the Hezbollah in the neighboring country of Lebanon. Syria’s allies, Iran and Russia, were quick to condemn the “open aggression” that they said challenged the legitimacy of the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul Karim Alim called the attack part of an attack by criminals from all around the world with American [...]
On Sunday, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi declared emergency rule end days of clashes that have surrounded the two-year anniversary of Egypt’s revolution against former dictator Hosni Mubarak and have killed at least 52 people.
“The protection of the nation is the responsibility of everyone. We will confront any threat to its security with force and firmness within the remit of the law,” Morsi said.
The attempt to quell the violence evidently backfired, as protesters in towns along the Suez Canal poured [...]
A boat full of activists left Taiwan on Thursday morning and sailed toward the Senkaku a.k.a Diaoyu Islands, a territory that is claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan. The vessel was accompanied by several Taiwanese Coast Guard ships, but about 28 nautical miles from the islands it was ordered to turn back by the Japan Coast Guard. The altercation escalated to the point where the Japan Coast Guard fired water cannon warning shots at the boat. “We don’t provoke, we [...]