Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ is back

President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order on Monday banning citizens from six Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the United States but removing Iraq from the list, after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the courts. #MuslimBan2 – just as unconstitutional as the first one. #NoBanNoWallNoRaids — Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) March 6, 2017 The new order, which takes effect on March 16, keeps a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It applies only to new visa applicants, meaning some 60,000 people whose visas were revoked under the previous order will now be permitted to enter. Immigration advocates said the new ban still discriminated against Muslims […]

US Navy ship changes course after Iran vessels come close -US official

Multiple fast-attack vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps came close to a US Navy ship in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, forcing it to change direction, a US official told Reuters on Monday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the boats came within 600 yards (meters) of the USNS Invincible, a tracking ship, and stopped. The Invincible and three ships from the British Royal Navy accompanying it had to change course. The official said attempts were made to communicate over radio, but there was no response and the interaction was “unsafe and unprofessional.” The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps could not immediately be reached for a comment. Read: Iran holds naval war games amid rising tensions with […]

Rights group says 107 Egyptian were killed by police forces in February

107 extrajudicial killings were committed by security forces in Egypt in February 2017, El-Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture has revealed in its report for the month of February. The report, titled “Archive of Oppression”, has documented 110 cases of enforced disappearances during the same month, ten of which were carried out during investigations at the police stations. According to the report, February’s killings have included eight cases of prisoners’ death in custody and others in violent acts during the security raids to arrest regime opponents, and in terrorist attacks in the troubled Sinai Peninsula. Read: Amnesty: Human rights crisis in Egypt continues Nadeem’s report has showed 12 cases of individual torture and 21 cases of […]

Egypt suffers shortage of contraceptive pills

Egypt has been experiencing shortages in contraceptive pills which started to disappear from pharmacies and moved to the black market, official media sources have reported. In an interview with OnTV Live, Souad Abdel Magid, the Head of the Department of Population and Family Planning at the Health Ministry, has revealed that the main reason behind the drug disappearance is the decline of the overall medical imports by pharmaceutical companies. They fear that they would not achieve a reasonable profit margin following the Egyptian pound flotation which was decided by the Central Bank last November. Abdel Magid stressed that the ministry sufficiently offers all types of contraceptive pills through 5,425 government medical centres, 600 governmental hospitals, and 560 mobile clinics. Read: […]

Yemen’s Al-Qaeda leader: US refused to trade ‘blind sheikh’ for hostage

The leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni wing has said the United States refused to exchange jailed Muslim scholar Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman for a US journalist who died in a failed rescue attempt in 2014, according to a recording posted on its media channel. Abdel-Rahman, known as “the blind sheikh” in the US, died in a North Carolina jail last month while serving a life sentence for conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York. “The mujahideen sought to rescue the blind and crippled sheikh more than once, but the Americans did not heed demands for the release of this revered scholar,” Qassim Al-Reymi, who became the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in 2015 after his […]

US military deploys forces in Manbij as ‘sign of deterrence’

The US military has deployed a small number of forces in and around the Syrian city of Manbij to ensure that the different parties do not attack each other and stay focused on fighting the Islamic State militant group, a Pentagon spokesman said on Monday. Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters that the forces were there to be a “visible sign of deterrence and reassurance,” adding that this was a new effort which had not been carried out in the past and started last week. According to media reports, US Special Forces are now gradually advancing on Manbij’s Ayn Dadat area. Manbij is surrounded by US forces from the north and by Syrian regime forces from the south and […]

The Syrian revolution: The military performance and political solution

With the approach of the Syrian revolution’s sixth anniversary, the fourth Geneva negotiations seem to be closer to a mockery than a solution given the military developments. We must ask ourselves, once again, what the reasons behind the crisis’ intractability thus far. Perhaps the military aspect of the conflict in Syria would have ended years ago if it weren’t for the direct intervention of regional and international forces. One of the most prominent admissions of this may be the statement Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued last month regarding Damascus being only two or three weeks away from being toppled before Moscow’s intervention. If this had happened and the Syrian capital had fallen under opposition control, then negotiations regarding the […]

Palestinian minors fined $15,400 by Israel

Israeli courts fined Palestinian minors imprisoned in the Ofer detention centre a total of 57,000 shekels ($15,420) in February alone, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said yesterday, adding that at least 49 had been detained in February. Committee lawyer Luay Akka said that of at least 49 Palestinian minors who were imprisoned in February and taken to Ofer, 27 of them were detained during home raids, nine in the streets, five after being summoned for interrogation, four at checkpoints and four in Israel for not having permits. Read: Report: Israel kills 26 Palestinian students, arrests 198 in 2016 He added that the sentences issued against 25 minors during the month ranged between one and 24 months in prison, with […]

Palestinian killed by Israeli forces

Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man early this morning ending a two-hour gun battle in the Ramallah area of the central occupied West Bank. The raid sparked clashes, which left two Palestinians shot and injured by Israeli forces. No Israelis were injured in the incident. Israeli police identified the slain man as Basel Al-Araj who was wanted for “planning terror attacks against Israelis”. Read: Report: Israeli forces detained 420 Palestinians in February Al-Araj was detained without charges or explanation by Palestinian security forces in April last year along with Haitham Siyaj and Muhammad Harb. The controversial case made headlines when the three men joined three other detainees in a hunger strike in Palestinian prison, amid reports of torture and […]

The regional settlement Israel has in mind

If anyone is interested in another example of Israel’s disregard and underestimation of the awareness of those leading the countries in the “moderate Arab” camp who rely on the benefits of allying (or partnering) with Tel Aviv, they only need to try to wrap their head around the “regional settlement” concept promoted as a mechanism to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers. Despite the fact that there are numerous versions of the “regional settlement” that the ruling right-wing elites are trying to promote, the common ground they share is the aim to end the conflict, while, at the same time, taking part of the West Bank and Jerusalem and annexing it […]