04 June 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


UN envoy seeks deal to avert Saudi-led assault on Yemeni port
by Patrick Wintour, The Guardian, 04 Jun 2018

Last-ditch efforts are under way by the UN to persuade the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen not to launch a deadly assault on the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeida and to allow time for a deal to be agreed to preserve the port’s role in distributing humanitarian aid.

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Israel must halt law that could criminalise media
by the Guardian, 03 Jun 2018

On the day the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem, Israeli soldiers opened fire on unarmed Palestinian protesters who gathered at the border fence on the Gaza Strip.
Sorry. That requires a rewrite to reflect “the truth” as promulgated by the Israeli government.
On the day the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem, Israeli soldiers opened fire to prevent an invasion of their country by Arabs living in the Gaza Strip.
This is a typical instance of the divergence in reporting that has become a hallmark of recording the conflict in Israel/Palestine.

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Egypt: Activists Arrested in Dawn Raids
by Human Rights Watch, 31 May 2018

Egyptian police and National Security forces have carried out a wave of arrests of critics of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in dawn raids since early May 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges against them appear to be solely based on their social media posts and peaceful activism. Security briefly held several of the detainees incommunicado.

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Climate change is making the Arab world more miserable
by The Economist, 31 May 2018

Six years ago Nabil Musa, a Kurdish environmentalist, returned from over a decade abroad to find Iraq transformed. Rivers in which he had swum year-round turned to dust in summer. Skies once crowded with storks and herons were empty. Drought had pushed farmers to abandon their crops, and dust storms, once rare, choked the air. Inspired to act, he joined a local conservationist group, Nature Iraq, to lobby for greener practices. But Kurdish officials pay little attention. “One of the last things we want to think about is climate change,” says Mr Musa.

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The Truth About Iraq’s Democracy
by Atlantic Council, 29 May 2018

Some commentators recently celebrated the Iraqi election as a sign that democracy is taking root in Iraq’s soil. This optimistic view is justified given the bleak situation of democratic transformation in the region. Authoritarianism in the Middle East persists as the common model of governing, even in countries that witnessed popular uprisings and demands for regime change just a few years ago. 

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