16 July 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Syrian army raises flag above city considered as birthplace of uprising against Assad
by Louisa Loveluck, The Washington Post, 16 Jul 2018

Syrian government forces hoisted their red, black and white flag as they took control of the southern city of Daraa on Thursday, quashing a rebellion that began there in 2011 and spiraled into Syria’s devastating civil war.

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Algeria halts refugee expulsions to Sahara after outrage
by Al-Jazeera, 16 Jul 2018

Algeria's deadly expulsions of migrants and refugeesinto the Sahara Desert have nearly come to a halt after widespread condemnation and the abrupt firing of two top security officials.
The Associated Press reported that, according to UN International Organization for Migration officials, more than 13,000 people - including women and children - had been dropped off in the desert borders that Algeria shares with Niger and Mali since May 2017. 
Under three weeks after the report, the expulsions to the harsh, dangerous region have all but ended.

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Erdogan vows to advance Turkey under new governance system
by Al-Jazeera, 16 Jul 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hailed the beginning of a new chapter in the country's history in his inauguration address, while promising improvements in "every" area.
His comments on Monday came shortly after taking the oath of office to become Turkey's first executive president with increased powers after his election victory last month.
"In the new era, Turkey will improve in every field, including democracy, fundamental rights, freedoms, economy and large investments," Erdogan said in his speech at the presidential palace in the capital, Ankara.

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UN: All-out war narrowly avoided after Israel-Hamas ceasefire
by Al-Jazeera, 16 Jul 2018

The UN's special envoy has said that all-out war was narrowly averted by the Egyptian-broked ceasefire in Gaza.
Israel bombarded more than forty sites and killed at least two Palestinian teenagers because Hamas, which runs Gaza, has not stopped Palestinians from sending burning kites into Israel to protest against the ongoing siege. The kites and balloons have set fire to hectares of crops, but have not caused any fatalities.
 The ceasefire appeared to be holding, but frustration and anger are mounting as the siege of coastal strip continues.

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EU's Federica Mogherini visits Libya to reopen bloc's mission
by Al Jazeera, 14 Jul 2018

Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief, has visited Libya's capital, Tripoli, to reopen the bloc's diplomatic presence and border assistance mission.

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Is Intentional Starvation the Future of War?
by Jane Ferguson, The New Yorker, 11 Jul 2018

The U.S.- and Saudi-backed war here has increased the price of food, cooking gas, and other fuel, but it is the disappearance of millions of jobs that has brought more than eight million people to the brink of starvation and turned Yemen into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. There is sufficient food arriving in ports here, but endemic unemployment means that almost two-thirds of the population struggle to buy the food their families need. In this way, hunger here is entirely man-made: no drought or blight has caused it.

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