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July, 2019
Volume 45, Number 2
  
11 December 2012
J.D. Conor Mauro




Raghad Al-Hussein, a 30-year-old refugee from Syria, holds her newborn child inside their makeshift shelter in the village of Jeb Jennine, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, on 22 November. (photo: CNS/Paul Jeffrey)

UNHCR: Syria Refugees number ‘more than 500,000’ (BBC) The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (U.N.H.C.R.) says it has accounted for 509,559 refugees so far, primarily in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, and that many more have yet to come forward. More than two million people are also thought to be internally displaced within Syria. Lebanon is playing host to most refugees, with 154,387 Syrian refugees either registered or in the process of being registered there. Jordan has received 142,664, while there are in 136,319 in Turkey, 64,449 in Iraq and 11,740 in North Africa, the agency says. “Syrian refugees arriving during recent bad weather reached Jordan with soaked clothing and mud-covered shoes due to heavy rainfall,” U.N.H.C.R. chief spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said. Since the beginning of November, 3,200 new Syrian refugees have been registered every day in the region, although some of these are thought to be people who had been in the host countries for some time but had not sought help…

Egypt opposition groups reject Morsi’s overture (Los Angeles Times) Egypt’s main opposition groups rejected President Mohammed Morsi’s weekend move to ease political tensions as the country braced for fresh protests and the military was given authority to arrest civilians ahead of this week’s referendum on an Islamist-drafted constitution. On Sunday, President Morsi rescinded most of the decree he issued last month that gave him near absolute authority by declaring his office free from judicial oversight. At the same time, he rebuffed key opposition demands to delay a constitutional referendum set for Saturday and to order the writing of a new charter that protects civil rights against the influence of Shari’a, or Islamic law. Holding a referendum now “risks pushing the country toward violent confrontation,” said a statement from the main opposition group, the National Salvation Front, which is led by Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed al Baradei and senior politicians. “We are against this process from start to finish”…

Syria rebels press forward in Aleppo (Al Jazeera) Syrian rebels have taken full control of a sprawling military base that they stormed two days ago in the country’s north, killing at least 35 government troops in the fighting, anti-government activists say. The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the battle for Sheik Suleiman base, near the city of Aleppo, ended on Tuesday after rebels took over the main compound and warehouses at the site. The rebels first entered the base on Sunday afternoon, after weeks of fighting with soldiers loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. SOHR said that 64 government troops were also injured in the assault…

Opponents describe abuse by Morsi’s supporters (New York Times) Islamist supporters of President Mohamed Morsi captured, detained and beat dozens of his political opponents last week, holding them for hours with their hands bound on the pavement outside the presidential palace while pressuring them to confess that they had accepted money to use violence in protests against him. “It was torment for us,” said Yehia Negm, 42, a former diplomat with a badly bruised face and rope marks on his wrists. He said he was among a group of about 50, including four minors, who were held on the pavement overnight. “I thought I would die.” To critics of Islamists, the episode on Wednesday recalled the tactics of the ousted president, Hosni Mubarak, who often saw a conspiracy of “hidden hands” behind his domestic opposition and deployed plainclothes thugs acting outside the law to punish those who challenged him. The difference is that the current enforcers are driven by the self-righteousness of their religious ideology, rather than money…

Iraq urges release of Palestinians in Israel jails (Daily Star Lebanon) Iraq’s prime minister has called on the international community to demand an immediate release of Palestinian and Arab prisoners held in Israeli jails. Nouri al Maliki’s statement on Tuesday came at the start of a two-day conference in Baghdad dedicated to the fate of Palestinian prisoners in Israel. Iraq agreed to host the event after holding an Arab League summit in March. Al-Maliki assailed what he called the international community’s double standards as it backed the region’s Arab Spring uprisings against “autocrats and tyrants” but ignored the issue of jailed Palestinians…

Russian government continues restoration of Kosovo holy sites (Russian Orthodox Church) In 2010-2011, the Russian government contributed $2 million U.S. dollars to UNESCO to finance the restoration of Orthodox holy sites in Kosovo, in compliance with the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244 on Kosovo and within the UNESCO international action on humanitarian aid to the Republic of Serbia. Restoration efforts began in 2012 at four monuments of Orthodox architecture included in the UNESCO list of world heritage sites — the Decani Monastery, the Patriarchate of Pec Monastery, the Gracanica Monastery and the Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš in Prizren. The work is carried out according to operating schedule and should be completed in the first half of 2013…



Tags: Egypt Refugees Syrian Civil War Russia Kosovo