Troubling times ahead in the UAE over press freedom

Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,  president of the United Arab Emirates

By Stephen Ouma Bwire As the world is further immersed in social and digital media, the rulers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have become more aggressive in arresting and deporting people for expressing their opinions, as one of the victims of this crackdown, I have learnt how freedom of expression is recently categorised as a crime and threat to the country. The halo effects of the Arab Spring have definitely shaken UAE rulers who previously had taken a less antagonising approach compared to their GCC neighbours but still essentially were always mindful of the powers of sustaining the repressive stance that has always existed. Despite the absence of any … Continue reading

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Modi’s estranged wife unhappy over round-the-clock security

Prime Minister Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s estranged wife has questioned the government’s decision to provide her with gun-toting bodyguards around the clock, even when she travels in rickety three-wheeler taxis. Jashodaben Modi, 62, who lives in Gujarat, said she had filed a petition to find out why she has been given security cover since Modi was elected in May. “I am surrounded by five security guards all the time. Often my relatives or I have to cook for them, my sister-in-law has to make their beds. This is a bit annoying,” Jashodaben Modi told Reuters on Tuesday by telephone. She added: “You see, it gets really chaotic when I have to travel, … Continue reading

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Political war in US as Republicans challenge Obama powers

US House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), turned down Obama

By Katie Zezima and Robert Costa The political war over President Obama’s controversial policy changes on deportation escalated Friday as the White House pledged to forcefully sell the overhauls to the American people, while many Republicans vowed to derail his efforts. Obama went to Nevada on Friday to begin what the White House described as a “very aggressive” effort to promote the changes but also to chide his Republican critics for opposing immigration reform. “We’re not a nation that kicks out strives and dreamers who want to earn their piece of the American dream,” Obama said. “We didn’t raise the Statue of Liberty with her back to the world. We … Continue reading

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Bush and Christie’s 2016 prospects kneecapped by Obama

US President Obama announcing executive action on immigration Thursday.

By Jon Terbush US President Barack Obama on Thursday announced his much-anticipated executive action on immigration, and in doing so he lobbed a grenade squarely into the 2016 Republican primary race. Obama’s order will reshape how the feds prioritize deportations of undocumented workers, shielding an estimated five million of them from being kicked out of the country. “We shall not oppress a stranger for we know the heart of a stranger — we were strangers once, too,” Obama said, quoting scripture. By moving ahead solo before the new Congress is sworn in, Obama ensured Republicans will finally have to address immigration reform next year — and on into 2016. This … Continue reading

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Europe set for showdown with President Putin at G20 summit

Russian President Putin with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot in Brisbane Friday.

A showdown between Western leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely at the G20 summit in Australia starting today (Saturday), following fresh reports of Russian troops pouring into eastern Ukraine. Ukraine has accused Russia of sending soldiers and weapons to help separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine launch a new offensive in a conflict that has killed more than 4,000 people. British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday blasted Russia’s actions as unacceptable, warning that they could draw greater sanctions from the United States and the European Union. “If Russia takes a positive approach towards Ukraine’s freedom and responsibility, we could see those sanctions removed. If Russia continues to make … Continue reading

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‘I hear you,’ Obama tells Americans after rout at the polls

US President barack Obama addresses the nation after a stinging rebuke from American voters. He told aides that he will

By David Nakamura and Juliet Eilperin After a stinging rebuke at the polls, President Obama vowed Wednesday to respond to the frustrations of the American electorate by using his final two years to forge compromises with newly empowered congressional Republicans and break the political gridlock that has defined Washington over the past several years. “I hear you,” Obama said at a White House news conference, a day after voters gave the GOP unilateral control over the legislative branch and dealt a blow to Obama’s agenda after six years in office. “Obviously, Republicans had a good night, and they deserve credit for running good campaigns,” the president said. But he emphasized … Continue reading

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Russia pushing on the limits of international order

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Martin

By Lisa Ferdinando Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia in general are pushing the limits because they don’t believe the international order was crafted in a way that met their national interests, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said during a question-and-answer session at an event on hiring veterans in New York. Putin and Russia, the Chairman said, express a sense of victimization following the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Noting that the Russian president recently delivered a speech on that narrative, Dempsey characterized it as “an anti-Western soliloquy that literally lasted for about three hours.’ “Our principal responsibility here, of course, is our NATO … Continue reading

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Flight MH17 air crash: Was Ukraine military involved?

Investigators sift through the wreckage of Malaysia

A document, posted on the website cyber-berkut.net, and allegedly downloaded from Ukraine’s Defense Ministry network, dates back to August 7 and appears to be signed by Colonel Igor Zorin, the chief of Ukraine’s air defense forces. It is a report which maintains that a fragment of a projectile found together with the debris of the crashed flight MH17 is in fact a damage agent of a 9M38 surface-to-air guided missile belonging to the mobile air defense complex Buk or Buk M1. Ukrainian CyberBerkut hacktivists claim that they have penetrated the internal network of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and found proof that Kiev is getting secret data from MH17 crash investigators, including … Continue reading

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Ukraine defiant on National Day as rebels parade captives

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meeting with Ukrain President Porochenko in Kiev at the weekend.

By Richard Balmforth and Thomas Grove Ukraine marked its independence day on Sunday with a military march-past in Kiev intended to send a message of defiance to Russia, but pro-Moscow rebels countered by parading captured Ukrainian troops through the streets of their main stronghold. The rival events highlighted the divide that will have to be bridged if a compromise on Ukraine is to be reached on Tuesday when Russian President Vladimir Putin meets his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko for the first time in months. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who visited Kiev on Saturday to try to lay the ground-work for a peace deal, said Tuesday’s talks were unlikely to produce … Continue reading

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African scholars to boycott Israeli academic institutions

Palestinians collect body parts in a classrom bombed by Israeli forces recently.

By Jessica A Badebye African scholars have joined the growing number of academic associations from the United States of America, that have endorsed boycott resolutions on Israeli academic institutions in their bid to show solidarity with Palestine. The scholars have further pledged not to collaborate on projects, events involving Israeli academic institutions, not to teach at or to attend any conferences, events and not to publish in any academic journals in Israeli institutions. In a press release issued to The London Evening Post, the Dakar-based community expressed its interest and responsibility to respond to the obstacles to the right to higher education that the Israeli state has created for Palestinians … Continue reading

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