Home > News > News in Brief: 19 Jan 2009

News in Brief: 19 Jan 2009

A brief list of news clippings for the day:

Gaza War Divides Arab Governments From People. Street protests against Israel’s assault on Gaza continue to be held almost daily. The anger has not ended with the ceasefire called. In Cairo, and in many Arab capitals, much of the anger is directed at the Egyptian regime, seen by critics as complicit in the Israeli campaign.On Saturday (Jan. 17) night, Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire. Israeli troops and armour, however, remain deep inside the Gaza Strip, and it remains unclear whether the move represents a definitive cessation of Israeli military operations inside the territory. After three weeks of punishing assaults from air, land and sea, the Palestinian death toll has soared past 1,200, mostly women and children. (IPS)

Israel Continues Gaza Withdrawal as Cease-Fire Holds. Israeli troops and tanks continued to leave Gaza on Monday as a fragile cease-fire opened the way for intensified international efforts to build a more durable peace. In Kuwait, leaders at an Arab summit sought to close ranks after deep divisions over the 22-day Gaza war. (New York Times)

A ‘Police State’ Celebrates. The Israeli government is stepping up efforts to suppress dissent and crush resistance in the streets. Police have been videotaping the demonstrations and subsequently arresting protesters in large numbers. (IPS)

EU: Hamas responsible for Gaza violence. The European Union, heavily criticized for being effectively non-existent during the Gaza crisis, has implied that Hamas was the real culprit in the conflict. In a written statement by the commission, the EU called on Hamas to refrain from violence while welcoming Israel’s declaration of a cease-fire. “I call on Hamas to refrain from any violence in order to allow for an end to the terrible human suffering,” said Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European commissioner for external relations and European neighborhood policy. There was no mention at all about Israel’s responsibility in the bloodshed. (Today’s Zaman)

Pakistan Temporarily Halts NATO Supplies. Pakistan reopened a major land supply route to U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan that was briefly closed Monday after suspected insurgents killed a soldier and wounded 14, adding urgency to efforts to secure alternative supply lines as more U.S. troops head to the region. (New York Times)

Gas Issue Points to Ukraine’s Failures. In the heady months following the Orange Revolution, after the crowds had swept the democratic opposition into power but before the hopes inspired by the movement had begun to fade, Ukraine’s new, American-backed leaders decided to renegotiate the terms on which the country purchased natural gas from Russia. (Washington Post)

The Political Dance in Iraq’s South. Iraq’s provincial elections this month promise to redefine the constellation of power in a country in transition, contested by thousands of candidates on hundreds of lists, some represented by a single person. But six years of war, often pivoting on the pragmatic choices of U.S. soldiers and diplomats, have empowered sometimes unlikely forces — Sunni tribes, former insurgents and religious Shiite parties — in ways that will indelibly shape the kind of political system the United States leaves behind. (Washington Post)

Kashmir Jittery Over Prospect of War. As war clouds hover over India and Pakistan, anxiety levels have risen in Kashmir, often described as the bone of contention between the South Asian neighbours. (IPS)

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