Special Correspondent, Middle East
Alistair's Feed
Dec 4, 2012

Egypt to push on with referendum despite opposition protests

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s opposition called for mass protests on Tuesday against the Islamist-led government’s drive to hold a snap referendum on a new constitution after sweeping aside judicial obstacles.

President Mohamed Mursi ignited a storm of protest when he temporarily assumed extraordinary powers on November 22 to prevent a judiciary still dominated by appointees of ousted predecessor Hosni Mubarak from derailing a troubled political transition.

Dec 1, 2012

Islamists to rally behind Mursi as Egypt’s rifts widen

CAIRO (Reuters) – Islamists planned rallies across Egypt on Saturday in support of President Mohamed Mursi, who has rushed through a constitution to try to quench opposition fury over his newly expanded powers.

Mursi was due to ratify the constitution, hastily approved by an Islamist-dominated drafting assembly on Friday, later in the day and to set a date for a referendum on it within 15 days.

Nov 29, 2012

Insight: Cash crisis, Arab ferment threaten Jordan’s stability

AMMAN (Reuters) – Violent protests that shocked Jordan this month have mostly subsided, but unprecedented chants for the “fall of the regime” suggested a deeper malaise in a kingdom so far spared the revolts reshaping the Arab world.

Anger over fuel subsidy cuts undoubtedly drove the unrest, in which police shot dead one man during a confrontation at a police station. The government’s planned electricity price rises starting next year may well ignite more popular fury.

Nov 29, 2012

Cash crisis, Arab ferment threaten Jordan’s stability

AMMAN, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Violent protests that shocked
Jordan this month have mostly subsided, but unprecedented chants
for the “fall of the regime” suggested a deeper malaise in a
kingdom so far spared the revolts reshaping the Arab world.

Anger over fuel subsidy cuts undoubtedly drove the unrest,
in which police shot dead one man during a confrontation at a
police station. The government’s planned electricity price rises
starting next year may well ignite more popular fury.

Nov 22, 2012

Gaza ceasefire takes hold but mistrust runs deep

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A ceasefire between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers took hold on Thursday after eight days of conflict, although deep mistrust on both sides cast doubt on how long the Egyptian-sponsored deal can last.

Quiet reigned on both sides of the frontier overnight and during the morning after a dozen rockets landed in Israel in the initial hours after the truce came into force late on Wednesday. Israeli police said there had been no casualties or damage.

Nov 22, 2012

Hamas-Israel ceasefire takes hold but mistrust runs deep

GAZA/JERUSALEM, Nov 22 (Reuters) – A ceasefire between
Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers took hold on Thursday after eight
days of conflict, although deep mistrust on both sides cast
doubt on how long the Egyptian-sponsored deal can last.

Even after the ceasefire came into force late on Wednesday,
a dozen rockets from the Gaza Strip landed in Israel, all in
open areas, a police spokesman said. In Gaza, witnesses reported
an explosion shortly after the truce took effect at 9 p.m (1900
GMT), but there were no casualties and the cause was unclear.

Nov 20, 2012

Analysis: Gaza conflict undermines Palestinian president

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has cut a lonely figure while his Islamist Hamas rivals in the Gaza Strip have battled Israel, gaining kudos in the West Bank and de facto Arab recognition.

Hamas leaders received Arab and Turkish foreign ministers in Gaza on Tuesday, following similar trips by Egypt’s prime minister and Tunisia’s foreign minister, as well as one by the emir of Qatar last month before the eruption of a week-old conflict that now seems to be heading into a ceasefire.

Nov 20, 2012

Gaza conflict undermines Palestinian president

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has cut a lonely figure while his Islamist Hamas rivals in the Gaza Strip have battled Israel, gaining kudos in the West Bank and de facto Arab recognition.

Hamas leaders received Arab and Turkish foreign ministers in Gaza on Tuesday, following similar trips by Egypt’s prime minister and Tunisia’s foreign minister, as well as one by the emir of Qatar last month before the eruption of a week-old conflict that now seems to be heading into a ceasefire.

Nov 16, 2012

Jordan’s king pinched by absence of Gulf aid

LONDON (Reuters) – With protesters baying for his overthrow, Jordan’s King Abdullah might be wondering why his fellow-dynasts in Gulf Arab states are not providing the cash that could calm the trouble.

After days of demonstrations against fuel price rises in provincial towns, Muslim Brotherhood supporters joined crowds in Amman on Friday in a rare focus of anger on the king.

Nov 16, 2012

Analysis: Jordan’s king pinched by absence of Gulf aid

LONDON (Reuters) – With protesters baying for his overthrow, Jordan’s King Abdullah might be wondering why his fellow-dynasts in Gulf Arab states are not providing the cash that could calm the trouble.

After days of demonstrations against fuel price rises in provincial towns, Muslim Brotherhood supporters joined crowds in Amman on Friday in a rare focus of anger on the king.

    • About Alistair

      "I cover the Middle East, with an emphasis on political analysis, region-wide stories and in-depth features. I live in Beirut and have been in my current post since June 2006. Outside my main Middle Eastern beat, I have covered Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan."
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