from The Great Debate:

Egypt’s grand mufti: No justification for terror in any religion

By Shawky Allam
April 1, 2015

A view of the Mosque of Mohammed Ali in the Citadel, the Sultan Hasan Mosque and the Al-Rifa'i Mosque in Cairo

The Mosque of Mohammed Ali in the Citadel (top), the Sultan Hasan Mosque and the Al-Rifa'i Mosque (bottom right) in Cairo, May 20, 2008, REUTERS/Nasser Nuri

from The Great Debate:

How Yemen became the front line of a Mideast-wide war

By Mohamad Bazzi
March 27, 2015

Shi'ite Muslim rebels hold up their weapons during a rally against air strikes in Sanaa

Shi'ite Muslim rebels hold up their weapons during a rally against air strikes in Sanaa, Yemen, March 26, 2015. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

from MacroScope:

Whisper it, is the euro zone perking up?

By Mike Peacock
February 26, 2015

People walk into the the Mall of Berlin shopping centre in Berlin

The drama of Ukraine and Greece has left old-fashioned economic data in the shade so far this year but, quietly, there are some signs of improvement for the moribund euro zone economy.

from The Great Debate:

Why Arab Spring made life better in Tunisia, failed everywhere else

By Ellen McLarney
February 18, 2015

A Tunisian fan reacts after Tunisia lost their quarter-final soccer match of the 2015 African Cup of Nations against Equatorial Guinea in Bata

A Tunisian fan soccer fan. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Earlier this month, Tunisia's newly elected parliament cobbled together a coalition government led by a secular party that included its Islamist rivals, who had been democratically ousted from power. The new government, coming on the heels of a historic presidential election, a new constitution and the first democratic elections to be held during the Arab Spring, marks an astonishing democratic culmination in the birthplace of the movement. It has also proven hard to replicate.

from MacroScope:

Politics to trump law in QE decision

By Mike Peacock
January 15, 2015

Deutsche Bundesbank President Weidmann arrives for the annual news conference in Frankfurt

If the law was the ultimate arbiter, the European Central Bank would have the most verdant of green lights for an unlimited bond-buying programme with new money. In reality, politics and German concerns will dictate.

from Photographers' Blog:

The Venice of Egypt

December 12, 2014

Alexandria, Egypt

By Amr Dalsh

In the coastal Mediterranean city of Alexandria, I visited a district of families dependant on fishing for their livelihood that is struggling to navigate Egypt's economic troubles.

from MacroScope:

Euro zone litmus tests

By Mike Peacock
November 27, 2014

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Two vital gauges of euro zone progress, or lack of it, today.

German inflation for November is forecast to slip to 0.6 percent and will cue up the euro zone figure on Friday, which is predicted to come in at just 0.3 percent. Spanish inflation, due earlier, is forecast to come in at -0.3 percent.

from MacroScope:

Greek bailout pressure rising

By Mike Peacock
November 25, 2014

A Greek and an EU flag flutter in front of the temple of the Parthenon during the takeover ceremony of the six-month rotation of Greece's EU Presidency in Athens

Greece's government will resume stalled talks with EU/IMF lenders in Paris today as Athens pushes to make an early exit from an unpopular bailout programme.

from MacroScope:

EU uneasy about Hungary’s closeness to Russia

By Mike Peacock
November 19, 2014

Hungary's PM Orban arrives at an EU leaders summit in Brussels

After Germany's foreign minister saw "no reason for optimism" after talks in Moscow on Tuesday, today Hungary’s Peter Szijjarto meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Violence is on the rise again in eastern Ukraine and tougher sanctions against Russia remain a live possibility although EU foreign ministers limited themselves to targeting a few more Ukrainian separatists earlier this week.

from John Lloyd:

U.S. ‘soft power’ hits another hard reality in the Middle East

By John Lloyd
November 12, 2014

Relatives of detained activists cry and pray for them as the activists stand trial at a court in Cairo

On Sunday, June 22, 1941, Winston Churchill’s private secretary, John Colville, woke him with the news that Nazi Germany had invaded the Soviet Union. In a radio address that same evening, the British prime minister repeated his “consistent” opposition to communism, but said that “all this flashes away … the Russian danger is therefore our danger.” In a later House of Commons debate, Churchill quipped -- “If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.”