Douglas's Feed
Oct 26, 2012

Analysis: Hamas brinkmanship masks quiet confidence

GAZA STRIP (Reuters) – One of 70-odd rockets fired from Gaza into Israel this week hit a chicken coop, critically wounding two Thai migrant workers, innocent bystanders in a deadly game of brinkmanship.

If it had killed children on the Israeli farm they work for, Israel and Gaza would probably be at war right now.

Jul 27, 2012

Beirut: All Gucci and no gigabytes

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Chanel, Dior, Brioni, Valentino, Cartier, Bulgari, Longines, Rolex, Panerai, Louis Vuitton, Armani, Tom Ford, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Hermes, Dolce & Gabbana, Louboutin.

You name it, Beirut’s got it. These days, however, it seems there are not that many people around who want it, or at least not enough who can afford to buy it.

Jul 18, 2012

Raised on power, Assad risks all

By Douglas Hamilton

(Reuters) – His father was a hard, ex-military autocrat and didn’t care who knew it. He has a soft gaze and came to power hinting at democracy and reform. But there the dissimilarity ends.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has proved himself as uncompromising as the late Hafez, who ran the Arab republic with an iron fist for 29 years and, on his death in 2000, left his son a formidable apparatus of power, based on single-party rule, repression of opponents and a network of spies and informers.

Jul 11, 2012

China backs Annan’s call for Iran role in Syria talks

BEIRUT (Reuters) – China threw its weight behind U.N. envoy Kofi Annan on Wednesday, backing his call to include Iran in internationally-brokered talks to resolve Syria’s crisis, in the face of strong Western opposition.

“China believes that the appropriate resolution of the Syria issue cannot be separated from the countries in the region, especially the support and participation of those countries that are influential on relevant sides in Syria,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in Beijing.

Jul 11, 2012

Annan says Iran must be player in Syria crisis talks

BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.N. peace envoy Kofi Annan waded into big power politics on Tuesday, insisting regional heavyweight Iran should be involved in efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Syria crisis despite the West’s firm rejection of a role for Tehran.

The United States and its NATO and Gulf Arab allies are opposed to involving the Islamic Republic, which strongly backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and is regarded as their main adversary in the Middle East.

Jul 10, 2012

Annan says Iran must be player in Syria talks

BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.N. peace envoy Kofi Annan waded into big power politics on Tuesday, insisting regional heavyweight Iran should be involved in efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Syria crisis despite the West’s firm rejection of a role for Tehran.

The United States and its NATO and Gulf Arab allies are opposed to involving the Islamic Republic, which strongly backs Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and is regarded as their main adversary in the Middle East.

Jun 30, 2012

Raised on power, Assad risks all

BEIRUT (Reuters) – His father had a face of stone and a hard glare. He has a mild gaze and a weak chin. But there the dissimilarity ends.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has proved himself as uncompromising as the late Hafez, who ran the Arab republic with an iron fist for 29 years and bequeathed a formidable, police-state dynasty to his son in 2000.

Jun 30, 2012

Newsmaker: Raised on power, Assad risks all

BEIRUT (Reuters) – His father had a face of stone and a hard glare. He has a mild gaze and a weak chin. But there the dissimilarity ends.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has proved himself as uncompromising as the late Hafez, who ran the Arab republic with an iron fist for 29 years and bequeathed a formidable, police-state dynasty to his son in 2000.

Jun 13, 2012

Russia-America tussle over Syria invokes Cold War

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – The world could slip back into a Cold War over Syria and the sprawling Arab country could break up into two or three warring parts, with unforeseeable consequences for the Middle East, a senior Israeli military commander said.

“Support for (Syrian President Bashar) Assad from Russia and China is taking us back to the Cold War,” he said this week, on condition of anonymity. “The world is not a one-man show.”

Jun 12, 2012

Out of Israel, back to Africa

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – African migrants chosen for deportation from Israel were nervously awaiting a knock on the door or a tap on the shoulder on Tuesday as immigration officials rounded up hundreds for departure flights due to begin at the weekend.

“The people are very tense. It’s pretty traumatic,” said Jacob Berri, a spokesman for the South Sudanese community of migrants, the first to be repatriated under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s emergency plan.