Sub-editor, World Desk, London, London
Peter's Feed
Dec 29, 2012

Syria doomed to “hell” without political deal -envoy

MOSCOW/BEIRUT, Dec 29 (Reuters) – The international mediator
touting a peace plan for Syria warned on Saturday of “hell” if
the warring sides shun talks, and Moscow blamed the foes of
President Bashar al-Assad for refusing to negotiate.

U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said in Moscow that
responsible people inside and outside Syria should “help the
Syrians stop their descent into more and more bloodshed, into
more and more chaos and perhaps a failed state”.

Dec 28, 2012

Syria opposition leader rejects Moscow invitation

ALEPPO PROVINCE, Syria/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria’s opposition leader has rejected an invitation from Russia for peace talks, dealing another blow to international hopes that diplomacy can be resurrected to end a 21-month civil war.

Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s main international protector, said on Friday it had sent an invitation for a visit to Moaz Alkhatib, whose six-week-old National Coalition opposition group has been recognized by most Western and Arab states as the legitimate voice of the Syrian people.

Sep 28, 2012

Libya thwarts planned anti-militia protests

TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI, Libya, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Authorities in
Libya thwarted plans for a huge demonstration against militia in
the capital Tripoli on Friday, while in Benghazi, scene of mass
anti-militia protests last week, supporters of an ousted
Islamist group returned to the streets.

Activists had hoped that a planned demonstration in the
capital would be as successful as a giant anti-militia protest
held in Benghazi last week, but only about 400 protesters turned
up on Friday after the country’s mufti and mosque preachers
warned people not to attend.

Sep 28, 2012

Mosques discourage Libya demos to avert violence

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Mosque preachers told Libyans on Friday to call off planned demonstrations against militia groups out of fear marches could lead to renewed bloodshed.

The mufti of Libya, Sadeq al-Gharyani, said in a statement published by the LANA state news agency that a march called for later on Friday should be halted “because this march will not be secure”.

Sep 19, 2012

Benghazi police mutiny after U.S. Libya envoy killed

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan police in Benghazi have mutinied and refuse to serve under the man appointed by the government to take over security following last week’s storming of the U.S. consulate in which the ambassador and three other Americans were killed.

With no one clearly in charge in Libya’s second city and major oil port, the officer named by the government in Tripoli to replace both Benghazi’s police chief and the deputy interior minister responsible for the eastern region told Reuters that he had asked for the army to be sent in if he could not start work.

Sep 12, 2012

West shocked by US envoy death, Muslims condemn film

Sept 12 (Reuters) – Western countries denounced on Wednesday
the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other
embassy staff by armed attackers, while many Muslim states
focused their condemnation on the anti-Islamic film that
provoked the violence.

In Libya and Egypt, where the U.S. embassy was also attacked
on Tuesday, authorities promised to bring the perpetrators to
justice.

Jun 17, 2012

Greek vote pulls Cyprus from precipice – for now

NICOSIA, June 17 (Reuters) – Greece’s election has pulled
its smaller neighbour Cyprus back from the precipice – for now -
but Nicosia still has urgent work to do to rescue its banking
sector if it is to avoid becoming the next casualty of the euro
zone crisis.

The relief of Cyprus officials was palpable on Sunday night
as results came in from Athens showing conservative Antonis
Samaras had won Sunday’s vote promising to stick to a European
bailout, although the government did not immediately comment.

Jun 15, 2012

Shaky Cyprus teeters between Moscow and Brussels

NICOSIA (Reuters) – From the sharp-suited ‘biznesmeny’ in their black BMWs, to the grocery selling imported vodka and whole smoked whitefish, to its Soviet-educated Communist president, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus speaks with an unmistakable Russian accent.

And as the latest troubled EU nation hurtles towards a seemingly inevitable financial rescue, it finds itself teetering between Moscow and Brussels.

May 24, 2012

Greek burglars cash in as savers flee banks

ATHENS (Reuters) – Andreas and Emilia Karabalis, who are both 80, feared their bank in Greece would collapse, so they withdrew their 80,000 euros ($100,000) savings and stashed it at home for safety.

Days later, the thieves came in the night.

“We were sleeping. The two masked burglars came to our bed and tied us up. They hit us. They robbed us – they didn’t leave anything, it was torture,” said Emilia, who still trembles when she recalls the attack this month on the island of Lefkada.

May 21, 2012

Greek leftist brings message to Europe: “Let’s talk”

ATHENS (Reuters) – The charismatic Greek leftist who could determine the fate of the euro begins a tour of European capitals on Monday carrying a single message: it’s time to talk.

In an interview on the eve of his first visit abroad since his surprise rise in a May 6 election, Alexis Tsipras veered occasionally into the combative rhetoric that has seduced disaffected Greek youth and alarmed Brussels and Berlin.