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Will anxious Arab states soon form a nuclear family?

From Libya to Egypt to fuel-strapped Jordan, Arab countries have signaled their desire to develop nuclear power, even amid a concerted attempt by the United States to tighten the noose around Iran lest it join the nuclear club. These new players are entering a nuclear race in an unstable zone, dominated by two regional powers, …

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Egyptian authorities arrest Palestinian with explosive belt,10 Egyptians over planned anti-Israeli attacks

Associated Press EL-ARISH: A potential Palestinian suicide bomber and 10 Egyptians were arrested in the northern Sinai peninsula, a security official said on Thursday. The Palestinian, identified as Hamid Al-Nador, was detained Tuesday while wearing an explosive belt inside a beach resort in the border city of El-Arish, the security official said speaking on condition …

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Over 30 Kefaya activists arrested during Cairo demonstration

CAIRO: Demonstrations organized by the Kefaya National Movement for Change and opposition parties against proposed constitutional amendments were met with a massive state security sweep in downtown Cairo on Thursday. Over 30 Kefaya activists were detained in protests that began in Tahrir Square and spread through Talat Harb Square, ending with a sit-in of some …

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About time you hit the treadmill

The benefits of exercise in disease prevention A regular exercise regimen goes hand in hand with a healthy diet to maintain health and reach our ideal body weight for our given age, genetic or disease disposition. The benefits of exercise have been extensively studied and it is apparent that being fit is the key to …

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INTERVIEW: Egyptian film mogul plans movie about Al Qaeda

Reuters CAIRO: A leading Egyptian director is preparing to produce a movie about the rise of Al-Qaeda, and he promises to pull no punches in what would probably be the first Arab film about the militant group. Adel Adeeb, head of the Cairo-based film production company Good News for Film and Music, said the movie …

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Europe can do much more for Lebanon

After an absence of more than three years from Damascus, the European Union High Representative Javier Solana met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad this week. Curiously, he did so on March 14, two years after almost 1 million Lebanese assembled in Beirut to protest the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the …

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Turkey Deports Iraqi Asylum Seeker

CAIRO: On Tuesday, the UN Refugee Agency circulated a press release protesting the deportation of a recognized Iraqi refugee by Turkish authorities. Jennifer Pagonis spokesperson for the Office of High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, said in a press conference: UNHCR deeply regrets the refoulement by Turkey of an Iraqi refugee on March 3. The …

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US stokes new hope of free trade deal with Egypt

Reuters WASHINGTON: US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said on Thursday he believed Egypt and the United States were destined to negotiate a free trade agreement, reviving hopes of a deal dashed many times. It really comes down to a matter of timing – when is the right time? It s not if, it s when, …

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Stop surfing, make friends, Indian students told

Reuters MUMBAI: One of India s top engineering schools has restricted Internet access in its hostels, saying addiction to surfing, gaming and blogging was affecting students performance, making them reclusive and even suicidal. Authorities at the elite Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai said students had stopped socializing and many were late for morning …

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Washington is learning that not every problem is a nail

What comes after Iraq? If President George W. Bush’s current troop “surge fails to produce an outcome that can be called “victory, what lessons will the United States draw for its future foreign policy? Will it turn inward, as it did after its defeat in Vietnam three decades ago? Will it turn from promoting democracy …

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The Arab order has no means to manage failed states

In an interview published last fall, King Abdullah II of Jordan warned against the eruption of civil war in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. Indeed, civil war remains a threat in three out of the five Arab countries in the eastern Mediterranean. Political developments in these countries during the past few months have demonstrated the fragility …

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Burying democracy further in Egypt

The Mubarak regime in Egypt is staging a major crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s main Islamist opposition movement and largest opposition group. About 300 Brotherhood members have been detained over the last three months under accusations of money laundering and terrorism, in addition to the usual charge of belonging to a banned organization. …

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Use traditional values more in rebuilding broken states

I began my career as a Foreign Service officer in Indonesia. There, journalists, diplomats and aid workers emphasized that local government was “incompetent, inefficient and corrupt. I heard the same when working in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. My colleagues often seemed contemptuous of the nations where they served. They overlooked the cultures’ virtues and …

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Voice of change grows louder in Zimbabwe

An era of increased democratization and political accountability is sweeping across the African continent. With deteriorating economic conditions, growing external support from the Diaspora and international pressure from Western governments and donors for political reform, Zimbabweans are following suit in finally heeding the call for democratic change in their beleaguered country. There are unprecedented signs …

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Iraqi refugee crisis moves to Europe

CAIRO: In Europe, Iraqi applications for asylum have doubled over the past three years. But European countries have not offered much refuge, with one big exception: Sweden. In 2006 almost 9,000 Iraqis applied for asylum in the rich Scandinavian country. It was triple what they were expecting, and more than 40 percent of all Iraqi …

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Hamas says it identifies kidnappers of BBC TV reporter

Associated Press GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: The Hamas-led Palestinian government on Tuesday said it has identified the kidnappers of a BBC journalist and hopes to free him soon. Palestinian security services in Gaza were on Wednesday checking information that could lead to the whereabouts of a BBC correspondent who was abducted two days ago, officials …

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Radio Cairo, Unicef launch initiative to support street children

CAIRO: The plight of Egypt s growing numbers of street children is the subject of an initiative being launched this week by Radio Cairo and Unicef Egypt. “Sizzling Sounds – a radio program aired from 4-6 pm (Sunday through Thursday) on the European Program (FM 95.6) – is devoting part of the program to the …

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Egyptian opposition rejects constitutional amendments

Associated Press CAIRO: Egypt s largest Islamist opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other opposition lawmakers on Monday rejected controversial constitutional amendments demanded by the president. The lawmakers said they do not plan to attend an upcoming Parliament voting session and called Egyptians to boycott next month s planned referendum on the amendments, according to …

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Ending the Iraq strife

For a US representative to actually sit at the same table with the Iranian and Syrian delegates during the regional conference held in Bagdad on March 10, is in itself, an important development. The next such meeting, scheduled for early April at the foreign ministerial level, offers the Bush administration a tremendous opportunity to go …

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Balancing Israel's barrier with the Palestinians' fabric of life

The idea of a separation barrier between Israel and the Palestinians, including a “separation fence, was first broached during the premiership of Yitzhak Rabin and again under Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, but remained dormant. Increased suicide bombings during Ariel Sharon’s tenure generated public and political pressure to build a fence that would …

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Europe finds a new passion: cocaine, a 'drug for winners'

European leaders need to get serious about Europe’s cocaine problem. The “white lady is seducing a steadily growing number of Europeans, and remaining in a state of denial will only worsen the consequences. Cocaine used to be America’s problem, to the point that the United States started a major campaign against sellers and consumers of …

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There is no ignoring the new Middle East state system

With the language of multiple and inter-related crises dominating descriptions of the Middle East, it is easy to believe that the Arab state is fragmenting into fiefdoms, sectarian strife and trans-nationally inspired chaos. Yet of the 22 member states of the Arab League, only three – Sudan, Iraq and Lebanon – show signs of current …

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The Gulf states consider nuclear energy

How far away are the Gulf states from engaging in a nuclear race in the Middle East? This is a legitimate question given the decision in December 2006 by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to establish a nuclear research program. Up to that point, the GCC states had never seriously considered the use of …

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The real meaning of the Mecca agreement

In the month since the agreement reached in Mecca between Fatah and Hamas, the implications for Palestine and the region have become increasingly apparent. The “Mecca agreement may have registered in the international media mainly for its role in the formation of a Palestinian national-unity government after many torments and trials; but the significance of …

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Nationality: Unclear

The Media Line Ltd. They regard Bashar Al-Asad as their leader; they hang Syrian flags in their homes; their mother tongue is Arabic, and they see Israel as an occupying nation. They are the Druze community, and they live in the Israeli-held Golan Heights. For the past 25 years the Druze community in the Golan …

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Dire forecast for the fate of Iraqi refugees

CAIRO: The US department of public diplomacy and public affairs recently announced that the United States will accept 7,000 Iraqi refugees who will be screened and approved this year by the office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The announcement comes amid growing discontent at the Bush administration’s lack of attention to …

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Egypt hits back at United States over human rights

CAIRO: Egypt said on Saturday that the United States had no right to set itself up as a global guardian of human rights and rejected Washington s criticism of Cairo s record, saying it was based on inaccurate information. The US State Department, in an annual report, cited Egypt as one of several countries where …

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