Thanksgiving Holiday Break

November 27th, 2014 No comments

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, beginning a long four-day holiday weekend. As usual on holidays I won’t be doing routine blogging, unless circumstances demand it.  (The big Islamist demonstration in Egypt Friday could prove to be a flashpoint.) Otherwise, I’ll be back Monday.
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In Other Lebanese Diva News, Haifa Wehbe Has Had a Busy Week

November 27th, 2014 No comments

Having started the day with the news of the death of Sabah at age 87, it seems only appropriate to check in with the current generation of celebrity superstar Lebanese divas. Haifa Wehbe has been in the news at least three different ways in the past week or so.


  • Haifa also came under fire for wearing a revealing dress on the competition show Arab Star Academy. Parts of the dress appeared see-through under the bright studio lights. In fact, her strategic areas were opaque and she has worn far more revealing outfits in her concerts and movies, but this program is broadcast across the Arab World and so the dress seemed shocking in countries more socially conservative than Lebanon. (American actresses and entertainers routinely appear on television in more revealing outfits, of course.)

But in true diva style, Haifa Wehbe managed to appear in headlines for three different reasons in under two weeks’ time. A clip of the Arab Star Academy broadcast is below.

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Sidelining the Spoilers

November 26th, 2014 No comments

Colombia is closer than ever to ending its fight with leftist guerrillas. But is it about to let a few rogue actors ruin everything? 
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A Surprising History of Turkey in America

November 26th, 2014 No comments

How do you get from Christopher Columbus to Butterball by way of Constantinople? Just ask Ataturk.
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Brazen, beloved Lebanese singer Sabah dies at 87

November 26th, 2014 No comments

In this Nov. 2011 photo, famous Lebanese singer Sabah speaks to journalists during her birthday in Beirut, Lebanon. Lebanon's official news agency says beloved Lebanese singer and entertainer Sabah has died at the age of 87. (AP Photo/Ahmad Omar)BEIRUT (AP) — Beloved for her powerful voice and brazen in the conservative Arab world for her multiple marriages, Lebanese singer, actress and entertainer Sabah never seemed far from the limelight during her six-decade career.

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Egyptian youths jailed over protests

November 26th, 2014 No comments

A court in Egypt sends 78 boys under the age of 18 to prison for taking part in protests in support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
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Can Burma’s Civil Society Find Its Voice Again?

November 26th, 2014 No comments
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Oil price falls ahead of Opec meeting

November 26th, 2014 No comments

The price of oil has fallen as Opec oil producers prepare for their meeting on Thursday and data shows crude stocks rose last week.
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Russia vows support for Syria’s Assad to combat ‘terrorism’

November 26th, 2014 No comments

By Denis Dyomkin and Gabriela Baczynska SOCHI, Russia/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Wednesday it would support President Bashar al-Assad to combat “terrorism” in the Middle East, indicating there was no new room for compromise on one of the key contentious issues in the Syrian conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held talks with Assad’s foreign minister, Walid al-Moualem, on the Black Sea as part of Moscow’s renewed diplomatic push to restart peace talks on Syria. …
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Where Turkeys Go After They’re Pardoned By the President – ABC News

November 26th, 2014 No comments

ABC News
Where Turkeys Go After They're Pardoned By the President
ABC News
It's a presidential tradition to "pardon" a turkey on the eve of every Thanksgiving — and now we know where the lucky birds go to retire. After the ceremony at the White House, this year's spared turkey will head to Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia. In past …

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