Syrian rebels’ indiscriminate bombardment of Damascus and Latakia: How HRW Kenneth Roth responds

January 27th, 2015 No comments
As many Syrians on social media predicated, US media had not one word about the indiscriminate bombardment by Saudi-financed Syrian (m0derate, of course) rebels of Damascus and Latakia.  No worse, look how the director of Human Rights Watch reacted on Twitter: “Assad’s slaughter of civilians is no excuse for rebels to fire indiscriminately on Damascus.”  He always qualifies any mild criticism of the rebels and he sounds always as if he is affectionately chiding his comrade-in-arms.  So even if he wants to point out a war crime by the rebels, the focus is always on the regime.  Kenneth Roth would be a good spokesperson for the US government.  He never deviates from the talking points.

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Toles

January 27th, 2015 No comments
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Stasi versus US security agencies

January 27th, 2015 No comments
It is often said that the East German’s totalitarian hold was unprecedented because Stasi had files about some third of all citizens. Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t US security and “justice” agencies hold files over far more than a third of all citizens and visitors in the US?

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Obama defends US ties as he pays respects in Saudi Arabia

January 27th, 2015 No comments

President Barack Obama meets with the new Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. The president and first lady have come to express their condolences on the death of the late Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — President Barack Obama defended the U.S. government's willingness to cooperate closely with Saudi Arabia on national security despite deep concerns over human rights abuses, as he joined an array of current and former American statesmen Tuesday in paying respects following the death of King Abdullah.

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Obama in Saudi Arabia for talks with new king

January 27th, 2015 No comments

New Saudi king Salman (R) talks to US President Barack Obama at the Erga Palace in the capital Riyadh on January 27, 2015US President Barack Obama flew in to Saudi Arabia Tuesday, leading a heavyweight delegation to meet new King Salman and shore up ties that have suffered in recent years. "I believe it is important that we demonstrate to the Saudis the importance that they represent to us," said James Baker, secretary of state during the first Gulf War against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Obama and his 29-member delegation arrived for a four-hour stop from India where he cut short a state visit after the death of Salman's predecessor, King Abdullah, on Friday. In contrast to Saudi women, required to dress head-to-toe in black, Michelle Obama wore dark slacks and a blue top with her hair uncovered.

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Audrey Tautou, Matthew Weiner among Berlin film fest jury

January 27th, 2015 No comments

Dieter Kosslick director of the International Film Festival Berlin, the Berlinale, holds a copy of a 65 years old Golden Bear award certificate as he poses for the media prior to the annual program press conference in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. The 65. Berlinale will take place in the German capital from Thursday, Feb. 5, until Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015.(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)BERLIN (AP) — "Amelie" actress Audrey Tautou and "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner are among the seven jury members for this year's Berlin Film Festival, which will be led by director Darren Aronofsky, organizers said Tuesday.

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Militants attack top Libya hotel

January 27th, 2015 No comments

Militants attack a hotel popular with foreigners in Libya’s capital Tripoli, killing at least three people and injuring 12 others, officials say.
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Obama visits new Saudi King Salman

January 27th, 2015 No comments

US President Barack Obama cuts short an India trip to lead a bipartisan delegation to Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah.
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Symposium at Berlin State Library

January 27th, 2015 No comments


Johann Gottfried Wetzstein (1815 – 1905)

by Christoph Rauch, H-Net

Arabic manuscripts and Oriental studies: Symposium on the occasion of the 200th birthday of Johann Gottfried Wetzstein.

The international symposium “Studies on Johann Gottfried Wetzstein (1815-1905): Manuscripts, Politics and Oriental Studies” will be held at Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin from 19th to 21st February 2015. (Venue: Potsdamer Strasse 33, 10785 Berlin)

The symposium will be inaugurated Thursday, 19th February 2015, 6:00 PM with a keynote lecture by François Déroche (Paris): “The Qur’anic collections acquired by Wetzstein”; and a musical-literary program by Claudia Ott and her ensemble. Furthermore, some original documents and manuscripts related to Wetzstein will be exhibited at the opening.

If you plan to attend the conference please register before 31st January at the secretary of the Oriental Department, Mrs. Muenchow, orientabt@sbb.spk-berlin.de.

The symposium is generously supported by the Fritz Thyssen-Stiftung and the Verein der Freunde der Staatsbibliothek e.V.; and is organized in cooperation with the Oriental Institute of Leipzig University.

Here is the list of contributions in alphabetical order:

Ibrahim Akel (Paris), Wetzstein in Arabic sources and remarks on some manuscripts from his collections

Kaoukab Chebaro and Samar El Mikati El Kaissi (Beirut), Manuscript ownership and readership at the American University of Beirut at the turn of the 20th century

Alba Fedeli (Cambridge), Tischendorf and the Mingana Collection: Manuscript acquisition and Qur’?nic Studies

Ludmilla Hanisch (Berlin), Semitic studies at the University of Berlin during Wetzstein’s lifetime.

Michaela Hoffmann-Ruf (Bonn), The Wetzstein collection at Tuebingen University Library – its history, its content and its reception in Oriental Studies

Ingeborg Huhn (Berlin), Some remarks concerning the official correspondence of Johann Gottfried Wetzstein

Robert Irwin (London), The Arabist and Consul in Damascus Sir Richard Burton and the problematic nature of his translation of The Thousand and One Nights

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Obama Leading a High-Powered Delegation to Saudi Arabia – New York Times

January 27th, 2015 No comments

Business Recorder
Obama Leading a High-Powered Delegation to Saudi Arabia
New York Times
NEW DELHI — President Obama left here on Tuesday after a three-day visit to India and headed to Saudi Arabia, where he and a bipartisan delegation of prominent current and former officials will offer condolences for the death of King Abdullah and pay …
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