Detailed Lebanese & Lebanese Related LCCC English New Bulletin For November 03/2018
Compiled & Prepared by: Elias Bejjani

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Bible Quotations
 If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless
Letter of James 01/19-27:"You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act they will be blessed in their doing. If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

نشرات اخبار عربية وانكليزية مطولة ومفصلة يومية على موقعنا الألكتروني على الرابط التالي

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Titles For The Latest LCCC Bulletin analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources published on November 02-03/18
Iran Ally Hezbollah Pays Syrian Rebels to Switch Sides/Sune Engel Rasmussen in Beirut and Suha Ma’ayeh in Amman, Jordan/The Wall Street Journal/November 02/18
Seven killed in attack on Coptic Christian bus in Egypt/Arab News/November 02/18
Israel takes part in US-led exercise in Ukraine against S-300s, hooks up with US-Kiev ties/
DebkaFile/November 02/18
Protests in Pakistan Delay Release of Christian Woman/Associated Press/November 02/18
Asia Bibi: anti-blasphemy protests spread across Pakistan/The Guardian/November 02/18
UK: Terror Investigations an "Inconvenience"/Judith Bergman/Gatestone Institute/November 02/18
Opinion/Why Israel Will End Up Facing Iran Alone/Chuck Freilich/Haaretz/November 02/18
There’s a Reason Scientists Keep Talking About Race, Gender/Faye Flam/Bloomberg/November 02/18
Afghan Elections: Good News Amid Pessimism/Amir Taheri/Asharq Al-Awsat/November 02/18
The season of honesty: Jamal in Yemen/Mashari Althaydi/Al Arabiya/November 02/18
Sanctions on Iran may be tricky to enforce/Dr. Theodore Karasik/Arab News/November 02/18
Opportunities abound should Israel and Gulf nations cooperate/Ellen R. Wald/Arab News/November 02/18
Will US force through a long-awaited end to the conflict in Syria/Fahad Nazer/Arab News/November 02/18

Titles For The Latest LCCC Lebanese Related News published on November 02-03/18
Israel Asked France to Warn Lebanon Over Hezbollah Missile Factories
Lebanon Government Crisis Strains Aoun-Hezbollah Ties
Aoun Meets Fosher Who Affirms 'Continued' Support for Lebanon
Aoun follows up on government formation, tackles agricultural, cultural affairs
Report: Aoun in ‘Confrontation’ with Hizbullah over Representing March 8 Sunnis
Hariri condemns terrorist attack in Egypt: We stand by our people in Egypt and all Arab countries in face of terrorism
March 8 Sunni MPs Reject Naming Minister Not Belonging to ‘Bloc’
Saudi Envoy Lauds Lebanese Condemnation of Ayyoub's Editorial
Iran Ambassador Meets Franjieh, Hopes for Quick Govt. Formation
Turkish Ship with 980 Kgs of Hashish Seized before Leaving Tripoli
President of the Lebanese Kataeb Party, MP Sami Gemayel, Bogdanov discuss displaced persons dossier, region's updates
Ambassador of Iran meets Frangieh: We hope to witness swift birth of new government
Bukhari to visiting delegation in solidarity with Kingdom: What happened did not reflect ethics of Lebanese media
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom: A 60year anniversary with a holistic and progressive approach
Rampling visits Beirut Port, plants tree in memory of Rebecca Dykes
Kataeb MP Nadim Gemayel : Current Presidential Term Can't Be Described as 'Strong'
Electricity Crisis to Exacerbate if Fuel Funds Not Transferred to EDL
Riachy representing Hariri at Symposium to end impunity for crimes against journalists: To refer their case to Security Council
Iran Ally Hezbollah Pays Syrian Rebels to Switch Sides
Sune Engel Rasmussen in Beirut and Suha Ma’ayeh in Amman, Jordan

Titles For The Latest LCCC Bulletin For Miscellaneous Reports And News published on November 02-03/18
Seven killed in attack on Coptic Christian bus in Egypt/Arab News/November 02/18
Egypt: Attack on Bus Bound for Coptic Monastery Causes Casualties
U.S. Adds 700 Persons to Iran Sanctions List, Exempts 8 Nations from Oil Sanctions
Israel takes part in US-led exercise in Ukraine against S-300s, hooks up with US-Kiev ties
US re-imposes all Iran sanctions lifted under nuclear deal
Pompeo: Sanctions on Khashoggi Killers Weeks Away
Scandinavian Countries Pledge to Face Iranian Threats
IMF Expects Decline of Iran’s Economic Growth After Application of Sanctions
Tensions Spike in Indian Kashmir District after Politician Killed
Iraq Secures its Borders with Syria
President-elect Says Brazil to Move Embassy to Jerusalem
Man Pleads Guilty in US to Fighting in Syria
Father of Taliban’ Mullah Sami ul-Haq stabbed to death in Pakistani city

The Latest LCCC Lebanese Related News published on November 02-03/18
Israel Asked France to Warn Lebanon Over Hezbollah Missile Factories 02nd November 2018/Israel asked France to convey a message to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, warning that it will take military action if Lebanon's government fails to do anything regarding Hezbollah missile factories, Israeli Channel 10 news reported on Thursday.
The message was conveyed by Israel's Deputy National Security Adviser Eitan Ben-David during a meeting held earlier this week in Jerusalem with Orléan la-Chevalier, a top adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron. “The Lebanese government needs to be careful about Hezbollah’s missile factories. If Lebanon’s government doesn't deal with this issue through political means, Israel will act on its own,” the report quoted an unnamed Western official.
Lebanon Government Crisis Strains Aoun-Hezbollah Ties
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 2 November, 2018/Obstacles hindering the formation of the new government have become a source of dispute between “Hezbollah” and President Michel Aoun, who said on Wednesday night that the independent Sunni deputies demanding a cabinet seat “do not form a bloc."Through his announcement, Aoun indirectly backed the stance of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, who has refused to sign a decree forming the government if it includes a Sunni representative from the March 8 (Hezbollah’s allies) coalition. Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat Thursday that there have been ongoing efforts to remove the “Sunni obstacle.”However, the sources said there was still no direct contact between Hezbollah and Aoun following his announcement on the independent Sunni deputies’ representation. "These are individuals who have recently come together to formulate claims. How would they be represented in the government when they each have a different political affiliation,” Aoun said when asked by journalists about the issue. Hezbollah did not comment on the president’s position. “Things would remain complicated if Hezbollah has decided to make things worse. But, if the party wants to facilitate the government formation, it will easily find a way out,” the sources said. Amid the ongoing cabinet crisis, Hariri traveled to Paris on Thursday, his press office said, without offering any details about the latest developments on the government formation process. Hariri has been for months trying to come up with a lineup but political parties have been locked in dispute over the makeup of the future government.

Aoun Meets Fosher Who Affirms 'Continued' Support for Lebanon
Naharnet/October 02/18/President Michel Aoun received at the Baabda Palace on Friday, French Ambassador Bruno Foucher where talks highlighted the latest domestic and regional developments, and bilateral relations between Lebanon and France. Foucher assured France’s support for Lebanon "until it is able to overcome the challenges ahead." Discussions touched on the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron expected in February, and on going preparations for implementing decisions of the CEDRE support conference for Lebanon. Foucher affirmed that France will continue to “back Lebanon to overcome the difficulties it is facing at more than one level.”

Aoun follows up on government formation, tackles agricultural, cultural affairs
NNA/Friday 02nd November 2018/President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, tackled this Friday the latest developments in terms of forming the new government, especially after the positions he announced in the media dialogue he held on Wednesday, marking his two years in office.
President Aoun welcomed at the Baabda Palace the President of the ICARDA International Organization for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas, Ms. Margaret Taltowitz, along with a delegation comprising the representative of Lebanon to the FAO Board of Trustees and the Director General of the Scientific and Agricultural Research Department, Dr. Michel Afram, as well as members from Egypt, Norway, the United States, Britain, India, Syria, the Netherlands and Jordan and the Organization's Director-General, Ali Abu-Saba. Taltowitz expressed her happiness at her presence in Lebanon, explaining the tasks of the organization, "which was established in 1977 and is based in Terbol - Bekaa," briefing the president on the "research done to help farmers, improve their working conditions and promote agricultural crops."She also praised "the existing cooperation between FAO and the Agricultural Scientific Research Service, and their joint activities."The President of the Republic stressed the importance of "cooperation between Lebanon and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), which dates back to 1977," he said, wishing success for the board of trustees meeting. He also uttered "readiness to provide the required facilitation to the headquarters of the Organization in Lebanon," commending "the organization's efforts since 1977 to improve the quality and productivity of agricultural crops (within the Terbol station affiliated with the Research Department)." "We seek to render the Lebanese economy one that is based on productive sectors under the National Economic Plan (McKinsey), whose results will be reflected on various economic, social and living aspects. We see the possibility of exploiting your efforts to help implement the McKinsey recommendations in the agricultural sector," he told his guests. On a different note, President Aoun met with the Secretary General of the Tashnaq Party, MP Hagop Pakradonian, and a delegation of the Committee to honor the late French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour. The delegation asked President Aoun to sponsor the celebration which will be held on November 15 and 16 at Saint Joseph's Cathedral in Mono - Achrafieh, in honor of the late singer who died on the eve of the Francophone Summit which took place in Yerevan, Armenia on October 10. President Aoun commended the initiative of the committee to honor Charles Aznavour, praising the "artistic and cultural achievements he made during his lifetime."
Report: Aoun in ‘Confrontation’ with Hizbullah over Representing March 8 Sunnis
Naharnet/October 02/18/A new obstacle of the representation of so-called independent Sunni MPs delaying the formation of the government, has triggered a “difference” between Hizbullah and President Michel Aoun after the latter’s declaration that the demand was “not righteous,” the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat daily reported on Friday. Since Aoun’s latest remarks about said MPs, no meetings were recorded between him and Hizbullah, said the sources following up on the government formation process. They said discussions aiming to find a solution for the hurdle were ongoing but without recording any progress in that regard, noting that Aoun and Hizbullah have not met since Wednesday. On Wednesday, when Aoun was asked about the emergence of the so-called Sunni representation hurdle as the new cabinet was on the verge of formation, the president said: “The obstacles are unjustified and using delay as a political tactic undermines the national strategy that we are in dire need for.”Hizbullah has thrown its weight behind the MPs' demand and refrained from providing Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri with the names of its own ministers in a bid to press him to accept giving a seat to the aforementioned Sunni grouping. “Aoun’s position must not affect his relations with Hizbullah,” said the sources, noting that the President has defended the party and rejected accusations of terrorism against it. The new cabinet was on the verge of formation on Monday after the Lebanese Forces accepted the portfolios that were assigned to it but a last-minute hurdle over the representation of Sunni MPs has surfaced.

Hariri condemns terrorist attack in Egypt: We stand by our people in Egypt and all Arab countries in face of terrorism

Fri 02 Nov 2018/NNA - "We condemn the criminal terrorist attack on a bus on its way to the monastery of Anba Samuel, which resulted in the fall of innocent victims. We stand by our people in Egypt and all the Arab countries in the face of terrorism," said PM-designate Saad Hariri via Twitter.

March 8 Sunni MPs Reject Naming Minister Not Belonging to ‘Bloc’

Naharnet/October 02/18/The Consultative Sunni Gathering refused suggestions to allocate a ministerial portfolio to a Sunni figure not belonging to their group, as efforts continue to resolve the government formation delay, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday. The so-called independent Sunni MPs comprised of six lawmakers, said they “insist” one of them be represented, arguing that the “height of popularity” was given to all six of them. Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil has reportedly carried a proposal from President Michel Aoun to Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on naming a Sunni minister not provocative to Hariri from the President's share in a bid to solve the new hurdle. After six-month of delay, the new cabinet was on the verge of formation early this week after the Lebanese Forces accepted the portfolios that were assigned to it but a last-minute hurdle over the representation of the so-called independent Sunni MPs has surfaced. Hizbullah has backed the MPs' demand and refrained from providing Hariri with the names of its own ministers in a bid to press him to accept giving a seat to the aforementioned Sunni grouping.

Saudi Envoy Lauds Lebanese Condemnation of Ayyoub's Editorial

Naharnet/October 02/18/Saudi Charge d’Affaires in Lebanon Walid Bukhari on Friday hailed Lebanese officials, journalists, opinion leaders and citizens for condemning an editorial in ad-Diyar newspaper that carried insults against him and against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Lebanese people “are the people of the kingdom and its friends,” Bukhari said to a delegation comprising civil society groups, independent figures, businessmen, engineers, physicians, lawyers, clerics and politicians, which visited him at the embassy to deplore the article written by Charles Ayyoub, ad-Diyar’s publisher and managing editor. Bukhari said the editorial “does not reflect the ethics of all media outlets in Lebanon,” noting that “all attempts to question the kingdom’s role and leadership in the region have failed.” The envoy thanked President Michel Aoun, pointing out that “from the very beginning, he focused on taking all the legal measures in a decisive way.” Bukhari also thanked Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri “who expressed his condemnation and took the necessary legal measures.”“The kingdom will not allow such subservient writers to affect the relation between the two countries,” the charge d’affaires added.
“All components of the Lebanese society have expressed their condemnation and I will never forget this stance,” he went on to say. Caretaker Justice Minister Salim Jreissati on Tuesday filed a court case against Ayyoub, accusing him of harming Lebanon's relations with Saudi Arabia. Ayyoub wrote a column blaming the Saudi crown prince for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the deaths of civilians in Yemen. He called on Bukhari to leave Lebanon, and used the terms "dogs" and "pigs" 22 times in describing the two Saudi officials. Jreissati asked the prosecutor general to initiate proceedings against ad-Diyar, saying the article violated Lebanese law and endangered the country. Saudi Arabia is closely allied with one of Lebanon's main political blocs and has provided extensive financial aid to the country.

Iran Ambassador Meets Franjieh, Hopes for Quick Govt. Formation
Naharnet/October 02/18/Iran’s new ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad-Jalal Firouznia on Friday held talks in Bnashii with Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh. “We hope to witness a quick formation of the new Lebanese government,” the ambassador said after the meeting. “We are fully confident that as the new Lebanese government begins its work, we will all witness a new phase involving further cooperation between Lebanon and Iran in all fields,” Firouznia added.

Turkish Ship with 980 Kgs of Hashish Seized before Leaving Tripoli
Naharnet/October 02/18/Lebanese authorities on Thursday foiled an attempt to smuggle hundreds of kilograms of hashish out of the country. The National News Agency said Lebanese customs agents stopped the ship and prevented it from sailing out of Tripoli's port in northern Lebanon. The agency said the Turkish ship was carrying around 980 kilograms of cannabis.

President of the Lebanese Kataeb Party, MP Sami Gemayel, Bogdanov discuss displaced persons dossier, region's updates
Fri 02 Nov 2018/NNA - President of the Lebanese Kataeb Party, MP Sami Gemayel, pursues his official visit to Moscow, meeting in this context with the Special Envoy of the Russian President to the Middle East and African countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. Discussions touched on the most heated files on the Lebanese arena and the need to protect Lebanon from the repercussions of the regional turmoil, and help the State rise and play its role so as to prevent the collapse of the country. Gemayel praised the role played by Moscow in this context. Talks also dealt with "the file of the displaced persons, especially as the Kataeb were the first to put forward the subject of Russia's role as a key factor in the return of Syrian refugees to their country, which allows it [Russia] to be an active mediator on this level." There was an agreement on going through with this file, regardless of the fate of the political process in Syria, in order to lift the heavy burden weighing on Lebanon. Gemayel and the accompanying delegation also visited the Russian State Duma where he met with the officials concerned with the Middle East dossier and tackled with them "the situation of Christians in the East, the need to protect their presence within the framework of international legitimacy and to strengthen their role away from the game of axes and alliances that could pose a danger on their presence."

Ambassador of Iran meets Frangieh: We hope to witness swift birth of new government
Fri 02 Nov 2018/NNA - Marada movement leader, Sleiman Frangieh, received on Fridat at his Bnashii residence the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, Muhammad Jalal Firouznia, on top of a delegation. The meeting was attended by caretaker Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Youssef Fenianos, MP Tony Frangieh and Antoine Merheb, with talks touching on the latest developments. The ambassador hoped "we will witness swift birth of the new Lebanese government. We are confident that, with the start of the new Lebanese government's work, we will all witness a new phase of further cooperation between Lebanon and Iran in various fields." Responding to a question, the diplomat said "we believe that the Americans have chosen the wrong path. Since the Americans have solely withdrawn from the nuclear deal, we say that they chose the wrong path, and unfortunately they are continuing to follow this path.""The sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran are unjust and illegal, and they certainly will not reach any result. (...) There were many attempts to besiege Iran, but all those attempts have proven fruitless. We hope the United States would cease to adopt such wrongful and unfair policies against the countries and peoples of the region," he concluded.

Bukhari to visiting delegation in solidarity with Kingdom: What happened did not reflect ethics of Lebanese media

Fri 02 Nov 2018/NNA - Saudi Minister Plenipotentiary Charge d'Affaires Walid al-Bukhari, on Friday welcomed at the Saudi Embassy in Beirut a delegation of the civil organizations and independent figures from the various Lebanese regions, who paid him a solidarity visit in light of the recent front-page editorial published in "Ad-Diyar" newspaper. The delegation comprised businessmen, religious scholars, doctors, engineers, lawyers and politicians, who came to voice solidarity with the Kingdom. Speaking to the visiting delegation, Bukhari underlined that what happened did not reflect the ethics of the Lebanese media, stressing that attempts to raise doubts about the role of the Kingdom and its leadership in the region have failed. "The Kingdom will not allow 'paid' journalists to disrupt our relations," Bukhari corroborated, pointing out that all segments of the Lebanese society have deplored this act as an unusual phenomena in the Lebanese media. Bukhari thanked all the Lebanese officials, notably President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, for condemning what happened and taking the necessary legal measures in this regard. Bukhari also hailed the scores of phone calls the Embassy received in condemnation of what has happened.

Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom: A 60year anniversary with a holistic and progressive approach
Fri 02 Nov 2018/NNA - The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) is celebrating worldwide this year its 60th anniversary. On Thursday November 8, FNF Lebanon and Syria, will be celebrating at STATION, Jisr El Wati, the 60th anniversary with three major events under one banner "The Three 60 Day" to showcase their ideas and to reflect, engage and celebrate in the spirit in which FNF is operating in Lebanon. "The Three 60 Day" symbolizes not only 3 events and 60 Years, but it also stands for the holistic, progressive and digital approach the foundation adheres to in its activities. The celebration day will start with the "Beirut Market Economy Forum 2018" under the topic "Is corruption a social behaviour or an outcome of political and economic defect?". It is the grand final of the "Freedom Academy", an annual FNF academy that brings together Youth from the Liberal political parties in Lebanon to discuss Liberal issues within the fields of politics and economy. Under the patronage of the Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Nouhad Machnouk, follows a second discussion panel themed "Rights Keepers" to raise the issue of Human Rights and Security and to answer questions such as: "How can Human Rights and Security meet? How can Human Rights international standards feed national insecurities?" One of the objectives of this panel is to shed the light on the Internal Security Forces new strategy in which the police forces are no longer perceived as Security Keepers but rather as "Rights Keepers". A celebratory reception and party - starting 7:00 pm until the early morning hours - will close the day. FNF Lebanon and Syria will bring the Berlin experience to Beirut with a Berlin-style exhibition of the foundation's work and music by DJ Marc Pick from Berlin. The celebration will be in the spirit in which FNF is operating in Lebanon for some years now: Innovative, open, enthusiastic and creative. The evening will start with an official reception hosted by the Lebanese actor and TV presenter Tony Abou Jaoudeh. Registration to the "The Three 360 Day" can be done through with a chance to win a trip to Germany.

Rampling visits Beirut Port, plants tree in memory of Rebecca Dykes
Fri 02 Nov 2018/NNA - British Ambassador to Lebanon, Chris Rampling, visited this morning the port of Beirut, where he had firsthand look at the ongoing work and operations in said port. Ambassador Rampling was greeted by Beirut Port Board Chairman, General Director, Hassan Koraytem, and the Chairman of BCTC Company running the container terminal in cooperation with a British company, Ziad Kanaan. Koraytem briefed Rampling on the future projects to be implemented at the port of Beirut. Discussions also covered the container terminal which rendered the port of Beirut a pivotal hub in the region. The UK Ambassador also inspected the container terminal and met with its Board Chairman Ziad Kanaan, in the presence of Operations' Director. At the conclusion of the visit, Rampling planted in the courtyard of the terminal an olive tree on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth's birthday and a cedar tree in memory of the late Rebecca Dykes.

Kataeb MP Nadim Gemayel : Current Presidential Term Can't Be Described as 'Strong' 02nd November 2018/Kataeb MP Nadim Gemayel said that the current presidential term cannot be described as "strong", the failure to form a government and the significant economic decline facing the country. Speaking to the Kataeb website, Gemayel stressed that the approval of a new voting system and the state budget cannot be considered as criteria to describe the presidential term as successful. "Let them explain to us how this term is strong and successful. A strong presidential term is the one that places Lebanon on the global map, not the one that puts it on the ranking lists related to pollution, diseases and economic failure," he said. "We want a state that is really strong, not one that is weakened by the statelet or one that exercises its hegemony over a certain political group in the country."Gemayel accused Hezbollah of hindering the government formation in order to serve its own interests and impose its agenda, stressing that the party has full control over the ruling authority and the state institutions.

Electricity Crisis to Exacerbate if Fuel Funds Not Transferred to EDL 02nd November 2018/Lebanon's electricity crisis is expected to exacerbate as rationing hours will increase due to the ongoing failure to transfer the funds allocated to Electricite du Liban (EDL) to buy the quantity of fuel needed to ensure power supply until the end of the year. A decree allocating a sum of LBP 642 billion ($428 million) to EDL to purchase fuel and gasoil was published in the official Gazette in mid-October. The decree was signed by the president, caretaker prime minister, as well as caretaker ministers of energy and finance. An EDL source told The Daily Star newspaper on Friday that the energy supply had already been tapered off by more than 200 megawatts, or about 10 percent of Lebanon’s total energy capacity, as part of precautionary measures taken by EDL in light of its dwindling fuel reserves. Beirut has continued to enjoy 21 hours of state-supplied electricity a day, the source said, while the rest of the country has seen large decreases in recent days.Local newspapers reported on Thursday that the Finance Ministry has abstained from transferring the above-mentioned sum, arguing that such a disbursement requires a law to be ratified by the Parliament. Consequently, EDL has reconsidered its rationing schedule, being compelled to hike power outages in a way that the available stock of fuel would suffice until the end of 2018. Al-Joumhouria newspaper quoted an EDL source as saying that rationing will increase gradually as the power supply will be no more than 4 hours/day.
"If this problem is not solved within ten days, EDL will be forced to further reduce power supply down to 2 to 3 hours/day," the source warned. LBCI channel also quoted EDL sources as saying that the power plants of Al-Harisheh, Zouk and Jiyyeh might stop generating power if the needed funds are not disbursed in the coming few days.

Riachy representing Hariri at Symposium to end impunity for crimes against journalists: To refer their case to Security Council
Fri 02 Nov 2018/NNA - Under the patronage of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri represented by Caretaker Information Minister Melhem Riachy, the UNESCO Regional Beirut Office in cooperation with the Information Ministry organized a symposium entitled "Enhancing Regional Cooperation to End Impunity for Crimes and Attacks against Journalists in the Arab world" at the Coral Beach Hotel in Beirut. The Symposium coincides with the International Day for Ending Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. The symposium was attended by former MP Ghassan Moukheiber, Director of UNESCO's Beirut Office Hamed Bin Seif Al Hammami, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Sector at UNESCO, Moez Chakchouk, Col. Joseph Mousallem of the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, Judge Maroun Zakhour of the Ministry of Justice, National News Agency Director Laure Sleiman Saab, and representatives of the judicial and security corps in Lebanon. The symposium was also attended by scores of journalists from Lebanon and across the globe. Opening up the session had been with the Lebanese national anthem, followed by a word by the renowned Media figure, Najat Charafeddine, who pointed out that 1010 journalists have been killed between 2006-2017, that is the average of the death of one journalist every four days.
In his delivered word, Al Hammami underlined that the safety of journalists is one of the priorities of UNESCO, represented by the communications and information sector in particular. He said this regional symposium in Beirut comes to strengthen cooperation among the effective sides, including the political authorities, national human rights commissions, judicial bodies, civil society organizations, journalists and professional associations throughout the entire region to put an end to impunity for crimes against journalists. Chakchouk, for his part, thanked the Lebanese authorities for their fruitful cooperation in preparing for this symposium, extending thanks to the Information Ministry for its continuous support for UNESCO activities. He regrettably pointed out that the list of journalists being killed is long, underscoring the dire need that journalists be able to perform their duties safely and without any fear or intimidation.
Minister Riachy, in turn, thanked the UNESCO Organization for its work to ensure the success of this symposium and to promote the free presence of journalists and media figures in the Arab world. Riachy underlined the paramount importance of freedom and free speech for the realization of progress in the Arab world, saying the presence of freedom and free speech ensures genuine interaction amongst each other. The Minister called for raising the level of defending the word and freedom, as well as media and journalists in this world, saying "the use of violence against journalists is akin to the use of chemical weapons against people."
"We must deal with this fact," Riachy corroborated, calling for referring the case of journalists to the Security Council. Riachy stressed the need to defend journalists and end impunity for crimes or attacks perpetrated against them. "Media is the court of public opinion," Riachy maintained, saying some fear such a sort of court. e underscored that free word shall remain a right to all individuals and peoples without exception. He concluded by saying: "I salute your conference, and I hope that it will come out with useful recommendations for all of us, for Lebanon, for the entire Arab world and for the world."
He also hoped that the Symposium would witness testimonies on the importance of freedom of opinion and defending and preserving this freedom, to build a better society. The Minister paid tribute to all the fallen press martyrs in the Arab world and in Lebanon in particular. In the wake of the inaugural session, four panel discussions were held, entitled: "Journalists from Witnesses to Victims in Times of Conflict", "The fight against Impunity in Lebanon: A Review of Achievements and challenges", "Achieving justice in Conflict Zones Now and Tomorrow" and the fourth "Future Course of Action, including Prevention, Awareness and Capacity building." At the conclusion of the symposium, conferees adopted a series of recommendations, calling for the endorsement of legislations to deter criminal acts against journalists, asking international organizations to organize further conferences to protect journalists and to follow up on previously adopted recommendations, and urging policies within media institutions to protect mediamen. The symposium also called for according attention to independent journalists who are not protected by press institutions, creating a legal environment in Lebanon that allows the presence of investigative journalism and guarantees the safety of journalists, urging member States to put in place specialized prosecutors to investigate cases of attacks on journalists. The Symposium recommendations also highlighted the need to adopt all protective and preventive measures for journalists when covering in zones of conflict, and to review exisiting defamation laws that might be used for prosecuting journalists, the matter that can limit the space of freedom and expression. The recommendations also called on the international community to act to protect Palestinian journalists since "any tampering with the journalist's freedom and his life is deemed a crime."The symposium also underlined the need to activate the UN action plan for the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity.

Iran Ally Hezbollah Pays Syrian Rebels to Switch Sides
مقالة من ول ستريت: حزب الله الحليف الإيراني يدفع الأموال للثوار السوريين ليغيروا ولائاتهم

Sune Engel Rasmussen in Beirut and Suha Ma’ayeh in Amman, Jordan/The Wall Street Journal/November 02/18
Iran’s ally Hezbollah is paying former U.S.-backed rebels to switch sides and join a growing force in southern Syria, deepening its presence near Israel’s border after appearing to withdraw to avoid Israeli airstrikes, according to activists and a former rebel commander.
The Iran-backed militia has recruited up to 2,000 fighters, these people said, most of them from rebel groups that lost U.S. funding last year, according to the former commander, who tracks recruitment in villages in southern Syria.The Syrian government and its military ally Russia are depending on Hezbollah and other Iran-allied militias to fight the remaining armed opposition in the south, chiefly Islamic State.Israel, which views Iran as an existential threat, has warned it won’t allow forces loyal to Iran to entrench near its border. Lebanon-based Hezbollah’s recruitment of fighters in southern Syria is “a highly destabilizing prospect,” said U.S. Syria Envoy Joel Rayburn. “The idea that Hezbollah would be expanding its presence down there on the Jordanian frontier, near the Golan Heights, near the Israeli frontier. This would increase the chance for conflict,” Mr. Rayburn said Friday during a conference in Manama, Bahrain.
The Pentagon didn’t comment when asked about on U.S. support for the opposition. “We are aware of regime and allied forces recruiting former opposition members in the wake of reconciliation agreements in Southern Syria,” Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson said, referring to deals in which rebels ceded territory amid intensifying assaults by Russian and Syrian forces.The U.S. has said the removal of Iran-allied forces from Syria is a central goal for its 2,000 troops there and a precondition for allocation of funds to rebuild the war-ravaged country. The Trump administration is reinstating sanctions on Iran intended in part to force Tehran to halt its support for militant groups in the region.
Israel didn’t respond to a request for comment. Israeli officials in the past have said they are mostly aware of everything that happens in their backyard.
Early this summer, as Syria and its allies prepared to move against an antigovernment stronghold in the southwest, Iran appeared to move its militias away from the Israeli border to lessen tensions with Russia. Rebels later said that some militia fighters were donning Syrian army uniforms in an apparent effort to avoid further Israeli airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria. Hezbollah declined to comment on its recruitment efforts in Syria. The Lebanese organization’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has said Hezbollah forces would stay in Syria as long as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad wants them there.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah delivers a televised speech in June. He said his group would stay in Syria as long as the Syrian president wants them there. “Russia pushing Iran out is an illusion. It can’t rely on the Syrian army,” said the former rebel commander, who previously fought with the U.S.-backed opposition to Mr. Assad.
In a sign of further efforts to deepen its presence in the area, Iran in late October established a branch of a Shiite religious organization, al-Zahra, in the southern province of Daraa, following a visit to the area by a representative of Iran’s supreme leader, according to ETANA Syria, a civil society organization that monitors southern Syria. For former rebels, joining Hezbollah provides a guarantee against arrest by the Syrian government. It also pays a $250 monthly salary, more than the Syrian army gives and compensation for lost income from U.S. support for their organizations. In June, the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan sent WhatsApp messages to commanders in the south, saying they shouldn’t go into battle with the Assad government with “the assumption or expectation of military intervention by us.”
The U.S. withdrawal left the fighters feeling betrayed, the former rebel commander said. “Go to Russia, go to the regime, go to Iran—that was the message,” he said. The State Department didn’t comment on the message or U.S. support for rebel groups, but said, “We are aware of reports that regime and allied forces are recruiting soldiers in the area.”Israel has struck about 200 targets in Syria over the past 18 months, Israeli officials disclosed recently, both to block weapons shipments to Hezbollah and to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military presence inside Syria, which would escalate the threat to Israel.
Iranian leaders see such a presence as an effective deterrent against Israeli and U.S. aggression on Iranian soil, according to a 2015 Pentagon assessment. Hezbollah’s recent moves in Syria’s south underscore the difficulty for Israel of rolling back Iranian influence. Backed by Moscow’s air power and Tehran-allied fighters on the ground, Mr. Assad is reasserting control over most opposition-held territory in the country after a more than seven-year civil war. The Syrian government didn’t respond to a request for comment.
In June, Mr. Nasrallah said in a speech that Hezbollah is in Syria at the request of the country’s leadership. “We did not go to Syria with our own project,” he said.
Hezbollah doesn’t reveal its manpower on the ground in Syria. The group has around 25,000 full-time fighters altogether, according to an assessment by Jane’s. The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates Hezbollah has recruited around 1,600 new fighters in Syria in recent months. But the former rebel commander said the number is closer to 2,000. “Hezbollah and Iran understand that the winning game is the ground game: you need to embed yourself in communities, you need to build a presence and be part of the local economy and infrastructure,” said Emile Hokayem a senior fellow at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. “It’s not just a headache,” Mr. Hokayem said about the situation in southern Syria. “Along with Lebanon, it’s going to be the fulcrum of the next conflict.”
—Nazih Osseiran in Beirut, Margherita Stancati in Manama, Jordan and Dion Nissenbaum in Washington contributed to this article.

The Latest LCCC Bulletin For Miscellaneous Reports And News published on
November 02-03/18
Seven killed in attack on Coptic Christian bus in Egypt
Arab News/November 02/18
CAIRO: Seven people were killed and 20 wounded on Friday when gunmen opened fire on three buses carrying Coptic Christians.The attack took place near the remote desert monastery of St Samuel in Minya province.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi offered condolences for the victims and vowed to push ahead with a campaign to crush militants in the country. "I wish a speedy recovery to the injured and assert our determination to fight dark terrorism and to pursue the perpetrators," El-Sisi said. Security forces rushed to the scene and ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals nearby, a security source told Arab News. Coptic Orthodox Church spokesman Bouls Halim said the death toll in the attack was likely to rise, AP reported. Daesh, which has carried out similar attacks, said it was behind the massacre. The extremist militants have been fighting security forces in the Sinai Peninsula and along Egypt's border with Libya. The attack was widely condemned, including by Saudi Arabia, which said it stood by Egypt against acts of terror and offered condolences to the victims' families. Friday’s attack is the second to target pilgrims vsiting the St Samuel monastery in as many years. A Daesh attack on a bus convoy in Minya in May 2017 killed at least 29 people. A security source told Arab News that the gunmen attacked the bus on side roads leading to the monastery after the main route had been closed by police for security reasons since the 2017 attack. Communications networks in the area had also been disrupted for the same reason. Al-Adwa, Beni Mazar and Maghagha hospitals declared a state of emergency as they treated the injured. A spokesman for the monastery, Peter Lahami, said there were people with very serious injuries and that the death toll could increase. Another church source said the bus had come from Margarijs in Sohag. Coptic expert Robier Al-Faris said that after Egypt’s major security operation in Sinai to clear militants from the peninsula, some of the extremists had spread south to continue attacks. The Egyptian security forces have recently carried out several raids on militant targets, training camps and support centers in Upper Egypt. Last week, 11 extremists from the mountainous area of Dashlout-Farafra in Assiut province were killed. A week before, nine militants were killed in a mountain cave in a remote area of Assiut. The attack last year was the latest in a deadly series that targeted churches in Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta in the Nile Delta. Those attacks, all claimed by Daesh, killed at least 100 people and led to tighter security around Christian places of worship and other Church-linked facilities.
Egypt: Attack on Bus Bound for Coptic Monastery Causes Casualties
Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 2 November, 2018/At least seven people were killed and others were wounded in an attack on a bus driving towards a Coptic monastery in Egypt on Friday, the Archbishop in Minya said.Coptic sources said unknown gunmen fired a barrage on two buses carrying the Copts who were on their way to the monastery of St. Samuel in Minya south of the country. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Reuters. Security forces quickly surrounded the area as ambulances were rushed in to transport the injured to hospitals. The exact location witnessed a similar terrorist incident in May 2017, when gunmen travelling in four-wheel-drives attacked two buses and a truck carrying a number of Copts to the monastery of Anba Samuel in Minya, killing 29 people and injuring 25 others.

U.S. Adds 700 Persons to Iran Sanctions List, Exempts 8 Nations from Oil Sanctions
Naharnet/Agence France Presse/October 02/18/The United States will allow eight countries to continue importing Iranian oil but only at much lower levels after the reimposition of sanctions on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday. The U.S. Treasury will also demand the SWIFT global financial network stop servicing Iran's banking industry as part of enforcing sanctions over the country's nuclear program and alleged support for terrorism. Another 700 companies, individuals, businesses, aircraft and ships will be added to the U.S sanctions list, widely expanding the people and entities Washington seeks to block from accessing global business and financial networks. The reimposition of sanctions "is aimed at depriving the regime of the revenues it uses to spread death and destruction around the world," Pompeo said. "Our ultimate aim is to compel Iran to permanently abandon its well documented outlaw activities and behave as a normal country." Pompeo said the exemptions on importing Iranian oil were being granted to countries that have pledged to or have already cut back on purchases of petroleum from Iran, which has long depended on crude exports to power its economy. He did not name the eight countries, but they are believed to include India, Japan, South Korea, and possibly China. Pompeo said the countries agreed that the payments for the oil will go into offshore accounts that Iran will only be able to tap for "humanitarian trade, or bilateral trade in non-sanctioned goods and services."
"Maximum pressure means maximum pressure," Pompeo said. The move comes six months after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal struck between world powers and Iran, and began reimposing sanctions that had been suspended or removed by his predecessor Barack Obama. That process will culminate on Monday when Washington reinstates sanctions targeting Iran's oil, shipping, shipbuilding and banking industries.
Israel takes part in US-led exercise in Ukraine against S-300s, hooks up with US-Kiev ties
DebkaFile/November 02/18
At a high point in the interplay of US-Russian rivalries between Syria and Ukraine, Israeli jets were discovered taking part in a Western air drill in Ukraine. On Thursday, Nov. 1, too, Moscow slapped down on Ukraine its most extensive sanctions ever against any country, a short time after sources in Jerusalem announced that Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko would soon come for a visit. These steps are building up for the forthcoming summit between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Paris on Nov. 11. The sanctions decree was therefore tactfully signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He ordered a freeze on the Russian assets of 322 Ukrainian politicians and officials and 68 businesses, in response to similar Ukrainian measures against Russians. They targeted President Petro Poroshenko’s son Olexiy, who manages the family businesses, presidential contender Yulia Tymoshenko, a highly influential voice in Ukraine politics and economy, the head of Ukraine’s SBU security service Vasil Hrytsak, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, and billionaire tycoon Victor Pinchuk. The Ukraine president last visited Israel three yeas ago, shortly after Russia expanded its military involvement in Syria. Relations cooled off thereafter, during a period of warm interaction between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Putin. Those friendly relations melted away under Moscow’s anger over the downing of the Russian spy plane off the Syrian coast on Sept. 17. It was vented in the flooding of Syria with advanced Russian S-300 air defense missiles. Since Moscow had clearly determined to curb Israel’s air operations against Iranian targets in Syria and Putin snubbed all the prime minister’s overtures for a meeting to discuss the crisis, Netanyahu decided to change horses and revived his former ties with Kiev. This week the Israeli air force was reported to be taking part in a US-led Clear Sky exercise in Ukraine that included practice maneuvers against Russian S-300 and S-400 air defense missiles.

US re-imposes all Iran sanctions lifted under nuclear deal

AP, Washington/Friday, 2 November 2018/The Trump administration on Friday announced the re-imposition of all US. sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. The sanctions will take effect on Monday and cover Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors. It’s the second batch of penalties that the administration has re-imposed since President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark deal in May. With limited exceptions, the sanctions will penalize countries that don’t stop importing Iranian oil and foreign companies that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities, including Iran’s central bank, a number of private financial institutions and state-run port and shipping companies. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions are “aimed at fundamentally altering the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”He has released a list of 12 demands that Iran must meet if it wants the sanctions lifted. They include ending support for terrorism, ending military engagement in Syria and completely halting its nuclear and ballistic missile development. “Maximum pressure means maximum pressure,” he said. Pompeo said eight nations, which other officials identified as US allies such as Italy, India, Japan and South Korea, will receive temporary waivers allowing them to continue to import Iranian petroleum products for a limited period as long as they end such imports entirely. He said those countries had made efforts to eliminate their imports but could not complete the task by Monday’s deadline. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said 700 more Iranian companies and people would be added to the sanctions lists under the reimposed sanctions. Iran hard-liners in Congress and elsewhere probably will be disappointed in the sanctions because they were pushing for no oil import waivers as well as the complete disconnection of Iran from the main international financial messaging network known as SWIFT. Mnuchin defended the move to allow some Iranian banks to remain connected to SWIFT, saying that the Belgium-based firm had been warned that it will face penalties if sanctioned institutions are permitted to use it. Pompeo and Mnuchin both said the sanctions will have exceptions for humanitarian purchases.
Iran dismisses fresh US curbs
Iran said on Friday it had no concerns over the reimposition of new US sanctions on the country’s vital oil and financial sectors, expected to be announced by Washington on November 4. “America will not be able to carry out any measure against our great and brave nation ... We have the knowledge and the capability to manage the country's economic affairs,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told state TV.The US government has agreed to let eight countries, including close allies South Korea and Japan, as well as India, keep buying Iranian oil after it reimposes sanctions on Tehran.
“The possibility of America being able to achieve its economic goals through these sanctions is very remote and there is certainly no possibility that it will attain its political goals through such sanctions,” Qasemi said. “The new US sanctions will mostly have psychological effects.”

Pompeo: Sanctions on Khashoggi Killers Weeks Away
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/October 02/18/US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said it may take "a handful more weeks" before Washington has enough evidence to impose sanctions on individuals responsible for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  The murder has placed strain on the decades-old alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia and tarnished the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler. "We're continuing to understand the fact pattern," Pompeo said Thursday during an interview with Missouri-based KMOX news radio. "We are reviewing putting sanctions on the individuals that we have been able to identify to date that have -– that were engaged in that murder. "It'll take us probably a handful more weeks before we have enough evidence to actually put those sanctions in place, but I think we'll be able to get there," he said, adding that President Donald Trump had vowed accountability for all involved in the "heinous crime". The top US diplomat has previously said the killing "violates the norms of international law." .''But Pompeo emphasized, as Trump has, that "not only do we have important commercial relationships, but important strategic relationships, national security relationships with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we intend to make sure that those relationships remain intact."Speaking at a journalism awards ceremony Thursday, Fred Ryan, Publisher and CEO of the Washington Post which Khashoggi wrote for, urged the Trump administration to take a tougher line. "When officials of our government are asked about consequences for Jamal's murder, they often talk about 'balancing our interests in the area,'" he said. "The 'Khashoggi incident' is viewed in some respects as a 'complication' in a far more important strategic relationship. "But Jamal's death is more than a 'complication.' It is vicious, state-sponsored murder of an innocent journalist," he added, calling on the government to suspend arms deals with Riyadh and not resume "business as usual" with the kingdom. "If those who persecute journalists get away with their crimes -- and are allowed to continue with business as usual -- it only invites more of the same," he said.
Scandinavian Countries Pledge to Face Iranian Threats
London - Adil Al-Salmi/Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 2 November, 2018/Norway recalled its Iranian ambassador on the backdrop of arresting a Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin, suspected of working for the Iranian intelligence. This came hours after a harsh statement by the Scandinavian countries on Thursday pledging to face Iranian threats. Reliable sources informed Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the European intelligence bodies have foiled 10 assassination attempts against opposers of the Iranian regime throughout the past year. In the same context, European media sources said that the Iranian suspect is an IT expert in his thirties and has a link with a cell affiliated with the Iranian intelligence body. The Scandinavian country's security service said that an Iranian intelligence service is suspected of an attempted political assassination against three Iranians living in Denmark. "There is a need to show Iran that we are well aware of what took place and that we don't accept it," Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said Wednesday. "This is an issue we will be dealing with within the EU, but of course we will work with any other states who are willing to cooperate with us on implementing sanctions against Iran," the Danish Foreign Ministry said.European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said that the organization decries any threat to the security of the EU -- British Prime minister Theresa May expressed on Tuesday solidarity of UK with Copenhagen. “We congratulate the government of Denmark on its arrest of an Iranian regime assassin,” tweeted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Tehran summoned Wednesday the Danish ambassador to protest over the charges and summoning its ambassador in Copenhagen. In his post, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif noted “Incredible series of coincidences. Or, a simple chronology of a Mossad program to kill the JCPOA?” US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Iran accord in May, reimposing sanctions on Iran.

IMF Expects Decline of Iran’s Economic Growth After Application of Sanctions

London - Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 2 November, 2018/The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday that Iran must implement policies to protect its macroeconomic stability against a re-imposition of US sanctions that would reduce economic growth after cutting oil exports. IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told a regular media briefing that the IMF has called on Iran to strengthen its anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing frameworks to comply with international standards by a deadline in February 2019. The Fund’s warnings were issued two days before US sanctions came into force amid a drop in imports of Iranian oil. China’s imports of Iranian crude oil in September fell significantly compared to the same month last year, a sign that the country is curbing its purchases from Tehran as Washington prepares to re-impose sanctions on Iran’s oil sector as of Sunday. According to data from the General Administration of Customs of China, shipments of oil from Iran reached 2.13 million tons in September, or 518,300 barrels per day, a decrease of 34 percent compared with 3.22 million tons in September last year. Chinese Customs’ data confirmed a report issued by Reuters, suggesting that Asian buyers, including Japan, China and South Korea, were cutting imports in September before the re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran’s oil sector. Kunlun Bank, China’s main channel for transactions with Iran, is also preparing to stop dealing with payments from Tehran under pressure to renew sanctions. Over the first nine months of the year, China’s imports of Iranian crude reached 24.49 million tons, an increase of 4 percent compared to the same period in 2017, according to the available data. With the falling of China’s imports from Iran, shipments from the United States rose in September despite the intensifying trade war between Washington and Beijing. Chinese oil imports from the United States in September reached 1.04 million tons, or about 253,000 barrels per day, compared to 495,551 tons a year ago. China’s imports from Saudi Arabia, the largest producer of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), fell 12 percent to reach 3.78 million tons, or 919,000 barrels per day, in September. (1 ton = 7.3 barrels).

Tensions Spike in Indian Kashmir District after Politician Killed
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/October 02/18/Indian authorities imposed a curfew and deployed extra troops Friday in a remote district of disputed Kashmir after gunmen killed a local leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and his brother. The gunmen shot dead Anil Parihar, the BJP state secretary for Kashmir, and his brother from close range on Thursday night as they walked home after closing the family bookshop in Kishtwar, police said. The incident triggered protests in the town in the south of the Muslim-majority state. Kishtwar has a mixed Hindu-Muslim population and activists from the Hindu-dominated party took to the streets to demand action. Authorities imposed a curfew and ordered extra military patrols to prevent violence. "The situation is under control and an investigation into the incident is going on," Dilbag Singh, director general of police, told AFP.
Muslim militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, which is also claimed by Pakistan, rarely strike in Kishtwar district. Fearing sectarian tensions, Muslim leaders used mosque speakers on Friday to also demand the attackers be found. Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. An armed campaign for independence or a merger with Pakistan has riven the Indian side of the divided territory since 1989. India has about 500,000 soldiers in Kashmir. The fighting has left tens of thousands dead, mainly civilians.

Iraq Secures its Borders with Syria
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa/Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 2 November, 2018/Commander of the Iraqi Army’s Al-Jazira Operations Major General Qassim Mohammed Saleh announced Thursday that his forces are fully securing the Iraqi border with Syria. His comments came to dissipate fears about the possible infiltration of ISIS remnants into Iraqi territories following the collapse of the Syrian Democratic Forces on the border between the two countries. “Our borders are fully secured by the Seventh and the Eighth brigades of Al-Jazira Operations Command,” Saleh said in a statement, adding that all Iraqi officers were put on alert to face any ISIS attempt to come close or infiltrate through the international border. “The army has launched operations in the Western Sahara and Wadi Houran to chase remaining ISIS criminal gangs ... and dormant cells,” he said. The checkpoints on the Syrian-Iraqi border have been closed since 2014 when ISIS overran large swathes of Iraq. Security expert Fadel Abu Raghif told Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS operations on the border between Iraq and Syria or inside Iraqi territories “no longer pose a threat.” Meanwhile, accurate intelligence reports said three ISIS militants were arrested on Thursday in Anbar province. In Diyala province, Iraqi police also arrested an ISIS senior leader dubbed the Emir of Arms. Diyala Police Chief Major General Faisal al-Abadi said a joint security team launched an operation in the Nayrin river basin, during which a special combating force infiltrated 30 kilometers deep in the Hamrin area and started chasing terrorists.

President-elect Says Brazil to Move Embassy to Jerusalem

London - Tel Aviv - Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 2 November, 2018/Far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro confirmed Thursday Brazil will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, making the Latin American country the third after the United States and Guatemala to make the controversial switch. "As previously stated during our campaign, we intend to transfer the Brazilian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that," Bolsonaro tweeted. He prompted an enthusiastic response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "I praise my friend the incoming Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, for his intention to move Brazil's embassy to Jerusalem," Netanyahu said in a statement. He described it as “a historic, correct and exciting step."Reversing long-standing US policy, the Trump administration transferred the American embassy on May 14. Guatemala and Paraguay followed suit, though the latter announced last month it would return its embassy to Tel Aviv. Israel considers all of Jerusalem its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Man Pleads Guilty in US to Fighting in Syria
Washington - Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 2 November, 2018/A Palestinian man who came to the US from Syria as a refugee and later returned there to fight with an extremist group has pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges, Agence France Presse reported. Aws Mohammed Younis al-Jayab, 25, admitted that he flew from Chicago to Turkey in November 2013 and then entered Syria where he joined and fought with Ansar al-Islam, which is designated as a terrorist organization, the Department of Justice said in a statement after the guilty plea in Chicago. Ansar al-Islam once operated in both Iraq and Syria. Its Iraqi faction later merged with ISIS, though some of its Syrian fighters rejected the extremist organization.Jayab faces up to 15 years in prison for his plea to a charge of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and up to eight years for a second guilty plea, providing a false statement to federal agents. When he returned to the United States in January 2014 Jayab did not declare his travel to Turkey and Syria, the Department of Justice said. In a later interview with federal agents he denied supporting terrorist groups. At the time of Jayab's arrest, US Attorney Benjamin Wagner stressed that "while (Jayab) represented a potential safety threat, there is no indication that he planned any acts of terrorism in this country."Jayab, an Iraqi-born Palestinian, came to the United States from Syria as a refugee in 2012, US officials said at the time of his arrest. He will be sentenced on April 26 next year.

Father of Taliban’ Mullah Sami ul-Haq stabbed to death in Pakistani city

Staff writer, Al Arabiya English/Friday, 2 November 2018/Pakistani cleric Sami ul-Haq, known as the ‘Father of the Taliban’ for having taught some of the Afghan Islamist movement’s leaders, was stabbed to death on Friday at his residence in Rawalpindi,, his son said. Maulana Hamidul Haq said his father was stabbed to death while he was resting in his room, reported leading English daily Dawn. “His driver Haqqani had gone out. On his return, he saw that Maulana Sami was lying in his bed in a pool of blood. He was no longer alive,” Hamid said while talking to Geo News. The prominent cleric, who was around 83 years old, runs an Islamic school in northwestern Pakistan. Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Akora Khattak. He was a member of the Senate of Pakistan from 1985 to 1991 and again from 1991 to 1997. He had been aligned with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for the July 25, 2018 election.

The Latest LCCC Bulletin analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources published on November 02-03/18
Protests in Pakistan Delay Release of Christian Woman
مظاهرات الأصوليين في باكستان تؤجل اطلاق سراح المسيحية اسيا بيبي بعد تبرئتها من تهمة التجديف
Associated Press/November 02/18
The release of a Christian woman in Pakistan who was acquitted eight years after being sentenced to death for blasphemy was apparently delayed Friday, after talks failed between the government and radical Islamists who want her publicly hanged. Also, a lawyer representing a local cleric who had raised the initial blasphemy charges against Asia Bibi petitioned the Supreme Court on Thursday to reverse its acquittal. The top court in a landmark decision on Wednesday overturned Bibi's 2010 conviction of insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Since then, Islamists have blocked highways and damaged or set-fire to dozens of vehicles to pressure the government to stop her release from an undisclosed detention facility. Islamists were to hold nationwide rallies after Friday's prayers, stoking fears violence. Pakistan shut down schools and colleges after radical cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik party, announced that "talks" between his deputies and the government about Bibi's fate had failed. Before dawn Friday, Rizvi told an emotionally-charged rally in the eastern city of Lahore that one of the government negotiators threatened his deputies during the talks that security forces will ruthlessly kill them if they did not disperse peacefully. He asked his supporters to continue sit-ins as authorities summoned paramilitary troops to restore order.
"We are ready to die to show our love for the prophet," he said.
Rizvi's envoys had demanded that Bibi be barred from leaving the country but Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry rejected the demand, saying the government will not accept any dictates. Ghulam Mustafa, a lawyer representing a provincial cleric in Punjab who had filed the initial blasphemy charges against Bibi, petitioned the Supreme Court, requesting the judges review her acquittal. The court has set not dates to take up the petition, but Bibi's release could be further delayed by the process. Pakistan's Supreme Court has not been known to reverse its decisions but court reviews typically take years.
Authorities say they have stepped up security near an undisclosed detention facility where Bibi is being held for her safety. On Thursday, prison officials said two inmates were arrested last month for planning to kill Bibi by strangling her. They said the men were still being questioned.
Bibi's family had expected her release by Thursday night. Her husband, Ashiq Masih, returned from Britain with their children in mid-October and was waiting for her release so that they can fly out of Pakistan. Though the family has not disclosed the country of her destination, France and Spain have offered asylum. Bibi's acquittal has posed a challenge to the government of Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan, who came to power this summer partly by pursuing the Islamist agenda. Khan condemned the Islamists on Wednesday after cleric Afzal Qadri urged supporters to kill the three judges who acquitted Bibi, revolt against army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and overthrow Khan's government. Military's spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said Friday the army was exercising restraint, to give a chance for a peaceful resolution. He asked demonstrators to refrain from violence and await the outcome of the review petition to the Supreme Court.
"Let this legal process be completed first," he told state-run Pakistan Television.
However, over 2,000 Islamists continued blocking a key road linking the capital, Islamabad, with the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Friday, causing traffic jams. Hundreds also blocked another key motorway, linking Islamabad with other major cities. Bibi was arrested in 2009 after she was accused of blasphemy following a quarrel with two fellow female farm workers who refused to drink from a water container used by a Christian. A few days later, a mob accused her of insulting Islam's prophet, leading to her 2010 conviction. Bibi's family has always maintained her innocence and says she never insulted the prophet.
Bibi's case has drawn international attention and also put Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws into focus again. The charge of blasphemy carried the death penalty in this majority Muslim nation and critics say it is often used to settle feuds and arguments.

Asia Bibi: anti-blasphemy protests spread across Pakistan
The Guardian/November 02/18
Thousands of Islamist protesters have brought Pakistan to a standstill, burning rickshaws, cars and lorries to protest against the acquittal of a Christian woman who spent eight years on death row on false charges of blasphemy.
Traffic jams held up ambulances and forced mothers to feed their babies by the side of the road, while authorities shut schools across most of the country.
Footage from the protests shows anti-blasphemy campaigners clubbing and throwing shoes at posters of Pakistan’s chief justice and the new prime minister, Imran Khan, who on Wednesday night threatened a fierce government response if protesters did not disperse.
“We are ready to sacrifice our lives for this noble cause,” one told the Guardian, “and have rejected whatever rubbish the prime minister said in his speech”.
The landmark release of Asia Bibi, a 47-year-old farm labourer, has pitched the state into the latest of several battles with supporters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a rabid, fast-growing political party that exists solely to punish blasphemers. Asia was charged with insulting the prophet Muhammad after she drank from a cup of water before passing it to Muslim fruit-pickers.
Police have so far shied away from arresting protesters and the powerful armed forces, which often appear to align with Islamists, have yet to issue a statement, despite TLP leaders daring to call for mutiny in its ranks.
On Thursday, rightwing religious organisations, including Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), a charity founded by UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed, and the Jamaat-Ulema-e-Islam, announced that they would join the TLP protest on Friday, in what could become an unmanageable conflagration.
Asia Bibi: protests erupt in Pakistan after blasphemy conviction overturned - video
The new government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) appeared to backtrack on Thursday evening, sending a five-member negotiating team to meet Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of the TLP. Government officials released contradictory statements on whether they had placed Asia on the exit control list, which would prevent her fleeing the country.
In public speeches, Rizvi has said his only demand is that the mother-of-five be put to death, the punishment for blasphemy under Pakistan’s penal code. “Our sit-in will go on until the government accepts our demand,” he told the Guardian in a phone interview, denying reports that the sit-in would soon be over.
Imran Khan is scheduled to return on 5 November from a diplomatic visit to China, Pakistan’s oldest ally. Liberals hope that the prime minister, who echoed the TLP’s rhetoric on the campaign trail and has already backed down before the group, will stick to his newfound principles under the most severe test of a turbulent first 10 weeks in power.
“It’s up in the air,” said analyst Fasi Zaka. “You still get the feeling they are figuring out what to do.”
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UK: Terror Investigations an "Inconvenience"?
Judith Bergman/Gatestone Institute/November 02/18
If you do not even dare to link terrorism to its source, then surely neither can you prepare for it.
No one seems to be holding roundtable talks with non-Muslim communities across the UK to address their legitimate fears and concerns about religiously-motivated terrorism on their lives.
Perhaps the main reason that terror victims had nowhere to turn is that even after years of living with Islamic terrorism, British authorities and public services still appear to be more concerned with dealing with perceived "Islamophobia" than with the real, devastating consequences of terrorism.
Pictured: A police officer stands guard near the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017, following a suicide bombing by Salman Abedi, who murdered 22 concert-goers. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
Britain's Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, Max Hill, recently recommended:
"...the Police should consider and reflect upon the community impact of a large-scale [terror] investigation, centering as it did on particular areas of Manchester with a large Muslim population... Good community policing, as well as good counter-terrorism policing, demands that real efforts are made to work within and with local communities, where many blameless residents will have been inconvenienced if not traumatised by the regular appearance of Police search and arrest teams on their street or in their home. I would like to see the outcome of Police reflections on this aspect..." [Emphasis added]
Hill's recommendation was published in his recent report on how the UK handles its counter-terrorism efforts. In the report, Hill examines police investigations of the major 2017 terrorist attacks; his recommendation was connected to the investigation into the terrorist attack in Manchester in May 2017, in which Salman Abedi murdered 22 people and injured 139, half of them children, at an Ariana Grande pop concert at the Manchester Arena.
The police, in other words, should consider making it a priority to work in a way so that their investigations of the murder and maiming of all these people will not "inconvenience" the community in which the suicide bomber lived.
Hill based his recommendation on talks he had previously had with various Muslim organizations across the UK about the impact of counter-terror legislation on their lives and the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester in 2017.
The talks with the Muslim organizations were recorded in the report, "Community Roundtables: A report on the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester" published by Forward Thinking's "Building Bridges" Program. This program, which "empowers grassroots communities," facilitates dialogue between UK Muslim communities and grassroots organizations, British authorities (local government, parliamentarians, policymakers), and the national media.
The "Community Roundtables" report described a meeting with representatives of the Libyan-Muslim community in Manchester -- from which Abedi emerged:
"Throughout the meeting, almost all participants articulated a profound sense of anger and frustration at the consequences of extensive police raids within the community and a perceived lack of support to deal with these consequences, including the fear of being ostracised and targeted by wider society... Individuals -- particularly children and teenagers -- who have been directly affected were said to have been left traumatised and humiliated, creating a sense of alienation that it was warned could have profoundly damaging consequences for the UK unless urgently addressed... Specific concerns were raised about the potential for a rise in Islamophobic attacks in the current context and it was hoped that the authorities would take such a threat seriously and offer increased support to communities."
No one, however, seems to be holding roundtable talks with non-Muslim communities across the UK to address their legitimate fears and concerns about religiously-motivated terrorism on their lives.
According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) a leading UK children's charity, more than 300 counselling sessions were held by the organization with children after the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena -- apparently four times as many sessions as usual. In addition, the organization received hundreds of calls from children after the Manchester attack. An 11-year-old who called the helpline said: "I constantly feel anxious... I am really worried that they will get someone in my family. I haven't been sleeping because it is all I can think about." Another caller, a 14-year-old girl, said: "I'm always on the edge when I leave the house and am always looking over my shoulder."
The number of children and young people seeking help from mental health services also rose after the Manchester attack, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP). Hospitals across the Manchester region saw an estimated 10% increase in children seeking psychological help, which received hundreds more patients from June to July compared with previous months.
"Dr Louise Theodosiou, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at Royal Manchester children's hospital and a member of the RCP, described the increase as significant and said the terror attack had a 'profound impact on the way the children view their city.'
"Just a small fraction of those treated had been at the concert; the majority of patients had felt increased anxiety after watching the events on the news. Anxiety and insomnia were the most common complaints, with children worrying about going out or being on public transport after the attacks."
A similar trend had been seen in London after the terrorist attacks there.
In March, an independent review, the purpose of which was to examine the quality of the emergency response to the Manchester bombing, found that many respondents did not know where to turn for support after the attack. Some suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, flashbacks, trauma and anxiety causing them to lose jobs and drop out of the educational system.
It is mystifying that the victims of terror had nowhere to turn: it has been more than a decade since the first mass terrorist attack in the UK, in 2005 on London's transit system, where 56 people were killed and 700 wounded. Since then, Britain has only seen the terror threat continue.
Perhaps the main reason that terror victims had nowhere to turn is that even after years of living with Islamic terrorism, British authorities and public services still appear to be more concerned with dealing with perceived "Islamophobia" than with the real, devastating consequences of terrorism.
If you do not even dare to link terrorism to its source, then surely neither can you prepare for it. You cannot even speak about the gravely detrimental effects that Islamic terrorism has on the well-being of children and others in general society, because Islamic terrorism is (officially) not even supposed to exist.
It is only in such a society -- where everything has been turned on its head, where the authorities cannot tell who are the victims and who are the people who may feel as if they are victims if someone asks them some questions -- that a terrorist investigation can be considered "an inconvenience."
As the saying goes about children in a playground: "It all started when he hit me back."
*Judith Bergman, a columnist, lawyer and political analyst, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.
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Opinion/Why Israel Will End Up Facing Iran Alone
Chuck Freilich/Haaretz/November 02/18
The Trump administration's well-intentioned efforts to challenge the Iranian regime, its expansionism and nuclear ambitions are partial, unrealistic and incoherent. Israel can't rely on them - or on a mercurial U.S. president .
Eureka! Saudi Arabia, as the "enlightened" international community has recently learned, is not a cuddly country. Its regime is probably the most heinous on earth, but it took the gruesome murder of one journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, to offend international sensibilities. Not the beheadings of 146 people in 2017 alone. Not the thousands of lashes meted out for such horrific transgressions as the belief in atheism. Not the women, who can now drive, but still cannot leave their hometown, or receive medical care, without the approval of their male guardian.
Nearly all other news, including the Trump administration’s recent efforts to contain Iran, were drowned out by the self-righteous indignation that consumed the international community. Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh’s sexual activities had a similar effect on the recent speeches by U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Iran in the UN. The very same Iran that is no more cuddly than Saudi Arabia, that is guilty of extreme human rights violations, and continues to pursue both regional expansionism and an unacceptable nuclear capability.
Whereas past U.S. administrations have customarily completed major policy reviews during their first half year in office, the overall contours of Donald Trump’s strategy towards Iran are only now emerging.
Heated rhetoric aside, Trump is actually no more avid to confront Iran militarily than his hated predecessor and has thus adopted the same policy instruments that Obama wielded until the 2015 nuclear deal – sanctions, sanctions and more sanctions. To his credit, this now includes the Basij militia, the primary instrument of brutal domestic suppression.
There are, however, two critical differences between Trump’s policy and Obama’s.
First, the European Union and Russia are doing everything they can, this time, to undermine U.S. sanctions, admittedly with limited success so far, by establishing special trading mechanisms designed to circumvent them.
Second, Trump has refrained thus far from the ultimate measure adopted by Obama, in the form of sanctions on Iranian use of the international financial clearinghouse, known as SWIFT. The international sanctions regime led by Obama proved sufficient to bring Iran to the negotiating table and to make significant compromises, but not to forgo its nuclear infrastructure or long-term nuclear aspirations. The Trump administration has yet to explain why a less comprehensive regime would now yield greater concessions.
Netanyahu believed that Obama was too quick to reach an agreement with Iran, and presumably hopes that Trump will now stick to the hardline approach longer, prior to reaching his stated goal of an improved agreement. Experience with Trump to date is not necessarily encouraging.
Be that as it may, the specter of lost access to the U.S. market has proven so daunting, that the multinational corporations have already significantly cut trade ties with Iran, even before U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil, due in early November, come into effect. Iran’s economy has already entered a tailspin.
A further difference between Obama and Trump, is that the former sought to engage Iran, whereas Trump appears bent on regime change, primarily through sanctions. The administration has yet to adopt regime change as its official policy, but senior officials have resorted to every possible rhetorical flourish just short of this. It has also begun an intensive campaign to delegitimize the regime, including a special report entitled "Outlaw Regime: a Chronicle of Iran’s Destructive Activities," which sets forth all of its misdeeds in the nuclear, missile, cyber, human rights and other realms.
There is just one small, pesky, problem. 39 years after the Iranian revolution, no one has any idea how to bring about regime change, despite the intensive efforts that have been devoted to this. The administration has presumably tasked its best and brightest with a review of issue, much as its predecessors have done, but readers would be well advised not to wait in breathless anticipation. The regime, for its part, has responded by announcing a "resistance economy."
The administration has also begun trying to establish a Sunni axis to contain Iran, an essential move, which was tried by its predecessors with notably little success. The differences between the Arab states that prevented effective cooperation in the past, as well as the limitations of their true capabilities, have only grown worse.
Qatar is under Arab boycott, Oman maintains good relations with Iran, Egypt is preoccupied with its own domestic travails and the Saudis have now gone from being the poster child of reform, to a rogue state. One would be hard-pressed to overstate the vehemence of current anti-Saudi sentiment both in the American media and Congress. Israel was never intended to be a part of the putative Sunni axis, but both its and the administration’s hopes of containing Iran were predicated on broad, if quiet, strategic cooperation between it and Israel.
The primary Saudi contribution was to have been an increase in oil output, once the U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil went into effect, designed to prevent a rise in prices that might have both hurt the international economy and undermined domestic support for the administration’ policy. The international outcry following the Khashoggi affair may prove to be an unfortunate strategic turning point in the attempt to contain Iran. The administration is also reportedly completing, belatedly, a review of its policies toward Syria, and Iran’s involvement there. Under the new policy, the administration will supposedly call for political change in Syria, without making this contingent on Assad’s removal, for an end to Iranian involvement in Syria, without calling for a complete severance of ties, and for as yet unspecified measures to deter Syria from using chemical weapons and hasten ISIS’ destruction.
The small American military contingent deployed in Syria will remain in place, to prevent Iranian territorial contiguity, and sanctions will be imposed on Iranian and Russian firms that invest in Syria’s reconstruction. The U.S., for its part, will stay out of Syrian reconstruction, until the administration’s conditions are met. The new policy reads like a playbill borrowed directly from Obama.
The administration continues to present Iran with a list of 12 demands, all of which are eminently desirable, but entirely unrealistic, and the lacunae in its approach remain such that it is very difficult to speak of a coherent policy. The deployment of S300 missiles in Syria, along with President Vladimir Putin’s repeated rejections of Netanyahu’s requests to meet, demonstrate the limitations of Israel’s Russian option. The good news is that the importance that Iran attaches to its ties with Europe and Russia have forced it to continue adhering to the nuclear agreement, despite the U.S. withdrawal, although it is unclear for how much longer. Israel should be grateful that the nuclear agreement has enabled it to attack Iran’s growing military presence in Syria repeatedly, before it has succeeded in going nuclear. It is incumbent upon those of us who believed - and still believe - that the nuclear agreement was the best of the bad options available, to now support the administration’s efforts. Only the outcome matters. Nevertheless, and as welcome as Trump’s hardline approach towards Iran may be, Israel cannot rely on such a mercurial president.
Indeed, the bottom line may very well prove to be that Israel will essentially stand alone against Iran, but with greater limitations on its freedom of action over Syria.
Israel must, therefore, define its priorities carefully, first and foremost, preventing Iran from going nuclear at almost all costs, and only secondarily, dealing with its missile presence in Syria and with Hezbollah. To this end, it must continue building its own independent capabilities.
**Chuck Freilich, a senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center and adjunct professor at Tel Aviv University, is a former Israeli deputy national security adviser. He is the author of Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change, Oxford University Press, 2018

There’s a Reason Scientists Keep Talking About Race, Gender
Faye Flam/Bloomberg/November 02/18
The scientific understanding of race and sex hasn’t changed much in recent years, and yet people are confused. It’s hard to escape promotions for DNA tests promising to reveal your true identity in the form of a percentage breakdown of groups that used to be called races. Now what are they?
Then, last week, the media presented a Trump administration memo proclaiming that “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth…” and in response, the New York Times ran an op-ed explaining why sex is not binary.
It’s not surprising that some people would wonder if science is being distorted by political correctness. Here, in a letter posted in the Wall Street Journal last week, someone asked if the political left was denying biology:
If race isn’t a measurable biological category, was Sen. Warren justified in identifying herself as Native American because she believed she was? … Now the left argues that sexual identity is something everyone can choose and change as preferences change.
I myself have written about the nonbinary nature of sex, and in earlier columns, about why nature gave us (as we see it) two sexes (basically). Some mushrooms mate through a system of thousands of sexes, but that’s a story for another time. The question at hand is whether I’ve contradicted myself.
Biologist Jerry Coyne explained on his blog that what determines maleness and femaleness is a complex series of steps involving multiple genes and hormones. Usually, the end result is that a person’s gonads, chromosomes and hormones line up into the categories we invented, male or female.
By “usually” isn’t always. Some people have a Y chromosome and a female-looking body, or they are born with ambiguous genitalia, or their body has male traits but they identify as a woman. Sex is real, but it isn’t a strict either-or.
My past writings on race might also look self-contradictory, as I’ve stated that modern genetics has proven there’s no biological basis for dividing people into races. But in earlier stories I’ve written on health disparities that put African Americans at increased risk of certain kinds of cancer. Are scientists just calling race something else for political reasons?
It’s a question that geneticist Joseph Graves tackled in his article “If Race Is a Social Construct, What’s Up With DNA Ancestry Testing?” He reiterates that we all share recent common ancestors, and that we all come from Africa. There are variations: Some people have different skin colors, some people can digest lactose and some people are more likely to carry the sickle cell gene. The distribution of those traits clusters around certain geographic regions. The traits are real, but society decides how to divide humanity into categories, or whether to categorize ourselves at all.
Despite the debunking of human races, scientists continue to categorize people in a way that sounds a lot like race, often substituting the term “population.” But this too, is artificial, argued Field Museum anthropologist John Edward Terrell. Scientists make up categories like this all the time; most of biology was categorization in the decades before Darwin. Scientists have had to rethink how to categorize planets once they found the solar system held dozens of objects that were comparable to or bigger than Pluto. As anthropologist Robert Sapolksy wrote in Nautilus Magazine last year, the human mind sees the world in categories. Scientists aren’t supposed to make up data, but they can make up categories if these serve some purpose in helping make sense of the world. That would be the case for doctors who need to use race or population labels to make the best recommendations for cancer screenings or treatments, or ones who are trying to understand what environmental or genetic factors are causing disparities. The Wall Street Journal letter writer expressed concern that people are making choices about their own race or sex that violate immutable categories. Terrell is worried about a different kind of choice — the choices scientists make in imposing categories on humanity, sometimes to help them in their research, and sometimes to sell more DNA ancestry tests. He’s worried that scientists are failing to remind people that these categories like “male” and “white” are completely invented by humans. Any scientific discourse that mentions race or sex should come with a warning label: “for bookkeeping purposes only.”

Afghan Elections: Good News Amid Pessimism
Amir Taheri/Asharq Al-Awsat/November 02/18
The latest general election in Afghanistan has provided a new occasion for pundits and experts, once again, to label the country as a lost cause and invite the major powers still involved there to get out as fast as they can. The elections are dismissed as a meaningless charade if only because fewer than 40 percent of those eligible to vote actually did so while reams of reports have been produced on all kinds of fraudulent practices to affect the outcome. The problem today is that the average citizen is faced with a tsunami of information which seems impressive in its depth and diversity but, on closer examination, is revealed to be produced by a cancer-like multiplication of a few often narrow partisan views. The current fashionable view would have us believe that Afghanistan would be more comfortable with rule by the Taliban than an ersatz form of democracy imposed by Western powers. The fact that at the height of their power the Taliban never managed to make their rule acceptable to more than a fraction of the Afghan population is quietly ignored. In the year 2000, the Taliban controlled Kabul and pretended to be the legitimate government of Afghanistan and with mediation by Qatar had persuaded the Clinton administration in Washington to grant them full diplomatic recognition. President Clinton’s special envoy Bill Richardson had visited Kabul and met with Taliban leader Mullah Omar to put the final touches to a grand bargain.
A number of minor diplomatic hitches prevented the scheme to be completed before the end of the Clinton presidency. The incoming administration of President George W Bush was not opposed to the deal hatched by Clinton but wanted to take time and shape its own version. Then came the 9/11 attacks which destroyed the scheme. Without it, we might have had yet another obnoxious Islamist regime backed by the US and its allies.
Interestingly, Washington policymakers paid no attention to the fact that the Taliban were in meaningful control of no more than half of Afghanistan’s 32 provinces. Nor did they mind that, at the time, almost half of the nation’s population had become refugees, mostly in Pakistan and Iran. Despite the fact that the claim of Taliban’s popularity has never been tested in anything resembling an election, we still have pundits who insist that the antediluvian gang is the true representative of the Afghan people.
Even if the new Afghan regime installed with help from the US was far from ideal, the ultimate failure of the Taliban experiment was good news for the “Muslim world” and beyond. It showed that Islamist extremism in its various forms, from Khomeinism in Iran to Boko Haram in Nigeria and ISIS in Iraq and Syria are never able to submit to a genuine electoral test in any shape or form. Those who dismiss the Afghan election because of the low voter turnout forget the fact that it takes a long time for electoral politics to become part of a nation’s ambient culture. In Great Britain, where electoral politics started, voter participation was limited to between 10 and 12 percent only because few people were classed as eligible while women didn’t have the vote until the 1920s. It took Britain and the US 150 years to reach their cruising speed in electoral politics.
A Western observer has little difficulty in imagining the geographical distance between London and Kabul but would find it hard to gauge the historic difference in the two societies insofar as politics is concerned.
For me, however, it is almost a miracle that millions of Afghans seem to have developed a liking for elections and regard the exercise as an efficient means of impacting the decision-making process.
If British and American democracies needed 20 to 30 elections to reach their level of maturity, should we not give the Afghans time and space to go through at least 10 elections?
A survey of the issues raised, the platforms presented, the speeches made and the debates conducted reveals a quality that this writer, for one, did not expect to witness so soon in Afghanistan.
It seemed that the whole of Afghanistan, especially the urban areas, were turned into a giant-size school of political practice. By one unscientific survey, more than 100 new words and phrases referring to politics in an open society have entered the average Afghan’s vocabulary.
Equally impressive was the level of participation by women both as candidates and as voters. To be sure, the results are unlikely to be commensurate with the energy and commitment deployed by Afghan women. But a solid foundation has been laid for further progress.
The election campaign also witnessed the raising of a vital issue of a possible reform to replace the presidential system imposed by the US with a parliamentary one. Afghanistan had never had an over-centralized system of government if only because of its rich religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity which is best reflected by a parliamentary system of government. That reality assumes more importance at a time that the so-called identity politics appears the favorite flavor across the world.
Outsiders may not appreciate how important it is to have the average citizen in a society used to deference and fascination with the hierarchy to publicly express anger and/or scorn against any grandee in a position of power.
Afghan democracy is a young plant (or setak in Persian Afghan) threatened by strong adverse winds. The fact that it is still standing and growing may indicate a profound change in the socio-cultural configuration of a society emerging from decades of confusion, violence and war. The latest elections will not solve Afghanistan’s problems ranging from tribalism to systemic corruption. But these elections could strengthen those institutions that, if made effectively accountable to the people, would be able to shape the policies needed to do so.
The parliamentary election could also be regarded as a dress rehearsal for next year’s presidential election which could speed up Afghanistan’s march towards a better future. Keep fingers cross!

The season of honesty: Jamal in Yemen!
Mashari Althaydi/Al Arabiya/November 02/18
It is said that crises fold into themselves in the face of new opportunities, as transformations are born in the folds of a problem and opportunities are seized for the cheapest of prices. Each party that has a demand accompanied by a bill from Saudi Arabia began drooling following the problem of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Some want Saudi Arabia to stop rejecting the Muslim Brotherhood and to stop confronting the Iranian threat. This is in addition to other demands and financial blackmail. Among the demands asked of Saudi Arabia is to stop confronting Iran’s agents in Yemen, i.e. the Houthis, under the pretext of pity over humanity – humanity which we did not see British leftist journalists shed tears over in Syria where there’s the largest disaster in the new century. According to a report by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Oxford Internet Institute researcher Lisa-Maria Neudert noted that Khashoggi’s death contributed to revealing the means of increased manipulation in information and social media networks to promote political purposes
Exploiting the Khashoggi case
A recent analysis by journalist and diplomatic editor Patrick Wintour in The Guardian discussed how to exploit the Khashoggi crisis so Saudi Arabia stops its work in Yemen to eliminate the Iranian threat there. He singled out Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who angers the Brotherhood, Iran and the left everywhere. Our friend, the journalist, wants to intensify pressure on Saudi Arabia regarding Yemen after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as this is “an opportunity that cannot be missed.”
What Wintour was saying is to use the opportunity, and turn the situation in Yemen to Iran’s favor and preoccupy Saudi Arabia with the claws of the Houthi cat as long as the Kingdom is suffering from the Jamal crisis!
This rude political exploitation and flagrant blackmail of Saudi Arabia was noticed, for instance, by Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman. Zakharova commented on the targeting of Saudi Arabia by using the Khashoggi case and said: “It is frightening that this tragedy is magnified with so much political machinations and fabrications that we see today”.
This is all apparent and anyone who is impartial can see it. According to a report by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Oxford Internet Institute researcher Lisa-Maria Neudert noted that Khashoggi’s death contributed to revealing the means of increased manipulation in information and social media networks to promote political purposes. As for Yemen, and the American initiative to end the fighting in Yemen and pave a political path, Saudi Arabia and Coalition members did not say they are against a political solution. On the contrary, a political solution has been supported and required since day one and the negotiations in Kuwait and Geneva on Yemen are an example. In fact, Saudi Arabia and the Coalition have keenly paved way for a political solution and for stopping aerial shelling more than once but the Houthis always viewed this as a “truce” to arrange their ranks, nothing more.
This time, the Houthis will probably deal with the ceasefire as a tactical truce, nothing more, and despite that, Saudi Arabia and the Coalition will still support the political attempts. This is nothing new. However, this is not the essence of the issue but it’s this question that we will ask to the likes of the British journalist: Can Britain reconcile with a neighboring country if it is governed by a gang that is loyal to Russia and that launches rockets at London and Liverpool?

Sanctions on Iran may be tricky to enforce

Dr. Theodore Karasik/Arab News/November 02/18
America’s second stage sanctions will come into effect on Monday, prohibiting transactions with Iran’s ports and shipping companies; the purchase of petroleum and petrochemical products from Iran; transactions between foreign financial institutions and the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian financial institutions; and the provision of underwriting services, insurance, or reinsurance. As the US implements its second round of harsh sanctions on Iran, the ability of Tehran’s neighbors to cut trade ties becomes paramount. What is the current situation with America’s efforts with the countries around Iran? After all, the airtight noose is the intent, but reality on the ground will need a further push.The US is pushing hard to have Iran’s neighbors cut their trade links in order to break financial ties and deny Tehran continuing access to these bordering markets. While on a trip to the South Caucasus last week, US National Security Adviser John Bolton made it a point during his visits to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to encourage his hosts to downgrade and cut financial and trade ties with Iran. Naturally, this request is not so simple given the historical connections between these countries, whether during peacetime or battles over empire. All three countries of the South Caucasus maintain ties to Iran, which will fall under sharper US scrutiny in this second phase of sanctions. Obviously, America’s relationships with all three countries are different, in that Georgia is aligned with the West, Armenia is tied to Russia, and Azerbaijan plays a special role in the middle of everyone.
In Iraq, the new government’s ties with Iran, led by Barham Salih, Adel Abdul Mahdi and the Sunni Arab speaker of Parliament, Mohammed Al-Halbusi, is seen as a very positive development by the US, yet the ties that bind Baghdad and Basra to Tehran remain the same. Qassem Soleimani is still calling the shots. Naturally, cross-border trade and transit will continue. As Iran is squeezed in the second round of American sanctions, the possibility of Tehran smuggling oil into Iraq rises significantly, given the probability that the northern Gulf may be unsanctionable territory. The new government may be unable to halt Iran’s oil exports or transactions and obviously will need to be watched carefully in this regard.
In Pakistan, the on-off Iran gas pipeline is not moving anywhere fast, especially under Prime Minister Imran Khan. The new Pakistani government is prepared to enforce America’s sanctions in whatever way possible given the local security environment.
The Trump administration’s second round of sanctions is the harshest yet and the impact on the Iranian economy will be massive.
Significantly, Iran has developed a resilience to withstand such sanction pressures despite severe economic difficulties. It has forged closer alliances with Russia, China and Turkey to overcome the forthcoming difficulties in bilateral trade, especially the export of Iranian oil. In the defense arena, Russia and China would be ready to meet Iran’s requirements. Tehran is joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which will bring a closer bond between the three countries in security matters. In theory, membership brings Russian or Chinese military assets to the shores of the Arabian Gulf.
More important is the fact that Iran is ready to de-dollarize in order to conduct currency swaps or transactions. It appears Turkey, which is a neighbor of Iran and has an annual trade of $10 billion with it, is going to continue its business with Iran uninterrupted. That issue, one of many between the Trump administration and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will be a factor in their testy bilateral relationship.
There is no doubt that Tehran’s de-dollarization move is meant to blunt the coming sanctions. Iran’s move away from the dollar plays directly into the hands of traditional trade partners who have maintained good business relations with Iran. There are indicators that some EU countries may declare their intent to trade with Iran despite American sanctions and to use the euro as a business currency, although this idea may fall flat with pressure from the US. Finally, Iran has approximately $60 billion or the equivalent of this amount staked in international banks as proceeds of oil and gas sales, which can support the country’s rising import debt. Given this trend line, Iran being rescued by several of its neighbors would thereby present challenges to the Trump administration’s sanctions plan.
Iran’s neighbors in the Gulf are adhering to Trump’s sanctions or are moving quickly to find breathing space. The UAE has passed strict laws regarding Iranian trade, especially in the country’s free-trade zones. Other Gulf states are currently looking for ways to receive some type of waiver, given planned pipeline construction in the Gulf of Oman or other connections. Qatar is a question mark. Further abroad, China is buying more oil from Iran and India has reportedly received an exemption from the US State Department. The idea of a concentric ring around Iran to monitor, restrict and shut down trade is in effect.
Overall, the Trump administration’s second round of sanctions is the harshest yet and the impact on the Iranian economy will be massive. But, as the above demonstrates, there are various levels of enforcement of this second round that have political dimensions to them, which means further pressure on those countries not adhering to the White House’s policy.
*Dr. Theodore Karasik is a senior adviser to Gulf State Analytics in Washington, D.C. He is a former RAND Corporation Senior Political Scientist who lived in the UAE for 10 years, focusing on security issues. Twitter: @tkarasik
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view

Opportunities abound should Israel and Gulf nations cooperate
Ellen R. Wald/Arab News/November 02/18
Oman's Sultan Qaboos (L) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AFP)
Events in Oman and the UAE this past week give us an opportunity to consider anew the relationship between Gulf countries and Israel, and particularly the potential for rapprochement and cooperation through the prism of the aspirations of the citizenry. The entire Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region is preening for economic breakout — the promise that comes from an educated class and ambitious people. Gulf countries who choose to work with Israel could gain an advantage over those who do not. After all, Israel has the Middle East’s most dynamic economy, best higher education system and a cultural experience that aligns easily with the rest of the region.
In the last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Oman and an Israeli judo team competed in Abu Dhabi. The Israeli team celebrated the Jewish Sabbath in Abu Dhabi and, when two Israeli judokas won gold medals, the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah, was played without incident. At the same time, Middle East events have reminded us all that we are foolish to deny the existence or sovereignty of another nation. We know that countries and populations need not approve of everything that happens in another country.
Egypt and Jordan have had peace and cooperation with Israel for 40 years and 24 years, respectively. Both Egypt and Jordan have benefited through the economic exchange most of all. Tourism from Israelis has been a success, and international visitors to Israel can now easily add side trips to Giza or Petra. There are other trade benefits as well. For instance, Israel supplies Egypt with natural gas, just as Israel would be a natural customer for Gulf region oil. Even now, Israel buys oil from Iraqi Kurds that is transported through Turkey. As Egypt, Jordan and other groups have benefited from relationships with Israel, Gulf countries could find even more opportunities.
Israel has the highest gross domestic product per capita in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, a G-20 country, has the largest economy in the region, and the Emirati economy is also slightly larger than Israel’s. However, according to the World Bank, Israel has the world’s 31st largest economy and the largest non-hydrocarbon economy in the Middle East. It is known globally for its tech industry. There was even a bestselling 2009 book about it called “Start-up Nation.” Israel is also a leader in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. By the start of this decade, Israel was the fourth-largest pharmaceutical exporter to the US, ahead of the UK, Canada, China and India. The partnership opportunities for Gulf businesses and engineers abound.
As Egypt, Jordan and other groups have benefited from relationships with Israel, Gulf countries could find even more opportunities.
Israel is also home to several of the best universities in the Middle East, according to Times Higher Education. Israel has two universities listed in the top 250, four in the top 500, and six in the top 800. No other Middle Eastern country has as many universities so highly ranked. Moreover, in the last seven years the number of Arab (Palestinian) students at Israeli universities has grown by 78.5 percent, according to Israel’s Council for Higher Education. Today, 16.1 percent of students at Israeli universities are Arab (Palestinian), so the cooperation could be seamless. There is a great opportunity for the exchange of students and scholars in engineering, sciences, medicine and entrepreneurship.
Overall, Israel would offer a familiar environment for Gulf citizens to study and work. There are opportunities in Arabic and English. Many Israeli cities like Haifa and Tel Aviv include plenty of Arab (Palestinian) culture. More than 20 percent of Israeli citizens are Palestinian, and a large percentage of Jewish Israelis descend from communities that lived in Arab countries within the last 70 years. Gulf citizens would integrate easily while working or studying in Israel, and they would not need to worry about appearing different. There is easy access to Muslim worship and halal food, as well as Arabic language music and other entertainment. The state-owned broadcasting authority has an Arabic department and Arabic content. Arabic is taught regularly in Israeli schools. In Israel, most people take off work on Fridays, in addition to Saturdays.
Israeli workers and experts would also provide a benefit to the local economies of the Gulf nations. Israeli researchers, engineers and startups would be natural partners and employees in a Gulf tech industry ecosystem that is looking to blossom. Dubai is a perfect example of an international city that really should welcome Israeli businesses, which are already active from the US to Japan. Similarly, nearly half of all Israelis traveled abroad last year, spending money in Turkey, India and elsewhere. Israel would be a lucrative new market for tourism.
There has been speculation for years that the mutual threat of Iran is drawing Gulf countries closer to Israel at the highest levels of intelligence and the military. This may be true, but countries are best defined by their aspirations, not their enemies. The people of the lower Middle East — Omanis, Emiratis, Saudis, Bahrainis, Kuwaitis, Jordanians, Egyptians and Israelis — have lofty aspirations. They can best achieve them together.
*Ellen R. Wald, Ph.D. is a historian and author of “Saudi, Inc.” She is the president of Transversal Consulting and also teaches Middle East history and policy at Jacksonville University. Twitter: @EnergzdEconomy

Will US force through a long-awaited end to the conflict in Syria?

Fahad Nazer/Arab News/November 02/18
At a speaking engagement in Washington on Thursday, Gen. David Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the commander who oversaw the “surge” policy in Iraq in 2007, spoke about Syria and the prospects for peace, among other topics. It was clear that he was careful not to give the impression that there are easy solutions to what is arguably the most intractable conflict in the world. In fact, at one point, Petraeus referred to the country as being in a state of “meltdown,” calling it an international version of the infamous Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine.
At the same time, he struck a positive note when he drew a distinction between the policies of the US under Donald Trump and those of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Unlike Obama, who did not adhere to his self-imposed “red line” on the use of chemical weapons by the Bashar Assad regime, Trump has restored American credibility by launching military strikes against the Damascus regime on two separate occasions, the former general argued. That is a common view in Washington. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether the world’s sole superpower has enough leverage and enough at stake in Syria to help end the conflict. To put it simply, too many players — local and outside — have been fighting for too long and have invested so much political capital that it has become very difficult for the parties involved to make meaningful compromises. The stakes are indeed very high for most, if not all players: The Assad regime, Iran, Hezbollah, Russia, Turkey and the opposition forces that are still fighting. For some, it is an existential threat.
There has never been much doubt that both the Obama and Trump administrations understood the enormous ramifications of the Syrian conflict and its potential to shape the political trajectory of the region for years to come. However, the former’s reluctance to get “entangled” in any way other than by launching airstrikes against the terrorist group Daesh became obvious early on in the conflict. The Trump administration, on the other hand, seems to be willing to shift its strategy and to make the necessary adjustments based on changing realities on the ground. The Trump administration appears resolute about not allowing either Daesh or Iran and its forces and militias to triumph. It does not see these two goals as being mutually exclusive and understandably so for a simple reason: They are not. To this day, many blame Obama for the escalation of the conflict by reversing course seemingly overnight on his now infamous red line. Had the US intervened more forcefully, the conflict could have perhaps proceeded differently, the critics argue. The emphasis on the importance of US credibility that Petraeus made in his talk should not be underestimated.
President Trump has restored American credibility by launching military strikes against the Assad regime on two separate occasions.
Over the course of the past year or so, the Trump administration has issued several statements warning the Assad regime not to use chemical weapons. When Assad neglected to heed the warning, the US hit his positions — twice. Although the strikes were of a limited nature, many have commended the White House for being consistent, resolute and not sending mixed signals. Just as importantly, the administration has also gone after Daesh and the territories it once controlled in eastern Syria with a vengeance, by providing air support to local fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. The question now becomes whether the US administration can somehow leverage the newfound credibility — and perhaps even goodwill — that it has garnered in a way to also force Iran and its sectarian militias out of Syria. Of course, it is not only the US that has a military presence in Syria; Russia and Turkey do also.
While some have already proclaimed the Assad regime to be the victor in the Syrian war, it is hard not to see this as a Pyrrhic victory that has come at an enormous cost in terms of lost legitimacy, not to mention the unspeakable suffering of millions of Syrians and the devastation of many cities. By all accounts, the regime would not have survived without the support of Iran, Hezbollah and, most importantly, Russia’s military interventions. And, while all the major outside players were in agreement that Daesh had to be defeated and its territories had to be liberated, beyond that, short-term goals and long-term objectives have varied widely.
The violence in Syria may have ebbed momentarily after Russia and Turkey brokered an agreement that established a demilitarized zone in the northwestern province of Idlib, sparing the last opposition stronghold from what looked like an impending Syrian regime assault. But Turkey has made it known that it has its own red line when it comes to certain Kurdish forces expanding their presence along the Syrian-Turkish border. Russia also made its long-term plans clear when it announced the establishment of permanent military bases in Syria, including the naval base at Tartus, which is Russia’s only presence in the Mediterranean Sea. Likewise, Iran and its proxy force Hezbollah have also worked methodically to spread their signature sectarianism to sow divisions between the different religious communities in Syria, as they have done in Iraq, Lebanon and even Yemen.
One must take solace in the fact that the war in Syria will eventually come to an end. How and when remains a mystery. Whether it is the US, which appears to have relatively lower stakes but remains the world’s sole superpower, that uses its newly restored credibility to bring it to an end also remains to be seen.
**Fahad Nazer is a political consultant to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington and an International Fellow at the National Council on US Arab Relations. He does not represent or speak on behalf of either organization. Twitter: @fanazer

Protests in Pakistan Delay Release of Christian Woman
مظاهرات الأصوليين في باكستان تؤجل اطلاق سراح المسيحية اسيا بيبي بعد تبرئتها من تهمة التجديف الملفقة لها