Tunisia is following Egypt into post-revolution uproar after the shooting death of Chokri Belaid, a prominent secularist opponent of the Islamist-led government. Arab Spring revolts began in Tunisia in December 2010. Tens of thousands chanting for “a second revolution” turned out today for Belaid’s funeral in Tunis, and police have fired tear gas on the crowd.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, told CIA director designate John Brennan she intends to launch a committee investigation into the targeting of U.S. terrorist suspects in the Obama administration’s drone wars. Brennan’s confirmation hearing turned quickly testy yesterday, with protesters repeatedly interrupting his opening remarks and Brennan turning combative in the face of tough questioning from the president’s own party leaders. Feinstein told Brennan when she asked to make public certain aspects of stepped up drone assaults, she was told by officials, “you can’t. It’s classified. For the public, [the drone campaign] doesn’t exist.”
Over the weekend, secretary of defense designate Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hangs in the balance, as lawmakers give him a few more days to turn over long-requested documents.
In Tehran, Hagel’s nomination, despite his opposition to U.S. sanctions, is greeted “with a shrug, not a sigh of relief.”
In “a cold fury,” Russian president Vladimir Putin fired the vice president of his country’s Olympic committee over delays in finishing the ski jump for the 2014 Olympics.
Gunmen in Nigeria shot dead nine health workers administering polio vaccinations. Officials blame the killings in the northern city of Kano on the terrorist group Boko Haram.
It’s been almost two years since Sudan divided into two countries, but the problems of political Islam and ethnic cleansing won’t go away: “Political Islam is going to divide Africa,” said SPLM-North leader Yasir Arman. “What we have been fighting for over 20 years you now see dividing Egypt, Mali, Nigeria, and Somalia.”
Deep division in England remains, despite lawmakers’ passage of a bill legalizing same-sex “marriage” this week.
Two North Korean refugees sleep every night in their own struggling L.A. restaurant—and count it a blessing.
Long read: Assyrian journalist Nuri Kino reports on interviews with over 100 Syrian Christian refugees, from Istanbul to Beirut, and on the multimillion dollar industry springing up to smuggle them to Europe (I recommend downloading his full account). The Christians say they are targeted by the rebels. In certain parts of Syria, “a Christian can no longer report injustices or crimes. We are hostages of the growing Islamism while the rest of the world either watches on or turns the other cheek.”
President Barack Obama turned aside the recommendation of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA Director David Petraeus, along with the Pentagon, to arm Syrian rebels. Never mind, the rebels have been getting plenty of weapons from our Gulf state allies.