News



Baseless organ theft accusations will not bring Israel to justice
Posted on 25/08/2009 - 14:58
Baseless organ theft accusations are a propaganda gift for Israel, and deflect attention from its well-documented war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 090824-cassel-organtheft.jpg 
Swiss fear ‘symbols of Islamic power’
Posted on 24/08/2009 - 19:38
Langenthal, a provincial town in the Swiss canton of Bern, is at the center of a fierce right-wing campaign to prevent the construction of a minaret. Home to an estimated 14,547 residents and 11 churches, Langenthal’s population is also eight percent Muslim—mostly of Albanian, Bosnian and Turkish background. "Anti-minaret" campaigners are trying to force the capital Bern to rescind its approval for the addition of a minaret and dome to an existing Muslim house of worship, and are also trying to amend Switzerland’s constitution. Switzerland mosques 
"Hezbollah cell" goes on trial in Egypt
Posted on 24/08/2009 - 18:27
A group of men accused of plotting attacks in Egypt for Lebanon’s Hezbollah group has gone on trial in a state security court in Cairo. The accused deny the allegations and some of the defendants claim they were tortured while in Egyptian custody. Egypt Hezbollah torture 
Israel claims Swedish press committing "blood libel" over organ theft allegations
Posted on 21/08/2009 - 18:46
Earlier this week, the Sweden's biggest daily, Aftonbladet, published an article that suggested Israeli military troops killed young Palestinians and stole their organs. The man who penned the article, Swedish photographer and journalist Donald Bostrom, claims he witnessed such an incident himself in the early 1990s. The article has attracted a great amount of international attraction and sparked an intense media debate in Sweden as well as outside. Israel has responded with fury over the piece, accusing Sweden of publishing a “blood libel against Jews” and demanding that national authorities officially condemn the article. Sweden israel - newspaper logo 
Threats and harassment draw red lines for Karbala journalists
Posted on 21/08/2009 - 15:14
A few years back, journalist Ali Ibrahim, director of “Bayina” newspaper in Karbala, spent a few days in prison for “insulting” the former police chief in the city. He was only released after local officials intervened in his favor. But this incident still haunts Ali Ibrahim, which he describes as a “slap on the hand” meant to deter him and other journalists from criticizing the local officials. iraq karbala journalists 
Combating sexual harassment, one book at a time
Posted on 20/08/2009 - 17:57
Following shocking statistics on sexual harassment in Egypt presented in a recent report by a local women’s rights group, different groups as well as the national authorities have launched initiatives to battle the issue. The latest trend appears to be books. Egypt Harrasment article 
Al-Masry Al Youm English: New kid on the block in Egyptian media
Posted on 19/08/2009 - 17:11
Big plans appear to be in the pipeline in Cairo for the revamped English-language version of the leading Egyptian independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. The initial web portal was launched two months ago and hopes are to launch a print edition by the end of the year. MENASSAT visited their offices in Cairo. Egypt Masry Lyom 
Oh, the fun we'll have! Selling (out) gay Beirut
Posted on 19/08/2009 - 16:43
In an article in the New York Times on August 2, 2009, entitled “Beirut, Provincetown of the Middle East,” Patrick Healy details his personal encounters and experiences during a trip to Beirut. In this travel-style article, Healy not only narrates his endeavors in what he baptized the "party-capital of the Middle East," but also makes conclusions that incensed gays and gay rights activists in Beirut. Misconceptions of this city and country are at large in politics, with some saying the Times fell into the conventional trap of mistaking the superficial for the core, and the appearance for the real thing. Menassat looks at the article and the responses. Lebanon NYT Gays  
Calls to stop war on Sa’ada as airstrikes continue
Posted on 19/08/2009 - 16:31
Fierce confrontations between the army and Houthi supporters are continuing throughout various districts of Sa’ada and Amran provinces, tribal sources from the war-torn province of Sa’ada said. This contradicts media reports that there is relative calm in the province. Yemen Sa’ada 
As tourists flock to Lebanon from far and wide, will racism desist?
Posted on 18/08/2009 - 16:20
Lebanon has seen record numbers of tourists this year, with an increasing number of visitors from Asia and Africa, as well as mixed-ethnicity Lebanese returning home for the summer. However, many of them have experienced appalling treatment, amid racist perceptions that conflate the sight of dark skin or Asian features with those of Lebanon's 250,000 domestic workers. migrant worker beach 
Press freedom law in Iraq: a step backwards?
Posted on 18/08/2009 - 15:24
Controversy has erupted in media circles in Iraq concerning the new media draft law to protect journalists. Signed by the Iraqi government and presented to the parliament for approval, the law has been rejected by some and welcomed by others. Many have reservations regarding specific articles, claiming it will threaten press freedoms at a time when abuses against journalists are on the rise. Iraq Protecting Journalists 
Iraqi gays hunted: A war against effeminacy, during an ‘emasculating occupation’
Posted on 18/08/2009 - 13:05
Human Rights Watch held a press conference yesterday in Beirut to accompany the release of its report on “Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq.” The report entitled “They Want Us Exterminated” details the campaign-- allegedly by the Mahdi army, but also in collusion with ministry of interior security forces and other armed elements—-against Iraqis suspected of homosexual conduct, but also against men deemed effeminate and “unmanly.” Iraq persecution of gays 
Syndicate in Karbala: Journalists kept waiting, while local officials given membership
Posted on 17/08/2009 - 16:28
Reporter Hussein Al-Shamri said that he filed an application to join the Syndicate of Iraqi Journalists three times and did not receive a reply. In fact, every time he inquires about a submitted package the Syndicate tells him that it has been lost. Iraq journalists 
Egyptian blogger uncovers new alleged case of police torture
Posted on 17/08/2009 - 15:41
Egyptian blogger and anti-torture activist Wael Abbas recently uploaded footage on his blog that allegedly depicts a man being tortured in a police station in the Egyptian city of Port Said. The perpetrator, says Abbas, is thought to be the head of investigations at the station. Egypt torture 
Woof! Anwar Sadat the dog causes anger in Egypt
Posted on 14/08/2009 - 16:22
A Hollywood film featuring a dog character named after the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat is causing a stir in some Egyptian circles. The elder daughter of Sadat believes the film slanders the memory of her father and recently filed a court case against Egypt’s information minister for allowing the production to be released in the country. Egypt Sadat doggy dog 
Strikes at al-Aqaba reveal the failure of the Jordanian media
Posted on 14/08/2009 - 12:02
Could it be that the Jordanian media focuses on the capital and doesn’t care about events outside Amman? Does the importance of the news differ according to geography? How much space is given to people’s concerns outside the capital? These questions were answered through the local Jordanian media’s coverage of the strike of the port workers in al-Aqaba, in which 2,600 freelance workers participated to demand their rights from the Ports Department in Jordan. Jordan AlAqaba Port 
KSA: LBCI bureau closed in Al-Riyadh after Jeddah office shut down
Posted on 13/08/2009 - 16:26
The official spokesman for the Education and Information Ministry in Saudi Arabia, Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Aziz al-Hazaa, assured that the Lebanese Broadcasting Company's (LBCI) bureaus were closed in the Kingdom on orders of the vice-Prime Minister, Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz. He said the ministry's order came in coordination with the other emirates, and that both offices in al-Riyadh and Jeddah had been closed. KSA Lbci 
Internet filtering on the rise in MENA, says new report
Posted on 13/08/2009 - 15:26
A new study published by the research group Open Net Initiative on Internet content controls in the Middle East and North Africa claims web censorship, both in scope and in depth, is increasing in the majority of countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Fourteen out of the eighteen countries surveyed in the study censor Internet content using technological means. ONI 
Egypt and Iran: endless media wars
Posted on 12/08/2009 - 17:13
If we want to understand the political and media war launched by the Egyptian regime against its Shi’a citizens, it cannot be isolated from the regime’s stand vis-à-vis Iran and Hezbollah. The biggest mistake we can make is to separate what is happening with the Shi’a in Egypt from the trend followed with the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt Nasrallah 
Gamal Mubarak + social media = true
Posted on 12/08/2009 - 16:42
In an apparent attempt to garner popularity among Egypt’s internet-savvy youth, the thought-to be heir to the Egyptian presidency, Gamal Mubarak, has jumped on the social media bandwagon, launching his own fan page on Facebook and an interactive discussion forum for young Egyptians that is to be broadcasted widely through various social media platforms. jimmy.JPG 


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