Arab Spring at Risk: Belaïd Assassination Exposes Deep Rifts in Tunisia
Der Spiegel: Christoph Scheuermann
After the murder, one of Belaïd's brothers accused Ennahda Chairman Ghannouchi of being behind it. Ghannouchi is probably the most influential man in Tunisia. His party has plenty of money, along with hundreds of local organizations and youth groups. There is much speculation over Ghannouchi's true agenda, but until now he has managed to bring together Islamist agitators and liberal Muslims. This is one of the reasons Ennahda is considered the most moderate of the Islamist parties in the region, far more moderate than the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, for example. Ghannouchi is the animal tamer who keeps lions and zebras together in one cage.
The party leader walks with a stoop from his desk to a sofa at Ennahda headquarters. He will be 72 in June. He look as though he hadn't been getting much sleep lately. Although Belaïd was one of his biggest political foes, Ghannouchi sees the assassination as a catastrophe. "We also suffer from it," he says. "Instability harms us just as much as the others."
Behind the scenes in Tunisian politics, and possible insight into Arab spring countries.
Coal bags carbon profit
The Age; Tom Arup
AUSTRALIA'S highly emitting brown coal power generators will reap $2.3 billion to $5.4 billion in windfall profits from carbon price compensation, an analysis by a leading energy market expert has found.
While brown coal power plants based in Victoria's Latrobe Valley will get billions in compensation, the analysis suggests they have so far been able to pass on all of their extra costs of the carbon price - thus turning the compensation into pre-tax profit.
The analysis carried out by Bruce Mountain, director of consultants Carbon + Energy Markets, looked at half-hourly spot prices for electricity sold from four Victorian brown-coal fuelled power plants - Hazelwood, Yallourn, Loy Yang A and Loy Yang B - over the first six months of the carbon price.
This sounds like it needs additional context. Welcome to the brave new world of carbon markets.
Post-2014 Afghanistan: Pakistan's nightmare?
Dawn.com; Madiha Sattar
They are Pakistanis, Afghans, Arabs, Germans, Turks, Libyans, Sudanese, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz and Uighurs. They operate from Bajaur in the north to the Waziristans in the south. And the areas they target range from Pakistan and its neighbourhood, including Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and China, to the Middle East, Europe and the United States.
In the event that civil war breaks out next door or the Afghan Taliban capture significant power after the Western withdrawal, will Afghanistan become a new safe haven for this motley crew of Fata-based militant groups?
"2014 and the Western withdrawal will not mean Pakistan's problems are over," says Rahimullah Yusufzai, an expert on Fata and Afghan militancy. "If the Taliban cannot capture Kabul, which is highly likely, they will be operating from the border areas. So they may still need to come to Pakistan for shelter, funds and medical treatment, and the Pakistani Taliban will find safe havens in Afghanistan."
Mentally-handicapped US man to be put to death despite outrage
Mail & Guardian, AFP;
Warren Hill (52) is reported to have an IQ of 70, putting him below the threshold for mental disability.
"There is no dispute among the experts that Mr Hill is mentally retarded," attorney Brian Kammer wrote in an appeal seeking leniency for his client.
"Because Mr Hill's execution would be a fundamental miscarriage of justice, this court must stay Mr Hill's imminent execution and vacate his death sentence," he added in another appeal.
After spending the last 21 years on death row for killing a fellow inmate, Hill was scheduled to die last July.
Here are four international stories to get you started. So many of our state legislatures are in session right now, even in the US Congress is on holiday.
Let's all share something from our state lawmakers. Proposed bills, passed bills, hearings, meetings.