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December 6, 2012 No. 83-2012
December 6, 2012
No. 83-2012

Doha is hosting the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the Arab countries, the impact of climate change can be seen in the form of extremely polluted air, which has clear consequences for public health. Yet, there are very few attempts to tackle the pollution, and the absence of modern public transport that can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions is but one example of the failure of most Arab gov- ernments to seriously address this issue.

Source: Al Hayat (London) December 3, 2012

US intelligence reports have shown that Damascus may be preparing to use chemical and biological weapons, sounding alarm bells across the region and beyond. US President Obama warned that any such use will have very serious repercussions. The international community should not wait idly by while the Syrian regime mulls using chemical weapons.

Source: The Jordan Times (Amman) December 4, 2012

Israelis and Americans are fond of speaking the rhetoric of Palestinian independence while actually promoting something less. This time, however, it is the Palestinian leadership itself that was involved in repackaging past fail- ures as national triumphs. In approaching the UN General Assembly for admission as a Non-Member Observer State, the Fatah leadership spoke of an astounding moral victory of historic proportions.

Source: Gulf News (Dubai) December 5, 2012

Time and again, promises made by the Syrian regime and its armed opposition to deal a decisive blow to the other side have failed to materialize. Is this savage war destined to go on forever? Both sides have a long list of justifica- tions for their failure to resolve the situation. All of these seem to be military or technical, but may really have more to do with politics and ideology. Warring sides can never achieve military victory if their ideas do not prevail first.

Source: Al-Akhbar English (Beirut) December 4, 2012

The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters accuse us, the opposition, of rushing to judge President Morsi without giving him a chance to perform his duties. Their main argument is that we began opposing the president on the first day of his tenure without giving him enough time, but this reasoning is false because any president can be criticised on the first day of office based on his platform. So, what if the elected president doesn’t actually have what amounts to a platform? Surely this wouldn’t take us five months to discover.

Source: Al-Ahram (Cairo) December 2, 2012

The Turkish Parliament elected Mehmet Nihat Ömeroğlu as the Ombudsman, who is responsible for carrying out an impartial public inspection of government. However, Ömeroğlu was one of the judges that approved an prison sentence against the slain Turkish-Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink. His election reflects the way those who elected him understand democracy. Tell me who your Ombudsman is and I will tell you who you are.

Source: Hürriyet (Istanbul), November 30, 2012

The ongoing discussion about lifting the immunity of the MPs who belong to the pro-Kurdish BDP brings back memories of 1994, when six Kurdish MPs were jailed after a similar process. The repetition of such a move will only give way to more violence. Instead the government should focus its energy on finding possible solutions to the Kurdish issue.

Source: Today's Zaman (Istanbul), December 4, 2012