More Jews praying on site also sacred to Muslims
Israeli police and Muslim officials say the prayers at the Temple Mount-Al Aqsa mosque site are a provocation. Others call them a basic human right.
By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
October 28, 2012
A simple, ancient ritual is threatening the delicate security balance atop Jerusalem’s most sacred plaza: Jews are praying.
On most days, dozens – sometimes hundreds – of Jewish worshipers ascend to the disputed 36-acre platform that Muslims venerate as Al Aqsa mosque and Jews revere as the Temple Mount with an Israeli police escort to protect them and a Muslim security guard to monitor their movements.
Then, they recite a quick prayer, sometimes quietly to themselves, other times out loud.
Jewish activists call the prayers harmless acts of faith. Police and Muslim officials see them as dangerous provocations, especially given the deep religious sensitivities of the site and its history of violence. Twelve years ago, the presence of Jews on the plaza was so controversial that a brief tour by Israeli politician Ariel Sharon helped trigger a Palestinian uprising that lasted more than four years.
Wen Jiabao’s family deny ‘hidden riches’ report
Lawyers for Chinese premier’s family dispute New York Times article which said they have accumulated wealth of $2.7bn
Tania Branigan in Beijing
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 28 October 2012 04.30 GMT
Lawyers for Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s family have denied reports of their “hidden riches” saying they are untrue, according to Hong Kong media.
The New York Times said on Friday that relatives of the premier had controlled assets worth at least $2.7bn, citing detailed analysis of corporate and regulatory records.
The Chinese foreign ministry said the story “blackens China’s name and has ulterior motives”. Authorities also blocked the media organisation’s Chinese language and main websites and banned microblog searches for its name and a wide variety of terms related to the article.
Call me Kuchu: The life and death of a gay rights campaigner
Film out this week shows final year of Ugandan victim of homophobia
SARAH MORRISON SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER 2012
When a newspaper published the names and addresses of prominent Ugandan gay rights activists two years ago, under a banner suggesting they be hanged, it was only a matter of time before David Kato was attacked in his house.
And so, in January last year, twelve months into filming the life of the Ugandan gay rights campaigner, a documentary became an obituary. The film’s two directors transformed their attempt to document the gay community in one of the most homophobic countries in the world into an exclusive insight into the final 12 months of Kato’s life.
Ukraine votes under watchful eyes
Parliamentary elections are underway in Ukraine, with world boxing superstar Vitaly Klitschko running for an opposition party. But polls indicate the party of President Viktor Yanukovych is likely to win.
Heading into Sunday’s elections, Yanukovych’s Regions Party appeared to be in a position to maintain a slim lead in parliament despite a likely strong showing from opposition parties.
The party of jailed opposition leader, Yulia Tymoschenko, looks set to stay right on the heels of the Regions Party, and could benefit from teaming up with Klitschko, shown on the posters above, and his UDAR party to form a stronger opposition in parliament.
Iran is being set up to fail, just like Iraq
October 28, 2012
Chief foreign correspondent
If you were in Baghdad for the shock and awe of March-April 2003, any image of the inferno on the banks of the Tigris has the power to stop you in your tracks.
There was another this week, illustrating a cautionary tale on how the West is repeating the same mistakes that led to a disastrous war in Iraq, as it now flexes more muscle than imagination over what’s going down in Tehran.
That the piece, in Foreign Affairs, is co-authored by Rolf Ekeus should stop us all in our tracks. After his years in the squeeze between Washington and Baghdad, the silver-haired former Swedish diplomat’s ”been there, done that” savvy is instructive as, almost a decade after the invasion of Iraq, he detects an eerie similarity in the policy web in which Tehran is mired
The doormen policing Egypt’s morals
Residents of Cairo cannot simply live as they please – they must always take into account the judgement that will be made of them by the man who sits at the front door of their building.
By Tom Dinham
One of the many things any fresh-faced arrival in Cairo is likely to notice – when lugging bags and suitcases to a new abode – is that there will be somebody sitting in front of it, sternly looking into space with a stare so stoical that it can only have resulted from a lifetime of gazing, sitting and waiting.
In Cairo’s hectic maelstrom of activity, there is one person who can take things relatively easy – the doorman, or bewab.
Security guard, porter, enforcer of social mores and general snoop, all rolled into one, the bewab is a quintessentially Egyptian figure, and can be found sitting in f