Middle East News – July 28th

A group of dedicated Star Wars fans have restored the ranch from Episode IV: A New Hope in a remote Tunisian desert

– President Obama has signed into law a bill that will sent $70 million to Israel in the next year to build a state of the art missile defense system – The signing was timed to overshadow Mitt Romney’s visit to Jerusalem – Al-Jazeera

– A group of hardcore Star Wars fans have restored the Tunisian ranch that was used for the Tatooine scenes in the original trilogy – CNN

– Syrian rebel and government forces are preparing for a climactic battle in the city of Aleppo in what could be the decisive battle of the civil war – BBC

– Libyan rebels who fought against Gaddafi’s regime have moved to Syria to help the rebels there in their fight against the Assad regime – CNN

– Saudi Arabian security forces opened fire on Shi’ite protesters in the western part of the country yesterday – Al-Jazeera – In the western Qatif region government forces have arrested a number of protesters who were on a short list of trouble makers the government wished to arrest – CNN

– Dubai’s police chief has warned Gulf states that there may be a vast conspiracy to overthrow the existing governments in that region, though he did not cite his source – Al-Bawaba

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Middle East News – June 4th

Ahmed Shafiq, one of the two remaining Egyptian presidential candidates, stated that he believes a Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt would be a return to the Middle Ages

– The International Monetary Fund has urged Saudi Arabia to concentrate on more targeted investments in order to improve the infrastructure of the nation – This is in reaction to the large stimulus that Saudi Arabia achieved last year, even amidst a global recession – Al-bawaba

– Syrian rebels have amped up attacks on the country’s state military, attacking checkpoints throughout the weekend – Over eighty soldiers from the Assad regime were killed, signaling that the rebels might be regaining the initiative in the conflict – BBC

– Immigration tensions continue to heighten in Israel as four African immigrants were hurt in an apparent arson attack on their Jerusalem homes – BBC

– A prominent Libyan militia group has taken over the airport in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, while demanding the release of one of their imprisoned leaders – This recent surge in violence highlights the precarious nature of Libya in the post-Gaddafi world, and has led for the upcoming elections to be delayed until July – Al-Jazeera

– During the Gaddafi administration the media was entirely controlled by the government, meaning that in a post-Gaddafi world Libya has struggled to create its own private and independent media outlets – Al-Jazeera

– The United States has increased drone attacks in Pakistan, leading to the deaths of over thirty suspected militants while drawing ire from local Pakistani residents who resent this foreign incursion – Al-Jazeera

– Recent United States action in Pakistan and elsewhere has been far too heavy-handed to satisfy the United States’ goal of destroying safe havens for terrorists – This editorial comes in response to a supposed ‘kill list’ released by the New York Times last week – Al-Jazeera

– Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq has retorted harshly to critics who say that his regime will merely continue Mubarak’s decade long rule – Shafiq argues that if the Muslim Brotherhood is elected Egypt will return to the Middle Ages with Islamic law dominating – Al-Bawaba

– The thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing across the border to Jordan are putting a strain on Jordan’s already precarious resources – Particularly, the meager water resources in Jordan are being put to the test – Al-Bawaba

– Madonna caused singer while performing a concert in the Middle East, when she brandished a (fake) AK-47 on stage – Al-Bawaba