Tag Archives: NOW News

Lebanon’s New Regime of Censorship

An internationally minded romantic can always find good things to say about Lebanon. Travelling types praise its vibrant feel, its rich history and, perhaps most of all, its cosmopolitan sophistication. In parts of Europe, one still hears Beirut referred to as the ‘Paris of the East’. Continue reading

Turkey’s Raw Deal

The nation of Turkey has, it seems, few defenders. Once the receptacle of popular goodwill and support – in Europe generally and not least in Britain, where many public figures advocated on behalf of its joining the European Union – the country has become instead something of a pariah. In the increasingly fevered final stages of Britain’s EU referendum campaign, Turkey (and its projected entrance into the Union, with its single market and free movement of labour) is used as a byword for increased migration, something which has become an essential preoccupation of many British voters. Continue reading

Kronstadt for Hillary Clinton

There we have it, then. AP reports, based on interviews with various super-delegates, that Hillary Clinton has the support of sufficient numbers of them (in addition to the delegates she has won during the primary process) to clinch the Democratic nomination. Excepting any major upset at the parties’ national conventions, the presidential campaign proper will be fought between Clinton and Donald Trump. Continue reading

Europe’s Perception Problem

Security forces gunning down peaceful protesters on the streets of Homs. Regime helicopters bombarding whole neighbourhoods of Aleppo with indiscriminate barrel bombs. The Islamic State storming through the desert, executing all those who don’t adhere to their radical ideology along the way. Massive car bombs ripping through the heart of Damascus. A toddler lying dead on a Mediterranean beach. These are the images that have become both iconic and all too commonplace during five years of war in Syria. Continue reading

Seeking Refuge in Hypocrisy

Syria and its neighbours have borne witness to many horrors over the years. These have intensified of late, and the country has seen its citizens brutalised, its economy and infrastructure deliberately and cynically degraded, and its population trapped between the twin horrors of Bashar al-Assad and ISIS. None of this is new; none of it is novel. The roots of this current tragedy are the brutal repression by the Assad regime and the emergence of a civil war, the first acts of which took place in early 2011. The current refugee crisis – which stems inexorably from this first act of repression – is the obvious end result of a civil conflict in which over 9 million have been made refugees and over 200,000 have been killed. Continue reading

Goodbye to the Good Guys

This week, ISIS released another video showcasing an atrocity. These broadcasts, which have become depressingly common of late, strive to exceed previous standards of brutality. This offering was of a different order. It was not a spectacle designed to top previous instances of barbarism, but another example of almost commonplace savagery. The men who met their ends on camera were two of Syria’s bravest: Bashir Abduladhim al-Saado and Faisal Hussain al-Habib. Associated with Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently and other organisations which monitor and report upon ISIS crimes and excesses, they were accused of spying on the city’s tyrannical occupiers. Forced to confess, the two were shot through the head; the camera lingered, leering at their last moments. Continue reading