Tag Archives: The Spectator

Sudan’s Dreams of Democracy Seem to Be Over

Fighting is raging once again in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, where a power struggle between rival factions has claimed the lives of hundreds of people. Around 185 people have been killed and more than 1,800 injured in the wake of an attempted coup. 

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Don’t Ignore the Brutal Civil War in Burma

It is a bad cliché, of several decades’ vintage, to say that a given civil war is ‘complex’. Normally, this is a dodge on the foreign correspondent’s part. He either wishes to hide his lack of knowledge from you, or to pretend that without him holding the reader’s hand, they could never hope to understand the story.   

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Israel Falls into Chaos

Chaos reigns in Israel, a country in the throes of an ad hoc general strike called by trade unions, university students, numerous industries across the country, and many military and civil defence reservists. Demonstrators are storming buildings and fighting the police. Some council leaders say they are beginning a hunger strike. If you wanted to fly into Ben Gurion airport today, as tens of thousands of people usually do of a weekday, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. It’s closed.  

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Israel’s Constitutional Standoff

Israeli politics is rarely quiet, but recent events have taken the drama and volubility to another level. The country has faced 11 weeks of protests against the make-up of Israel’s governing coalition and reforms to the country’s judicial system. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets. Roads have been blocked. The Knesset and politicians’ homes in Jerusalem have been targeted. Israeli police have used mounted officers, stun grenades and water cannon to disperse demonstrators. 

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Tunisia’s New Dictatorship

Tunisia has become a police state. This has not happened overnight. But it is still a shocking reversal in democratic development.  

This is the country whose former dictator was overthrown in a few days in 2011. His was the first scalp claimed by the Arab revolutions of that year. But where the tyrant Zine El Abidine Ben Ali once went (apart from running away in disgrace), his latest successor, Kais Saied, longs to follow.  

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The Earthquake in Syria

Natural disaster always worst affects those who have already lost so much. And so it is in Turkey and Syria, where a double earthquake has killed more than 1,900 people. Across both countries, there are widespread scenes of destruction: apartment blocks reduced to rubble; gas supplies cut off in the middle of a freezing winter; survivors left to try and pluck their relatives from the rubble. 

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