By David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, March 24, 2012
CAIRO — As it prepares to take power in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is overhauling its relations with the two main Palestinian factions in an effort to put new pressure on Israel for an independent Palestinian state.
Officials of the Brotherhood, Egypt’s dominant Islamist movement, are pressing its militant Palestinian offshoot, Hamas, which controls Gaza, to make new compromises with Fatah, the Western-backed Palestinian leadership that has committed to peace with Israel and runs the West Bank [....]
Brotherhood officials say that they are pulling back from their previous embrace of Hamas and its commitment to armed struggle against Israel in order to open new channels of communications with Fatah, which the Brotherhood had previously denounced for collaborating with Israel and accused of selling out the Palestinian cause. Brotherhood leaders argue that if they persuade the Palestinians to work together with a newly assertive Egypt, they will have far more success forcing Israel to bargain in earnest over the terms of statehood.
“Now we have to deal with the Palestinian parties as an umbrella for both of them, and we have to stand at an equal distance from each,” said Reda Fahmy, a Brotherhood leader who oversees its Palestinian relations and is now chairman of the Arab affairs committee in Egypt’s upper house of Parliament. “Any movement of the size of the Muslim Brotherhood, when it is in the opposition it is one thing and then when it comes to power it is something completely different.” [....]
Credit where credit is due: drones are pretty good at journalism. The video above was shot by an unmanned drone carrying a video camera, and presents a unique perspective on the scale of the protests taking place in Hong Kong....
By Arron Reza Merat,"Iran Pulse" @ Al-Monitor, Sept. 30, 2014
Iran’s judiciary this month sentenced former First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi to jail time for undisclosed corruption charges [....] His conviction was in part made necessary because of the narrative woven by Hassan Rouhani's new administration that the economic ills it inherited (5.4% growth and 44% year-on-year inflation) were due to unprecedented corruption under Ahmadinejad.
By Loveday Morris, Washington Post, Sept. 28, 2014
[....] a new weapon has been unleashed in this country devastated by Islamist militant violence — comedy. A new 30-part satirical series, “State of Myths,” which started airing on Iraqi state television Saturday, aims to expose the true nature of the Islamic State extremist organization — through slapstick and puns [....]
[....] While all eyes are on Syria and Iraq, another intervention is taking place in Yemen. The coalition involved here is more of an understanding than a military pact, but it is proving to be just as effective. That Iran should be backing a small Shi'a tribe in the north of Yemen called the Houthis comes as little surprise. The lightning takeover by the Houthis of the capital Sana'a has been applauded by Iranian politicians. [....]
By Stephanie Ennis, BBC Monitoring, 25 Sept., 2014
Russia is the target of a global plot orchestrated by the United States and involving fighters from the self-styled Islamic State (IS) and nationalist Ukrainian troops - that is the latest conspiracy theory broadcast on Russian state TV. "America is everywhere, the West is everywhere, Nato is everywhere. Everything is organised against Russia," the veteran Russian nationalist MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky railed during a talk show on Channel One, Russia's most popular TV station.
There was a "certain link", he hinted, between Ukrainian troops "raiding our western regions" and IS, which he said was being armed by the US.