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Amnesty International Releases Annual Report on Human Rights

Amnesty International says in its latest annual report that recent uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa show that freedom of expression lies at the heart of human rights. 2010 ended with a public uprising in Tunisia that forced that country’s longtime leader from power.  Then in the new year, similar public demonstrations prompted Egypt's...

HOLD until Friday-America and Arab Spring: One Man’s View

How has the so-called “Arab Spring” changed the way Americans perceive people of the Middle East and North Africa? What about how people in that region look at the United States? American author and activist James Zogby says change is needed in both camps and cautions that many Americans still don’t understand the region. Zogby, a son of Lebanese...

US Lawmakers Probe End Game in Libya

The Obama administration is facing intense questioning from U.S. lawmakers about current and future U.S. efforts to reshape Libya.  Nearly two months into an international military campaign, legislators are seeking answers about goals, methods, costs, and potential outcomes in the oil-rich country, where leader Moammar Gadhafi continues to cling...

Former Tunisian President's Case Sent to Military Court

Tunisian authorities have referred criminal cases against former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali to a military court.The country's state-run TAP news agency says officials made the decision on Wednesday, in compliance with jurisdiction rules. Authorities with the country's interim government have filed at least 18 charges against Ben Ali who...

EU Ministers Discuss Influx of Migrants

European Union interior ministers meet in Brussels Thursday to discuss how to handle a wave of migrants flooding into their countries following the Arab uprisings in North Africa.  Fading hopesNear a highway on the edge of Paris, dozens of mostly Tunisian immigrants are camped out in a dusty park, living on sandwiches handed out by volunteers -...

Sudanese Government Concerned About Uprising, Says Opposition Leader

The leader of Sudan’s opposition Popular Congress Party [PCP] says the ruling National Congress Party [NCP] is using state security agencies to intimidate opponents ahead of south Sudan’s scheduled July independence. Hassan Al-Turabi, who was recently released from jail, said the ruling party seems to be concerned that the south’s separation could...

IOM: Migrants Fleeing Libya Overwhelm Niger

The International Organization for Migration says about 1,000 people every day are arriving from Libya to northern Niger's main entry point of Dirkou, fleeing Libya's months-long conflict. The head of IOM in Niger, Abibatou Wane, says many of the migrants are from Niger or other sub-Saharan African countries and arrive in poor condition after...

NATO, EU Defend Record of Saving African Migrants

NATO and the European Union say they are doing what they can to help African migrants in trouble at sea amid calls by the United Nations to intervene. As hundreds of migrants continue to set sail from North Africa to Europe, and the death toll of casualties climbs. Questions are also mounting about efforts to save those foundering at sea.Britain's...

Italian Authorities Rescue 400 Stranded Migrants

Italian authorities say they have rescued hundreds of migrants from Libya after their boat was damaged sending some overboard in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of southern Italy.Officials say the boat ran aground early Sunday as it approached the island of Lampedusa after a problem with its steering mechanism. Officials say coast guard crews...

Study Shows Africa’s Middle Class on the Rise

The study by the African Development Bank indicates one-third of Africa’s 900 million people have more to spend on domestic goods and describes that group as middle class.However, the bank includes in the definition of middle class some 191 million Africans it describes as a floating class, who are able to spend between $2 and $4 per day per...

UN Asks West for Help with Libyan Refugee Crisis

What inevitably follows the breakout of war is the movement of masses of people across international borders. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that hundreds of thousands of refugees are moving out of Libya, mainly into Tunisia and Egypt, countries fresh with the instability of their own revolutions. United Nations High...

Kenya Unions Demand Wage Increase, Threaten Protests

As the country celebrates International Worker's Day, Kenya's unions are demanding higher wages and threatening Egypt-style protests if their demands are not met.On Monday, Kenyans around the country relaxed with family and friends thanks to the public holiday to celebrate the international labor movement. But as the day wound down, a storm was...

Press Freedom Day Notes Impact of Citizen Journalism

May 3, 2011, the United Nations will mark World Press Freedom Day.  This year’s event comes at a time when social media, mobile phones and the Internet are playing an increasing role in giving a voice to the oppressed.  As recent events in the Middle East and North Africa have shown, so-called "citizen journalists" are playing a major role.Syria...

Battle Rages Over Libyan Border Crossing with Tunisia

Libyan soldiers and rebel forces battled for control of a Tunisian border crossing Thursday, while government forces continued an assault on the port town of Misrata.Witnesses say government forces tried to retake the border crossing in the western Wazin region, which was seized by rebels last week.  The fighting briefly spilled over onto the...

Libyan Rebels Lose Border Crossing, Battle Over Misrata Airport

Libyan military officials say pro-government forces have regained control of a border post in the western Wazin region, after rebels took over the crossing last week.The French news agency (AFP) quotes witnesses who say some rebels fled into neighboring Tunisia on Thursday, as they were being chased by forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi....