Archive for April, 2010

links for 2010-04-28

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links for 2010-04-26

  • says US should work on a a Iran-sanctions for West Bank withdrawal "deal" with Israel.
  • "For appropriating such Western cultural forms—albeit to new moral ends—Islamic media producers have been attacked by an older generation of Islamists highly suspicious of televised entertainment and prone to issuing blanket condemnations of music, drama, and dance. By contrast, [..] new Islamic media producers do not see entertainment as an object of prohibition, but rather as an object of regulation.

    The new Islamic media project does not ask if art and entertainment are permissible, but rather what kind of art and entertainment should be allowed, and what evaluative criteria should be marshalled in making these decisions. In the process, channels such as 4Shbab and others are redefining what counts as Islamic television —not just overt preaching, but also good music and compelling drama, it seems—and why. Firmly rooted in popular culture, such efforts will likely play an increasingly significant role in shaping the place of Islam in the Egyptian public sphere and beyond[..]."

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links for 2010-04-21

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links for 2010-04-20

  • Blurb:
    "Islamist parties and movements in Arab countries have gained great political importance by making the strategic choice to participate in the legal political process and to acknowledge the legitimacy of the existing constitutional framework. Their political participation has given rise to two major concerns both in the Arab world and in the West. First, are these parties and movements truly committed to democracy? And, will participation itself strengthen their commitment to democratic norms and procedures? The experience of participating Islamist parties and movements in Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, and Yemen, as well as the armed parties in Lebanon and Palestine, reveals a complex picture."
  • Given the controversial past of Bank policy and the lasting impacts of its projects, some civil society organisations and developing countries feel there should not be a role for the Bank in climate finance due to its:

    * inequitable governance;
    * ongoing and increasing fossil fuel investment;
    * history of imposing economic policy conditionality with impacts that will last for generations;
    * poor record in delivering results on development projects and involving communities themselves;
    * favouring of large scale development models, many of which are not consistent with a shift toward low-carbon development or issues of equity;
    * lack of sufficient environmental and social standards and implementation and enforcement mechanisms;
    * lack of sufficient institutional evaluation and commitment to real reform.

  • "[At] the first-ever live televised general election debate between party leaders[, ] Nick Clegg, for the LibDems, emerged as the clear winner in the eyes of the viewing public and this was borne out in boosts to the party’s ratings in subsequent opinion polls. [..]

    With this election expected to be the closest in a generation, there has been much speculation in the run-up to the contest of what might happen if there were to be a “hung parliament,” [..]. All analysis, in that event, points to the LibDems holding the balance of power, enabling them to negotiate to have at least some of their priorities adopted as government policy.
    The party wants to establish a global fund that would pump $160 billion a year, between 2013 and 2017, into the developing world for this purpose. That is actually more than most campaigners have asked for, and comes on top of a commitment to the U.N.’s 0.7 percent target of national income to be devoted to foreign assistance by 2013."

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links for 2010-04-19

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links for 2010-04-12

  • EIPR, a prominent human rights organization, distributed its new study analyzing all 53 known incidents of sectarian violence in the country from January 2008 to January 2010.

    All incidents took place between Muslims and Christians, with the exception of one incident of violence by Muslims against Baha'is, a minority religious group which has struggled for legal recognition in the country.

  • Against this backdrop, several shifts in the Obama administration’s approach to foreign assistance during its first year have sparked concern among supporters of democratization. Total bilateral funding for democracy and governance programming was reduced from approximately $50 million annually to only $20 million. Within this amount, the level of funding for civil society was cut disproportionately, from $32 million to only $7 million, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) adopted a policy of only funding those organizations officially registered and approved as NGOs by the Egyptian government. Moreover, the administration began negotiations on the possible establishment of an “endowment,” a fund advocated by the Egyptian government to remove Congressional oversight over future U.S. economic aid.

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links for 2010-04-11

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