Topic: Syria

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  • Who are Egypt's Copts, and the Middle East's other Christian populations?

    Who are Egypt's Copts, and the Middle East's other Christian populations?

    Recent attacks against Christians in Egypt and Iraq have drawn attention to the Middle East's Christian populations, which are dwindling as Christians flee violence, political strife, and persecution. Christians made up more than 20 percent of the region's population in the early 20th century, but today, they make up less than 10 percent. Here is a look at the status of Christians in seven key countries, from Egypt to Iran.

  • Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon becoming less of a hotbed for militancy

    Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon becoming less of a hotbed for militancy

    The recent murder of a top Al Qaeda-inspired militant and an exodus of other militants may signal increased stability, due in part to cooperation between Fatah and Islamist factions.

  • Ideas for a better world in 2011

    Ideas for a better world in 2011

    In many ways, 2010 is a year you may want to relegate to the filing cabinet quickly. It began with a massive earthquake in Haiti and wound down with North Korea once again being an enfant terrible – bizarrely trying to conduct diplomacy through brinkmanship. In between came Toyota recalls and egg scares, pat downs at airports and unyielding unemployment numbers, too little money in the Irish treasury and too many bedbugs in American sheets. Oil gushed from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico for three months, mocking the best intentions of man and technology to stop it, while ash from a volcano in Iceland darkened Europe temporarily as much as its balance sheets. Yet not all was gloomy. The winter Olympics in Canada and the World Cup in South Africa dazzled with their displays of athletic prowess and national pride, becoming hearths around which the world gathered. In Switzerland, the world's largest atom smasher hurled two protons into each other at unfathomable speeds. Then came the year's most poignant moment – the heroic and improbable rescue of 33 miners from the clutches of the Chilean earth. There were many transitions, too – the return of the Republicans in Washington and the Tories in Britain, the scaling back of one war (Iraq) and the escalation of another (Afghanistan), the fall of some powers (Greece) and rise of others (China, Germany, Lady Gaga). To get the new year off to the right start, we decided to ask various thinkers for one idea each to make the world a better place in 2011. We plumbed poets and political figures, physicists and financiers, theologians and novelists. Some of the ideas are provocative, others quixotic. Some you will agree with, others you won't. But in the modest quest to stir a discussion – from academic salons to living rooms to government corridors – we offer these 25 ideas.

  • Iraqi Christians face a somber Christmas

    Global News Blog Iraqi Christians face a somber Christmas

    Iraqi Christians are canceling services or scaling back celebrations out of concern for safety. Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation church, which was brutally attacked on Oct. 31, is now surrounded by blast walls.

  • Lebanon tribunal on Hariri assassination set to issue first indictments

    Lebanon tribunal on Hariri assassination set to issue first indictments

    An international tribunal investigating the 2005 Hariri assassination in Lebanon will focus on Hezbollah in its first indictments this month. But it still sees Syria as playing a key role.

  • Opinion US commitment to Iraq will pay off across the Middle East -- and avert a historic error

    Both those who supported the surge and those who pressed for withdrawal should support continued US involvement in order to consolidate Iraq's fragile political and security gains. Disengaging now could undermine the entire long-term strategic relationship.

  • In Pictures Space photos of the day: Earth from above

    Europe: Man-made lights highlight particularly developed or populated areas of the Earth's surface, including the seaboards of Europe. Large cities are often located near rivers or oceans so that they can exchange goods cheaply by boat. This image is a composite of hundreds of pictures made by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), which currently operates four satellites carrying the Operational Linescan System (OLS) in low-altitude polar orbits.

  • Zambia's champion barista strives for the perfect mix of spicy and sweet

    Africa Monitor Zambia's champion barista strives for the perfect mix of spicy and sweet

    Syria Mwanza, Zambia's champion barista, hopes to win accolades for his signature drink, which includes red chiles, ginger, cinnamon, and chocolate.

  • Israel approves withdrawal from Ghajar, flashpoint village on Lebanese border

    Israel approves withdrawal from Ghajar, flashpoint village on Lebanese border

    The decision to withdraw Israeli troops from Ghajar comes more than four years after Israel's 2006 war with Lebanon's militant Shiite Hezbollah ended.

  • Syrian bloggers brace for fresh blow to Middle East press freedom

    Syrian bloggers brace for fresh blow to Middle East press freedom

    A Syrian law awaiting parliamentary approval is one of a raft of measures across the region to clamp down on a surge in Internet activity over the past decade.