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Jordan

ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing

ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie


REGIME AND REFORM
Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, the country's leading opposition movement, cautiously welcomed the appointment of a new prime minister on Monday, Awn al-Khasawneh, a former judge at the International Court of Justice. "The appointment of al-Khasawneh is a positive sign as he is a respected figure among Jordanians," Arahil Gharaibeh, the head of the Brotherhood's political committee told CNN Arabic.

But Gharaibeh said only time will tell if the new premier is empowered to make promised, yet undelivered, political reforms. Gharaibeh confirmed that representatives from the Brotherhood have been invited to meet with officials at the Royal Court. Longtime government critic Laith Shbeilat told CNN Arabic that the kind of change Jordan needs is not to "change the head of the government, but the reforms must begin at the Royal Court itself." The average government in Jordan lasts seven months, with the now-fired Marouf Bakhit have taken over the premiership in February of this year. As always, King Abdullah launched the appointment of the new premier with a letter sternly tasking him to carry out deep, comprehensive reforms, an order that has yet to be carried out after 11 years of the same instruction to a succession of prime ministers.

SON AND STANDARD BEARER
The Libyan leader's son, Khamis Gaddafi, and the regime's onetime intelligence chief are both confirmed dead by a pro-Gaddafi television channel based in Damascus. Arrai television, now known for broadcasting the tirades of the fugitive Gaddafi and his associates, reports that Khamis, 28, and Abdullah al-Senussi were killed in Tarhuna, a town 80 kilometers southwest of Tripoli on August 29th while fighting "enemies of the homeland." Khamis commanded an elite military unit loyal to his father.

CRACKS IN THE WALLS
This political cartoon features a man, presumably Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, seated in a chair as the walls around him crack and muddy water begins to pour in and rise around him. On the man's lapel is written, "the Syrian regime."

POOF! THE POLICE
Saudi divers cleaning up waste along the coast found 22 talismans "and other items involving magic spells' that were turned in to the religious police. "The anti-magic committee examined the items and found that some of them are still active and that they have been dumped there for magic work….all those items were neutralized and destroyed by the committee," Sabq.org reported.

October 17, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Coronavirus

Why Making COVID Predictions Is Actually Getting Harder

We know more about COVID than ever before, but that doesn't make it easier to predict what will happen this year. It also remains to be seen if we'll put the lessons we learned into practice.

​A young boy who arrived on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong wears a face mask and face shield at Vancouver International Airport in Canada on Jan. 10, 2023.

A young boy who arrived from Hong Kong wears a face mask and face shield at Vancouver International Airport in Canada on Jan. 10, 2023.

Duncan Robertson

In 2020, we knew very little about the novel virus that was to become known as COVID-19. Now, as we enter 2023, a search of Google Scholar produces around five million results containing the term.

So how will the pandemic be felt in 2023? This question is in some ways impossible to answer, given a number of unknowns. In early 2020, the scientific community was focused on determining key parameters that could be used to make projections as to the severity and extent of the spread of the virus. Now, the complex interplay of COVID variants, vaccination and natural immunity makes that process far more difficult and less predictable.

But this doesn’t mean there’s room for complacency. The proportion of people estimated to be infected has varied over time, but this figure has not fallen below 1.25% (or one in 80 people) in England for the entirety of 2022. COVID is very much still with us, and people are being infected time and time again.

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