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Blast site in Beirut
Blast site in Beirut
Worldcrunch

PRESSURE MOUNTING ON ASSAD AHEAD OF GENEVA 2

  • A report released yesterday evening by CNN and The Guardian shows “direct evidence of the regime's killing machine,” its authors have said, likening the bodies of starved prisoners to those of the concentration camps after World War II. The report was commissioned by Qatar, a country known for its support of some of the rebel and jihadist groups fighting in Syria, and its release just ahead of tomorrow’s Geneva 2 peace conference will increase the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

  • After the United Nations withdrew its invitation to Iran to join the conference, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi expressed doubts that the meeting would reach a “real solution” without his country, AFP reports. Speaking at a press conference, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the UN’s decision was “a mistake” but not a “catastrophe.”

CLASHES CONTINUE IN KIEV
Violent clashes continued in Kiev for the second night in a row, with pro-EU protesters torching vehicles and throwing Molotov cocktails at riot police, who replied with plastic bullets and stones, Ria Novosti reports. The protest movement, which started in November, was recently reignited by a controversial anti-protest law, which comes into force today. Read more from AFP.

BLAST IN HEZBOLLAH STRONGHOLD IN WEST BEIRUT
At least four people died as a suspected suicide bomb exploded in a Hezbollah stronghold in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, leaving another 31 injured, according to The Daily Star. The Shia group, a fierce supporter of the Syrian government, has been the target of several attacks over the past few weeks.

ANNUAL DOLPHIN KILLING BEGINS IN JAPAN
Japanese fishermen began their annual killing of dolphins this morning amid growing international pressure to put an end to the hunts, The Guardian reports. The governor of the Wakayama prefecture, where some 250 dolphins will be culled, dismissed critics as hypocrites, likening the killing of dolphins for meat to the slaughter of cows and pigs.

BY THE NUMBERS
Almost half of South Koreans started the week with a horrible surprise... Read about it here.

CRIME INT’L

A burglar in Belgium was caught with 28,500 euros stuffed in his underwear before he ever had a chance to steal anything.

A DISH BEST SERVED COLD?
Tony Blair was placed under “citizen’s arrest” for his involvement in the Iraq war as he was having dinner in a London restaurant.

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Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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