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Geopolitics

Exclusive: Dark Journey To Deraa, Syria’s Martyr Town Under Siege

A French journalist defies a ban on foreign reporters in Syria, and reaches Deraa, where the popular uprising began in March. With the city since shut off from the outside world, this exclusive account shows Deraa's residents living under siege,

Image from Youtube video of a crackdown in Deraa.
Image from Youtube video of a crackdown in Deraa.
Christian Clanet

A journalist, Clanet managed to enter Syria on a tourist visa (foreign media are banned from the country). On May 25, he arrived in Deraa, the southwestern city that was the first to rise against Bashar Al-Assad's regime before authorities cracked down, reportedly killing scores of locals, and cutting it off from the outside world. Briefly detained twice, Clanet was finally ordered to leave the country on May 27.

DERAA - Al-Balad, a neighborhood in the city's historic district, has become the ghetto of death. Since the end of March, it's been on permanent lockdown, surrounded by the Syrian army. From rooftops and balconies, soldiers shoot those who try to get in or out of the neighborhood. Deraa is the hotbed of the Syrian uprising, and Al-Balad its core. It was in this poor neighborhood that the "Syrian spring" came to life on March 16. People rose out of indignation and anger after the military police tortured a dozen teenagers caught painting graffiti imitating the Egyptian revolution and reading: "The people want the regime to fall."

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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