A new wave of street protests is sweeping the country, triggered by a hike in prices. The country’s Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Raisi are among protesters’ targets. Actors, athletes and intellectuals back the movement, urging the authorities to heed protesters’ demands, not crack down on them. Against this backdrop, a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme is still pending.
Independents and protest groups take votes (and seats) from traditional parties. Pro-Iranian movements lose ground. For analysts, this is “a political turning point”, but others express a word of caution. The president’s election will be a crucial test. Meanwhile, many fear clashes and tensions in the coming months.
Sandstorms follow one another with increasing frequency, causing victims and thousands of hospitalizations. Water reserves have collapsed by 50% compared to last year. By 2040 Tigris and Euphrates risk drying up. The emblematic case of Lake Sawa. Archeological sites and historical cities, from Ur to Babylon, in danger.
Atomic energy attracts the countries of the region to meet energy needs and reduce the level of pollutants from hydrocarbons. Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates have already launched projects and are working on new ones. At the center of the game the Russian giant of the sector Rosatom. Doubts remain about the actual safety of the plants and the fear of accidents.
In spite of the clashes of recent weeks, life in the Strip "flows normally", schools and markets are open. Even the activities in the parish are "full to capcity". Fr. Romanelli reports the Russian war in Ukraine does not seem to affect "everyday life for now". The wish for an end of Ramadan celebration "in peace" and a "solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
In refugee camps people struggle to meet their daily needs, lacking basic goods starting with food. International groups too are struggling to help two million people. The armed groups that control the area have targeted journalists and activists. Football (soccer) has become a metaphor for the ongoing power struggle.
Doha is prudent, remaining open to dialogue while challenging regional powers on an economic level. After years of abuses and violations, conditions for migrant workers have improved. The role of women and religious freedom in the Constitution are fundamental for the country's development. From tensions with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, food autonomy and increased military spending.
The patriarchs and other Church leaders in the Holy Land issued a harsh statement against the threat posed by Ateret Cohanim. They blame the extremist group, which is trying to seize Christian properties, for illegitimate actions, intimidation and violence that undermine peace and justice. The controversy goes back more than a decade, involving the former Greek Orthodox patriarch, who was dismissed as a “Judas”.
The military attack launched by the Kremlin has taken the country of the cedars, already the object of a tug-of-war between the US and Iran, by surprise. The government has ritually condemned the attack, but there are many differences and ambiguous positions, including that of Hezbollah. The impact on the price of grain and fuel. 74% of imported wheat comes from Ukraine.
Islamic extremist movements are exploiting Moscow's "crusader" conflict in Kiev to launch new attacks. From the escalation in Syria to the massacre at the Shiite mosque in Pakistan, episodes of violence are multiplying. Celebrations for every 'Christian' victim on the Russian and Ukrainian sides. Unacceptable to send Muslims to the battlefield, the Chechens 'apostates'. The Taliban against the war.
Riyadh has freed a famous blogger and activist, almost simultaneously with the execution of 81 prisoners. The economy more than rights is driving the kingdom's reforms. Timid steps towards the emancipation of women. In Jeddah, a cosmopolitan and affordable neighbourhood has been demolished in the name of development and modernisation.
The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine are set to meet in Antalya. After 20 years, an Israeli president is travelling to Ankara on a state visit. In an economically vital region of the world, Erdoğan is trying to reposition Turkey internationally. Russia knows that it will have to pay a price in the regions where the two countries are de facto allies.
Yesterday the pontiff received representatives of Iraq’s different Christian Churches one year after his apostolic journey to the land of Abraham. For Patriarch Sako, the memory of the event is still alive among Christians and Muslims. Al-Sistani’s recognition that Christians belong to the same homeland still resonates. Once an Islamic state stronghold, Mosul is now a symbol of religious and cultural rebirth.
The Strip is experiencing a phase of relative calm, even the tensions in Jerusalem are (for now) a distant echo. A bookshop, the restoration of a Byzantine church and the discovery of a Roman cemetery are signs of rebirth and hope. Exit visas are essential not only to visit the holy sites, but to avert the danger of endogamy.
Turnout, the Christian vote, Sunni choices, the "Shiite wall" and opposition are the key points around which the electoral contest revolves. The future of a country on the brink of collapse due to the economic and financial crisis is at stake. Saad Hariri's resignation and Hezbollah's aims.
New talks to reinstate the JCPOA, cancelled by Trump, open today in the Austrian capital. A pact to restore stability in a crescendo of tensions. The outcome of the negotiations will have an impact on oil prices on international markets. In the background, Israel is watching carefully, ready to strike at the atomic sites in the Islamic Republic.
Last year, more than 18,000 foreign workers were expelled, including 11,000 men and more than 7,000 women. The government wants to encourage domestic employment in a country where the ratio of migrants to locals is 70:30. Dependence on oil and the lack of reform efforts. The role of women in a perspective of growth and freedom.
In recent days, the Houthis have launched missiles towards the Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Riyadh responds - though officially denying it - with a bloody air raid that hit a prison, causing dozens of victims. Conflicting alliances and interests complicate truce attempts. Oil and trade routes the key to a war that is starving the Yemeni people.
More deaths follow tragedy of the mother who froze to death to warm her children. The rise of the Taliban coincides with a rise in the flow of migrants from Afghanistan to Turkey in a (vain) attempt to enter Europe is growing. The work of Caritas: meals, accommodation, language and vocational courses to promote integration. The story of Shayan, fleeing for freedom.
As of January 1, the weekend break moved from Friday and Saturday to the more "Western" Saturday and Sunday (in addition to Friday afternoon) has come into effect. Bishop Hinder: the calendar of Masses has also been modified, now more migrant workers will be able to celebrate Sundays.