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Syria Envoy Brahimi Warns Conflict Could Spread

Written by | October 17, 2012 | 0
CAIRO — The U.N.-Arab League special envoy for Syria said Wednesday that Syria’s civil war could spread across Middle Eastern borders into an “all-consuming conflict” unless the violence is eventually contained. The veteran Algerian diplomat, who played a major role in negotiating an end to Lebanon’s civil war in 1989, said at a Beirut news conference that it is imperative a cease-fire be worked out in Syria. Brahimi said it will be impossible to contain the crisis within Syria’s borders forever. Either the crisis will be stopped, he said, or it will get bigger and spread to other parts of the region. Brahimi said Syrian opposition leaders had told him that they would “respond positively to any cease-fire announcement by the government,” and that

Stifled West Bank economy drains Palestinians’ hopes

Written by | October 17, 2012 | 0
Market vendors at a stall in Hebron Old City
Passers-by linger in front of the window displays on a main shopping street in central Hebron but seem reluctant to enter the stores. In the old market, vendors call out their wares but are largely ignored. The city is the largest in the West Bank and a major commercial and industrial hub, accounting for about one third of the West Bank’s GDP. Recently it was also the scene of some of the worst violence during Palestinian economic protests. Locals blame the discontent on high unemployment, low wages and the rising cost of living as well as the heavy burden of consumer debt. “Our economy depends 100% on customers and as you can see, now the customers have no money,” says Ayman, a tour guide. As the global recession plays out, the Palestinians are not alone in facing such woes.

Why Russia’s Orthodox Church is teaching teenagers Parkour

Written by | October 17, 2012 | 0
A Russian Parkour athlete performs a back-flip
The Russian Orthodox Church has come under fire following recent stories about church officials being involved in drink-driving and road rage attacks. But it also provides valuable public services – including helping wayward teenagers get back on track via a risky urban sport. My stomach lurches. The young man in in front of me suddenly plunges down the stairwell and seems to be dangling in mid-air three floors up. Then silently – without so much as a grunt – he springs over the banister and is standing next to me again. Evgeny Krynin is one of St Petersburg’s most renowned Parkour artists – the urban sport which mixes acrobatics and athletics and is similar to the discipline known as free running. Parkour may have first taken off in France in the 1990s, but Krynin

Senegal banned from Nations Cup after riot

Written by | October 17, 2012 | 0
Police escort Ivory Coast players off the pitch in Dakar
Senegal have been disqualified from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after a riot forced the abandonment of Saturday’s home tie with Ivory Coast. It is not yet clear whether the Confederation of African Football will take further action against Senegal. The match in Dakar was called off after 74 minutes, with Ivory Coast 2-0 up on the night and 6-2 ahead on aggregate. Caf has officially confirmed the result as a 2-0 win for Ivory Coast, sending them through to next year’s tournament. Senegal manager Ferdinand Coly said on Sunday that “Senegal will accept the sanctions”. He also apologised to Ivory Coast. Trouble flared after striker Didier Drogba scored his side’s second goal from the penalty spot. Visiting supporters were forced to leap down on to the pitch to escape