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Looking More and More like a Civil War in Syria

Syria appears to be inching ever closer to a civil war pitting army defectors against loyalist security forces. Where have we seen that before? (ahem, Libya, ahem). “Army defectors killed 27 government forces Thursday in apparently coordinated attacks that were among the deadliest by rebel troops since the uprising began nine months ago. The fighting began around daybreak in the southern province of Daraa, where the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s authoritarian regime began in March…’The attacks by army defectors are becoming more coordinated and more deadly. Unfortunately, this will likely lead to a new cycle of escalation by the regime,’ said Mohamad Bazzi, a Syria expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.” (WaPo http://wapo.st/t841Ct)

Another Step for LGBT Equality

It’s a dry, legal text, but still fascinating for the fact that for the first time in history a report stamped with the UN seal applies international human rights law to examine violations against LGBT people worldwide. “The United Nations report on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people details how around the world people are killed or endure hate-motivated violence, torture, detention, criminalization and discrimination in jobs, health care and education because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The report, released today by the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, outlines ‘a pattern of human rights violations… that demands a response,’ and says governments have too often overlooked violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” (UN News Centre http://bit.ly/vvdpMv)

Money Quote from a Donor:  “There is no economy in the world, whether low-income countries, emerging markets, middle-income countries or super-advanced economies that will be immune to the crisis that we see not only unfolding but escalating,” Christine Lagarde said in a speech at the US state department in Washington. (FT http://on.ft.com/rH4sin)

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