Sudan to pull troops from South border region.YNet: Sudan says it will withdraw its troops from the oil-rich Abyei region on the border with South Sudan.
Girls poisoned at Afghan school - again.CNN: 'A hospital in northern Afghanistan admitted 160 girls Tuesday after they were poisoned in their classrooms with a type of spray, a Takhar police official said. The incident, the second in a week's time, was reported at the Aahan Dara Girls school in Talokhan, the provincial capital. ...'
Afghan women leave country. And it's no wonder. Jihad Watch:
Good thing we expended all that American blood and treasure to fight the Afghan jihadists, eh? Meanwhile, note that the problem here is not just the Taliban, but the Afghan government -- both of which are committed to Sharia, which denies women basic rights. "Afghan women leave the country in fear of Taliban return," by Tracy McVeigh for the Guardian, May 26 (thanks to Banafsheh Zand) ...
The Guardian: 'A brain drain of bright young women is already taking place in Afghanistan before the 2014 handover that many fear will mean a reversal of advances in women's rights. The lack of commitment by the Afghan government to equality and to tackling the high rates of ill-treatment of women in the home and in the workplace is raising real fears they will be at the bottom of the political agenda in the push for power after Nato forces leave the country. ...'
UK to expel Syrian diplomats.BBC: 'Three senior Syrian diplomats are to be expelled, the Foreign Office has confirmed. Others including France, Germany and Australia are also expelling diplomats in a coordinated protest against the killing of civilians. ...'
I’ve gone on the record as being slightly optimistic about where Tunisia is heading. The Islamists in the Ennahda party won less than half the votes last year and were forced into a coalition government with secular liberal parties. They surrendered on Islamic law in the new constitution after meeting massive resistance and have been forced to say they now back a civil state, which is a secular state in all but name.
The reason I'm only slightly optimistic is because years will have to pass before I’m convinced Ennahda won’t be able to pull off some authoritarian Hugo Chavez-style power grab and Islamize the society despite mass opposition.
And in the short term, the Salafists are the biggest threat to watch out for. ...
Most recently, hundreds of Salafis fought with police in Jendouba. 'Police and witnesses in the northwestern town of Jendouba said hundreds of Salafis - followers of a puritanical interpretation of Islam - began rioting to protest the arrest of four men in connection with previous attacks on alcohol vendors. ...'
The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan launched a nighttime assault on a prison in northwestern Pakistan, freeing nearly 400 inmates, including "hardcore militants."
A Taliban force estimated at 150 fighters launched the attack on the prison in the district of Bannu at 1:00 a.m. local time and clashed with prison personnel for nearly two hours, according to AFP. The heavily armed Taliban fighters blew open the front gate and lobbed grenades and fired on prison guards during the attack. Other Taliban fighters blocked off the surrounding roads to prevent Pakistani reinforcements from reaching the prison.
Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Taliban Movement of Pakistan, claimed credit for the assault and said the group would provide more details on those who were freed. ...
Afghan Taliban attack embassies. Those guys are on a roll. 'Attackers in Afghanistan launched a coordinated wave of assaults Sunday, targeting a heavily protected district of the capital that includes embassies and the presidential palace, as well as trying to strike an airbase used by American troops, officials said. Government facilities, and the American, German and Russian embassies in Kabul were targeted, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said, saying up to seven locations were attacked.'