A UN-backed deadline for a ceasefire in Syria has passed, with government forces again shelling the central city of Homs. Jonathan Head, correspondent for our partner the BBC, reports from a refugee camp on the Turkey-Syrian border where Kofi Annan is scheduled to visit today.
President Bashar Assad of Syria is facing increasing pressure now that Jordan’s King Abdullah II voiced his desire to see Assad's regime to step down for the good of the country. King Abdullah was the first Arab leader to make such a call but he did so amid increasing violence within the country between anti-government protesters and soldiers still loyal to Assad. Dr. Zaher Sahloul has seen the Assad’s violent methods of tamping down civilian protest first hand.
Libyan rebel forces flooded into the capital of Tripoli last night, battling with loyalists to Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The rebels captured two of Gadhafi's sons, including Seif al-Islam, the assumed heir-apparent. Civilians were celebrating in the streets over what may be the end of Gadhafi's 42 years in power of Libya. In an official White House statment last night, President Obama said "The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Gadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end."
The revolution in Egypt took just over two weeks, with mostly peaceful protests ultimately bringing down Hosni Mubarak. Now the country is on a path to create a new government. This narrative is one of change, democracy and freedom and is strikingly different from the events playing out in Libya. So what do Egyptians, feeling the excitement of change, think about the events in Libya? The BBC's Jonathan Head has been on the streets of Cairo to find out.
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Iraq, in what they are calling a "Day of Rage." The protesters are calling for more accountability from elected leaders, expressing anger and frustration with corruption, instability and a continued lack of dependable public services. The BBC's Jonathan Head reports from Baghdad.
Israel is holding hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, who were halted on their way to Gaza by the Israeli Navy. It is being reported that after warnings from Israeli ships not to go any further towards the Gaza shoreline, Israeli militarymen were lowered from helicopters and boarded the flotilla, resulting in at least nine deaths and dozens more wounded.
What’s in a word? Well if the word is “genocide,” then it has the potential to do a lot of diplomatic damage between the U.S. and Turkey. Today the House Foreign Affairs Committee votes on a resolution to formally recognize a World War One-era massacre of Armenians by Turkish forces as genocide.
The Association of South East Asian Nations, known as ASEAN, is usually thought to be more of a figurehead organization that rarely takes real action. That might be changing though as the group of ten countries is working together in the face of the global economic slowdown. Finance ministers have been very proactive and have already agreed to establish a $120 billion currency stabilization fund, which will take on a role similar to that of the IMF. For more we are joined by the BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok, Thailand.
Thirty years after more than a million people died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, a United Nations-backed trial is finally underway. A former Khmer Rouge leader was in court for opening hearings yesterday. For what this means for Cambodia we are joined by Jonathan Head, the BBC's South Asia correspondent.
There's no let up in the political turmoil in Thailand. This past year the country has had four prime ministers. The most recently-elected prime minister has been greeted with calls to dissolve the legislature and initiate general elections. Of course he hasn't been able to do anything yet because his first speech, which is mandatory for him to take office, was delayed twice due to massive protests. The incoming prime minister finally managed to give the speech today at an improvised parliament session.
BBC Correspondent Jonathan Head joins us from Bangkok.
"Those large crowds outside Parliment today believe he doesn't have a mandate and that he got the job by stealth."
— Jonathan Head on Thailand's new Prime Minister
A Thai government spokesman says the prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat, will stay in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai indefinitely because of tensions with the military. The prime minister was forced to return to the city from a trip abroad because thousands of anti-government protesters have shut down the main airports in the capital Bangkok. Mr. Somchai has rejected calls for his resignation from the army chief, fueling rumors that a military coup might be imminent. The protesters say they'll defend themselves against any attempt by police to remove them from the airports.
"We are seeing, in effect, the complete collapse of any kind of normal law in Thailand. The protesters have carried out the most extraordinary breathtaking actions and the police have been powerless to stop them because they're not liked, they are demoralized and because the country is deeply polarized." —Jonathan Head on standoff in Thailand