World View: Palestinians Commemorate 'Al Nakba' -- 'The Catastrophe'

This morning's key headlines from

  • U.N. General Assembly condemns Syrian regime for violence
  • Palestinians commemorate 'Al Nakba' -- 'The Catastrophe'
  • Tensions escalate between Taiwan and the Philippines
  • Eurozone recession deepens even further than forecast

U.N. General Assembly condemns Syrian regime for violence

France's ambassador Gerard Araud speaks to U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday (AFP)
France's ambassador Gerard Araud speaks to U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday (AFP)

Ignoring bitter opposition from Russia and Syria, the United Nations General Assembly approved a non-binding resolution condemning the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad for using heavy military weapons on civilians, and for systematic violations of human rights.

Syria's permanent Envoy to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari addressed the General Assembly with a bitter attack on the Arab League, which sponsored the current resolution and which, in the past, has expelled the Syrian government representative from the Arab League and replace it with a representative of the opposition:

"Giving Syria's seat to the al-Doha [Qatar] coalition in the Arab League and the attempt to get the UN involved by giving a [delusional] representation to its aim at breaking off the road in front of the solution to the crisis and tearing down the Syrian state.

We bring your attention to the destructive role of the Arab League, led by Qatar and Saudi Arabia in addition to Turkey against Syria as the Arab League has given legitimacy to provide the terrorists with weapons."

The Saudi envoy responded by repeating many of the horrors that the al-Assad inflicted on innocent civilians -- from bloody massacres of peaceful protesters to mass slaughter of innocent students in their college dormitories while they were asleep.

The General Assembly approved the measure by a vote of 107 to 12, with 45 member states abstaining. The "yes" vote was a lot lower than the vote last August on a similar resolution, where 133 states voted "yes". According to some analysts, the reason that fewer states supported the resolution this time is because many of them are beginning to believe that with help from Russia and Iran, al-Assad is going to win the war, war crimes and all.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, that expectation is not realistic. Syria is in a generational Awakening era, like America in the 1960s, and the young Sunni fighters are not going to capitulate to the Shia Alawite regime. VOA and Al-Jazeera

Palestinians commemorate 'Al Nakba' -- 'The Catastrophe'

On Wednesday, Palestinians all over the world commemorated the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 -- a day that they refer to as Youm al-Nakba or "Day of Catastrophe." The speeches and protests and demonstrations demanded a "right of return" to lands acquired by Israel in 1948 and 1967, and full recognition of Palestine as a nation. In the West Bank, demonstrators clashed with Israeli police, resulting in 75 injuries and 25 Palestinian arrests. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Jerusalem Post

Tensions escalate between Taiwan and the Philippines

Taiwan has rejected as "insincere" an apology from the president of the Philippines for the Thursday's accidental shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippines coast guard in a disputed region of the South China Sea. In response to increased anti-Philippine nationalism in the Taiwanese public, Taiwan has issued a travel warning telling citizens not to visit the Philippines, has frozen Philippine applications for work permits in Taiwan, and is carrying out military exercises in the disputed region of the South China Sea. BBC

Eurozone recession deepens even further than forecast

The eurozone economy shrank more than economists forecast in the first quarter of 2013. There have now been six consecutive quarters of recession, a record. The recession is now affecting even the so-called "core nations." The German economy, Europe's largest, did expand, but less than forecast. France's economy went into a recession, adding to the political troubles of the Socialist president Francois Hollande. Euro zone unemployment has reached a record 12.1% as governments increase taxes and cut spending to contain public deficits. Bloomberg

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