by Kevin Lizarazo
Welcome back to another semester at Stony Brook University, and to another semester of news. This edition of “What’s Happening” will cover some of the top news stories regarding international affairs in the Middle East as reported by news organizations around the globe.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has released a video-taped message in time for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, CNN reports. Al-Zawahiri, the terrorist figure whom stands as the successor to Osama bin Laden in the organization, commended the Arab Spring for having dealt a major blow against the United States.
Al-Zawahiri said that the Arab Spring “liberated thousands of the members of the Islamic movement’s prisoners, who were imprisoned by direct orders from America.”
The video, which runs for an hour and was posted on the internet by the terror supports, also contained audio from Osama bin Laden. In it, bin Laden warns Americans against the failures of President Obama.
Elsewhere, in Afghanistan, NATO and local forces have been in the midst of pushing back factions of the Taliban in the city of Kabul, according to the BBC. Six died and 16 were injured in what is reported to be a complex attack involving suicide bombers and rocket fire.
The insurgents targeted high-value facilities such as police stations, foreign intelligence stations and the U.S. embassy. None of the casualties were American.
In Iran, a judge told the BBC that imprisoned American hikers, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, would be released on bail for $500,000 each. President Ahmadinejad called it a “unilateral pardon” and a “humanitarian gesture.”
This news, which was revealed to NBC in an interview between Ahmadinejad and Ann Curry, comes after the news that the hikers had been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Finally, Al Jazeera reports that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) will go before the United Nations to seek recognition and full membership within the world organization.
According to Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, more than 120 nations have promised to support the move. Still, the bid faces a U.S. veto. Without unanimous approval from the Security Council, full membership cannot be attained.
Stay tuned each week to find out what’s happening around the world!