By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The Arab Spring that prompted the ouster of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya also led to the rise of Islamists who are bent on creating Islamic states that adhere to Shariah law — and that fate could await Syria after dictator Bashar Assad falls.
Five days of riots last week in a town in Tunisia's impoverished interior wounded hundreds of people and deepened the rift between the two most powerful forces in this North African country: the moderate Islamist ruling party and the main labor union.
After a disastrous year in which revolution, social upheaval and strikes scared away tourists and crippled industrial production, Tunisia's economy is slowly climbing out of a deep recession that saw it shrink by 2 percent in 2011.
The extradition of Libya's former prime minister from Tunis on Sunday has raised concern about his safety and created a rift between Tunisia's Islamist prime minister and its liberal president.
Syrian troops shelled and raided opposition strongholds nationwide on Tuesday, activists said, prompting an urgent appeal by international envoy Kofi Annan to the Syrian regime to halt violence and give his truce plan a chance.
Syrian rebels spirited a British photographer who had been trapped in the opposition stronghold of Homs out of the country Tuesday after he was trapped for days under fierce government shelling that killed 13 of those trying to save him, an activist group said.
Dozens of Jewish settlers broke into an army base in the West Bank early Tuesday and lit fires, damaged vehicles and threw stones at a senior officer. Hours earlier, another group took over an abandoned building in a closed military zone on the border with Jordan.
Israel's vice premier declared Monday that many Arab countries are not ready for democracy - a comment sure to rankle many in the Middle East, where thousands have died and thousands more have risked their lives in uprisings against brutal dictators.
Four ministers quit Tunisia's day-old government on Tuesday, undermining its hopes of quelling unrest by sharing power with members of the opposition to the old regime.
"Tunisia today is at a crossroads — the road to decline or that of salvation," he warned in a radio address Friday.
On June 27, President Moncef Marzouki abruptly announced Mr. Nabli's dismissal, apparently without the necessary agreement of the powerful office of Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.