Last October, Saudi Arabia's Special Criminal Court sentenced Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr -- a popular Shi'ite cleric and outspoken political dissident -- to death.
NATO was critical to the shaping of the "new Europe" two decades earlier after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Similar and new challenges have emerged where once again NATO may be a defining factor in the future of Europe as well as the Euro-Atlantic family.
In 2014, the fourth year of the conflict in Syria, a bleak humanitarian situation deteriorated even further. To date, there have been over 200,000 fatalities and one million casualties. Three million people have sought refuge across borders and more than seven million people have been displaced. More than half of the country's population - including five million children - require some form of humanitarian aid. Not only has violence increased, but access to aid has also been restricted. Needs are greater than ever but the aid system is not meeting them. Today, Syria remains the most serious humanitarian crisis in the world.
With Hezbollah and its patrons preoccupied with more pressing concerns, the confrontation with Israel will be limited to a tit-for-tat short of a full-scale war.
California's multi-year drought grew dire enough in 2014 to prompt Governor Jerry Brown to declare a drought emergency in January. By the end of the year, California had experienced the driest and hottest 36 months in its 119-year instrumental record.
In today's Arab world people are cowed, frightened and living under increasing repression. The press is frightened, too. How could it be otherwise in a region where an alliance of governments, private media businesses, and the public has set itself against dissenting voices, portrayed increasingly as a threat to state security?
The first principle of an open society is not to let the intolerant define "the territory of insult" -- those areas off limits to criticism or ridicule. But how does one define "territory" when media now crosses the boundaries of nations, cultures and civilizations? In the end, free societies must defend the right of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists against murder by fanatics, the Sony filmmakers against the North Korean regime and novelists like Salman Rushdie against a fatwa from the ayatollahs. But isn't Pope Francis also right that, in today's diverse and connected world, we must exercise the civil restraint of "respect" for the non-fanatic faithful (see the other depiction of the Prophet acceptable among some Muslims on left above), even if we insist on irreverence toward political authority? Finding an equilibrium amid the frictions and fusions that abound in this global public space will determine whether or not we can forge a new cosmopolitan commons of the 21st century. This week, The WorldPost engages this conundrum. Writing from Denmark, Flemming Rose, the Jyllands-Posten editor who commissioned cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad a decade ago that set off riots across the Muslim world, argues against "the tyranny of silence" fanatics would impose. Mehdi Hasan says he is "fed up with free speech fundamentalists" who feel they have a "duty to offend." (continued)
As many around the world said to Americans in September 2001, we say to the men and women throughout Paris, France and Europe today: You are not alone. Our unity will ultimately triumph, and our cause will ultimately prevail.
Iran can replace American efforts in the region with informed and constructive policies that define Tehran as a benevolent regional power. The Islamic Republic can also take the path of investing in some religious and political groups while excluding others.
There's a certain type of solidarity that requires an enemy, and I'm certain the national leaders who marched in Paris on Sunday were there to promote only this kind of solidarity, not the more troubled and complicated kind... the kind that sees no enemies, only victims.
Bahrain must tread carefully. The ruling monarchy finds itself vulnerable to a resilient Shi'ite opposition and a growing current of pro-Daesh elements within the monarchy's political and security structures.
As Euro MPs convened for our monthly parliamentary session in France this week, the extraordinary emotional response to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack has been shown to have evoked the same reaction across the whole of Europe...
Though Syrians have braved three previous winters in conflict, conditions are much worse this year as this winter is expected to be the roughest. Heavy snow, high winds, and freezing rain are proving deadly for a small but rising number of Syrians, especially the children.
No it's not because the bad guys are strong enough to do whatever they fancy doing, nor because they have the popular backbone that keeps them alive.
It is one thing for some of the world's leaders to march for freedom of expression. Well done that they did so, even if some of them were being more than a little hypocritical. But freedom of expression should be used to help build a more just and fair world. Let millions march for that too.
It can no longer be ignored now that Syria's future generations are paying heavily for a catastrophe they did not create, one that is placing an obstacle to their present and future. These children are crying for help and it remains uncertain whether anyone is listening.