Released Egyptian journalist denies political deal secured his freedom

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Amr Badr, an Egyptian journalist who was recently released after being detained in May for allegedly inciting protests over the Red Sea islands controversy, voices his opinion on his case and the state of freedoms in the country.
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 George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 30

How did Ankara's spending on Syrian refugees jump to $25 billion?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently claimed Turkey spent $25 billion on Syrian refugees, although he had cited $10 billion in February and even the number of refugees did not change.
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 Mehmet Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 30

RedHackers daunt the Erdogan family

The alleged hacking of Berat Albayrak’s email accounts validates deep-rooted suspicions of AKP corruption, media censorship and intricate intra-AKP rivalries.
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 A correspondent in Turkey for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 30

Palestinians and Peres: A love-hate relationship

Palestinians insist that while the late Israeli leader Shimon Peres was an Israeli patriot, he bears major responsibility for the plight that Palestinians find themselves in today.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on September 30

Palestinian universities try to keep Fatah-Hamas split off campus

Hebron University in the West Bank has postponed its student elections after those affiliated with Fatah's and Hamas' student blocs refused to abide by the university's decision to separate university elections from national politics.
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 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 30

Unlikely partners join forces to lead by example in Syria

An opposition group known as Syria’s Tomorrow and Kurdish self-rule proponents have forged an agreement they hope will bring other opposition factions together and enlist the support of Arab countries to end the war and build a civil democratic pluralist state.
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 Sardar Mlla Drwish for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on September 30

Why Iran's hard-liners are ripping into Rouhani over NY visit

Despite the lack of buzz about potential meetings or phone calls with US officials, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has not been spared from domestic criticism following his latest trip to New York.
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 Saeid Jafari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 30

Why some ultra-Orthodox are up in arms over state funding for their schools

Parents from the anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox stream are angry at one of their schools for secretly receiving funding from the Israeli Ministry of Education.
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 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on September 30

How much leverage do Salafists have in Egypt's parliament?

Rumors emerge about the Nour Party’s intentions now that it is being criticized for failing to represent its Salafi constituency.
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 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 29

Why Turkey is boosting its budget for dubious 'village guards'

The paramilitary force that Turkey formed to fight the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has been controversial since the 1980s, so why is the government expanding it now?
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 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 29

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