Kerry counselor expected to succeed Sherman in key job

State Department Counselor Tom Shannon, a former US ambassador to Brazil, is expected to be picked to succeed Wendy Sherman as under secretary of state, US officials tell Al-Monitor.
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 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on May 28

Turkish civic society mobilizes against election fraud

Turkish civic groups such as Vote and Beyond prepare for stringent monitoring of the June 7 elections, given that even minuscule vote-rigging could have a huge impact on the country’s future.
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 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on May 28

Iran MPs try to sidestep Guardian Council oversight

Iranian MPs attempted to pass a bill that would reduce the Guardian Council's powers in the 2016 parliamentary elections.
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 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 28

Kahlon's election promise blunder

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon won 10 Knesset seats after promising to dismantle monopolies and share more equally natural resources, but this promise is now questioned in view of his friendship with a leading Israeli businessman.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on May 28

Two Israeli mayors consider leadership run

Two mayors, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, are contemplating challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Isaac Herzog.
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 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on May 28

Ramadi's displaced find restrictions, not refuge, in Baghdad

The exodus of displaced people fleeing Iraq's Anbar province after the Islamic State imposed its control there should be an opportunity for the Iraqi government to unify efforts of all sects in the face of terrorism.
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 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on May 28

Syrian opposition defends Eastern Ghouta situation

In an interview, Jaish al-Islam spokesman Capt. Islam Alloush told Al-Monitor that the group is confident its goals will be achieved in besieged eastern Ghouta as it is transforming its "militia into a real army."
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 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor on May 28

Tunisia earns non-NATO ally status

The United States has granted Tunisia the prestigious non-NATO ally member status, which is expected to strengthen relations and enhance military cooperation between the two countries.
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Translated from Business News (Tunisia) on May 28

Reformist media welcomes rare appearance of Hajjarian

The presence of Saeed Hajjarian, the main Reformist theoretician, has energized Reformist media.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor on May 27

Turkey restricts academic research on Syrian refugees

Turkey's Interior Ministry now requires academics to get prior approval before conducting research on the country's 2 million Syrian refugees.
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 Barın Kayaoğlu for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 27

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