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AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز
Middle East online news. Appears to originate in Beirut.
Some sections present current news, others hsve nothing but 2-year old artisles.
AMN  Middle_East  arab  news 
17 days ago by tomjlowe
Korea, the JCPOA, and the Shifting Military Balance in the Gulf
March 2019 CSIS report
detailed analysis of the lessons from recent negotiations with Korea, their implications for U.S. policy in dealing with the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran, and how Iran's other major military programs will affect the regional balance.

The analysis concludes that the sudden breakdown in the latest round of U.S.-Korean nuclear arms control talks in Vietnam should scarcely come as a surprise to anyone. Both sides sought too much too soon and did so despite a long history of previous failures. Heads of state engaged before their staffs had reached a clear compromise and did so seeking goals the other leader could not accept. It is not clear that an agreement was reachable at this point in time, but each side's search for its "best" ensured that the two sides could not compromise on the "good."
csis  korea  nuclear_weapons  iran  middle_east 
5 weeks ago by strohps
Who Is Sisi of Egypt? A Reformer. :: Middle East Quarterly
Sisi is not an Islamist but quite the reverse. Under a constitutional theocracy and in the face of incredible domestic and regional adversity, he has become the most moderate Egyptian president in history.
5 weeks ago by randompundit
In the Middle East, a booming market for spy technology
@bruces: "It must be pretty satisfying to watch the Americans and Chinese squabble over weird cyberwar hardware when you know you can buy all the coolest stuff from Israelis offshored in Cyprus"

Of course it's the Saudis who want most of it, because China's population management is their desire
security  grim_meathook_future  middle_east  espionage  2019 
7 weeks ago by mechazoidal
Georges Corm
Lebanese public intellectual
7 weeks ago by randompundit
Why We Should Worry About the Arab Region | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
The Arab region is fracturing and disaggregating into a small group of wealthy people, a shrinking middle class, and masses of poor, vulnerable, and marginalized people who now account for 2/3 of all Arabs. Some 250 million people, out of a total Arab population of 400 million, are poor, vulnerable, and marginalized, according to important new research by Arab and international organizations.

The most significant new evidence for this trend comes from Multi-Dimensional Poverty studies conducted by Arab and international organizations. They give us a more accurate and complete picture of the actual conditions of our ravaged populations.

The Multi-Dimensional Poverty (MDP) figures indicate that poverty rates are as much as four times higher than previously assumed. This is because the MDP measure of poverty and vulnerability that has been applied by economists at UNDP, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the World Bank, the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, and other institutions has given us a much more accurate picture of poverty than the previous reliance on measures such as $1.25 or $1.90 expenditures per day. The main reason for the greater accuracy is that MDP poverty measures capture the very rich and very poor that previous studies had missed, and also define poverty more accurately in terms of families’ core needs and capabilities.

The political consequence of all this is that many Arabs have become increasingly marginalized and alienated from the economic mainstream, and also, in many cases, from the political and national institutions of their own country. Citizen alienation from the state combines with rising disparities in every dimension of life that are now well measured both quantitatively and qualitatively, such as gender, ethnicity, rural-urban location, education, health, security, wealth and poverty, self-confidence, trust in government, and others.
poverty  middle_east  unemployment 
8 weeks ago by elizrael
Archival Worlds: Documentation, Preservation, and Digital Media in the Middle East
This round-table explores contemporary archival practices in and from the Middle East, focusing on organizations and institutions that utilize digital platforms to collect and preserve documentary media from historically marginalized worlds. Going against the model of archive as a structure of power and governance, these alternative archives re-make the world in the present and radically re-envision its future by materializing and publicizing histories that are often silenced and invisibilized. How do such initiatives navigate between lived experience, material artifact, and digital database? How do they negotiate the creative dimensions of preservation, balancing the archive's historical mission with its ability to forge alternative communities in the present?
archives  digital_archives  middle_east 
9 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
UAE intel unit used iPhone exploit to spy on rivals - Six Colors
Reuters has a pretty sobering story about an intelligence unit inside the United Arab Emirates that apparently utilized an iMessage exploit to compromise targets’ iPhones without any action on the users parts:
Three former operatives said they understood Karma to rely, at least in part, on a flaw in Apple’s messaging system, iMessage. They said the flaw allowed for the implantation of malware on the phone through iMessage, even if the phone’s owner didn’t use the iMessage program, enabling the hackers to establish a connection with the device.
To initiate the compromise, Karma needed only to send the target a text message — the hack then required no action on the part of the recipient. The operatives could not determine how the vulnerability worked.
The story suggests that Apple software updates made the exploit “far less effective” after 2017, though it notably doesn’t say that security hole was completely closed.
The hack allowed access to a broad range of data on the targets’ phones, including messages, location data, and photos, and was used on diplomats, activists, and foreign leaders. The provenance of the tool was unknown, even to those using it.
(I expect this piece to elicit some comparisons to the Bloomberg server piece from last fall, but note that the Reuters piece includes at least one named former operative.)
Security services are, of course, always going to be on the cutting edge of these kinds of vulnerabilities, but coming as it does on the heels of Apple’s FaceTime bug, this is an unpleasant one-two punch for Apple’s prominent stance on data privacy.
[hat tip James Thomson]
privacy  security  spying  middle_east  messaging  hack  bug  iphone 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194

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