Osama Al Sharif
The outcome of the historic British referendum on EU membership last week can only be described as a political earthquake the like of which Europe has not seen for decades.
Even the most fervent of the “Leave” campaign were taken aback by the result, since all pre-vote polls had pointed to a slight lead by the “Remain” camp. The stunning result sent tremors across the world, as markets plunged and investors scratched their heads in search for clues to what the future holds for the United Kingdom and the European Union.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who argued feverishly for the “remain” side, announced that he will resign by October. A struggle for the Conservative Party leadership soon ensued with some members coming together to thwart Boris Johnson’s bid to take over a divided party. The opposition Labour Party was not doing any better, as Jeremy Corbyn’s allies abandoned him, calling for his resignation for not doing enough to convince the British public to stay in the EU.
Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly to stay, is now considering a new independence referendum to break away from the United Kingdom and negotiate its own membership in the EU.
Across the English Channel, shock and uncertainty became the new norm as French and German leaders moved to offer economic incentives to smaller members to avoid a British contagion. Ultra-nationalist and right-wing parties in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece and others called for a stay or leave poll. The future of the largest economic and political alliance in modern history is now in doubt as pundits offer various scenarios.
The fallout from the Brexit vote will take a long time to settle. According to EU by-laws, voluntary exit, under Article 50, allows for a two-year process, something that world markets will find difficult to adjust to. Already some economic analysts are talking of a recession taking over the United Kingdom next year. European economies are already in trouble and the burden is being carried by Germany and France. But for how long?
The British vote could pave the way for the break-up of the United Kingdom, if Scotland and Northern Ireland have their way. Secession in Britain would certainly have repercussions in the continent. Spain is already fighting for its territorial unity as Catalonia presses for separation.
Some analysts believe the EU cannot survive without the United Kingdom. The dynamics of the union will have to change, paving the way for a new restructured alliance.
It is now clear that young Brits voted to stay in the EU while the Leave camp was boosted by those 50 years old and above. The main drivers behind the leave side were immigration, border control and perhaps nostalgia for a sovereign United Kingdom that is independent and free from Europe.
These sentiments are also bolstering popular support for ultra-nationalist and right-wing parties in France, Germany, the Netherlands and others. The reverberations of the great Syrian refugee influx into Europe cannot be discounted. Turkey’s possible membership, which is a long way from being realised, is also fanning Islamophobia and xenophobia across Europe. There is no doubt that isolationism is digging roots among conservative Europeans.
Ironically, the spectacular rise of Donald Trump in the United States is also due to manipulating people’s fears from the other. Trump’s promise to build a wall along the borders with Mexico has resonated among mostly poor, less educated, jobless white American voters.
Immigration has become a central theme in this year’s US presidential elections. Trump has alienated the conservative party establishment by promising to ban Muslims from entering the United States and questioning the integrity of a US born federal judge of Mexican heritage, but again his call was eagerly received by a nationalist tide that believes he can make America great again.
Playing on the fears of a motley group of Christian, nationalist and mono-ethnic followers has divided America, and no matter who wins in the November elections the reality is that isolationism will continue to find new converts.
Back in Europe, the immediate business is to speed up Britain’s exit and deal with its political and social fallout. But that departure, a less than amicable divorce as was described, will leave its mark on the superstructure of the EU alliance for a long time.
Perhaps the Brexit vote will provide an opportunity for Europeans leaders to put their own house in order. The EU is mainly a success story, but it suffers from serious defects. It has created a super bureaucracy; a cluster of unelected officials who control the heart of this huge machinery from Brussels.
On the plus side, the EU has brought peace to the old continent and created a huge market where goods and people enjoy unhindered movement. On the other hand, the EU is a political dwarf and its influence on world events can hardly be felt.
The Brexit vote may offer an opportunity to restructure the alliance and preserve the universal values that the union has defended for decades.
Bee Gees- Immortality
Every year, 20 Jordanian women are killed because of “family honor.” In 2011, societal pressure forced Jordan’s parliament to backtrack on amending Article 76 of the temporary penal code whereby “the use of mitigating reasons for assault crimes” would have been abolished. This article protects the perpetrators of honor crimes who often benefit from mitigating reasons and avoid receiving a deterring punishment.
A 2011 study titled “Cultural and Legal Discrimination Against Jordanian Girls” polled the country’s main population centers (the capital Amman, Zarqa, Irbid, Mafraq, Aqaba and Karak) and found that 80.9% of parents believe that protecting the female equates to protecting the family’s honor. Among those polled, 55% believed that a woman should be accompanied by her brother when she is outside the house; 66% are opposed to women having the same rights as a men of the same age with regard to being unaccompanied outside the house; 49% are opposed to a female child playing outside the house; and 29% say that all women should get married regardless of their education. According to the study, 29% of those polled said their convictions emanate from traditions, 25.1% said their convictions emanate from personal attitudes, 16% attributed their convictions to societal factors and 15.5% to religion.
Kingdom fourth best Arab country for women — survey
LONDON — Jordan is the fourth best country in the Arab world to be a woman, a poll of gender experts showed on Tuesday.
The Kingdom scored 58.218 points, ahead of Qatar, Tunisia and Algeria.
Comoros, where women hold 20 per cent of ministerial positions and where wives generally keep land or the home after divorce, came on top, followed by Oman and Kuwait.
The poll by Thomson Reuters’ philanthropic arm surveyed 336 gender experts in August and September in 21 Arab League states and Syria, which was a founding member of the Arab League but was suspended in 2011.
Questions were based on provisions of the UN Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which 19 Arab states have signed or ratified.
The poll assessed violence against women, reproductive rights, treatment of women within the family, their integration into society and attitudes towards a woman’s role in politics and the economy.
Experts were asked to respond to statements and rate the importance of factors affecting women’s rights across the six categories. Their responses were converted into scores, which were averaged to create a ranking.
Egypt is the worst country in the Arab world to be a woman, according to the poll, citing sexual harassment, high rates of female genital mutilation and a surge in violence.
Discriminatory laws and a spike in trafficking also contributed to Egypt’s place at the bottom of a ranking of 22 Arab states, the Thomson Reuters Foundation survey found.
Despite hopes that women would be one of the prime beneficiaries of the Arab Spring, they have instead been some of the biggest losers, as the revolts have brought conflict, instability, displacement and a rise in Islamist groups in many parts of the region, experts said.
“We removed the Mubarak from our presidential palace, but we still have to remove the Mubarak who lives in our minds and in our bedrooms,” Egyptian columnist Mona Eltahawy said, referring to Egypt’s toppled dictator, Hosni Mubarak.
“As the miserable poll results show, we women need a double revolution, one against the various dictators who’ve ruined our countries and the other against a toxic mix of culture and religion that ruin our lives as women.”
The foundation’s third annual women’s rights poll gives a comprehensive snapshot of the state of women’s rights in the Arab world three years after the events of 2011 and as Syria’s conflict threatens further regional upheaval.
Iraq ranked second-worst after Egypt, followed by Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.
Egypt scored badly in almost all categories.
A UN report on women in April said 99.3 per cent of women and girls are subjected to sexual harassment in Egypt.
Human Rights Watch reported that 91 women were raped or sexually assaulted in public in Tahrir Square in June as anti-Mohamed Morsi protests heated up.
“There are whole villages on the outskirts of Cairo and elsewhere where the bulk of economic activity is based on trafficking in women and forced marriages,” said Zahra Radwan, Middle East and North Africa programme officer for the Global Fund for Women, a US-based rights group.
Female genital mutilation is endemic in Egypt, where 91 per cent of women and girls — 27.2 million in all — are subjected to cutting, according to UNICEF. Only Djibouti has a higher rate, with 93 per cent of women and girls cut.
In Iraq, women’s freedoms have regressed since the US-led 2003 invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the poll showed.
Domestic abuse and prostitution have increased, illiteracy has soared and up to 10 per cent of women — or 1.6 million — have been left widowed and vulnerable, according to Refugees International.
In Saudi Arabia, ranked third worst, experts noted some advances. S. Arabia remains the only country that bans female drivers but cautious reforms pushed by King Abdullah have given women more employment opportunities and a greater public voice.
Since January, 30 women have been appointed in the 150-member shura council, but the council has no legislative or budgetary powers.
Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system forbids women from working, travelling abroad, opening a bank account or enrolling in higher education without permission from a male relative.
Syria’s civil war has had a devastating impact on women at home and in refugee camps across borders, where they are vulnerable to trafficking, forced and child marriage and sexual violence, experts said.
Rights groups say forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have targeted women with rape and torture, while hardline Islamists have stripped them of rights in rebel-held territory.
The poll highlighted a mixed picture for women’s rights in other Arab Spring countries.
In Yemen, ranked fifth worst, women protested side-by-side with men during the 2011 revolution and there is a 30 per cent quota for women in a national dialogue conference convened to discuss constitutional reforms.
But they face an uphill struggle for rights in a largely conservative country where child marriage is common.
In Libya, ranked 14th for women’s rights, experts voiced concern over the spread of armed militias and a rise in kidnapping, extortion, random arrests and physical abuse of women.
In Tunisia, ranked best among Arab Spring nations, women hold 27 per cent of seats in national parliament and contraception is legal, but polygamy is spreading and inheritance laws are biased towards males.
Along with Syria, all Arab League member states except Somalia and Sudan have signed or ratified CEDAW.
In the absence of full statehood recognition for the Palestinian territories, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas symbolically endorsed the convention on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
But protection offered by CEDAW is superficial, experts said. Signatories may raise reservations against any article that contradicts Sharia (Islamic law), a country’s family code, personal status laws or any piece of national legislation.
Annoucer in a fit of laughter
عمان الأردنية ترحب بكم
صحيفة عمان الأردنية تناشد الشركات والمؤسسات ايجاد فرص عمل لابنائنا الشباب الأردنيين لأنهم جيل المستقبل وسنبقى نناشد ونناشد من هذا المنبر الحر حتى نجد فرصة عمل لهم
أعلنت وزارة العمل عن توفر فرص عمل في القطاع الخاص للتعليم في الوظائف التالية:
عضو هيئة تدريس، عضو هيئة تدريس/أ. مساعد، فني صيانة حاسوب، مدرسين و مدرسات (كافة التخصصات التعليمية)، مرافقات باص، أذنة، سائقين. واضافت الوزارة في البيان الصادر اليوم بأن التخصصات المطلوبة لأعضاء هيئة التدريس هي لحملة الدكتوراة في تخصص الهندسة المدنية طرق وجسور، والصيدلة الكيماوية و التمريض و بخبرات لا تقل عن 5 سنوات. و طلبت الوزارة من الراغبين بالتقدم لهذه الوظائف مراجعة المعرض الوظيفي الدائم في مديرية تشغيل عمان الأولى في العبدلي يوم الثلاثاء 28/6/2016 في تمام الساعة العاشرة صباحا ولغاية الساعة الثانية ظهرا، والدخول على الموقع الوطني للتشغيل www.nees.jo او الاتصال على رقم 5675791 لمزيد من المعلومات.
توافر فرص عمل باحدى الجامعات الاماراتية
The first Jordanian Newspaper
published in Four languages
Abdel Bari Atwan
Turkey’s Mounting Woes
Turkey and its government are currently dealing with a number of crises. Turkey’s relationship with most of its neighboring countries is at the very least tense, including former ally, Russia. Abroad, Turkey is at odds with usually friendly Washington as well as the European Union. President Recep Erdogan has resorted to seeking new markets and friends on the African continent.
Turkey is living through times of marginalization and isolation while its economic miracles are slowly eroding, the monster of terrorism is slamming the Turkish deep, while Ankara is losing its war in Syria without winning Iraq or Iran. Meanwhile its allies in the Gulf face mounting problems of their own, facing accusations of supporting terrorism and economic chaos as oil prices remain at rock bottom at the same time as they are pouring billions into wars in Yemen and Syria.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan bears the greatest part of responsibility in this context because he is the decision maker, having politically manoeuvred a situation where most of the power lies in his hands alone. Nevertheless, murmurs of dissent are growing both within and outside his Justice and Development Party.
We don’t really know how President Erdogan managed to lose Russia without gaining either America or Europe, while risking the tenure of his own regime by toppling Ahmed Davutoglu, his partner at all stages of his climb to the top. We are certain, however, that he wouldn’t have reached this outcome had it not been for the erroneous calculations, the monopolization of the decision making process, and wrong policies.
Yesterday, the Turkish government revealed that President Erdogan had sent a congratulatory message to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on the occasion of Russia’s ‘national day’ in which he expressed his hope that this will constitute a first step in the process of normalizing the relations between the two countries. Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, also sent a ‘warm’ letter to his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, reflecting the same ideas.
The Russian response to this Turkish overture was a cold one. One was reminded of the scene at the ‘Climate Summit’ in Paris last year when Putin refused to engage with Erdogan, so furious was the former at the downing of a Russian fighter jet by a Turkish pilot on the Syrian border.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, said that Russia also wants to normalize the relations but Turkey must ‘take the necessary steps’. He repeated Russia’s terms in this context, which consist of a clear Turkish apology, compensation, and prosecuting the pilot who fired missiles at the Russian jet. This means that the congratulatory message did not yield any effect and failed to soften the Russian heart.
Russia represents one of Turkey’s most prominent commercial partners since the latter is completely dependent on the Russian oil and gas and since the extent of the commercial trade between the two countries amounts to $30 billion annually. A huge increase in the value of this trade to $100 billion had just been agreed during the Russian-Turkish summit just before the 24 November plane incident. President Erdogan destroyed all this when he downed the Russian jet and Russia responded by imposing economic sanctions on Turkey.
Developments in Syria also impacted negatively on Turkey; perhaps the most serious threat is that of Kurdish separatism which Erdogan has always vigorously opposed, Turkey having fought a 30-year civil war with its Kurdish minority. Now the Kurds in Iraq are virtually autonomous and the Syrian Kurds have also declared their own territory in the north; naturally, Turkey’s Kurds will persist in their demands for independence and there have been several devastating terror attacks by Kurdish militants. The recent spate of terrorist bombs have deeply impacted on Turkey’s tourism industry which is valued at $36 billion a year.
President Erdogan has two options to rescue whatever can be rescued in terms of his country, his party, and his personal status:
First, launching negotiations or rather return to negotiations with the main Kurdish militant group, the PKK and its jailed leader, Abdullah Ocalan, in order to reach a ceasefire and to relaunch the political process thus yielding a peaceful settlement.
Second, return to President Al-Assad, reducing tensions with him and give up the demand that he leaves power as a precondition for a negotiated settlement in Syria. Prime Minister Yildirim has recently made the comment that the war in Syria is ‘absurd’ and expressed sorrow over the ongoing tragedy for the people as casualties mount every day.
The second option is more likely since it is the least costly choice. In addition, this option represents a major key to opening the closed gates to Moscow which has stubbornly stood by Assad.
Erdogan gained a deserved reputation for political pragmatism which has recently been overshadowed by an increasingly autocratic approach.
Turkey stands at the edge of a precipice, can Erdogan pull off a courageous rescue operation?
We can only hold our breath and wait to see.
Jordan’s public sector seen more corrupt this year — report
AMMAN — Jordan’s public sector is perceived to be more corrupt than last year, graft watchdog Transparency International (TI) said in a statement on Tuesday, as the Kingdom scored 45 points on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2013, compared with 48 in 2012.
Jordan ranked 66 among the 177 countries surveyed, compared with 58 last year.
Two-thirds of the countries surveyed scored below 50, on a scale from 0, perceived to be highly corrupt, to 100, perceived to be very clean.
The Berlin-based non-profit group said the result indicates the world has a “serious, worldwide corruption problem” that needs to be addressed.
The UAE is perceived to be the cleanest in the MENA region, while Sudan is seen to be the most corrupt.
The CPI saw Jordan’s regional ranking drop to the sixth among Arab countries compared to the fourth last year, after Oman and Saudi Arabia gained on the Kingdom.
According to the graft index, Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are seen as the world’s most corrupt countries while Denmark and New Zealand are nearly squeaky-clean.
The most widely used indicator of corruption in political parties, police, justice systems and civil services worldwide, the CPI is a composite index of surveys and assessments of corruption collected from independent institutions.
The nature of corruption makes it impossible to measure meaningfully, says TI, which leads the group to collect data from institutions like the World Bank, African Development Bank, Economist Intelligence Unit, Bertelsmann Foundation, Freedom House and others.
Among countries that have slipped the most on CPI 2013 are war-torn Syria, Libya and Mali.
In a statement on its website, TI said the world urgently needs a renewed effort to crack down on money laundering, clean up political finance, pursue the return of stolen assets and build more transparent public institutions.
Bee Gees :To love somebody
From Our Own Correspondent
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