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Peace Prizes, Russia

A Yemeni woman is one of three recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.  BBC News reports that Tawakul Karman was awarded the prize for her work in advancing the right’s of women and her courageous efforts to bring peace and democracy to Yemen during the Arab spring. A splice of the article:

Speaking to the BBC in April 2011 in Change Square in Sanaa, the heart of the popular demonstrations against Mr Saleh, Ms Karman said she was astonished at the protests: “I could never imagine this. In Yemen, women are not allowed out of the house after 7pm, now they are sleeping here. This goes beyond the wildest dream I have ever dreamt, I am so proud of our women.”

She is a member of Yemen’s leading Islamist opposition party, the Islah – a conservative, religious movement that calls for reform in accordance with Islamic principles.

She has campaigned to raise the minimum age at which women can marry in Yemen.

She has been jailed several times for her activism, pilloried in the official media and attacked. Unusually for a woman in Yemen, Ms Kamran wears a headscarf not a full face veil.

I sort of stopped paying attention to the Nobel Peace Prize when President Obama won one for giving a good speech, but I feel good about this one.  (And don’t get me started on the Nobel Prize for Literature)

In other news, Russia’s President Medvedev spoke about his state’s use of its veto on a Security Council resolution aimed to put pressure on the Syrians.  Al Arabiya explains that Medvedev is critical of the Syrian government, but does not want change to be externally applied.  It also notes that

The Kremlin chief had previously accused some in the Syrian opposition of having ties to “terrorists” in comments underscoring the extent of Russia’s divide with the West in the closing months of his term.

which is something that I had not heard before.  Certainly, the outcome of Russia’s acquiescence to the Libya resolution, which has now transformed into proactive war to achieve regime change, makes Russia incredibly reluctant to allow the same types of resolutions to pass against Syria.


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