The week at a glance...International


Kampala, Uganda

You can’t say that: Ugandan police have raided the offices of newspapers and radio stations that reported on President Yoweri Museveni’s alleged plan to have his son succeed him.

The allegation came in a letter to the security service from Gen. David Sejusa, who urged an investigation into reports that officials could be assassinated for opposing the rise of Museveni’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, an army officer. Sejusa, now traveling in Europe, is under investigation and faces arrest should he return to Uganda. The letter was leaked to a prominent newspaper, the Daily Monitor, which has now been shut down. Museveni, 69, has held power for nearly three decades.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Tunis, Tunisia

Radicals banned: The relatively moderate Islamist government of Tunisia has begun a crackdown on radical Salafist Islamists. The government, led by the Ennahda party, banned the radical group Ansar al-Sharia from holding its huge annual conference last week, and when the Salafists tried to meet anyway, they encountered police wielding tear gas. Prime Minister Ali Larayedh said the group “is involved in terrorism.” Ansar al-Sharia is blamed for a failed attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, and its Libyan offshoot was responsible for the September 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. It is also believed to have sent hundreds of jihadists to fight the regime in Syria. Islamist extremists killed Tunisia’s top secular opposition leader earlier this year.

Qusair, Syria

War goes international: Bolstered by militants from Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Syrian troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad made gains this week, pressing toward the Lebanese border. President Obama called Lebanese President Michel Suleiman to protest the growing involvement of Hezbollah, while the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to arm the Syrian rebels. Meanwhile, Syrian and Israeli troops exchanged fire along the cease-fire line in the Golan Heights, and Israel warned that Syria “would suffer the consequences” if it continued to attack. Analysts said Syrian troops were pushing hard to consolidate a position of strength ahead of a planned peace conference next month.

Tbilisi, Georgia

Priests attack gays: Orthodox priests led a mob of some 20,000 people in an attack on a small gay-rights rally in the Georgian capital last week. Television images showed priests throwing rocks, punching people, and pounding the buses that were trying to evacuate the marchers. Dozens of people were injured. “I am not able to either condemn or justify them,” Bishop Iakob Iakobashvili, who organized the anti-gay protest, said of the violent priests. “When there are so many people, it is difficult to speak only about Christianity and morals.” The government is under criticism for failing to stop the attack or arrest the leaders, even though several gave their names on television.


Presidential candidates barred: Iran’s Guardian Council has excluded several top contenders from running in next month’s presidential election, ensuring that the next president will be loyal to the regime of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The disqualified candidates include former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a founding father of the 1979 revolution with strong support from the business community, and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, a nationalist endorsed by current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Of the eight candidates remaining, six are extremely close to the ayatollah, while one is a virtual unknown and one is a low-profile reformer with no political base. A retired army officer told The New York Times that he saw little point in the election being held. “It seems everything has already been decided,” he said.


‘Moral crimes’: Arrests of Afghan girls and women for “moral crimes” have soared in the past year and are now at the highest rate since the Taliban were ousted in 2001. Human-rights groups fear that the curtailing of women’s rights will only accelerate when U.S. troops leave next year. Many of the arrests are for “intent to commit adultery,” which is the charge filed against girls who run away from home, fleeing abuse or forced marriages. Women who report rapes to police often end up jailed for adultery. “The majority of women and girls imprisoned for ‘moral crimes’ are actually victims themselves,” said Phelim Kine of Human Rights Watch.


No more kidnapping: After years of pressure from the U.S., Japan has voted to ratify an international treaty on child abduction. Japan’s failure to join the treaty had sparked hundreds of international custody disputes, because a Japanese mother could take her children to Japan and refuse to allow their foreign father to see them—even if the children were citizens of another country and the father had been awarded custody in that country. In one prominent case, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Paul Toland was refused access to his daughter after his ex-wife died; the Japanese grandmother was given custody instead.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.