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Indonesian maid left at hospital weighing only 45 lbs.

Abuse of migrant workers has long been an issue in the Middle East, however, a rather extreme case has been making headlines in Jordan. The Indonesian Embassy here is filing a lawsuit against a doctor who dumped his maid in front of a medical facility.

Abandon all hope ye who manifest here

I couldn't help but wonder if I'd provoked some bad karma this afternoon when I signed online to see that the story I'd written about being delayed in Iraq had just posted on the GlobalPost website. I'd written the story after my last trip to Iraq earlier this summer, and by chance the editors decided to post it a few days into my current trip here. As it turns out, I saw the story had been published on day four of my delay trying to make it up north for an embedded reporting trip.

Meet the economic gangsters

The dismal science of economics is, by most definitions, about finding the most efficient allocation of resources. And that goes for individuals, companies, governments and — yes — criminals. Edward Miguel is an expert on that last category. He's the co-author, with Raymond Fisman, of “Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence and the Poverty of Nations.” Published in late 2008, the authors use new data, innovative number-crunching and various pattern recognition models to plumb the worlds of kleptocrats, corruption, black marketeers and violence.

"Chop off their heads at their workplaces."

Al Qaeda says it will target 50,000 Chinese working in Algeria and North Africa, in retaliation for the July 5 deaths of 46 Muslim Uighurs in western China. Two other Al Qaeda affiliated web sites are also calling for the deaths of Chinese working in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East:

Back to the beginning ...

A friend just passed along this article written in 1947, six months before the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948 by Jordan's King Abdullah I (the current King Abdullah's great-grandfather). It gets to the core of many Jordanian attitudes towards Israel. If you've got a few minutes, give it a read. It's an interesting historical document that will elucidate the roots of many present day sentiments. Here's an excerpt from the summary: 

Your president's a jerk, but let me buy you a sandwich

In my blog entry yesterday about residents in Marka, Jordan, watching Obama's speech to the Muslim world, I mentioned several people who saw Obama on TV and reflexively cursed at the screen. Logic might hold that these same people would not be happy to see an American at that moment, but that was far from the case.

Obama's speech: The view from Amman

MARKA, Jordan — On the grimy edge of Amman, in an area that’s home to one of Jordan’s major Palestinian refugee camps, President Barack Obama’s message from Cairo was little more than background noise. Moments before the President began his address to the Muslim world one shopkeeper stared blankly at a television broadcasting Quranic recitation. He hadn’t heard anything about Obama giving a speech. His neighbor hadn’t either and said he wouldn’t watch it anyway. “I’m not interested in politics. Only Islam.”

Quietly, the Mideast goes nuclear

AMMAN, Jordan — While the world focuses on nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea, around the globe more than 60 nations are looking to develop nuclear power for the first time — about 10 of them in the Middle East.  

A homeland ... in Jordan?

AMMAN — Israel took cursory steps last week toward declaring Jordan the official Palestinian homeland but, in a backward step for the Arab-Israeli peace process, neglected to discuss the plan with Jordan. The plan — introduced as a bill in the Knesset and supported by 53 of its 120 members — has led some lawmakers here to push for a severance of diplomatic ties with Israel. Shortly before U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to unveil a new peace plan in a speech in Cairo, the lawmakers have also called for a withdrawal from a 1994 peace treaty.

Thriving Jordanian bootleggers "a threat"

AMMAN — Mamoun Talhouni may have the hardest job in Jordan. In a place where major stores sell almost exclusively pirated DVDs, CDs, and software in full view of the police, as director general of the National Library he has been tasked with stopping copyright infringement.
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