Libya

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  • Hungary’s introduction of the world’s first internet tax is just the latest in a batch of unorthodox uneconomic policies, dubbed ‘Orbanomics‘, that some say are leading to increased government control over the economy
  • Through their alliances with jihadis and actions that flout the democratic will, Libya’s Islamists are courting disaster for themselves and their country
  • The disappearance of 43 students has brought attention back to Mexico’s security woes and away from its economic reforms, threatening to tarnish President Enrique Peña Nieto’s record of success
  • Quantitative easing in the US has kicked back into gear Wall Street’s securitisation machine – providing a supply of risky assets that bundle together car loans, corporate debt and mortgages
  • The forgotten Yazidi refugees who once captured the world’s attention now sit outside the spotlight, wondering how they will survive the winter, reports Foreign Policy

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Nigerian teachers at a rally in Lagos protesting against the abduction of 200 schoolgirls and the killing of 173 of their colleagues by the Islamist Boko Haram group. Getty

Osama Bin Laden must be chuckling from his grave on the ocean floor. In the wake of 9/11 he explicitly targeted Nigeria as a new front-line in his global jihad. When the UN Security Council on Thursday blacklisted Boko Haram alongside al-Qaeda and its other affiliates, Nigeria had formally arrived.

It is the latest in a series of international gestures intended to isolate the group, which provoked international outrage for a series of atrocities including abducting more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls and threatening to sell them into slavery. But its value is little more than symbolic.

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By Luisa Frey

♦ Women are leading the revolution in Chile, writes the FT’s Benedict Mander. Michelle Bachelet and Evelyn Matthei, who will face each other in the second round of presidential elections, and young communist Camila Vallejo are good examples.

♦ As corruption scandals are revealed in Malawi, even the president has admitted that she does not know where the money has gone.

♦ In Libya, the increasingly violent rivalries between the militias that overthrew the Gaddafi regime are rendering the elected government even more powerless.

♦ “How is Hamid Karzai still standing?” asks the New York Times. As the deadline for registering candidates for next year’s presidential election approaches, Afghanistan’s future seems to depend on the fraught internal family politics of the Karzais.

♦ The New York Times describes how a law from 1938, which allowed Nazis to seize thousands of artworks seen as un-German or Jewish, now makes their recovery difficult.

♦ The Guardian says walls are being built to divide people from their neighbours around the world - from a luxury community in Brazil to barriers along the US/Mexico border and walls that separate ethnic groups in Homs, Syria. Read more

James Blitz

Will France, Britain and the US come to regret their decision to topple Colonel Muammar Gaddafi? Nearly two years after these three states began their mission to remove the Libyan leader, the question is one which some commentators are starting to ponder.

Nobody would deny there was a strong humanitarian interest for the US and its allies to intervene in Libya in the spring of 2011, stopping what would otherwise have been Gaddafi’s massacre of his rebel opponents in Benghazi. But nearly two years on, some might be tempted to argue that his removal ran against the west’s strategic interest, given the course of subsequent events in north Africa and the Middle East. Read more

Edward Luce

Mitt Romney makes remarks on the attack on the US consulate in Libya (Reuters)

There are moments that can indelibly brand a politician and Mitt Romney may just have met his.

The alacrity – and brittle certainty – with which the Republican nominee responded to the violence against US diplomats on Tuesday night offers a snapshot of why his candidacy has failed to attract true believers. On Wednesday morning, Hillary Clinton read out a sombre statement condemning the killing of Chris Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans. Forty minutes later, Barack Obama followed suit. Both focused on Mr Stevens’ tragic death. Read more

By Gideon Rachman

“No one can here understand how the international community can let this happen.” So said Marie Colvin, in an interview given from Homs, just a day before she herself was killed by a Syrian bombardment.

By Gideon Rachman

It has been many centuries since the Mediterranean Sea was the centre of civilisation. But in 2011 the Med was back – not just as a holiday destination – but at the very centre of world affairs. This was a year of global indignation, from the Occupy Wall Street movement to the Moscow election protests and China’s village revolts. It was popular protests on either side of the Mediterranean – in Tahrir Square in Cairo and Syntagma Square in Athens – that set the tone for 2011.

Protesters clash with riot police near Tahrir Square. Photo AFP/Getty

Welcome to our live blog of the turmoil in the Middle East. Written by John Aglionby and Tom Burgis on the news desk in London and with contributions from correspondents around the world. All times are GMT.

  • Where next for Egypt now that the protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square have rejected the ruling military’s offer of an accelerated handover to civilian rule?
  • After three broken promises, Ali Abdullah Saleh, president of Yemen, has finally bowed to mounting pressure and signed a deal to begin the transfer of power
  • A major report on human rights in Bahrain has been published – and is analysed here by a Chatham House expert
  • Syria remains in crisis

18.52 That brings us to the end of our live coverage of the Middle East today. See FT.com through the night for updates from Tahrir Square and analysis of what Saleh’s promise to depart means for Yemen. We’ll leave you with this exclusive analysis on the political implications of today’s report into abuses by Bahrain’s security forces from Jane Kinninmont, senior research fellow in the Middle East and North Africa programme at the Chatham House think-tank (emphasis ours). Read more

Gideon Rachman

With foreign intervention in Libya now formally over, after the UN vote yesterday, military strategists and diplomats are trying to make sense of the conflict. Here in Washington, there is a feeling that it was a “close run thing” (as Wellington once said of Waterloo). Military victories often take on the aura of inevitablity, after the event, but US officials are acutely aware how stretched the Nato alliance was by the Libyan war. Read more