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Monday
Dec172012

Palestine, Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Call to Boycott Israel's Goods

One of the protests challenging the Bahraini regime in Manama today

See also Bahrain Feature: The Story of Taqi Abdulla, a US Citizen Detained by the Regime
Syria Live Coverage: Regime Warplanes Strike in Damascus for 1st Time
Sunday's Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A "Yes" --- So Far --- on the Constitution?


2030 GMT: Egypt. The head of the Judges' Club, Hamdi Yassin, has said that members will not supervise Saturday's second phase of the referendum on the Constitution.

Yassin said the decision was due to "unfulfilled promises" by authorities that had been agreed upon before the referendum, including arrangements for the supreme referendum committee and associated sub-committees, protection of voters and judges, and banning of electioneering outside the committees.

The vast majority of the Judges' Club membership initially said they would not oversee last Saturday's first phase of the referendum.

1950 GMT: Bahrain. Prominent activist Said Yousif talks to security forces in Manama today amid protests on Martyrs Day --- soon after this photograph, Yousif was reportedly detained (Photo: Hassan Jamali/AP):

1750 GMT: Tunisia. Two years to the day after the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi n Sidi Bouzid sparked the first uprising of the "Arab Spring", protesters in the village have thrown tomatoes and stones at President Moncef Marzouki.

Mr Marzouki was swiftly evacuated by security officers from the rally marking the anniversary.

Protesters invaded the square where Mr Marzouki had addressed a crowd of about 5,000 people, shouting "The people want the fall of the government."

Footage from the rally, including the departure of Marzouki:

1620 GMT: Bahrain. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights has expressed concern over alleged ill treatment of activist Mohamed Al-Tal, held in solitary confinement for more than 12 days.

Al-Tal has been in detention since 14 October when he was summoned for interrogation on the charge of “participating in illegal gathering” in Manama two days earlier. The BCHR claims he was placed in solitary following the formation of Prisoners of Conscience to protest abuses and attacks.

1520 GMT: Iraq. The death toll from today's car bombings and attacks in Iraq is now 35.

It is the deadliest day in Iraq since 29 November, when 50 people were slain, and follows 19 deaths and 77 injuries on Sunday.

1508 GMT: Bahrain. Is this tweet, sent almost 90 minutes ago, the news that Said Yousif of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights has been detained again?

Yousif also sent the message in Arabic and then fell silent.

1345 GMT: Bahrain. Reports are coming through of police arresting protesters and using tear gas, pepper spray, and even shotgun fire to break up the "Martyrs Day" demonstrations in Manama --- Said Yousif of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights posts on Twitter:

1330 GMT: Bahrain. Crowds are gathering in the capital Manama on "Martyrs Day", remembering those who have been killed amid the mass protests against the regime from February 2011.

1110 GMT: Yemen. Unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle have assassinated an intelligence officer in Hadhramout Governorate.

Last Tuesday, gunmen assassinated the deputy chief of Political Security in Hadharamout, Ahmed Baramadah.

More than 60 Yemeni personnel, most of them intelligence officers, have been killed this year.

1100 GMT: Egypt. The opposition National Salvation Front is calling on people to “take to the streets on Tuesday to defend their freedoms, prevent fraud and reject the draft constitution”, after Saturday's first round of voting and next Saturday's second stage.

The Freedom and Justice Party, which backs President Morsi and the Constitution, claims almost 57% of Egyptians voted Yes in the first round. The Front claims that it had 400 complaints of irregularities and violations.

1020 GMT: Iraq. A series of car bombs near Shia places of worship and other attacks have killed at least 20 people, a day after multiple blasts in two Kurdish cities killed nine people and 10 others were slain in shootings and explosions.

0820 GMT: Palestine. Responding to Israel's recent cut-off of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, West Bank Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has called on Palestinians to boycott not only the products of Jewish settlers, but all Israel-manufactured products.

“We call on Palestinian citizens to stop purchasing Israeli goods as a way of resisting the occupation,” Fayyad told Palestinian reporters in Ramallah.

Israel cut off the $100 million per month in tax revenues days after the United Nations recognised Palestine as an Observer State. West Jerusalem claimed the measure was to cover $200 million owed by the Palestinian Authority for Israeli-provided electicity.

Fayyad urged Arab countries to fulfill their promise to provide the PA with the $100 million each month, saying it was less than a third of what the Authority government needs to meet its obligations. He called for an emergency Arab summit to discuss the financial crisis.

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