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Friday
Feb112011

Egypt Video: The Moment Mubarak Was No Longer President

Friday
Feb112011

Egypt Special: EA's Scott Lucas on Inside Story on Al Jazeera English

UPDATE 1730 GMT: Inside Story has been postponed. I think that's a fair decision in the circumstances.

I will be appearing at 1730 GMT on Inside Story on Al Jazeera English, discussing the latest situation in Egypt. More details when I get back from the recording, but the programme will be available via the live feed on the EA site.

Friday
Feb112011

Turkey Analysis: Ankara Expands Ties with Syria and Iran

Turkey's relations with its Eastern neighbours are continuing to develop. On Sunday, at the groundbreaking ceremony of Asi Friendship Dam in Hatay, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Erdogan said:

Asi river is not a river separating us, drawing borders between us anymore; it is turning into a river bringing us together.

Eight years ago, when we formed the government, we said this: 'Turkey wants peace, Turkey wants calm in the region. Turkey wants stability in this geography, wants wealth all together.' We said 'zero problem with neighbours' eight years ago. Because we believe this with our hearts that the more Syria is in peace the more Turkey is in peace. The more Turkey is in wealth the more the more Syria is in wealth. Because we are nations that are rendered as brothers by history. Throughout the history, our fate has been the same, our hearts have beat together. 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb112011

Iran Exclusive: An Interview with Mehdi Karroubi "The Movement is Alive"

An EA exclusive: English translation by Potkin Azarmehr of Masih Alinejad's interview with Mehdi Karroubi.

The interview took place amidst the request by Mir Hossein Moussavi and Karroubi for a permit for a rally on 14 February in solidarity with the movements in Egypt and Tunisia, the arrest of Karroubi's advisor Taghi Rahmani, and intimidation of Karroubi's associates.

Security agents appeared in front of Karroubi's house on Thursday to enforce a house arrest, allowing only Karroubi's wife to enter the residence. Alinejad's interview was cut short by the restrictions.

Originally published in Persian in Rah-e-Sabz:

Why are they scared of our presence amongst the people?

Karroubi replied, "The movement which became known as the Green Movement subsided after its initial excitement. Some of the Green Movement supporters became despondent. The government which keeps referring to this as the “end of the sedition”, seems to be worried after the permit for a rally on 14th February was requested, in case once again people will turn up on the streets. Recently Mr. Ejei [Iran Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei] reacted to the request by calling it a 'political act'."

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Friday
Feb112011

Egypt Analysis: Hosni's Defiance

He came. He saw. He stayed.

The newsflashes had started about 5 p.m., Cairo time (1500 GMT), with the head of Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party saying the President was probably making a speech to announce he was stepping down. Other leading Egyptian figures, including the Minister of Finance echoed the claim. The High Council of the Army met and issued Communique No. 1, seen as a signal that it was taking control. Even more stunning was the promise, given by a "high commander" to protesters in the heart of Tahrir Square, that "all their demands would be met". In Washington, the Obama Administration telegraphed its approval of developments, both in leaks to the US media and in the open declaration of the Director of the CIA that Mubarak was out.

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Friday
Feb112011

Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: One More Push

2115 GMT: Clashes between opposition members in Algeria, celebrating the fall of Egypt's President Mubarak, and police who surrounded the headquarters of Rally for Constitutional Democracy, have left an "unknown number" arrested and injured

2110 GMT: In a phone call with a former Israeli government minister yesterday, former President Mubarak called the US policy in Middle East misguided and said that Egyptians were not ready for democracy. He warned that the Middle East would fall to extremism and fundamentalist Islamism with his departure. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb102011

The Latest from Iran (11 February): The Regime's Big Show?

2205 GMT: Claim of the Night. An opposition website asserts, "The word 'Bahman' has been filtered in Iran Farsi Google search."

2145 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Mohammad Housein Mehyimni, the son of the former Governor of Golestan Province, has been arrested.

2130 GMT: A New Role. What better way to end 22 Bahman than with a feel-good story?

The Basij militia are providing the dowries of needy brides.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb102011

Israel Analysis: International Pressure is Growing to Break "Deadlock"

With the Quartet (the US, Russia, European Union and United Nations) declaring that the deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is a threat to region's whole security and condemning Israel for its inaction following the end of 10-month freeze on settlement expansion in the West Bank; the circle around West Jerusalem is tightening.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb102011

Newsflash! Al Jazeera Turk is Coming...

On 1 February, Al Jazeera Turk placed a $21 million bid  to take over a national TV station, Cine-5, known primarily for showing football matches to paying customers. The bid was put to the side as the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund set a minimum of $40 million for tenders, but on Thursday, Al Jazeera Turk's revised offer of $40.5 million was accepted.

Turkey has also CNN Turk, which was founded in 1999. For some, the entry of Al Jazeera Turk into the national arena is welcomed for increased competition and the quality; for others, it is a sign of Ankara's rising importance and autonomy in the region. 

Thursday
Feb102011

Iran Music Video: "Let the Earth Bear Witness"

The Irish band The Waterboys take the words from poetry by W.B. Yeats and set it to music with images from Iran since June 2009. 

The band's Mike Scott explains, "[We were] inspired by the amazing scenes of hundreds of thousands of Iranian people standing up for their rights and freedom. I took the words from two old Yeats poems, in which he was writing about Irish freedom fighters. But his words apply to any freedom fighters, anytime, anywhere in the world."

They shall be remembered for ever
They shall be alive for ever
They shall be speaking for ever
The people shall hear them for ever 

Let the sea bear witness
Let the wind bear witness
Let the earth bear witness
Let the stars bear witness!

(hat tip to Ms EA)