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Wednesday
Feb022011

Iran Cartoon of the Day: Tehran's Pharaoh (Kowsar)

Nikahang Kowsar looks from Cairo to Tehran and notices the rulers of Iran:

Wednesday
Feb022011

The Latest from Iran (2 February): Mousavi and Karroubi Make a Statement

1955 GMT: The Mayor Who Won't Be Curbed? More than half of the Majlis --- 166 of 290 MPs --- have congratulated Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf for the third-place award given to the capital in the International Transport System competition.

Qalibaf was prevented by the Foreign Ministry from going to Washington for the ceremony, held by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

Shayesteh Asadi has more on the case, including Qalibaf's comment:

Don't focus on me going or not, or whether my trip is approved or not. But focus on this, and inform the citizens about it, that what transformation in the public transportation system has occurred that we have achieved this rank. I beg you to have a different look and do not view it from a political vantage point.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb022011

Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Towards the Day of Departure

0540 GMT: Now see Thursday's LiveBlog: "The Battle of Tahrir Square".

0536 GMT: The pro-regime protesters and thugs have not left Cairo yet. Some of them have taken over tall buildings and are throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at democracy protesters below outside of Tahrir Square. 

This has not stopped hundreds of protesters from continuing to join democracy protesters in Tahrir Square, swelling up their numbers.  

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb022011

Egypt Analysis: Dead President Walking?

Now comes Friday and the protesters' declared "Day of Departure". On that day, they are likely to make the march that was blocked yesterday. The military will then no longer be in the position of brokering the crisis: it either protects Mubarak and his continued occupation, or it allows the opposition to come up to his gates.

It was this scenario that the Americans hoped to avoid with the mission of Obama's envoy Frank Wisner. But, as he rejected both the US and the millions who shouted against him yesterday, this may have been the scenario that Hosni Mubarak --- You Need Me --- embraced. 

Security through not only insecurity but the prospect of mass bloodshed. There are 48 hours left for Hosni to reconsider that position.

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Wednesday
Feb022011

US Politics: Economy Special --- A Conservative Roadmap to Stability and Character

As much as detractors of conservatism may disagree, the conservatives' Roadmap illustrates that the defense of the free market in the United States, at least for the true believers, is based more on moral imperatives than on selfish economic interests. The Roadmap's author, Representative Paul Ryan, contends that “it is government's responsibility to uphold the principles of free and competitive markets", and he and maintains that following this principle in the future will have the moral consequence of restoring the American character. For, he explains, “consistent with this is the longstanding recognition among Americans that freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin.... Only by taking responsibility for oneself, to the greatest extent possible, can one ever be free; and only a free person can make responsible choices... these moral characteristics inhere in individuals, growing from the coupling of freedom and responsibility; and this in turn is the root of the Nation's virtue."

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Tuesday
Feb012011

Egypt Special: Your 4-Point Guide to US Plans for Mubarak Out, New Government In

UPDATE 2120 GMT: While the protesters' reaction to the Mubarak speech is the lead story tonight, the 2nd story may be the breakdown of talks between US officials and the Egyptian President.

It was notable tonight that there was a delay of more than an hour between the announcement that Mubarak was about to speak and his actual appearance. In that hour, Obama's people not only put out the news that the President --- through the envoy Frank Wisner --- had asked Mubarak to refrain from standing for re-election in September, they added to reporters that they had asked Mubarak to rule out any campaign by his son Gamal.

The White House delayed a press briefing, expecting to welcome a suitable Mubarak announcement, but time dragged on. The Egyptian President did not appear, and the White House press briefing was scrubbed.

Whether Mubarak rewrote his speech in that hour is not known, but his defiance and refusal to announce a transition was not a rejection of the millions of his people who turned out today. It was also a rebuff to the US Government.

Protesters in Tahrir Square were screaming, "Not enough!", as they heard the speech. I'm begging some folks in Washington were doing so as well.

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Tuesday
Feb012011

The Latest from Iran (1 February): An Impeachment?

2015 GMT: Mousavi and Karroubi. Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have met today, issuing a joint statement that "dictators in the region should listen to people's demands for freedom in Tunisia and Egypt."

The two men called for a halt to executions, and they denounced the Government's economic policy, with hundreds of companies shut down and thousands of workers jobless because of mismanagement.

In the run-up to the forthcoming anniversary of the 1979 Revolution on 22 Bahman (11 February), Mousavi and Karroubi called the Islamic Republic its biggest achievement but one that had gone wrong because some wanted to stay in power and ignore the people.

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Tuesday
Feb012011

Sudan Follow-Up: More Protests on Monday, Big March Called for Thursday

UPDATE 2045 GMT: About 200 students demonstrated outside al-Nilein university in Khartoum today before hundreds of police beat them back and surrounded the university buildings with 20 vehicles.

After Sunday's protests of hundreds throughout Sudan, with at least one student dying in clashes, some developments on Monday....

Journalists said security forces prevented the opposition Ajras al-Huriya and the independent al-Sahafa newspapers from being distributed after they wrote about the protests.

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Tuesday
Feb012011

Egypt Special: Fox TV's Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck Teach You How To Analyse the Crisis

Really, who needs Al Jazeera? Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck of the American outlet Fox TV give you all the historical knowledge you need --- from the opening sentence linking to World War I, "This is an Archduke Ferdinand moment" to the conversion of Egypt 2011 into Iran 1979 to blaming everyone on the "Progressive movement" to "We told England to sink [its own] ships" --- to interpret current events in Egypt.

In the end, it comes down to this: Which is worse --- the "jihadists" or the "Communist/Socialist movement"?

Tuesday
Feb012011

Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Will a Million March?

0522 GMT: We can now confirm that there will be a countrywide protest in Egypt on Friday. The day has been dubbed the "Friday of Departure" and it aims to force President Hosni Mubarak to once and for all quit and leave the country. 

Click to read more ...