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Wednesday
Jan262011

Egypt Snap Analysis: Will the "Day of Revolution" Last Only One Day?

Yesterday morning, a reporter for British television was declaring: "I doubt demos today will get big numbers.80,000 people clicked Facebook to say they would turn up --- but clicking is easy."

Twelve hours later, that same reporter was writing, "Approaching midnight. 1,000s still in square. 1,000s of cops. Twitter from phones still down. Amazing spirit."

Another observer, while avoiding any daring predictions, stuck to this shrewd assessment....

"What's really important about today is not the exact numbers but that the psychological barrier of fear has been broken in Egypt."

And so to the Day after the Day of Revolution.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan262011

Iran Special: What the Executions Say About the Regime's "Control" and Murder

It is sad that Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Hajaghaei have been murdered by the regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It is wrong. And it must be opposed.

The regime has reason to be afraid about its control. The people rose up against them. They rallied together under the banner of, and hope for, a better future --- one in which state-sponsored murder is an abhorrent thing of the past.

For that day to come, we must demand that all executions in Iran be stopped. Immediately. We must pull no stops in getting attention on this matter, internally in Iran and externally. We must talk about this within our families and our communities until all of us come to the realization that we have been living under the shadow of murderers for far too long.

We must not give them an excuse. We must not let them think that they can label someone and then kill them.

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Wednesday
Jan262011

Video & Transcript: President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague --- and our friend –-- Gabby Giffords.

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Wednesday
Jan262011

Egypt Video: More Footage of the "Day of Revolution"

Tearing Down President Mubarak in Tahrir Square

Protesters Push Back Police Line in Tahrir Square in Cairo

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Wednesday
Jan262011

The Palestine Papers: The Palestinian Authority Tries to Hit Back

Last night Al Jazeera completed three days of special broadcasts on the "Palestine Papers", the more than 1600 internal documents about the Palestinian negotiations with Israel from 1999 to 2010. The documents themselves carry on, posted not only by Al Jazeera but also by The Guardian of London.

On Tuesday, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, tried to strike back, calling the documents "fake". He told the crowd denouncing the Qatari regime, which owns Al Jazeera:

The Palestinian principles ... have not and will not change and the first of them is that East Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Palestine. No one in the world can make us give up on a centimeter of our land, the issue of the refugees or the issue of Jerusalem.

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Tuesday
Jan252011

Egypt Video: The "Day of Revolution"

Late Tonight in Tahrir Square in Cairo

Tearing Down Mubarak's Poster

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Tuesday
Jan252011

Tunisia Video: General Ammar's Full Speech to the Protesters

General Rachid Ammar, the head of Tunisia's Army, speaks on Monday to protesters in Tunis (see updates and analysis for details):

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Tuesday
Jan252011

Tunisia (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A Day to Watch in Cairo?

2210 GMT: It is now after midnight in Egypt, and we are taking a few hours' break. We leave you for the moment with this image from tonight in Tahrir Square in Cairo,as protesters move away from a tear gas canister:

2200 GMT: Tonight's statement from protesters calling for the fall of the Egyptian Government and for a continued sit-in:

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Tuesday
Jan252011

The Latest from Iran (25 January): A Political Conflict Escalates

2145 GMT: Cyber-Watch. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports on how Iranian activists are welcoming the introduction of Google software, include the Chrome browser, Google Earth, and the photo-sharing service Picasa, into Iran.

2140 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Rooz Online publishes the English text of the appeal by 133 intellectuals and academics, such as Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, and Jurgen Habermas, for the freedom of Ebrahim Yazdi, the 80-year-old head of the Freedom Movement of Iran detained since last September.

2125 GMT: Leaving the Mayor at Home. Ayande News notes that Tehran has finished third out of five cities nominated for an international award in sustainable transport, awarded in Washington by a US-based non-government organisation. It mentions that Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf was not at the ceremony.

It does not mention why he was absent, however. Qalibaf was denied an exit visa by the Foreign Ministry.

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Tuesday
Jan252011

Tunisia Snap Analysis: General Ammar's Message to Protesters (and the Government)

In Tunisia, there continue to be dramatic developments. Amidst chatter that the interim Government would be replaced by a "council of wise men" to give the country a semblance of authority before March elections, the head of the Army, Rachid Ammar, suddenly appeared before protesters outside the Prime Minister's office (see Monday's updates).

Ammar's message was a request to the thousands of demonstrators and a warning to the politicians. He asked those assembled to finish their protest and allow a bit of space for discussions. And his declaration that the Army supported the people's revolution and would uphold the Constitution sent out the message to those inside the Government buildings: get this sorted now.

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