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Entries in Sultan Qaboos (6)


Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Story is Beyond Damascus

Mural on a wall in Aleppo, Syria: "Revolution is A Female"

See also Syria Audio Feature: "Assad May Be Slipping from Power" --- Scott Lucas with the BBC
Syria Revealed: The Quiet Planning for a Country After Assad
Sudan Feature: Can Activists Maintain Hope Amid Waning Protests?
Friday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: 217 Die Amid Question, "Where's Bashar?"

2113 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees of Syria claims that 131 people, including 18 defectors and 11 children, have been killed by security forces today.

2051 GMT: Syria. A large anti-regime demonstration tonight in central Aleppo:

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Fighting Across the Country

A 9-minute video of street fighters in the Midan section of Damascus on Monday

See also Syria Analysis: It's Not Quite "The Battle for Damascus"...But It's An Important Fight
Bahrain Snapshot: The Curious Tale of The American and $11 Million in Cash --- What Does It Mean?
Monday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Fighting in Damascus

1935 GMT: Syria. A map of Damascus, a snap shot posted by the Syrian Uprising 2011 Information Centre:

click for larger image

A snapshot of what is happening in Damascus now. The modern city centre is marked in Green. Strong opposition areas where clashes are reported are marked in Red. Military bases are marked as trucks, intelligence bases as question marks while flags show important government building such as parliament, ministries and Ba'ath Party buildings.

The map is visually striking, but if we were to make our own, it would show an even stronger presence of opposition fighters and popular support in some of those blank areas. Some of the area between the green and the eastern red is also a conflict zone, but the presence of military soldiers and armored vehicles has kept the peace so far today. Also, some of the areas northeast of the green are also heavily embattled. Though these areas are not "opposition strongholds" per se, just because they have not been filled in does not mean that the regime has significant there. By the same token, none of the areas in red are in opposition control, but they have a large presence of opposition fighters, and popular support for the opposition in many of these areas is overwhelming.

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Syria, Yemen (and Beyond): The Drumbeat of Protests and Killings

Claimed footage of snipers firing on protesters today in Sana'a, Yemen

See also Syria 1st-Hand: Life with Assad's Alawites

2105 GMT: Al Jazeera English's Rula Amin reports via Twitter that at least seven people have died in Homs in Syria today.

Meanwhile, in Harasta, northeast of Damascus, an anti-regime protest chants in solidarity with those in other cities:

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Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Battles and Clashes

2040 GMT: More oppositionsclaims from Libya (see 2025 GMT) --- their special forces have counterattacked in Brega, arresting 20-60 regime fighters, killing 25, and seizing weapons.

The regime had claimed earlier today that it had taken the oil port in north-central Libya.

2035 GMT: Egypt’s military police have prevented a rally organised by imams calling for the independence of the Islamic institution Al-Azhar and for an investigation into alleged corruption at the Ministry of Endowments.

An eyewitness said that the police prevented nearly 1000 imams and preachers from reaching the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Egypt's ruling body, and assaulted them with fists and electric batons. Clashes resulted between the two sides.

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Egypt, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Dramas with State Security

2030 GMT: Thousands of Moroccans have gathered in Casablanca's Mohammed V Square, demanding government reform and an end to corruption.

Global Voices Online has more description and video:

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Oman Feature: Meet Sultan Qaboos, the "Classy Despot" (Whitaker)

Oman has an exceptionally young population --- 43% are under the age of 15 – and even those who buy the line that Oman is well governed recognise that the authorities face an uphill struggle in providing jobs. "The problem is evolving faster than they can provide solutions," one person who is familiar with the country (and asked not to be identified) told me this week.

But there's another problem too. Even if Qaboos is a Britain-friendly, music-loving ruler with benevolent intentions, he is none the less a despot.

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