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Entries in Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (43)


Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: What Happens When the Observers Leave?

Protesters stand in front of massed ranks of police in Sitra in Bahrain today (Photo: Mazen Mahdi)

See also The Real Net Effect: Andy Carvin & the Power of Twitter
Saudi Arabia Feature: A Princess in London Calls for Reforms
Bahrain Feature: An Uprising In The NumbersBahrain 1st-Hand: Mariam Al Sarraj and the Raid on Salihiya
Tuesday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Newsflash --- "The Killings Continue"

2115 GMT: The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information updates on four activists of the 6 April Movement who were detained on Monday for sticking up posters critical of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. One was released today, but three remain in detention and will appear before judge on Thursday morning.

2035 GMT: More photographs from Mazen Mahdi of protest and police in Sitra today:

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Tunisia Latest: Today's Election

See also Tunisia Video: What Happens If No One Votes? The Return of Ben Ali....

UPDATE 1645 GMT: The head of the electoral commission, Kamel Jendoubi, has announced that the turnout is approaching 70% and is near 80% in some districts. He said results would be declared on Tuesday.

UPDATE 1015 GMT: Two videos from today's voting --- Al Jazeera English correspondent Nazenine Moshiri outlines the system and talks to a voter:

Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the al-Nahda Party, is told to get in the queue for voting after he apparently tried to cut into the line. Some in the crowd shout "Degage (Get out)!", the chant used against former President Ben Ali during the January uprising:

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Libya, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Goodbye to Qaddafi, Hello to....?

2104 GMT: The United Nations has passed a security council resolution calling for Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh to stop killing civilians and to step down in accordance with international plans. According to the AFP:

The UN Security Council passed a resolution calling on Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign a deal to end deadly attacks on protesters and under which he would quit.

The resolution, on Friday, unanimously agreed by the 15 members, "strongly condemns" government violence against demonstrators and backs a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) peace plan under which Saleh would end his 33 years in power.

2028 GMT: Before this week, we were not aware of a particularly vibrant opposition in al Harak, Syria, in Daraa province. Now, the place looks like a military base. This video shows tanks positioned by the side of a major road:

2016 GMT: This video was reportedly taken in Al Tal, Damascus, today. A large amount of security can be seen wandering the streets, and gunfire can be heard off screen:

1958 GMT: This is another video from Bab Amr, Homs. It shows what we believe to be facing the opposite direction from the one that we posted at 1820 GMT. In otherwords, from the videographer's position, the entire neighborhood is on fire:

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Libya (and Beyond) Special: Paradigm Shift --- What the Experts Get Wrong Tells A Much Bigger Story

There is a larger problem with the way the West is approaching this issue. The old power structures still exist, but all evidence points to them fading. Regimes are falling apart, though remnants remain. Tribalism is giving way to unity, though old divisions still threaten that unity. Al Qa'eda, in almost 20 years, has failed to do what the Arab Spring has done in 250 days. Iran, Israel, weapons of mass destruction, Western imperialism...all of the old bugbears have proven false alarms. They still exist, but their importance, and influence, is fading quickly.

Problems persist in Tunisia and Egypt, and questions remain about Libya, but what is unquestionable is the dedication and spirit of the youth of these countries, a brave and defiant youth that will not sit down while the old powers hijack their revolutions. Perhaps there are still forces that wish to co-opt the Arab Spring, but the indications are that these forces are weaker than their predecessors. Yes, these movements are rooted in a new way of thinking, or at least a new embodiment of an old way of thinking --- through the persuit of equity, freedom, democracy, and unity, the people will triumph, not the power- hungry.

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Tunisia Feature: What is the Future for Women's Rights? (Ryan)

For 55 years, Tunisia celebrated Women's Day every August 13, representing the push for gender equality that has been one of the hallmarks of the North African nation's post-colonial era. 

Women were active players in the uprising that ended the rule of Zine Abidine Ben Ali, and many hope that event will translate into a more visible role in the country’s soon-to-be democratic political life.

Yet some are worried that the rights women have enjoyed for the past five decades might soon be swept away by the tide of social conservatism that has emerged in the wake of the uprising.

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Libya, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Opposition's Military Commander is Assassinated

Also see our latest video entry: Latest Syria Videos: Friday's Protests Across the Country - Set 1 AND Set 2

2026 GMT: An important update from an activist in Sana'a, Yemen. Loud explosions could be heard coming from north of the city, presumably fresh government airstrikes against a base that was captured by opposition tribesmen yesterday. (see update at 0920)

1959 GMT: A huge Conservative Islamist rally took place in Alexandria, Egypt, as well. Members of the 6th April Group, a liberal pro-democracy organization, were reportedly harassed and left the crowd:

1948 GMT: An important eyewitness account from a Kurdish neighborhood of Damascus:

In the Damascus neighbourhood of Rukin Aden, home to the capital’s largest Kurdish community, an eye-witness told Al Jazeera there were several hundred protesters gathered around the Saad Basha Mosque, calling for the toppling of the regime.

Anti-riot police and secret police blocked off the neighbourhood's main streets, arresting dozens of protesters and driving them off in large buses.

Protesters also reported land lines and internet had been cut since the morning.

“After four months, we are demonstrating every night despite the big security crackdown on us,” Ammar, a 28-year-old protestor told Al Jazeera.

“About 200 pro-democracy advocates and protesters were arrested but this will not stop our uprising. The regime is trying hard to finish the uprising before Ramadan. We are preparing ourselves for the Ramadan and we will organise big evening demonstrations every day, especially Rukin Adeen which has well-known religious figures and big mosques.”

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Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Ripples of Protest

Claimed footage of a march in Taiz in Yemen today, demanding a transitional government

2030 GMT: The Tunisian news agency TAP says two Libyan ministers have crossed into Tunisia to join the regime's Foreign Minister, reportedly seeking a solution to the political crisis.

Health Minister Mohamed Al-Hijazi and Social Affairs Minister Ibrahim Cherif crossed into southern Tunisia. Foreign Minister Abdul Ati Al-Obeidi has met "several foreign parties" there, part of an effort to find a solution to a civil war in the north African country.

1850 GMT: Opposition and regime forces have clashed about 80 kilometres (50 miles) southwest of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Sunday's fighting began when government forces tried to cut off the insurgents, who have moved into the plains from the western mountains, by attacking from behind.

The front line is now thought to have moved just north of Bir Ayad, near the town of Bir al-Ghanam. Bir al-Ghanam is only 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of Zawiya, a western gateway to Tripoli.

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Tunisia Opinion: "We Must Finish the Job" (Kenzari)

Protest in Tunisia, January 2011Nearly six months after Tunisia ousted its former dictator, positive talk of the country's advance towards democracy is accompanied by suspicions that this advance is slow and reluctant. There is fear, for example, that the coming constituent assembly elections will be postponed forever and that the country might miss a truly historic opportunity. Are these suspicions justified?

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Yemen, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Difficulty of Calm

1855 GMT: Varying reactions to the speech of Syrian President Assad....

Turkish President Abdullah Gul has said Assad's speech is "not enough", as the President should implement a multi-party-system; however, the deputy secretary-general of the Arab League, Ahmed bin Heli, said Syria is a "main factor of balance and stability in the region" and the League rejects any foreign intervention in its affairs.

1710 GMT: The journalists of the human rights organisation Avaaz claim the Damascus suburbs of Harasta and Arbeen the coastal city of Latakia have been locked down by security forces after protests today challenging the speech of President Assad.

The group asserts that security forces are currently conducting a random wave of arrests in Latakia, detaining dozens and chasing and attacking protesters through the side streets.

1705 GMT: Another protest in Syria reacting against President Assad's speech, this one in Binnish in Idlib Province in the northwest:

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Syria, Bahrain, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Propaganda

1920 GMT: Claimed footage of a demonstration in Jassim in southern Syria today:

And in this clip, a protester takes down a flag of the ruling Ba'ath Party:

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