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Mubarak's last stand: Dozens of journalists beaten, stabbed, kidnapped on second day of targeted harassment

Journalists attempting to cover unprecedented unrest in Egypt reported being targeted, beaten, arrested and harassed by security forces and police for a second day Thursday.


Al Jazeera released a statement demanding that three of its journalists, detained by Egyptian security forces, be released. A fourth has been reported missing, the network said.

The Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini said its reporter, Petros Papaconstantinou, was beaten by protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Papaconstantinou was clubbed in the head with a baton and stabbed in the foot, either with a knife or a screwdriver, said Xenia Kounalaki, head of the newspaper's foreign desk. A photographer also sustained minor injuries, Kounalaki said, and both were treated at a Cairo hospital and released.

The Washington Post reported, citing multiple witnesses, that its Cairo bureau chief, Leila Fadel, and photographer Linda Davidson were among two journalists arrested Thursday morning by the Egyptian Interior Ministry.

"We understand that they are safe but in custody, and we have made urgent protests to Egyptian authorities in Cairo and Washington," the Post said on its website. "We've advised the (U.S.) State Department as well."

"Situation on ground in Egypt very tense," CNN's Anderson Cooper tweeted Thursday. "Vehicle I was in attacked. My window smashed. All OK."

Passport

UK: Immigration Officer Put Wife On Terrorist List To Get Rid Of Her

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© Reuters / Romeo Ranoco
If you thought breaking up with someone via text message was harsh, wait until you hear about this.

There's a story coming out of the United Kingdom about an immigration officer who put his wife on the terrorist list to get rid of her.

The guy was so sick and tired of his wife that when she flew back to Pakistan to visit her family, he covertly added her name to the Border Control's list of suspected terrorists.

When she tried to return home to the UK, she was shocked to find that she wasn't allowed to board the plane, and security refused to tell her why.

So the wife remained stuck in Pakistan... for THREE YEARS.

Briefcase

$5 million lawsuit targets Jimmy Carter for 'attacking Israel'

jimmy carter
© NA

Washington - Former President Jimmy Carter has become the target of a class action lawsuit over ostensibly mean things he said about Israel in his best-selling 2006 book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

The lawsuit, filed in New York by an Israeli firm, alleges that the book "contained numerous false and knowingly misleading statements intended to promote the author's agenda of anti-Israel propaganda and to deceive the reading public instead of presenting accurate information as advertised."

The five American plaintiffs, two of whom are dual citizens of the US and Israel, seek $5 million in damages over the book (which is being sold for less than $10 on Amazon) on the basis that its criticisms of Israel violated consumer protection safeguards.

Evil Rays

Mobile phone operator Vodafone comes to Mubarak's aid

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A February 2 text message invites people to a pro-Mubarak rally.
British telecommunications company Vodafone says the Egyptian government has forced phone operators to send pro-Mubarak text messages to Egyptian users.

The mobile operator has sent out messages over the course of the protests calling for confrontation with anti-Mubarak demonstrators.

"Massive demonstration to start at noon this Wednesday from Mustafa Mahmoud Square, in support of President Mubarak," a February 2 text message read.

"The Armed Forces asks Egypt's honest and loyal men to confront the traitors and criminals and protect our people and honor and our precious Egypt," another message read.

Vodafone released a statement on Thursday saying Egyptian authorities forced it send out pro-regime messages since the protests broke out 10 days ago.

"Vodafone Group has protested to the authorities that the current situation regarding these messages is unacceptable," the statement said.

Bizarro Earth

At least 3 dead after truck plunges into Oklahoma river

truck,oklahoma,river
© KOTV, Associated Press
This frame grab from KOTV video in Tulsa, Okla., shows a crew rescuing people who were trapped in a vehicle that plummeted from a bridge into the Spring River on Thursday near Miami, Okla. Three people have died in the accident and Oklahoma authorities say the pickup truck was carrying as many as eight people when it drove off of snow-covered Interstate 44 and into the river.
Miami, Oklahoma - A sheriff says at least three people were killed when the pickup truck they were in ran off of a snow-covered highway and into an icy Oklahoma river.

The accident happened about 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning on Interstate 44 not far from the Missouri-Oklahoma state line.

Ottawa County Sheriff Terry Durborow says the truck jumped a guard rail on I-44 in northeast Oklahoma near the town of Miami and fell into the Spring River below. The truck was partially submerged.

Light Saber

Yemen protests see tens of thousands of people take to the streets

yemen ,protest
© Khaled Abdullah/Reuters
An anti-government protester waves the Yemeni flag from the top of a lamppost in Sana'a

Major demonstrations both against and in support of President Ali Abdullah Saleh take place in Sana'a and several other cities

Saleh's words echoed a statement he made before Yemen's last round of presidential elections in 2006.

"You are tired of me and I of you. It is time for change," Saleh told parliament in July 2005. Shortly afterwards, thousands of Yemenis protested in Sana'a, demanding the president change his mind, which he did.

"Saleh is a good man, but he is under the influence of corrupt people in his government, and he will have to change, he will have to start listening to what his people are saying," said Nasser Al-Awlaki, the father of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a US born cleric who is accused of inspiring terrorist attacks against the West. "If he doesn't act soon, things will escalate. The opposition has grown much stronger, and there are thousands upon thousands of people here demanding change."

Igloo

Horses trapped in Bethany barn collapse

Bethany, Connecticut- More than a dozen horses are going to be alright after a barn collapse in Bethany Wednesday afternoon.


The animals were trapped when the roof at the SunGold Stables on Hunters Trail in Bethany came crashing down. The woman who owned the barn was inside feeding the horses at the time.

For hours, emergency crews worked non-stop to rescue several horses trapped inside the collapsed barn. Neighbors out shoveling heard the walls come crashing down.

MIB

Israeli spy detained in Egypt amid unrest

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A member of Israeli General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, Sayeret Matkal, has been arrested in Egypt amid massive anti-government protests.

The unnamed official was detained on Thursday as Egyptian protesters are keeping up the pressure on President Hosni Mubarak to step down, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Millions of people have gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, which has been a focal point for demonstrators, as well as elsewhere for the tenth consecutive day and chanted anti-government slogans.

On Tuesday, Mubarak announced in a televised address that he will not run for a sixth six-year term of office. However, he refused to relinquish power.

"I will use the remaining months of my term in office to fill the people's demands," he said.

Protesters resumed their "Leave, Mubarak!" chant in downtown Cairo following the 82-year-old Egyptian president's address.

Clashes also broke out between demonstrators and security forces in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria shortly after Mubarak's announcement.

Evil Rays

Message from Anonymous to Egyptians in Tahrir Square

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© Flickr
Demonstrators on Army Truck in Tahrir Square, Cairo
Sisters and Brothers in Tahrir Square,
Sisters and Brothers of Egypt...


Cairo--We wish we could be there with you and everywhere else where human beings are faced with repression, fear, violence and suffering at the hands of their governments. Our thoughts, prayers, and minds are with you. The courage you demonstrate in your struggle is a lesson to us all. The world is behind you. Whilst we cannot be with you in the flesh and blood to suffer as you do, we want to make sure you know that you are not alone.

Rest assured your fight is not in vain. Your President has shown the world his true face today. President Mubarak might have his law behind him, but there is something above all laws: Truth. Your truth has been suppressed for far too long, beaten into the ground through the use of secret police, torture, and many similarly deplorable tactics that we are witnessing today at the Tahrir Square and all over Egypt. But nothing can quell your voice, not any more, and certainly not Mubarak and his gang for hire. You demonstrated your power today standing your ground against the thugs of Mubarak. Of course, you don't know what the future will be, but you know what it should be. You demonstrated your resolve in Tahrir square and in all the streets of Egypt, and if you were able to stand your ground today you will be able to stand your ground tomorrow, and the day after that. On Friday you will march, and there will be no one able to stop you. As you stand united, you are sending a message to all who would seek to rob your country through corruption.

Laptop

Hackers Shut Down (Mubarak) Government Sites

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© unk
The online group Anonymous said Wednesday that it had paralyzed the Egyptian government's Web sites in support of the antigovernment protests.

Anonymous, a loosely defined group of hackers from all over the world, gathered about 500 supporters in online forums and used software tools to bring down the sites of the Ministry of Information and President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party, said Gregg Housh, a member of the group who disavows any illegal activity himself. The sites were unavailable Wednesday afternoon.

The attacks, Mr. Housh said, are part of a wider campaign that Anonymous has mounted in support of the antigovernment protests that have roiled the Arab world. Last month, the group shut down the Web sites of the Tunisian government and stock exchange in support of the uprising that forced the country's dictator, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, to flee.