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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.

Smoking

US: New York City Council Bans Smoking In Parks, Beaches

Many Believe The Big Apple Has Become A Nanny State


Smokers have just one message for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council members: butt out of our business.

"We're outside. We should have freedom to smoke," City Hall Park smoker Harvey Forbes told CBS 2's Magee Hickey.

By a vote of 36 to 11 on Wednesday the City Council approved a bill to ban smoking in all city parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas.

"People who have made the decision not to smoke have civil liberties too and their health and their lives should not be negatively impacted because other people have decided to smoke," Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

Wolf

US: 79-Year-Old Man Charged In Sex Abuse Of Child

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© unknown
Mugshot of Frank Williams, 79
New Castle County Police have charged at 79-year-old man with sexually abusing a 7-year-old.

Frank Williams of New Castle was arrested Friday and charged with sexual abuse of a child and continuous sexual abuse of a child. He is being held on $300,000 cash bail.

Pistol

US: Principal Shot, Killed at California Elementary School

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© Associated Press / Placerville Police Department
In this undated photo provided by the Placerville Police Department, John Leubbers is shown. Authorities arrested Leubbers, a janitor, after an administrator was shot at a Northern California elementary school Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011l. Leubbers was arrested at his home about an hour after authorities launched a manhunt, Placerville police Capt. Mike Scott told KCRA.… Read more »
A school janitor was arrested Wednesday in the killing of a Northern California elementary school principal who was hailed as a role model for other educators.

No children were hurt in the late-morning shooting in the office at Louisiana Schnell Elementary School in Placerville, but one student may have witnessed the shooting, Police Chief George Nielson said.

Principal Sam LaCara, 50, died in the attack, Nielson said.

Authorities said they arrested janitor John Luebbers, 44, at his home about an hour after launching a manhunt. Investigators were trying to determine a motive for the shooting about 50 miles east of Sacramento.

LaCara, who died at Marshall Medical Center, was called a dedicated leader by Bob Wells, executive director of the Association of California School Administrators.

"Sam has been a role model to school leaders for his dedication to students and to public schools," Wells said. LaCara had served as a treasurer of the group.

Nielson was asked by reporters if Luebbers had been laid off. The chief said that possibility was part of the investigation, but he was uncertain about Luebbers' employment status.

Bulb

Egypt: A New Spirit of National Pride

Slogans for change filled the air in downtown Cairo's Tahrir Square. But there's a new, different sort of change already washing away the past.


Hourglass

Murbarak's Fate is Sealed: Reflections by Fidel Castro

Castro reflections
© Unknown
Mubarak's fate is sealed, not even the support of the United States will be able to save his government. The people of Egypt are an intelligent people with a glorious history who left their mark on civilization. "From the top of these pyramids, 40 centuries of history are looking down upon us," Bonaparte once said in a moment of exaltation when the revolution brought him to this extraordinary crossroads of civilizations.

By the end of the Second World War, Egypt was under the brilliant governance of Abdel Nasser, who together with Jawaharlal Nehru, heir of Mahatma Gandhi; Kwame Nkrumah; and Ahmed Sékou Touré - African leaders who together with Sukarno, then president of the recently liberated Indonesia - created the Non-Aligned Movement of Countries and advanced the struggle for independence in the former colonies. At the time, the peoples of Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, such as Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Western Sahara, the Congo, Angola, Mozambique and other countries immersed in the struggle against French, English, Belgian and Portuguese colonialism backed by the United States were fighting for independence with the support of the USSR and China.

After the triumph of our revolution, Cuba joined this movement in motion.

In 1956 Great Britain, France and Israel launched a surprise attack against Egypt which had nationalized the Suez Canal. The brave and supportive action by the USSR, which included a threat to use its strategic missiles, stopped the aggressors dead in their tracks.

Pharoah

Why Egyptians are Calling Obama the "Black Bush"

Most of the world celebrated the advent of Obama as a beacon of hope for a new peaceful world. The Egyptians on the streets heralded him as a light messenger, and his visit to Cairo was the most talked about event since the coming of the last messiah. Even long after his post-election speeches to the nation, his ads ran on Egyptian television like a Mister Roger's episode for years -- reminding the world that real change was on its way.

As 2010 came to a close, that flicker of hope in the eye of the average Egyptian quickly faded, and any remaining optimism on the near horizon was replaced with simmering rage. The unemployed college graduate will sit at a café all day smoking a hookah - while watching the price of tomatoes from the cart dealer in front of his eyes inflate 400% in one day. This kid watching the world glide by in despair was once hopeful about his future. Now he sits on the sidelines of life watching suffering and desperation collide all around him.

His father earns six hundred pounds ($120) a month as an eye doctor. His sister is a professor of Linguistics at Alexandria University making $2000 a month, and his mother just returned from London for a heart surgery that wiped out the family's savings. He can't get married and meet the demands of marriage without a job, and he can't have a relationship with a woman without getting married. By the end of 2006, boredom and sexual frustration were the source of weekly rapes throughout the country and drug usage was at an all time high.

Better Earth

Jewish prayers for Egypt's uprising

jews,prayer
© Getty
Jews recount at Passover their own history with the Pharaoh of Egypt - sympathies to the current Egyptian struggle run deep
Many Jews from around the world support Egyptian self-determination because of Judaism's own historic past with Egypt. So while the Jewish establishment expresses its concerns, most younger Jews rejoice at the flourishing of freedom.

Jews recount at Passover their own history with the Pharaoh of Egypt - so sympathies to the current Egyptian struggle run deep. Ever since the victory over the dictator of Tunisia and the subsequent uprising in Egypt, my email has been flooded with messages from Jews around the world hoping and praying for the victory of the Egyptian people over their cruel Mubarak regime. True, right-wing Jews who control the major Jewish organizations in the US (which operate on the principle of one dollar one vote, not one person one vote) and the right wing government of Israel have confined their reactions to "Is is good for the Jew?", many other Jews react differently--realizing that it is good for the world, and so respond to a fundamental point made by Tikkun: what is good for the world is good for the Jews.

Though a small segment of Jews have responded to right-wing voices from Israel that lament the change and fear that a democratic government would bring to power fundamentalist extremists who wish to destroy Israel and who would abrogate the hard-earned treaty that has kept the peace between Egypt and Israel for the last 30 years, the majority of Jews are more excited and hopeful than worried.

Of course, the worriers have a point. Israel has allied itself with repressive regimes in Egypt and used that alliance to ensure that the borders with Gaza would remain closed while Israel attempted to economically deprive the Hamas regime there by denying needed food supplies and equipment to rebuild after Israel's devastating attack in December 2008 and January 2009. If the Egyptian people take over, they are far more likely to side with Hamas than with the Israeli blockade of Gaza. But the fundamentalists in Egypt are Sunni, unlike the Shi'ite fundamentalists in Iran, and many have publicly stated that they would not want war with Israel nor do they seek to impose Sharia law in the way it is imposed in Afghanistan or Iran, but rather they would accept a mixed society. Unlike the Shi'ites, the Sunni do not believe as a matter of doctrine that the society must be ruled by clergy. Of course, within the ranks of fundamentalists there will be an inevitable struggle between those who are more anti-Israel and anti-West and those who are more open to Israel and the West. At the current moment the Muslim Brotherhood is led by the more moderate elements. Will these moderates win out? Well what we do during the transition, both as Americans and as Jews, and what Israel does, could have an impact on the outcome. If we are perceived as continuing to support the oppressive regime of the past that will tend to help the most reactionary elements, and if we are perceived as trying to help the Egyptian people achieve genuine freedom and democracy, that is likely to help the most moderate elements.