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Egypt: ABC News Reporter Brian Hartman Threatened With Beheading

Egypt protest
© unknown
Attacks on Foreign Press Growing During Egyptian Uprising

A group of angry Egyptian men carjacked an ABC News crew and threatened to behead them today in the latest and most menacing attack on foreign reporters trying to cover the anti-government uprising.

Producer Brian Hartman, cameraman Akram Abi-hanna and two other ABC News employees were surrounded on a crowded road that leads from Cairo's airport to the city's downtown area.

While ABC News and other press agencies had been taking precautions to avoid volatile situations, the road to the airport had been a secure route until today. One of their two vehicles was carrying cameras and transmission equipment strapped to the roof, indicating they were foreign journalists.

Hartman says it was only through the appeal of Abi-hanna, who is Lebanese and a veteran ABC cameraman, that they were saved from being killed or severely beaten.

"We thought we were goners," Hartman said later. "We absolutely thought we were doomed."

Phoenix

UK: Mystery arsonist claims responsibility for five major fires

Image
© Unknown
Blaze: The anonymous caller claimed responsibility for a fire at the office of sports minister Hugh Robertson
An anonymous arsonist has contacted Kent Police to claim responsibility for five major fires in Maidstone.

The first blaze took place at Lenham Ironmongers on October 28, which spread to the constituency office of Faversham and Mid Kent MP Hugh Robertson.

Boughton Monchelsea service station was set alight on December 29, followed by a bathroom studio in Chart Sutton on January 28, garages off Headcorn High Street on January 30, and a car garage in Ulcombe between January 29 and 30.


Black Cat

Mubarak's Last Gambit - Manufacturing Chaos

egypt protest sign

There is a joke making the rounds in Egypt that Hosni Mubarak threatened to demonstrate in front of parliament and self-emulate himself if the Egyptian people refuse to step down and join the deposed Tunisian leader in Exile.

The octogenarian dictator is simply delusional if thinks he can hold onto power. By my estimates, he'll be gone in a week or two - hopefully sooner. But before he gives up his throne, he means to dole out a severe dose of punishment to the 80 million 'ingrates' who have delegitimized his corruption infested regime.

Mubarak is a desperate and stubborn man. The disbanding of the police last Friday was a calculated attempt to manufacture chaos and terrorize the populace. It was supposed to be the perfect state crime. The police suddenly vanished abandoning even the prisons which are administered by the Ministry of Interior. With the gates thrown wide open, the criminal elements were let loose as the state controlled media started spreading false rumors of hysterical citizens being attacked in their homes. The crooks were joined by some members of the police force that were 'on vacation.' They obviously weren't idiots. Instead of using the security void to attack apartments and homes, they targeted the national museum, upscale retailers, the gold market and malls.

Camera

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

Image
© 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.