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The Evolving Populist Political Rebellion in the Arab World

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© Getty Images
A protestor in Tahrir Square holds a photo showing President Mubarak's face crossed out as another displays a gun cartridge on January 29, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt.
What we are witnessing in the Arab world that began with the self immolation of a fruit seller in Tunisia, the subsequent rebellion there which saw the departure of the dictator Ben Ali and his 23 year rule has inspired a populist political rebellion well beyond Tunisia that has connected with and touched a nerve in many (most?)Arab people.

What started in Tunisia (the demand that Ben Ali step down over his corruption, oppression, high food prices, widespread unemployment and poverty and the humiliation by government agents that caused the desperate act of self immolation) has spread to Egypt with mass demonstrations that began Tuesday, continuing despite an official crackdown by the Mubarak regime. Through internet postings (Twitter and Facebook) larger demonstrations are planned for today in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. Former Chief U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei (and an Egyptian himself) has joined in the call for Mubarak to step down.

Footprints

Jordan's powerful Muslim opposition warns that Arabs will topple US-allied Mideast leaders

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© Associated Press Photo/Nader Daoud
Jordanian protesters shouts anti-government slogans during a demonstration outside the Prime Minister office, in Amman, Jordan, Saturday, Jan, 29, 2011. The Jordanian opposition supporters demand the prime minister step down and venting their anger at rising prices, inflation and unemployment in Jordan.
Amman, Jordan - The leader of Jordan's powerful Muslim Brotherhood warned Saturday that unrest in Egypt will spread across the Mideast and Arabs will topple leaders allied with the United States.

Hammam Saeed's comments were made at a protest outside the Egyptian Embassy in Amman, inspired by massive rallies in neighbouring Egypt demanding the downfall of the country's longtime president, Hosni Mubarak.

About 100 members of the fundamentalist group and activists from other leftist organizations and trade unions chanted "Mubarak, step down" and "the decision is made, the people's revolt will remain."

Elsewhere, a separate group of 300 protesters gathered in front of the office of Jordanian Prime Minister Samir Rifai, demanding his ouster. "Rifai, it's time for you to go," chanted the group.

Beaker

"Very Disturbing Findings" In Chemical Tests of Gulf Residents

Oil Blob
© KLFY TV-10

[A] new report just out has revealed some very disturbing findings. ... A blood study that was conducted on four males ages 3 to 43 and one female age 38 in December of last year. Subra says the results of those tests have revealed elevated levels of six toxic and potentially life threatening chemicals associated with crude oil, most notably Ethylbenzene which has been linked to kidney damage and cancer. ... UL Lafayette Professor Paul Klerks is an expert in the environmental toxicology and he says the high levels of ethyl benzene found in human patients is alarming but he doesn't believe its reason to panic just yet. "This is potentially cause for concern, but it's a very small sample size of five so it's really hard to tell with just a small sample size what it means as whole." ... [Their] problems included everything from trouble breathing, and bleeding from the ears, to swelling of the limbs and blood in the stool. Some of the more unusual cases include a commercial diver who is plagued by mysterious rash and the three year son of a fisherman who is suffering from kidney stones.

Part 1:


Fish

Keep salmon farms out of the ocean

sea lice
© Unknown

Last month, 138,000 farmed salmon escaped from feedlots on the New Brunswick side of the Bay of Fundy, a fact that scarcely caused a ripple in the Maritime consciousness. Elsewhere - in Norway, Scotland, Chile, British Columbia - salmon farming is a highly controversial industry. Here it seems to skate along smoothly under the radar.

Salmon farming is controversial for two main reasons. First, it is a highly inefficient way to produce food. Producing feed for farmed salmon intensifies the pressure on other fisheries around the world. In effect, the process turns four kilograms of wild fish into one kilogram of industrial fish. How clever is that?

Second, salmon farms have horrible effects on the marine environment and on wild salmon. A salmon cage consists of an outer layer of netting to keep predators out, and an inner layer to keep salmon in. But parasites, bacteria, viruses and chemicals can move freely in and out of the cages - and, like all intensive industrial food production facilities, the salmon cage holds the maximum number of animals packed in together.

Pistol

US: Army Officer's Wife Shoots Her 2 Teens for Being 'Mouthy'

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© The Associated Press
Police escort Julie Powers Schenecker to Jail
The wife of a military officer shot and killed her son on the way to soccer practice, then drove to their upscale home and shot her daughter in the head while she studied at her computer, police said Friday.

Afterward, the woman told detectives she killed the teens for being "mouthy."

Julie Powers Schenecker admitted the slayings after officers found her covered in blood on the back porch of her home Friday morning, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said. Schenecker's mother had called police from Texas because she was unable to reach the 50-year-old woman, whom she said was depressed and had been complaining about her children.

Schenecker's husband, Parker Schenecker, is an Army colonel stationed at the headquarters of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. The father had been away for several days when the killings happened, said CentCom spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Lawhorn, describing him as a career Army intelligence officer.

Radar

President Jimmy Carter calls Egypt unrest 'earth-shaking event,' guesses Mubarak 'will have to leave'

Plains, Georga -- Former President Jimmy Carter called the week-long political unrest and rioting in Egypt an "earth-shaking event" and said his guess is that the country's president, Hosni Mubarak, "will have to leave."

Carter's remarks came at Maranatha Baptist Church, where he regularly teaches a Sunday School class to visitors from across the country and globe.

"This is the most profound situation in the Middle East since I left office," Carter said Sunday to the nearly 300 people packed into the small sanctuary about a half mile from downtown Plains.

Carter spent the first 15 minutes of his 50-minute class talking about Egypt.

Carter was president from 1977-81 and brokered the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt in 1978. He brought Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin together for an agreement that still stands today.

Stop

Netherlands Freezes Ties After Iran Hangs Dutch Woman

Zahra Bahrami
© unknown
Zahra Bahrami
The Netherlands has frozen contacts with Iran after Tehran hanged an Iranian-Dutch woman for drug smuggling, having initially arrested her for taking part in anti-government protests.

Zahra Bahrami's execution Saturday brings the total number of people hanged in Iran so far this year to 66 -- on average more than two a day -- according to an AFP tally based on media reports.

"A drug trafficker named Zahra Bahrami, daughter of Ali, was hanged early on Saturday morning after she was convicted of selling and possessing drugs," the Tehran prosecutor's office said.

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal "was profoundly shocked by the news, he called it an act committed by a barbarous regime," foreign ministry spokesman Bengt van Loosdrecht told AFP.

"The Netherlands has decided to freeze all contacts with Iran" after obtaining confirmation of Bahrami's execution from Iran's ambassador to the Netherlands Kazem Gharib Abadi, the ministry spokesman said.

"This concerns all official contacts between diplomats and civil servants," he added.

Bahrami, a 46-year-old Iranian-born naturalised Dutch citizen, was reportedly arrested in December 2009 after joining a protest against the government while visiting relatives in the Islamic republic.

Radar

Sudanese police clash with students in Khartoum

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© Theodora
Khartoum - Sudanese police beat and arrested students on Sunday as hundreds protested throughout the capital demanding the government resign, inspired by a popular uprising in neighbouring Egypt.

Armed riot police broke up groups of young Sudanese demonstrating in central Khartoum and surrounded the entrances of four universities in the capital, firing teargas and beating students at three of them.

Some 500 young people also protested in the city of el-Obeid in North Kordofan in the west of the country.

Police beat students with batons as they chanted anti-government slogans such as "we are ready to die for Sudan" and "revolution, revolution until victory."

Groups have emerged on social networking sites calling themselves "Youth for Change" and "The Spark," since the uprisings in nearby Tunisia and close ally Egypt this month.

"Youth for Change" has attracted more than 15,000 members.

Bad Guys

Caught on camera: Cruel UK carer who ate so many of Alzheimer's sufferer's meals that her patient, 70, became malnourished

A carer who ate meals that were meant for an old woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease has been sacked from her job, it was revealed today.

Patricia Young, 54, greedily ate the hot food - including celery soup, mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts - in front of helpless Ivy McCluskey, 70.

The hungry pensioner went without meals and was put to bed at night with her stomach rumbling.

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© PA
Not full yet: Young follows the potatoes by eating Mrs McCluskey's celery soup from a tray in the pensioner's home
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© Unknown
Shocking: Carer Patricia Young, 54, eats mashed potatoes that were supposed to be for Ivy McCluskey

Stormtrooper

Republican Congressman Proposes Tracking Freedom of Information Act Requests

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© Tim Sloan/Agence France-Presse — Getty
Darrell Issa of California.
Washington - Representative Darrell Issa calls it a way to promote transparency: a request for the names of hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, business executives, journalists and others who have requested copies of federal government documents in recent years.

Mr. Issa, a California Republican and the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, says he wants to make sure agencies respond in a timely fashion to Freedom of Information Act requests and do not delay them out of political considerations.

But his extraordinary request worries some civil libertarians. It "just seems sort of creepy that one person in the government could track who is looking into what and what kinds of questions they are asking," said David Cuillier, a University of Arizona journalism professor and chairman of the Freedom of Information Committee at the Society of Professional Journalists. "It is an easy way to target people who he might think are up to no good."