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Dictators are "Disposable": The Rise and Fall of America's Military Henchmen

History Repeats Itself? From the "King of Java" to the Pharaoh of Egypt

From Suharto to Mubarak: History Repeats Itself?

President Suharto of Indonesia was deposed following mass protests in May 1998.

The Western media in chorus pointed to "democratization": the "King of Java" had been deposed by mass protests, much in the same way as Hosni Mubarak, described by today's media as "The Pharaoh of Egypt".

The 1997 Asian Crisis

The 1997 Asia financial crisis which served to impoverish millions of people was instigated by institutional speculators. It was a process of deliberate market manipulation. It consisted in destabilizing national currencies, through "short selling".

The Indonesian rupiah was destabilized, food prices skyrocketed, real wages collapsed by more than fifty percent. Nike workers in export manufacturing were receiving $45 a month before the crisis. In the wake of the devaluation of the rupiah, their wages plummeted to less than $20 a month.


Libyan revolt death toll put at 200

Nearly 200 Libyan demonstrators are feared dead following government crackdown on protesters in five days of pro-democracy revolt against the 42-year rule of Libya's Moammar Gaddafi.

UK's Independent newspaper reported Sunday that government crushing of the protests in the eastern Libyan port city of Benghazi has left up to 200 people dead.

Earlier reports put the death toll from the anti-government uprising at 100 people.

Libya's crackdown on massive demonstrations turned bloodier as government forces opened fire on protesters in Benghazi on Saturday, leaving at least 15 people dead.

Medics said snipers opened fire on thousands of people on Saturday as protesters gathered to mourn the 35 protesters killed by security forces on Friday, Associated Press reported.

In addition to the 15 killed, scores more were reported wounded during the Saturday violence. Moreover, many of the victims in the incident are reported to have been hit in the head.

Che Guevara

Images: Revolutionary fever inflames the Muslim world

© Hassan Ammar/AP
Bahraini riot police chase protesters in central Manama

© Hasan Jamali/AP
Bahraini protesters remove barbed wire near the Pearl monument in the city centre

Che Guevara

Bahrain's uprising enters eighth day


Protesters celebrate after reaching Pearl Square in the Bahraini capital of Manama.
Bahrain's pro-democracy uprising has entered its eighth day, as thousands of protesters camped out at Pearl square in the capital city, Manama.

Inspired by popular revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, Bahraini demonstrators say they will stay in the square until the regime collapses, Press TV correspondents reported.

Bahrain's opposition movement led by Shia ex-lawmakers is expected to hold talks with Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa to put demonstrators' demands before the heir to Bahrain's king.

The army withdrew from the square on Saturday following an order by Crown Prince Salman, who is leading a national dialogue after days of a massive uprising that has left six portesters dead and hundreds wounded.

Tension is running high in the streets of Manama despite the crackdown and heavy police presence.

The government has violently cracked down on demonstrators demanding an end to the monarchy.


Moroccan forces on high alert as protesters gather

Moroccan security forces have been on high alert in the capital Rabat and other main cities of the country ahead of a planned nationwide demonstration to demand broad political reforms.

Thousands of Moroccans are expected to join nationwide protests Sunday to demand that King Mohammed hand some of his powers to a newly elected government and make the justice system more independent, DPA reported.

A coalition of Moroccan youth groups called "The February 20 Movement" has called for mass peaceful protests in cities across Morocco on Sunday to demand the amendment of the constitution, dissolution of the government and parliament, recognition of the Amazigh (Berber) language as an official language and the release of political prisoners, among other things.

The February 20 movement also wants to force the 47-year-old monarch to dismiss the current government and dissolve parliament.

Light Sabers

John Boehner squares up to Obama as House votes for $61bn in cuts (just don't mention the war machine)

© Alex Wong/Getty Images
John Boehner, Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, pushed through a massive package of cuts by 235 votes to 192, declaring: 'We will not stop here.'
House of Representatives provokes threat of veto from Barack Obama - and raises prospect of a government shutdown

Republicans pushed through a draconian series of budget cuts worth tens of billions of dollars on Saturday, raising the prospect of a showdown with President Barack Obama.

Emboldened by their 2010 midterm election victory and swelled by Tea Party-backed newcomers, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives signed off on federal spending cuts worth $61bn. The axe will fall on federal money for public broadcasting, environmental programmes, Obama's healthcare reforms and the family planning organisation Planned Parenthood.

Even Obama's own staff face $120m of cuts. Personnel would be withdrawn from key areas including the reform of Wall Street. Some government agencies face budget cuts as high as 40%; the largest reduction in federal government spending since the second world war.

Heart - Black

UK: Why do the elderly allow the NHS to treat them so badly?

It's absurd to think GPs can serve us from cradle to grave. We need a new breed of specialist practitioners

I was shocked, not at all surprised and guiltily elated by the health service ombudsman's findings of official NHS neglect and failure to care for elderly people. Ann Abraham's report - and the observations in her eloquent introduction - should be a wake-up call. She told it from her vantage point. From my ground-level perspective on the edge of our revered healthcare system, the NHS seems, bluntly, no longer fit for purpose for older people.

I'm not a medical professional. As a specialist exercise instructor, I work with older people who still live independently, but most of whom are at risk of falling and injuring themselves. None of my clients is at death's door, but all are living lives made increasingly complicated by the combined effects of ageing, disease, disability and treatment. It's a new kind of normality and one that could easily be yours or mine some day. This generation's experiences of their unanticipated extra decades carry urgent cultural and structural messages for the future of healthcare.

Among this generation of over-70s, I see a culture of low expectations about what the health service can do for them. This is paradoxical, because they consume truly vast amounts of their own and the NHS's time visiting GPs: undergoing scans, investigations, procedures; awaiting diagnoses; tracking down specialists' reports; getting new medications; coping with the side-effects of medications; switching medications and so on.

Che Guevara

Amy Goodman: Pro-democracy movement in the Middle East is part of a rolling global rebellion

Amy Goodman talked from New York City about the movement toward democracy in the Middle East, ranging from Tunisia, to Egypt, Libya, and Bahrain, as well as the opposition and response to the uprisings. She also responded to telephone calls and electronic communications.


From Libya to Yemen, No Sign of Unrest Easing

Anti-government protesters
© Khaled Abdullah / Reuters
Anti-government protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in Sanaa February 18. Crowds of rival demonstrators thronged the Yemeni capital and two other cities on Friday in a show of strength between President Ali Abdullah Saleh's supporters and those demanding an end to his 32 years in power.
The unrest shaking the Middle East and North Africa showed no signs of calming Friday as protesters determined to overthrow governments and remake a region plagued by corruption, poverty and decades of limited political freedoms continued to confront security forces and regime loyalists.

Uprisings that only months ago would have been unthinkable have engulfed a region desperate to replicate the toppling of leaders in Tunisia and Egypt. So far, the breadth of demonstrations in Yemen, Libya and Jordan have not reached a tipping point.

As in Bahrain, many leaders in the region are relying on the police and military, pro-government propaganda and intimidation to beat back protesters.

But the death toll and the frustrations are growing.

Protests against the 41-year rule of Libyan strongman Moammar Kadafi continued in Benghazi on Friday with opposition forces and government troops clashing violently. The tumult in Libya's second-largest city has taken as many as 35 lives there, according to human rights groups, news agencies and hospital officials.


Is the Next Mideast Volcano a Little Island in the Gulf?

© Hasan Jamali/Associated Press
Bahraini anti-government protesters pray together at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain Wednesday Feb. 16, 2011.

Talk of revolution in the normally placid Gulf comes down to the opinion and emotions of solidly middle-class Mohamed Ali, 31, a manager in a financial institution in the Bahraini capital of Manama. "We feel that our country is not belonging to us. We gave the government 10 years to resolve these issues," he says. "But what we got only promises."

Ali speaks for many of the thousands who, on Wednesday, were protesting for the third straight day in Manama's Lulu Roundabout, a busy city intersection now turned would-be Tahrir Square. Feeling disenfranchised from their own country Ali and his wife, have joined the ranks of protesters. Says he, "There is no equal opportunity."

Shi'a Bahrainis like Ali form a majority in the Gulf island, which has been ruled for 40 years by a Sunni minority. The Shi'a feel that the best jobs, the best opportunities are reserved for Sunnis and that they are placed behind Sunnis from other countries who get preference above Bahrainis. Since Feb. 14, protesters have converged at Lulu, calling for the removal of the Bahraini prime minister, Sheikh Khanifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has been in office - unelected - since 1971. By Wednesday, tweets reported that the protest tents were getting bigger and included more families. "Speeches varied," one poster wrote, "from thoughtful to fiery."