Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 25 Nov 2020
The World for People who Think

Society's Child
Map

Hourglass

Bread, dignity and lies

Image
So Omar "Sheik al-Torture" Suleiman has warned that the only alternative to dialogue with the opposition is "a coup". The suave United States Central Intelligence Agency point man for extraordinary renditions to Egypt, now Washington-anointed "orderly transition" conductor, may be more versed in electroshocks than onanism; otherwise he would have realized that a military dictatorship toppling itself still ends up as a military dictatorship.

Yet maybe that's exactly what he meant. Suleiman said protests are "very dangerous" - not so subtly implying the interference of hidden agendas by foreign journalists; a subversive coalition of the US, Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and al-Jazeera; the Muslim Brotherhood (MB); and all of the above (and all duly evoked by the regime).

Osama Saraya, editor-in-chief of the pro-government newspaper al-Ahram, who was there when Suleiman uttered his sinister warnings, is assured he meant not only a military coup, but an Islamist coup as well.

Shoe

Clashes mark Bahrain 'Day of Rage', depsite regime's efforts to pay off protesters

Image
© Sara Hassan
Activists are demanding reforms, better human rights and stopping of discrimination against Shias
Minor clashes reported from parts of kingdom as security forces remain on alert over planned day of protests.

Small-scale clashes have been reported from parts of Bahrain amid heightened security over planned protests by the kingdom's disgruntled Shia majority.

Protesters have called for a "Day of Rage" to be observed on Monday, inspired by anti-government uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

Helicopters circled over the capital Manama, where protesters were expected to gather in the afternoon, and there was greater police presence in Shia villages.

At least 14 people were injured in clashes overnight and on Monday, news agencies reported.

The reports said police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse marchers in the mostly Shia village of Newidrat in the southwest region of the island kingdom - a key Western ally. The marchers were demanding the release of those detained during earlier protests.

Nabeel Rajab of the Bahrain Centre for human rights told Al Jazeera: "We are only asking for political reforms, right of political participation, respect for human rights, stopping of systematic discrimination against Shias.

Comment: Kuwait's ruler gifts money and food coupons to all his subjects!


Stormtrooper

Police attack Yemeni protesters

Image

Yemeni police lay razor wire at Al-Sabiine square near the presidential palace in the capital, Sana'a on February 13 to block the protesters.
Yemeni police have clashed with thousands of protesters calling for the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years.

At least one woman was injured during the clashes which took place on Sunday in the capital, Sana'a, AFP reported. At least 10 demonstrators have also been arrested.

Around 2,000 people marched during the rallies from Sana'a University towards Al-Sabiine square near the presidential palace. Government forces laid razor wire to prevent people from reaching the palace.

Police also apprehended 120 people among hundreds of protesters, who were rallying in the southern city of Taez's main square.

Pro-democracy protests have been bubbling up in Yemen since January.

On Saturday, thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of the capital, urging Saleh to follow the example of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. "Get out, Get out Ali" and "The people want the regime to fall," some shouted.

Mubarak handed power over to the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces on Friday, giving in to 18 straight days of pro-democracy protests.

Pharoah

Millions of Egyptians live in cemeteries


Millions of Egyptians living in abject poverty are the inhabitants of a macabre quarter not far from the capital's Liberation Square which has become the symbol of Egypt's popular revolution.

The poor in the Egyptian capital's urban slums live in almost the same manner as they did under the pharaohs, a Press TV correspondent reported Sunday.

There are over 50 cemeteries in Cairo, Muslim and Christian, and all of them are inhabited by several million people who constitute the absolute bottom of Egypt's social structure, the report added.

The five major cemeteries in the capital include the Northern Cemetery, Bab el Nasr Cemetery, the Southern Cemetery, the Cemetery of the Great, and Bab el Wazir Cemetery. They are known as the "City of the Dead."

Padlock

Egyptian army rejects protesters' demands

Image
Egypt's military has rejected the demands of pro-democracy protesters for a swift transfer of power to a civilian administration, saying it will rule by martial law until presidential election is held in September.

The army's announcement, which included suspension of the Egyptian constitution, was a further rebuff to some pro-democracy activists after troops were sent to clear demonstrators from Cairo's Liberation Square, the center of the protests that brought down President Hosni Mubarak, a Press TV correspondent reported.

"We do not want any protesters to sit in the square after today," said the head of the military police, Mohamed Ibrahim Moustafa Ali on Monday.

Many pro-democracy Egyptians refused to leave Liberation Square, saying they would remain until the army took a series of steps toward democratic reforms, which include installing a civilian-led government and abolishing the repressive state of emergency.

The ruling military council said it intends to retain power for six months or longer while Presidential election is scheduled and will rule by decree.

It suspended the constitution and said a committee will draw up amendments that will be put to a referendum.

Butterfly

US: Giffords Mouthing Song Lyrics

Gabrielle Giffords
© Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords/Associated Press
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords's has been able to mouth the lyrics to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Happy Birthday To You

U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' efforts to relearn how to speak have included mouthing song lyrics, such as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and "Happy Birthday to You," as friends and family sang along.

Giffords also briefly spoke with her brother-in-law Scott Kelly by telephone Sunday afternoon as he orbited aboard the International Space Station, The New York Times reported on its website.

"She said, hi, I'm good," her chief of staff, Pia Carusone, told the paper. He is the brother of Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.

She has also been receiving bedside briefings from aides on the recent uprising in Egypt and on last week's decision by Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona not to seek re-election,

"We tell her everything that's going on," Carusone said.

"Don't get the idea she's speaking in paragraphs, but she definitely understands what we're saying and she's verbalizing."

Arrow Up

Italy Declares State of Emergency over Influx of 5,000 Tunisian Immigrants

Image
© Agence France-Presse
Tunisian immigrants are guarded by policemen upon arrival on the Italian island of Lampedusa
A state of emergency has been declared by the Italian government after 5,000 illegal immigrants fleeing riot-torn Tunisia arrived in just five days.

Coastguard officials said that in just one 12-hour period 977 had arrived, with many more boats seen on radar screens approaching from north Africa.

The vessels carrying the illegal immigrants had all arrived on the tiny volcanic island of Lampedusa, which is just 60 miles from the Tunisian coast and the lone accommodation center was struggling to cope.

Extra coastguard and navy patrols were dispatched to the waters between Lampedusa and Tunisia in an attempt to block the influx.

On Sunday, Tunisia sent security forces to coastal areas to stop the exodus.

Roberto Maroni, the interior minister, said the emergency had been declared because they feared "possible terrorists" had infiltrated the illegal immigrants and would then slip into the country.

Penis Pump

Italy: Silvio Berlusconi Faces Nation's Women as a Million Protesters Take to Streets

Image
© Reuters
A million protesters, many of them women, took to the streets across Italy on Sunday calling on scandal hit Silvio Berlusconi to resign
A million protesters, many of them women, took to the streets across Italy on Sunday calling on scandal hit Silvio Berlusconi to resign.

Marches were held in 200 towns and cities throughout the country as Italians voiced their anger and frustration at the 74-year-old Italian prime minister, who is facing charges of having under age sex with a prostitute and abuse of power.

The aim of the rally was for women to protest at how their dignity and the image of the country had been offended by the media tycoon's obsession with young girls.

Protests were held in Milan, Genoa, Naples and Bari but the largest was in Rome where thousands packed into the Piazza del Popolo which two months ago had been the scene of violent riots after Berlusconi won a confidence vote.

Demonstrators, including prostitutes and nuns, carried banners saying: "Berlusconi resign now" while another said "No prostitutes, no Madonnas, just women."

The protests came a week after demonstrators had also attempted to march on Mr Berlusconi's home at Arcore near Milan, where the alleged parties were held, in an attempt to throw knickers into his garden but police prevented them.

Pharoah

After the Revolution, Who Will Control Egypt's Monuments?

As Egypt struggles to lay the foundations of a new government in the wake of its revolution, archaeologists around the world are closely watching the fate of the nation's prized antiquities - as well as the fortunes of Zahi Hawass, long the face and voice of the country's ancient monuments. Hawass, who under Hosni Mubarak was recently named minister of antiquities, has been confronting an unusual uprising among his own staff as well as questions about his political future. And today, he reported a theft at a cemetery south of Cairo, as well as eight missing artifacts from the Egyptian Museum, located on Tahrir Square itself. Archaeologists are left wondering about the effects of the revolution on the dozens of excavations in the country, as well as on the next generation of homegrown researchers.

Hawass revealed 12 February in his blog that eight important objects are missing from the Egyptian Museum following the 29 January break-in by thieves. Those include two gilded statues of King Tutankhamen as well as a statue of Queen Nefertiti. An investigation is under way. He added that on 11 February looters emptied a storage area in Dashur, an important ancient necropolis in the southern part of the famous cemetery at Saqqara, which contained large blocks and small artifacts. "I am now concerned Egypt is not safe," he wrote. The thefts from the Egyptian Museum are likely to undermine Hawass's long-standing efforts to have important artifacts, such as a bust of Nefertiti now in Berlin, returned to Cairo (Science, 28 January, p. 382).

Meanwhile, Hawass faced other problems. On 10 February, dozens of museum workers protested for higher wages outside his office in the Cairo suburb of Zamalek, an unthinkable event in a country where, until January, the government kept a tight lid on criticism. And Hany Hanna, a senior conservator in the Supreme Council of Antiquities, urged Hawass in a widely circulated letter last week "to change the overall system of corruption and replace it with a professional scientific management." Hanna complained that party hacks riddle the council and prevent younger and more talented people from rising in the ranks. Hawass could not be reached for comment last week. But the Hany letter and Zamalek protests appear to be part of a wider move by Egyptians to air their opinions about the way their government has been run for the past 3 decades.

Light Sabers

Sons of Egypt's Mubarak nearly came to blows: report

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak
© unknown
Alaa and Gamal Mubarak
The two sons of Hosni Mubarak almost came to blows last Thursday when the former Egyptian president gave his final speech in an effort to stay in power, a state-owned newspaper said Sunday.

Al-Akhbar said Alaa Mubarak accused his younger brother Gamal, who had held a senior position in the ruling party, of having ruined the 82-year-old leader's final days in office through promoting his business friends in political life.

Alaa reportedly said this had turned Egyptians against their father, who had been in power since 1981.

"You ruined the country when you opened the way to your friends and this is the result. Instead of your father being honored at the end of his life you helped to spoil his image in this manner," the daily quoted him as saying.

The newspaper did not give its sources, simply saying it "learned" of the details. There was no way to immediately confirm the report.

It said the argument took place in the presidential palace in Cairo while Mubarak was recording his final speech, which he hoped would persuade protesters to stand down and give promised reforms a chance during Mubarak's last months in office.

It said senior officials had to intervene to separate them.