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You are in the the 181st Witness Revolution diary, bearing witness to pro-democracy movements in North Africa, the Middle East and beyond. We aim here to simply report, from as many reliable worldwide resources as possible, on the successes, challenges or failures as brave people strive against oppression for representative democracy with civil and human rights. One small bit of assurance that they do not strive in obscurity.


Bahrain prosecutes protesters with execution and life sentences. Pictures continue to emerge of people tortured in Bahraini custody. A small child is wounded in Libya. More carnage from armed attacks on unarmed protesters in Syria.


As the formally organized political opposition groups have agreed to a plan giving Saleh immunity, the protesters are angry. Here's why:

jazeeri2010 7:51am via Twitter for BlackBerry® pic of 6 convicts ,red frame:death penalty, blue frame:Life imprisonment #bahrain #kuwait #usa #uk #iran

free_doctors 9:57am via web
at |6:30| they are showing Ali Saqer who died in custody due to torture (check his pic)= #Bahrain

(the video link is pro-gov't propaganda)


libyans_revolt Apr 26, 7:58pm via TweetDeck #Misrata : a pic of injured child by a Bullet from one of Gaddafi's Snipers. #Gaddaficrimes #Libya

there is something particularly eerie about the mundaneness of a child with a boo-boo which happens to be from a government sniper

Tending to the wounded:

I'm not sure where this is and I assume the wounded were unarmed protesters. Here is the tweet from which I got the link:

MuazJ77 10:07am via web
Vid evidence #syria crimes #homs #daraa #latkia #damascus @cnn @ac360 @bbc @ap @hw @aje conviction will be easy

More news listed country by country below the fold...

This group produces a series of diaries which provide background and analysis on the region in general and on individual countries. We hope these provide context for you as you read about current events. The published diaries in the series are:
Eyes on Egypt and the Region Background Resources
See the group stream for other diary series.

We collect suggested readings for background reference materials in support of the Eyes on Egypt and the Region group. These may be non-fiction or fiction, general to the region or specific to a country or issue. If there are resources which you believe could aid our understanding of the events and processes we are witnessing, please either a) post a comment in the Liveblog with the title "Suggested reading:" and a brief description of the reading in the body of the comment, or b) send your suggestions via the dKos internal message to angry marmot.

Libyan Doctors for Hospitals in Libya is an impressive new aide organization launched by one of our own: StepLeftStepForward.

PLS REC THIS DIARY! Will you please do the following to keep our dKos community eyes on our international friends risking their lives for self-determination?
1. Rec this diary. (click that star just under the title)
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Thank you!

NOTE: We renamed the original "Egypt Liveblog" to "Witnessing Revolution". From Egypt the pro-democracy fire spread rapidly. It's not clear that it will be limited by geography or ethnicity. So, we wanted a name which states what is happening yet allows us to grow with the movement, wherever that will be. The number sequence will be continuous. The group name will remain the same. Only this particular diary series within the group changed names.

((h/t Dibsa 4/27)Middle East Revolts Show Need to Create Employment, Shield Poor, IMF Says

Political turmoil in the Middle East shows that the growth-oriented policies pursued by countries such as Tunisia and Egypt failed to meet the needs of their populations, the International Monetary Fund said.
“The unfolding events make it clear that reforms, and even rapid economic growth as seen periodically in Tunisia and Egypt, cannot be sustained unless they create jobs for the rapidly growing labor force and are accompanied by social policies for the most vulnerable,” the Washington-based IMF said in its Regional Economic Outlook for the region, published today

(h/t Dibsa 4/26)Collective courage fuels protests across Arab world

(CNN) -- Mohamed Bouazizi couldn't have known when he struck that match he would spark the "Arab spring," but it's tough to imagine he'd be disappointed.

(h/t Dibsa 4/26)An Arab Spring for Women

The “Arab Spring” has received copious attention in the American media, but one of its crucial elements has been largely overlooked: the striking role of women in the protests sweeping the Arab world. Despite inadequate media coverage of their role, women have been and often remain at the forefront of those protests.

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - UN rights expert urges Algerian Government to probe killing of political activist

27 April 2011 – The independent United Nations expert on the right to freedom of opinion and expression today called on the Algerian Government to investigate the killing of a political activist he had met on a recent official visit to the North African nation and to bring those responsible to justice.
Ahmed Kerroumi reportedly disappeared on 19 April and his body was found in his office four days later. He was a professor at the University of Oran, and member of the opposition party Democratic and Social Movement and the Oran section of the National Coordination for Change and Democracy.

(h/t Dibsa 4/28) - Bahraini sentences four Shiite protesters to death

DUBAI (AFP) – A Bahraini military court sentenced four Shiite protesters to death and three others to life in prison Thursday over the of killing two policemen when security forces crushed a pro-democracy protest last month, a Shiite opposition official said.
Ali Abdullah Hasan, Qasim Hassan Mattar, Saeed Abdul Jalil Saeed, and Abdul Aziz Abdullah Ibrahim, were sentenced to death, ex-MP from Al-Wefaq Shiite opposition group, Matar Matar, told AFP

(h/t Dibsa 4/28) - Why Bahrain is Trying Civilians Before a Military Court

The seven men who will go on trial in Bahrain on Thursday will make history as the country's first-ever civilians to be tried before a military court. Facing the death penalty, they've been sequestered in an unknown location for weeks and accused of murdering two policemen by running them over with a car. They've had no communication with family or friends since being taken into custody last month. Human rights activists fear they have been subjected to torture. More worrisome, they have been denied access to legal counsel and face trial proceedings sealed to the public. The Bahrain News Agency said the seven men have pleaded not guilty to all charges against them

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - Burkina Faso town hit by fresh violence in wave of protests

OUAGADOUGOU — Violent protests erupted anew in the troubled town of Koudougou in Burkina Faso where angry shopkeepers and students set fire to the mayor's home and a police headquarters, witnesses told AFP.
Koudougou, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of the capital, was the birthplace of a wave of protests in the west African country two months ago, placing growing pressure on long-serving leader Blaise Compaore, in power for 24 years

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - Ivory Coast: Pro-Ouattara forces clash in Abidjan

Fighting has broken out in the Ivorian city of Abidjan between forces loyal to the new president and the "Invisible Commandos", a rival militia.
The Invisible Commandos helped Alassane Ouattara to power and gained control of parts of Abidjan during the four-month dispute after November's poll

(h/t UnaSpenser 4/14 ) -

section of article which covers pro-democracy movements throughout Africa

Whilst the world was watching Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt and Libya, Djibouti had an election on 8 April. With no opposition, a state-controlled media and no civil society movement, it was easy enough for President Omar Guelleh to change the constitution allowing him to run for a third term - thereby continuing 35 year rule by the same family. But this little dictatorship is strategically central to the US Africa Command (2,000 US troops are based here) and the NATO countries. Unlike in Libya, Djibouti's 1 million population can expect no support from the West in their small attempts to have a voice.

DailyKos Diary from someone in Egypt doing political organizing consulting:
Challenges with Democracy in Egypt by katienaranjo

Note: For the last year and a half, I have been working on-and-off with Egyptian political parties and youth activists. Below is the first blog post in a series of reports on the upcoming Egyptian elections. This series represents my views from interactions with activists, party leaders, and candidates on the ground in Egypt. I am currently in Cairo after a week of traveling around Egypt meeting with eager activists.
I am a week into my efforts to train Egyptian political activists on how Americans campaign, and it is clear the challenges facing political parties and youth activists here are daunting. In addition to high illiteracy rates, limitations on election resources, and a politically-uninitiated populace, Egypt’s troubles are mounting as its parliamentary elections draw near.

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - Egypt minister pleads not guilty over protester deaths

CAIRO (AFP) – Egyptian ex-interior minister Habib al-Adly pleaded not guilty as he went on trial in Cairo Tuesday accused of ordering the shooting of demonstrators during protests that toppled the former regime.
Adly and six former aides made a brief appearance in a packed Cairo courthouse before Judge Adel Abdelsalam Gomaa, who postponed the trial until May 21 to allow more time for defence lawyers as well for legal experts acting for families of victims

(h/t Dibsa 4/26) - Egypt adjourns trial of former interior minister

CAIRO, April 26 (Reuters) - A court adjourned on Tuesday the trial of Egypt's former interior minister on charges of killing anti-government protesters, delaying the verdict in a case seen as a test for the country's ruling generals

(h/t UnaSpenser 4/20) - Iranian blogger: 'Hell' and 'hopelessness' in his country

Recent protests in Iran have failed to gain traction -- despite growing demonstrations in neighboring countries and Iran's own 2009 massive protest movement.

What's the status of the Iranian opposition movement, what challenges does it face and could a regime change ever happen peacefully? A blogger from Iran weighs in.

Peyman Bagheri is a blogger whose articles against the Iranian government have prompted him to flee his native land for fear of being arrested and imprisoned. He recently spoke via phone from Europe with CNN's Asieh Namdar.

(h/t UnaSpenser 04/20) - Inside Iran: the art of resistance

But if Iran’s “Green Movement” has indeed inspired the “Arab Spring” — which began in Tunisia and blossomed in Egypt, but now faces the heat of summer in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere — it might not bode well for those who support reform.
Recent attempts to revive the movement on the streets of Tehran have yet to succeed in any tangible way.


In the nearly two years since the June 2009 presidential election, artists say that it seems fewer and fewer permits to produce art — be it music, photography or painting — have been granted to applicants. In Iran, artists are officially required to have permits from the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance to work professionally.
But many have ignored these restrictions, creating and exhibiting their work underground.
Despite this effort to control freedom of expression, there is a flourishing of art in Iran, some of it pointed in its critique of the government and the clerical establishment. This kind of dissent is also often delivered with a flourish of humor that pokes fun at the ruling clerical establishment.

Often artists go to great lengths to stay within the boundaries of laws and restrictions to create the kind of work that attempts to undermine the very meanings of those laws. Others simply create art as if no such restrictions were in place, suffering a sad fate for any artist: being barred from displaying their work.

(h/t Dibsa 4/26) - Kurd officers killed in clash with Iraqi forces

KIRKUK, Iraq (AFP) – Two Kurdish security officers died and four other people were wounded in armed clashes between Iraqi soldiers and Kurdish forces in the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk Monday, officials said.
The city is at the centre of a tract of disputed territory claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and Kurdish regional authorities in Arbil

(h/t Dibsa 4/25) - Arab unrest: Iraq's struggle a warning for protesters

In January, when the flames of revolt were starting to spread through the Arab world, Iraqi leaders rather smugly assumed they would be immune, but they were wrong.
"It can't happen here - we've got democracy already," said one.
A month later there were serious disturbances in Baghdad and many other cities in all parts of the country.
More than a dozen people were killed and hundreds injured

(h/t Dibsa 4/21 ) - Israeli leftists call for Palestinian state

TEL AVIV (AFP) – Some 300 Israeli left-wingers, including prominent cultural leaders, gathered in Tel Aviv on Thursday to call for the Jewish state to embrace the creation of a Palestinian state.
The activists met to sign a petition, which is endorsed by 17 winners of the prestigious Israel Prize, in a symbolic ceremony in front of the building where the state of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948.
The ceremony was met with anger by several dozen right-wing protesters who also gathered at the site and had to be kept away by a heavy police presence, an AFP photographer at the scene said

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - Jordan king creates panel to review constitution

AMMAN (AFP) – Jordan's King Abdullah II on Tuesday asked a former prime minister to head a committee to review the constitution and consider amendments, in a bid to face growing demands for reforms.
The king asked Ahmad Lawzi and the 10-member committee, which includes other former premiers, to "look into constitutional amendments that would be suitable for Jordan in the present and future," said the state-run Petra news agency.

(h/t UnaSpenser 04/20) - ANALYSIS-Kuwait faces reform stalemate after cabinet falls

Kuwait has mostly escaped the unrest sweeping the Arab world, but its dysfunctional politics once again risk blocking economic reform and foreign investment.


The cabinet resigned this month to avoid the questioning of three ministers in parliament. Kuwait's ruler has asked outgoing Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammed al-Sabah to form a new cabinet -- his seventh since he was first appointed in 2006.
In this context, small protests by pro-democracy activists seem less worrying for the Sabahs than prospects of a return to stalemate between the legislative and executive arms after a two-year lull in a cycle of crises and short-lived cabinets.

(h/t UnaSpenser 04/19 ) - Turkish envoy to Lebanon: Democracy will spread

Turkey's ambassador to Lebanon, Inan Ozyildiz, believes that despite the recent political uncertainty, all political actors in Lebanon are "engaging in dialogue," and expects democracy to take root in every country in the Arab world.

"Although every country in the region has its own characteristics and political history, the people of the Middle East have a common demand: Democracy," said Ozyildiz.
According to Ozyildiz, the Arab world's transition to democracy is late in coming. "These uprisings were kind of late, they should have started immediately after the end of the Cold War," said Ozyildiz.


(h/t Lawrence 4/27) -
Misrata rebels given chance to act their age during lull in fighting

an insightful peace on who the rebels are

The young men of the Black Car Brigade were sprawled across the living room, chessboard on the table, guitar on the sofa, guns leaning against the wall.

For the first time in weeks they had enjoyed a full night's sleep, a shave and a shower. Coffee had been brewed, and bread rolls delivered. Muammar Gaddafi's forces had been kicked out of the city centre in Misrata, allowing them a rest – and a chance to act their age.
"This is Mr al-Qaida," said Abdulfatah Shaka, 22, a student of refrigeration engineering, Pink Floyd aficionado, tank destroyer and leader of the small rebel cell, pointing to his cousin and classmate Mohamed, 21.

Next he gestured towards Alsallabi, 20, whose university studies have also been interrupted by the revolution in February. "That is the Taliban."

The joke was on Gaddafi, who has blamed the uprising on Islamist terror groups. Everyone laughed: Bashir the seaman, unemployed Ahmed, Abdulmajid the floor tile salesman and Bassam the student. At 23, he was the oldest in the room – until 30-year-old Abdulhamid strolled in after a 10-hour sleep: "My best in two months." In better times he was a chef. "I swapped my spoon for a Kalashnikov," he said.

(h/t Dibsa 4/28) - Libyan doctor says NATO airstrike killed 12 rebels

MISRATA, Libya – A doctor in a besieged Libyan city says a NATO airstrike the previous day killed 12 rebels.
Dr. Hassan Malitan said Thursday he was with the men minutes before two missiles slammed into the building they were holed up in for days in Misrata.
Malitan says he was driving away from the house on Wednesday afternoon when he heard a loud boom and felt the ground shake

(h/t Dibsa 4/28) - Libyan rebels set sights on Misrata airport

MISRATA, Libya (AFP) – Libyan rebels fought to take Misrata's airport on Thursday after pushing back Moamer Kadhafi's forces from the city's lifeline sea port as the oil-rich country's tribes urged the strongman to quit.
As a UN panel arrived in Libya to investigate violence and human rights abuses, rebels in Misrata said they were confident victory was "very close" for them in the strategic port city

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - Libyan tribes call on Kadhafi to go

MISRATA, Libya (AFP) – Libya's tribes on Wednesday urged Moamer Kadhafi to cede power, as rebels backed by NATO air strikes said they forced the strongman's missiles out of range of the lifeline port of Misrata.
Chiefs or representatives of 61 tribes from across the North African country called for an end to Kadhafi's four-decade rule, in a joint statement released by French writer Bernard-Henri Levy

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - Libyan port quiet after government bombardment

MISRATA, Libya – The port of a rebel-held city in western Libya was quiet Wednesday after NATO airstrikes drove back a determined government assault on the besieged city's lifeline.
The relative calm allowed an Albanian ship, the Red Star 1, chartered by the International Organization of Migration, to dock at the port of Misrata with 10 shipping containers of aid and two ambulances

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - Gadhafi's grip on western Libya may be slipping

TRIPOLI, Libya – Moammar Gadhafi has suffered military setbacks in recent days in western Libya, a sign that his grip may be slipping in the very region he needs to cling to power.
His loyalists were driven out of the city of Misrata, a key rebel stronghold in Gadhafi-controlled territory. A NATO airstrike turned parts of his Tripoli headquarters into smoldering rubble. And rebel fighters seized a border crossing, breaking open a supply line to besieged rebel towns in a remote western mountain area

(h/t dibsa 4/27) - From a Qaddafi Daughter, a Glimpse Inside the Bunker

“To make them ready,” she said, “because in a time of war you never know when a rocket or a bomb might hit you, and that will be the end.”
In a rare interview at her charitable foundation here, Ms. Qaddafi, 36, a Libyan-trained lawyer who once worked on Saddam Hussein’s legal defense team, offered a glimpse into the fatalistic mind-set of the increasingly isolated family at the core of the battle for Libya, the bloodiest arena in the democratic uprising that is sweeping the region

The full text of UN Resolution 1970 on Libya.
The full text of UN Resolution 1973 on Libya.
President Obama's letter to Congress regarding commencement of operations in Libya. (h/t greenbird)
Al Jazeera Libyan live blog. (h/t jnhobbs)
UK Telegraph Libyan live blog. (h/t bee tzu)
BBC Libyan live blog found here. (h/t greenbird)
The New Yorker Dispatches from Libya. (h/t suejazz)
BBC's Libyan crisis mapped. (h/t phil S 33)
revolutionology is a blog from an American in Benghazi

(h/t dibsa 4/26) - Mauritanian police use teargas to break up protest

NOUAKCHOTT, April 25 (Reuters) - Security forces using teargas and batons dispersed several hundred anti-government protesters in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott on Monday, the most serious clash in the West African state for nearly two months.

(h/t Dibsa 4/28 ) - Moroccan king extends pay hike to armed forces

(Reuters) - Morocco's King Mohammed has ordered public and private sector wage and pension rises also benefit the army, paramilitary police, auxiliary forces and civil rescue services.
Morocco on Tuesday agreed to raise public sector salaries in a handout estimated at more than $5 billion over three years as demands for reform put pressure on the Arab world's longest-serving dynasty

(h/t Dibsa 4/27 ) - Morocco plans to hike state payrolls amid unrest

Moroccan government plan to raise the public sector's employees salaries next month to meet demands of the protests calling for social justice and political reform

(h/t Dibsa 4/27 ) - Palestinian officials: Unity agreement reached

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinians have reached initial agreement on reuniting their rival governments in the West Bank and Gaza, officials from both sides said Wednesday, a step that would remove a main obstacle in the way of peace efforts with Israel.
Even before the agreement was to be signed, however, key questions about how to unify rival security forces remained unsolved. Israel immediately rejected the prospect of a Palestinian government including Hamas, and the U.S. expressed similar concerns

(h/t UnaSpenser ) - Hamas-Fatah reconciliation a Palestinian form of Arab spring

Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is a historic achievement for the Palestinians, whose rivalries and divisions have weakened them and been exploited by their enemies.
Agreement to form an interim government and fix a date for elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip next year is also a real triumph for Egyptian mediation – and a surprise given the momentous changes in Cairo in the past few months.
But above all it is a challenge to Israel, the US and EU, which have all shunned Hamas as a terrorist organisation since its shock victory in Palestinian elections in 2006.
The agreement is, in its way, a version of the Arab spring shaking regimes from Libya to Syria and giving hope of change after years of impasse.


(h/t JustJennifer 4/23) - Protests break out in Omani city

At least 1,000 protesters have taken to the streets in Oman's southern port city of Salalah in one of the biggest pro-reform demonstrations since scattered unrest began in the Gulf Arab sultanate two months ago.

The protesters assembled in a car park across the street from the governor's office on Friday, where a preacher led mid-day prayers and led them on a march across the city.

"The Omani people are not afraid of protesting for as long as it takes for reform, [but] first and foremost is to get government officials, who have been embezzling funds for years, to stand trial," Amer Hargan, the leader, told the crowd.

(h/t Dibsa 4/21) - Oman pardons 234 arrested during protests

(CNN) -- Oman's ruler has pardoned 234 people who were arrested during anti-government protests earlier in the year, the Gulf state's news agency said.
Sultan Qaboos bin Said pardoned only those who were taken into custody for "the crimes of crowding in public streets," the Oman News Agency said Wednesday

(h/t Dibsa 4/28) - Saudi Arabia detains bloggers over protest: activists

(Reuters) - Authorities in Saudi Arabia have detained two Shi'ite bloggers this week for taking part in demonstrations in the country's oil-producing Eastern Province, a Shi'ite website and activists said on Wednesday

DailyKos diary on the Ba'athist resignations in Syria:
Meanwhile, In Syria: Mass Resignations By Ba'ath Party Officials

Over the last few days tanks have been deployed in Deraa and other cities inside Syria. The various security forces have opened fire with live ammunition on protesters with more than 400 reported dead. It is hard to know exactly what is going on in Syria as the Assad government had expelled all foreign journalists. However in the days of the internet reports and video are leaking out.
Today there is a major development. The Christian Science Monitor is reporting that 400 members of the Ba’ath Party have resigned the government and the party over the killing and oppression of the protesters. Here are excerpts from two of the mass resignation letters:
From the Deraa officials:
"In view of the negative stance taken by the leadership of the Arab Socialist Baath Party towards the events in Syria and in Deraa, and after the death of hundreds and the wounding of thousands at the hands of the various security forces, we submit our collective resignation."

(h/t Dibsa 4/28) - More shooting in city where Syrian uprising began

BEIRUT – Tanks rolled into the northern port of Latakia — a key city in the heartland of Syria's ruling elite — and security forces opened fire on anti government demonstrators, while heavy shooting rang out again Thursday in the southern protest hotbed of Daraa, witnesses said.

(h/t Dibsa 4/28) - US caught in Syrian dilemma

TEL AVIV - "Let Obama come and take Syria," a resident of the city of Daraa told the BBC in despair on Tuesday in reference to United States President Barack Obama. "Let Israel come and take Syria. Let the Jews come - anything is better than [Syrian President] Bashar Assad."

(h/t Dibsa 4/28) - Assad under pressure as hundreds of Baathists quit

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Foreign pressure mounted on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and hundreds of members resigned from his party, as troops kept their grip on the flashpoint town of Daraa.
Syria's opposition warned Assad that he would be toppled unless he ushered in democratic reforms, although the UN Security Council failed to agree on a condemnation of the violence.

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - Tanks, reinforcements sent to besieged Syrian city

BEIRUT – The Syrian army sent more tanks and reinforcements into Daraa on Wednesday as part of a widening crackdown against opponents of President Bashar Assad's authoritarian regime, and gunfire and sporadic explosions were heard in the tense southern city

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - Daraa in grip of Syria troops as more deaths reported

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Syrian troops tightened their grip on Daraa Wednesday as the global community raised alarm over the military assault on the restive town which according to rights activists has claimed at least 30 lives.

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - UN rights council to hold special session on Syria

GENEVA (AFP) – The UN Human Rights Council will hold a special session on Syria on Friday, a UN spokesman said, amid alarm over the military's assault on the pro democracy stronghold of Daraa.
The special session "will be held on Friday 29 April at 11 am," said Cedric Sapey, spokesman at the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - International Pressure Mounts on Syria as Military Siege Continues

International diplomatic pressure is mounting on Syria amid reports of more military tanks and troops fanning out to stop an anti-government backlash.

Members of the U.N. Security Council are due to meet Wednesday to discuss a joint statement condemning the continuing violence against protesters in Syria

(h/t Dibsa 4/26) - Rights group: More than 400 killed in Syria

(CNN) -- More than 400 people have been killed in Syria across several weeks as the government has cracked down on protesters seeking reform, a human rights group in the country said Tuesday

(h/t Dibsa 4/26) - Syrian protesters under attack in Izraa

It is claimed the footage was filmed in the southern town of Izraa where Syrian government forces have been trying to suppress the final remnants of protest.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has increased efforts to dissuade protesters from taking to the streets in recent days and the attack on Izraa seems designed to keep the population cowed

(h/t Dibsa 4/26) - Tunisia bans ex-ruling party leaders from ballot

TUNIS, April 26 (Reuters) - Senior members of Tunisia's former ruling party will be banned from a July 24 election and the vote will be run by an independent body for the first time, Prime Minister Beji Caid Sebsi said on Tuesday.

(h/t Dibsa 4/27 ) - UAE quiet on streets but Web reformers face heat

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – No protesters have taken to the streets calling for reforms. There's been barely a public whisper about whether the Arab uprisings could intrude on the cozy world of the United Arab Emirates' rulers.
The main challenge to authority so far has been a modest online petition urging for open elections and the creation of a parliament

(h/t Dibsa 4/26) - Moroccan police disperse rampaging W. Sahara students

RABAT — Dozens of students from Western Sahara were dispersed by Moroccan security forces Friday in a Rabat campus violent protest after the murder of a comrade the night before, witnesses told AFP.
Students went on the rampage at the Rabat-Souissi university campus in the morning and "burnt several buildings, including the administration," a student said

(h/t Dibsa 4/28) - Yemen's Saleh should not get immunity: Amnesty

SANAA (AFP) – Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh should not be granted immunity from prosecution under a Gulf plan that seeks to end months of bloodshed, Amnesty International said Thursday.
The London-based human rights watchdog said the transition plan proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) appeared to provide a blanket immunity to Saleh as well as those who served under him

(h/t Dibsa 4/28) - Yemenis rally outraged at deaths of 12 protesters

SANAA, Yemen – Tens of thousands are rallying across Yemen, denouncing the killing of 12 protesters the previous day in the capital Sanaa and insisting the country's long-time ruler step down.
Demonstrators defied heavy rains Thursday to condemn the brutal crackdown by forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh in several central cities, as well as in Taiz and in Saada

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - Yemenis start civil disobedience campaign

SANAA, Yemen – Yemeni residents in scores of cities and towns across the nation launched a civil disobedience campaign Wednesday to bring down the country's long-serving president, activists said.
The campaign is the latest in Yemen's uprising that started in early February, inspired by revolts across the Arab world. Massive near-daily protests have called for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country's ruler of 32 years.

It bears repeating - Please Rec this diary.

Our Egyptian brethren articulated what people around the region are fighting for, though variations to the theme may exist from country to country. banner held by protesters and translated to English:

1 The departure of Mubarak
2 An end to the current Parliament
3 An end of the state of emergency
4 The creation of a national united government
5 A parliament elected by the people to modify the constitution and run the presidential elections
6 Put those responsible for the killings on trial
7 Put those responsible for stealing the country's money and other acts of corruption on trial

Will you help us gather updates?

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Here's how it works:
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We're working on a publication schedule: Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday. Ideally we would see fresh citations in the wiki by late evening the day before. That is, posts from late Monday evening would be published in Tuesday morning's diary. (If you'd like produce a diary on a different day of the week, we'd love to show you how to update the template and paste it into your diary!)

It's really that simple! Please join us.


Note: The old Mothership Diary has good list of resources.

Al Jazeera English - Watch Live (the Youtube link below should work for Mac users unable to load this.)

Al Jazeera live also available on: Dish Network channel 9410 OR DirecTV Channel 375 Link

Al Jazeera on Facebook: - http: //

Al Jazeera Live on YouTube
English Stream
Arabic Stream

BBC Middle East reporting
BBC Middle East and Arab Unrest

WorldWideTahrir{NEW} : Worldwide protests being organized to coincide with the upcoming ones in Egypt.
bicycle Hussein paladin - Why Iran 1979 Went to the Islamists and This One Won't

People to follow on twitter: - please suggest people for specific countries. Thank you!

@ArabRevolution - Region
@Dima_Khatib - Region

@March15Syria - Syria

@JNovak_Yemen - Yemen
@WomanfromYemen - Yemen

@Gheblawi - Libya
@ShababLibya - Libya
@feb17voices - Libya
@DrsForLibya - Libya
@libyanexpat - Libya

@lissnp - Iran
@prsianbanoo - Iran

@sandmonkey - Egypt
@JRamyRaoof - Egypt
@Elazul - Egypt
@Ssirgany - Egypt
@speaktotweet: Egyptian Voice Tweets on Twitter

Previous Child Diaries:

Egypt and the Region Liveblog Archive by unaspenser

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Comment Preferences

  •  Attack on foreigners in Morocco (5+ / 0-)

    Today a bomb - possibly due to a terrorist attack - exploded in the Cafe Argana on Djemaa-el-Fna Square in Marrakesh...

    [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

    by WOIDgang on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 10:27:41 AM PDT

  •  Egypt: news in the art world (6+ / 0-)

    OK, not "revolution" per se, but two elements of this story resonate with me

    Al-Ahram, Egyptian artist announced as head of the Venice Biennale jury

    The Egyptian visual artist and experimental musician Hassan Khan will the head of jury of the 54th Venice Biennale.
     In 1995, the Egyptian section in the biennale won the Golden Lion award for the works of the three artists: Medhat Shafik, Akram El Magdoub and Hamdy Atteya.

    This year the work of Egyptian martyred artist Ahmed Bassiouny, "30 days running around the place", will be displayed.

    Khan's appointment is incredibly prestigious, so kudos to him.

    Bassiouni was killed while taking photographs in Midan Tahrir on 28 January, the "Friday of Anger."

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 10:50:07 AM PDT

  •  How are you gathering this info? (7+ / 0-)

    I'm asking to see if I have enough time to help. I really respect what you are doing here.

    The Republican Party: Our economic claims are not intended to be a factual statement.

    by Renee on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 10:56:56 AM PDT

    •  I'm not sure if Una is on-line at the moment, (7+ / 0-)

      so I'll provide a brief answer. The updates that you see in the body of the diary are gathered by a number of Kossacks, and then posted to a wiki for consolidation in each new Liveblog. If you message Una through the dKos internal mailer, she'll undoubtedly be pleased to provide the link to the wiki. It's not hard, and it's only as time-consuming as you want it to be :~)

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 11:02:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm back. Yes, angry marmot's right (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angry marmot, dibsa, Renee, Lawrence, ninkasi23

        volunteers post citation into our wiki.

        If you send me an email, I send you an invite to join the wiki.

        From there, you can choose how much effort you give.

        Each country has a page and there is a mini-template at the top of the page. You copy it, then fill in where the red letters prompt you. ( a URL, a headline, and an excerpt from the article you are citing.)

        You can "adopt" a country, or a source, or just put in random things that you find.

        Each time we publish a new diary we grab all the latest citations in the country pages.

  •  Interesting piece in Libya... (0+ / 0-)

    Ten reasons why the U.S. war in Libya is a CIA operation

    The U.S.-led attack on Libya is an American operation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), planned and initiated long before any “protests” started in Libya this February.

    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
    - George Orwell

    by HairyTrueMan on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 11:30:53 AM PDT

  •  NO to Bahrain Grand Prix (9+ / 0-)

    Your cream of the crop in pet-sitting in Washington State is: MyNeighborhoodBuddy

    by dibsa on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 11:34:20 AM PDT

  •  Bahrain: Amnesty Int'l urges halt to executions (9+ / 0-)

    Bahrain urged to halt execution of protesters

    “In this case, the accused were tried before a special military court, although they are civilians. It also appears that the trial was conducted behind closed doors. As well, those sentenced have no right of appeal except to another special military court, raising great fears about the fairness of the entire process.”

    The court sentenced Ali Abdullah Hassan al-Sankis, Qassim Hassan Matar, Saeed Abduljalil Saeed and Adbulaziz Abdulridha Ibrahim Hussain to death on 28 April.
    The seven men were accused of the premeditated murder of two policemen by running them over with a vehicle on 16 March. On 15 March, Bahrain’s King had declared a state of emergency – termed the State of National Safety (SNS) – after Saudi Arabia sent in a thousand troops to help the government quell anti-government protests.

    The seven accused are believed to have been held incommunicado following their arrests and the families are said to have been denied access to them, Amnesty International has learnt.

  •  Bahrain: admissions under torture? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, peraspera, poco

    there is a video at the link. this is some of the text, but I think there is more info in the video.
    Bahrain: Four death sentences issued, admissions under torture (New Video)

    A Bahraini military court on Thursday convicted four Shiite protesters and sentenced them to death for the killing of two policemen during protests last month, state media said. Three other Shiite activists were sentenced to life in prison for their role in the incident. A report by the Bahrain News Agency said the defendants had "all their legal rights" during the trial for what it called "one of the most gruesome murders in Bahrain",albawaba reported.

    However, according to the AP, Bahrain's human rights groups slammed the verdict and said the trial had no legal credibility and was politically motivated.
    Human Rights Watch (HRW), Doctors Without Borders, and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) have charged Bahraini security officials with systematic attacks on doctors and patients.

    PHR says doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured or disappeared because they have “evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces and riot police” in the crackdowns on anti-government protesters.

  •  Bahrain: more on possibly coerced confessions (8+ / 0-)

    Inconsistencies in Televised Confession of Bahraini Protesters Who Were Sentenced to Death

    As an activist tweeting under the name Albahraini pointed out, the state TV segment features a confession from Ali Sager, who died in police custody earlier this month after being arrested for tweeting protest photos  that police allege were fabricated. The state TV segment also features security-camera footage of the body of one of the dead policemen, who was allegedly killed by being run over by the suspects in a parking lot. The narrator refutes rumors that it was actually a dummy. But Albahraini points out other inconsistencies, such as the fact that the body looks slim in one instance and fat in the next and discrepancies between what is described in the confession and what the footage shows.

    the whole incident may be fabricated. there are links to more of the details of the inconsistencies within the story.

  •  Syria: Army units 'clash over crackdown' (8+ / 0-)

    Al Jazeera:

    Reports say army units exchanged fire after one refused to shoot at protesters in restive city of Deraa.

    Members of two Syrian army units have clashed with each other over carrying out orders to crack down on protesters in Deraa, the southern city at the heart of an anti-government uprising, according to a witness and human rights groups.

    ( .. )

    While the infighting in Deraa does not indicate any decisive splits in the military, it is significant because the army has always been seen as a bastion of support for the regime. The Syrian military has denied that there have been any splits in the military.

    ( .. )

    Ausama Monajed, a spokesman for a group of opposition figures in Syria and abroad, said clashes among soldiers had occurred since Assad sent the army into Deraa on Monday.

    The deployment was a clear escalation in his crackdown on the uprising.

    "There are some battalions that refused to open fire on the people," Monajed told The Associated Press news agency, citing witnesses on the ground in Deraa.

    "Battalions of the fifth division were protecting people, and returned fire when they were subjected to attacks by the fourth division."

    The fourth division is run by the president's brother, Maher al-Assad.

    •  Syria: Analysis - The Guardian (6+ / 0-)

      Six Syrians who helped Bashar al-Assad keep iron grip after father's death

      The core of the Syrian regime seems solid, with closeness to Assad's family more important than formal responsibilities

      Bashar al-Assad came to power amid high hopes for reform after three decades of his father Hafez's iron rule. But 11 years on he seems determined to crush the unrest sweeping across Syria. And there is no sign that he is taking a softer line than the coterie of relatives and security chiefs who advise him at the heart of the regime's inner circle in Damascus.

      ( .. )

      The core of the regime seems solid and close-knit. Assad's chief advisers are almost all members of the president's minority Alawite sect (which makes up just 12% of Syria's 22m people) and several are related to him. Unlike in Libya, no senior Syrian figures have joined the opposition, which has no territorial base. Hence the onslaught on Deraa, which seems designed to prevent the southern town from becoming one. Here's a look at some of the key figures in the inner circle.

      ( .. )

      Syrian opposition sources have been playing up claims of desertions from the armed forces as well as unconfirmed reports that regular army soldiers refused to fire on protesters in Deraa and clashed with the Fourth Mechanised Division. But the scale of such incidents remains unclear.
  •  Libya: Tunis angry as fighting crosses border (6+ / 0-)

    Reuters -
    Libyan forces battle rebels on Tunisian border

    Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi battled rebels on Thursday for control of a border crossing into Tunisia, provoking an angry protest from Tunis as fighting spilled on to its territory.

    Early in the day Gaddafi's troops stormed the Dehiba-Wazin crossing on Libya's western frontier, in what appeared to be part of a broader government offensive to root out rebel outposts beyond their eastern heartland.

    Tunisia strongly condemned incursions by government forces, when Libyan artillery shells also struck the Tunisian side of the crossing, and demanded that the Libyans put a stop to them.

    ( .. )

    Nowhere was the fog of war thicker than at Dehiba-Wazin crossing.

    "Fighting broke out on Tunisian territory, in Dehiba, after Gaddafi's forces attacked the border crossing," said Ali, a Tunisian involved in helping Libyans arriving in Dehiba, adding that the rebels had withdrawn into Tunisia.

    Gaddafi's soldiers apologized to their Tunisian counterparts for the incursion and hoisted their flag at the border, tearing down a pre-Gaddafi era flag that had fluttered for a few days.

  •  Burkina Faso: more unrest (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges, jnhobbs, Lawrence, peraspera, poco

    Insurrection spreads in Burkina Faso

    Wednesday, new violent protests erupted in the flashpoint town of Koudougou as angry shopkeepers and students set fire to the mayor's home and to the local police headquarters.

    Witnesses said that a mob set fire to buildings to protest a decision by Mayor Seydou Zagre to close some 40 shops which had failed to pay local taxes.

    The protesters also set a local investment office ablaze.

    Residents said that several hundred people then joined a march through the town, their ranks swelled by groups of students.

  •  Egypt: UK firm offered hi-tech spying software (7+ / 0-)

    to the Mubarak regime:

    The Guardian

    A British company offered to sell a program to the Egyptian security services that experts say could infect computers, hack into web-based email and communications tools such as Skype and even take control of other groups' systems remotely, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

    Two Egyptian human rights activists found the documents amid hundreds of batons and torture equipment when they broke into the headquarters of the regime's State Security Investigations service (SSI) last month.


    Other documents, written in Arabic and marked "ultimately confidential", state that after being offered a "free trial version" of Gamma's Finfisher software to test its ability to hack into email accounts, the SSI concluded it was "a high-level security system" that could get into email accounts of Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo, as well as allowing "full control" of the computers of "targeted elements". It went on to describe the software's "success in breaking through personal accounts on Skype network, which is considered the most secure method of communication used by members of the elements of the harmful activity because it is encrypted".

    The find throws a spotlight on western companies that provide software to security services and agents of oppressive regimes to spy on, censor and block the websites with which activists communicate. Last month a report by OpenNet Initiative said nine countries across the Middle East and North Africa used US and Canadian technology to impede access to online content, including sites with political, social and religious materia

  •  Libya: Govt TV: bad weather in US a punishment (5+ / 0-)

    from God


    On Libyan state television, an announcer joyfully reported on flooding in the United States, saying it was punishment from God for U.S. efforts to end Gadhafi's regime.
  •  UK/Libya: Libyans occupying Saif's UK mansion (6+ / 0-)

    From Foreign Policy

    LONDON — Libyans are still struggling for their freedom, but a democratic enclave has already sprung up in London's wealthy Hampstead Garden Suburb in a mansion once owned by Saif al-Islam Qaddafi. This relic from a brief era of rapprochement between Britain and the Qaddafi family is located on a small cul-de-sac about five miles from central London and is, surprisingly, one of the less ostentatious houses in the area; it conceals its size by making up in depth what its facade lacks in breadth. There are roughly 10 full-time Libyan activists now staying there, and friends of the Libyan opposition come and go regularly.


    For now, life at the mansion has settled into a steady rhythm. Every day, the activists ride the Underground from East Finchley to Hyde Park Corner to demonstrate outside the Libyan Embassy. In the evenings, they return home -- sometimes entering the house through a ground-floor window -- and cook dinner in a big, white-paneled kitchen. They all dine together around a long, glass-topped table (when I visited recently, their dinner consisted of fresh salad, plates of lamb shank with rice and beans, and tall glasses of Coke). A quick and thorough cleanup follows, and then everyone "chills" in front of Arabic-language Al Jazeera, with its images from the Libyan highways and from the streets and squares of Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen. Every night, someone -- usually Billy -- stays awake until 7 a.m. to keep lookout, pacing the house from front to back. During the day, too, occupants rotate house-sitting duties. "We are dealing with someone who has killed people in Libya already. Anyone could come to us. [Saif] could be connected with gangsters. We don't know."

  •  This should be part of the documents for Libya (5+ / 0-)

    What I refer to is the Transitional National Council's Vision for a Democratic Libya.  This is something that peole should know about since it is the blueprint for the values and the structure of a new government in Libya.

  •  Egypt: Egyptian govt backs Syrian regime (!!!) (8+ / 0-)

    I have never seen this source before (got it on an NPR tweet), it is based in Egypt

    Egypt backs Syrian regime, receives sharp criticism

    Egypt is backing Syrian diplomatic efforts to block a Western-supported UN resolution condemning Damascus’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, a human rights advocate said on Thursday.

    “Egypt has introduced amendments to a proposed UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution, according to which the council should not condemn the bloody governmental crackdown on peaceful protesters in Syria,” said Radwan Ziadeh, a Syrian human rights activist, via telephone from Geneva.  


    “I can’t believe that revolutionary Egypt is completely ignoring the massacres in Syria, [and even] supporting the regime. Egypt shouldn’t support Assad,” said the Washington-based advocate. Rather, it “should look to the Syrian lives that are being lost because of the bloody crackdown.”

    •  That's not going to make the interim military govt (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      UnaSpenser, bee tzu, nklein, peraspera

      very popular in Egypt.  ^^

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 05:13:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  al-Masry al-Youm is a fairly reliable source (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      UnaSpenser, bee tzu, petral

      these days. It's one of the two English-language Egyptian on-line newspapers I read every day. Both al-Masry al-Youm and Al-Ahram were little more than mouthpieces for the Mubarak regime until early February, when they each found their editorial voice.

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 05:00:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  opinion: I think that the military caretaker (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, UnaSpenser, bee tzu, petral

      government in Egypt is operating along three lines of thought wrt Syria. First, they are trying to forestall any UN intervention in Syrian affairs (and by 'intervention' here I mean a range of measures reflecting UN ['Western'] authority over and/or manipulation of Syrian affairs: condemnation, sanctions, or direct intervention.) Second, to the extent that Syria is governed by a nominally secular Ba'athist Party, any form of intervention that would alter the secular/sectarian balance between Ba'athist ('Alawi) and Muslim Brotherhood (Sunni) in Syria is potentially problematic for Egypt as the military government is seeking to manage the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian politics. Third, there is a fundamental contest for spheres-of-authority among Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Any UN / 'Western' meddling in Syria will complicate the Egyptian play for regional power and authority.

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 05:54:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kuwait: Kuwaiti royal pushes for more democracy (7+ / 0-)


    Sheikh Fahad Al Salem is a royal member of Kuwait's wealthy ruling family. It's a posh life that affords him an entourage and a sprawling five-star hotel suite during his recent visit to Washington.

    But Sheikh Fahad is preaching an unpopular message of democratic reforms and anti-corruption, and he started by pointing his finger at his own country.


    Sheikh Fahad was arrested in Kuwait and held prisoner by the Iraqis in 1990 for five months. The experience helped solidify already strongly held beliefs, he said.

    "Being arrested and in an Iraqi prison, especially, (with) the secret police ... I think you have two options. Either you come back to your country broken or you come back to your country with more courage, to implement what you believe in, and I think I got the second one."
    He has a loud bully pulpit...Fahad sits atop a media empire

  •  Libya: Tweeter relates story of disappeared friend (7+ / 0-)

    From Tweeter LibyaStory

    I want to tell a personal story about a friend of mine.

    A few year ago, my friend decided to leave Libya in search of a better life. He decided to take a plane to leave Libya for an unknown country. The customs officials (basically secret police) stopped him, and put him in prison. For the next 15 years, his family (I still know them very well even today), had no idea where he was. Everytime there was an announcement that prisoners were being released, his ageing mother and father would wait for hours from one prison to the next in hope of seeing their son. His mother had heart problems and the long waits, and the suspense were not making things any better. She would return home, very depressed, and very pale, crying. It was a horrible sight.

    This happened again and again, until one day she got frustrated and went to the gov officials and said, "please just tell me if he is alive or if I should go home and prepare the funeral" - the reply was, "go home." She held the funeral the next day, no burial. A few years later she died of a heart attack. The location of my friend is still unknown.

  •  LIBYA - Head of opposition forces issues warning (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, bee tzu, peraspera

    about Gaddafi's remaining chemical weapons.

    Libya: Col Gaddafi still has quarter of chemical weapons stockpile

    Colonel Muammar Gaddafi still has a quarter of his stockpile of chemical weapons and is ready to use mustard gas in a "desperate" fight to the death, a senior Libyan rebel military commander claimed yesterday.

    By Bruno Waterfield, Brussels and Richard Spencer 9:00PM BST 28 Apr 2011

    General Abdul Fatah Younis, who was Col Gaddafi's interior minister before defecting to the opposition and is now the rebel army's chief of staff, gave the warning as he pleaded for Nato allies to arm the rebels with heavy weapons, including helicopters and anti-tank missiles, to defend the besieged city of Misurata.

    He predicted the Libyan dictator would "never accept retreat" and would be ready to use chemical weapons in a last stand against rebels or the civilian population.

    "He will fight up to the final drop of his blood," he said. "He has been offered chances to leave and he refused them all the chances. Most probably he will be killed or commit suicide.

    "Gaddafi is desperate now. Unfortunately he still has about 25 per cent of his chemical weapons, which he might use as he's in a desperate situation. He always says: 'You will love me or I will kill you

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 05:23:17 PM PDT

  •  Libya: RUMOR: Clashes in Tripoli between (6+ / 0-)

    opposition members and govt forces

    This is a TWEET - even though it is a well-established tweeter, should be taken as RUMOR

    ChangeInLibya Mhalwes
    Tripoli: CLASHES between Gaddafi forces and revolutionaries in different parts of the city being reported.. #libya #feb17
    1 minute ago
  •  Syria: What Syrians escaping into Lebanon are (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, UnaSpenser, peraspera, Lawrence, poco


    The Independent

    ... Syrians arriving in Lebanon are bringing the most specific details of what is going on inside their country, of Fifth Brigade soldiers fighting the armed units of Maher Assad's Fourth Brigade outside Deraa, of random killings around Damascus by the ever-growing armed bands of Shabiha ("the mafia") from the Alawite mountains, of massive stocking up of food...


    Especially intriguing – because there are many apparent witnesses of this episode – is a report that Syrian Fourth Brigade troops in Deraa dumped dozens of weapons in the main square of the city in front of the Omari mosque, telling civilians that they could take them to defend themselves. Suspecting that they were supposed to carry them in demonstrations and then be shot as "terrorists", the people took the weapons to the nearest military base and gave them back to the soldiers.

    The rumours of army defections continue, however, including splits in the Fifth Brigade at Deraa, whose commander's name can now be confirmed as General Mohamed Saleh al-Rifai. According to Syrians arriving in Lebanon, the highways are used by hundreds of packed military trucks although the streets of most cities – including Damascus – are virtually empty at night. Shops are closing early, gunfire is often heard, checkpoints at night are often manned by armed men in civilian clothes. Darkness indeed.

  •  Libya: Former govt. radio station gets make-over (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, peraspera, Lawrence, jnhobbs

    Christian Science Monitor

    Nalut, Libya

    Before Libya’s revolution kicked off, imposing control was easy at the Nalut radio station.

    Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s state security agents occupied the same floor of the same building, forcing the station to broadcast regime propaganda across much of Libya’s restive western mountains.

    Radio guests were questioned before they were allowed on air. Files were kept on all the staff. One agent listened carefully to every word – and took notes.

    Free speech was impossible.

    But this week the station has had a revolutionary makeover, and is beginning life anew as rebel-run “Radio Free Nalut.”

    "We have more freedom to say whatever we want,” says one young newsreader Ali Saleh Shalbak, who also sat in the presenter’s chair when Tripoli held sway here, and endured its indignities.

    “Now we don’t have to take everything to the secret police for approval,” says Mr. Shalbak. “Any mistake [on air then], and it was straight to jail.”

    “They had files on every single radio presenter. They tracked everyone they saw and everywhere they went,” says Mohammed Ali, another young presenter who now wears a rebel pin on his shirt, but worked for the station pre-revolution.

    “It’s extreme fear,” says Mr. Ali. “We didn’t have the courage to do anything because of reprisals for our family.”

  •  Libya: Excellent Al Jazeera report on a rescue (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, peraspera, Lawrence, jnhobbs

    mission ship leaving from Misurata

  •  LIBYA - A significant development on the Tunisian (6+ / 0-)

    border.  There are now multiple reports of Gaddafi Regime forces crossing into Tunisia and shelling Tunisian territory.  And here's a report of gun battles between Tunisian and Gaddafi Regime forces.  It seems that at least one Tunisian citizen has been killed.

    A quick recap on today's developments in Libya:

    * Gaddafi's forces have crossed into Tunisia and are engaged in exchanges with Tunisian troops in the border town of Dehiba.

    * Reports say a Tunisian woman has been killed in the fighting.

        "Intense shooting is taking place now in central Dehiba. This started around two hours ago. People here cannot come out. The battle started after the [pro-Gaddafi] brigades attacked the rebels positioned in Dehiba," a local resident said.

    * Battles are raging between rebels and Gaddafi's forces for control of the airport in rebel-held Misurata, which was pounded overnight.

    * Loud explosions and gunfire rocked the area around Misurata airport, an AFP correspondent said, after a medical source said rocket and mortar fire during the night had killed at least nine people and wounded another 30.

    This is getting ever closer to Tunisia having an internationally-recognized reason to intervene militarily.

    I can't see the Tunisian military allowing this kind of stuff to continue.

    Tunisia has a small, yet highly skilled military.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 03:38:06 AM PDT

    •  More on this: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jnhobbs, ferg, UnaSpenser
      Tunisian troops clash with Gaddafi forces

      Libyan leader's forces clash with rebels and Tunisian troops as fighting intensifies near the border region.

      Last Modified: 28 Apr 2011 15:57

      Muammar Gaddafi’s forces are clashing with rebels and Tunisian troops in Dehiba, a Tunisian border town, after seizing a strategically important Libyan-Tunisian border crossing.

      The border crossing currently flies the pro-Gaddafi flag, but fight over the strategic checkpoint has raged on overnight and continues to remain heated.

      Intense shooting is taking place in central Dehiba on Friday with one boy shot in the foot and a woman killed both by pro-Gaddafi forces' shelling and gunfire, according to uncorroborated witness accounts.

      Tunisian forces are trying to stop further advancement by Gaddafi forces, who have crossed into Tunisia to target rebels and their families in Dehiba, Anita McNaught, Al Jazeera's correspondent reporting from the Tunisian side of the border area, said.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 04:08:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And more: (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jnhobbs, ferg, UnaSpenser, bee tzu

        Clashes between Gaddafi's forces and Tunisian troops have ended. The situation is now "calmer" a witness told Al Jazeera.

        There has been fighting at the nearby Wazin crossing for several days.

        It is understood the Tunisian security forces have disarmed the Libyan soldiers and driven them back across the border.

        The Tunisian government has demanded Libya put an immediate stop to incursions into its territory.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 04:24:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A further update: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ferg, UnaSpenser, bee tzu

          It seems that the Tunisians are really pissed.  There's a huge amount of support for the Libyan uprising amongst Tunisians already, and this will surely increase the disgust felt by Tunisians for the Gaddafi Regime.

          The border crossing seems to now be back in the hands of Amazigh revolutionaries, which is incredibly important, as it is the lifeline of the Amazigh Libyans.


          Al Jazeera has learned that Tunisia has summoned Libya's ambassador over the fighting in Dehiba.

          Radhouane Noucier, Tunisia's deputy foreign minister, told Al Jazeera that the casualties included a young girl.

              We summoned the Libyan envoy and gave him a strong protest because we won't tolerate any repetition of such violations. Tunisian soil is a red line and no one is allowed to breach it.


          The fighting at the Dehiba-Wazin border crossing has stopped the flow of refugees from Libya's Western Mountains, seeking refuge in neighbouring Tunisia, according to the UNHCR.

          The UN's human rights agency warned in a statement on Friday:

              UNHCR is very concerned that people fleeing Libya could be caught in the cross-fire as government and opposition forces battle for control in the border area.

          Up until the fighting escalated on Thursday, there has been a steady exodus of Libyans were leaving the impoverished Western Mountains region: more than 3,100 people crossed the border on Wednesday alone.

          The rebels retook control of the border this afternoon, so presumably the flow of refugees will resume...

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:10:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Q must have hired Henry Kissinger as a consultant (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      (Tunisia = Cambodia)

      •  As a Libyan said in a tweet: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bee tzu

        That evil Gaddafi, he's invading Tunisia to get all their oil!

        Man, I love the Libyan sense of humour.... can't wait to be able to visit a free Libya.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 12:07:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Syria: M Brotherhood accuses regime of genocide (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, poco, Lawrence, ferg, UnaSpenser, bee tzu

    AFP via Al-Ahram, Syrian regime engaged in genocide: Muslim Brotherhood

    [in full]
    Syria's Muslim Brotherhood accused the regime of President Bashar al-Assad on Friday of carrying out genocide in the country and called on citizens not to yield to tyrants.

    "Every Syrian citizen knows that the regime is perpetrating genocide on Syrian territory, which is targeting the desire for emancipation expressed by the revolt of young patriots aspiring to liberty and dignity," the group said in a statement obtained by AFP.

    "God created you free; do not let the tyrants keep you in slavery," the statement added. "Cry with one voice for liberty and dignity."

    Activists have called for "day of rage" protests across Syria after the Friday weekly Muslim prayers, piling pressure on Assad as his regime presses a violent crackdown on dissent that broke out in mid-March. Rights groups say the government repression has killed at least 453 civilians.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 05:57:06 AM PDT

  •  Syria: EU meets today - The Guardian (5+ / 0-)

    Syria: EU to respond as death toll rises

    Five hundred now dead in crackdown, monitors say, while talks begin to find an international response

    European governments will meet on Friday to discuss imposing sanctions on Syria, responding to the repression by the Assad regime by possibly imposing travel bans and freezing the bank accounts of the president and his relatives, and of key government figures.

    It comes as pressure on the Syrian regime increased after the resignation of hundreds of members of President Bashar al-Assad's Ba'ath party in protest at the bloody crackdown, now believed to have claimed at least 500 lives.

    The situation is reported to be desperate in the southern city of Deraa, where the dissent began six weeks ago. It remains under siege from tanks of the ultra-loyal Fourth Mechanised Brigade, commanded by Assad's brother, Maher, as well as, residents say, snipers and machine guns.

    ( .. )

    More than 230 members of the party that has ruled Syria since 1963 announced their resignation on Wednesday night.

    "Considering the breakdown of values and emblems that we were instilled with by the party, and which were destroyed at the hand of the security forces … we announce our withdrawal from the party without regret," said 30 party members from the coastal city of Banias in a letter. About 200 members from the southern Hauran region, which includes Deraa, also stood down.

  •  Syria: (6+ / 0-)

    Syrian Army Splits over Deraa Repression

        The Syrian regime of Bashar al-Asad’s decision to quell popular protests in Deraa with military force and live ammunition  may have begun splitting his army. AP reports eyewitness accounts on Thursday that units of the 4th Army Division, headed by Maher al-Asad (the brother of the president), began firing on the crowds in Deraa. The 5th Division, comprised mainly of conscripts, opposed this step and tried to protect the people. Then the two divisions traded fire with one another!

    The split is on a minor scale in an out of the way part of the country, but we social scientists look for signs of cracks in the military when there are attempts to open up the political system, because a divided military can aid the reformers.

    The Deraa protesters insist that they are just a youth movement, and deny being Salafis or hard line Muslim revivalists.

  •  Syria: updates via NOW Lebanon Liveblog (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, poco, Lawrence, UnaSpenser, bee tzu
    16:44 Security forces killed at least seven people in Daraa, AFP cited activists as saying.

    16:35 Five anti-regime protestors have been killed in Latakia.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 06:54:49 AM PDT

  •  Syria: update re UNHRC (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, jnhobbs, Lawrence, UnaSpenser, bee tzu, petral

    AFP via Al-Ahram, UN rights body split over call for probe in Syria

    Western nations pressed the UN Human Rights Council Friday to condemn a crackdown on protests in Syria and sought an international probe into the bloodshed but ran into strong opposition.

    Russia, China and African and Arab nations in the 47-member body all resisted the US-led pressure, while Syria insisted that it had set up a committee to investigate civilian deaths and blamed violence on "saboteurs".
     African and Arab nations urged dialogue in Syria while welcoming steps taken by Damascus to lift a state of emergency and heralding reforms.

    "It is regrettable that by convening this session we are sending the wrong message," the group of Arab nations in the UN said in a statement.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 07:05:48 AM PDT

    •  "wrong message"? As in one where we say that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry marmot, bee tzu, ferg

      the world finds these murders to be unacceptable? What message would they like the world to send?

      •  opinion: I'll be interested to see what comes out (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UnaSpenser, bee tzu, ferg

        of the EU meeting today, and the responses from states in the region as well as the Arab League and GCC. My sense is that Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia--the four players competing for influence in the region--are all aware that Syria is a linchpin and that rapid destabilization of the Assad regime, no matter how odious the regime's behavior, has the potential to trigger unpredictable (and unmanageable) crises in neighboring states.

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 10:48:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. I do wonder if by supportig the regime (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          angry marmot, bee tzu, ferg

          they risk damaging their own stability. People can see what's happened. Lots of video has gotten out. So, will the people of Turkey, say, find it acceptable for Turkey to block sanctions/inquiries by the international community?

          I would hope not, but I know that things don't always play out in humanitarian ways.

  •  Syria: Witness in Deraa - AJE Liveblog (6+ / 0-)

    All times given are local (GMT+3)

    A witness in Deraa speaking to Al Jazeera today from close to the Omari Mosque that has been a focus for the uprising described a scene of death and devastation, confirming earlier testimony from a separate source of a split in the military forces sent by president Assad to lay siege to the city.

    At least 80 people have been killed since the military assault began on Monday, said the witness, who said he had collected the names of the dead from different neighbourhoods and counted 25 bodies in his own area.

    “Some areas smell really bad due to the bodies rotting in the street. No one can collect them for fear of being shot,” he said, the sound of continuous gunfire audible over the phone. Those bodies which have been collected are being stored in refrigerated lorries, he said.

    “Deraa is completely surrounded by tanks and armed troops. There are snipers on the roofs of government buildings and tall buildings. They are hiding behind water tanks and some are even hiding in the minarets of mosques.”

    The source said not all members of the Fifth Division had defected, but those who had were attempting to protect civilians against attacks on them by the Fourth Division, led by Assad’s brother, Maher al-Assad.

    “Those who have defected are fighting on behalf of the people, helping them with information on the army’s movements and trying to protect civilians from attacks,” he said.

  •  Morocco: Reuters (5+ / 0-)

    Morocco says Marrakesh blast a "terrorist attack"

    Morocco said a bomb that killed at least 14 people, including 10 foreigners, in its busiest tourist destination was a terrorist act, the interior minister said.

    The blast ripped through a cafe overlooking Marrakesh's Jamaa el-Fnaa square, a spot often packed with foreign tourists.

    Interior Minister Taieb Cherkaoui said 14 people were killed and 23 wounded in the deadliest attack Morocco has seen since 12 suicide bombers killed 33 members of the public in coordinated strikes on the business hub Casablanca eight years ago.

    "Preliminary investigation ... suggests that this was a terrorist act caused by an explosive device," the official MAP news agency quoted Cherkaoui as saying.

    Security experts said the attack bore all the hallmarks of a plot by Islamist militants.

    •  Just to follow up. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac, bee tzu

      Conspiracy theorists quote an exiled Moroccan officer in Spain who supposedly claimed the Moroccan Gov't was planning this kind of black flag operation in order to discredit the  opposition, to excuse another crackdown (after months of posturing about reforms), and to bring foreign governments - notably the French - to the side of King Muhammed VI and against any incipient democratic movement. The latter appears to have been achieved without much effort, with Sarkozy letting loose about "terrorists" the minute the explosion was announced, and the immediate involvement of the French antiterrorism flics.

      As the best-known French antiterrorism cop in Morocco put it,  

      [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

      by WOIDgang on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:48:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's some backgrounder information (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WOIDgang, killjoy

      You have to be careful about believing differing reports. This bombing may be a terrorist action by radicals from the Western Sahara (or elsewhere) or it may be a false flag operation in order to clamp down harder on the Sahrawi. We will have to wait but don't take the first reports as gospel. This is highly nuanced.

      France and the UK have different pokers in this pie for their various economic reasons. The most fertile land has been annexed by Morocco who is supported by France. The only resource of value left for Western Sahara is just the fishing off the coast but this has been taken over by mostly EU interests leaving the people with nothing but sand.

      Chomsky writes that their protests in November, 2010 was the real start of the Arab Spring.

      The conflict there is essentially like the Israeli/Palestinian scenario with Morocco claiming the best parts of the Western Sahara and forcing the population of the Western Sahara into refugee camps. The Washington consensus tends to portray the Sahrawi as a terrorist base.

      The African nations are split with the MENA countries in support of Morocco and the ones to the south supporting the Sahrawi in their claims of independence.

      Kerry Kennedy has a more balanced view of the Sahrawi while MSM reports tend to smear and demonize them as terrorist's and the "bad" people in the conflict (watch the adjectives used in their reporting and you will see it is not objective).

      Here's some links to get you started if you are interested in this revolution:


      Insights and analysis from an American observer of the Western Sahara conflict

      Human Rights Watch: Sahrawi Activists, Detained 18 Months, Await Verdict. Trial Delays, Limited Evidence Raise Concerns of Politically Motivated Prosecution

      RFK Center Report: Western Sahara: Accounts of Human Rights Abuses in Wake of November Unrest

      •  Bombarnac, I think.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac

        [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

        by WOIDgang on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 10:31:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This article gives some starter background: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jnhobbs, ferg, petral

        The dispute over Western Sahara, a desert territory south of Morocco, is one of the world's last remaining decolonisation issues. As Spain prepared to withdraw in 1975, the native Sahrawi people were promised a vote of self-determination in line with UN custom. But Morocco annexed the territory, despite a ruling in the international court of justice that rejected its claim of historical sovereignty.

        A 16-year-war with the Sahrawi nationalist Polisario Front ensued, ending with a ceasefire and an agreement to hold a UN-sponsored referendum on independence. But Morocco has never allowed the vote to take place, and now says that autonomy is the best available option. About 100,000 Sahrawi refugees remain in limbo in Polisario-administered camps in south-western Algeria.

        Within Western Sahara, talk of independence is completely taboo and even mention of Sahrawi identity invites trouble. Haidar, who spent nearly four years as a "disappeared" prisoner from the age of 20 and last year won the Robert F Kennedy human rights award for her work, was expelled after refusing to acknowledge her nationality as Moroccan on the airport arrival form on 14 November.

        So, they were promised an independence referendum, then annexed by Morocco and when they fight against this further colonization, they are labeled terrorists.

        What is the resource worth oppressing these people over, from a Morocco/world point of view?

        •  I don't think it's right to label "terrorism" as a (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jnhobbs, UnaSpenser, ferg, poco

          pejorative - although I know I'm swimming against the tide here.

          IMHO, "Terrorism" is a descriptive word for a type of tactic (like a 'flanking move' is a descriptive word for a tactic in warfare). Generally, I think terrorism is a tactic used by a relatively powerless person/persons against  significantly more powerful persons in order to gain mass attention for their plight. It could be argued that the Boston Tea Party was an act of terrorism.

          Unless this bombing was a false flag operation - I would say it fits the description of a terrorist act.

          •  I agree that generating terror is a tactic of the (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Claudius Bombarnac, jnhobbs, bee tzu

            desperate or highly manipulative.

            Whether we like the way the word is being used or not, the galling aspect of this is that people were pushed into desperation and then are demonized for acting out of desperation.

            •  just to clarify: I don't agree with using the (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jnhobbs, bee tzu

              tactic of terrorism.

              I simply think we have to be careful about demonizing. We need to remember to look for what drove someone to it. And to remember that those who commit the acts, don't necessarily reflect the way their compatriots want things conducted.

              So, even if this bombing was an act of terrorism and we feel that those responsible should be held accountable in a just court, I loather people then turning and saying that all Sahwaris are "terrorists" and don't deserve their independence.

        •  Not sure that this has anything to do the the (0+ / 0-)

          Sahrawis, and we should not fall into the trap of attributing it to them.

          It looks like this may be Al Qaeda related.  They just arrested 3 Moroccan Al Qaeda members in Germany today who had been under observation, had acquired explosives, and were planning to attack public trasportation with those explosives.

          That these guys were arrested a mere day after the Morocco explosion speaks volumes, imo.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 01:26:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Western Sahara: "buying our resources means buying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        pain, suffering and tears"

        •  whoops. forgot the citation: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jnhobbs, petral, Claudius Bombarnac
          22.04 - 2011 12:30  
          During the past week, Saharawi victims of severe human rights violations have taken to the streets of El-Aaiún, demanding more respect for their socio-economic rights. Protesters carried slogans calling attention to the ongoing plunder of Saharawi natural resources, perpetrated by Morocco and complicit foreign interests.

          “Morocco has made us suffer unimaginable pains, because we are Saharawi”, sighs Ahmed (whose last name was not asked for, to protect him from any reprisal). “We were promised compensation, but we’ve never received anything. And what’s worse:  our homeland’s natural resources should in theory suffice to alleviate our burden, but they’re being sold-off to fill Morocco’s treasury - adding insult to injury.”

          •  Here's a couple of links for further info (0+ / 0-)

            The World Bank and IMF have made large loans to Morocco with the proviso of privatization, reduced taxes for corporations and open markets. (The privatization of water and sewer is on the table from other sources).

            The recent reforms of subsidizing food and pay increases for civil servants/police to quell protests goes against the IMF policies.

            World Bank President to Visit Tunisia, Morocco
            Washington, April 29, 2011

            In Morocco, the World Bank president will attend the Deuxiemes Assises de l’Industrie, the country’s major industry conference, to discuss economic and governance reforms and how they contribute to development. He will also meet the drivers of Morocco’s ambitious solar energy plans that could soon make the country the largest solar power producer in North Africa and the Middle East and an important producer of solar equipment.

            BTW, American military is the defacto world policeman for the World Bank, IMF and WTO.

            Morocco-U.S. Defense Consultative Committee meets in Rabat

            The U.S. delegation, which arrives in Rabat on April 26, is led by Joseph McMILLAN, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and composed of several U.S Department of Defense's civil and military officials.

                 After visiting the Mohammed V mausoleum, the U.S. delegation was received at the headquarters of the General Staff of the FAR by Inspector general of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) and Commander of the southern zone, General Abdelaziz Bennani.
            The Moroccan-American Advisory Defense Committee meets every two years alternately in the USA and Morocco. It is part of the bilateral military cooperation and helps to promote the partnerships between the two armed forces, the statement said.

  •  LIBYA - Free Libyans already thinking about (6+ / 0-)

    transitioning to a renewable energy future.  Gotta love this... if the soon to arrive, free, democratic Libya plays this right, it will become a dream of a country to live in.

    Published on 27 Apr 2011 by Waeel Natah

    Visions of Development: Long term sustainability planning for Libyan oil & gas

    If environmental and economical sustainability become a national goal, then one may ask: what are the main issues to be tackled to achieve this objective? How can Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions in the oil and gas sector contribute to the sustainability of Libya?

    For more than 42 years , there have been no serious actions to sustain Libyan energy. Proven hydrocarbon reserves in Libya are the largest in Africa. According to the Oil and Gas Journal, Libya holds around 44 billion barrels (bbl) of proven oil reserves as of January 2010, and slightly over 54 trillion cubic feet (tfc) of natural gas.

    Libya has a few decades left – estimated put it at 45 years – before oil and gas become scarce. This is sufficient enough to achieve sustainability, but only if it is vigorously and immediately ranked as a top national priority.

    In this sense, the general frame for sustainability planning can be laid out in four essential points; firstly, the conservation of gas by reducing emissions from oil and gas production facilities, and the utilization of vented and flared gas; secondly, the quick transition to renewables, and how fast solar and wind can be brought in line with gas conservation and oil production; thirdly, delinking electricity generation from gas production. Most of Libya’s gas could then be sold and generates more profits for the country; lastly, the revenue generated must be invested in more clean development projects i.e., agriculture, job creation, etc.


    With daily average of solar radiation on the horizontal plane of 7.1 kWh/m2/day, and average sun duration of more than 3,500 hrs/yr (Ibrahim, 2006, p.153), Libya could not only produce its full demand of electricity (estimated at 5.8 GW in 2010), but also become the largest seller of sustainable electrical power to Europe in perpetuity with no cost to the environment.

    Lastly, to complete the sustainability loop for Libya, revenues generated by selling oil, gas, conserved gas, and solar power must be invested in building human capacity of the Libyan citizens. Highly qualified generation of engineers, managers, economists and regulators is all what Libya needs to reach sustainability in the energy sector, eliminate unemployment, and enhance people’s quality of life.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 07:27:27 AM PDT

  •  Libya: Gadhafi forces caught mining Misrata port (9+ / 0-)


    BRUSSELS — NATO says its warships have intercepted several boats laying anti-shipping mines outside the harbor of the Libyan city of Misrata.

    British Brig. Rob Weighill, director of operations in Libya, said the incident occurred Friday morning, and the boats belonged to forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

    NATO crews are disposing of the mines, he said speaking via teleconference from the operation’s headquarters in Naples.

    •  Wonder if in a way this is a concession of failure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If Qaddafi really thought he was going to defeat the Opposition and re-take Misurata, those mines would destroy his own ships and would make any kind of international trade impossible (what business would want to sail ships into a mined port?) just as easily as they would hurt the opposition.

      Seems to me the only reason to use mines is as an act of vengeance.

  •  Syria: keep an eye on the EU (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, jnhobbs, JustJennifer, poco, ferg, bee tzu

    EU meeting re Syria at 1500 Brussels-time.

    Financial Times, The EU’s Big Three want swift Syria sanctions

    European Union diplomats will meet at 3pm today to discuss possible responses to the ongoing violence in Syria. Even before that meeting commences, one thing is clear: The EU’s Big Three are determined to begin work on sanctions against the Assad regime as quickly as possible.

    A paper circulated by Germany, France and the UK ahead of today’s meeting, and obtained by the Financial Times, calls for member states to begin the prep work for travel bans and asset freezes against those top Syrian officials responsible for the violent crackdown against protestors.

    “Our credibility depends on rapid action. Some steps can and should be taken immediately. Others will require run-up,” the paper states. “But the lesson learnt from other countries in the region is that we should put ourselves in a position to take action as quickly as possible on a wide variety of measures.”

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 07:54:25 AM PDT

  •  thank you all for being here this morning. -nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, ferg, bee tzu, Lawrence
  •  Syria: update re UNHRC (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, bee tzu, UnaSpenser, Lawrence

    AFP via NOW Lebanon, UN rights council votes for mission to probe Syria

    The 47-nation UN Human Rights Council on Friday voted for a revised US-led resolution on the crackdown in Syria that asked the UN rights chief to send an investigative mission to the country.

    The resolution also "unequivocally condemns the use of lethal violence against peaceful protestors by the Syrian authorities... and urges the Syrian government to immediately put an end to all human rights violations."

    It also "requests the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to urgently dispatch a mission to the Syrian Arab Republic to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law," according to the text released by the United Nations.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 11:19:14 AM PDT

    •  details: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jnhobbs, bee tzu, UnaSpenser, petral

      via ABC, UN Human Rights Council Condemns Syrian Government, Calls for Investigation into Violence

      The US resolution was revised to win more support; initial language calling for an official Commission of Inquiry to investigate the violence, as was called for in Libya, was changed to instead be handled by Human Rights Council staffers, though language still suggests a gathering of evidence, saying the “mission” will “investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law and…establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes perpetrated, with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring full accountability.”

      Twenty-six members of the 47-member forum endorsed the resolution, sponsored by the U.S.

      Nine countries voted against the resolution: Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Gabon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Pakistan, and Russia.

      Seven countries – Cameron, Djibouti, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Uganda and Ukraine -- abstained. Four delegations - Angola, Bahrain, Jordan, and Qatar – were not present.

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 11:21:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bahrain: video refutes legitimacy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, Lawrence, ferg

    if State-produced confession. Shows man confessing, then shows the clear signs of torture on his dead body.

  •  Radio Free Libya thorn in Qaddafi's side (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, UnaSpenser, Lawrence

    From The Guardian:

    Radio Free Libya shakes up Gaddafi regime from Misrata

    Rebel radio station offering mix of information, uncensored debate and revolutionary songs is a thorn in loyalists' side

    It's not Saigon, it's 40 years on, and there's desert rather than jungle all around. But there is a war and there is a radio station and a breakfast show with a familiar name. Instead of Good Morning Vietnam, it's Good Morning Libya, broadcast from rebel-controlled Misrata every day.

    It's the flagship programme of Radio Free Libya, a station seized in February from Muammar Gaddafi, who has permitted no dissenting voice on the airwaves since taking power in 1969. The station, staffed by volunteers, symbolises the defiance of the people of Misrata – and is an object of fury for Gaddafi. His forces shot up the studio, forcing the presenters to move. They also made three unsuccessful attacks, including one by helicopter, on the broadcast tower.

    "It's driving Gaddafi crazy that we are still on air," says Ahmed Hadia, the station's general manager. "We want to make him even crazier."

    Unlike Vietnam, there are no Beach Boys or James Brown on the morning programme. "When we took over my first challenge was to find a song in the library that did not mention Gaddafi," says Hadia, 37. "That was not easy."

    The hour-long show kicks off not with a Robin Williams-style holler but a singsong jingle offering a "good morning to the mothers and the fathers and the sisters and the brothers, from the desert to the sea, from the mountains to the mountains".

  •  Syria: At least 24 killed - Al Jazeera (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, Lawrence, ferg, bee tzu, poco

    Death toll mounts on Syria's 'day of rage'

    Syrian security forces have shot dead at least 24 people, activists claim, as tens of thousands took to the streets in rallies across the country dubbed a "day of rage" by anti-government protesters.

    At least 15 people were reported killed near Deraa where security forces fired on thousands of protesters trying to enter the besieged southern city, sources told Al Jazeera's Rula Amin.

    ( .. )

    "Deraa has been under siege since Monday morning. Residents from the surrounding villages were trying to break the siege as they tried to get supplies," our correspondent said.

    "They met with hostile security forces who fired at them and we know that at least 15 people were killed.

  •  Syria: Al Jazeera - Liveblog (4+ / 0-)

    Updates from Al Jazeera sources:

    Two smaller protests took place in Damascus today. In Ashma Square to the south of Damascus around 800 protesters chanted for the fall of the regime, but were soon surrounded by police and regime supporters, so the protest was abandoned, according to an eyewitness.

    In the Hammediyye souk in the Old City a smaller protest of some 300 people took place, which was quickly dispersed when police in cars and on motor bikes drove at the protestors, according to an eyewitness. He said that no one was hurt.

    In the central industrial city of Homs, a focus of anti-regime protests over the pasty fortnight, security personnel opened fire as protesters were leaving the demonstration there today, according to an eyewitness. There was no word yet of casualties, but soldiers in armoured personnel carriers and the secret police had arrested protesters on Cairo Street, he said.

    In the north-west Kurdish-majority city of Hassake around 1,000 protesters gathered in front the Ghwairan Mosque, according to an eyewitness, but due to the heavy security presence other protesters were prevented from joining them.

    The eyewitness said the protest, which was smaller than those seen on previous Fridays, had been hampered by the call from the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in support of demonstrations.

    “Let’s do it another time,” he said in summing up the feeling of Kurds he has spoken with who were reluctant to be associated with an Islamist group, membership of which is punishable by death in Syria.

  •  Libya: Residents returning to Ajdabiyah (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, Lawrence, ferg, bee tzu, mimi

    Libyans return to frontline town in boost to rebels - Reuters

    Weeks of fighting against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had all but emptied the eastern flash-point town of Ajdabiyah, but some residents are trickling back as confidence strengthens in the rebel army.

    The insurgents have replaced the ragtag volunteers who used to guard Ajdabiyah with officers who had defected from Gaddafi's army, a move seen as key to defending the gateway to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

    On Friday, some 2,000 people turned up for weekly Muslim prayers in Ajdabiyah's main square, including many residents who had fled after the uprising against Gaddafi began on February 17.

    "We are still scared. Gaddafi's forces fired about seven rockets yesterday," said Emghaib Elzawy, an oil company employee who had escaped to Benghazi shortly after the fighting erupted.

    "But we have to come back to Ajdabiyah. I've also brought my wife and children back," he told Reuters.

    Many people said Friday's gathering was the biggest seen in the town for weeks, and a show of defiance after government forces fired rockets at the town. An effigy of Gaddafi hung from a pole in the square above unexploded artillery shells.

  •  LIBYA - Interesting atricle, expressing the views (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    petral, ferg, killjoy, bee tzu, poco


    Libyan-Americans urge U.S. recognition of Libyan opposition

     April 19th, 2011 9:29 pm PT

    Hasan Rahim

    San Jose Community Colleges Examiner

    Libyan-Americans are urging President Obama to recognize the Libyan opposition's National Council as the legitimate representative of Libyans. “I don’t know why our government is dragging its feet,” asked Faraj in frustration. “France, Italy and Qatar have recognized the rebels. Why not America?”

    Faraj is an electronics engineer in Silicon Valley, California. He came to America as a student from Libya in 1978. After graduation, he couldn’t return home because of threats on his life by Muammar Gadhafi’s dreaded security squad. He was outspoken in his denunciation of Gadhafi’s police state.

    “Libya used to be a peaceful and prosperous country,” said Faraj. “But now it's probably the most backward country in the world.”

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 12:28:59 PM PDT

    •  Quite a bit of negative propaganda there (0+ / 0-)
      “Libya used to be a peaceful and prosperous country,” said Faraj. “But now it's probably the most backward country in the world.”

      Libya has the highest GDP(PPP) and HDI in Africa. The relative outlays in military, education and health are matched by few countries.

      Health in Libya
      In comparison to other states in the Middle East, the health status of the population is relatively good.

      Here's some information pre-revolution. BTW, there are dozens of older reports and newspaper articles such as this.
      Helen Chapin Metz, ed.
      Libya: A Country Study.
      Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1987.

      University enrollment figures for the 1980s were unavailable in 1987. However, they had risen without interruption since the 1950s, and it seemed probable that this trend was continuing. About 3,000 students were enrolled in the University of Libya in 1969. By 1975 the figure was up to 12,000, and a 1980 total of 25,000 was projected. Female enrollments rose dramatically during this period, from 9 percent of total enrollments in the 1970-71 period, to 20 percent in the 1978-79 period, to 24 percent in the early 1980s.

      In the 1970s, many students went abroad for university and graduate training; in 1978 about 3,000 were studying in the United States alone. In the early 1980s, however, the government was no longer willing to grant fellowships for study abroad, preferring to educate young Libyans at home for economic and political reasons. In 1985 Libyan students in Western countries were recalled and their study grants terminated. Although precise information was lacking, many students were reportedly reluctant to interrupt their programs and return home.
      At independence, the overall literacy rate among Libyans over the age of ten did not exceed 20 percent. By 1977, with expanding school opportunities, the rate had risen to 51 percent overall, or 73 percent for males and 31 percent for females. Relatively low though it was, the rate for females had soared from the scanty 6 percent registered as recently as 1964. In the early 1980s, only estimates of literacy were available--about 70 percent for men and perhaps 35 percent for women.

      In 1987 education was free at all levels, and university students received substantial stipends. Attendance was compulsory between the ages of six and fifteen years or until completion of the preparatory cycle of secondary school. The administrative or current expenses budget for 1985 allocated 7.5 percent of the national budget (LD90.4 million) to education through university level. Allocations for 1983 and 1984 were slightly less--about LD85 million), just under 6 percent of total administrative outlays.

      University students were restless and vocal but also somewhat lacking in application and motivation. They played an active role in university affairs through student committees, which debated a wide range of administrative and educational matters and which themselves became arenas for confrontation between radical and moderate factions. University students were also among the few groups to express open dissatisfaction with the Qadhafi government. One major source of tension arose from the regime's constant intervention to control and politicize education on all levels, whereas most Libyans regarded education as the path to personal and social advancement, best left free of government meddling.

      Working for the Colonel: opportunities in Libya
      12 June 2009

      Forty years of isolation has left Libya desperate for reconstruction and rolling in money. So it’s spending billions on national renewal, and if you’re clever you’ll help it out. Oh, it helps if you like coffee
      Ask most UK construction bosses what they think about Libya and they will tell you they are “looking at it”. It’s easy to see why. If Libya builds even half what is planned, there is enough work to keep many UK firms busy for the next decade. The government has pledged to spend at least $50bn (£33bn) on public works, particularly housing and infrastructure, before 2012. It has $100bn overall earmarked for infrastructure – that’s about seven London Olympics or four Crossrails – and private development is taking off. What’s more, Tripoli’s isolation from the world economy and vast oil reserves means it’s practically unaffected by the global downturn. Oh, and thanks to our part in overthrowing a particularly oppressive Italian regime back in 1948, the Libyans just love the Brits …
      Cyril Sweet’s Kingston says: “People think this is a fundamentalist military state but it’s a lovely place – you see people smoking sheesha, drinking coffee outside cafes. It’s a lot like being in Italy.”
      There is no capital gains tax, no VAT, and no GST in Libya.

  •  LIBYA - Nice trailer done by a young (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bee tzu, mimi

    activists in Libya about the Libyan youth.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 12:38:59 PM PDT

    •  P.S. (0+ / 0-)

      Una, this might be a nice one for the body of the diary, as it has alot of young Libyans directly expressing their stories and views.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 12:40:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Zanga zanga! Dar dar! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bee tzu, jnhobbs

    (Sorry, this looks as if it's not going to embed.) "Zanga zanga! Dar dar!" (meaning: "from every alley and every house" has become a rallying cry of the Arab awakening. Ironically, the words are taken from a speech by Kadhafi and turned against him, as per the following:

    Zanga Zanga : Dernier Single de Kadhafi!!! by FAYYYY

    [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

    by WOIDgang on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 01:36:45 PM PDT

  •  Syria: EU agreement on sanctions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bee tzu, ferg, Lawrence

    Reuters, EU to impose arms embargo on Syria

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union member states reached preliminary agreement to Friday to impose an arms embargo on Syria and consider other restrictive measures in response to Syria's crackdown on protests, diplomats said.

    At a meeting in Brussels, ambassadors of EU governments gave a preliminary green light to the arms embargo and a ban on equipment used for repression, which will have to be formalized in the coming days.

    They also asked EU experts to prepare plans for possible travel bans and asset freezes that could be imposed on the Syrian leadership.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 01:37:03 PM PDT

  •  Syria: Big march in Damascus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Lawrence

    Don't know if this is a different one that that mentioned earlier by jnhobbs or if the numbers are just different

    The Guardian Liveblog

    4.04pm: Campaigners say about 10,000 Syrians marched in support of Deraa from the old Midan district of Damascus. It was the biggest protest in the capital since the mass democracy movement began six weeks ago, activists told Reuters.

    The protest, which started from Midan and surrounding districts and grew, was dispersed by security forces firing tear gas at protesters around Mujtahed hospital near the main Umayyad Square, they said.

  •  Syria: Summery of today's protests (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, ferg, Lawrence

    Guardian Liveblog

    3.33pm - Syria: Activists are starting to take stock of today's protests, says a source in Damascus.

    "The size may be as big as last week despite the crackdown, but importantly we saw more protests in Damascus," said one monitor.

    Protests took place once again in Midan, but also in Bab Srejah, in the old city, Hajar al-Aswad, Barzeh and Qadam - and area close to the train station.

    There are also reports of a number of small protests in Aleppo, where a heavy security presence makes gatherings difficult. In addition, protests took place in over a dozen places including Idleb, Homs, Hama, Lattakia, Banias, Deir Ezzor, Salamiya, Qamishli, a protest around Deraa by people from neighbouring towns, many towns in rural Damascus, the Jordanian border (Ramtha), Ras Elein and Amouda in Hassakeh province.

    Activists say Deraa and Douma are under siege and very few people were able to get out onto the streets. No-one was allowed to go to pray in Douma, according to activists. It is notable that the regime is not using force against protesters in the north-eastern Kurdish region.

  •  Syria: Scars of life under authoritarian rule (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi, ferg, Lawrence

    A Guardian reporter relates examples of the suffering experienced in the lives of Syrians he has met - here is one man's story friend confided in me a story that illustrates how the arbitrariness and thoughtlessness of the Syrian regime combines with other social pressures. For a number of years, Yusuf was in love with a girl from his village. When he finally decided to ask her father for permission to marry, her father said no and proceeded to engage his daughter to another man. Yet my friend could not forget his love so easily and continued to see her even though he had been forbidden to do so. Unfortunately, her father was an important man in the internal security services. When he found out that Yusuf was still seeing his daughter, he wrote a false report that landed Yusuf in jail for several days, where he was beaten.

    Even that was not enough. Yusuf was then sent to Damascus where he was held and tortured for another 11 days – until his father intervened and convinced high officials within the internal security services that my friend was a genuine supporter of President Bashar al-Assad and the regime. As proof, he showed them a poem my friend had written about the president. A general saw the poem and loved it so much that Yusuf was released.

    This is not an unusual story, and the subsequent psychological pain it causes is great. My dear friend bears scars that are both physical and psychological. Unable to be with the girl he loved, and having just been through a terrible ordeal, he took a knife and proceeded to slash his arms and his chest.

  •  Egypt: Univ Prof to be tried in military court for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi, ferg, Lawrence

    insulting the military

    The US is just a hairsbreadth away from this, I fear
    Daily News Egypt

    CAIRO: Law professor at the American University in Cairo Amr El-Shalakany was arrested two days ago and will be tried in a military court in Suez, according to rights activist and a member of "No for Military Trials for Civilians" campaign, Mona Saif,

    El- Shalakany faces a possible sentence of 15 years in prison for "insulting the supreme military council" and causing riots and burning a police station.

    Hailing from a family of prominent lawyers, El-Shalakany has not yet been officially charged. He was arrested when he attempted to drive in a restricted area near Neama Bay in Sharm El-Shiekh, one of Egypt’s top beach resorts in South Sinai.

    He allegedly exchanged verbal insults with the military officers who tried to stop him.

    Initially he was to be released Friday when the detaining officers suddenly decided to transfer him to Suez for a trial under martial law.

    "We assume that he would not set fire in a police station, and would calculate his actions in this context, as someone who is very aware of Egyptian law," said Saif.

    El-Shalakany's lawyer could not be reached for comment by press time.

  •  Egypt: CBS' Lara Logan describes attack (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, mimi, ferg, Lawrence, killjoy

    Huffington Post

    In interviews with "60 Minutes" and the New York Times which were released on Thursday, (Lara) Logan described what happened when the mob surrounded her.

    "Our camera battery went down, and we had to stop for a moment, and suddenly, Bahar [the Egyptian cameraman] looks at me and says, 'we've got to get out of here,'" she told CBS' Scott Pelley. "I thought, not only am I going to die here, but it's going to be just a torturous death that's going to go on forever and ever and ever."

    Logan told the Times that the attack lasted for 40 minutes and involved 200 to 300 men.

    "For an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands," she said. "My clothes were torn to pieces...what really struck me was how merciless they were. They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence."

    She said she wrote the statement disclosing what happened to her in Februrary because it “didn’t leave me to carry the burden alone, like my dirty little secret, something that I had to be ashamed of.”

    The full interview with Logan will air on Sunday. She told the Times she does not intend to give any more interviews about the attack.

  •  Libya: Opposition vows to stop using landmines (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, mimi, Lawrence


    Rebel leaders in Libya have pledged to stop using landmines in their fight against Col Muammar Gaddafi.

    The BBC filmed rebels planting anti-vehicle mines near the key town of Ajdabiya earlier this month.

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) researchers said the mines had been laid despite rebel assurances they would not be use the weapons.

    HRW has also gathered evidence of use of mines and cluster munitions by Col Gaddafi's forces.

    On Friday, Nato accused pro-Gaddafi troops of "completely ignoring international law" by laying anti-ship mines outside the harbour in the city of Misrata.

    The devices planted by rebels were identified as PRB-M3 anti-tank mines produced in Belgium during the 1970s and 1980s.

    Tens of thousands of the mines, which are cased in plastic and contain almost 7kg (15lb) of explosives, have been found stockpiled in depots in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in eastern Libya.

    Libya's opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) has now issued a formal pledge not to use landmines and to destroy all mines held in rebel stockpiles.

  •  thanks to all for posting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, bee tzu, Lawrence

    I start my day reading after a long day of work and find it a great relief to read through the thread and "get a picture" of what has happened during the day.

  •  Syria: Syrian forces kill 62 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bee tzu, Lawrence

    Syrian forces kill 62, U.S. toughens sanctions


    Security forces killed more than 60 people across Syria on Friday during demonstrations demanding the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, and the United States imposed new sanctions on key figures.
    A medical source told Reuters soldiers in Deraa killed 19 people when they fired on thousands of protesters descending from nearby villages in a show of solidarity with the southern city where Syria's uprising broke out six weeks ago.

    Syrian human rights group Sawasiah said it had the names of a total of 62 people killed during protests in Deraa, Rustun, Latakia, Homs and the town of Qadam, near Damascus. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights gave a similar death toll.

    Friday's bloodshed occurred as demonstrators across the country again defied heavy military deployments, mass arrests and a ruthless crackdown on the biggest popular challenge to 48 years of authoritarian Baath Party rule.

    U.S. President Barack Obama imposed new sanctions against Syrian figures, including a brother of Assad in charge of troops in Deraa, the first diplomatic reprisal for Syria's violent crackdown.

    Obama signed an executive order imposing sanctions on the intelligence agency, Assad's cousin Atif Najib and his brother Maher, who commands the army division which stormed into Deraa on Monday.

  •  Bahrain: Four protesters sentenced to death (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    by firing squad. The Saudi militarily supported government of Bahrain was especially brutal in putting down the demonstrators there. It also look's like they will be even more brutal in punishing them. They are determined to break the protesters spirit so that it will never occur again.
    Human rights activists claim men convicted of killing two policemen did not receive a fair trial
  •  Amy Goodman - The Courage of Truth (2011) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, jnhobbs
    Special: Amy Goodman - The Courage of Truth (2011)

    In this Link TV special Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! speaks out on Egypt, Wikileaks and the critical need for transparency in wartime. Filmed April 10th, 2011, this powerful speech will leave you charged up, inspired and informed.

  •  BURKINA FASO: How Compaoré relates to Ouattara (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, petral, jnhobbs

    There is thoughts about Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, as they interdepend on each other.
    As said here Burkina Faso Police Join in Popular Unrest

    Police officers in Burkina Faso joined a growing wave of popular unrest on Thursday, firing their weapons in the air and shooting tear gas as discontent over high prices, low wages and the 24-year-rule of President Blaise Compaoré spread in the landlocked West African nation.
    Mr. Compaoré was re-elected with over 80 percent of the vote last fall, amid opposition complaints of an unfair election, and his rule has mostly gone unchallenged in a country where 80 percent of the population relies on subsistence agriculture and three quarters are illiterate.
    But with the political crisis this year in a neighboring state, Ivory Coast, on which Burkina Faso is economically dependent — thousands migrate there for work, and most goods pass through the port in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s main city — the country’s economy has suffered and social discontent has mushroomed.

    As said by John Campbell, here some nice little tidbit of analysis about the events in Burkina Faso in his article Uganda and Burkina Faso: More Unrest.
    He writes that Hank Cohen, former US assistant secretary for Africa, believes that Burkina Faso strongman Blaise Compaore, who now faces unrest in his country, has much to gain from his involvement in Ivory Coast over the last two decades: Here his explanations as quoted in the article:

    The real winner in the Côte d’Ivoire drama is Blaise Compaore, the President of Burkina Faso. He has been behind every destabilizing action since Houphouet died in 1993.

    1. (He) Advised then P.M. Ouattara not to implement constitution that required President of the National Assembly to assume Presidency. Ouattara failed, Bédié became President and Ouattara was fired.

    2. (He)Masterminded coup against Bédié in 1999. Interim President Gueye double-crossed Blaise Compaore by failing to give presidency to Ouattara. Instead, Gbagbo won the election while Ouattara was not allowed to run.

    3. (He)Masterminded attempted overthrow of Gbagbo by “New Forces” in 2002, thereby splitting country in two.

    4.(He) Fully funded and armed “New Forces” in the north leading to military victory over Gbagbo’s forces in 2011.

    Seems as if Ouattara is dependent on Compaoré, but Compaoré might also be dependent on a prosperous Ivory Coast, for his people being able to work unharmed as migrant workers in Ivory Coast and make a better living there than in his own impoverished country.

    The story is not over, as everybody in Burkina Faso is  angry at high prices, everybody is poor and nobody has confidence in the government.

    Meanwhile The Lightning Rod President Ouattara of Ivory Coast himself might be the "biggest obstacle in the coming months", as DANIEL BALINT-KURTI  writes in the FP. The reasons for that need another comment. Suffice to say that it doesn't seem helpful if
    Ivory Coast Troops Kill Powerful Warlord

    Troops of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara have killed an insurgent warlord once loyal to the new president, in a new round of violence that highlights the difficulty of reuniting the West African nation edging back from civil war.
    Although Mr. Coulibaly's forces helped oust strongman Mr. Gbagbo, they also have so far refused to lay down arms for his elected successor, Mr. Ouattara. And unlike many military commanders who pledged allegiance to Mr. Ouattara after Mr. Gbagbo's arrest, Mr. Coulibaly declined to do so.
    He was expecting political reward in exchange for his help in ousting Mr. Gbagbo, people familiar with the matter said.
    "You cannot expect a general to do the work and then be tossed aside," a top official within the Invisible Commandos said.
    On Wednesday, government troops raided Mr. Coulibaly's stronghold in Abobo, a district in Abidjan. Mr. Coulibaly was killed during the subsequent fighting, a government spokesman said.
    The death of Mr. Coulibaly, who once guarded Mr. Outtara's wife, could spark more fighting, should allies to IB—as Mr. Coulibaly called himself—opt to challenge the president's authority.

    Now all we need to know if Mr. Coulibaly may has had relations to Compaoré ... wait, that's CT and I don't want to go there...
    (If Africans and Americans have something in common, then it's their love for anything conspiratorial :-) /snark)

    PS - Even if this doesn't look like we watch a revolution in those countries, it's pretty much the same suffering, poverty, oppression and insecurity for the majority of the people. Violence always just one neighbor apart from your house.

  •  Massive anti-government protests in Yemen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, jnhobbs, UnaSpenser
    More troops join anti-government protests in Yemen
    More soldiers have been joining anti-government protests on the streets of the capital Sana'a.

    The calls for President Saleh to step down after 32 years of rule have grown steadily louder in the protests that are now in their third month.

  •  working on today's diary. if you know of any (0+ / 0-)

    good independent photos or videos please pass along the links!

    Thank you.

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