Today marks the two year anniversary of the overthrow of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak in Egypt
Protesters demanding the departure of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi clashed with police outside his palace on Monday on the second anniversary of the overthrow of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Dozens of youths threw rocks at the Ettihadiya palace after a peaceful march by thousands of demonstrators who accused Mursi’s conservative Muslim Brotherhood of hijacking Egypt’s democratic revolution and seeking to monopolize power.
READ ON: Egypt protesters, police clash on Mubarak anniversary
Syria’s defense minister and President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law were killed in a Damascus suicide bomb attack carried out by a bodyguard on Wednesday, the most serious blow to Assad’s high command in the country’s 16-month-old rebellion.
The bomber, said by a security source to be a bodyguard assigned to Assad’s inner circle, struck a meeting attended by ministers and senior security officials as battles raged within sight of the presidential palace.
State television said Defence Minister Daoud Rajha and Assad’s brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, the deputy defence minister, had been killed in a “terrorist bombing” and pledged to wipe out “criminal gangs”.
A Syrian security source confirmed Shawkat, 62, - a pillar of Assad’s rule - was killed and said intelligence chief Hisham Bekhtyar was wounded. State television said Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar had also been wounded in the blast.
This village in northwest Myanmar has the besieged air of a refugee camp. It is clogged with people living in wooden shacks laid out on a grid of trash-strewn lanes. Its children are pot-bellied with malnutrition.
But Takebi’s residents are not refugees. They are Rohingya, a stateless Muslim people of South Asian descent now at the heart of Myanmar’s worst sectarian violence in years. The United Nations has called them “virtually friendless” in Myanmar, the majority-Buddhist country that most Rohingya call home. Today, as Myanmar opens up, they appear to have more enemies than ever.
Armed with machetes and bamboo spears, rival mobs of Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists this month torched one another’s houses and transformed nearby Sittwe, the capital of the western state of Rakhine, into a smoke-filled battleground. A torrent of Rohingyas has tried to flee Rakhine into impoverished Bangladesh, but most are being pushed back, a Bangladeshi Border Guard commander told Reuters on Thursday.
SPECIAL REPORT: Plight of Muslim minority threatens Myanmar Spring
Bashar al-Assad always said Syria would be different.
When the Arab uprisings first erupted more than a year ago, the Syrian president confidently said his government was in tune with its people, ready to reform on its own terms, and immune from the turmoil starting to sweep the region.
Within weeks he was proved wrong, when a few dozen protesters took to the streets of Damascus on March 15 to call for greater freedoms, setting off one of the most protracted and bloodiest of all the Arab revolts.
But while those uprisings toppled four Arab leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, the 46-year-old Assad has withstood the year-long turmoil, deploying tanks, elite troops and artillery to crush rebellion across the country.
“I did feel that Syria was so important, and that story wouldn’t be told otherwise, that it was worth taking risks for.”
The White House announced plans on Monday to help “Arab Spring” countries swept by revolutions with more than $800 million in economic aid, while maintaining U.S. military aid to Egypt.
In his annual budget message to Congress, President Barack Obama asked that military aid to Egypt be kept at the level of recent years — $1.3 billion — despite a crisis triggered by an Egyptian probe targeting American democracy activists.
Obama proposed $51.6 billion in funding for the U.S. State Department and foreign aid overall, when $8.2 billion in assistance to war zones is included. The “core budget” for the category would increase by 1.6 percent, officials said.
Most of the economic aid for the Arab Spring countries — $770 million — would go to establish a new “Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund,” the president said in his budget plan.
A demonstrator takes part in a protest demanding the army hand power to civilians, in front of the state television building in Cairo January 30, 2012. [REUTERS/Suhaib Salem]
At least 384 children have been killed during Syria’s 10-month uprising and virtually the same number have been jailed, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday.
“As of January 7, 384 children have been killed, most are boys. Some 380 children have been detained, some less than 14 years old,” Rima Salah, acting UNICEF deputy executive director, told reporters in Geneva.
We’ve seen the Arab Spring. Maybe this is the Hollywood Spring.
Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, speaking on a panel about the Stop Online Piracy Act at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.