Egypt Opposition movement calls for “march of millions” on Tuesday in a bid to topple president Hosni Mubarak

“]al Jazeera, 31 Jan 2011

Egyptian protesters have called for a massive demonstration and a rolling general strike on Tuesday in a bid to force out president Hosni Mubarak from power.

Our producer in Egypt reports on the latest developments

The so-called April 6 Movement said it plans to have more than one million people on the streets of the capital Cairo, as anti-government sentiment reaches a fever pitch.

The call came as Mubarak swore in a new cabinet in an attempt to defuse ongoing demonstrations across the country.

But opposition groups say personnel changes will not placate them and have said they will continue until the president steps down.

“The whole regime must come down,” Hassan, a construction worker and protester told the Reuters news agency.

 

“We do not want anyone from Mubarak’s retinue in the new government, which the people will choose. We want a civil government run by the people themselves.” Continue reading

Prisoners escape Egypt prisons

al Jazeera

January 30, 2011
Scores of prisoners, possibly in their thousands, have managed to escape from Egyptian jails in the chaos caused by mass protests across the country. Among those escaped prisoners are some Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.

Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston speaks to one of the escapees – a member of the Army of Islam. He is back at home in Gaza after spending three years at a prison in Cairo.

Israel’s role in the “Save Mubarak” project

31.01.11

Israel urges world to curb criticism of Egypt’s Mubarak

Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is in the West’s interest to maintain the stability of the Egyptian regime.

By Barak Ravid

Israel called on the United States and a number of European countries over the weekend to curb their criticism of President Hosni Mubarak to preserve stability in the region.

Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is in the West’s interest to maintain the stability of the Egyptian regime. The diplomatic measures came after statements in Western capitals implying that the United States and European Union supported Mubarak’s ouster. Continue reading

Nepal: Maoist Rival Factions In Media War

myrepublica.com

KATHMANDU, Jan 30: In a clear manifestation of boiling intra-party turmoil, the rival factions of the UCPN (Maoist) have intensified their media war against each other – attacking the rivals’ characters and ideological positions.

The deepening animosity between Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai is reflected in the latest issues of Lal Rakshak and Samaya Bodh — two magazines launched by those close to Dahal and Bhattarai factions respectively.

Lal Rakshak accuses Bhattarai of fearing the “hurricane of people’s revolt” and running away from it, while Samaya Bodh paints Dahal as a leader obsessed with power and bereft of political vision. Continue reading

January 22, 2011: Nepali Maoist army handover ceremony

(http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=27450)

CHANDANI HAMAL

CHITWAN, Jan 22: Amid a special program on Saturday, People´s Liberation Army (PLA) fighters and their cantoned arms will be formally handed over to the Special Committee on Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants. The fighters have been languishing around seven cantonments and 21 satellite camps for about four years.

The handover ceremony will be held from 11 a.m. onwards at the Shaktikhor-based No 2 Division of the PLA.

The ceremony will be observed by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Home Minister Bhim Rawal, Peace Minister Rakam Chemjong, Army chief Chhatra Man Singh Gurung, Inspector General of Armed Police Force Sanat Basnet, distinguished guests from the diplomatic community and human rights activists.

PLA fighters have erected welcome arches from Tandi in Chitwan to the Shaktikhor cantonment, and PLA flags have been hoisted on one side of the arches and national flags on the other. The cantonment football ground, where the formal ceremony will he held, can accommodate some 300 people. Continue reading

Egypt’s Uprising And Its Implications For Palestine

By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada

30 January, 2011

We are in the middle of a political earthquake in the Arab world and the ground has still not stopped shaking. To make predictions when events are so fluid is risky, but there is no doubt that the uprising in Egypt — however it ends — will have a dramatic impact across the region and within Palestine.

If the Mubarak regime falls, and is replaced by one less tied to Israel and the United States, Israel will be a big loser. As Aluf Benn commented in the Israeli daily Haaretz, “The fading power of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s government leaves Israel in a state of strategic distress. Without Mubarak, Israel is left with almost no friends in the Middle East; last year, Israel saw its alliance with Turkey collapse” (“Without Egypt, Israel will be left with no friends in Mideast,” 29 January 2011).

Indeed, Benn observes, “Israel is left with two strategic allies in the region: Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.” But what Benn does not say is that these two “allies” will not be immune either.

Over the past few weeks I was in Doha examining the Palestine Papers leaked to Al Jazeera. These documents underscore the extent to which the split between the US-backed Palestinian Authority in Ramallah headed by Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction, on the one hand, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, on the other — was a policy decision of regional powers: the United States, Egypt and Israel. This policy included Egypt’s strict enforcement of the siege of Gaza. Continue reading

Sudanese police clash with students in Khartoum

Sunday January 30, 2011

By Khaled Abdelaziz

KHARTOUM, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Sudanese police beat and arrested students on Sunday as hundreds protested throughout the capital demanding the government resign, inspired by a popular uprising in neighbouring Egypt.

Heavily armed police patrol Khartoum’s main streets January 30, 2011. Police beat and arrested students in central Khartoum, witnesses said on Sunday, as demonstrations broke out throughout the city demanding the government resign. (REUTERS/Stringer)

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

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

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

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

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

“The people of Sudan will not remain silent any more,” its Facebook page said. “It is about time we demand our rights and take what’s ours in a peaceful demonstration that will not involve any acts of sabotage.”

The pro-democracy group Girifna (“We’re fed up”) said nine members were detained the night before the protest and opposition party officials listed almost 40 names of protesters arrested on Sunday. Five were injured, they added. Continue reading

Al Jazeera Told To Shut Down In Egypt


CAIRO/KUWAIT, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Qatar-based satellite channel Al Jazeera was ordered by Egypt’s information ministry on Sunday to shut down its operations in the country, and later in the day its signal to some parts of the Middle East was cut.

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Egypt demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian 30-year rule, in protests that have sent shockwaves through the Arab world.

The news channel, which says it can reach 220 million households in more than 100 countries, said in a message on its broadcast that Egypt’s satellite Nilesat had cut off its signal. Continue reading

The Torture Career of Egypt’s New Vice President: Omar Suleiman and the Rendition to Torture Program

Published on Sunday, January 30, 2011 by CommonDreams.orgby Stephen Soldz

In response to the mass protests of recent days, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has appointed his first Vice President in his over 30 years rule, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. When Suleiman was first announced, Aljazeera commentators were describing him as a “distinguished” and “respected ” man. It turns out, however, that he is distinguished for, among other things, his central role in Egyptian torture and in the US rendition to torture program. Further, he is “respected” by US officials for his cooperation with their torture plans, among other initiatives.

Katherine Hawkins, an expert on the US’s rendition to torture program, in an email, has sent some critical texts where Suleiman pops up. Thus, Jane Mayer, in The Dark Side, pointed to Suleiman’s role in the rendition program:

Each rendition was authorized at the very top levels of both governments….The long-serving chief of the Egyptian central intelligence agency, Omar Suleiman,     negotiated directly with top Agency officials.  [Former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt] Walker described the Egyptian counterpart, Suleiman, as “very bright, very realistic,” adding that he was cognizant that there was a downside to “some of the negative things that the Egyptians engaged in, of torture and so on. But he was not squeamish, by the way” (pp. 113).

Stephen Grey, in Ghost Plane, his investigative work on the rendition program also points to Suleiman as central in the rendition program:

To negotiate these assurances [that the Egyptians wouldn't "torture" the prisoner delivered for torture] the CIA dealt principally in Egypt through Omar Suleiman, the chief of the Egyptian general intelligence service (EGIS) since 1993. It was he who arranged the meetings with the Egyptian interior ministry…. Suleiman, who understood English well, was an urbane and sophisticated man. Others told me that for years Suleiman was America’s chief interlocutor with the Egyptian regime — the main channel to President Hosni Mubarak himself, even on matters far removed from intelligence and security. Continue reading

Anonymous Internet Users Team Up To Provide Communication Tools For Egyptian People

Huffington Post
Craig Kanalley & Jake Bialer

January 29, 2011
“Internet not working, police cars burning,” sent out one Egyptian. “Today marks a great day for Egypt,” sent out another.

These messages weren’t coming from mobile phones or computers, but from an amateur radio sending out Morse Code somewhere amidst the chaos in Egypt.

The Egyptian government’s efforts to limit communications within the country has triggered a wave of activism from an international group of free speech activists on the Internet called Telecomix. Continue reading

China Microblogs Block Chinese Word for ‘Egypt’

PC World

By Michael Kan, IDG News, Jan 29, 2011

China’s microblogs have blocked searches for the word “Egypt,” a sign that the Chinese government is trying to limit public knowledge of the political unrest occurring in the Middle East.

The blocking appeared to begin over the weekend on the Chinese Twitter-like services operated by Sina, Tencent and Sohu. Queries using the Chinese word for “Egypt” brought no results. “In accordance with the relevant laws, regulations and policies, the search result did not display,” said the response on the Sina microblogging site.

The English word for “Egypt,” however, is still searchable across the sites. Continue reading

The day part of the Internet died: Egypt goes dark

By JORDAN ROBERTSON

The Associated Press, Friday, January 28, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO — About a half-hour past midnight Friday morning in Egypt, the Internet went dead.

Almost simultaneously, the handful of companies that pipe the Internet into and out of Egypt went dark as protesters were gearing up for a fresh round of demonstrations calling for the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s nearly 30-year rule, experts said.

Egypt has apparently done what many technologists thought was unthinkable for any country with a major Internet economy: It unplugged itself entirely from the Internet to try and silence dissent. Continue reading

NYTimes: “U.S. wants to see an overhaul, not overthrow, in Egypt”

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in the White House in Washington September 1, 2010

While not objecting to Hosni Mubarak’s government reshuffle, a senior Obama administration official says far more change is needed, including giving opposition groups and activists more freedom. What the U.S. wants to avoid is a repeat of Iran’s 1979 revolution.

By Paul Richter, Washington Bureau

January 29, 2011

Reporting from Washington —

U.S. officials didn’t object Saturday to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s government reshuffle but made it clear they want to see far more change in the days ahead.

A senior administration official said the United States is looking for “‘managed change’ – adjustments over a fairly extended period of time that allows you to manage it in a fairly orderly way.”

While the administration is pressing for the opposition groups and civil activists to be given more political influence, “that doesn’t necessarily mean the governing coalition will be swept away, not at all,” the official said.

 

Does this old Disney colonialist cartoon still reflect the Washington view of Arabia?

He constrasted managed change with what happened in 1979, when the U.S. backed the shah of Iran until his government was swept away and it produced “something that was unexpected and in many respects much worse than what it replaced.”

The official, who said he was not authorized to speak publicly, said it remained unclear where the Egyptian military is coming down in the contest between Mubarak and the opposition.

While Washington has been sharpening the pressure on Egypt – including a threat to withdraw its $1.5 billion in aid – the dialogue between the two sides “is not disagreeable. We’re a friend of Egypt,” he said.

Publicly, the Obama administration called for Mubarak to make “real reform” in his government, but voiced no objection to his decision to appoint a new vice president and Cabinet.

The State Department’s chief spokesman, Philip Crowley, said in a Twitter message Saturday morning that the Egyptian government “can’t reshuffle the deck and then stand pat. President Mubarak’s pledging reform must be followed by action.”

Soon afterward, Mubarak named his intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, as vice president, a post that has been vacant during his 29-year tenure. Continue reading

The mis-named “Anti-Defamation League” defames Palestinian rights, urges US to continue isolation with Zionists

Major Jewish group urges US to veto Arab-backed move in SecurityCouncil

Jan 28, 2011

New York – The Anti-Defamation League on Friday called for the United States to veto a draft resolution asking the UN Security Council to declare ‘illegal’ Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem.

The draft is sponsored by more than 80 governments, including those in Arab and Islamic countries, in support of the Palestinian people. Arab diplomats at UN headquarters in New York said the move was intended to advance the issue of a Palestinian state once the Jewish settlements are declared illegal by the 15-nation council. Continue reading

Wall Street Journal: “Egypt’s Regime on the Brink; Mubarak Digs In as Mobs Battle Police”

[The Wall Street Journal is US imperialism's journalistic watchdog of the bottom line--i.e., how world events affect imperialist financial affairs.  Here, the WSJ examines the events in Egypt as they unfold, with an eye on how well the "mobs" (as they call the people) are being managed and how new power alignments are being manipulated for imperialist interests . -- Frontlines ed.]

The Wall Street Journal, JANUARY 29, 2011

by CHARLES LEVINSON And MATT BRADLEY

A protestor gestures to riot policeman in front of the l-Istiqama Mosque in Giza, Cairo. Thousands of police are on the streets of the capital and hundreds of arrests have been made in an attempt to quell anti-government demonstrations.

CAIRO—President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year grip on power hung in the balance as protesters massed around Egypt and overpowered the police, prompting the army to deploy on the streets of the nation for the first time in 25 years.

The protesters returned to Cairo’s central Tahrir Square Saturday, chanting slogans against Mr. Mubarak after Egyptian television broadcast a speech in which the president signaled he would stay but dismiss his government.

“There is no turning back from the path of reform that we chose,” he said. “We seek more democracy and freedoms.”

His address appeared to only heighten the gulf between Mr. Mubarak and the tens of thousands of protesters who took part in Friday’s planned “Day of Wrath” against what they characterized as the regime’s oppression, stagnation and lack of opportunity.

The words also highlighted the divide between Mr. Mubarak and his longtime ally, the U.S., which threatened to withdraw more than $1 billion in military aid. President Barack Obama said Friday evening he spoke with Mr. Mubarak and told him to refrain from violence and take “concrete steps” to advance the rights of Egyptians. “This moment of volatility has to be turned into a moment of promise,” he said. Continue reading