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Reports: U.S. urges Mubarak not to seek another term – NewsTrust

February 2, 2011

Reports: U.S. urges Mubarak not to seek another term – NewsTrust.

Hundreds of thousands of cheering demonstrators packed this capital city’s central plaza Tuesday, triumphantly predicting that their week-old pro-democracy movement was on the verge of ousting long-time President Hosni Mubarak.

Why Students Are Rioting in London?

January 31, 2011

Riots U.K.


The news came, and the fires followed. On Dec. 9, sometime after 5 p.m., Britain’s Parliament passed a bill to triple university tuition fees to $15,000. Within minutes, peaceful student demonstrations descended into chaos, and Parliament Square — home to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey — transformed into ground zero. Protesters broke through metal barricades and used them to smash windows at the Supreme Court. They urinated on a statue of Winston Churchill. And they scaled the Cenotaph — the sacred memorial to the nation’s fallen soldiers — to rip down the Union Jack. As the night progressed, a mob of 50 demonstrators — many wearing full-face balaclavas — attacked the car carrying Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, denting its doors and pelting it with paint bombs. To anyone standing outside Parliament, amid riot police, injured students and plumes of smoke, one thing became clear: London was burning.
For students in the U.S., the widespread violence may be difficult to understand: $15,000 seems like a bargain compared with the $50,000 price tag of America‘s most expensive private universities. But until 1997, British students paid little or nothing to attend college because Britain’s government footed the bill through the national budget. In 1996, though, Conservative Prime Minister John Major commissioned a report endorsing the introduction of means-tested, mandatory tuition. Since then, the cost of attending college has risen steadily, climbing from $4,700 in 2003 to $5,000 in 2009 for students from the wealthiest backgrounds. The decision to suddenly raise fees by 200% has left students feeling cheated. “In Britain we believe in free education as a social good for all, and education should be based on social values and have nothing to do with money and consumerism,” says Daisy Jones, student union president at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. “It should be a right for everyone.”

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Britain’s Tuition-Fee Protests Turn Violent

January 31, 2011

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A rioter winds up to kick a smoke grenade back...

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Protests turned violent in London Wednesday, as nearly 100 students occupied Britain’s Conservative Party Headquarters, leading to a standoff with police over the U.K.’s proposal to increase fees and cut government funding of higher education in England.
Around 50,000 students and teachers traveled to London for a march and rally in Westminster against the Government’s plans to raise yearly fees from $5,300 to $14,500. What started out as a peaceful protest in the capital early in the day suddenly turned violent. A small minority headed to the Tory Headquarters where placards were set on fire, smoke bombs and missiles were thrown at police and windows were smashed by rioters, reports the BBC. Within two hours, the entire lobby of the Conservative Party was destroyed, followed by riot police entering to regain control and evacuate the building.
Police blamed the riots on that small minority of protesters.

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U.S., British Govts Keep Pressure on WikiLeaks

January 30, 2011

Washington Capitol, DC

Image by Francisco Diez via Flickr

U.S. and British government officials have begun a global crackdown against pro-WikiLeaks “hacktivists” who briefly shut down Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and December 9. The loose group of hacktivists began a global cyber-attack called “Operation Payback” against the companies that earlier had caved-in to what was likely a U.S. federal government pressure campaign and similar electronic attack against the WikiLeaks website earlier in the year.

Five British citizens were arrested on January 27 in the anti-WikiLeaks government probe, and the U.S. government issued 40 search warrants the same day in a related move. The British arrests all involved young men aged 15 to 26. ABC News reported that many of the U.S. searches were “conducted in the San Francisco Bay area and the Boston area as part of an ongoing investigation that involved 26 FBI field offices executing search warrants.”

One of the search warrants issued in the United States was served against Georgia Tech freshman Zhiwei Chen on January 27. According to the college newspaper, Technique, Chen wrote: “I was a passive admin for Operation Payback and quit early to avoid complications with the law, but it seems the FBI has gotten the better of me.”

WikiLeaks Logo


Visa, Mastercard and Paypal — the corporations targeted by hactivists in Operation Payback — had denied cardholder donations to WikiLeaks. An internal Visa investigation concluded January 27 that WikiLeaks had not broken any laws, but Visa continues to ban its customers from using their credit cards to donate to WikiLeaks.

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police shot dead 17 people trying to attack two police stations in Beni Suef governorate

January 29, 2011

Beni Suef (5)

Image by b-e-m via Flickr

9.46pm: Reuters reports that police shot dead 17 people trying to attack two police stations in Beni Suef governorate, according to witnesses and medical sources. Twelve of those shot were attempting to attack a police station in Biba while five others were trying to attack another in Nasser city. Dozens of others were injured in the exchanges.

Egypt Protests: Thousands Fill Streets To Protest Mubarak

January 27, 2011

CNN Election Express

Image via Wikipedia

via Live Blog

Today 3:19 PM Posterous Reaches Out To Egypt

Posterous is encouraging people experiencing Twitter/Facebook blackouts to post using email. The site writes: With Twitter and Facebook now shut down in Egypt to quell government protests, email is the only reliable sharing platform left.  Same story in China. If you’re living or traveling there, email posting via Posterous Sites or Groups is the only way to get videos and photos to your Posterous site and reposted to Twitter and Facebook. Sharing information to people in a country that blocks social media is also difficult. Posterous solves this problem by delivering the full content of your posts via email to your subscribers. This means that anyone with access to an email account can read your posts, even within a blocked country.

Today 3:15 PM Texting Not Working?

CNN’s Ben Wedeman is reporting that SMS might not be working in Cairo:

@ bencnn : I tried. It does look like SMS service on Mobinil IS NOT working. #Jan25 #Egypt


UN Forum on Human Rights: Stay and Fight or Walk Away?

January 24, 2011

In July 2009, President Barack Obama signed th...

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The ascension of Republicans in the Congress, most notably Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, means the Obama administration will face a lot more scrutiny, if not outright hostility, toward its policy of principled engagement on human rights at the United Nations. There are few foreign policy debates where the differences between the two sides are starker.

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