A R A B I C A ارابيكا
*As Ramadan begins, the Syrian government's campaign to stamp out protests is intensifying, with more than 140 civilians reported dead in the past 48 hours. Meanwhile, the scale of protests is also intensifying as the military shifts its focus back to the central Syrian city of Hama. Here, a widow cries over her husband's body. The person who posted the clip writes, "Do not grieve, my sister. He has gone to a place where his head is held most high." Several comments under the clip extend blessings and prayers for the widow, with one writing, "May God send you and your family to the greatest paradise." Many gruesome post-mortem videos are posted on the Syrian Revolution Facebook site.
CASTLES MADE OF SAND
*Here, a cartoon of a member of Syrian security forces on a beach protecting a sand castle as an enormous wave is about to sweep them away.
NO THANK YOU
*The Egyptian Muslim-Christian organization called "Family Home" denounced the American appointment of a special envoy to the Middle East to specialize in protecting the rights of religious minorities. Egyptian news site Al Youm Al Sabaa quoted a Family House statement as saying that "Egyptian Christians and Muslims have respectfully lived side by side for 15 centuries. They are united and share each others' lives and support similar goals for the nation." The statement was signed by Mahmoud Zaqzouq, a former minister for Islamic affairs, and a secretary to the Coptic Pope Shenouda III.
ON TRIAL'S EVE
*Al Hayat reports on Egyptian security forces storming of Tahrir Square in Cairo, where they forcefully broke up a three-week-old sit-in demanding political reform and the prosecution of corrupt police officers. "Hundreds of soldiers entered the square, dismantled the tents and drove out protesters," the paper reported. "Military police used batons to disperse the demonstrators." Security personnel also fired into the air and beat protesters "with sticks when they refused to leave the square." Some protesters also hurled stones at police. On its facebook site, the Egyptian military stated that "military police have arrested a number of thugs in Tahrir Square." The move comes ahead of the trial in Cairo of ex-President Hosni Mubarak, accused along with senior officials of ordering the shooting deaths of more than 850 protesters during the January 25th revolution.
August 3, 2011
photo credit: illustir
Gas stations in many Iranian cities had trouble supplying fuel earlier in the week in what was a suspected cyberattack on the fuel distribution system. One Tehran daily on Thursday blamed Israel, which may have carried out similar acts in past years, to weaken Iran's hostile regime.
The incident reportedly disrupted the credit and debit card payments system this time, forcing users to pay cash and higher prices, the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported.
Though state officials didn't publicly accuse anyone specific, they did say perhaps this and other attacks had been planned for October, to "anger people" on the anniversary of the anti-government protests of 2019.
Khamenei, where's our gas?
Cheeky slogans were spotted Tuesday in different places in Iran, including electronic panels over motorways. One of them read "Khamenei, where's our gas?"
Iran International reported that Tehran-based news agency ISNA posted, then deleted, a report on drivers also seeing the message "cyberattack 64411" on screens at gas stations, purported to be the telephone number of the office of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
A member of parliament's National Security Committee, Vahid Jalalzadeh, said the attack had been planned months ahead, and had inflicted "grave losses," Iran International and domestic agencies reported Thursday. The conservative Tehran newspaper Kayhan named "America, the Zionist regime and their goons" as the "chief suspects" in the attack.
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