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ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

DEATH TOLL
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 31 people were killed in Syria on Sunday, 17 of whom were soldiers said to have been killed by the Syrian Free Army comprised of military defectors in Homs, Hama, Daraa and Idlib. A video posted online showed a charred tank destroyed by the Syrian Free Army in Rastan, Homs.

KURDS TURN
*Syria's Kurdish population, estimated at 8 percent of the country's 22 million, has largely remained on the sidelines in recent months during anti-government protests. Kurds rose up against the regime in 2004, 2005 and 2008, but were brutally squashed. The assassination of a leading Kurdish activist last Friday appears to signal a shift. More than 50,000 mourners marched through Mashaal Tammo's home town of Qamshili carrying his coffin f chanting "Allahu Akbar" and "the people want the president to be executed." Syrian forces fired on the crowd, killing at least five people.

*Here, a mourner who was shot is carried away from the scene as gunfire crackles in the background. The Qamshili branch of the Syrian Free Army vowed in a video statement posted online to avenge Tammo's death. Wearing military uniforms, an officer reads the statement as three officers stand behind him, staring menacingly into the camera.

*The Syrian official media blames "armed terrorists' for Tammo's death, after masked gunmen stormed a meeting Tammo was holding with activists, and gunned him down. But Tammo's death is widely believed to be the work of government assassins. President Bashar Assad continues to blame a shadowy conspiracy for the uprising and was quoted by the official SANA agency as saying: "Foreigners are seeking to make Syria pay the price for its stance and defiance of the foreign plots in the region." Without naming who is behind the plots or providing any evidence, Assad added that "foreign attacks on Syria got more fierce as soon as the internal situation started to get better."

GADAFFI #OWS
Fugitive Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi claims responsibility for Wall Street protests in a message posted on the website of the al-Libiya television and delivered by his spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim. "I address this message to President Obama and all those who backed NATO campaign in Libya: Perhaps you now believe that we can move the situation from under your feet and spread chaos in your countries? An eye for eye!"

Oct 11, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Economy

Europe's Winter Energy Crisis Has Already Begun

in the face of Russia's stranglehold over supplies, the European Commission has proposed support packages and price caps. But across Europe, fears about the cost of living are spreading – and with it, doubts about support for Ukraine.

Protesters on Thursday in the German state of Thuringia carried Russian flags and signs: 'First our country! Life must be affordable.'

Martin Schutt/dpa via ZUMA
Stefanie Bolzen, Philipp Fritz, Virginia Kirst, Martina Meister, Mandoline Rutkowski, Stefan Schocher, Claus, Christian Malzahn and Nikolaus Doll

-Analysis-

In her State of the Union address on September 14, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, issued an urgent appeal for solidarity between EU member states in tackling the energy crisis, and towards Ukraine. Von der Leyen need only look out her window to see that tensions are growing in capital cities across Europe due to the sharp rise in energy prices.

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In the Czech Republic, people are already taking to the streets, while opposition politicians elsewhere are looking to score points — and some countries' support for Ukraine may start to buckle.

With winter approaching, Europe is facing a true test of both its mettle, and imagination.

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