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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


WE ARE ALL...
Two police officers were convicted of torturing and killing the young Egyptian activist Khalid Said, 28, who was arrested while at an Internet café in Alexandria last July. Pictures of Said's tortured body post-mortem circulated on the web and inspired Wael Ghonim, who later said he saw himself in Said, to start the "We are all Khalid Said" Facebook group that ultimately served as a precursor to the January 25th revolution. The egregious killing of Said, and the government's version of events, which held that Said choked on a bag of marijuana, was the final straw for many young Egyptians.

After the verdict was read, relatives of the convicted police officers reacted with "anger and resentment," CNN Arabic reported, "which led to a verbal argument between the officers' relatives and those of Khalid Said." Armored vehicle and a contingent of soldiers quickly arrived at the scene. The officers were convicted of "arresting a person without reason," the "use of cruelty" and "physical torture."

ASSAD AND ARAB LEAGUE
BBC Arabic was reporting simultaneously: "Syria: Assad meets with Arab League delegation, 9 soldiers reportedly killed in clashes." The League's Ministerial Committee, comprised of foreign ministers from Qatar, Egypt, Oman, Sudan and Algeria met with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. The opposition is being excluded from the talks, which opposition leader Hassan Abdul Azim told the BBC is "unacceptable."

GENERAL STRIKES
The Syrian Revolution Facebook group declared the "Wednesday of General Strikes, for your Houran province where protest epicenter Daraa is located." The group is urging Syrians to strike across the country, and reports a series of strikes in the Damascus suburb of Douma. Here, a small evening demonstration attended only by women. In Deir a-Zor, young men walk through the streets chanting, "Freedom, freedom – whether you like it or not, Bashar."

STOLEN H2O
Jordanian news website Khaberni.com reports that 70 million cubic meters of water are stolen every year by farmers in tribal areas who illegally drill wells. The Ministry of Water announced that the stolen water costs the government nearly $2 billion every year in lost revenue, despite measures requiring a permit before drilling. Jordan is one of the world's 10 most water-deprived countries.

October 27, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Ideas

Draft Dodging And Cannon Fodder: How Mobilization Has Exposed Putin's Big Lie

As much as he tried to, Vladimir Putin could no longer avoid the nationwide mobilization of new recruits. But now he can no longer hide from a war he chose for his nation — and more than ever, his own destiny is riding on the result.

Who's ready for the front line?

Ivan Vysochinsky/ZUMA
Anna Akage

-Analysis-

Besides all the chest-thumping, Vladimir Putin has been busy this week moving around his administrative chess pieces.

Wednesday’s announcement of the “partial” mobilization of military recruits was preceded by a flurry of legislative activity in the Kremlin: first, coordinating with the pro-Russian authorities in several of the occupied territories of Ukraine, binding referendums were pushed through to officially make conquered land part of Russia. The next day, amendments to the Criminal Code on mobilization and martial law were unanimously adopted in two readings. And immediately after Putin's speech, penalties were increased for acts of desertion and refusal to serve in the military.

Checkmate.

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The pieces are in place to escalate the war dramatically, allowing Moscow the pretext that Ukraine’s efforts to take back its land is now an attack on Russian territory.


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