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

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

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

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 25 th 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."

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."

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."

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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How A Xi Jinping Dinner In San Francisco May Have Sealed Mastercard's Arrival In China

The credit giant becomes only the second player after American Express to be allowed to set up a bank card-clearing RMB operation in mainland China.

Mastercard has just been granted a bank card clearing license in China.

Liu Qianshan


It appears that one of the biggest beneficiaries from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to San Francisco was Mastercard.

The U.S. credit card giant has since secured eagerly anticipated approval to expand in China's massive financial sector, having finally obtained long sought approval from China's central bank and financial regulatory authorities to initiate a bank card business in China through its joint venture with its new Chinese partner.

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Through a joint venture in China between Mastercard and China's NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, dubbed Mastercard NUCC, it has officially entered mainland China as an RMB currency clearing organization. It's only the second foreign business of its kind to do so following American Express in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the development is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting on Nov. 15 with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, part of a two-day visit that also included dinner that Xi had with U.S. business executives.

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