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Geopolitics

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
Kristen Gillespie

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

CAMERAS ROLLING

*Video of a night rally in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo showed protesters chanting "freedom" …. "one hand" … "unity" as the popular challenge to the reign of President Bashar al-Assad continues to gain momentum. Comments on the video included: "The regime is going down, it's only a matter of time." - "Protest until the regime falls." - "We want the regime to fall."

*Elsewhere, some footage circulated from a Monday protest in the usually quiet port city of Latakia. Protesters blocked the street, chanting "freedom" over and over. They took pro-government chants and put a twist on them, making them pro-protester: "With our souls and blood, we will sacrifice for the martyrs," and "God, Syria, freedom, and that's it." In the usual script, in place of the words "martyrs' and "freedom," people are supposed to say: "Bashar al-Assad."


FACEBOOK POLLING

The Egyptian youth movement April 6 is polling supporters on Facebook to determine whether they are satisfied or not with the military junta's administration of the country. A total of 894 said no, 222 said yes and 508 checked off "I'm not sure."

FRIENDLY DECREE

Meanwhile, the Egyptian military issued Decree Number 30, in which it states support for the country's youth and denies that it was behind the use of thugs against protesters. "The Egyptian armed forces have clearly expressed their support from the beginning for the young people involved in the January 25th revolution, and has not and will not be against the free youth movement. All legal measures it has taken recently in no way included the use of thugs."

TINDERBOX

The situation in Yemen appears to be spiraling out of control as Reuters reports that "Al-Qaeda elements' control the southern town of Jaar and surrounding villages. The death toll from the explosion of a nearby munitions factory climbed to 150. The site was raided on Sunday by Al-Qaeda fighters, with local residents picking through the factory's leftovers on Monday. But a series of explosions so loud they were heard 15km away were apparently sparked by a lit cigarette in a factory that stores gunpowder. The country's leader Ali Abdullah Saleh appears to be clinging to power, though he insisted to a youth gathering that he has "95 percent" support from the Yemeni people. Meanwhile, his own son-in-law, Yahiya Mohammed Ismail has now defected and joined the opposition. Protests continued nationwide, demanding Saleh's immediate resignation.

BATTLEFIELD

Al Jazeera reports that rebels were forced to retreat to Bin Jawad from al-Harawa (70km from Sirte) after coming under attack with heavy weapons by pro-Gaddafi forces. Fighting continues in Misurata between the revolutionaries and Gaddafi's forces, with dozens of Gaddafi snipers deployed on rooftops all over the city. Here's a clip of an amateur video purportedly showing a sniper on the roof of a Misurata building.

March 29, 2011


photo credit: illustir

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Green

As Air Quality Worsens, Kampala Citizens Find It Difficult to Breathe

Kampala’s air quality is much worse than globally accepted standards, but several interventions are being instituted to avert its effects.

As Air Quality Worsens, Kampala Citizens Find It Difficult to Breathe

Rush hour traffic in Kampala, Uganda on Sept. 9, 2022. Kampala’s air is nine times more polluted than the World Health Organization’s recommended limit.

Apophia Agiresaasi

KAMPALA, UGANDA — There’s something in Kampala’s air. Philomena Nabweru Rwabukuku’s body could tell even before she went to see a doctor. The retired teacher and her children used to get frequent asthma attacks, especially after they had been up and about in the city where there were many vehicles. It was worse when they lived in Naluvule, a densely populated Kampala suburb where traffic is dense.

“We were in and out of hospital most of the time. [The] attacks would occur like twice a week,” Nabweru says.

Her doctors blamed the air in Kampala, which is nine times more polluted than the World Health Organization’s recommended limit, according to a 2022 WHO report. By comparison, Bangladesh, the country with the world’s worst air pollution, is 13 times the recommended limit.

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