When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

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

TURKISH BORDER
As the situation along the Syrian-Turkish border becomes increasingly tense, BBC Arabic was leading its website with an amateur video clip of a building close to the border with Syrian soldiers and armored vehicles next to it. Two snipers are in position on the rooftop. The narrator says, "this building directly faces a Syrian camp" for displaced citizens who fled the besieged town of Jisr al-Shughour. The man adds that civilians fear the army is preparing to attack the camp.

GENERAL STRIKE
The Syrian Revolution Facebook group was calling for a general strike, which it said was underway in various parts of Syria. This short clip was filmed in north Syria's Idlib province. The shops are shuttered and few people are in the streets. "Today on June 23rd a general strike began until the army leaves," the narrator says.

FRIDAY, THE FALL
This is a promotional video for the upcoming protests, known as the "Friday of the fall of legitimacy." It resembles a movie trailer for the tale of Bashar al-Assad's overthrow. Opening with white text on a black background are the words "He who humiliates his people is going down." Then a clip the Syrian President giving a speech, followed by: "He who betrays his country is going down." The clip cuts to footage of Syrian soldiers beating a blindfolded man. More variations along this theme ("he who kills his people is going down") and closes with: "Bashar the Terrible is GOING DOWN."

WELCOME TO MASYAF
Here is another nighttime protest from the Syrian town of Masyaf. No faces are visible, but as people march through the streets, what sounds like dozens of voices shout, "God, Syria, freedom and that's it." They switch to chants of "The Syrian people are one. One, one, one." At the end, the person filming says it is June 23rd in Masyaf, and adds: "The Syrian people welcome freedom."

HIGH SCHOOL REBELLION
In the northern Egyptian coastal city of Matrouh, female high school students came out of a critical geological and science exam that they said far exceeded what they had been taught. "The students emerged angry and dissatified over the level of difficulty of the exam," local news website The Seventh Day reported. The story was widely reported in the Egyptian media on Thursday. The school had no comment.

June 23, 2011

photo credit: illustir

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Economy

Why Are Zimbabwe’s Gold Miners Risking Deadly Mercury Exposure

Mercury exposure can be deadly. So why are gold miners in Zimbabwe using the dangerous chemical — and risking their lives and the health of their communities in the process?

Photo of a group of miners digging for gold.

A group of miners searches for gold along the Odzi River.

Linda Mujuru

The young men brace for the first shock of cold water as they enter the river, easing their way into another day of illegal gold mining.

David Mauta and Wisdom Nyakurima, both 18, stand knee-deep in the Odzi River near the eastern Zimbabwe mining city of Mutare and shovel gravel onto a woven mat. They hinge their hopes on finding flakes of shiny gold. But it’s another metal whose dangers they don’t recognize that may have a more lasting impact.

Every day, they touch and breathe mercury, a silverly chemical element that carries deadly implications. The toxic liquid metal is key to their gold-mining efforts, as is the government, which purchases their gold even as officials vow to eliminate mercury’s use. The young men are unregistered artisanal miners, freelance workers who don’t have a license to operate. They sift through rocks in the river and dump beads of mercury over the sediment, which clings to gold. Then they light a match, using the flame to separate the mercury from the gold, a process that shoots toxic vapors into the air.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest