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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
Kristen Gillespie


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.

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.

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."

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."

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

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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.

Photo of a hand holding a phone displaying an Union Pay logo, with a Mastercard VISA logo in the background of the photo.

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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