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ARABICA - A Quick Shot Of What's Brewing In The Arab World

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

EGYPT, ELECTIONS
In Cairo, the High Elections Commission is postponing for a third time the announcement of parliamentary election results. A larger-than-expected voter turnout is responsible for the delay, the commission said.

EGYPT, RESERVES
Also in Egypt, foreign-currency reserves are expected to drop to $15 billion by the end of January, while the budget deficit continues to rise. Reserves stood at $10 billion in October, which economists said at the time is not enough to sustain a looming currency crisis.

SYRIA, WARNINGS
Secretary General of the Arab League warned Damascus of the "risk" of foreign intervention to solve the crisis in Syria. Nabil al-Arabi told CNN Arabic that there is a way out for the Syrian regime, and that is to accept the Arab League plan, which includes sending monitors to Syria. "The Syrian government has continually failed to implement its obligations to the Arab League action plan," Arabi said. A Syrian government spokesman earlier condemned "the increasing political and media campaign against Syria."

SYRIA, WARNINGS II
In what can only be described as an understatment, the Kuwaiti government is asking its citizens to leave Syria because of "the unstable situation." It also "advises Kuwaiti citizens not to go to Syria at the present time." Kuwait recalled its ambassador to Syria over the summer.

JORDAN, CORRUPTION
The annual Transparency International report finds Jordan more corrupt in 2011 than the year before, Khaberni.com reports. Jordan dropped from 50th to number 56 in the global ranking of corruption. In the Arab world, Jordan was behind Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.

*Under the article, Khaled comments: "Corruption is a raging cancer with no hope of a cure."

*Another commenter writes, "You want us to join the Gulf Cooperation Council, where five out of six countries are slightly ahead of us in corruption?"


Dec. 1, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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