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As Global Outcry Deepens, Syria Declares “The Revolution” Will Not Be Printed

(United Kingdom)

DAMASCUS - "It seems that the word ‘revolution" is no longer desirable in official circles in Syria," writes Al-Arabiya reporter Kamal Qubeisi from London. "The Revolution" happens to be the name of one of Syria's three main official newspapers, but after 50 years on Syrian newsstands, the paper will merge with another government-run paper and cease to exist, according to Syrian Information Minister Adnan Mahmoud.

The Syrian cabinet's decision stipulates the merger of "The Revolution" (A-Thawra in Arabic) with the newspaper "October" (Tishreen), which was launched after the 1973 war with Israel. Mahmoud did not explain the reason for the decision, nor the timing at a Monday press conference in Damascus in the midst of an international outcry over the killing of more than 100 civilians, including dozens of children.

Mahmoud made no reference to current events, but focused the announcement on technoloigical innovations, explaining how the elimination of A-Thawra would enable the official media "to keep up with the specifications and global standards in the media environment today given the competition the electronic media presents to print papers." Mahmoud said that 83% of news reaches the public electronically.

In comments to the press, Ali Qasim, A-Thawra's editor-in-chief, praised the government's decision. The merger of the two newspapers, he said with no apparent irony, "will mean the end of The Revolution."

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Protests Derailed: A History Of Polish Railways Getting Political

Polish state railways have been accused of deliberately keeping protestors from reaching the capital for an anti-government protest march. This is not the first controversy the railways have faced.

Photo of trains in the Warszawa Rembertów Station, Warsaw, Poland.

Warszawa Rembertów Station.

Piotr Stanisławski via Wikimedia Commons

Last June, Polish opposition leader and former President of the EU Commission Donald Tusk called on Polish citizens to protest against the “authoritarian” steps taken by the ruling party, PiS. Estimates by state organizers approximate that 500,000 participants marched in Warsaw, with smaller marches occurring in other Polish cities.

“Do you have enough of [PiS’s] lies, theft and corruption?” Tusk asked in a video published on his Facebook page. "Then come to Warsaw on the 4th of June… we will show them our might”.

In the days leading up to the protest and on the day of the event itself, passengers and groups of demonstrators blamed state railways for delayed train permits, inaccessibility for those with disabilities and a deficit in the train's ability to transport participants to the capital.

“This is how rail functions in Poland,” an anonymous passenger told Gazeta Wyborcza, “It is impossible to get to Warsaw for the March at 12pm from Szczecin.” The same passenger told Wyborcza they were “speechless” at the realization, adding that “it’s an outright exclusion of rail communication”.

This is not the first time that the state-run rail lines have come under fire for allegedly political acts.

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