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Egypt

Death In Tahrir: Egyptian Press Review, As Unrest And Government Crackdown Return

At least 20 have been killed in recent protests in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt, as the government responds with a major crackdown on demonstrators. A review of how Egypt's recently liberalized press is covering the most severe unrest since Mubar

Government troops on Sunday beat demonstrators in Tahrir Square (lilianwagdy)
Government troops on Sunday beat demonstrators in Tahrir Square (lilianwagdy)
Heba Afify

CAIRO - Placing the blame either on the ruling military council, police or the protesters themselves, Monday's papers try to dissect the confusing situation unfolding in Tahrir Square and other squares throughout Egypt. The death count has risen above 20, with more than 1,000 injured.

Independent newspaper Al-Tahrir focuses on the resemblance between the current clashes in the square and the clashes that took place in the early days of the January revolution in the presence of former President Hosni Mubarak and his notorious interior minister, Habib al-Adly, who are now both on trial for killing protesters.

Al-Tahrir argues that, with revolutionaries in the square, police forces brutally cracking down on them and Islamic forces abstaining from the protests, little has changed since January.

The paper's editor-in-chief puts it plainly in an editorial titled "Is the Field Marshal following in Mubarak's footsteps?" in which he blames the escalating violence on the ruling military council's poor political judgment.

As indolent as ever, Al-Ahram state newspaper publishes a spread with pictures of the violence in Tahrir Square compared to the sophistication of the elections, titled "Violence hijacks politics." The pictures are supplemented by a poetic paragraph calling on the people to avoid violent confrontations and resort to political negotiations.

Regarding the effect of the current violence on the upcoming elections, Al-Shorouk quotes the head of the high elections commission reassuring the public that the elections will take place on time and that the military and police are fully ready to secure it.

Al-Ahram reports an emergency cabinet meeting yesterday followed by a meeting between the cabinet and the ruling military council to discuss the situation. Following the meeting, military council member Mohsen al-Fangary said that the elections would take place on time and warned against "abusing the issue of the martyrs and injured of the revolution," Al-Ahram reports.

Culture minister resigns

It said that during the meeting the interior minister denied that live fire has been used on protesters and called those apprehended by the police "rioters."

One angry reaction that came from the meeting, as reported by Al-Ahram, is that of Culture Minister Emad Abu Ghazi, who resigned in protest over the government's handling of the situation.

While officials deny any wrongdoing and assure the public that the elections will take place on time, candidates are reportedly suspending their electoral campaigns in protest over the use of excessive force against protesters. Al-Ahram reports that potential presidential candidates Amr Hamzawy and George Ishaq, as well as the 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition and the Egyptian Bloc Alliance, are threatening to suspend their electoral campaigns in the event of the continued use of excessive force against protesters.

Al-Shorouk paper covers the reactions of presidential hopefuls, who all criticized the cabinet and the military council over the events.

Fahmy Howeidy, a columnist for Al-Shorouk who had been urging people to be patient with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in his recent articles, used a noticeably harsher tone today. He blamed the council for the situation in Tahrir, saying: "Nobody expected this to be happening eight months after the revolution; the military council that appeared to protect the revolution has now become a burden on it."

Read the full article in Al-Masry Al-Youm

photo - lilianwagdy

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Geopolitics

New Probe Finds Pro-Bolsonaro Fake News Dominated Social Media Through Campaign

Ahead of Brazil's national elections Sunday, the most interacted-with posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and WhatsApp contradict trustworthy information about the public’s voting intentions.

Jair Bolsonaro bogus claims perform well online

Cris Faga/ZUMA
Laura Scofield and Matheus Santino

SÂO PAULO — If you only got your news from social media, you might be mistaken for thinking that Jair Bolsonaro is leading the polls for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, which will take place this Sunday. Such a view flies in the face of what most of the polling institutes registered with the Superior Electoral Court indicate.

An exclusive investigation by the Brazilian investigative journalism agency Agência Pública has revealed how the most interacted-with and shared posts in Brazil on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp share data and polls that suggest victory is certain for the incumbent Bolsonaro, as well as propagating conspiracy theories based on false allegations that research institutes carrying out polling have been bribed by Bolsonaro’s main rival, former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, or by his party, the Workers’ Party.

Agência Pública’s reporters analyzed the most-shared posts containing the phrase “pesquisa eleitoral” [electoral polls] in the period between the official start of the campaigning period, on August 16, to September 6. The analysis revealed that the most interacted-with and shared posts on social media spread false information or predicted victory for Jair Bolsonaro.

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