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01 Mar 2012 15:08


World: Americans freed from Egyptian detainment after U.S. pays large bail

  • I’m pleased the court has lifted the travel ban and am looking forward to my son’s arrival in the US. I’d like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this time.
  • Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood • From a statement today, on the flight home for seven American pro-democracy workers who had been held in Egypt, barred from traveling over accusations of illegal fundraising. One of the seven is his son, Sam LaHood, a high-profile family connection that helped highlight the diplomatic turmoil that unfolded over the Americans’ detainment. The price of getting these folks back home? A cool $5 million in bail, paid by the U.S. to Egypt. This brings an end to a perilous diplomatic situation, though the U.S. doesn’t seem ready to bury the hatchet and forget about this just yet – Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the State Department, said no decision has yet been made on the state of U.S. aid to Egypt. source

08 Feb 2012 14:41


World: Egypt/U.S. relations strained over detained American NGO workers

  • one As we’ve mentioned before, the Egyptian military government has barred 19 U.S. citizens from leaving the country. They worked for pro-democracy NGOs, and are being held on claim they took foreign money without official approval.
  • twoSenators John McCain, Kelly Ayotte and Joe Lieberman have warned of a potential “disastrous rupture” in U.S./Egypt relations. At risk is nearly $1.3 billion in military aid, which the U.S. has already threatened to halt. source

01 Feb 2012 21:56


World: Egyptian MPs accuse military of neglecting security over deadly soccer riot

  • The reason for this tragedy is the deliberate neglect and absence of the military and the police. This will not pass without punishment, a thousand punishments.
  • Essam el Erian, Egyptian lawmaker with the Muslim Brotherhood • Accusing, in essence, the Egyptian military government of taking a hands-off approach to security, allowing moments of chaos in order to justify expansive military power. The incitement of this charge came earlier today, when a soccer riot broke out which killed over eighty people — the bloodiest single incident in Egypt since the removal of Hosni Mubarak last year. Reports claim police at the soccer match were either unable or unwilling to intervene or try to stop the riot, while video of the incident showed some standing by, apparently idle. Said Mohammed Abu Trika, star of the visiting team, Al Ahly: “People here are dying and no one is doing a thing. It’s like a war. Is life this cheap?” source

01 Feb 2012 15:19


World: Soccer riot in Egypt leaves many dead, many more injured

  • 83 people killed in a soccer riot in Port Said, Egypt source
  • » Tragedy and inhumanity: A match between Egyptian soccer (or football, if you prefer) teams Al-Ahly and Al-Masry turned into a scene of violence, chaos and death, as riots broke out after the game’s conclusion. Said CNN contributor James Montague: “It’s kind of a security vacuum in the football stadium. … It’s not unheard of to have organized violence between football clubs, but something on this scale has never been seen before.” In addition to the 83 dead, Egyptian authorities estimate 180 people were injured in the mayhem.

26 Jan 2012 14:06


World: Americans, son of Ray LaHood among them, barred from leaving Egypt

  • It’s absolutely an escalation. To have a strategic U.S. ally issue bans against American citizens is deeply troubling.
  • Scott Mastic, Mid-East regional director of the International Republican Institute • Speaking on the state of affairs in Egypt, where American members of the IRI, a pro-democracy group, have been barred from traveling pending apparent investigation by the military government. This is, perhaps, the unpleasant flip-side of the coin in Egypt, after yesterday’s anniversary of the protests (along with many reports yesterday that women were in great personal danger as darkness fell on Tahrir Square). This story takes on a personal nature for one prominent member of the U.S. government — Sam LaHood, son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, is the IRI’s director in Egypt, and has explicitly been forbidden to return home. “It’s gotten more serious,” he said. source

25 Jan 2012 14:45


World: Jan25, one year later: Egypt marks protest movement anniversary

  • Sights and sounds on the ground: Egyptians packed into Tahrir Square today in celebration (with some underlying tension, due to the continued rule of the Military Council) of the anniversary of protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak’s reign. That there are complex and treacherous political problems facing the nation going forward is undeniable, but there’s no shame in taking a moment to look back at just how much Egypt has changed in one year. source

01 Dec 2011 23:13


World: Egyptian elections: Muslim Brotherhood lead, Salafis surprise

  • The Salafis have been underestimated from day one, because it is hard to imagine how this guy with a long beard and some aggressive ideas can actually gain much support.
  • Shadi Hamid, a researcher at the Brookings Institution in Doha, Qatar • Discussing the elections in Egypt. So far, the Muslim Brotherhood’s party has received 40 percent of the Egyptian Parliament’s votes. Meanwhile, the Al Nour party, formed by ultra-conservative Salafis, has secured 25 percent. The Islamist party began re-entering politics after Mubarak was ousted, and rallied around millions of Egyptians who were already organized politically. That’s at least double the members of the Muslim Brotherhood. While they may not have pulled ahead in this election, the Salafi sect has become a prominent political force nonetheless. (EDIT: Modified wording based on reader suggestion.) source

30 Nov 2011 15:07


World: Polls close in Egypt’s landmark parliamentary elections

  • The dawn of a new system? That should certainly be the hope following the closing of polls in Egypt’s first democratic election of the modern political era. The reporting on instances of fraud or abuse during the elections have, to this point, not been particularly widespread or damaging; the relative calm with which the process was carried out, as well as high voter turnout (70%+), would seem to suggest an engaged electorate eager to install their own leadership, and to bring an end to military rule. source

28 Nov 2011 23:53


World: New elections, new attitude? Egypt’s elections go smoothly (so far)

  • Egypt headed to the polls today: In this photo via ITV News, you can see a small portion of the crowds that gathered to vote in this week’s elections in Egypt. No protests broke out on the first day — a change of pace from last week’s protests in Tahrir Square. In fact, reports of violence were rare, and voter fraud was rare. Here’s to hoping the events have begun to usher in a new era and a more positive Egypt.  source

24 Nov 2011 11:32


World: Egyptian military won’t give up power, won’t delay elections over unrest

  • We will not relinquish power because of a slogan-chanting crowd. Being in power is not a blessing. It is a curse. It’s a very heavy responsibility.
  • Egyptian Maj. Gen. Mukhtar el-Mallah • Emphasizing that the Egyptian military has no plans to relinquish power before the elections take place. Another general noted that, despite the recent unrest, the military had no plan’s to delay Tuesday’s parliamentary elections: “We will not delay elections. This is the final word,” said Gen. Mamdouh Shaheen, who, along with el-Mallah, is a member of member of the ruling military council.  source