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Friday, August 23, 2013

Small marches unfold across Cairo in Day of Martyrs protests

The Muslim Brotherhood, the Anti-Coup Alliance and other groups called for millions of supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi to participate in 28 marches today across Cairo, but the turnout and the security presence were minimal in comparison to past weeks.

Security forces closed off several major thoroughfares across the city using tanks and barbed wire as marches departed from various mosques after noon prayers. In addition to pictures of Morsi, many protesters held up yellow “Rabaa” signs referring to the violent dispersal of protesters in Rabaa al-Adawiya square on Aug. 14, which left hundreds of protesters dead. Since Aug. 14, at least 900 people have been killed across Egypt. Most have been pro-Morsi protesters, though around 100 police and army officers have also been killed in clashes.

Mubarak moved to house arrest

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was released from prison on Thursday and placed under house arrest at a military hospital, a move which has angered leftists and Islamists alike. As Egypt is currently under a state of emergency law, the interim military-appointed government will determine what constitutes house arrest and for how long he will remain there, the New York Times reported. Corruption charges against Mubarak have been dropped, but he is still waiting to be retried for charges that he was complicit in the deaths of hundreds of protesters in 2011. The April 6 Youth Movement, Tamarod, the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights and other groups have condemned the move.

Poll Shows Most Egyptians Approved of Crackdown on Protesters

In a poll released yesterday by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera), 67 percent of Egyptians approved of the manner in which the Egyptian armed forces dispersed pro-Morsi protesters from Al Nahda and Rabaa al-Adawiya squares on Wednesday, Aug. 14. Almost a quarter of all people surveyed were unsatisified with how the army dispersed protesters and nine percent were unsure. However, over half of all Egyptians surveyed said that the death toll of the event was “too high,” while 34 percent disagreed with this statement. Almost eighty percent said that negative international responses to the crackdown were unwarranted.

Snowden Documents Reveal Britain’s Secret Middle East Intelligence Gathering Project

The UK is running a secret intelligence-gathering project based somewhere in the Middle East that monitors phone calls, email and other internet data for Western intelligence agencies. In details that seem to be pulled straight from the script of an espionage film, the project gathers information from underwater fiber optic cables, and then passes the intelligence on to GCHQ, the UK Government Communication’s Headquarters, and the US National Security Agency, which has come under fire lately for its broad surveillance program on American citizens. The UK paper The Independent learned about the secret intelligence-gathering project from documents leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden.




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