In a rare televised speech, Saudi Arabia’s king said he was enacting a $67 billion package that included raises and loans for Saudis.
The AP called King Abdullah’s offer, “the Arab world’s most expensive attempt to appease residents inspired by the unrest that has swept two leaders from power.”
Reuters reports on the details of the package:
Amongst a wave of new spending, the decrees outlined a boost in welfare benefits, bonuses for public sector workers, including the army, and a massive drive to build new housing.
In addition, the king ordered the creation of 60,000 security jobs within the Read more…
Russia warns the West against interference: Medvedev suggests that revolts in the Arab world were instigated by outside forces
Moscow is concerned that the turmoil in the Arab world aggravated by western interference may destabilise Russia’s restive North Caucasus and former Soviet Central Asia
-Although Russian leaders have not named any country, experts and politicians have pointed a finger at the United States.
“The Arab revolt may have begun as spontaneous protests, but the West has now moved to take the endgame under its control,” says Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the State Duma. Analysts say the U.S. is using the same techniques in the Arab East it earlier used in staging “coloured revolutions” in the former Soviet Union — in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. They noted the role of CIA-linked foundations such as the Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), in supporting and training civil activists and Twitter and Facebook organisers of the protests in Egypt and Tunisia.
“The events [in the Arab world] bear all the traits of a total ‘network war’ (netwar) as formulated by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt of the RAND Corporation back in 1996,” says Alexander Knyazev of the Moscow-based Institute of Oriental Read more…
BEIJING – Police and security officials displayed a show of force here and in other Chinese cities Sunday, trying to snuff out any hint of protests modeled on the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. In Shanghai, several hundred people trying to gather were dispersed with a water truck.
Premier Wen Jiabao, meanwhile, used a morning Internet chat to promise to purge senior officials who are corrupt and to rein in inflation and rising home prices, directly addressing some of the most common grievances of ordinary Chinese.
Since a January uprising in Tunisia spurred similar anti-government protests across the Arab world, threatening long-entrenched authoritarian regimes, China’s Communist rulers have reacted nervously, with both defensive and aggressive tactics.
Officials have used state-run media outlets to dismiss any comparisons of those regimes with China. At the same time, they have stepped up public comments on the need to address “social conflict” and to tackle problems such as the growing income disparity between the rich and poor. They also have Read more…
TUNIS (AFP) – Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi resigned Sunday, as security forces clashed with protesters in Tunis demanding the removal of some ministers of his interim government.
“I have decided to quit as prime minister,” Ghannouchi told a news conference, saying that he thought carefully before taking the decision which was supported by his family.
“I am not running away from responsibility. This is to open the way for a new prime minister,” he said.
“I am not ready to be the person who Read more…
Paying $200 for a government-sponsored taxi ride to the Tunisian border sounded like a bad deal. But Tunisian laborer Amr Soltan had no idea just how bad until he and his friends were driven instead to a prison, locked up for five days, robbed of their cellphones by police and beaten by guards.
“It’s a miracle that I am alive,” he said after arriving in his own country as one of the thousands who have been brutalized by Libyan security forces during the uprising against Moammar Kadafi‘s 41-year rule. “They accused us of being traitors because our people revolted against dictators.”
Unlike Arab leaders facing challenges in Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Algeria and Yemen, Kadafi and son Seif Islam have responded to their enemies not with substantive concessions and appeals to calm but with blood-curdling rhetoric.
Bahrain, which saw deadly protest this month, is eager to control the price of food according to Wikileaks
According to the Wikileak revelations, Bahrain increased government subsidies in an effort to off-set rising prices for lower-income families in 2008 and has promised more generous subsidies recently. Even so, this hasn’t stopped political turmoil as the tiny Gulf state has been rocked by explosive protests this month that left seven dead and hundreds injured when troops opened fire on protesters.
Bahrain, which has a population of just over 1 million, has struggled with rising Read more…
The North Korean authorities are apparently on full alert as news trickles in about pro-democracy protests in the Middle East despite an official blackout. According to a source, security agents have banned all gatherings, especially of university students, as news spreads about the public revolts in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere in the Arab world.
The source added that partitions have been removed in restaurants across the country, and security agents break up even small gatherings in open-air markets.
“This is the first time I saw even partitions removed from restaurants in North Korea,” a recent defector said. Students in Pyongyang have begun Read more…
Ali Shuaib and Salah Sarrar
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Palestinian refugees should capitalize on the wave of popular revolts in the Middle East by massing peacefully on the borders of Israel until it gives in to their demands, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Sunday.
Gaddafi is respected in many parts of the Arab world for his uncompromising criticism of Israel and Arab leaders who have dealings with the Jewish state, though some people in the region dismiss his initiatives as unrealistic.
He was giving his first major speech since a popular uprising in neighboring Egypt forced President Hosni Mubarak to resign, an event which electrified the Arab world and prompted speculation that other Arab governments could also be toppled.
“Fleets of boats should take Palestinians … and wait by the Palestinian shores until the problem is resolved,” Gaddafi was shown saying on state television. “This is a time of popular revolutions.”
“We need to create a Read more…
On October 14, 1981 Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak assumed the Presidency of Egypt following the assassination of President Anwar El Sadat. He is the longest-serving Egyptian ruler since Muhammad Ali Pasha. He announced today that he will not resign but will handover power to Vice President Omar Suleiman ,however, he will no longer run for office.
He quotes “Will work for a peaceful transition of power; says he wants honesty and transparency…I will not run for next presidential election; wants smooth transfer of power…Praises youth and sacrifices; says he will punish those responsible for attacks”
On Feb 4, 2011 there was a failed assassination attempt on Egypt’s vice president left two of his bodyguards dead.
Since January 25, 2011, for a total of 17 days, a popular uprising from the people of Egypt called for his resignation as president of Egypt due to corruptness and illegal activities that the government was associated with. Because of inflation, many Egyptians are currently struggling to feed themselves as the country’s food crisis is beginning to spiral out of control utilizing anywhere between 40 to 60 percent of their wages going to food.
With this announcement brings many questions to mind. Who will lead Egypt? What will the future of Egypt bring to the world? How will this affect the relationship with Israel and the United States? Is this just a preview of what is to come in other Middle East/ North Africa countries whom are in an eerily similar format? What will happen with crude oil prices? As of now all we can do is watch and see history unfold before our eyes. September awaits…