January 29, 2011

Mubarak stays defiant, Obama calls for reforms

President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has refused to quit following unprecedented protests that rocked several cities in the Arab world's largest nation.

Instead, in his first statement since tens of thousands of Egyptians hit the streets to protest against his iron-rule, the president made his appearance to announce that he had dismissed his government and a new cabinet would be formed today.

Since protests began last Tuesday, following the Tunisian protest that forced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down and flee the country on Jan 14, reports have indicated that at least 26 people have died with hundreds injured in clashes with Egypt's security forces.

Egyptians appear to have discarded their fear of direct confrontation with the security forces. The BBC reported that there have been bloody and drawn out clashes all over Cairo and in some of Egypt's main cities.

According to the BBC, tens of thousands took part in protests in Cairo, Suez, Alexandria and other cities. They set fire to the headquarters of the governing NDP party and besieged state TV and the foreign ministry.

Shortly after Mubarak's announcement, the BBC reported that US President Barack Obama said he had spoken at length with the Egyptian president and urged him to turn "a moment of volatility" into "a moment of promise".

President Obama is urging Egyptian authorities and protesters to refrain from violence, and said he told President Mubarak to address the population's legitimate grievances.

What some protesters say:

"We want a real democratic system. This regime of Hosni Mubarak has been in power for 30 years," declared Ahmed, a man in his 20s.

"I was unemployed for five years. I had to move to the United Arab Emirates. This is what I was dragged into. My son will not suffer what I have suffered. This ends here."

When you talk to people, they tell you economic reforms have not eased the poverty of Egypt's masses, education and social services are inadequate, and they complain of high levels of corruption and political stagnation.

"We are so furious. We must have change, better chances to work, to buy a flat and have just the life's basics," said a bank clerk clutching an Egyptian flag.

"What happened in Tunisia has changed things a bit. It knocked some sense into people."

Related stories:

Can Mubarak be toppled?

Analysis: Why Egypt matters

Demand for reforms in Jordan

Egypt after Mubarak: Liberalism, Islam, and Democracy in the Arab World (Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics)    Egypt on the Brink: From Nasser to Mubarak

July 31, 2010

8 baby corpses find shocks French town

A small French town was in shock. French nursing assistant Dominique Cottrez has admitted suffocating eight newborn babies because she did not want more children and wished to avoid seeing a doctor for contraception, a prosecutor said.

The 45-year-old woman was charged with murder on Thursday after the new owners of her parents' former home at the weekend found the remains of two newborns buried in plastic bags in the garden as they planted a tree.

The skeletal remains of the other six infants were later found dumped, also in plastic sacks, in the garage of the mother's current home, according to AFP.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  Vista Point COTE D'AZUR France

July 10, 2010

'Psychic' Octopus Paul predicts Spain win in World Cup final

World Cup phenomenal celebrity Paul the "psychic" octopus has predicted a Spain victory in the final against the Netherlands.

It looks like it's not going to be a Dutch treat. Eat your heart out all you Oranje fans. I wouldn't bet a wooden shoe against the Spaniards.

But Paul has got to watch his back as well if he's not going to end up in a frying pan. His job as a soothsayer has made him some enemies.

The celebrated eight-legged oracle has so far predicted correctly all six Germany games in this 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

If Spain truly beat the Netherlands at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday, it will be the first time in their history to win the top prize in world football after years of underachievements.

On Friday, according to reports from Oberhausen in Germany where Paul resides, he very quickly plumped for Spain by scooping up the morsel in the Spanish box. The octopus 'reality show' was carried live on national German TV and watched all across Europe.

In Spain, the reaction was swift. The best-selling sports daily website Marca.com ran the headline: "The octopus Paul makes us champions".

Earlier, the two-year-old mollusc medium also said that Germany, his country of residence, would defeat Uruguay in the third-place play-off game on Saturday.

In the now familiar routine, two boxes were lowered into his tank, each containing a morsel and the flags of the two opposing teams.

The tentacled tipster went straight to the Spanish box, wrenched open the lid and gobbled the tasty morsel.

Apprehensive observers feel the art of football predicting has become a dangerous job for the English-born clairvoyant cephalopod with some bitter German fans threatening to turn him into sushi after he predicted a semi-final defeat for the German team.

There were also calls in Germany for Paul to be roasted with lemon juice and olive oil or turned into a plate of paella, the BBC reported.

Paul's home, an aquarium in western Germany, has received death-threat emails saying "we want Paul for the pan," said entertainment supervisor Daniel Fey, according to AFP.

"Since yesterday our colleagues have kept a very close eye on Paul," Fey added.

With ominous signs that Paul may end up on a plate, no less an authority than Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero has hinted at octopus bodyguards.

"I am concerned for the octopus ... I am thinking of sending him a protective team," joked Zapatero on Radio Cadena Ser.

Meanwhile, it was reported that Spanish Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian has called for Paul to be given an "immediate" free transfer to Spain to "ensure his protection." Would Real Madrid or Barcelona be interested in signing Paul for next season as a forecaster?

During the semi-final match between Spain and Germany, witnesses reported that some sections of the 350,000-strong crowd watching the game on giant screens sang anti-octopus songs. The honour of Paul's mother was called into question, according to witnesses.

Paul's celebrity status as a World Cup forecaster is expected to be his last because in octopus terms he will become a pensioner at the ripe old age of two-and-a-half.

According to cephalopod experts, octopuses generally live three years at the latest. - MK/Goal2010sa

My Two-Year-Old Eats Octopus: Raising Children Who Love to Eat Everything  Pulpo - Premium Octopus in Olive Oil Octopus and squid ink cookies (16 cookies).(Recipe)(Brief article): An article from: Art Culinaire


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