According to new reports from Human Rights Watch, Syria is laying landmines across its borders with Lebanon and Turkey. Steve Goose, arms division director for Human Rights Watch, called the use of these weapons "unconscionable," going on to say that "there is absolutely no justification for the use of these indiscriminate weapons by any country, anywhere, for any purpose." What implications will these weapons have on the estimated 200,000 refugees still within Syrian borders?
Egypt's first freely elected Parliament in more than 60 years held its first session this morning. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party which took more than 40 percent of the seats has vowed to guide Egypt through the transition from military to civilian rule. Joining The Takeaway is David Kirkpatrick, Cairo bureau chief for our partner The New York Times. Also on the program is Michael Wahid Hanna, a fellow at The Century Foundation.
Before the uprisings began in Libya in February, the nation produced 1.6 million barrels of oil per day, and was responsible for two percent of the world's oil supplies. Six months ago, shipments stopped at the rebellion grew there. The loss of Libyan oil drove up the price of Brent crude, which is sold to refineries on the United States' east coast.
Libyan rebel forces flooded into the capital of Tripoli last night, battling with loyalists to Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The rebels captured two of Gadhafi's sons, including Seif al-Islam, the assumed heir-apparent. Civilians were celebrating in the streets over what may be the end of Gadhafi's 42 years in power of Libya. What will the events in Libya mean for the rest of the Middle East?
The Egyptian military has set up an eight-person panel of legal experts to revise the country's constitution. The panel includes a Coptic Christian jurist and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood – and so far, opposition leaders have praised it as a respected and credible group of individuals. Outside experts have argued about the need to either completely rewrite or extensively revise the country's legal framework. But most agree that the ten day deadline the Egyptian military has set for completion isn't enough time — and that the process may undermine the underlying goal for more democracy in the country.
Thousands of people have been demonstrating in the streets of Egypt for more than a week, and the army has backed them all the way. That's in stark contrast to the protesters' relationship with the police which has been strained for the past few decades of President Mubarak's regime.
The Egyptian military has had a major hand in the country's government since it helped overthrow the monarchy back in 1952. Since then, it has been an institution respected and feared by the people and government of Egypt. Now, the military is at a crossroads, as protests have broken out across the country calling for the removal of President Hosni Mubarak. Sent into disperse crowds, many soldiers have embraced them.