Last month, the Egyptian high court and military generals dissolved the country’s parliament. But on Sunday, President Morsi decreed that the legislature — dominated by his fellow Islamists — should reconvene. In short, Egypt’s new president, sworn in only a week ago, is on a collision course with the country’s judicial and military leadership.
Back in February 2011, when Egyptians were protesting daily in Tahrir Square, we spoke with Omar Khalifa, a resident of Cairo and the director of O Media. He was skeptical about the revolution and felt the people of his country were rushing into something they weren’t prepared for. We check back in with Khalifa after Egyptian media yesterday reported that former president Hosni Mubarak suffered a stroke Tuesday and is "clinically dead."
When Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison on Saturday, some Egyptians rejoiced. But many felt the verdict didn’t go far enough, and took to the streets. On Sunday, Egypt's state prosecutor office said it would appeal the sentences and push once again for the death penalty. Michael Wahid Hanna researches Middle East policy for the Century Foundation in New York.
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.
Activists and opposition groups have accused Syrian government forces of killing at least 160 defecting soldiers and civilians over the past three days near the city of Idlib. This surge of violence is among the bloodiest the ongoing protests have seen, and comes shortly before international observers are set to arrive to monitor President Bashar al-Assad's implementation of an Arab League peace plan.
At least 63 people were killed in Baghdad Thursday when a wave of 14 bombs exploded across the city. Over 185 people were injured. The attacks come only days after U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq and during a deepening political crisis in the government. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite, threatened to abandon a U.S.-backed power-sharing agreement. The crisis was prompted by accusations that Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni, had been running death squads.
The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party is expected to win a decisive majority of seats in Parliament in Egypt's first democratic elections since Hosni Mubarak was forced out of power. The mainstream Islamist group claimed about 40 percent of the vote. But the ultraconservative Salafi party is expected to win around 25 percent, giving Islamist groups control of roughly 65 percent of Parliament. Liberal parties, which touched off the revolution, were too disorganized and divided to make a strong showing at the polls.
Tens of thousands of Egyptians flooded into Cairo's Tahrir Square on Monday night for a third day of protests against the country's transitional military leaders. Activists hope to capitalize of the resignation of Egypt's civilian cabinet, calling for a million-strong demonstration on Tuesday. Security forces and protesters have clashed violently, recalling the events that led to the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak. Elections scheduled for next week are now uncertain.
It’s been ten months since the series of revolutions and protests known as the Arab Spring sprung out across the region. It began in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. Tunisians go to the polls this Sunday in the first democratic elections of the Arab Spring. How will the developments in Libya may affect the entire region, particularly the elections in Tunis and then Egypt?
The world was watching Libya yesterday, after rebel forces entered and took control of the capital city of Tripoli Sunday night, attempting to oust Col. Moammar Gadhafi, who is still at large. The streets of Tripoli today were a mix of celebrations and gunfire, as rebels and Gadhafi loyalists faced off. CNN reporter Matthew Chance said last night that he saw Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli. Seif al-Islam said that all of his family, including his father, was in Tripoli, and that the rebel's claims of capturing them were false.
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.