In a move that futher galvanized Egypt's protesters, thousands of Egyptian labors union members held sit-ins and strikes on Wednesday that were expected to continue through the week. Union members have not called for President Hosni Mubarak to step down, instead airing their frustration with low wages and the Egyptian government in general.
Many nations in North Africa and the Middle East are no stranger to election results that seem less than democratic. In 2006, Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh won re-election with seventy-seven percent of the popular vote. In 2005, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak took eighty-eight percent of the vote. And in 2009, Tunisia's now ex-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali commanded nearly ninety percent of the vote.
It may be hard to imagine a country in the same region where a free, fair and transparent election results in more than ninety eight percent of people voting for the same outcome. But that's exactly what happened in Southern Sudan, where 98.83 percent of nearly four million voters chose separation from their countrymen to the north.
We've seen a domino effect in the Mideast as protests in Tunisia sparked the continued unrest in Egypt. Over the past week opposition activists in Syria have gathered in small groups to pay homage to the protestors in Egypt, while a Facebook group, run mostly by Syrian expatriates, is trying to organize a "Day of Rage" in that country.
A massive winter storm slammed huge swaths of the country this week with snow and freezing rain. And the worst may be yet to come. Central and northern Midwest can expert up to 15 to 20 inches of snow. Up to two-feet of snow — a record — could land in Chicago. Stephen Fybish, a weather historian, says he predicted this would be a rough winter back in 2003.
In what is being dubbed the "March of Millions," hundreds of thousands of Egyptians have taken to the streets in the eighth day of protests against President Hosni Mubarak. Demonstrations have vowed to remain on the streets until Mubarak, who has held his position for more than 30 years, quits. Protests are taking place in Tahrir Square, which translates to Liberation Square.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians are still in the streets to call for an end to the three-decade rule of President Hosni Mubarak. At issue for many protesters is the dire standard of living. How can a new government make things better? And here at home, as the country is trying to pull itself out of a recession, we look at whether unrest in Egypt have an impact on the American economy?
Credit rating agencies took some bold steps on Thursday, downgrading growth forecasts and cutting debt ratings both in the U.S. and abroad. Moody's Investors Service announced Thursday they will begin to take unfunded pension debt into account when formulating states' credit ratings — a move that could have a debilitating affect on struggling states. On the same day, Fitch Ratings cut their growth forecast for Tunisia by two percent in light of domestic political upheaval that has swept across the Middle East, and Standard and Poor's downgraded Japan's long-term government debt for the first time since 2002. What does this mean for countries, states, and the international economy?
From Germany in World War I to Germany and Japan in World War II, to the Taliban and Al-Qaida today, the faces of America’s enemies have shifted over time. But how we define our enemies defines our nation in turn. We assume to be what they are not. How has this pattern affected the way nations see themselves and each other?
When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, he won't just be speaking to the American people; he'll be speaking to the world. From Iran to Afghanistan to Russia, world leaders and ordinary citizens will listen carefully to Obama's words. For a look at the geopolitical landscape facing Obama on the eve of his address, we talk to George Friedman, author of "The Next Decade: Where We've Been and Where We're Going."
Google has announced significant changes to the company's executive line-up, as chief executive Eric Schmidt hands over his management role to Google co-founder Larry Page. The changes are set to take effect on April 4th, and it is unclear if they are permanent. Jeff Jarvis is the author of What Would Google Do? He is also a professor at the CUNY graduate school of journalism.
Thursday marks 30 years since the release of 52 American hostages who were held in the US embassy in Tehran for 444 days by a group of Iranian students and militants. Barry Rosen was one of those hostages. He worked as a press attaché in the embassy in Tehran, and he says the anniversary of his release remains fixed in his mind. "I have to remember it," Rosen says. "If I had a place to go, I would go and stand there. But I don't have a place to go."
Four Haitians are pressing charges against former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, who unexpectedly returned to Haiti on Sunday. Duvalier was living in exile in France, and came to Haiti on a diplomatic passport. The complainants charge Duvalier with crimes including torture, exile and arbitrary detention. Michele Montas is a former spokeswoman for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. She is one of those pressing charges.
Almost all of the four million voters in Southern Sudan casting their votes on whether or not to secede from the North have been affected by decades of bloodshed and civil war in that country. Takeaway producer Noel King has been reporting from the ground in Southern Sudan during the preparation for the vote as well as the referendum itself. Noel shares with us the stories she's heard from people of all different generations, and how all the violence has affected their lives.
On Sunday, the south Sudan began to vote in a historic referendum that may split the country in two, separating its mostly Christian South from its mostly Muslim North. Takeaway producer Noel King has been in the country all week reporting on how Sudanese have been preparing for a vote that may change the map of Africa for the foreseeable future.
On Friday night at Juba's Nyakuron cultural center, some of southern Sudan's most popular young musicians played to cheering crowds in a concert celebrating the upcoming referendum.
I went to the event to try and track down the winners of southern Sudan's national anthem contest. I've been preoccupied with this story since August, when a southern military spokesman told the BBC that a contest was underway to choose who would sing the official anthem. If southern Sudanese vote on Sunday to secede from the north and form their own nation, they'll have to start from scratch in many ways. That means drawing new borders, electing new leaders, making new passports ... and writing a new national song.
This Sunday, South Sudan will decide whether to split off from the North in a historic referendum that's part of a 2005 peace deal. A vote for secession would re-draw Africa's map and raise innumerable challenges, from divvying up oil resources to coming up with a new national anthem. Takeaway producer Noel King reports from Juba, the southern capital, to set the scene as the referendum draws near.
Sudan is Africa's largest, and arguably, its most divided nation. Right now, Sudanese are getting ready for a historic vote that will allow them a chance to re-draw the African map. The vote happens on Sunday and Takeaway producer Noel King will be reporting from there all week.
Here’s the first of her dispatches: A background to the historic referendum.
On this last day of 2010 we revisit the story taking place in Ciudad Juarez, in Mexico. It's a story that we've been sad to return to repeatedly, not just this last year, but over the last four years. Yesterday we heard reports of four more dead in the longstanding Mexican drug war between drug cartels and border troops. Gunmen believed to be linked to the cartels killed four police officers and a doctor in coordinated attacks around the nearby city of Monterrey.
President Obama stirred some controversy recently by calling Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to commend him for giving Michael Vick a second chance, after Vick was released from prison for his involvement in an illegal dogfighting ring. Some were far on the other side of the Vick story, like pundit Tucker Carlson, who suggested that Vick should have been executed for his crimes. Outside of the public debate, many who work with formerly incarcerated Americans say that Vick is very lucky — and that second chances are rare.