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Arab Spring

The Takeaway

A Year After Tunisia's Revolution, Where Does the Country Stand?

Monday, January 16, 2012

This past Saturday, Tunisians returned to the streets to celebrate the first anniversary of the ouster of President Ben Ali. Tunisia's current, democratically-elected leader, President Marzouki, declared January 14 a national holiday and granted pardons to 9,000 prisoners and commuted 122 death sentences. The series of protests that ended Ben Ali's 23-year reign, largely motivated by widespread unemployment and large gaps between the rich and poor, also inaugurated the Arab Revolution.

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The Takeaway

Flash Forward: The Arab World in 2012

Thursday, January 05, 2012

December 10, 2010 marked the beginning of the Arab Spring, a series of pro-democracy movements that moved from Tunisia to Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Libya. A little over a year later, violent protests are still happening on the streets of Cairo and Homs, Tunisia and Libya are peaceful, while Bahrain and Yemen remain ominously quiet. So where will 2012 take the Middle East and North Africa?

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The Takeaway

Violence Continues In Syria Despite International Monitors

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Arab League monitors have been in Syria for more than a week, yet violence continues throughout the country. Activists claim about 400 people have been killed in clashes between protestors in the military in the past week alone. On Tuesday, an advisory body to the League said the observers should be withdrawn because they are providing cover to the Syrian government as it continues to treat its citizens inhumanely. But Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi said Syria's release of political prisoners and its withdrawal of military artillery from residential areas demonstrates that progress is being made.

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The Washington Report

Predictions for 2012

Monday, January 02, 2012

In this week's Washington Report, David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, speaks to Manoush Zomorodi about his predictions for the coming year in the Middle East, Europe, China, and in the coming elections here in the United States.

The Takeaway

After Fleeing, A Woman Returns to a New Libya

Friday, December 30, 2011

Iman Traina escaped from Libya in April, fleeing on a boat  with her baby as Moammar Gadhafi's forces moved on Misrata. When she was last on the program, she reported not having clean water, lack of food and electricity. After spending many months in Ireland, she is home again. Traina says things have gotten much better in Libya and looks and hopes to settle down, raise her children, and rebuild her country.

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The Takeaway

2011 Is History: Looking Back at a Tumultuous Year

Friday, December 30, 2011

Some years just seem to have less impact than others. But 2011 held the Arab Spring, the death of Osama bin Laden, Occupy Wall Street, protests against austerity measures and the ousting of Berlusconi, as well as the end of the Iraq War. Which events of the past year will make it to the history textbooks, and which will be esoteric stories we confuse our grandkids with?

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The Takeaway

More Violence as Syrians Stage Mass Protests

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across Syria on Friday in the largest demonstration in months, prompting more violent clashes between protesters and security forces. At least 10 people have been killed, according to reports. Dozens were injured when troops detonated "nail bombs" to disperse crowds in a Damascus suburb. Emboldened by the presence of Arab League peace monitors, activists hope to show their strength to the outside world.

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The Takeaway

Group Says Syria Attacks Protesters as Monitors Arrive

Thursday, December 29, 2011

An opposition group said Syrian security forces opened fire on protesters in a Damascus suburb on Thursday, the latest incident of violence since Arab League peace monitors arrived in the country. Activists say over 20 people were injured outside the Grand Mosque in the Douma suburb, and two were killed. Eight other deaths were reported in Syria on Thursday. The violence comes a day after Arab League observers visited Homs, the epicenter of anti-government demonstrations. There, the team's leader was criticized after saying he had seen "nothing frightening" during the visit. On the third day of their mission, the monitors will visit Deraa, Hama and Idlib.

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The Takeaway

A Look Back at the Arab Spring

Thursday, December 29, 2011

One of the biggest stories of the year was the Arab Spring. Starting in Tunisia and spreading to Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain, the ongoing protests across the Middle East and Northern Africa toppled decades-old dictatorships and forever changed the world's perception of the region. 

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The Takeaway

Embattled Yemeni Leader Allowed to Seek Treatment in US

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

After fierce internal debate, the White House has decided to allow Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to travel to the United States to seek medical treatment, The New York Times reported on Monday. The decision is expected to be met with controversy. Many Yemenis want to see Saleh prosecuted for the deaths of hundreds of anti-government demonstrators who were killed protesting his decades-long rule. The Obama administration hopes removing Saleh from Yemen will help clear a path for democratic elections next year. Hakim Almasari, editor of The Yemen Post, reacts to the decision from Sana'a.

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The Takeaway

Syria Blames Al-Qaida for Damascus Attack

Friday, December 23, 2011

At least 30 people were killed in Damascus Friday morning when two suicide car bombs were detonated outside security and intelligence buildings. SANA, Syria's government news agency, reported that most of the fatalities were civilians. State TV also said al-Qaida militants were suspected to be behind the attacks. But opposition activists claim the government staged the bombings to influence observers from the Arab League, who arrived on Thursday. The monitors were sent to Syria to help end a months-long violent crackdown on the anti-government opposition. The U.N. estimates that 5,000 people have died in the uprising since March.

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The Takeaway

Thousands of Women Protest Army Violence in Egypt

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In what historians said was the largest demonstration by women in generations, thousands of Egyptian women marched Tuesday against their treatment by security forces. The fifth day of protests in Tahrir Square was sparked by footage of soldiers savagely beating a woman and tearing off her clothes at demonstrations over the weekend. Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces expressed regret over the incident, though suggested it was isolated. On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Egyptian military's treatment of women, calling it "shocking."

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The Takeaway

Fifth Day of Violent Clashes in Tahrir Square

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Egyptian security forces attempted to clear protesters from Cairo's Tahrir Square in a predawn raid on Tuesday — the second in as many days — as clashes between demonstrators and police entered their fifth day. Thirteen people have been killed in the protests since the second round of parliamentary elections began on Friday. On Sunday, the United Nations and the U.S. State Department condemned the violence. Gen. Adel Emara of Egypt's ruling military council denied using violence against the protesters on Monday.

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The Takeaway

One Reporter Looks Back at His Year in the Arab Spring

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On December 17, 2010, Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest of his treatment at the hands of municipal officials. His act of desperation would become the catalyst for a full-scale revolution that would sweep across North Africa and into the Middle East in what would become known as the Arab Spring. This week has brought more violent clashes between protesters and police in Egypt, but the idea of such actions transpiring just a year ago would have been unfathomable. The year 2011 has seen democratic movements swell in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria.

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The Takeaway

Syria Allows in Arab League Observers

Monday, December 19, 2011

Syria has announced it will allow 100 observers into the country, after a long political battle with the Arab League. But as director of University of Oklahoma's Center for Middle East Studies Joshua Landis notes, the situation those observers will enter is explosive. The Syrian Free Army and security forces of President Bashar al-Assad seem at the verge of all-out war, and tensions within the country are higher than ever.    

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The Takeaway

The Untold Civilian Causalities of NATO's Libya Intervention

Monday, December 19, 2011

The seven month NATO operation that helped rebels in Libya drive Col. Moammar Gadhafi from power has been heralded as a model air war that utilized technology to deliver blunt force while minimizing civilian causalities. But according to an investigation by The New York Times, dozens of Libyan civilians were killed by NATO airstrikes during the operation, which ended on October 31. The Times estimates that between 40 and 70 people, including at least 29 women and children, were killed by NATO.

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The Takeaway

Time Magazine Names 'The Protester' as Person of the Year

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Time magazine has declared 2011 the year of the protester. In the year that gave the world the Arab Spring, austerity-related uprisings throughout Europe, and the Occupy Wall Street movement, it is no surprise the newsweekly chose "The Protester" as its iconic 2011 Person of the Year. Two protesters from very different movements join The Takeaway to talk about the popular uprisings that have dominated headlines and captivated minds around the globe in 2011.

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The Takeaway

Egyptians in the US Vote in Parliamentary Elections

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Through midnight Monday, expatriate Egyptians headed to embassies and consulates around the world to cast their vote in the second round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections. These are the first free elections in 60 years and the first elections to take place since the Arab Spring.

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The Takeaway

A Political Psychologist's Take on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Thursday, December 08, 2011

"We do not kill our people," a defiant President Bashar al-Assad of Syria told ABC News's Barbara Walters in a rare interview broadcast on Wednesday. Assad refused to take responsibility for ordering the bloody crackdown on the protest movement calling for his ouster, which the United Nations estimates has taken the lives of 4,000 people. The increasingly isolated Assad claimed most of the deaths were his own supporters. Now in their ninth month, the Syrian government continues to stubbornly insist the uprisings are fueled by foreign governments like the U.S. and Israel.

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The Takeaway

Assad Denies Responsibility in Syrian Crackdown

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

"We do not kill our people," a defiant President Bashar al-Assad of Syria told ABC News's Barbara Walters in a rare interview broadcast on Wednesday. Assad refused to take responsibility for ordering the bloody crackdown on the protest movement calling for his ouster, which the United Nations estimates has taken the lives of 4,000 people. The increasingly isolated Assad claimed most of the deaths were his own supporters. Now in their ninth month, the Syrian government continues to stubbornly insist the uprisings are fueled by foreign governments like the U.S. and Israel.

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