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Arab Spring

The Takeaway

Islamist Group Emerges as Victor in Egypt Elections

Thursday, December 01, 2011

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. 

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The Takeaway

Historic Egyptian Election Enters Second Day

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Egypt's first democratic elections since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak entered their second day on Tuesday. Although the elections capped weeks of bloody clashes between the military and protesters, who felt that they were loosing their revolution to military rule, the atmosphere throughout voting centers was one of hope. Protesters have been unhappy with the pace of transition as the country moves from military to civilian rule. The Obama administration came out in support of the protesters before the election began.

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The Takeaway

Will Egypt's Elections Calm the Turmoil?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Egyptians headed to the polls today to vote in the country's first parliamentary elections since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. But the election hasn't come without a great deal of controversy: throughout the past week, protests against Egypt’s military rule erupted throughout the country. Over people were 40 killed, and more than a thousand were injured. How will this affect the validity of the elections? And, amid all this turmoil, should they have even happened in the first place?

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The Takeaway

Hassan Heikal on His 'Tahrir Square Tax'

Monday, November 28, 2011

Economic inequality is the primary motivation for the Occupy protests that began in New York and have since gone global. A clear-cut solution for restoring financial stability and easing public disgruntlement, stateside or in the burgeoning European debt crisis, is nowhere in sight. But one millionaire claims to have an answer.

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The Takeaway

Inside Homs, Flashpoint of Syrian Unrest

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Arab League gave the Syrian government 24 hours to admit international monitors or face serious economic sanctions on Thursday. After the deadline passed at 6:00AM Eastern time, the league decided meet on Saturday to discuss how to proceed. At least 51 people are said to have been killed in violence across the country on Thursday. The BBC's Paul Wood traveled to Homs, the flashpoint of Syria's civil unrest, without permission and filed this report.

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The Takeaway

Seventh Day of Mass Protests Called in Egypt

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square after Friday prayers for a seventh day to call for a delay in the upcoming Parliamentary elections. Responding to calls for a "million man march," demonstrators fear the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military-led transitional government, will refuse to cede power to civilian rule. The influential Muslim Brotherhood, which is poised to do well in the elections, is not supporting the protests. The military appointed a former prime minister who served under Hosni Mubarak to form a new government on Friday. In a statement, the Obama administration said power should be transferred to the people "as soon as possible."

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The Takeaway

Egyptian Army Apologizes for Violence

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Supreme Council of Armed Forces, Egypt's military-led transitional government, issued an apology Thursday for the bloodshed caused by security forces in clashes with protesters. At least 35 people have been killed in the demonstrations, which are now in their sixth day. In a statement from two generals posted to Facebook, the SCAF offered its "regrets and deep apologies for the deaths of martyrs from among Egypt’s loyal sons during the recent events in Tahrir Square." Protesters are demanding the military accelerate its transition to civilian rule.

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The Takeaway

UN Condemns Egypt as Protests Enter Fifth Day

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thousands of Egyptians continued to demonstrate in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Wednesday, demanding the military-led government accelerate its transition to civilian rule. Not appeased by a deal struck between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military, protesters attacked the Interior Ministry. Thirty-one people are said to have died at the hands of security forces since the protests began. The United Nations' human rights chief assailed the Egyptian government for its "clearly excessive use of force" on the protesters.

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The Takeaway

Not All Egyptians Protesting in Tahrir Square

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Demonstrators continued to confront security forces in Cairo's Tahrir for a fifth day on Wednesday, demanding democratic reforms be accelerated. Despite a deal struck between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military to speed up the transition, protesters are staying put. But as BBC reporter Hugh Sykes found, not all Egyptians are protesting in Tahrir Square.

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The Takeaway

Egypt Protests Enter Fourth Day

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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.

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The Takeaway

Thousands Protest Military Rule in Tahrir Square

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A day after Egypt's civilian cabinet submitted its resignation to the transitional ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces, thousands of Egyptians protested on in Tahrir Square Tuesday. In the largest demonstrations since the uprising that put down former President Hosni Mubarak, the protests, now in their fourth day, has brought a violent crackdown from Egypt's military rulers. BBC correspondent Wyre Davies is in Tahrir Square and reports on the latest.

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The Takeaway

Hundreds Injured in Tahrir Square as Protests Continue

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thousands returned to Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest the possibility of heightened military control of the Egyptian government to protest the possibility of heightened military control of the Egyptian government on Friday. While initial demonstrations were peaceful, the mood changed over the weekend, resulting in clashes between protesters and security forces that extended into the early hours of Monday morning. Said Abbas, a representative of the ruling military council, has called protesters injured by gunfire "thugs."

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The Takeaway

As 2011 Draws to a Close, the Arab Spring Marches On

Monday, November 21, 2011

The pro-democracy movements that swept across the middle east, and in many ways defined the year, remain in pivotal stages. The Egyptian army has clamped down on protests in Cairo, burning tents and firing tear gas to drive out thousands of anti-military demonstrators. Meanwhile in Syria, the Arab League's ultimatum that called for an end to the violence in the country has expired. And Sunday marked the one-month anniversary of the death of former Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi.

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The Takeaway

Egyptian Army Clashes with Protesters in Tahrir Square

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Egyptian army used teargas, rubber bullets and birdshot in clashes with protesters in Cairo over the weekend. Parliamentary elections are scheduled to begin in stages a week from today — but this violence raises questions about whether free, democratic elections are possible at this time in Egypt. 

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The Takeaway

Cousin of Syrian President Calls for Democracy

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Arab League has given Syrian President Bashar al-Assad until Saturday to cease his bloody crackdown on protesters and allow a monitoring team into the country. To date, some estimate that Bashar al-Assad’s regime is responsible for the death of up to 3,500 citizens since the Spring. Are the proposed sanctions and suspension by the Arab League enough to convince Bashar al-Assad to step down from power? And if that were to happen is that even the best outcome for the country?

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On The Media

Arab Governments No Longer Ignoring Regional Atrocities

Friday, November 18, 2011

The regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad is becoming increasingly isolated.  Eight months into the Syrian uprising, with estimates of more than 3,500 people killed, the Arab League voted to suspend Syria's membership in the organization.  Bob speaks with Foreign Policy blogger Marc Lynch, who says the idea that Assad would lose legitimacy among fellow Arab leaders for killing his own people may seem obvious, but it is actually a revolutionary shift in the regional mentality.

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The Takeaway

A First Hand Account of Syrian Violence

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

President Bashar Assad of Syria is facing increasing pressure now that Jordan’s King Abdullah II voiced his desire to see Assad's regime to step down for the good of the country. King Abdullah was the first Arab leader to make such a call but he did so amid increasing violence within the country between anti-government protesters and soldiers still loyal to Assad. Dr. Zaher Sahloul has seen the Assad’s violent methods of tamping down civilian protest first hand. 

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The Takeaway

Tensions in Syria After Arab League Suspends Membership

Monday, November 14, 2011

In Syria, tens of thousands of government supporters poured into the streets of Damascus and other cities on Sunday to protest the Arab League's decision to suspend Syria's membership. Angry supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad also attacked several embassies. In response to the unrest, Syria called for an emergency Arab summit. 

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The Takeaway

More Violence After Syria Agrees to Arab League Plan

Thursday, November 03, 2011

At least five people were reportedly killed in the Syrian city of Homs on Thursday, a day after government officials accepted a plan by the Arab League for Syria to end violence against its own citizens, and hold talks with the opposition. The plan called for the Syrian government to remove the military presence from its streets and release about 70,000 political protesters. Protesters were skeptical of the deal. Anthony Shadid, Beirut bureau chief for The New York Times, reports on the latest developments.

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The Takeaway

Egyptians Take to the Streets for Jailed Blogger

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Demonstrations erupted in Cairo on Monday night as activists demanded the release of a jailed blogger and the end to military trials for civilians. The blogger, Alaa Abd El Fattah, criticized the Egyptian military's response to an October 9 protest that ended in violence and the death of 28 protesters, most of them Coptic Christians. He also referred to the army controlling Egypt as "Mubarak's military." Fattah is being accused of inciting violence.

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