A Wedge of New Egypt Pie – with Martyr Sauce

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Deutsch: Hauptverwaltung des Internationalen W...

IMF HQ - Image via Wikipedia

According to the New York times, Egypt’s foreign currency reserves have fallen from a peak of $36 billion to about $10 billion and could run out entirely by March. Promised loans and funding from the US, Europe, the IMF and Arab neighbors have not materialized, according to the NYT and some reports from Egypt. We are also told they originally rejected an IMF loan but are now seeking to revive it. The IMF will “consider” and a decision will be ready in March – conveniently close to crunch time for Egypt. If no one in Egypt’s leadership can see they are being played over this I will assume they are blinded by greed.

Meanwhile, no one is including mention of the $1 billion loan SCAF was able to conjur up at the end of last year. Or the running cost of Egypt’s several security forces, for that matter. At the time, I asked how much more they had tucked away. Speaking of stashed cash, where are Mubarak’s assets? The endless delays to his trial are also dragging Egypt nearer to the financial abyss. What about the money and property that was tied up in Spain, or the funds embezzled by Mubarak’s crew, cronies and family all these years – where is that small fortune hiding? While we’re at it, didn’t Suzan Mubarak buy her way out of jail by promising to return a wedge of illicit wealth? Is Egypt still supplying subsidized gas to Israel through a deal with a US-owned operation? Why?

What’s really going on here is the international bully boys perfecting their game. For example, we have the US administration talking and meeting with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (probably not short of cash itself) then we see Reuters with a quick follow-up upbeat MB story from the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s economic committee, Ashraf Badr el-Din, suggesting that the Brotherhood and other main parties are moving toward consensus on managing the economy. Take your time, there are only 84 million lives and the stability of the entire region at stake. It’s too much to hope that someone have the guts to stand up and talk honestly about the need to make massive sacrifices over a medium to long term. As long as that is not happening anywhere else, despite the desperate, blindingly obvious need, it sure isn’t going to happen under SCAF’s beady eye.

We will hear lots in the next 6 to 8 weeks about the youth, the unemployment, and the need to make “reforms” (which means cutting subsidies). We won’t hear that this is backed by a huge international cartel of financiers like the IMF or World Bank and companies like Coca Cola etc promising foreign investment for infrastructure development, business growth and employment. In exchange for what? A nice big slice of New Egypt Pie. What a shame the gravy is made from the blood of martyrs.

Malta calls for end to violence in Syria, proud of helping Libya

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English: Lawrence Gonzi, Prime Minister of Malta.

Malta PM Gonzi. Image via Wikipedia

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday joined burgeoning calls to end the terror gripping Syria, saying evidence of human rights violations was “overwhelming” and calling for the redoubling of UN-centred efforts to end the violence.

Syria is in the grips of ongoing civil strife, with mass protests calling for an end to the Bashar al-Assad regime being violently struck down by the Syrian army. The UN estimates that more than 5,000 people have been killed so far.

Dr Gonzi was speaking at the annual exchange of New Year greetings with the diplomatic corps.

His calls for a more effective international response to spiralling violence in Syria came as part of a broader speech emphasising the continued relevance of UN-driven multilateralism within internation-al relations.

“In spite of its weaknesses and disappointments, the multilateral system centred round the United Nations remains a beacon of hope and a focus of action,” the Prime Minister said.

Dr Gonzi gave a brief overview of Malta’s international role throughout the past year. Describing 2011 as “a watershed period in international relations,” he spoke at length about the Arab Spring and Malta’s role throughout the Libyan overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

“From the very outset we saw our humanitarian involvement as a direct expression of the political support we wished to extend to the Libyan people in their struggle for freedom, dignity and human rights,” Dr Gonzi told gathered dignitaries.

As the much-touted “nurse of the Mediterranean”, Malta played a key role in evacuating the wounded and providing urgent humanitarian assistance to victims of the Libyan war. Foreign Minister Tonio Borg earlier described the operation as “the biggest evacuation exercise in Maltese history”.

Papal Nuncio and dean of the diplomatic corps, Mgr Tommaso Caputo went one further in his brief address, saying that in 2011 Malta had shown itself to be the “Good Samaritan of the Mediterranean”, driven by a belief in solidarity and “cherishing the dignity of man and the values that uphold that dignity”.

Dr Gonzi highlighted Malta’s decision to withhold the return of two Libyan fighter jets, noting that this was done even before UN sanctions were in place. “Such decisions require moral courage,” he told consuls later yesterday evening.

The overthrowing of dictatorial regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya has sprung renewed hope of a democratic shift within the Arab World.

Such hope is reflected across Europe, with Dr Gonzi saying there was “recognition” that the EU now had “a genuinely equal and viable partner” in its Arab World regional neighbour. It is a regional neighbour which, in the guise of the Arab League, grew substantially in personality over 2011, first suspending the membership of Gaddafi-led Libya – something Dr Gonzi alluded to and praised – and then openly condemning the crackdown on protesters by Syrian troops.

But increased activity in 2011 within the Arab world was countered by inertia among Mediterranean regional institutions with Dr Gonzi saying Malta was “disappointed” by the failure to hold the scheduled 5+5 Mediterranean dialogue summit last year. The Prime Minister redoubled criticism later in an address to consuls, saying that when it came to the crunch none of the myriad regional institutions “gave any extraordinary contribution” to the Libyan crisis.

Dr Gonzi found time to reiterate Malta’s support for further EU enlargement, saying that the island looked forward to welcoming Croatia as the EU’s 28th member in 2013

via timesofmalta.com.

News from Iran Week 03 – 2012

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News of the Prisoners

A-Transfers

  • Ali Afshari transferred to clinic in Urmiah prison.
  • Razgar Afshari transferred to quarantine in Urmiah prison.
  • Blogger and war veteran Davoud Bahmanabadi has been moved to Sepah ward 2-A solitary.
  • Keyvan Davoodi transferred to quarantine in Urmiah prison.
  • Blogger human rights activist Hossein Ronaghi has been hospitalized once again.
  • Isa Saharkhiz has been returned to prison from hospital before completing treatment.

    Issa Saharkhiz (عیسی سحرخیز), the Iranian poli...

    Isa Saharkhiz. Image via Wikipedia

  • Arash Honarvar Shojaei was taken to Evin clinic on his 8th day of hunger strike due to poor health.

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

  • Saeed Abootarab briefly arrested in Ispahan.
  • Medical furlough extension was denied for Reformist Feyzollah Arabsorkhi. He is back in Evin after 3days out.
  • Journalist Sahamedin Bourghani was arrested in a raid of his home.
  • Parastou Dokouhaki, journalist, researcher and translator, arrested at home in Tehran.
  • Mehdi Farahi Shandiz, teacher and worker activist is transferred to Evin to serve 3 year sentence.
  • Mohammad Jarahi, Azeri workers’ rights activist, arrested to serve his sentence.
  • Foad Khanjani, baha’i student activist, begins serving his sentence in Evin.
  • Dana Lanj Abadi Kurdish student activist, summoned to intelligence headquarters in Marivan and arrested.
  • Peyman Pakmehr, journalist from Tabriz is arrested and transferred to Evin prison.
  • Nima Pouryaghoub, Azeri student activist, arrested to serve his sentence.
  • Journalist Marzieh Rasouli was arrested in a raid of her home.
  • Arash Sadeghi rearrested one month after his liberation.
  • Jiar Salamatian Kurdish student activist, summoned to intelligence headquarters in Marivan and arrested.
  • Mohammad Soleimaninia, translator, has been arrested .
  • Sassan Vahebivash, Azeri student activist, arrested to serve his sentence.
  • Sharokh Zamani, Azeri workers’ rights activist, arrested at his work place to serve his sentence.
  • 10 partygoers, 9 men and one woman, arrested in Mashhad.

. C-Releases

D-Other News

  • Cleric blogger Mohammad Sadegh Honavar Shojaei has ended his hunger strike after 9 days.
  • Recently released political prisoner Hashem Khastar and his wife have been summoned to court in Mashhad.

News of injustice in Iran

  • Ali and Habib Afshari, Kurdish activists, sentenced to death.
  • Fatemeh Arabsorkhi, daughter of imprisoned ReformistFayzollah Arabsorkhi has been sentenced to 6 months suspended for 5 years .
  • Ahmadinejad adviser & CEO of IRNA, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, sentenced to 1 year in prison in preliminary court.
  • Parisa Kakaei sentence of 6 years prison confirmed by appeals.
  • Iran Freedom Movement member Amir Khoram already sentenced to 6 yrs has been sentenced to additional 2 years.
  • Supreme Court has upheld death sentence of Saeed Malekpourwithout the knowledge of Supreme Court justices.
  • Court of Appeals has upheld the 3 years sentence of blogger and women’s rights activist Fereshteh Shirazi.
  • 12 executions in Shiraz on Sunday 5 of them in public.
  • One public execution in Kerman on Thursday.

University  - Culture

  • A separation directed by Asghar Farhadi wins best foreign film in golden globes.
  • Iran to use different textbooks for education of girls & boys in its schools.
  • US dollar trading at 1665 tomans on the open market in Iran Monday Jan 16.
  • Asieh Amini wins prize of International Pen Club.

Economy in Iran

  • Iran plans to issue $1 billion in bonds at 21-percent profit rate.
  • 1$ = 1650 tomans on Monday.
  • Iran does not agree to reduce price on gas supplied to Turkey.
  • 8th International Kish Energy Exhibition opens with participation of firms from China, Turkey, Netherlands, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Azerbaijan Republic, Japan, Malaysia, Finland, Austria, UAE, Spain, Germany and Belgium.
  • All new employees in government offices must pass a course in the Koran.
  • Iran claims to have closed dozens of shops selling Barbie dolls.

Protests

  • More than 1000 workers on strike in Karoon factory in Sooshtar.

Iran  abroad

  • Iranian FM visits Turkey.
  • Ahmadinejad meets with Ecuadorian president.
  • Iranian-built cement factory “Cerro Azul” in Venezuela to be launched on March 2012.
  • Ali Akbar Salehi, foreign minister, in Turkey.
  • Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister visited South Lebanon.
  • Iraqi Oil Minister to visit Iran today.
  • Syria’s Special Guards for the president are trained in Iran.
  • Iran’s Press TV has had its broadcasting licence in the UK revoked

Politics in Iran

  • Former IRGC Commander Alaei compares Khamenei to Shah and infuriates regime; protests are organized in front of his home.
  • In a reversal, State Dept. of Iran has approved candidacy of Motahari, Katouzian, and Abbaspour.

Miscellaneous

  • 230 Iranian dissidents ‘strongly’ condemn nuclear worker’s assassination.
  • US Navy Rescues third Iran Crew.
  • Was she ‘executed’? Iranian student activist Gelareh Bagherzadeh, 30, found shot dead in her car near her Texas home.
  • A strong earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale hit northeastern Iran on Thursday, injuring at least 100 people.
  • The Head of UAE Security told delegates at a regional security conference not to allow the US to push Arab states into conflict with Iran

Des Nouvelles d’Iran – Semaine 03-2012

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Nouvelles des Prisonniers


A-Transferts
Ali Afshari transféré au dispensaire de la prison d’Oroumieh.
Razgar Afshari transféré à l’isolement de la prison d’Oroumieh.
Le blogger et ancien combattant Davoud Bahmanabaditransféré au bloc d’Evine gouverné par les gardes révolutionnaires, le 2-A, à l’isolement.
Le bloggeur et militant des droits humains Hossein Ronaghi Maleki hospitalisé une fois de plus.
Le journaliste Issa Saharkhiz transféré de l’hôpital en prison avant d’avoir terminé son traitement.
Arash Honarvar Shojaei transféré à l’infirmerie d’Evine au 8ème jour de sa grève de la faim.

B- Arrestations/Incarcérations

Saïd Aboutarab brièvement arrêté à Ispahan.

Fin de la libération pour raisons médicales du réformisteFeyzollah Arabsorkhi ; il est de retour à Evine après 3 jours.
Le journaliste Sahamedin Bourghani arrêté à domicile.
Mohammad Djarahi, syndicaliste azéri, arrêté pour purger sa peine.
Parastou Dokouhaki, journaliste, chercheuse et traductrice, arrêtée à domicile à Téhéran.
Mehdi Farahi Shandiz, enseignant syndicaliste, transféré à la prison d’Evine pour purger sa peine de 3 ans de prison.
Fouad Khandjani, militant étudiant bahaï, commence à purger sa peine à Evine.
Dana Lanj Abadi militant étudiant kurde, convoqué au ministère du renseignement de Marivan et arrêté.
Peyman Pakmehr, journaliste de Tabriz arrêté et transféré à Evine.
Nima Pouryaghoub, militant étudiant azéri, arrêté pour purger sa peine.
La journaliste Marzieh Rassouli arrêtee chez elle.
Arash Sadeghi arrêté un mois après sa libération.
Jian Salamatian militant étudiant kurde, convoqué au ministère du renseignement de Marivan et arrêté.
Mohammad Soleimani Nia, traducteur, arrêté.
Sassan Vahebivash, militant étudiant azéri, arrêté pour purger sa peine.
Sharokh Zamani, syndicaliste azéri, arrêté sur son lieu de travail pour purger sa peine.
Neuf hommes et une femme qui se rendaient à une fête à Mashhad arrêtés.

C-Liberations

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D-Autres Nouvelles
Le blogger religieux Mohammad Sadegh Honavar Shojaeiarrête sa grève de la faim au bout de 9 jours.
Hashem Khastar, récemment libéré, et son épouse convoqués au tribunal de Mashhad.
Nouvelles de l’injustice en Iran
Ali et Habib Afshari, militants Kurdes, condamnés à mort.
Fatemeh Arabsorkhi, fille du réformiste emprisonné Fayzollah Arabsorkhi condamnée à 6 mois avec sursis.
Le conseiller d’Ahmadinejad et PDG de l’IRNA, Ali Akbar Djavanfekr, condamné à un an de prison ; il fait appel du verdict.
La condamnation à 6 ans de prison de Parissa Kakaï confirmée en appel.
Amir Khorram, membre du mouvement de la liberté en Iran, déjà condamné à 6 ans de p^rison, condamné à 2 années supplémentaires.
La cour suprême confirme la peine de mort pour Saïd Malekpour.
La cour d’appel confirme le verdict de 3 ans de prison pour la bloggeuse féministe Fereshteh Shirazi.
12 exécutions à Shiraz dimanche dont 5 publiques.
Une exécution publique à Kerman jeudi.

L’université – La culture

“Une Séparation” d’Asghar Farhadi meilleur film étranger aux golden globes.
L’Iran utilisera des manuels scolaires différents pour les filles et pour les garçons dans ses écoles.
Assieh Amini gagne le prix de l’International Pen Club.
IRIB brouillée ; l’origine est inconnue.
L’économie de l’Iran
L’Iran veut émettre pour 1 milliard de dollars d’obligations avec un taux d’intérêt de 21%.
Le dollar vaut 1650 tomans lundi 16 janvier.
L’Iran refuse de baisser le prix du gaz vendu à la Turquie.
La 8ème exposition internationale de Kish sur l’énergie ouvre ses portes avec la participation d’entreprises chinoises, torques, hollandaises, indiennes, sud coréennes, taïwanaises, azéries, japonaises, malaisiennes, finlandaises, autrichiennes, arabes, espagnoles, allemandes et belges.
Tout nouveau fonctionnaire doit, avant sa titularisation, passer un examen de coran.
Les boutiques vendant des poupées Barbie sont fermées.
Une foire aux technologies avancées russes se tiendra à Téhéran en février.
Les Manifestations
Plus de mille ouvriers en grève à l’usine Karoun de Shoushtar.
L’Iran à l’étranger
Le ministre des affaires étrangères se rend en Turquie.
Ahmadinejad rencontre le président équatorien.
La cimenterie iranienne “Cerro Azul” ouvrira au Venezuela en mars 2012.
Ali Akbar Salehi, ministre des affaires étrangères, in Turquie.
Le ministre de la culture et de la guidance islamique en visite au Sud Liban.
Le ministre irakien du pétrole en visite en Iran.
La garde spéciale du président syrien est entraînée en Iran.
La politique en Iran
L’ancien commandant des gardes révolutionnaires Alaei compare Khamenei au shah et met le régime en colère ; des manifestations sont organisées devant son domicile.
L’état fait marche arrière et autorise les candidatures des députés Motahari, Katouzian, and Abbaspour.
Nouvelles en vrac
230 dissidents Iraniens condamnent “fermement” les assassinats liés au nucléaire.
La marine américaine sauve un troisième bateau iranien.
A-t-elle été exécutée ? Guelareh Bagherzadeh, 30 ans, scientifique spécialisée dans le nucléaire, abattue dans une voiture devant son domicile au Texas.