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Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Earliest Jesus Depiction May Have Been Discovered In Ancient Egyptian Tomb

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 30, 2014

by  Antonia Blumberg

A team of Catalan archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be one of theearliest depictions of Jesus in an ancient tomb in Egypt.

The Archaeological Evidence For Jesus

The Archaeological Evidence For Jesus

The researchers uncovered an underground structure in a series of buried tombs that date to the 6th and 7th centuries. Among the Coptic, or early Christian, images painted on the walls was what lead researcher Josep Padró described as “the figure of a young man, with curly hair, dressed in a short tunic and with his hand raised as if giving a blessing.”

Synagogue excavated at Gamla.

Synagogue excavated at Gamla.

“We could be dealing with a very early image of Jesus Christ,” Padró told La Vanguardia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Netanyahu agreed to ceasefire after Obama promised US troops in Sinai next week?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 24, 2012

Israel and Palestine are momentarily at a ceasefire, but the potential reasoning behind the recess could have some real international implications. Israel’s Debka reports that the pause in fighting comes after the US promised to send troops to Sinai.

According to Debka, US troops will soon be en route to the Sinai peninsula, Egyptian territory in North Africa that’s framed by the Suez Canal on the West and Israel on the East. In its northeast most point, Sinai is but a stone’s throw from Palestinian-controlled Gaza, and according to Debka, Hamas fighters there have been relying on Iranian arms smugglers to supply them with weaponry by way of Egypt.

Debka reports this week that Sinai will soon be occupied by US troops, who were promised by President Barack Obama to Israel’s leaders as a condition that a ceasefire be called. Once deployed, the Americans will intervene with the rumored arms trade orchestrated by Iranians, ideally cutting off supplies for Hamas while at the same time serving as a thorn in the side of Iran.

“Once the missile and arms consignments depart Iranian ports or Libyan arms bazaars, Tehran has no direct control of their transit from point to point through Egypt until they reach Sinai and their Gaza destination,” Debka reports. “All the same, a US special forces operation against the Sinai segment of the Iranian smuggling route would count as the first overt American military strike against an Iranian military interest.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Israel-Gaza Conflict Reaches Cease-Fire After Egyptians, U.S. Broker Deal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 22, 2012

By 

WASHINGTON — Israel and Hamas have agreed to a cease-fire in the week-old conflagration in Gaza that has left more than a hundred dead and many more wounded.

The halt in hostilities was announced during a Wednesday press conference in Cairo, Egypt, by the Egyptian foreign minister Mohammed Kamel Amr. He was joined by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has spent the past 18 hours engaged in a whirlwind tour of diplomacy in a hasty attempt to reach a peace deal.

The cease-fire is set to take effect at 9 p.m. Cairo time, or 2 p.m. EST. More than 140 Palestinians, and five Israelis, have been killed in the conflict, which was almost entirely conducted by airstrike, rocket and drone.

Egyptian mediators told Reuters that Hamas believes it has won “guarantees” from the Israeli government to stop assassinating its leaders, and to ease the way for Palestinians to move across the borders of the Gaza Strip. Israelis say that if the rocket fire from Gaza does not stop, they hold the right to redouble their military strikes in the future. Read the rest of this entry »

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US election: How can it cost $6bn?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 7, 2012

By Cordelia Hebblethwaite

 The estimated price tag for the US elections in November is almost $6bn (£3.8bn). Why so much?

“The sky is the limit here,” says Michael Toner, former chair of the US Federal Election Commission.

“I don’t think you can spend too much.”

In a time of general belt-tightening, it may sound like a surprising argument, but Toner believes there should be more – not less – spending on US elections.

Anything that engages voters, and makes them more likely to turn out is, he says, a good thing.

“It’s very healthy in terms of American politics… it’s a symptom of a very vigorous election season, there’s a lot at stake here.”

On 6 November, Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, is set to challenge Barack Obama for the presidency, and polls suggest the margin between them could be wafer thin.

New figures just released by the Center for Responsive Politics, an independent research group which tracks money in politics, estimate the total cost of November’s elections (for the presidency, House of Representatives and Senate) will come in at $5.8bn (£3.7bn) – more than the entire annual GDP of Malawi, and up 7% on 2008.

Continue reading the main story

Squaring up the figures

Mitt Romney (l) and Barack Obama (r)

Projected spending estimates for 2012 US elections:

  • Total cost – $5.8bn (£3.7bn)
  • Presidential election – $2.5bn (£1.6bn)
  • Super Pacs and other outside groups – at least$750m (£480m) Read the rest of this entry »

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A storm brews in Cairo

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 10, 2012

Egypt’s new president, Muhammad Morsi, has been in office for just ten days but is already facing a stand-off with the army over the fate of the Islamist-dominated parliament, which the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) dissolved last month. This is the first major test for Egypt’s civilian presidency, whose powers the Mubarak-appointed military council is determined to limit.

Mr Morsi issued an executive order on Sunday reinstating the lower house of parliament, which the SCAF had disbanded after the Supreme Court ruled that provisions of the electoral law were unconstitutional. His call to reinstate the legislature reverses the SCAF’s order to dissolve it, but does not overturn the court’s ruling. He wants MPs to meet until a new constitution is ratified, after which new elections would be held.

The announcement surprised many of Egypt’s key political players. SCAF, the Supreme Court, and a host of political parties hastily convened late-night emergency meetings. Opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei tweeted that the decision to overrule the court was “turning Egypt from a government of law into a government of men.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Egypt Election Results: Mohammed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood Candidate, Announced President

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 25, 2012

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Egypt Election Results

After days of delay for the results of its presidential runoff, Egypt has announcedMohammed Morsi as the winner of the election and the country’s new president, the Associated Press reports.

Morsi, the candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood, faced off with former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq after the two candidates collected the most votes in the first round of Egypt’s presidential election.

The days leading up to the runoff proved increasingly tense for Egypt, as judges appointed by former President Hosni Mubarak ordered parliament to dissolve, a blow to the democratically elected and Islamist-dominated governing body.

On the heels of the parliament ruling and in the midst of vote counting, Egypt’s ruling military issued an interim constitution that seemingly deflated whatever power the next president would have. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hussein Tantawi, Gen. Martin Dempsey Meet

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 12, 2012

CAIRO — The United States’ top general discussed an Egyptian crackdown on Western-funded pro-democracy groups with the head of the country’s ruling military council on Saturday, as another two foreigners were arrested on charges of fomenting discontent on the first anniversary of Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.

The meeting between Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi took place as relations between the two allies have reached their lowest level in decades.

Egypt, which regularly blames anti-military protests on foreign meddling, has referred 16 American civil society employees to trial on charges of using State Department funds to finance unrest in Egypt. Among those referred to trial is Sam LaHood, the head of the Egypt office of the Washington-based International Republican Institute and the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

And in an indication that authorities will continue to push the line that foreigners are stirring up trouble, Egyptian police said they had arrested an Australian journalist and an American student whom they say residents accused of trying to bribe people to join a strike aimed at pressuring military rulers to transfer power to civilian rule.

The new arrests follow warnings from both the White House and Congress that the United States could cut an annual $1.5 billion aid package to Egypt over the crackdown on the civil society groups.

Dempsey discussed a range of issues with Egyptian generals “including the issue involving U.S. NGOs”, according to his spokesman Col. Dave Lapan who declined to give more details about the private discussions.

Egypt’s state news agency said Dempsey and the ruling generals discussed “the depth of the strategic relationship between Washington and Cairo,” but a Pentagon official had said prior to the general’s visit that he would talk with Egypt’s leaders about “choices and consequences.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tony Blair Warns ‘Dangerous’ Islamists Are Taking Advantage Of Arab Spring

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 29, 2011

Western governments were wrong to prop up Middle Eastern dictatorships in the mistaken belief it would create stability, Tony Blair has said.

The former prime minister said that in the past the West was “too reluctant to push those dictatorships on a path to democracy” in a mistaken belief that its interests lay in stability rather than freedom for the peoples of the region.

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme on Thursday, Blair said that while it was better to have democracies than dictatorships, it would have been preferable if the Arab Spring could have been averted in favour of a slower “evolutionary” move towards democracy.

“I think it’s better if we had been able to promote evolution of these countries so rather than revolution that will cause quite a lot of difficulties, not simply for us, but for people of these countries. Look at what has happened to Egypt’s growth rates and tourist industry,” he said.

Blair admitted he had to be a bit “self critical” and acknowledge that he should have “promoted more strongly a concept of evolutionary change” while in power.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Egypt Protest: Troops Use Brutal Force Against Women

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 18, 2011

CAIRO — Troops pulled women across the pavement by their hair, knocking off their Muslim headscarves. Young activists were kicked in the head until they lay motionless in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Unfazed by TV cameras catching every move, Egypt’s military took a dramatically heavier hand Saturday to crush protests against its rule in nearly 48 hours of continuous fighting in Egypt’s capital that has left more than 300 injured and nine dead, many of them shot to death.

The most sustained crackdown yet is likely a sign that the generals who took power after the February ouster of Hosni Mubarak are confident that the Egyptian public is on its side after two rounds of widely acclaimed parliament elections, that Islamist parties winning the vote will stay out of the fight while pro-democracy protesters become more isolated.

Still, the generals risk turning more Egyptians against them, especially from outrage over the abuse of women. Photos and video posted online showed troops pulling up the shirt of one woman protester in a conservative headscarf, leaving her half-naked as they dragged her in the street.

“Do they think this is manly?” Toqa Nosseir, a 19-year old student, said of the attacks on women. “Where is the dignity?”

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Arab Spring One Year On: What Happened, What Changed?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 17, 2011

One year ago today, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight in Tunisia. It was a personal protest that had huge ramifications not only for his homeland, but the entire region. This was the incident which triggered the demonstrations that spread from Tunisia into Egypt, Libya, Syria and beyond. This was the start of the Arab Spring.

At Bouazizi’s funeral 5,000 marchers chanted: “Farewell, Mohammed, we will avenge you. We weep for you today, we will make those who caused your death weep.”

For all their passion, no one expected what happened next: 12 months of intense protests, violence and revolution across North Africa and the Middle East, which brought down governments and resulted in thousands of deaths.

But 12 months later what has the impact really been? Which governments have fallen, which are on the brink – and which, if any, are stronger than ever? Was the Arab Spring really a movement – or was it always an invention of the press?

And with protests breaking out in Russia, Greece, China and even New York throughout 2011, as well as in the Arab world, has the spirit of the Spring spilled become a truly global phenomenon?

IN PICTURES: A Photographic History Of The Arab Spring

ARAB SPRING TIMELINE: How The Arab Spring Unfolded

As the Arab Spring marks a year of protest, we look back at what happened, and what changed.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Egypt Elections 2011: Voter Turnout ‘Highest Since The Time Of Pharaohs’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 2, 2011

CAIRO — Egypt’s ultraconservative Islamist party said Friday it plans to push for a stricter religious code in Egypt after claiming surprisingly strong gains in this week’s initial round of voting for parliament, the first elections since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.

Egypt’s election commission announced only a trickle of results Friday and said 62 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the highest turnout in Egypt’s modern history. Abdel-Mooaez Ibrahim, the head of High Election Commission, jokingly described it as “the highest since the time of pharaohs.”

Preliminary counts leaked by judges and individual political groups indicated that the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm took the largest share of votes. Following closely behind, was the ultraconservative Islamist Nour Party and a coalition of liberal parties called the Egyptian bloc, according to those unofficial counts.

That trend – if confirmed and if extended over more rounds of voting – would give the religious parties a popular mandate in the struggle to win control from the ruling military that took over from Mubarak and ultimately reshape a key U.S. ally.

The Islamist Nour Party expects to get 30 percent of the vote, party spokesman Yousseri Hamad told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Egypt: Thousands Take To The Polls Despite Protesters’ Demand That Military Rulers Step Down

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 28, 2011


Yes people is the main driving force:

Egyptians have taken to the polls for the country’s first elections since the fall of Mubarak’s regime in February.

Reports suggest that queues formed early outside polling stations, with delays at a number of major stations causing lines to stretch several blocks long, and in some cases entirely encircling the schoolhouses where voting was taking place.‬

‪”They’re trying to make it delayed so that we get angry and go home,” a man cried outside a still-closed polling center in the poor, mixed neighborhood of Shoubra, an hour after it was meant to open. “But we’ll show them. We will stay here and we will vote.”‬

The vote has gone ahead despite nine days of mass demonstrations, with protesters calling for an end to military rule before elections take place.

“We reject any resolution taken by the military council – except for the handover of power to an authority that we approve. Then we will be making the decisions in Egyptian politics,” said a Tahrir demonstrator on Sunday.

More than 40 protesters have been killed and around 2,000 injured in the past nine days.

In a statement on Sunday, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the leader of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), said that Egypt was “at a crossroads”.

“Either we succeed – politically, economically and socially – or the consequences will be extremely grave and we will not allow that,” he said.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Egypt: Thousands Protest Against Military In Cairo’s Tahrir Square

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 26, 2011


Why leaders practicall­y – not theoretica­lly – undermine people’s power?:

Thousands of protestors have filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square in the latest demonstration against the military authorities in Egypt.

Organisers called Friday’s protest in the capital ‘the last chance million-man protest’ as they demanded that the country’s military rulers step aside after the latest wave of demonstrations that have left more than 40 people dead.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is overseeing the transition to civilian rule but many protestors believe the military will not cede power after next week’s elections and are demanding the postponement of the vote until civilian rule is installed.

The protests have continued in spite of the ruling military regime selecting, Kamal el-Ganzouri, a Mubarak-era politician to act as prime minister and who insisted he has power to rule.

“I have asked Field Marshal [Hussein Tantawi] to give me time to appoint a Cabinet which satisfies all people,” el-Ganzouri said, adding: “[SCAF] has given me all the authorities that could be given to a prime minister.”

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Cairo Protest Of Egypt Elections Reach Second Day Of Unrest (LIVE UPDATES)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 20, 2011

CAIRO — Firing tear gas and rubber bullets, Egyptian riot police on Sunday clashed for a second day in downtown Cairo with thousands of rock-throwing protesters demanding that the ruling military quickly announce a date to hand over power to an elected government.

The police battled an estimated 5,000 protesters in and around the capital’s Tahrir Square, birthplace of the 18-day uprising that toppled authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak in February. Tear gas filled the air as protesters, many chanting “freedom, freedom,” pelted the police with rocks.

Sunday’s clashes, which come a day after two people were killed and hundreds wounded in similar unrest in the capital and other major cities, are stoking tensions eight days before the start of the country’s first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections. The violence reflects the rising public anger over the slow pace of reforms and apparent attempts by Egypt’s ruling generals to retain power over a future civilian government.

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The Whole World Watches Again: Occupy Wall Street Strikes Back

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 17, 2011

by 

Protesters cheer as they listen to speakers near Sproul Hall at the University of California at Berkeley as they participate in an Occupy Cal rally Nov. 15, 2011 in Berkeley, California. (Jeff Chiu / AP)

When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg authorized the city’s police force to move in and bring an end to the near two month occupation of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, he struck at the symbolic heart of a movement that, through the sheer fact of its presence, captured the imagination of thousands around the world. Bloomberg framed the eviction as a matter of health and safety: he would not let the occupation peter out on its own as New York’s frigid winter set in—“inaction was not an option,” read the statement issued by the mayor’s office following the police raid. But as Occupy Wall Street embarks on a day of action across New York City that’s being echoed by protests around the U.S. and the world, Bloomberg may yet question whether he should have let Zuccotti be.

According to one Occupy Wall Street organizer, estimates for attendance at events planned for Nov. 17 have tripled following the sudden NYPD sweep into what the protesters call Liberty Plaza. Nov. 17 marks two months since the occupation at Zuccotti Park began and Occupy Wall Street, alongside allied organizations, including unions, had been scheming actions weeks in advance. Some New York City officials now expect “tens of thousands” out on the streets in possibly the biggest show of dissent since the movement began.

There are three main events planned in New York, as this somewhat hyperbolic poster (invoking Tiananmen Square) lays out: the first is a mass rally starting from Zuccotti Park (once again opened to protest), attempting to “shut down” Wall Street with a march on the heavily fortified New York Stock Exchange; the second involves disparate groups of protesters taking over subway lines and telling their individual stories through the “people’s mike” while on board; the third will be the culmination of the day’s activities, with thousands streaming into Foley Square, near New York’s City Hall, alongside a substantial presence from local and national labor unions. Read the rest of this entry »

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