Syrian risk: Broadcasters reporting on conflict

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At 8:30 p.m. in a makeshift newsroom on the top floor of a nondescript building, Syrian news anchor Qutaiba Al-Khatib tapped away on his laptop, writing a script for a newscast. The lead story: the killing in Houla of 108 civilians, including dozens of children, allegedly by supporters of the regime.

Within hours, this secret broadcast operation had beamed news and videos on the massacre to Syrians and to points throughout the Arab world. Worldwide, the story dominates headlines.

Read more at USA Today

Islamist victories: Voters seek change

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CAIRO — Long-oppressed Arabs may be supporting Islamist political parties, but that does not mean the United States needs to fear a new rash of governments imposing strict Islamic law, according to some analysts who reviewed voting patterns after the Arab Spring uprisings.

“What voters are doing is voting for a clean break with the old regimes,” saidFawaz Gerges, director of Middle East studies at the London School of Economics.

Read more at The Washington Times

Egyptian election: Muslim Brotherhood on top

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CAIRO – Parties that want an expansion of Islamic law captured a clear majority of the votes in Egypt's first election since the uprising that ousted longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak, according to results released Sunday.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party topped winners with 37% of the nearly 10 million valid ballots cast for party lists in the first of three electoral rounds for the Egyptian parliament.

Read more at USA Today

Egyptian poll: Protests halt for ballot

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CAIRO — The second day of parliamentary elections here passed without incident Tuesday, with millions of Egyptians taking part in their country’s first clean voting in decades and Egypt’s military rulers taking credit for the relative calm and massive turnout.

Meanwhile, many voters said the protests in Tahrir Square, which launched Egypt’s revolution in January and resumed this month against the military rulers, now can cease if a democratically elected government represents the will of the people.

Read more at The Washington Times

Egyptian elections: Casting votes amid protests

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CAIRO – Widal Abdel Ghany emerged from her polling place Monday holding up an ink-stained thumb.

"Egypt, Egypt!" yelled the 49-year-old nurse after voting for the first time .

Read more at USA Today

Egyptian vote: A question of timing

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CAIRO — Recent demonstrations and military-sponsored violence that has killed dozens of protesters have prompted many Egyptians to question whether Monday is the best time to hold the country’s first parliamentary elections since the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak in February.

“How can we have elections right after so many people have died?” asked farmer Hemdan El-Ready, 35.

Read more at The Washington Times

Cairo crowds: Forcing faster transition

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CAIRO – Huge crowds of protesters chanting "Freedom - down, down with military rule!" stood in Tahrir Square on Tuesday, demanding that a new governing body replace the interim ruling military council just days before Egyptians take to the polls. "

For more than 60 years, regardless of who's in power, we've been ruled by the military," said Abdel Rahman Ayad, 24, active in protests since the revolution. "The people simply don't want this. Forget (the military). We want a government that is from the people, not the military."

Read more at USA Today

Libyan dictatorship: Gadhafi era ends

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MISRATA, Libya — His 42 years of despotic rule already at an end, deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi ran out of places to hide Thursday and was killed after being cornered by rebels in his hometown stronghold of Sirte.

Gadhafi's bloody finish, documented in grisly cellphone photos that swept the globe after being sent by rebels at the scene, triggered bullets of celebration and cries of "Allaha akbar!" or "God is great!" across his batteredNorth African nation.

Read more at The usatoday

Hunting Gadhafi: New rulers yet to find ousted dictator

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TRIPOLI, Libya — It has been almost two months since Tripoli fell to Libya's revolutionary forces but ousted ruler Moammar Gadhafi remains at large.

There's no shortage of speculation about his whereabouts, but there is a dearth of credible information.

Read more at USA Today

Arab art: Fortelling revolution

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MARRAKESH, Morocco — Newly deposed Arab dictators might have been well advised to have paid attention to the works of their home-grown artists more closely: Many visualized the revolutions in their countries long before they happened.

Take the photograph by the Moroccan Hicham Benohoud, one of the pieces by dozens of artists shown at this year’s Marrakech Art Fair, which was held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3: It shows a child physically tied to his environment, and it speaks with contempt for the country’s social inequalities...

Read more at The New York Times

Arab Art: Early indicator of revolution

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MARRAKESH, MOROCCO — Newly deposed Arab dictators might have been well advised to have paid attention to the works of their home-grown artists more closely: Many visualized the revolutions in their countries long before they happened.

Take the photograph by the Moroccan Hicham Benohoud, one of the pieces by dozens of artists shown at this year’s Marrakech Art Fair, which was held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3: It shows a child physically tied to his environment, and it speaks with contempt for the country’s social inequalities.

Read more at The New York Times

Gadhafi's hometown: Residents caught in crossfire

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SIRTE, Libya – Mohammed al Mselem, 45, sat outside of his hometown here with his two young daughters, surrounded by rebels on the hunt for former Libyan dictator Moammmar Gadhafi.

A former mathematics teacher, he said essential supplies had started running out in the city, populated with forces that do not want to surrender to live under rebel rule. "There's not much petrol, not much food."

Read more at USA Today

Rebels poised: Gadhafi loyalists desert

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BANI WALID, Libya – Rebels said Tuesday that they believed the residents of this regime stronghold would agree to surrender soon as a convoy of Moammar Gadhafi loyalists that included his security chief fled into neighboring Niger.

Bani Walid, a city of 70,000 about 90 miles southeast of Tripoli, is one of the few places in Libya still held by forces loyal to Gadhafi. Opposition fighters say they have given the city's tribal leaders until Saturday to lay down their arms or face a military assault.

Read more at USA Today

Syria crackdown: Damascus shuts up shop

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DAMASCUS, Syria – The rows of sparkling 18-carat-gold bangle bracelets have long since been removed from the cramped, tiny jewelry shops in the Salihiya neighborhood of Damascus. Many of the shops and travel agencies clustered in this popular shopping district are closed until further notice.

More than 8.3 million tourists passed through Syria in 2010, generating 12% of the gross domestic product, according to the Syrian Ministry of Tourism. This year, the streets of the Syrian capital tell a different story: Empty Internet cafes and deserted dining tables at popular restaurants show the cloud of fear and uncertainty that hangs over the city.

Read more at USA Today

Lockerbie bomber: Libyans have 'other priorities'

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TRIPOLI, Libya – Dentistry student Alaa al-Meghze said Monday that he is frustrated about demands from some in the West that the Libyan rebels hand over the only person convicted in the bombing of a Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

"What about the dead people killed here?" asked al-Meghze, 21. "Gadhafi killed more people. Why not ask about them?"

Read more at USA Today

Libya turmoil: Revenge killings suspected

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TRIPOLI, Libya – As Libya's capital slowly staggers back to life, evidence is emerging of revenge killings committed by both rebels and the regime army, which could provoke continuing violence.

Outside the Bab al Aziziah compound, the vast complex of military barracks where Moammar Gadhafi lived with his family, bodies lay bloated in the hot sun. Nearby, two dozen corpses lay around a makeshift field hospital.

Read more at USA Today

Gadhafi search: Bodies pile up

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As his capital was wrestled from him after days of ferocious fighting, Muammar Gaddafi issued a defiant message from his hiding place yesterday urging his supporters to "purify" Tripoli as 1,000 rebel fighters bombarded the regime's remaining enclave in the city.

An angry Colonel Gaddafi denounced the "rats, crusaders and unbelievers" in an audio message broadcast by loyalist satellite television channels during another day of brutal combat in Tripoli. There was no sign of an end to the conflict as the battle raged for four hours in the battered neighbourhood of Abu Salim, amid rumours that some of Colonel Gaddafi's family or even the dictator himself could be ready to launch a final stand from a loyalist enclave in a block of flats.

Read more at The Independent

Libyan rebels: Leadership moves to Tripoli

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TRIPOLI, Libya – The transitional government of Libya began moving its leadership here to the capital Thursday.

The Transitional National Council has been based in the eastern city of Benghazi, which fell to rebel forces early in the conflict.

Read more at USA Todays

Tripoli civilians: Casualties mount

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TRIPOLI, Libya – Adel Mohammed waited patiently outside the morgue on Zawiyah Street. His bearded face turned a little gray as he held out his mother's identity card. She had been shot in the forehead by a sniper as she leaned out a window to call to her 13-year-old son in the street below, telling him to come into the house.

Mohammed, 40, was there to claim her body. He waited outside to avoid the overwhelming stench of the morgue.

Read more at USA Today

Tripoli chaos: Rebels fight for control

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TRIPOLI, Libya – The Libyan capital was in chaos Wednesday as rebels battled to consolidate their hold against fierce resistance from pro-regime forces trying to cut off the road to the airport.

Rebels controlled much of the city Wednesday, but fighting continued in a number of districts where Moammar Gadhafi's forces were mounting a last stand to hold onto the regime's four decades in power.

Read more at USA Today

Libyan conflict: Rebels storm Gadhafi compound

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ZAWIYAH, Libya — Libyan rebels stormed Moammar Gadhafi's Tripoli compound Tuesday, looting buildings and scouring the grounds without finding the besieged dictator.

The capture of his Bab al-Aziziya, center of the Libyan strongman's 42-year rule, was a symbolic victory for rebel troops, prompting sporadic celebratory gunfire even here, 30 miles from the city..

Read more at USA Today

Morocco religion: Controversy over freedom

b_172_129_16777215_00_images_MAR130218AA003.jpegCASABLANCA, Morocco — The slogan displayed on the profile pictures of hundreds of Moroccan Facebook users was stark: “In Morocco, Eating Kills.”

The message referred to the incident two years ago when six Moroccans were arrested for having a picnic during Ramadan in protest of a law banning eating in public during Ramadan. 

Read more at Global Post

Libyan conflict: Rebels in deadlock

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SIRTE, Libya — The fighters ran from building to building, ducking as weapons fire came in over the rooftops around them.

Shouting "Allahu Akbar (God is great)," they pounded nearby apartment blocks with machine gun fire in one of the few parts of Moammar Gadhafi's hometown they have yet to subdue.

Read more at USA Today

Syria on Verge of Civil War

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_syriacrowds-032912-lo-00.jpegCAIRO - As the situation in Syria gets bloodier and Syrian leader Bashar al Assad becomes increasingly isolated internationally, some Syrians say the country is on the verge of a civil war being instigated by the regime.

"[The regime] is trying to push [the opposition] more and more into having a sectarian war - they are trying to push a civil war," said Hozan Ibrahim, an activist with the Local Coordination Committee of Syria based in Germany. "They couldn't stop the demonstrations so they are doing what they can to put themselves and the people on the same level of violence so they can be condemned [also]."

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Damascus feels effects of crippled economy

b_160_0_16777215_00_images_ara-damascus-gillespie.jpegDAMASCUS - The rows of sparkling 18-carat gold bangle bracelets have long since been removed from the cramped, tiny jewelry shops in the Salihiya neighborhood of Damascus. Many of the shops and travel agencies clustered in this popular shopping district are closed until further notice. Though more than 8.3 million tourists passed through Syria in 2010 generating 12 percent of the GDP, according to the Syrian Ministry of Tourism, this year, the streets of the Syrian capital tell a different story - of empty Internet cafes, deserted dining tables at popular restaurants and the cloud of fear and uncertainty that hangs over the city.

In the Christian neighborhoods of Bab Touma and Bab Sharqi, a haven for foreign students who rent rooms in the large homes hidden behind high walls, hardly a Westerner or even a foreigner can be found these days.

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