Monday, February 28, 2011

Special Coverage of the Middle East Revolutions (Part2)

Amateur videos from Libyan revolution

US fears changes in Arab world
Tue Mar 1, 2011 2:58AM
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has voiced Washington’s concern about the challenges resulted by political transitions in the Arab world.

Addressing a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, Clinton warned on Monday that these changes can be chaotic and that the process of transition should be protected, Reuters reported.

She also called for further international steps to hold the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi accountable.

Gaddafi “has lost the confidence of his people and he should go without further bloodshed and violence,” she said in a statement, adding the Libyan people deserve a government that "protects their universally recognized human rights."

The US has always said that the future of Libya should be decided by its people, she said, and “they (Libyans) have made themselves clear.”

Meanwhile, the White House has announced exile as an option that would satisfy its demands for Gaddafi to go.

It, however, fell short of saying whether the US is prepared to facilitate any departure from Libya for Gaddafi.

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'Israel leading human rights abusers'
Tue Mar 1, 2011 7:0AM
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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the Israeli regime is at the “very top of the list” when it comes to human rights violations.

“In case a list was made for countries with most violations of human rights, Israel would be on top of that list,” Anatolia news agency quoted Davutoglu as saying on Monday at Ankara's Esenboga International Airport prior to a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Davutoglu also described the attack launched by Israeli forces on a Turkish aid ship bound for the besieged Gaza Strip as “an attack on a civilian convoy that violated all human rights and principles.”

He also pointed out that he would submit a report about the raid on March 21, when the UN Human Rights Council convenes for the next meeting.

The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turkish citizens on board the Turkish-flagged MV Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people that were part of a group of relief workers and activists on the six-ship convoy.

Israel also arrested and later released nearly 700 activists from 42 countries that were on board the ships of the Freedom Flotilla, which was attempting to break the siege of Gaza to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian relief aid to the long-suffering people of the territory.

Meanwhile, the Turkish minister rapped the United States for its recent veto of a UN resolution that called for a cessation of Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

”You can't expect Israel to take the necessary steps for peace at the negotiation table if other countries refuse to criticize it,” Davutoglu said.

The remarks come as the Israeli regime has been persistently proceeding with the construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The United Nation has repeatedly condemned Tel Aviv for defying international calls to halt its settlement construction activities.

Palestinians view Israel's unrelenting settlement construction activities as a major hurdle in efforts to establish an independent state on the territories Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

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Libya protesters take over military base
Tue Mar 1, 2011 5:36AM
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Libyan pro-democracy protesters who are now part of the forces against Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi organize ammunition at a military base in Benghazi in eastern Libya, February 28, 2011.
Hundreds of Libyans including, children and elderly men, have taken over a military air base in southern Benghazi, hoping to begin training to repel attacks by Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi's troops.

"We are receiving dozens of civilians who want to get trained and then enlisted. We are ready to defend Benghazi and its suburbs. We are here to help our brothers in Tripoli if they ask our support, but I'm sure that they can defend themselves," Colonel Maraey Logny said on Monday, Reuters reported.

Enlisted men at the air base in the city will receive intensive training sessions on using heavy cannons and anti-aircraft weapons.

"I'm calling all Libyan youth to be enlisted to confront this despotic dictator to defend our country, blood and lives," enlisted man Saleh Al-Abidy said.

Large swathes of youth have hurried to military bases all over the country to defend it and be ready to confront any attacks by troops under Libyan ruler.

"I came here to join the Libyan military, because we want to topple Muammar who kills the people." Libyan child Suleiman Meftah said.

A brutal crackdown by the Libyan regime on pro-democracy protesters that began nearly two weeks ago has left an estimated 2,000 people dead so far.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly 100,000 people have fled the violence in crisis-hit Libya over the past week.

Gaddafi, who led a military coup against King Idris, came to power and established "the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" in 1969.

The Libyan leader has ruled the North African country for nearly 42 years. He has seven sons and one daughter from two marriages.

Gaddafi and his family members have been holding a tight grip on the country's industries. Reports say they have hidden an estimated at $32.5 billion in secret foreign bank accounts.

The United States and other foreign governments discussed military options for dealing with Libya on Monday as beleaguered Gaddafi scoffed at the threat to his government from a spreading popular revolution.

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Union protests spread across the US


Libya descending into chaos RT

وفّرت عليهن الكثير من الأعباء المادية والاجتماعية


المتاجر الالكترونية تمنح سعوديات عيشاً كريماً بعيداً عن 



دبي - العربية.نت
 في محاولة منهن للتغلب على الصعوبات المادية والبيروقراطية التي تحول دون امتلاكهن لمشاريع تجارية خاصة بهن، لجأت فتيات وسيدات سعوديات إلى العالم الافتراضي لامتلاك "دكاكين" خاصة بهن يروجن من خلالها بضاعتهن، ويمارسن البيع من دون أن يسلكن الطريق الرسمية التي تشترط عليهن أموراً كثيرة لمنحنهن تصاريح لمزاولة التجارة، يحتاج إنجازها أياماً من المراجعات ومرافقة ولي الأمر، وقبل ذلك والأهم، موافقته على أن يفتح لها محلاً لبيع ما ترغب في بيعه من مستلزمات نسائية، أو ملابس أطفال، أو تحف منزلية وهدايا وشوكولاته.

وأوضحت صحيفة "الحياة" اللندنية الاثنين 28-2-2011، أنه لا يوجد إحصاء رسمي بعدد هذه المواقع، ولا الأرباح التي تجنيها، لأنها تعمل خارج الأطر الرسمية، التي تتسم ببطء الإجراءات عادة وكثرة الشروط التي يتطلبها استخراج رخصة مزاولة نشاط تجاري. لكن في المقابل فإن الجهات الرسمية لا تقدم أي نوع من الحماية للمتعاملين مع هذه المواقع في حال تعرضوا للغش أو الخداع، لأن التعامل التجاري بينهم يتم خارج إطار القانون، وهو غالباً قائم على نوع من الثقة المتبادلة.
وتوضح مريم الصالح التي تملك متجراً الكترونياً لبيع الحلوى التي تصنعها بنفسها، أنها تقدم على صفحتها في موقع "فيس بوك" صوراً لأنواع هذه الحلوى وأسمائها، أما الأسعار فتحدد بالقطعة الواحدة، وللكميات الكبيرة سعرها الخاص.

وتضيف: "زبوناتي عادة من الموظفات في قطاعات حكومية وخاصة ممن لا يملكن الوقت لصناعة حلويات منزلية. ويتم توصيل الطلبات إلى مقر أعمالهن أو بيوتهن وفق الرغبة.. وغالبيتهن تعرفن اليّ عن طريق الإنترنت، ومن ثم تم تداول اسمي في ما بينهن من سيدة إلى أخرى".

أما دلال اليعقوب، التي كانت بداياتها لا تتجاوز طباعة صور وأسماء ذويها على الأساور ومحافظ الأوراق النقدية (الأبواك)، وتجميلها ببعض الإكسسوارات، فتقول: "بعدما لاقت أعمالي إعجاب الأقارب والأصدقاء، وتحول الأمر من مجرد هدايا مجانية داخل محيط العائلة إلى طلبات من خارجها وبمقابل مادي، اقترح زوجي ووالدتي توسيع هذا النشاط وافتتاح متجر الكتروني، لتبدأ بعد ذلك رحلتي الحقيقية مع التجارة، وتلقيت طلبات من دول خليجية وعربية أيضاًً".

من جهتها توضح أم محمد التي تبيع المأكولات الشعبية، أن غالبية زبائنها من "العزاب" الذين لا يجدون من يطبخ لهم، ويعشقون الطعام المنزلي والنظيف، مشيرة إلى أنها كانت في البداية لا تقوم بإيصال الطلبات إلى طالبيها، إلا أنها مع مرور الوقت نجحت في توسيع نشاطها.

وتردف: "مكنتني عائدات المتجر الإلكتروني من استقدام سائق وشراء سيارة، لأتمكن من إيصال الطلبات من دون أن أعرض نفسي إلى أي مخاطر. وفكرة توصيل الطلبات ساهمت في توسيع مساحة تجارتي وزادت من دخلي".

السلطان قابوس أمر بانسحاب قوات الأمن من مكان الاعتصام

يرفعون شارة النصر أمام سيارة تحترق
يرفعون شارة النصر أمام سيارة تحترق
دبي - العربية.نت 
نقلت وكالة "رويترز" عن مصدر طبي في مستشفى حكومي بسلطنة عمان، أن 6 أشخاص قتلوا أمس الأحد، بعد أن أطلقت الشرطة طلقات مطاطية ضد محتجين كانوا يطالبون بإصلاحات سياسية.                                                                                   

وأضافت الوكالة أن محتجين سدوا، صباح اليوم الاثنين 28-2-2011، الطرق المؤدية إلى منطقة صحار الصناعية الرئيسية بالسلطنة حيث توجد مصفاة ومصنع للألمونيوم.                                                                                                                    

وكان السلطان قابوس بن سعيد سلطان عمان، أمر أمس بانسحاب قوات الأمن من ساحة يعتصم فيها عدد من المتظاهرين في مدينة صحار    .
وعن اشتباكات الأمس، ذكرت وكالة الأنباء العمانية الرسمية أن "مجموعة من المتظاهرين بولاية صحار قامت بأعمال شغب أدت إلى تدمير عدد من الممتلكات العامة والخاصة". وتابعت الوكالة أن "الشرطة وفرق مكافحة الشغب تصدتا لهذه المجموعة المخربة للحفاظ على سلامة المواطنين وممتلكاتهم، مما أدى إلى وقوع إصابات".                                                                                      

وشرحت الوكالة أن "أفراد الشرطة حاولوا احتواء الموقف منذ يوم أمس، غير أن هذه المجموعة قامت بمهاجمة الشرطة، مما أدى إلى وقوع إصابات بين أفرادها، وقد اضطر أفراد الشرطة إلى الدفاع عن أنفسهم".                                                                  

وكان شهود عيان أكدوا لوكالة الصحافة الفرنسية أن الشرطة العمانية أطلقت قنابل مسيلة للدموع خلال مواجهات مع حوالى 250 متظاهرا في صحار، معظمهم من العاطلين عن العمل الذين يطالبون بإيجاد فرص عمل لهم، وبمكافحة الفساد، وزيادة الأجور.

وحاول المتظاهرون التقدم باتجاه مركز للشرطة التي تدخّل عناصرها وحاولوا تفريق التظاهرة قبل أن يطلقوا الرصاص المطاطي والقنابل المسيلة للدموع. وتراجع بعد ذلك المتظاهرون الذين كانوا يهتفون مطالبين بإيجاد فرص عمل ورفع الأجور ومكافحة الفساد، نحو دوار يطلق عليه اسم الكرة الأرضية، وتمركزوا هناك، قبل أن يطلقوا على الدوار اسم "دوار الإصلاح".                               
ولم يظهر أي أثر للشرطة في المدينة عقب الاشتباكات، بحسب ما أفاد مراسل فرانس برس في  المكان.                                                                                                                                                        
ومساءً، طلب السلطان قابوس بحسب ما ذكرت وكالة الأنباء العمانية الرسمية "توظيف خمسين ألفا من المواطنين" و"بمنح 150 ريالا عمانيا (الريال العماني يساوي حوالى 2,6 دولار) شهريا لكل باحث عن عمل من المسجلين لدى وزارة القوى العاملة إلى أن يجد عملا".

كما كلف لجنة وزارية "بوضع مجموعة من المقترحات والتصورات" حول "المطالبة بإعطاء مجلس الشورى مزيدا من الصلاحيات"، وأمر بأن يكون هناك "عدد من الوزراء من أعضاء مجلس الشورى اعتبارا من الفترة القادمة".                                                  

أتى ذلك بعد يوم من الإعلان عن سلسلة تقديمات اجتماعية تشمل رفع المخصصات المالية الشهرية للطلاب، وإنشاء هيئة مستقلة لحماية المستهلك، ودراسة إنشاء جمعيات تعاونية، وتخفيض نسبة مساهمة موظفي الخدمة المدنية في نظام التقاعد   .

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Libya 'lacks chemical arms ability'

Libya retains deadly mustard gas but has no weapons to deliver it, watchdog enforcing a ban on chemical weapons says.
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2011 18:12 GMT
Gaddafi has allegedly hired mercenaries to attack protesters and some fear he could also use chemical arms [Reuters]

Libya retains 9.5 tonnes of deadly mustard gas but no longer has weapons to deliver it, a watchdog agency has said, amid international concern that embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi might resort to its use.
Michael Luhan, spokesman for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), told Reuters the
chemicals were under the army's control but were stored in a remote location far from the capital Tripoli, Gaddafi's main
"As far as we have been able to verify, and we have no information that indicates anything to the contrary, Libya
destroyed the entire stockpile of its chemical weapons munitions - a cache of several thousand aerial bombs that are designed for chemicals - in early 2004, seven years ago," he said by telephone from the OPCW's base in The Hague.
Luhan declined to say where the mustard gas was located but added: "It's nowhere near Tripoli, let's put it that way."
"It's kept in a location which is only for that purpose. It's a depot guarded by the military."
Peter Flory, then US Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Policy, told Congress in April 2006 that
Libyan chemical weapons and materials were stored in a remote location in the desert, about 600 km from Tripoli.
There have been fears that Gaddafi, who has said he will fight to the death, could use chemical weapons in a last ditch
attempt to cling to power.
The OPCW, which enforces a global chemical weapons ban, says it has monitored Libya's destruction of more than 3,300 bomb casings designed to carry chemical agents since 2004.
Committed to destroy arms
Libya announced in December 2003 it would abandon any efforts to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, in an effort to mend ties with the West, after agreeing to pay damages for the 1988 Pan Am plane bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Libya joined OPCW in 2004 and committed itself to destroying all its chemical weapons and the capacity to produce them by April 2007.
Disputes ensued between Tripoli and Washington over funding for the internationally-financed programme and in 2007 Libya informed the US it planned to back out of its promise to destroy its mustard gas stocks.
The OPCW later granted Libya an extension until May 2011 to destroy the rest of its mustard gas stocks.
The OPCW is the implementing body of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which has been ratified by 188 countries and bans many varieties of mass-destruction chemical arms.
The sulfur mustards, also known as mustard gas, are vesicant chemical warfare agents with the ability to form large blisters on exposed skin. When used in impure form they are usually yellow-brown in colour and have an odour resembling mustard plants, garlic or horseradish, hence the name.
Mustard agents can be deployed on the battlefield via spraying from aircraft, or more typically by means of air-dropped bombs or artillery shells.
Government forces confronting nearly two weeks of anti-Gaddafi protests have carried out a violent crackdown against demonstrators. The death toll from the violence is estimated by diplomats to be about 2,000.
The UN Security Council called for the crackdown to be referred to the International Criminal Court for investigation
and possible prosecution of anyone responsible for killing civilians.


Libya opposition launches council

Protesters in Benghazi form a national council "to give the revolution a face".
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2011 20:00 GMT
Defected army officers have been teaching civilians in Benghazi how to use anti-aircraft guns and other arms [Reuters]
Opposition protesters in eastern Libya have formed a national council, pledging to help free areas of the country still under Muammar Gaddafi's rule.
Hafiz Ghoga, spokesman for the new National Libyan Council that was launched in the city of Benghazi on Sunday, said the council was not an interim government.
"The main aim of the national council is to have a political face ... for the revolution," Ghoga told a news conference after the gathering to announce the council's formation.
"We will help liberate other Libyan cities, in particular Tripoli through our national army, our armed forces, of which
part have announced their support for the people," Ghoga said.
On Saturday, former justice minister Mustafa Mohamed Abdel Jalil - who resigned from Gaddafi's cabinet on Monday in protest at the killing of protesters - told Al Jazeera he had led the formation of a body which would lead the country for three months to prepare for elections.
Both Libya's ambassador to the US and its deputy UN ambassador said they supported the initiative.
Ex-minister taking lead
Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from Benghazi, said there was an understanding that the uprisings in different cities that have fallen into the hands of the opposition need to be concentrated under one umbrella to counter the regime.
"The ex-justice minister is taking the lead in this movement," she said.
"They have five representatives of each city or town and each time a new one falls, they immediately establish contact to have that city or town join this national council.
"There is a feeling here in the east that if they stay separated from the rest of the country, then it will soon look like a secessionist movement rather than an uprising."
Ghoga said the newly formed council was not contacting foreign governments and did not want them to intervene.
His comments came after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was "reaching out" to opposition groups in the east.and was prepared to offer "any kind of assistance" to Libyans seeking to overthrow the regime.
"We are reaching out to many different Libyans in the east as the revolution moves westward there as well," she said.
In places such as Benghazi that have ejected Gaddafi's loyalists, citizens have set up committees to act as a local authority and run services.
Gaddafi and his supporters still control Tripoli, but their grip beyond the capital has been shrinking, with protesters taking over Zawiyah and Misurata in the western part of the country.]