World View: Egypt in Crisis After Two Days of Violent Clashes

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Egypt court sentences 21 people to death over riot last year
  • At least 40 people killed in nationwide clashes in Egypt
  • Nine protesters killed on 2nd anniversary of Egyptian Revolution
  • Egypt's government in a state of crisis
  • Venezuela's Hugo Chavez still has difficulty breathing, but runs the government from Cuba

Egypt court sentences 21 people to death over riot last year

People carry body of protester killed on Friday (Reuters)
People carry body of protester killed on Friday (Reuters)

An Egyptian court sentenced 21 people to death on Saturday for participating in a riot in Port Said on February 2 of last year, where 74 young people were killed, and over 1,000 injured at a football (soccer) match. ( "3-Feb-12 World View -- Suspicions grow of planned massacre at soccer game in Egypt") There were plenty of riot police present at the game, but video shows that they allowed the violence to continue without interference, and they may even have aided the violence by blocking the escape route of the victims. The attackers were mostly fans of the home team, the al-Masry football club, while the victims were fans of the visiting team, Cairo's Al-Ahly football club, a group that had actively taken part in the Tahrir Square protests during 2011, and the suspicion is widespread that police were responsible for the violence, in order to get revenge against the Al-Ahly team. The violence infuriated the people of Cairo, who blamed the deaths on the police. AFP

At least 40 people killed in nationwide clashes in Egypt

On Saturday, 30 more protesters were killed by police in violent rioting in Port Said by Egyptians infuriated by the verdict. Most of those sentenced to death were supporters of the al-Masry team, and so they lived in the Port Said area. Egyptians from the region were infuriated not only because of the harsh death sentences, but also because no one from the Egypt's police was held to account for the deaths. Al-Ahram (Cairo)

Nine protesters killed on 2nd anniversary of Egyptian Revolution

The killings on Saturday followed nine killings by police during protests in Suez on Friday commemorating the two-year anniversary of the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution that deposed Hosni Mubarak. Forensic examination on Saturday of the victims shows that they were shot by live ammunition at close range, sometimes from behind. Al-Ahram (Cairo)

Egypt's government in a state of crisis

With almost 40 people killed in two days, Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi was forced to cancel a scheduled trip to Ethiopia and meet with top generals to discuss the violence. When Morsi was first elected in June, in the first free and fair presidential elections in Egypt's history, he originally had a high approval rating. Then, in November, he was given credit for arranging a cease-fire in the brief war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. But he lost it all two days later, when he "appointed himself Pharaoh of Egypt" by issuing a decree granting himself dictatorial powers not subject to review by the courts or appeal. He used these powers to enable Egypt's new constitution to be written entirely by Muslim Brotherhood Islamists and al-Nour Salafists. Tensions have been growing between the young liberals and secularists who launched the revolution two years ago versus the Islamist conservatives who are now in almost complete control of the government. The new violence in Port Said may be a sign that the fault lines in this conflict may even have geographical overtones, pitting big cities like Cairo versus rural areas. The National (UAE)

I've pointed this out several times in the past, but it's worth pointing out again: What's developing in Egypt is not Egypt versus Israel, nor Muslim Brotherhood versus Israel. Except for some isolated incidents, there have been no protesters screaming "Death to Israel!" or "Death to America!" as happens in Ramallah and Gaza City.

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez still has difficulty breathing, but runs the government from Cuba

Venezuela's president Hugo Chávez, still in Cuba for cancer treatment, is having difficulty breathing, according to government officials who have just returned to Caracas from Havana. Vice-President Nicolás Maduro says that "Chávez is clinging to life," but added that he is "climbing the hill." But Maduro insists that Chávez is running Venezuela's government from Havana, that he's signed a number of decisions related to Venezuela's gold reserves, and that Chávez asked him to "send a message of encouragement to private entrepreneurs." El Universal (Caracas) and El Universal (Caracas)


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