World View: Muslims Worldwide Urged to Visit Jerusalem as Tourists

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Morsi becomes Egypt’s new president, among wild cheers and deep divisions
  • Headline: ‘World Powers Agree on Syria Transition’
  • Muslims worldwide urged to visit Jerusalem as tourists
  • What were you doing on Saturday at 23:59:60?

Morsi becomes Egypt’s new president, among wild cheers and deep divisions

There were wild celebrations on Saturday as Mohamed Morsi took the oath of office as the first freely elected president of Egypt in 7000 years. However, practically everything else about the day was filled with controversy. Morsi had wanted to take the oath of office in front of the People’s Assembly, the parliament that was elected in January, but the High Constitutional Court (HCC) dissolved the parliament two weeks ago on a technicality; so he took the oath of office in front of the HCC. In his acceptance speech, Morsi acknowledged Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which has been ruling the country since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. He thanked them for protecting the country, but he also told them to step down and let the civilians rule the country.

Mosni is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is extremely popular among the people, especially in rural areas, but is a bitter political enemy of the army and SCAF. I’ve seen no signs of anything remotely like a civil war, as some analysts have been predicting, but there will certainly be a bitter political war. In anticipation of Morsi’s victory, SCAF has already passed a constitutional decree that limits the president’s powers and gives SCAF veto power over many of the decisions of the president. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Reuters

Muslims worldwide urged to visit Jerusalem as tourists

For years, Muslims worldwide have been discouraged from visiting Jerusalem, to show solidarity with Palestinians, and to protest Israeli control over the city. But this year, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has broken with tradition and urged Muslims to visit Jerusalem, arguing that denying Muslim tourism has made it easier for Israelis to build settlements in east Jerusalem. Jerusalem has been a major flash point for numerous major wars throughout history, and is considered among the holiest of cities by Jews, Muslims, and Orthodox Christians. The National (UAE)

Headline: ‘World Powers Agree on Syria Transition’

Just as the Europeans announce one failing bailout plan after another, Kofi Annan seems to have an unending supply of failing peace plans for Syria. The one announced on Saturday is so bizarre, you would think that the participants would be embarrassed to be part of it.

And yet, there he was in Geneva, alongside representatives from the U.S., Russia, China, and other countries, proposing this plan:

  • The Syrians will form a “transitional governing body,” with representatives of the Assad government, and the opposition.
  • There had been provision that Bashar al-Assad couldn’t be part of the transitional governing body, but the Russians objected, and so al-Assad can be part of it.
  • Both sides will lay down their weapons and fighting will stop.
  • Space aliens will come to Syria and make sure that everyone is happy.

The last item is, of course, a joke, but no more of a joke than the rest of it. Nobody is going to stop fighting. Neither al-Assad nor the opposition will agree to this transitional council.

Al-Assad knows that he’s winning in his battle to exterminate as many innocent Sunni Arab civilians as possible, thanks to the help and support of the leaders of Russia and China, who also have no objection to exterminating innocent protesters in their own countries. VOA

What were you doing on Saturday at 23:59:60?

As everybody knows, the earth doesn’t go around the sun in exactly 365 days. It actually takes a little longer than that, which is why every fourth year is a leap year. Well, not EVERY fourth year — the year 1900 wasn’t a leap year, for example. But even with all these adjustments, more minor adjustments are needed. In 1972, the first “leap second” was introduced, and for the first time there was a minute that was 61 seconds long. There have been 24 leap seconds since then. There was one in 2008, and the most recent one was Saturday night just before midnight. 23:59:58 was three seconds to midnight. 23:59:59 was two seconds to midnight. 23:59:60 was one second to midnight. And finally, the clock ticked over to 00:00:00, which was midnight. I hope you used the time well. Time Service Dept., U.S. Naval Observatory