Six In The Morning

Dictators Only Leave Through Force They Don’t Understand Peaceful Transition    

Opposition Rallies to ElBaradei as Military Reinforces in Cairo

Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood and the secular opposition banded together Sunday around a prominent government critic to negotiate for forces seeking the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, as the army struggled to hold a capital seized by fears of chaos and buoyed by euphoria that three decades of Mr. Mubarak’s rule may be coming to an end.

The announcement that the critic, Mohamed ElBaradei, would represent a loosely unified opposition reconfigured the struggle between Mr. Mubarak’s government and a six-day-old uprising bent on driving him and his party from power.

The Rigged Government Opens

MPs elected in November take their seats, with military remaining firmly in charge

Burma opens first parliament in two decades

Burma has openedits first parliament in more then two decades amid cautious optimism from opposition MPs despite the military’s tight management of the event.

The military and its allies hold more than 80% of the seats in both houses of parliament, ensuring that the army can exercise the control it has held since a 1962 coup deposed the last legitimately elected government. A single-party parliament under the late dictator General Ne Win was abolished in 1988 after the army crushed a pro-democracy uprising.

The Puritans Are Screaming

US pressure groups are up in arms over the racy British TV import, Skins. But why the moral panic? Teenagers are no more likely to be brainwashed by it than they are by shows about teenage mothers, or films about romantic vampires, argues Harriet Walker

The hypocrisy of America’s moral outrage

Sound the alarum! Lock up your daughters! Return the remote control to behind the bullet-proof plexiglass and tell the kids to get back to their prayers; there’s nothing to see down here.

The outrage and kerfuffle sparked in America last week upon the airing of teen drama Skins, a series originally shown on British television in 2007 and subsequently remade for US audiences, was nothing short of Victorian hysteria.

I’m Sure This Was Worth Wasting Their Time On


Special Davos meeting considers cost of Berlusconi’s ‘bunga, bunga’ business  

WITH THE domestic political tensions generated by the “Rubygate” sex scandal involving Silvio Berlusconi showing no signs of abating, the echoes of “Bunga, Bunga” managed to make themselves heard at the World Economic Forum in Davos last weekend.

According to Italian media reports, a Davos meeting entitled, “Italy, A Special Case”, saw commentators argue that “Rubygate” was symptomatic of a “serious problem of leadership” in Italy.

Milan prosecutors suspect that Berlusconi paid for sex with a “significant” number of prostitutes, including a then 17-year-old nightclub dancer who goes by the name of “Ruby the Heart Stealer”, at parties in his luxurious villa.

Maybe Peoples Human Rights Will Be Respected


ICC sets Rwandan leader’s genocide trial for July 4  

THE International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber I has set the date of the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbarushimana for July 4 this year.

Associate Legal Outreach Officer at the international court, Fadi El Abdallah, over the weekend informed The Guardian that the decision was announced at the initial appearance of Mbarushimana before the ICC.

The Office of the Prosecutor is also conducting investigations in four other situations: Uganda; the Central African Republic; Darfur, Sudan; and Kenya.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the African Union Commission Jean Ping has said African countries support the ICC but its chief prosecutor, Luis Morano-Ocampo, is guilty of double standards.

Talk About a Resounding Yes

South Sudan’s long-awaited independence referendum produced an overwhelming turnout of 99 percent among voters in the south, one of the poorest and least developed regions on earth.

It’s official: South Sudan set to secede with a 99.57 percent vote

Juba, South Sudan

Cheers and spontaneous dancing broke out as the first official announcement of results from South Sudan’s independence vote was made in the oil-rich region’s capital by members of commission that organized the referendum held earlier this month.

“The vote for separation was 99.57 percent,” said Justice Chan Reec Madut, head of the southern bureau of the Referendum Commission, after reading the vote tallies for “unity” and “secession” for each of the south’s 10 states. Mr. Madut was referring to the results for the south, while Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, the head of the Commission, announced the results from polling in northern Sudan and in eight countries that held voting for South Sudan’s far-flung diaspora population.