Hey Egypt, your strongest ally is yelling at you. Here’s why. See, Egypt has this emergency law in place that allows them to detain protesters and other folks they don’t like without charge. And the United States doesn’t like this. Especially in the wake of comments that vice president Omar Suleiman made about the country not being ready for democracy. It also doesn’t help that he suggested that the government might step in to quell the protests. What does the U.S. think? Well, a few things, which they released in a statement today. First – Stop screwing with protesters. Second – Rescind an emergency law that allows the government to detain anyone for any reason. Third – Broaden the dialogue to allow opposition voices. And finally – Invite the opposition to the bargaining table. This hard line was needed before Suleiman was around, guys. Why did this guy get the golden ring, anyway? He’s terrible. source
Let the military take over and protect you and Egypt. … We have confirmed reports that there are radical elements heading to cause internal strife. They have balls of fire and they want to start fire in the Tahrir (Liberation) Square.A quote from Egyptian state television • Calling the protesters out at Tahrir Square “radicals.” The phrasing suggests that the tactic used against Egyptian protesters today (involving a bunch of pro-Mubarak supporters attacking the protesters that have been out all week, with the military standing idly by) was a ploy designed to give the military leverage over the situation. “The military’s refusal to act is a highly political act which shows that it is allowing the Egyptian regime to reconstitute itself at the top and is highly, utterly against the protesters,” says Kent State professor Joshua Stacher, who happens to be an expert on Egypt. The military is powerful; did they use that power to screw over the Egyptians? source (via • follow)
» Why they aren’t on cable: As our buddy ProducerMatthew figured out last night, they’re fighting in a very competitive space. And now he has a little backup from the New York Times. In statements acquired by the paper, many cable companies said similar things. It’s like applying for a federal job and getting a form rejection letter apparently, except with Comcast.
There was reluctance from these companies to embark in a direction that would perhaps be opposed by the Bush administration. I think that’s changed. I think if anything the Obama administration has indicated to al-Jazeera that it sees us as part of the solution, not part of the problem.Al-Jazeera English’s head of North American strategies Tony Burman • Discussing why getting his network on U.S. cable systems has been such a hard sell. When the English-language network launched in 2006, it carried a bit of a reputation with it (despite its editorial independence and BBC-like business model), and it’s one that’s kept the network running in D.C., parts of Ohio and parts of Vermont. That’s it. (Oh, and if you happen to own a satellite dish.) This is despite the fact that the service is widely-available in Europe and Canada without any troubles. “Why in the most vibrant democracy in the world, where engagement and knowledge of the world is probably the most important,” Burman continues, ”why it’s not available is one of these things that would take a PhD scholar to understand.” Meanwhile, Fox News airs unabated. source (via • follow)
It’s one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors. But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data.British Medical Journal editor-in-chief Fiona Godlee • Explaining that the findings in an infamously retracted autism study in 1998 were not only false, but fraudulently made-up. BMJ claims that the Lancet study’s author, Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the histories of the twelve people used in the study. The result was a sharp drop in vaccinations, leading to a significant increase in measles cases in the ensuing years. Wakefield’s medical license was revoked las year as a result. He apparently received over $674,000 from a law firm that wanted to sue vaccine-makers, which was not made public until years after the study first came out. He does have some supporters who question the allegations, but if this is true, he’s an evil mother(#&@)!#. source (via • follow)
I cannot talk to you properly now. There are civil guards here, with pistols. If we don’t start work now, we will be arrested.A Spanish air-traffic controller talking to the Daily Telegraph • Describing how he’s literally been forced to go to work by the Spanish military nearly a day after an air-traffic controller walkout sent Spanish airspace into chaos. Spain’s way of dealing with this crisis-inducing problem? They handed control of controlling the airspace to the military, who forced the striking workers to go back to their jobs, by force. So technically, this air traffic controller is working slave labor right now, eh? Classy. That’s one way to solve a crisis. source (via • follow)