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The daily Mosaic television program is currently on hiatus from the Link TV broadcast schedule. After more than 2700 daily episodes on the air since November 2001, we're taking a break to seek new funding sources, and we're using this time to plan for upgrades to the Mosaic program that could include more news from the region, and more analysis.
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This Week's Headlines 4/27/12

Jordanian protestors demand a change in policies instead of governments

BBC Arabic -
Demonstrations were held in several Jordanian governorates with a variety of slogans and chants, and diverse affiliations and demands. But they were united in their call for accelerating the reform process and combating corruption. The protestors also sharply criticized the council of ministers, and the way in which governments are formed in Jordan. In the capital Amman, the Islamic Action Front had a prominent presence in the protests and participated alongside different popular and youth movements. The protests come one day after the Awn al-Khasawneh's government resigned, and after the Jordanian king, Abdullah II, appointed Fayez al-Tarawneh to form a new government.


Deadly bombing rocks Syrian capital

New TV - A suicide bombing shook the neighborhood of al-Midan in the center of the Syrian capital Damascus. At least nine people were killed as a result, and dozens were injured with body parts seen scattered across two medical centers. The same site had witnessed a similar explosion in January that led to the killing of 27 people. The official news agency SANA described the blast as a terrorist operation carried out by a suicide bomber. Syrian TV raised the death toll to 11, adding that 28 civilians and members of the security forces were injured, broadcasting videos of the explosion site under al-Midan's bridge, near Zein al-Abidin Mosque.

Humanitarian crises in Sudan and Yemen

Dubai TV - The war between Khartoum and the northern command of the People's Movement, the armed confrontations between rebel movements in Darfur, and the Heglig battles are all factors that have contributed to the humanitarian crisis raging in the regions witnessing an armed conflict. According to a new UN report, nearly four million displaced people are at risk of starvation, due to a sharp shortage of food supplies and the difficulty of delivering aid to the famine-stricken because of the violence. The humanitarian situation is far worse in the region of Darfur, especially at the refugee camps scattered along both sides of the Sudanese-Chadian border.

Al Jazeera - Many Yemenis are facing a food crisis due to the high prices and food shortages, especially since the spark of the revolution more than a year ago. Yemeni children are suffering from a number of diseases due to a sharp shortage in food and poor medical care. When a child gets sick and requires hospitalization in the city, transportation is a real challenge due to the shortage of fuel. The bumpy roads and the high cost of medical care pose another challenge.


Egypt announces list of presidential candidates

BBC Arabic - The Presidential Electoral Committee in Egypt announced a list of candidates running in the presidential elections, which are expected to be held next month. There are now 13 candidates, the most prominent of which are Amr Moussa, the former secretary general of the Arab League and a former foreign minister, and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, the former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. The committee's surprise decision was allowing Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister during Mubarak's era, back into the presidential race after accepting his appeal. He was initially disqualified by the disenfranchisement law.


Today, Press TV reported that thousands of Islamists rallied in Tahrir Square against an attempt to revive the Mubarak era. They also demanded that the remnants of the former regime be banned from running for president.

Palestinians rally in solidarity with hunger strikers, clash with Israeli troops

Al Jazeera - The area near Ofer Prison, located west of Ramallah, witnessed clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli occupation forces. Israeli soldiers fired large amounts of tear gas at the protestors who organized a sit-in in solidarity with the prisoners waging a hunger strike in the occupation's prisons. Meanwhile, over 1,600 Palestinian prisoners are continuing their open-ended hunger strike for the 10th consecutive day.


Image: BBC Arabic


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The Latest From the Middle East

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Bahraini activists demand a 'stop to bloody Formula One'

BBC Arabic - The Bahraini opposition escalated its protests, in a number of Shiite villages in and around al-Manama, on the eve of the opening of the Formula One car race. The demonstrations that started Wednesday night continued until Thursday morning. The authorities are heightening the security measures ahead of the event, but denying they expect the protests to impact the sporting event. Eyewitnesses say security forces were forced to use teargas and stun grenades to disperse protesters who threw Molotov cocktails and stones at the police in confrontations that left dozens injured.
Egypt rises against military rule on the 'Friday of self-determination'

Press TV reports that earlier this week, Egypt's electoral body rejected appeals filed by candidates disqualified from running for the May presidential election. Three main disqualified candidates are Egypt's former main intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, Khairat al-Shater from the Muslim Brotherhood, and the ultra-conservative Salafist, Hazem Abu Ismail.

Future TV - Under the banner of self-determination, tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square, in the center of Cairo, to demand the protection of the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak over a year ago. This Friday's protest also demanded the transfer of power, and the unification of all political and revolutionary factions. Activists called for the protest today to demand that those who worked with the former president be prevented from running in the presidential elections, the first round of which will be held next month.


However, the Islamists joined the demonstration under the banner "protecting the revolution." And, as an indication that protesters are intent on pushing the ruling military council to fulfill the promise of transferring power to an elected president, the stage set up by the Muslim Brotherhood in the square included a banner that read, "power-transfer on June 30th."

Sudan declares 'liberation' of Heglig as Juba pulls out

Dubai TV -  The Sudanese defense minister has announced that Heglig was "liberated" from the grips of Juba's army, confirming the region was recaptured by force, ten days after South Sudan seized control of the area. This announcement was intended to refute a South Sudanese army statement claiming that its forces voluntarily withdrew from Heglig. Meanwhile, demonstrations broke out in a number of northern cities to celebrate the North's victory in the battle. President Omar al-Bashir stressed the victory marks the beginning of a war to liberate the South from the rule of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.

UN chief calls for an expanded monitoring mission in Syria

New TV - On the fourth day of the international observers' presence in Syria, Damascus signed an initial agreement with the United Nations on the terms of the team's work. And in a closed-door meeting, the Security Council discussed sending an expanded monitoring mission to Syria, consisting of 300 observers, for three months. The team will monitor and encourage the halt of armed aggression in all its forms and from all parties, and comes as part of the Annan plan. The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed this agreement comes within Syrian efforts aimed at ensuring the success of Annan's plan, and facilitating the observers' mission within the context of Syrian sovereignty and commitment to the concerned parties. The spokesman for UN envoy Kofi Annan announced that his office is holding similar negotiations with representatives from the opposition on the obligations and responsibilities of the armed opposition.


Hunger Striker Khader Adnan's hometown celebrates his release

Palestine TV - It was "a national wedding," "a massive popular festival," "the festival of the dawn of freedom." These were the names given to the celebration in Jenin organized in honor of freed prisoner Khader Adnan, who underwent an open-ended hunger strike that lasted 66 days in protest of his administrative detention in an Israeli jail. Thousands of citizens from all provinces and political factions, both official and popular, attended the festival to honor him.

1,200 Palestinian Prisoners begin an open-ended hunger strike in Israeli jails

Al-Alam - In occupied Palestine, events were held to mark the Prisoners' Day. 1,200 Palestinian detainees in the Israeli prisons began an open-ended hunger strike in protest of their maltreatment and continual detention. Participants in the events demanded to release the prisoners. At the Prisoners' Day festival, speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council called for escalating the armed resistance to free the prisoners.


Image: Protesters chant slogans after police used a flashbang stun grenade during an anti-government rally in Manama April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah


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This Week's Headlines from the Middle East

Ennahda: Tunisia's constitution will not be based on Islamic law

Dubai TV -
The debate raging over the new constitution in Tunisia has intensified, after the government-led Ennahda Islamist Movement announced that it will not adopt sharia, or Islamic law, as the main source of legislation.

The decision was met by opposition from members of the Ennahda and its coalition blocs, which said the decision violates the principles which the party was elected based on. It is an ongoing debate over state identity, which has been polarizing the country since the downfall of the regime a year ago.

Sudan Summit Suspended After Border Clashes

Al Jazeera -
South Sudan's authorities said the Sudanese army's fighter-jets shelled its border state for a second consecutive day after ground battles broke out between forces of Khartoum and Juba the day before. The long border between Sudan and South Sudan, still awaiting demarcation in accordance with the treaty recently signed by the two sides, has suddenly turned into a battlefield for military conflicts targeting the oil-rich areas in the two countries.

After several days of clashes, the Sudanese army celebrated the withdrawal of South Sudan soldiers from the disputed border region Heglig. Both Sudan and South Sudan agreed to meet in Addis Ababa do discuss security issues.

Israeli Website Recruits Retired Soldiers to Evict Palestinians

Palestine TV -
An Israeli extremist recently created a website, announcing job opportunities for soldiers who completed their military service. The website is recruiting them to storm the homes of Jerusalemites and evict them to later seize their houses. These calls seek to evict citizens from their homes were started by Israeli militant Aryeh King, the director of the Israel Land Fund and a founding member of the Israeli Association for Distributive Justice, called on soldiers with a strong build to join him in evicting Jerusalemites.

Rift Widens Between Egypt's Military Rulers and Muslim Brotherhood

New TV -
In Egypt, anger erupted after the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis monopolized the Constituent Assembly as the youth of the revolution are calling for a million-person march next Friday, under the banner "the constitution is for everyone."

The constitutional committee, consisting of 100 members, ended with an Islamist majority from the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafi al-Nour Party, turning the world upside down for the Islamists, who monopolized the committee as the Copts only received six seats and the youth only one seat. In a stern address, the council announced it will not allow the Brotherhood or its Freedom and Justice Party, to seize control of the constitution.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Image: Protesters hold up placards, which read "Down with Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie", during a rally against the formation of a constituent assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution outside the Cairo convention centre March 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh


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Libyan Rape Victim Refuses To Be Silenced

(Mosaic Video Alert: March 28, 2011) NBN reports on a new crime committed by Muammar Gaddafi and his regime: the rape of Iman al-Obeidi. The victim is a "lawyer who embodies the model Libyan woman, but bothered the regime for being a free woman.” Iman was detained and raped by 15 of Gaddafi's mercenaries. The regime first accused al-Obeidi of being drunk and mentally ill, then offered to bribe the rape victim in exchange for her silence, a request that was rejected. Benghazi residents held a solidarity rally with Iman and online activists rallied behind her with a Facebook page entitled "We are all Iman al-Obeidi."



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Algeria: The Next Revolution?

(France 24: 0910 PST, March 8, 2011) In Algeria, the authorities are managing to keep a lid on social unrest for now, despite uprisings in neighboring countries. Yet strikes, sit-ins, and attempted protest marches are organized regularly, with young people, who make up the majority of the population, taking center stage. Among their demands: jobs, housing, higher salaries, and political reform.




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Libya: Strategic Oil Town of Brega Braces for More Attacks

(France 24: 0841 PST, March 4, 2011) Cyril Vanier reports from Ajdabayi, in eastern Libya.




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Migrant Workers Stranded at Libyan Border

(Mosaic Video Alert: March 3,  2011) Dubai TV reports on the mass exodus occurring at Libya’s borders as thousands of refugees continue to flee the raging violence in the country. The UN high commissioner for refugees said that nearly 100,000 people have already crossed with thousands more expected to arrive. Most refugees endure hunger, thirst, and extreme heat on their journey across the desert only to arrive at refugee camps at the border with no shelter or food. African and Asian refugees seem to be enduring the most after being abandoned by their own governments.



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EXCLUSIVE: Libya, the Brega Battle

(France 24: 0935 PST, March 3, 2011) Determined and armed civilian fighters against the Gaddafi regime during their mission, with our reporter in the field. Last minute instructions before the head to the frontline. A quick prayer and these volunteer fighters are on their way to Brega.


Colonel Gaddafi's troops are attacking the town in a bid to take back the oil fields and these opposition forces are determined to repel them. The first car leaves, the safest route into town is through the desert under the surveillance of wars planes circling overhead.




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Libya: Benghazi Braces for Attack as Gaddafi Digs In

(France 24: 0700 PST, February 28, 2011) As Libyan rebels continue their attempts to smash Gaddafi's hold on power, the city of Benghazi, caught in the middle of recent events, is preparing Monday to battle forces loyal to Gaddafi.




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