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[Transcript]  Mosaic News - 04/29/11: World News From The Middle East [VIDEO]

Tens of thousands defy violent crackdown across Syria

Al Jazeera, Qatar
Presenter, Male #1
Syrian rights sources said that protestors took to the streets in various parts of Syria in response to a call for demonstrations on what is being referred to as the "Friday of Rage." This takes place despite the authority's request that citizens not participate in unlicensed demonstrations. Protests occurred yesterday in various Syrian cities in solidarity with Daraa, which is besieged by security and military forces. Reuters quoted an eyewitness saying that Syrian Republican Guard's trucks, armed with machine guns, patrolled the road around Damascus.

Reporter, Male #1
From the "Friday of Dignity" to the "Great Friday" to the "Friday of Rage," Syrians continue to gather on Fridays, shouting these slogans. The sparks of protests were ignited over a month ago from the quiet southern city of Daraa and have now spread to cities throughout the country. Daraa is now returning to the frontline of events, but this time because of the siege and repression it suffers from. Syrian activists say that the Syrian authorities are intentionally punishing Daraa. After they sent tanks into the city, they cut off the water and electricity. Perhaps because of this, calls were sent out for the "Friday of Rage." This Friday has significance: the Muslim Brotherhood has openly joined the events by calling for protests, about 200 members submitted their resignation from the Ba'ath Party, and there are rumors that there is resentment in the army for the manner in which it deals with the protestors. All this was reported by Reuters quoting diplomatic sources. At this point, the matter seems to be escalating but still controllable. Syrian TV continues to show videos of funerals for security members. The authorities say that they were killed by gunfire from armed groups that the government referred to as "infiltrators," while activists say that these soldiers refused to open fire on protestors and were executed by their own military units. These images were released online by Sham website, showing soldiers walking side by side with the protestors in Daraa. Many people see this as a positive sign in favor of the protestors. Daraa had the largest number of victims in the protests. Human rights organizations say that over 500 people have been killed. This reminds us of the fact that Daraa is built on the ruins of an extinct city, which makes people feel increasingly fearful of the fate that awaits it.

Presenter, Male #1
The Syrian news agency said that a group it referred to as "terrorists" attacked a checkpoint in Daraa in southern Syria, killing four soldiers and kidnapping two others. Meanwhile, protestors came out in Homs city to support the people in Daraa and demand freedom.

Fierce battles rage near Libyan-Tunisian border

BBC Arabic, UK
Presenter, Male #1
A NATO official said today that Gaddafi's loyalist forces planted landmines in Libya's Misurata port to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching the city. Medical sources reported earlier that 12 people were killed in a shelling on Misurata by Gaddafi forces. This comes as Reuters quoted eyewitnesses saying that Gaddafi forces shelled the Tunisian border town of Dhiba. Clashes erupted yesterday between Libyan opposition forces and Gaddafi's loyalist battalions at a checkpoint close to the Tunisian border.

Reporter, Male #2
This was not the first instance in which clashes between Gaddafi's battalions and the Libyan opposition extended to the Tunisian border. Here at the Dhiba border post, clashes erupted between the two sides and seesaw battles raged. Tunisian authorities expressed concern over what was considered a "violation of the sanctity of Tunisian soil," following the confrontations that took place at the border post. The Foreign Ministry said gunfire toward the Tunisian territory, a region filled with civilians, constitutes a "violation of the sanctity of Tunisian soil" and infringes on the security of citizens in the region. It demanded the Libyan authorities take immediate action to put an end to these violations. At the same time, battles continued in the two cities of Misurata and Zintan in the wake of the retreat of Gaddafi forces after nearly three months of the uprising's eruption. This, as NATO warplanes flew over areas in the capital Tripoli. A ship sailed from Misurata, transporting nearly 1,000 people, the majority of whom are African refugees and some injured. NATO operations targeting Gaddafi forces were not completed without mistakes. In this cemetery, 12 Libyan opposition members were buried after being killed by NATO shelling near the city of Misurata.

Guest, Male # 3
What are our feelings…feelings? God has decreed and what he wills, he does. They are young; some of them are still students and some teachers.

Reporter, Male #2
NATO operations made progress in its shelling of specific targets in Libya with the participation of two Italian warplanes for the first time.This led to a criticism from the Northern League, the Italian government’s main coalition partner. Wael el-Hajjar, BBC.

Death toll of Morocco attack rises to 16

Dubai TV, UAE
Presenter, Female #1
The death toll of yesterday's attack on a popular tourist café in the heart of the Moroccan city of Marrakech has risen to 16, and includes foreigners. This news comes after two victims died of injuries today. The attack, which is believed to be carried out by a suicide bomber, is the bloodiest that Morocco has witnessed since the 2003 Casablanca attacks. The timing of the attack is questionable, as Moroccans continue to demand reforms and the trial of corrupt officials. Jalal al-Makhefi reports from Rabat.

Reporter, Male #1
A powerful blast has rocked the largest café in Marrakech's busy Djemma el-Fna Square, which is listed among the top ten tourist destination in the world. Visitors who witnessed the incident expressed shock.

Guest, Male #3
We were one of the first people to arrive at the café. To be honest it's very hard to describe. It's very deplorable, very deplorable.

Reporter, Male #1
The death toll was very high. Dozens were killed or injured, and most were foreign tourists. A security source said that the death toll would have been much higher had a gas canister on the ground floor exploded. The official said that the authorities immediately launched an investigation in order to determine the cause of the blast and identify the perpetrators.

Guest, Male #4 (Security Official)
The blast is being investigated by the magistrate police. The cause is not clear but it could be a gas explosion. It’s an ongoing investigation. Once it's complete, we will be able to determine the actual cause.

Guest, Male #5 (Taeb al-Sharqawi, Moroccan Foreign Minister)
I strongly condemn this heinous and criminal act that targeted our nation and claimed the lives of innocent citizens and foreigners. Let it be known that the perpetrators responsible for this terrorist and criminal act will be apprehended and brought to justice.

Reporter, Male #1
This is the third attack in Morocco since the May 16th 2003 Casablanca attacks. It comes at a time when the country is witnessing protests demanding a repeal of the counterterrorism law enforced in the country. Two days before the attack, the so called "al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb" warned of vengeance against Morocco if all Salafi prisoners were not released. The government released some Salafi prisoners in preparation for the launch of the comprehensive reforms that were announced by the Moroccan Monarch. Jalal al-Makhefi, Dubai TV.

Presenter, Female #1
The Moroccan Minister of Communications and government spokesman, Khalid Naceri said that they will pursue all leads, hinting that al-Qaeda might be behind the bombing. Naceri said that the investigation is ongoing to identify the responsible parties, adding that Morocco will remain committed to its reform plans despite attempts to undermine stability in the country.

Presenter, Female #1, back
The U.N. has strongly condemned the attack that targeted the Marrakech café, describing it as "heinous." Members of the U.N. Security Council issued a statement to express "deep sympathy" for the victims. They reiterated that terrorism is still a major threat to international peace and security.

Rival Yemeni rallies display loyalty to martyrs and constitution

Al-Alam, Iran
Presenter, Male # 1
Thousands of Yemenis demonstrated in the capital Sana'a on a “Day of Loyalty to Martyrs” to announce their rejection of the Cooperation Council's initiative and demand the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The youth of the revolution held Friday prayers on al-Seteen Street and streets leading to Taghyeer, or Change Square. Following the prayers, protestors chanted slogans calling for continuing the revolution until all their demands are met. In addition, they expressed their rejection of granting President Saleh immunity. In contrast, thousands of supporters of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime participated in separate marches organized after Friday prayers in Sana'a, as part of what they referred to as the "Friday of Constitutional Legitimacy." The participants confirmed their adherence to what they called constitutional legitimacy and to President Saleh maintaining his post until the end of his mandate. They also called for dialogue and the resolution of the country's problems within the constitution. In a brief statement issued by President Saleh, he labeled the demonstrators rallying against him as "traitors and killers," saying they have no legitimacy. Saleh had previously threatened to not sign the Cooperation Council's initiative if representatives from the state of Qatar are among the mediators. Sources from the Joint Meeting Parties said the regime's massacres in Sana'a require a demand to prosecute President Ali Abdullah Saleh. This comes as Deputy Information Minister Abdul Janadi said the ruling General People's Congress party will send its vice president, Abdel Karim al-Iryani, to Riyadh to sign the settlement agreement.

Reporter, Female # 1
Day-by-day, the crisis in Yemen is exacerbated and the latest massacre in Sana'a rendered the fate of political solutions, including the Saudi settlement plan, unknown. As the date of the signing in Riyadh approaches, Joint Meeting Parties’ sources announced that Sana'a's massacres require the prosecution of President Saleh. It warned the regime against playing with fire by obstructing the upcoming meeting in Riyadh. In addition, it confirmed that if the regime is unable to protect the peaceful protestors it will be unable to sign a deal that the regimes seems to be using to shed more of the people's blood, as proved in the last few days. The political opposition has decided on its position on the Riyadh deal while the ruling General People's Congress announced it will send the party's vice president, Abdel Karim al-Iryani, to Riyadh to sign the agreement. However, it warned that some of its provisions, notably Saleh’s immunity from prosecution and the formation of the transitional government, are essential. And while Saleh condemns the demonstrations, the people's rejection of Saudi interference continues to increase. Protestors consider the actions of the Cooperation Council countries and of Riydah to be an attempt to foil the Yemeni revolution. Observers believe that Saudi Arabia might continue to interfere in the country to keep President Saleh in place. Fearing the outbreak of democracy on its border, this would guarantee Saudi interests and prevent the opposition from ruling in Sana'a.

Iranian women rally to condemn Bahrain crackdown

Press TV, Iran
Iranian women have held a rally in the capital Tehran to condemn the Saudi-backed crackdown on the popular uprising in Bahrain. They chanted slogans in solidarity with the people of Bahrain they also slammed what they call the double standards of Muslim countries on human rights. They said the US and Britain are “accomplices in the genocides being committed in Muslim countries.”

Hamas-Fatah deal to be signed Wednesday in Cairo

IBA, Israel
Senior Palestinian officials associated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced today that the reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah is slated to be signed next Wednesday at an official ceremony in Cairo. Representatives of both sides are expected to arrive in the Egyptian capital by Monday, when Damascus-based Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal is scheduled to meet with Abbas. Meanwhile a reaction to the draft agreement continues. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has accused the international community of exhibiting a conciliatory approach toward Hamas.

Paltalk leaks expose conspiracy against Syria

Syria TV, Syria
Reporter, Male #1
From behind the walls of the dark room we bring the voice of conspirators, echoing in the ears of everyone who hasn't heard it yet. A voice calling for goodwill and honorable intentions under the slogan and with the tools of peace. While this echo exposes lies, those claiming to be peaceful are at the very least armed with the latest technological innovations. In their hands, these innovations are only used for vandalism and the spread of sounds and images that have been fabricated to cover up the truth. Not to mention the weapons and money provided to these people to fulfill their agenda and that agenda alone. In their own words, we can condemn them. This is Fida'a al-Sayyed, the creator of the so-called "Syrian Revolution" page on Facebook. He is a welcome guest in the dark room and directs his hosts to promote peaceful protests with the tools of destruction and chaos.

Guest, Male #2 (Fida'a al-Sayyed)
Communication was difficult but we were in touch with active groups for two weeks. They were nominated by activists and intellectuals, such as Haitham el-Malleh, Souheir el-Athati, and many others. We are in contact with them; they have Thuraya cell phones. A large number of Thuraya phones, cameras, and MP3s were sent to Syria, in addition to satellite internet devices.

Reporter, Male #1
There is no doubt that Fida'a and those aligned with him armed the aforementioned people with enough information on how to use these phones in order to transfer information to media stations that have adopted their agenda. To achieve this same goal, this technology was smuggled into Syria through illegal channels before protests began, which raises questions of their motives. Is it the game of dissenters who oppose granting the opposition the role of eyewitness? Or a game to maintain direct contact with these so-called eyewitnesses? The answer can be reduced to one word: “yes.” The story is no longer secret after having solved the mystery of many witnesses who often travel from province to province, from city to city and from one neighborhood to the next, even from one country to another. It comes as no surprise to you: their real location is that very same dark room. So which eyes do these eyewitnesses possess if they are so blind to the truth? And what are they looking at?

Guest, Male #3 (Rafik Latif)
Of course, some of them used voice changing devices when talking to satellite channels to be able to call multiple times as different people. They use some computer programs as well as other means.

Reporter, Male #1
We showed you one act of the play. This is a phone call from an eyewitness looking at what is happening in Homs from the heart of the Paltalk room, based in a country removed from the heart of the event by large distances and borders.

Guest, Female #1
What is the name of the city?

Guest, Male #4
Talbesee, Talbesse in Homs. People and ambulances are unable to enter. Please, the bodies are on the street. This news is very important.

Guest, Female #1
Alright, alright, may God be with you.

Guest, Male #4
Please spread the news urgently. Please let people know.

Reporter, Male #1
As long as the best way to choose channels is to pick those that have adopted voices that do not utter the truth and fostering their testimonies, then they will undoubtedly receive praise.

Reporter, Male #1
The most important channel of all may be al-Jazeera. A more suitable slogan for the channel is "the trigger and the other trigger," as it is igniting crises in every area that does not comply with the agenda of those who live behind the scenes.

** Contact Mosaic News: mosaicnews{at}linktv{dot}org