Anger has erupted on Egypt's streets and lead to a new occupation of Cairo's iconic Tahrir square — the centre of mass protests that brought down dictator Hosni Mubarak last year. Just days after being lauded by many for his role in brokering a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi issued a series of constitutional decrees that provoked the protests. There were also large protests on December 1 in defence of Morsi and his decrees.
As soon as Israel attacked Gaza in its “Operation Pillar of Defence”, it was clear the context in which its war was launched was very different from “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008-09. The shift in regional context is largely due to the Arab Spring, which has shaken the Middle East. The most concerning development from Israel's point of view was Egypt's January 25 revolution, which overthrew US- and Israel-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak last year.
Did you think there is a housing bubble in Australia? Not so, according to the chairperson of Aussie Home Loans, John Symond, who said last month: “I am confident, notwithstanding a lot of hype from offshore analysts about a housing bubble, of Australia’s fundamentals.” Symond wants us to trust him, not those offshore analysts, because it's not as if the owner of a home loans company has any interest in the maintenance of an overpriced property market.
Egypt is being hit by a strike wave as the government comes under pressure to push austerity measures. However, the protests getting the most international attention are the ones against The Innocence of Muslims film. Like countries across the world, Egypt Islamaphobic film. But the Egyptian protests, which targetted the US embassy, took on a different dynamic due to the revolution that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak.
As soon as news filtered through that a “Muslim riot” was taking place in Sydney on September 15, it was clear a racist backlash was going to occur. It was also clear on what grounds the backlash would take place.
Protests by Muslims have spread around the world against the anti-Islamic propaganda film Innocence of Muslims. In response to violent attacks on US embassies in Libya and Yemen, that killed for Americans including the ambassador, US President Barack Obama informed US Congress on September 14 that he had deployed US soldiers “equipped for combat” to the two Arab nations.
You don't have to be a clairvoyant to see what is to come in the aftermath of the so-called “Sydney riots” that occurred on September 15. Media will show images of “Violent religious fundamentalist thugs” taking over streets. “Shocking images” of protesters holding up placards with slogans like “Behead all those who insult the Prophet”.
Channel Nine's mini-series Howzat! Kerry Packer's War has shone the light once again on the creation of World Series Cricket and its enduring legacy for the sport. The build-up to the show was particularly intense during the Olympics, but there was an ominous feeling that it would just be a puff piece for Channel Nine's most prominent owner. In the end, the series mostly avoided puffery and was a success, dramatically entertaining an average of more than 2 million viewers for each episode.
After an armed attack killed 16 Egyptian guards on the border with Israel in the Sinai Peninsula, President Mohammed Morsi sacked defence minister and head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) Mohammed Tantawi, and his second in command, Sami Anan. The move is part of an ongoing battle that has taken place between the Muslim Brotherhood — main political force that emerged after the overthrow of former dictator Hosni Mubarak — and SCAF, which took governmental power after Mubarak stepped down.
There have been outrageous abuses of power before and during the Olympic Games in London this year. These include a police attack on, and mass arrests during, a "critical mass" bike ride, the placing of missiles on civilian roofs despite protests by affected residents, and special “Olympic lanes” on roads whose use is limited those granted special permission by games organisers.
The Olympics are a sporting and social phenomenon without parallel. The Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics was watched by close to 1 billion people. Viewers for individual events can be remarkable. The website Sporting Intelligence said 184 million people watched a live women’s volleyball match between China and Cuba at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A further 450 million people watched part of it.
It rarely takes very long into an Olympics for the myth that the games are above politics to be shattered. For the London 2012 games, the myth was smashed well before the games begun. A series of incidents involving Australian athletes have shown that politics are at the heart of the games. Despite winning the Olympic trial earlier this year, athlete John Steffensen was not selected to represent Australia in the individual 400 metres sprint, replaced by 19 year old Steve Solomon.