Monday, August 19, 2013

Pentagon press conference happening now, with Chinese rep. Wow.

Since it's currently in progress (I'm watching it live on CSPAN 1) I will have to post pertinent links later--suffice it to say for now that a convergence of topics I've already covered here is occurring, from the Chinese incursions in the South China Sea to Egypt/Israel and Snowden. Heads up, folks, a significant shift in U.S. policy is occurring as I type this.  It was just last month when there were U.S. - Japan military exercises formally protested by China; I wonder what the Japanese must be thinking about this development.

Additional news down the pike is that the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors has observed the passage of one year's time since Al Hurra staffer Bashir Fahmi disappeared.  Generally speaking, it's not a good time for journalists in that general region, in general.  Stay tuned.
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 Global Times article
Military.com article
NHK World, next day, mentioned Japan's tiff with Russia regarding islands disputes in same region; add that to island disputes with S. Korea, and  you have Japan doing itself a huge disservice in being at odds with those who would otherwise be allies in any dispute with China regarding Senkaku and regarding Okinawa's U.S. military base. And yet rising nationalism there is the impetus behind Japan's stance against its own best interests.  Go figure.


Stuff happening faster than I can keep up with today. New developments in Egypt are disconcerting as well, to say the least.
New charter? WHAT constitution?
Venezuelan take on the new charter (Spanish)
Egypt is Tunisia repeated? --Telegraph
Chatter that I have been observing mentions something about Erdogan's role in what's going on, pretty much under the media radar at this point. Hmmm--He's Turkey's prime minister who was very vocal about his support of Morsi, and seeking condemnation by the UN on Morsi's removal.  Arutz 7 reports some kind of Egyptian TV boycott of Turk soap operas as a result, which is what I find strange because it's been my impression that Egyptian state media were inclined to support Morsi too.

In the meanwhile, Glenn Greenwald on Twitter, makes good on his promise to focus publicity on UK affairs. This is one of them. And Al Jazeera America announced its launch tomorrow.  And while I was typing this, the Greenwald item got reTweeted several times.  People, if you have ever wondered what Twitter could ever be good for, you're seeing one thing.  Another is on the spot news feeds.  Yet another is watching elected officials, and yet another is keeping up on rapidly developing situations (like Egypt).  I've said it before and I'll say it again: On Twitter, follow Mona Eltahawy. Also Ahram OnlineAl Arabiya EnglishEgypt IndependentThe Big Pharaoh (English/Arabic) and Sandmonkey (English/Arabic).  For starters.




Just in via pourmecoffee on Twitter--comic relief. He says this is the UK government going through the Guardian's computers:


Well, it appears that today is Morsi's birthday.  And whaddaya no....looks like Lincoln Chafee and Jeffery Levin are now following li'l ole ME on Twitter. Sure beats Karl Rove.


NEXT DAY UPDATE: Was listening to NPR this AM and heard Mona Eltahawy stay on the line for an ongoing discussion of Egypt, which made me wonder what has become of Christianne Amanpour, who used to be the go-to gal reporting on international incidents.  I understand that she's the anchor on CNN International, but apparently that requires that she give up her usual rounds on her usual beats around the globe. Regarding the Middle East, and not just Egypt, Mona Eltahawy has stepped in and apparently is filling Amanpour's rather large shoes.  Speaking as a fan: you go, girl.

A number of Tweets late last night involved links to YouTube videos showing graphic pictures of cadavers which were the result of the turmoil in Cairo and it certainly wasn't conducive to a good night's rest after turn-in.  I have to remark about the bodies shown from the quashing of the jailbreak yesterday from Abu Zaabal prison, that the tear gas sold to Egypt by the U.S. was never meant to be used in a confined space like the vehicle used to transport the prisoners to a different facility, and yet Egyptians would be warranted for blaming the U.S. for the sale and its subsequent misuse, especially given that the U.S. is responsible for the military exercises and training in Egypt.
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