Independence Day

July 4, 2013

It’s the fourth of July here which is Independence Day in the USA, except it’s only July the third there.

It’s still the third in Egypt where a full military coup has ousted President President Mohamed Mursi.

Egypt’s army deployed tanks and troops close to the presidential palace in Cairo on Wednesday after a military deadline for Islamist President Mohamed Mursi to yield to street protests passed without any agreement.

Mursi’s national security adviser said a military coup was under way as armed forces commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met political, religious and youth leaders.

Egypt’s state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website that the army told President Mohamed Mursi at 7 p.m. (1700 GMT) that he was no longer head of state. It quoted a presidential source.

Meanwhile the state news agency MENA said they would make a joint announcement of a roadmap for a new transitional period and new elections two years after the overthrow of autocratic ex-president Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising. . .

Hopes were high that the Arab Spring would bring democracy, and prosperity, to Egypt.

Two years later those hopes have yet to be realised.

Happy Independence USA.

Good luck Egypt.

Joined not separated

August 30, 2012

Quote of the day:

. . . we are nations joined by a large ocean, rather than separated by it. Too often the obvious potential of the Pacific is overlooked. We need to focus more on the strengths and assets of our part of the world, rather than pondering on what we allegedly don’t have.  Prime Minsiter John Key in his address to the Pacific Island Forum opening ceremony.

It’s good advice for more than the forum.

Be happy by order

July 1, 2012

The United Nations has decreed that March 20th will be the International Day of Happiness.

When you can have a whole Year of the Potato a single day for happiness is a modest request and a worthy aim.

But it would be more than a little sad if you happen to have one of those days that day – not just a bad day for you but a blot on the canvas of international happiness .

Former Eqyptian president Mubarak declared dead – updated

June 20, 2012

As Egyptians rallied in Cairo to protest against a decision by the ruling military council to assume new powers  the country’s former president, Hosni Mubarak, was declared dead.

He’d been sentenced to life imprisonment a few weeks ago for complicity in the killings of protesters during the uprising that ended his 30-year rule.

One dictator has gone but Egyptian’s still face an uncertain political future.

UPDATE: There are now conflicting reports and Reuters is saying that Mubarak is unconscious and on a respirator but not dead.

USA does deal

August 1, 2011

USA  leaders have done a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Congressional leaders of both parties and President Obama said they have agreed to a framework for a fiscal deal that they will present to their caucuses Monday morning, moving Congress closer to taking up a measure that could pass both the House and Senate with bipartisan support and be signed by President Obama, averting a fiscal calamity.

The two Senate leaders, Harry Reid of Nevada and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, announced the agreement on the Senate floor and President Obama a few moments later. He indicated he would support it, although it was not his preferred approach.

“It will allow us to avoid default,” he said.

The threat of the USA defaulting on its debt was never very real, but even so this is good news for not only the USA but all the other countries whose economies are intertwined with it.

Bin Laden is dead

May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Radio NZ reports US officials saying his body has been recoverd by US authorities.

Does the army rule ok?

February 12, 2011

It’s a poor reflection on Egypt when rule by the army is regarded as a cause for celebration after 30 years under ex-President Hosni Mubarak.

Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, who is now in charge, will have a period of grace while decisions are made on where-to-from-here.

But change by itself does not necessarily bring improvement and the removal of a dictator does not automatically result in democracy or stability.

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