Category: Freedom


Natural Society

by
February 2nd, 2014
Updated 02/02/2014 at 1:53 am

 

food trade 263x164 Sedgwick, Maine First to Enact Free Food Trade Immune to Federal Law, Say NO to Forced GMO Regulations

Sedgwick, Maine, the first town in the US to legalize any kind of food transaction as free and legal in order to keep the right to produce raw milk, organic produce, free-range eggs, and more, is revolutionizing the way America keeps its food rights – including saying no to GMOs. In other words, it is the first town to declare food sovereignty while opposing both state and federal laws.

The town has passed an ordinance that protects citizens’ rights to “produce, sell, purchase, and consume any food of their choosing.” The ordinance laughs in the face of FDA regulations and their hodge-podge way of giving food a rubber stamp of approval, especially GMO. Three additional towns in Maine are expected to pass similar ordinances as well.

The move is somewhat similar to a move one England town made, where the citizens transformed their entire town’s landscape into a giant food-producing garden. Both are great examples of moving toward food sovereignty.

It isn’t just a declaration on the whim of a few city council members. There is a warrant added: “It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance.” This means that federal interference is prohibited in our food supply – at least in Maine. If you can’t get Monsanto out of the government, take the government out of your food. It’s a brilliant way around the convoluted system now in place that almost gave Monsanto the right to be exempt from federal prosecution for its poison food and which tries to hoist (foist.. DR) it upon the whole Nation without consent.

 

Read More Here

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Published time: December 13, 2013 09:35
Edited time: December 13, 2013 13:48

 

Head of the Catalunyan regional government Artur Mas (C) stands during a press conference on December 12, 2013 in Barcelona announcing that political parties in Catalonia agreed to hold a referendum on independence for the northeastern Spanish region on November 9, 2014 (AFP Photo / STR)

Head of the Catalunyan regional government Artur Mas (C) stands during a press conference on December 12, 2013 in Barcelona announcing that political parties in Catalonia agreed to hold a referendum on independence for the northeastern Spanish region on November 9, 2014 (AFP Photo / STR)

 

The Catalan regional parliament has set November next year for a referendum on the Spanish province’s independence. The government in Madrid blandly said the vote won’t happen, but activists wonder how it might be stopped.

Catalonia’s four pro-independence parties, which hold a majority in the regional parliament, announced Thursday that the rich industrial Spanish province will hold a referendum on whether to gain greater autonomy or even total independence from the country’s central government.

The vote’s preliminary date is November 9, Catalan regional government head Artur Mas said. The people will be asked two questions: “Do you want Catalonia to be a state?” and “Do you want that state to be independent?”

The former question was added for those Catalans who seek to change Spain into a federation, with Catalonia forming part of it. According to a Metroscopia poll in newspaper El Pais last month, 46 percent of Catalans favor separatism versus 42 percent who wish to remain within Spain. The support for greater autonomy, however, is very strong.

Just minutes after the announcement Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon rejected the idea, saying it would be unconstitutional.

“The vote will not be held,” he said.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy spoke out later in the day, saying his government will not allow the Catalan referendum to happen.

 

Read More Here

 

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Catalonia sets date for independence referendum, but Madrid vows to block it

Catalan parties agree wording of proposed November 2014 referendum but Spanish government says it will not allow vote
Artur Mas

Artur Mas announceas that political parties in Catalonia have agreed to hold a referendum on independence next November. Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Separatist parties in Spain‘s north-eastern Catalonia region on Thursday agreed the wording of an independence referendum proposed for November 2014 but the Spanish government immediately said the vote was illegal and would not happen.

The Catalan regional government head, Artur Mas, said the vote would ask two questions: “Do you want Catalonia to be a state?” and: “Do you want that state to be independent?”

Spain’s justice minister, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, immediately said the vote could not take place because the constitution would not allow it.

 

Read More Here

 

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The Daily Caller

Twitter keeps suspending account critical of Obamacare

Charles C. Johnson

Twitter has repeatedly suspended an account critical of the Affordable Care Act.

The account, @mycancellation, was just getting started when Twitter suspended it—twice—before reinstating the account late Saturday night.

The purpose of @mycancellation or mycancellation.com was to allow some of the millions of Americans who are losing their health insurance to post pictures of themselves with their cancellation letters. “Help us show Washington the faces who lost what they liked,” the account asked. “ObamaCare canceled your health insurance. Now, send us your letter,” the tagline for the website advertised.

More bad news about Obamacare. More bad news for Wendy Davis.

Real ppl are losing insurance they were told they could keep. Send your picture & letter: letters@mycancellation.com

The Twitter account quickly gained steam and had over 1,000 followers before Twitter suspended it.

Late Saturday night Heather Higgins, CEO and president of the Independent Women’s Voice, announced on Facebook that the account was suspended again.

“We were suspended yesterday late afternoon without a notice email,” Victoria Coley, who along with Eric Kohn is running the account, told The Daily Caller.

Kohn managed to get the account reinstated. “Tonight shortly before 11:30pm ET the handle was canceled again,” Coley told TheDC. “We are looking into the issue now to see whether Twitter can give us a reason.”

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Published time: October 23, 2013 05:35

AFP Photo / Saeed Khan

AFP Photo / Saeed Khan

A senior US National Security Council staffer has been fired for using an anonymous Twitter account to send hundreds of messages criticizing the Obama administration from inside the White House.

Jofi Joseph, a director in the nuclear non-proliferation team inside the NSC, was let go a week ago after administration officials spent months investigating who was tweeting from @natsecwonk. The account opened in February 2011 and lasted until last week, sending thousands of tweets critical of Obama’s policies, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and various high level officials in the interim.

Two sources in the administration confirmed to The Daily Beast that Joseph, 40, was behind the account. The staffer was a member of the NSC team that sat across the negotiating table from Iran in Istanbul earlier this year.

“Is it just me, or with the Jews celebrating Rosh Hashanah tonight, is Twitter much quieter?” he once wrote.

What’s so disturbing about the Hillary dancing photo is the high-def resolution of Ben Rhodes’ balding pate. And Jake Sullivan behind him,” another read, referencing US President Obama’s deputy national security advisor and speechwriter as well as Vice President Joe Biden’s national security advisor.

 

Read More Here

 

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NSC aide admits Twitter attack on White House

A senior National Security Council staffer who was a key member of the White House team negotiating on Iran’s nuclear weapons program told POLITICO he deeply regrets tweeting hundreds of anti-administration messages under the pseudonym @natsecwonk.

Jofi Joseph, 40, was fired from his job on the NSC nuclear non-proliferation team a week ago after a months-long probe into a barrage of tweets that included caustic criticisms of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and top NSC officials, especially Ben Rhodes – whom he accused of dodging questions about Benghazi.

“It has been a privilege to serve in this Administration and I deeply regret violating the trust and confidence placed in me,” Joseph told POLITICO in an email.

“What started out as an intended parody account of DC culture developed over time into a series of inappropriate and mean-spirited comments.  I bear complete responsibility for this affair and I sincerely apologize to everyone I insulted.”

(Also on POLITICO: White House official fired for tweets)

Obama spokesman Eric Schultz confirmed that Joseph  had left the White House – and that he no longer had his top security clearances.

In the course of their investigations, officials also told Joseph they suspected he was responsible for a second anonymous Twitter account “@dchobbyist” which included racier tweets about sexual encounters, escort services – and the inner workings of the State Department.

“Wow, you look amazingly sexy in this photo!” the @dchobbyist wrote in an Oct. 5th post.

“That was him,” a person briefed on the probe told POLITICO.

Joseph didn’t respond to a request for comment on the second account.

Joseph, who was part of the White House team that opened up preliminary negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program in Istanbul earlier this year, lived a double life, working with NSC officials and State Department higher-ups on the most sensitive issues while secretly tweet-bombing them with comments like: “’Has shitty staff.’ #ObamaInThreeWords.”

For months, White House and State department officials searched for @NatSecWonk, a hunt that intensified after he repeatedly expressed doubts about the official administration accounts about the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi.

After a probe that included an investigation into Joseph’s travel and shopping patterns – parsed from over 2,000 tweets – lawyers from the White House counsel’s office confronted Joseph and ordered him to leave the executive complex, according to two sources familiar with the situation. Joseph had been scheduled to rotate out of White House duty to a senior job in the Pentagon, an administration official told POLITICO.

The revelation that Joseph was @natsecwonk came as a shock because Joseph was a familiar figure in the foreign policy world – as is his wife Carolyn Leddy, a highly-regarded staffer on the Republican side of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, according to Daily Beast reporter Josh Rogin.

 

Read More Here

 

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Bolivian president to sue US govt for crimes against humanity

Published time: September 20, 2013 04:50
Edited time: September 20, 2013 06:27

Bolivia's President Evo Morales.(AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales.(AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

He has decried the US for its intimidation tactics and fear-mongering after the Venezuelan presidential jet was blocked from entering US airspace.

“I would like to announce that we are preparing a lawsuit against Barack Obama to condemn him for crimes against humanity,” said President Morales at a press conference in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. He branded the US president as a “criminal” who violates international law.

In solidarity with Venezuela, Bolivia will begin preparing a lawsuit against the US head of state to be taken to the international court. Furthermore, Morales has called an emergency meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to discuss what has been condemned by Venezuela as “an act of intimidation by North American imperialism.”

The Bolivian president has suggested that the members of CELAC withdraw their ambassadors from the US to send a message to the Obama Administration. As an additional measure he will call on the member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas to boycott the next meeting of the UN. Members of the Alliance include Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Saint Lucia.

“The US cannot be allowed to continue with its policy of intimidation and blockading presidential flights,”
stressed Morales.

The Venezuelan government announced on Thursday that President Nicolas Maduro’s plane had been denied entry into Puerto Rican (US) airspace.

Read More Here

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Cartoon depicting violation of first amendment rights online
Image Source  :  techfreep.com

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August 9, 2013

Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction to Protect Free Speech after EFF Challenge

Court Blocks Enforcement of Dangerous New Jersey Law

Newark, NJ – A New Jersey federal district court judge granted motions for a preliminary injunction today, blocking the enforcement of a dangerous state law that would put online service providers at risk by, among other things, creating liability based on “indirect” publication of content by speech platforms.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argued for the injunction in court on behalf of the Internet Archive, as the statute conflicts directly with federal law and threatens service providers who enable third party speech online.

“The Constitution does not permit states to pass overbroad and vague statutes that threaten protected speech. The New Jersey statute created that threat and the court was right to block it,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. “Similarly, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act prohibits the state from threatening to throw online providers in jail for what their users do and the statute violated that rule as well. We are grateful that the court recognized the importance of these bedrock principles to online libraries and other platforms that make the Internet the vital and robust tool it is today.”

The New Jersey law at issue is an almost carbon-copy of a Washington state law successfully blocked by EFF and the Internet Archive last year. While aimed at combatting online ads for underage sex workers, it instead imposes stiff criminal penalties on ISPs, Internet cafes, and libraries that “indirectly” cause the publication or display of content that might contain even an “implicit” offer of a commercial sex act if the content includes an image of a minor. The penalties – up to 20 years in prison and steep fines – would put enormous pressure on service providers to block access to broad swaths of otherwise protected material in order to avoid the vague threat of prosecution.

“Within the past month, we’ve seen a coalition of state attorneys general ask Congress to gut CDA 230 to make way for harmful laws like New Jersey’s,” said Zimmerman. “This misguided proposal puts speech platforms at risk, which in turn threatens online speech itself. Law enforcement can and must pursue criminals vigorously, but attacking the platforms where people exercise their right to free speech is the wrong strategy.”

Backpage.com separately filed suit against this law, represented by the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine, who also joined today’s argument.

For more on this case:
https://www.eff.org/cases/internet-archive-v-hoffman

Contact:

Matt Zimmerman
Senior Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
mattz@eff.org

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Veterans Today

  Will Egypt revolution be stolen again?

 

   … by Jim W. Dean, VT Editor    …with Press TV

-  First published on July 8th, 2013  -

The blood responsibility will be on whose hands?

I have watched with growing fear the aftermath of the Egyptian Army and people’s revolt against Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood as it scrambles to place interim leaders who can present a united front to the Egyptian people and avoid descending into civil war.

Much of the Egypt analysis coming in so far is biased by whatever side the writers happen to be supporting and of little value to us as we have been aware of the ideological disputes.

What we need to be looking at now is who internally in Egypt is responsible for what has happened, where certainly one of the options is both sides, and then have certain foreign players played a key role or distant one.

There is the usual ‘the US is running the whole show’ side. This of course is somewhat validated by the annual support to the Egyptian military.

But we must not forget that this was the military, despite America’s standing with Mubarak until almost the end, that went over to the people when they saw he was toast. By siding with the people they saved their own domestic respect, credibility, and privileges.

Michel Chossudovsky poses that the US is manipulating both sides and uses a military.com quote to support the claim:

“US Defense Secretary Hagel and US Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey were walking a fine line expressing concern while attempting to avoid the impression that the US was manipulating events behind the scene.”

Dempsey is known for his steady hand

But an obvious omission here by Chossudovsky is that the US military does not make policy, and peer to peer communications in all situations of turbulence are quite normal.

To cast them undoubtedly as evidence of control and manipulation is a stretch. The Army obviously made the call as it was their behinds on the line if Tahrir Two turns into a debacle.

Kevin Barrett also feels that the Morsi overthrow was a US covert coup, detailing a long history of the tactic being used. Constant involvement in other countries affairs always exposes you to blame for anything that happens there that no one likes.

You end up with ‘anti-American’ feelings (or more of them) which could have been avoided simply by keeping a distance. Our Founding Fathers warned us about this but America has lost its way in this regard.

Edward Peck, former US ambassador to Iraq, and with top sources in Washington. weighed in on the opposite side. “I think that the government of the United States is a little bit confused about what to do… I think anyone who believes that the U.S. or any other country can direct the events in Egypt is badly mistaken.”

I will now jump in here with the caveat that I have no crystal ball but will try to add some dispassionate analysis and some new input from other sources. Foreign Minister Hague recently said, that Britain planned to work with the interim government “as a practical matter” as many British citizens and businesses are in Egypt and international life must go on during these political turmoils.

Camp David Accords – Far away…and long ago…but still with us today

The same goes for the US. We obviously were working with the Morsi government and it should come as no surprise that holding fast to the Camp David Accords would be a top priority. It would be naive to think otherwise.

American support for Israel is not going to disappear overnight based on what happens in another country, but only after a long hard fight back here at home where we clean out of the Lobby infiltrators, subversives and their fellow travelers.

The world has watched the continuing political/religious struggle inside Egypt for a variety of reasons as Tahrir One was an historic event. The Muslim Brotherhood came in on the tail end of that. The young people had initiated and carried the revolution on their own shoulders through the most difficult and dangerous period, with the Army finally joining in to tip the tide.

So the MB had no problem with the people and the army teaming up to remove a democratically elected government when it paved the way for their possibly realizing their dream of running Egypt as an Islamic state.

The current showdown began in earnest with the second year anniversary of the 2011 revolution in late January. Morsi had already burned bridges with the opposition with his decree that none of his presidential edicts could be reversed by the courts, which earned him the nickname the “New Pharaoh.”

Is the Brotherhood trying to resurrect the politically dead?

The opposition became more outspoken and called for removal of the ‘dictatorship’ and trials of its top figures, which we might still see.

Tensions flared with the famous Salafi cleric Mahmoud Shaaban being arrested for inciting violence against NSF leaders when he said on February 2nd that for their [NSF] wanting to get rid of the Morsi government that “it was clear that their sentence in God’s law was death.” That was waving a red flag in front of the army.

 

Read More  Here

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Published time: July 03, 2013 14:43

Thousands of websites will launch a July 4 online protest against the NSA surveillance programs. Reddit, WordPress, and Mozilla will take part in the ‘Restore the Fourth’ campaign online, while live protests take place in cities across the US.

‘Restore the Fourth’ is aimed at restoring the fundamentals of the Fourth Amendment – the part of the Bill of Rights which protects citizens against unlawful searches and seizures. Participants will display an online banner which reads, “This 4th of July, we stand by the 4th Amendment and against the U.S. government’s surveillance of internet users.”

The campaign, which was spawned on Reddit, has the support of several privacy and press freedom advocacy organizations, including Mozilla, Free Press, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and ColorOfChange.org.

The rally was largely organized by Fight for the Future – another non-profit agency which fights against internet censorship. The organization’s co-founder, Tiffiniy Cheng, said in a statement that “the NSA programs that have been exposed are blatantly unconstitutional, and have a detrimental effect on free speech and freedom of press worldwide.” The rally is expected to be Fight for the Future’s largest online mobilization since its actions against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

But the protest doesn’t stop online. Organizers are planning live protests in dozens of US cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, and Atlanta. Doug MacArthur, a member of Restore the Fourth’s national board and moderator on Reddit’s r/news, expects between 10,000 and 20,000 people to take part in the protests in the nation’s larger cities.

MacArthur stressed the need for the protest, largely because mainstream media is failing to adequately cover the NSA leaks and what that means for everyday citizens.

Read More Here

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Uncelebrating the Fourth

 

by Harry Browne, Originally written July 2003

 

Unfortunately, July 4th has become a day of deceit.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress formally declared its independence from Great Britain. Thirteen years later, after a difficult war to secure that independence, the new country was open for business.

It was truly unique – the first nation in all of history in which the individual was considered more important than the government, and the government was tied down by a written Constitution.

It was the one nation where you could live your life secure in the knowledge that no one would ask for your papers, where you weren’t identified by a number, and where the government wouldn’t extort a percentage of your income as the price of holding a job.

And so each year July 4th has been a commemoration of the freest country in history.

False Celebration

But the America that’s celebrated no longer exists.

The holiday oratory deceitfully describes America as though it were the unique land of liberty that once was. Politicians thank the Almighty for conferring the blessings of liberty on a country that no longer enjoys those blessings. The original freedom and security have disappeared, even though the oratory lingers on.

What made America unique is now gone, and we are much the same as Germany, France, England, or Spain, with:

  • confiscatory taxes,
  • a Constitution and Bill of Rights that are symbolic only – merely documents used to justify governmental actions that are in fact prohibited by those documents,
  • business regulated by the state in the most minute detail,
  • no limits on what Congress or the President might decide to do.

Yes, there are some freedoms left, but nothing like the America that was and nothing that you can’t find in a few dozen other countries.

The Empire

Gone, too, is the sense of peace and security that once reigned throughout the land. America, bound by two huge oceans and two friendly neighbors – was subject to none of the never-ending wars and destruction that plagued Europe and Asia.

Now, however, everyone’s business is America’s business. Our Presidents consider themselves the rulers of the world – deciding who may govern any country on earth and sending Americans to die enforcing those decisions.

Read More Here

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Huffington Post

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi Addresses Deadline, Plans Own Path

 

Reuters  |  Posted: 07/01/2013 8:13 pm EDT  |  Updated: 07/01/2013 11:29 pm EDT

 

Mohammed Morsi deadline

Mohammed Mursi

 

 

* Army gives Mursi, opponents 48 hours to agree

 

* Mursi says army statement may cause “confusion”

 

* Liberals say no interest in talking to Mursi

 

* Islamists angry, warn of own street protests (Adds statement on Mursi phone call with Obama)

 

By Alastair Macdonald and Alexander Dziadosz

 

CAIRO, July 2 (Reuters) – President Mohamed Mursi rebuffed an army ultimatum to force a resolution to Egypt’s political crisis, saying on Tuesday that he had not been consulted and would pursue his own plans for national reconciliation.

 

The Islamist leader described as potentially confusing Monday’s 48-hour deadline set by the head of the armed forces for him to agree on a common platform with liberal rivals who have drawn millions into the streets demanding Mursi’s resignation.

 

Members of his Muslim Brotherhood have used the word “coup” to describe the military manoeuvre, which carries the threat of the generals imposing their own road map for the nation.

 

But in a statement issued at nearly 2 a.m., fully nine hours after General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delighted Mursi’s opponents by effectively ordering the president to heed the demands of demonstrators, the president’s office used considerably less direct language to indicate he would try to take little notice.

 

“The president of the republic was not consulted about the statement issued by the armed forces,” it said. “The presidency sees that some of the statements in it carry meanings that could cause confusion in the complex national environment.”

 

Official video was released showing Mursi meeting the uniformed Sisi. Their body language seemed awkward, although it was unclear when it was shot.

 

The statement from Mursi’s office continued, “The presidency confirms that it is going forward on its previously plotted path to promote comprehensive national reconciliation … regardless of any statements that deepen divisions between citizens.”

 

Describing civilian rule as a great gain from the revolution of 2011, Egypt’s first freely elected leader, in office for just a year, said he would not let the clock be turned back.

 

But in referring to his plans for reconciliation as those he had spelt out before, he was speaking of offers that have already been rejected by the opposition, leaving it improbable that such compromises would bear fruit before Sisi’s deadline.

 

Mursi also spoke to U.S. President Barack Obama by phone on Monday, the presidency said in a separate statement. Mursi stressed that Egypt was moving forward with a peaceful democratic transition based on the law and constitution, it said.

 

 

Read More Here

 
************************************************************************************************ NBC News.com

Suhaib Salem / Reuters

Amr Nabil / AP

Egypt’s Morsi calls on military to withdraw ultimatum

LIVE VIDEO: Protesters gather in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt.

CAIRO –  Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi demanded Tuesday that the country’s armed forces withdraw a 48-hour ultimatum for him to share power with his political opponents, and said he would not be dictated to.

“President Mohammed Morsi asserts his grasp on constitutional legitimacy and rejects any attempt to deviate from it, and calls on the armed forces to withdraw their warning and refuses to be dictated to internally or externally,” a tweet from the Egyptian presidency account said, according to Reuters.

The clock was ticking for Morsi to meet the demands of millions of protesters seeking his ouster and fresh elections after an ultimatum issued to the Islamist leader by his own armed forces.

If Morsi does not meet the demands by Wednesday, the military has said it will impose its own “road map” for the future.

Meanwhile, in the ongoing chaos, Egyptian security and health officials said seven people were killed in three separate clashes between Morsi opponents and supporters on Tuesday. Violence during the protests over the weekend had already left 16 people dead and hundreds injured.

President Barack Obama and the United Nations have each urged Morsi to listen to his people, as a massive crowd gathered once again in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Tuesday.

Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights, told a briefing Tuesday that they were following the “extremely tense situation” in Egypt with “great concern.”

“We urge all political parties and social groups to urgently engage in a serious national dialogue in order to find a solution to the political crisis and prevent an escalation of violence,” Colville said.

“We call on the president of Egypt to listen to the demands and wishes of the Egyptian people, expressed during these huge protests over the past few days, and to address key issues raised by the opposition and civil society in recent months, as well as to heed the lessons of the past in this particularly fragile situation,” he added.

Read More Here

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Published on Jun 28, 2013

An American teacher and an Egyptian journalist were killed in Egypt as clashes erupted during rival demonstrations by tens of thousands of people for and against President Mohamed Morsi a year after his election. AFP reported that at least three people have been killed in the protests in total, with tensions rising ahead of a mass opposition rally planned for Sunday. The US citizen, a 21-year-old who reportedly worked for an American cultural centre in the coastal city of Alexandria, was killed on Friday as he took photographs of a demonstration, officials said.

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Three Egyptians, US citizen killed as unrest spirals

Anti-government protesters gather around the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria, Egypt, June 28, 2013.

Anti-government protesters gather around the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria, Egypt, June 28, 2013.
Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:33PM GMT
9
UPDATE
Related Interviews:
Four people, including one US citizen, have been killed across Egypt during clashes between tens of thousands of opponents and supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, according to Egyptian security and hospital sources.

The sources said that an Egyptian protester and a young US cameraman were killed in the deadly clashes in the port city of Alexandria on Friday.

They stated that the Egyptian was shot and the American was stabbed in the chest near the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was set on fire by anti-government protesters.

More than 160 people were also injured during the clashes in Alexandria, Health Ministry spokesman Yahya Moussa said.

According to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, one person was killed in Morsi’s hometown, Zagazig.

One demonstrator was killed and five were others wounded after a gas cylinder exploded among protesters in the northeastern city of Port Said.

The Brotherhood said anti-government protesters had attacked and ransacked eight of its offices across the country.

In the capital Cairo, tens of thousands of pro- and anti-government protesters held separate demonstrations. The protests largely remained peaceful in Tahrir Square, around the Defense Ministry and in front of the presidential palace.

Earlier in the day, Egypt’s leading clerics warned of “civil war” and appealed for calm as tension grew ahead of mass rallies planned by opposition to unseat Morsi.

“Vigilance is required to ensure we do not slide into civil war,” clerics from Egypt’s leading Muslim authority, the Al-Azhar institute, said in a statement.

The academy, which is one of the most influential centers of scholarship in the Muslim world, backed Morsi’s offer of dialogue and blamed “criminal gangs” who attacked mosques for street violence.

The Brotherhood accused liberals, who were once loyal to ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak, for inciting violence by hired “thugs”.

The United Nations, the European Union and the United States have all appealed for restraint and called on the North African country’s political leaders to step back from the confrontation.

In a televised address on Wednesday, Morsi warned that polarized state of the country’s politics is “threatening to paralyze” Egypt.

He acknowledged that he made some mistakes during the first year of his presidency but called for national reconciliation, saying that he was open to cooperating with the opposition on constitutional reform.

On Thursday, Egypt’s main opposition coalition — the National Salvation Front (NSF) — rejected the president’s offer and called instead for early elections.

The NSF claimed that Morsi had failed to take responsibility for the country’s deep political polarization and failed economy.

The opposition group Tamarod (Arabic for Rebellion) has called for mass demonstrations on Sunday, which marks Morsi’s first year in office, to demand his resignation and early presidential elections.

Meanwhile, troops have been deployed across Egyptian cities ahead of the planned protests.

Several political groups say the government is dominated by the Brotherhood. The opposition also accuses Morsi of deviating from the 2011 revolution that toppled the Western-backed regime of Mubarak.

Morsi’s supporters, however, say the president is cleansing Egyptian institutions of corruption. They also believe that he needs time to put into practice the principles of the 2011 revolution.

Egypt has witnessed continuing anti-government protests since Morsi took office in June 2012 in a landmark election held following the ouster of Mubarak.

GJH/MHB

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