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"Oh, Great Pharaoh"
INTERNATIONAL PAPERS, Monday, 7th February 2011: the world’s press is leading, once again, on Egypt’s ongoing crisis. There's also coverage of events in Algeria, Australia and how Apple is gaining the edge over Blackberry in the City of London.
The International Herald Tribune Page headlines: “Opposition vows to escalate fight in Egypt”. Vice-President Omar Suleiman has met opposition leaders, including the Muslim Brotherhood. A cartoon in the paper captures some of the mood. It depicts President Hosni Mubarak as a Pharaoh and a representative Muslim Brotherhood smiling over his shoulder asking: “What are your plans, oh Great Pharaoh?”. An Israeli army soldier, meanwhile, chimes in, over the other shoulder, saying: “We’d all like to know”. Commentator David Brooks has a piece in The International Herald Tribune called “The 40 Per Cent Nation”. Brooks says moving from dictatorship doesn’t automatically mean moving to democracy and what matters is the strength of underlying institutions, from political parties to neighbourhood groups to the education system. The writer argues Egypt is mediocre in a range of world rankings – it is “a 40 per cent nation” – but that could be enough to give it a shot at joining the democratic world, “if led wisely”.
The Guardian International has a double-page spread with the headline quoting a protester calling for a new system. It says Christians and Muslims have joined hands in common cause. And reports there were a couple of weddings in Tahrir Square over the weekend, one with photos in front of a tank and another covered by tweets on Twitter. A pull-out in The Guardian says the White House is « Dithering … all at sea ». Washington’s official position on the uprising, it says, has been changing almost daily.
There is simmering tension in neighbouring Algeria. El Watan, an opposition paper in the country, headlines that one of its journalists stopped an unemployed person from setting themselves alight. A wave of immolations has been a key part of the protests in several Arab countries. The paper doesn’t pull any punches with a cartoon of a down-trodden protester begging for petrol from the pump so that he can burn himself.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, meanwhile, is also suffering. The Australian has an editorial entitled “Getting burned in political summer”. The paper’s political editor argues that she has lost the battle of a summer of disasters. Gillard’s ratings have sunk. The ruling Labour party, the paper says, is now worse off than it was under Kevin Rudd. The paper’s editorial argues Gillard has failed to juggle being in charge with sympathy for flood and cyclone victims.
The Bangkok Post covers that story too with a piece entitled
“PM Gillard battens down for disaster fallout”. It reports Australia’s cruel summer of cyclones and floods could “generate a devastating political storm for Gillard”.
Is it the beginning of the end for Blackberry’s dominance in the City of London? The Wall Street Journal Europe raises the question reporting that Deutsche Bank recently praised Apple’s corporate email services and 1,000 staff at UBS are testing the i-Phone. And that, the paper says, are just two examples of several. So may be it’s Apple in, Blackberry out?