Apr 23 2014

Daily News Flash with Rahul Mahajan on Obama’s Military Aid to Egypt, Brazil’s Internet Governance Bill, and Nepal’s Sherpas Rise Up

Uprising’s guest expert Rahul Mahajan, a sociologist and news analyst and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

The Obama Administration has approved delivery of 10 Apache helicopters to the military regime in Egypt despite on-going government repression. The US had been withholding the helicopters after Muslim Brotherhood member and elected President, Mohammed Morsi was ousted from power. The hardware is expected to be used by the Army-led government against an insurgency in the northern Sinai region of Egypt where hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police have been killed. But, the military government has also been criticized for what the Guardian calls its “scorched-earth counterinsurgency tactics that have seen innocent Sinai residents killed, and their homes destroyed.” Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

In a stark contrast to the US, Brazil’s government has just passed a sweeping internet privacy bill which, according to President Dilma Rousseff “guarantees the neutrality of the Web, which is fundamental to maintaining the Internet’s free and open nature.” The bill is expected to be signed into law by Rousseff ahead of a major internet conference in Sao Paolo that opens today, bringing together 80 or so country representatives. President Rousseff found herself the target of US government surveillance last year when the NSA spying program came to light. Click here for an Associated Press article about the story.

Nepal’s Sherpa community has called for a boycott of Mount Everest after 13 Sherpas were killed in an avalanche last Friday. The Sherpas, who accompany the mostly Western climbers, are paid a few thousand dollars for their expert guiding skills, but that is only a small fraction of the $50,000 plus that climbers pay to reach the summit. Angered by the government’s offer of about $400 in compensation per victim, the Sherpas have reportedly decided not to climb during this season until their demands for greater rights and wages are met. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

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