Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 29/1/2011: KDE SC 4.6 Reviewed, 2012 Planned to Reach Ballarat University

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Plays well with Others
    Two of my friends transfered out NIU this semester, both of them are running various forms of GNU/Linux on their personal computers. One of them is not so technically inclined and he asked me to help him trouble shoot why his Ubuntu system could not get an internet connection. After doing a bit of searching online I found that NIU had some special settings for connecting to their wired network via Cisco NAC.

  • Desktop

    • The Desktop Computer Comeback
      Although people spend all day with their iPhones, iPads or whatever else they're using to casually search the web while watching TV or sitting at a cafe, most of them still have some sort of real computer on a desk somewhere. Some of these poor people (too many in fact) have been suckered into using a laptop as a desktop replacement. There's really no such thing as a desktop replacement.

      That said, the honkin' desktop computer with the multi-core CPU isn't in vogue, plain and simple. The productivity benefits have been forgotten.

      First of all, let's get real about computing in the modern world. It's not about looking things up on the Web; it's about getting more work done in a shorter period of time than ever before. This is largely because of the processing power of desktop computers. And, yes, a powerful laptop can be a workhorse, but get real. If given a choice between using a laptop – no matter how powerful – with a 15-inch screen and using a multi-core tower machine with two or three or four 20-inch to 30-inch monitors, why would I choose the laptop?

  • Server

    • Microsoft pushing for 16-core Atom CPUs: something to do with Linux?
      These systems would be perfectly served by Linux distributions (Red Hat, Ubuntu, Suse) and Microsoft could not offer anything for them. Linux is already the strongest player in the datacenter and this would grow its market share considerably while reducing the market-share of Windows simultaniously.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Defining Wayland & Its Input System Are Discussed
        If you have any interest at all in the technical side of the Wayland Display Server, there's been two mailing list threads in particular worth paying attention to this week. One is about proposals for Wayland's input system an the other is in terms of defining a Wayland implementation.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Yakuake (Quake-Like Terminal Emulator) 2.9.8 Finally Adds KWin Support
        Yakuake is a very cool Quake-like drop-down terminal emulator for KDE. If you've never seen Yakuake in action before, check out the following video which I've just recorded with Yakuake 2.9.8 in KDE SC 4.6...

      • KDE 4.6 Has Arrived, with Many Enhancements for Users and Developers
        Plasma Workspaces and KDE Applications are built on the KDE Platform, which is also newly enhanced. Application developers can take advantage of a new "mobile build target" for deployment on mobile devices. Developers can also use the Plasma framework for creating desktop widgets in QML, the Qt language, and there are new Javascript interfaces for working with data. Nepomuk, the technology behind metadata and semantic search in KDE applications, now provides a graphical interface to back up and restore data, and there is enhanced support for Bluetooth wireless technology. If you're interested in more on the platform additions, read the KDE Platform 4.6 announcement.

      • KDE SC 4.6 Review
        Is KDE SC 4.6 a good release? It is indeed.

      • Editor's Note: Replacing KDE4
        It's been an interesting and useful exercise in choice and alternatives, at any rate. You see, we KDE3 lovers are not averse to change-- we're averse to changes that don't work for us.

      • KDEMU with Prince gamaral and Duke padams
        On this release of KDEMU! We talk about KDE 4.6,, Nightly KDE builds in ?ubuntu, TRON, and much more.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 26th December 2010

      • Spanish Language Support in Fedora 14 (KDE)
        Overall, it appears to be supported quite well. The big exceptions are the statuses on Kopete and Choqok. Choqok needs some real work when it comes to Spanish language support. If it weren’t so broken I would have stayed in Spanish for a while. There were a lot of terms that I had no idea were the right or proper term! It’ll definitely be fun to use it to learn technical terms. I just need to wait until Choqok is working.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome Activity Journal 0.6.0 Released With Xchat Support, More
        Gnome Activity Journal - a semantic file browser based on Zeitgeist - has been updated to version 0.6.0, adding quite a few new features.

        Gnome Activity 0.6.0 comes with Xchat and Bazaar version control support, drag and drop for tree view and bookmark/pin area as well as some eyecandy tweaks like a welcome screen, usability tweaks, path's label is now clickable and more.

  • Distributions

    • A Cross-Distro Unified Installer Is On The Way
      Developers from Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, and Mageia attended to a conference last week in which they've tried to find a way to make "installing and removing software on Linux suck less."

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • People's Choice Award winner: Máirín Duffy
        Máirín is a senior interaction designer at Red Hat. She's highly creative and a great artist, who is also is also passionate about open source. For her the two intersect in Inkscape, an open source SVG graphics program. Read how she used it to introduce middle school students to open source.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Becoming an Ubuntu Developer: a short guide
          I've heard and/or read a number of complaints over the past while about how the process of becoming an Ubuntu Developer is difficult, so I thought I'd write up a short guide to one of the many paths to becoming a developer. I send this to the Ubuntu Developers list for maximum distribution, although I realise that many of you are already developers, so won't find this as useful: please skip past it, or pass it on to those you know that are currently interested in becoming Ubuntu Developers (or extending the set of packages to which they have been granted upload rights).

        • Ubuntu Software Center Gets Ratings And Reviews Support [Natty Updates]
          An update in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal finally brings ratings and reviews to Ubuntu Software Center.

        • Mechanig: Tool To Easily Perform Various Cleaning (And More) Tasks In Ubuntu
          WebUpd8 reader Georgi Karavasilev, inspired by our own Y PPA Manager, has created a GUI tool called Mechanig which you can use to refresh the repositories, upgrade packages, clean leftover .deb and unnecessary packages and more.

        • Alpha-2 coming next week
          Next Thursday we are aiming for releasing the second Alpha milestone of Ubuntu Natty. Please help us to resolve the numerous targetted bugs.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • CacheMe - online geocaching application

        • QML Scene Graph has moved…

        • Use our material for your Qt training – free
          Companies, institutions and individuals offering Qt training can now download and use some of our official Qt training materials free of charge.

          Thanks to an initiative led by Jurgen Bocklage-Ryannel and the Qt learning team in Munich, over 700 of our slides and five plus hours of training videos are being made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License for anyone to use as part of their own training or education programs.

      • Android

        • First taste of Honeycomb: Android 3.0 user interface preview
          This suggests that we might not have to wait long before Android 3.0 arrives on phones in addition to tablets.

        • Why Android will win the tablet wars
          The rise of Android in the smartphone sector nullifies Cook's arguments against Android in the tablet world because precisely the same dynamics are at play. Apple's locked-down approach means that it cannot compete when it comes to offering users a huge choice of systems from multiple suppliers. Choice engenders competition, which will drive down Android prices, helping to increase uptake yet further.

          Indeed, the extraordinary proliferation of Android tablets has already begun. This includes famous brands like ASUS, Toshiba, LG, Samsung (with a new version of its Galaxy Tab rumoured) and Motorola, whose Xoom offering which has already garnered “huge pre-orders”, according to some reports.

          But most of these are at the high end of the market, and therefore compete with the iPad. Far more interesting – and important – are the no-name systems that are beginning to pop up everywhere. If you want to get a feel for the future of the Android tablet market, try taking a look at site, which covers the world of tablets. Yes, it's in Chinese, but scanning through the product page and looking for the tell-tale “Android” amidst the Chinese characters (or using this Google Translate version), it's clear that there has been a sudden rush of Android tablets launched recently (in Taiwan / China, at least) – and that's even before the proper tablet version of Android (“Honeycomb”) is available.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-source challenge to Microsoft Exchange gains steam
    An open-source, cloud-based e-mail alternative to Microsoft Exchange called Open-Xchange has signed up two new service providers and predicts it will have 40 million users by the end of 2011.

    Based in Germany, Open-Xchange has tripled its user base from 8 million to 24 million paid seats since 2008, with the help of three dozen service providers including 1&1 Internet, among the world's largest Web hosting companies. Open-Xchange has 7 million users in North America today, but says most of its 2011 growth will occur on this continent, in part due to new agreements with service providers Lunarpages of California and Cirrus Tech in Toronto.

  • Open Source’s 7 Lucky Forecasts for 2011
    Well, nobody gets tired of making predictions, or at least thinking of what the future looks like. Predictions were made for several technological categories like Security, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and a more generic forecast on Information Technology as a whole. Similarly, we can never stop thinking of making forecasts for one of the most loved technology solutions in the world – Open Source.

  • Events

    • - Day Four
      Valerie Aurora, kernel developer, delivered a fascinating presentation on easing kernel development using User Mode Linux - a version of Linux that runs as a process within an already existing Linux installation. UML provides an alternative to having a seperate dedicated test machine or virtual machine, that needs constant rebooting in order to test. Valerie also mentioned briefly an upcoming project of hers - the Ada Initiative, to encourage women in Open Source.

    • LCA 2011: Keynote speaker censured over sexual images
      Update, Jan 29, 1.45pm: Chief conference organiser Shaun Nykvist was asked for his take on the issue; he deferred to Linux Australia president John Ferlito, saying he had been told not to comment.

      Ferlito told iTWire that some people, of both sexes, had complained both to him and the conference organisers. "There were some complaints on Twitter and one or two came to Shaun and me and said this infringed on our policy," he said.

    • 2012 venue announced 2012 is set to be held at Ballarat University in Victoria, an institution that launched its bid to host the conference in July last year.

    • Days 3 and 4 of #LCA2011; rockets, balloons, Linus Torvalds

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • NoSQL at Netflix
      For our systems based on Hadoop, Apache HBase is a convenient, high-performance column-oriented distributed database solution. With its dynamic partitioning model, HBase makes it really easy to grow your cluster and re-distribute load across nodes at runtime, which is great for managing our ever-growing data volume needs and avoiding hot spots. Built-in support for data compression, range queries spanning multiple nodes, and even native support for distributed counters make it an attractive alternative for many of our use cases. HBase’s strong consistency model can also be handy, although it comes with some availability trade offs. Perhaps the biggest utility comes from being able to combine real-time HBase queries with batch map-reduce Hadoop jobs, using HDFS as a shared storage platform.

  • Oracle

    • The Deeper Significance of LibreOffice 3.3
      I'd say it's more of an issue of fragmentation, and that we see this all the time - in Android itself, in Windows, say, and in the world of GNU/Linux through hundreds of distros, each with different versions and configurations. Nothing really new there.

      Real forks are relatively few and far between precisely because of the differences between forking and fragmentation. The latter may or may not be inconvenient, but it's rarely painful in the way that a fork can be. Forks typically tear apart coding communities, demanding that programmers take sides.

    • LibreOffice – A Free Office Suite For Windows, Linux & Mac
      There’s not an awful lot of difference between OpenOffice and LibreOffice on the surface. The rapid development from beta to RC and soon a stable release means the team are putting a lot of effort in under the hood.

      It’s just nice to know that if OpenOffice is discontinued then there’s a worthy replacement just waiting to take its place.

    • LibreOffice 3.3 – Advancing Without Oracle
      After looking at the installed OxygenOffice 3.2 that I had installed on my machine, then the LibreOffice 3.3 release, and finally the newest OpenOffice 3.3, I must say that I believe that the newbies will be wowed by the improved interface of LibreOffice. It simply looks better, and more professional (more like something designed by the old Word Perfect staff, unlike the OOo interface, which looks like a great effort from a garage).

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 brings enhanced user interface
        Alfresco has announced the availability of version 3.4 of its Enterprise Edition of its content management system. The latest release of the commercial version of its CMS is aimed at providing a platform for social content management by making it easier for users to collaborate and share their content as quickly and easily as possible.

  • Government

    • DE: Freiburg: open source office three to four times cheaper
      Moving to the open source suite of office applications OpenOffice is three to four times cheaper than using a proprietary alternative, according to figures presented by the German city of Freiburg.

      Rüdiger Czieschla, head of IT at Freiburg, presented on the city's use of OpenOffice on 1 December, at a conference in Badajoz organised by Osepa, a project to increase awareness on the advantages of free and open source software. According to him, using OpenOffice cost the city 200.000 Euro. The proprietary alternative would have cost between 600.000 for just a text editor and 800.000 Euro for the proprietary office suite.

    • FI: City of Helsinki to start open source desktop pilot
      The City's IT department manages some 20,000 desktop PCs, used by some 38,000 city employees. The IT department in the summer of 2009 began migrating from one version of a proprietary operating system to the latest version of the same vendor.


  • A Look Back On Andrew Keen's Failed Predictions
    In writing my recent post about the failure of Google's Knol, I went back to look at what I had written previously about it and I dug up a post from October of 2008, in which I discussed a series of predictions from Andrew Keen that struck me as particularly shortsighted and wrong. It was right after the latest economic crisis had shifted into overdrive and Keen had predicted that this economic change would lead to the end of "open source" and "free" business models because people would have to actually start making money. He also predicted that things like Facebook and Twitter would collapse in the economic realities of 2009:
    The altruistic ideal of giving away one's labor for free appeared credible in the fat summer of the Web 2.0 boom when social-media startups hung from trees, Facebook was valued at $15 billion, and VCs queued up to fund revenue-less "businesses" like Twitter. But as we contemplate the world post-bailout, when economic reality once again bites, only Silicon Valley's wealthiest technologists can even consider the luxury of donating their labor to the latest fashionable, online, open-source project.
    How's that prediction looking today? Right. (Update: For those who missed it, there's a sarcmark around that "Right")

  • This Is Where All Your Productivity Disappears

  • The computer games museum opens in Berlin, showcasing 60 years of gaming history

  • Science

    • NASA's Hubble Finds Most Distant Galaxy Candidate Ever Seen in Universe
      Astronomers have pushed NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to its limits by finding what is likely to be the most distant object ever seen in the universe. The object's light traveled 13.2 billion years to reach Hubble, roughly 150 million years longer than the previous record holder. The age of the universe is approximately 13.7 billion years.

    • 25 years later, Challenger tragedy maintains a powerful hold on the nation's memory
      The explosion spread itself across the sky, pinned against the Earth's atmosphere like a giant butterfly. A moment earlier, the Challenger shuttle had been a white streak propelled upon a tongue of flame, building to its ferocious full-throttle speed of 17,000 mph, and then, suddenly, frozen in time. Forever.

    • Teachers Back Away From Evolution In Class
      Teachers who are unable or unwilling to teach the theory of evolution in biology might be one reason U.S. students are falling behind in science, according to new research.

      The study, done at Penn State University, polled 926 high school biology teachers from around the country. It found that a large majority are reluctant to address the evolution in their classrooms.

    • Next-Generation Supercomputers
      Supercomputers are the crowning achievement of the digital age. Yes, it's true that yesterday's supercomputer is today's game console, as far as performance goes. But there is no doubt that during the past half-century these machines have driven some fascinating if esoteric pursuits: breaking codes, predicting the weather, modeling automobile crashes, simulating nuclear explosions, and designing new drugs—to name just a few. And in recent years, supercomputers have shaped our daily lives more directly. We now rely on them every time we do a Google search or try to find an old high school chum on Facebook, for example. And you can scarcely watch a big-budget movie without seeing supercomputer-generated special effects.

  • Patents/Patented Seeds/GMO/Nutrition/Health

    • USDA Caves to Industry Pressure, OKs GMO Alfalfa

    • US Stem Cell Research is Being Hindered by Rush for Patents
      Experts have said that cures for paralysis, blindness and diabetes could all be in reach with embryonic stem cell research, but the pursuit of medical progress is being choked by the US rush to secure patents.

      Scientists are busily filing for legal patents that give them exclusive intellectual property rights for each discovery they make in the hopes that one day, one will lead to a blockbuster cure and big cash for those who devised it.

    • Smoke Signals
      These companies failed because each of them – my own among them – coveted the whole prize. With the eyes of a megalomaniac, each firm was going to ‘rule the world’. Each did lots of inventing, holding onto every scrap of invention with IP agreements and copyrights and all sorts of patents. I invented a technology very much similar to that seen in the Wiimote, but fourteen years before the Wiimote was introduced. It’s all patented. I don’t own it. After my company collapsed the patent went through a series of other owners, until eventually I found myself in a lawyer’s office, being deposed, because my patent – the one I didn’t actually own – was involved in a dispute over priority, theft of intellectual property, and other violations.


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Iran: two ‘green wave’ leaders hanged

    • Joe Biden says Mubarak isn't a dictator, questions legitimacy of protesters' demands
      US vice-president Joe Biden told PBS NewsHour that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak (who as presided over a 29 year reign characterized by blatantly stolen elections, suspension of civil liberties, torture and arbitrary detention) isn't a dictator and questioned the legitimacy of protesters' demands. The USA provides $1.3 billion/year in military aid to the Mubarak regime.

    • Internet ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Back in Play
      Legislation granting the president internet-killing powers is to be re-introduced soon to a Senate committee, the proposal’s chief sponsor told on Friday.

      The resurgence of the so-called “kill switch” legislation came the same day Egyptians faced an internet blackout designed to counter massive demonstrations in that country.

    • "Plan D" - How To Disrupt the U.S.A.'s Internet
      Let's leave aside for the moment the federal push for centralized "cyber security" operations controlled by military and intelligence agency entities and operatives. We can even skip for now the calls -- about to be reintroduced in Congress -- for what many would consider to be mandated U.S. Internet "kill switches" under government control, with the possibility that much of the Internet would ultimately be declared to be "critical infrastructure" subject to their purview.

    • How the Internet went out in Egypt
      We think of the Internet as universal. We think of it in terms of a utility like electricity or water. It’s none of those things. In some countries, like the U.S., it would be very hard to ‘turn off’ the Internet. In places like Egypt, though, with a limited number of Internet backbones and a handful of Domain Name Service (DNS) servers, it’s easy. Here’s how it appears the Egyptian government turned their country’s Internet off.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeak’s Truth Just Lost In This American Noise Machine
      It is certainly interesting what else WikiLeaks is revealing. For instance, the assumption that the New York Times is a “liberal rag” as the right blathers on and on about. RIGHT! It is obvious that Bill Keller is “uncomfortable” with a great many things including an informed American electorate.


      Do we as Americans really want to continue supporting our global imperial garrison of possibly 1000 military bases? Or will we choose to allow wikileaks to let the gas out of this bag and finally reveal the truth that America’s addiction to war is killing not only our own democracy at home but democracies all around the world? Not to mention eventually leaving our nation both morally and financially bankrupt!

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • CBO Paints Black Picture If Republican Policies Are Continued
      For 2011, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf (pictured) says that the deficit will be about $1.5 trillion (nearly one-third of which will be due to the massive Republican tax breaks for the richest 2% of Americans -- projected to be over $400 billion a year). So while complaining about the deficit, the Republicans actually increased it by nearly 50%. They promised in the last campaign to cut $100 billion, but now are only talking about cutting a little over $50 billion for 2011 (a drop in the bucket compared to the huge increase they created).

    • House GOP Votes For Electoral Advantage
      Of course they didn't admit they were acting in their own political interest. They couched the elimination in terms of saving the federal government some money and cutting the federal deficit. They bragged that this action would save $617 million over a ten year period (or about $61.7 million a year). While that may sound like a lot of money to the uninitiated, it is really a tiny amount when compared to the federal budget and will make very little impact on the deficit. In fact, it is only 0.000155% of the tax cut they gave the super rich (which increased the deficit by $400 billion a year).

      Sadly, there will be some teabaggers and other right-wingers who will believe this is a real deficit-reduction measure. It isn't. It's nothing more than a naked attempt to give Republicans an advantage in the 2012 presidential election.

    • "This Country Is Moving In The Direction Of An Oligarchy!" Senator Bernie Sanders

  • Censorship/Egypt

    • Google flips the switch on autocomplete censorship

    • Egypt Leaves the Internet
      Confirming what a few have reported this evening: in an action unprecedented in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet. Critical European-Asian fiber-optic routes through Egypt appear to be unaffected for now. But every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world. Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air.

    • A message to Anon from inside Egypt.

    • Egypt's cutoff from the Net [IMG]

    • Vodafone CEO Explains Egypt Phone Cutoff
      Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao said “Egyptian authorities” had asked the company to “turn down the network totally.” Mr. Colao said Vodafone determined that the request was legitimate under Egyptian law, and therefore complied with the request. “I hope” the decision will be reversed by Egypt “very soon,” Mr. Colao said, in comments to a Davos session on mobile devices.

    • Egypt - Evidence of torture and repression by Mubarak€´s Police
      Many well-known activists including Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel peace laureate, have been arrested in their homes, civilians have been wounded and even killed in clashes with Egyptian police and security forces. As an Internet blackout imposed by the state covers the country, every citizen and grassroots organization will now be exposed to arbitrary police forces. As secret documents from US prove, during the demonstrations today, authorities might use physical threats, legal threats and extraordinary laws such the Emergency Law as an excuse to persecute and prosecute activists during the pacific demonstrations taking place in Cairo and other cities.

      As described by Cable 10CAIRO64 sent from the Embassy of Cairo on 12January, 2010, “Egypt’s State of Emergency, in effect almost continuously since 1967, allows for the application of the 1958 Emergency Law, which grants the GOE broad powers to arrest individuals without charge and to detain them indefinitely”. The cable also describes how “The GOE has also used the Emergency Law in some recent cases to target bloggers and labor demonstrators”.

      Excessive use of force by police during the protests led to arbitrary executions and detentions in a vast array of abuses, a situation that is known and acknowledged in the past by U.S. diplomats based in Egypt. It is important to bear in mind the long record of police abuse and torture by Egyptian police forces.

    • Egypt - Egyptian Military Succession Plans Told to US Embassy
      The Egyptian military planned for a "smooth" transfer of power to the president’s son in the event of regime change, according to recently published US diplomatic cables.

      A senior Egyptian politician told an American diplomat in July 2009 [09CAIRO1468] that the military would safeguard a "constitutional transition of power" and implied the armed forces would support Gamal Mubarak, the son of current president Hosni Mubarak. Dr. Ali El Deen Hilal Dessouki, a former minister in the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), claimed that even though "the real center of power in Egypt is the military", they would have "no objection to a civilian" as the next president.

      A remark interpreted by the US official as a "pointed reference" to Gamal Mubarak. Dessouki went on to dismiss the possible danger of protests against the current regime, calling opposition parties "weak" and democracy a "long term goal."

    • Viewing cable 09CAIRO79
      ۦ1. (C) Summary and comment: Police brutality in Egypt against common criminals is routine and pervasive. Contacts describe the police using force to extract confessions from criminals as a daily event, resulting from poor training and understaffing. Brutality against Islamist detainees has reportedly decreased overall, but security forces still resort to torturing Muslim Brotherhood activists who are deemed to pose a political threat. Over the past five years, the government has stopped denying that torture exists, and since late 2007 courts have sentenced approximately 15 police officers to prison terms for torture and killings.

      €¶1. (C) During an hour-long meeting on February 17, Gamal Mubarak discussed with Senator Joseph Lieberman the problems with Gaza and Palestinian reconciliation, as well as the broader political split within the Arab world. Senator Lieberman sought Gamal’s advice on ways for the U.S. to engage Iran; Gamal offered that the best way to defeat Iranian ambitions in the region is to make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Unfortunately, Qatar is playing “spoiler” in order to get “a seat at the table.” Gamal, a former international banker, opined that the U.S. needed to “shock” its financial system back to health, and said that Egypt -- which had so far escaped much of the pain of the global economic crisis -- was preparing to face tough economic times ahead. The Ambassador, Senator Lieberman’s foreign policy adviser, and the ECPO MinCouns as note taker were also present. End summary.

      ۦ1. Key Points -- (SBU) U.S.- Egypt military relationship is strong, but should change to reflect new regional and transnational threats.


      -- (S) NDP insider and former minister Dr. Ali El Deen Hilal Dessouki dismissed public and media speculation about succession. He said Egyptian military and security services would ensure a smooth transfer of power, even to a civilian.

      -- (S) Dessouki called opposition parties weak and democracy a "long term goal." He said that the MB had no legitimate political role, adding that mixing religion and politics in Egypt was not wise and would not be permitted.


      ۦ1. KEY POINTS

      -- Egypt's State of Emergency, in effect almost continuously since 1967, allows for the application of the 1958 Emergency Law, which grants the GOE broad powers to arrest individuals without charge and to detain them indefinitely.

      ۦ2. (C) Comment: Per ref B, credible human rights lawyers believe police brutality continues to be a pervasive, daily occurrence in GOE detention centers, and that SSIS has adapted to increased media and blogger focus on police brutality by hiding the abuse and pressuring victims not to bring cases. NGOs assess prison conditions to be poor, due to overcrowding and lack of medical care, food, clean water, and proper ventilation. Per ref E, following a landmark 2007 sentencing of police officers for assaulting and sodomizing a bus driver, courts have continued to sentence officers to prison terms for brutality.


    • Viewing cable 10CAIRO181, Scenesetter for Admiral Mullen

    • Viewing cable 10CAIRO197, Egypt: New Round of MB Arrests
      -- (C) According to media reports the group is being held "under investigation" for an initial period of 15-days. MB sources tell us that the group was originally detained, and their homes searched, under the Emergency Law but that their detention will likely be justified under an "investigative file" that will opened to their lawyers next week.

    • Viewing cable 10CAIRO344, ILLEGAL ADOPTIONS IN EGYPT
      ۦ2. (SBU) The FPU has confirmed 31 cases where children have been illegally adopted in Egypt and either taken to the United States or raised in Egypt. The earliest confirmed case by the FPU is from 1989, although one Coptic priest admitted the practice has been going on since 1976. This particular priest also provided other insights during an interview with the Fraud Prevention Manager (FPM) on February 11, 2010. He stated that the majority of the priests involved in illegal adoptions are very charismatic, have numerous followers and are consumed with their position of power as leaders of the Coptic community. According to this priest, the "big" personalities of these individuals have prompted them to engage in activities not condoned by many others in the Coptic Church. He mentioned that the Church is more than capable of raising and educating unwanted Coptic children. He added that in Alexandria, literally hundreds of babies are given to childless families and only a few have been taken out of Egypt.

    • Viewing cable 10CAIRO237, El Baradei Returns to Cairo

      The Egyptian "people blame America" now for their plight.

      ۦ4. (C) A/S Posner asked why the GOE has detained blogger Hany Nazir under the Emergency Law without charge since October 2008. (Note: per ref B, Nazir, a Coptic Christian, was detained following blog posts deemed offensive to Islam and Christianity. End note.) General Rahman responded that Nazir's posts criticizing Islam were inflammatory, and in the context of Upper Egyptian sectarian tensions could have caused Muslims to attack him. Therefore, Rahman continued, the GOE detained Nazir "for his own security." Rahman claimed that the GOE detained Nazir under the Emergency Law to gather evidence to prosecute him for defaming religion.

      ۦ5. (C) According to XXXXXXXXXXXX, the worst police torture takes place during murder investigations. He said that his brother-in-law who is a police officer in the Delta Governorate of Kafr El-Sheikh described "unrelenting pressure" from superiors to solve murder cases by any means necessary. XXXXXXXXXXX said human rights lawyers and XXXXXXXXXXXX have told him that to conduct murder investigations, police will round up 40 to 50 suspects from a neighborhood and hang them by their arms from the ceiling for weeks until someone confesses.

    • Viewing cable 09CAIRO79,
      ۦ2. (C) Torture and police brutality in Egypt are endemic and widespread.

      -- (C) GOE officials, including presidential advisor Soliman Awad, expressed displeasure with the number and the tone of U.S. recommendations at the February 17 UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Egypt's human rights record.


      -- According to the Amir, Hamas will accept the 1967 border with Israel, but will not say it publicly so as to lose popular Palestinian support.

    • Browse by Embassy Cairo

    • Thousands protest in Jordan
      Thousands of people in Jordan have taken to the streets in protests, demanding the country's prime minister step down, and the government curb rising prices, inflation and unemployment.

    • Egypt supporters rally worldwide
      Protests held across globe in a show of solidarity with Egyptian demonstrators attempting to oust president.

    • US-Egypt military chiefs meet in Washington
      A high-level Egyptian military delegation was in Washington on Friday for pre-scheduled defense talks, even as Egypt's army took to the streets to face unrest sweeping the country.

    • WikiLeaks cables show close US relationship with Egyptian president

    • US reported 'routine' police brutality in Egypt, WikiLeaks cables show
      Police brutality in Egypt is "routine and pervasive" and the use of torture so widespread that the Egyptian government has stopped denying it exists, according to leaked cables released today by WikiLeaks.

    • US embassy cables: Mubarak: Egypt's president-for-life

    • US embassy cables: Egypt's bloggers take on key role as political activists

    • Cables Show Delicate U.S. Dealings With Egypt’s Leaders
      It was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first meeting as secretary of state with President Hosni Mubarak, in March 2009, and the Egyptians had an odd request: Mrs. Clinton should not thank Mr. Mubarak for releasing an opposition leader from prison because he was ill.

      ۦ1. (S/NF) On January 9, 2010, the Islamic Shari'a Scholars Committee of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political wing of the JORDANian Muslim Brotherhood, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) condemning Egyptian construction of a steel wall near Rafah. The significance of the fatwa lies not in the decision itself -- the proposed wall is deeply unpopular with practically all segments of JORDANian society, both religious and secular -- but rather with its harsh tone and its apparent readiness to support or condone violence against the Egyptian authorities. The fatwa is highly unusual in its willingness to address issues completely outside of JORDAN and because of the force with which the scholars condemn the actions of a neighboring Arab and Muslim state.

      ۦ1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: JORDAN's top military advisor and brother of the King, Lieutenant General (LTG) Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein, and Minister of Planning Jafar Hassan will travel to Washington during the week of January 25. Their itineraries include meetings with senior U.S. officials in the Department of Defense, the Air Force, the Department of StaQrQQ^,ON2}g5Congress. In the meetings, the JORDANians are expected to offer significant increases to JORDAN's security support in Afghanistan in exchange for additional economic assistance through an anticipated Afghanistan supplemental appropriation. Contributions that support U.S. goals can likely be obtained for reimbursement at cost if we want to hold the line and not include JORDAN in the supplemental.

  • Privacy

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

Tasmanian Police Pepper Spray a 13 Yr-Old Boy

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Credit: TinyOgg


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