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  • » 01/27/2011, 00.00

    MIDDLE EAST

    Jordan's king fears riots and announces reforms. More than a thousand arrests in Cairo



    The monarch wants to avoid the violence that has hit Egypt and Tunisia. Police arrest one thousand demonstrators in the streets against the Mubarack government. Demonstrations in Yemen.

    Amman (AsiaNews) - King Abdullah II of Jordan has announced new programs and economic reforms, after protests against high prices in recent days in Amman. The King urged politicians and officials to be closer to people's needs. According to local media, King Abdullah wants to avoid the climate of popular discontent resulting in riots that have hit Egypt and Tunisia.

    For days, the Egyptians have been demonstrating against the 30 year regime of President Hosni Murabak and on 25 January over 300 thousand people took to the streets of Cairo. Currently, the toll from clashes with the police has amounted to six dead and about a thousand arrests. The demonstrations have also affected the economy and the stock exchange today suspended trading after sharp losses. In Egypt, about two-thirds of the population is under 30. Of these 90% are unemployed, while 40% live on less than 2 dollars per day.

    In Tunisia, the first nation shaken by social unrest, the interim government has issued an international arrest warrant against former President Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi and his entire family.

    Meanwhile, the riots have also involved Yemen. Today thousands of people took to the streets in the capital Sanaa and other cities to demand the resignation of President Ali Abdallah Saleh, in power for 32 years.

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    See also

    17/01/2011 EGYPT - MIDDLE EAST
    A man sets himself on fire in Cairo. From Tunisia protest spreads to the Middle East
    Protests in Jordan. Applause for Tunisian cause from thousands of activists and bloggers. Economic crisis, unemployment, rising prices, human rights violations are the ingredients that could trigger riots across the region.

    29/01/2011 EGYPT
    Cairo: anti-Mubarak protests continue, at least 50 dead from clashes
    Thousands of demonstrators occupy the streets of major cities. The government has announced its resignation, but people want the "fall of the regime”. Mobile phone lines partly restored, internet still down. Obama calls for non-violent response of the Egyptian government, China censors the word "Egypt" on the web.

    31/01/2011 MIDDLE EAST
    Secularism, globalization and poverty feed crisis in Arab States
    Egypt, the most important of the Arab states in danger of collapsing under the weight of social unrest. Other Arab countries like Jordan, Syria and Yemen face the same fate. Francesco Zannini, an expert on Islam in PISAI explains to AsiaNews the reasons for the riots, inherent in the formation of Arab States and the juxtaposition of the western model of democracy and Islam. For the scholar, the secular nature of the riots is an opportunity for change and also a good opportunity for Egyptian Christians to integrate into society. However, "the absence of alternative to the regimes and spontaneous nature of the protests, could divert tensions from real change and the result of the protests will be seen only in the long term."

    14/02/2011 YEMEN
    Fourth day of protest in favour of political reforms and president’s resignation
    Ali Abdullah Saleh has been in power since 1978. Demonstrators clash with police in the capital of Sanaa and other Yemeni cities. In Bahrain, protesters are hurt in “day of rage”. The Palestinian government resigns.

    19/01/2011 ISLAM - TUNISIA
    Unstable Tunisia troubles Arab world, between Islam and democracy
    New attempts to form a government of national unity after the departure of four ministers linked to the unions. Ben Ali's party marginalized. Poverty, unemployment, corruption - the roots of the insurgency - will make Tunisia a model for other Arab states. Al-Qaradawi calls on all Islamic peoples to rise up to "demand their rights."



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