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Monday, May 9, 2011

  • U.S. Assassination Campaign Continues as CIA Drone Targets U.S.-Born Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen


    The Obama administration launched a drone strike in Yemen last week in an attempt to assassinate a U.S.-born Muslim cleric who has never been convicted of a crime. Anwar al-Awlaki survived the attack, but two suspected members of al-Qaeda died. It was reported to be the first U.S. drone strike in Yemen in nine years. “It’s illegal to kill a U.S. citizen in Yemen, outside of armed conflict, without any due process,” says Maria LaHood of the Center for Constitutional Rights. The attempted assassination of al-Awlaki comes just days after U.S. special forces executed Osama bin Laden and NATO planes bombed Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s compound, killing his son and three grandchildren. [includes rush transcript]

  • Syria Crackdown: Syrian Dissident Haitham al-Maleh Speaks from Hiding as Al Jazeera Journalist Dorothy Parvaz Remains Locked Up


    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has sent tanks into the country’s third city, Homs, escalating a military campaign to crush a seven-week-old popular uprising against his autocratic rule. According to the Syrian human rights organization Sawasiah, as many as 800 civilians have been killed since the uprising began. More than 10,000 people have been arrested. Today, we look at two cases. One of Syria’s most prominent human rights defenders, Haitham Maleh, speaks from hiding, and we look at the case of detained Al Jazeera reporter Dorothy Parvaz, an American, Canadian and Iranian citizen who used to work at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. [includes rush transcript]

  • Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports from Cairo on Rising Sectarian Tension in Egypt After Deadly Attack on Coptic Christian Church


    In Egypt over the weekend, 12 people died and more than 180 were wounded during clashes between Muslims and Christians in Cairo. Egypt’s army has said that 190 people were detained after the fatal clashes and that they will face military trials. Saturday’s violence started after several hundred conservative Salafist Muslims gathered outside the Coptic Saint Mena Church in Cairo’s Imbaba district. They were reportedly protesting over a months-old allegation that a Christian woman was being held there against her will because she had married a Muslim man and wanted to convert to Islam. The woman had dismissed the allegations in an interview on a Christian TV channel. Coptic Christians account for about 10 percent of Egypt’s population. We’re joined on the phone from Cairo by Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Democracy Now! correspondent and longtime senior producer. "This was a major attack," says Kouddous. "What many people, and many Coptic people in particular, do not understand is why the military, who was present at the scene while the violence was happening, stood by while the worst of it took place and did not intervene." [includes rush transcript]