• According to McClatchy News, Egypt’s Bedouins are disillusioned with the Muslim Brotherhood and are increasingly supportive of old-guard candidate Ahmed Shafik:
While millions of Egyptians refer to Shafik as “flool” – a disdainful term for remnants of the Mubarak regime – Salem accused the Islamists of being “like Mubarak, who never respected us, understood or even tried to understand us.”
“They want to invade this community and erase our tribal character,” he said.
• Worth reading: The Australian‘s Greg Sheridan says all signs are leading towards a Syrian bloodbath:
By making the conflict sectarian, Assad does three things. He consolidates Alawite control of vital areas of the country. He binds the whole Alawite community to his fate, because Alawites now know there will be fearsome revenge killings of their people if Assad is toppled. And he radicalises the Sunni opposition, which may even have the perverse consequence of keeping some Sunnis in the Assad tent.
• A Belgian cameraman working for AP was hit by a bullet while covering a Syrian gunfight. Ahmed Bahaddou is now recuperating in a London hospital.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Despite sanctions, assassinations and cyber warfare, the Iranians are forging ahead with uranium enrichment. And as William Broad points out in a NY Times commentary, Tehran has ace in the hole:
But as any Iranian diplomat will tell you, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty sets no limits on enrichment purity. It simply bars nations from turning their civilian efforts to military ends — and Iran insists it is preparing uranium to fuel only reactors, not bombs . . . .
Today, the immediate goal of negotiators (from China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and the United States) is to get Iran to halt its 20 percent production — a far cry from the original demand for zero enrichment. Iranians boast that their intransigence has given their atomic manufacturing a sense of inexorability and legitimacy.
As if tensions weren’t high enough, experts say that Tehran might raise the stakes further by re-enriching some of its growing supply of 20 percent uranium to even higher levels of purity.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• LOL: A BBC comedy episode that went viral in Israel, highlights the perils of Google Translate. The Guardian explains how things went awry when Google Translate was used to help write a Hebrew inscription on gravestone:
But the entire Hebrew inscription is written backwards, starting with the last letter and working back to the first. The reason, of course, is that Hebrew runs in the opposite direction from English, from right to left. And it gets worse. If you go to the trouble of reading the text, you’ll discover that the man commemorated, a certain Yuhudi Penzel, has been “pickled at great expense”. This is what you get if you use Google Translate to render “dearly missed” into Hebrew. The blooper is now going viral in Israel.
• Australian media earthquake: Fairfax Media, which owns some of the most prominent papers Down Under, announced plans to cut 1,900 jobs, move from broadsheet to tabloid format, and establish online paywalls. The Guardian adds:
Up to 20% of job cuts are thought to be in editorial roles.
(Image of Bushehr via YouTube/itnnews)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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