DUBAI – A Facebook page urging “revolt” in Bahrain replicating similar calls elsewhere in the Arab world had by Tuesday amassed more than 6,000 “likes” on the social networking site.
“This is your chance to open the door for political and standard of living reforms, especially with the changes going on now in the Middle East. We will all chant ‘The people want to reform the regime’ on February 14,” a post said.
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have played a major role in a wave of protests around the Arab world — fanned by poverty and unemployment — that have grown into revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.
The Bahraini activists listed 14 demands which include “releasing all (political) detainees and compensating them, reforming the judiciary system…, banning alcohol and prostitution… (and) halting torture and human rights abuses.”
They also called for the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, the Gulf kingdom’s only premier since independence four decades ago, as well as amendments to the constitution to allow genuine popular participation in government.
Shiite-majority Bahrain is ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa family of King Hamad, which retains a tight grip on the premiership and key ministries.
The authorities opened proceedings on terror charges against 25 Shiite activists last October as the country held parliamentary elections which were again boycotted by part of the Shiite opposition.
The opposition complains that the legislative authority of the elected parliament is shared with an appointed upper house, under consitutional changes the authorities introduced in 2001 in a bid to end a decade of deadly unrest.
Unlike most other Gulf states, Bahrain’s oil production is dwindling. Last month, the tiny kingdom announced it would maintain subsidies on basic foodstuffs.
Arctic summer sea ice second lowest on record: US researchers
Arctic summer sea ice melted in 2020 to the second smallest size since records began 42 years ago, US scientists announced Monday, offering further stark evidence of the impact of global warming.
Arctic sea ice melts in summer and reforms in winter, but precise satellite imagery taken regularly since 1979 documented how the cycle has been shrinking significantly.
The year's minimum was reached on September 15, at 3.74 million square kilometers (1.44 million square miles), according to preliminary date from scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Prehistoric desert footprints are earliest evidence for Homo sapiens on Arabian Peninsula
Humanity originated on the African continent at least 300,000 years ago. We know from fossil evidence in southern Greece and the Levant (modern-day Israel) that some early members of our species expanded beyond Africa around 200,000 years ago, and again between 120,000 to 90,000 years ago. They likely travelled through the Sinai peninsula, which formed the only land bridge connecting the continent of Africa to the rest of the world, before moving north into a landscape with a Mediterranean climate.
Disney’s Mulan is more socially conservative than the Mulan story told in the 17th century
Many were outraged to learn the movie was partially filmed in Xinjiang, where at least one million Uighurs have been forced into internment camps. They also objected to actress Liu Yifei’s reported support of the Hong Kong police during the 2019 protests.