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‘I want to meet Mark Zuckerberg and thank him personally,’ Google exec tells CNN

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Access to the Internet and specifically social networking site Facebook made a huge difference to Egyptians who succeeded on Friday in forcing former President Hosni Mubarak out of power. But how important was it?

“First Tunisia, now Egypt,” began CNN host Wolf Blitzer. “What’s next?”

“Ask Facebook,” answered Wael Ghonim, an Egyptian activist and the head of marketing in the Middle East and North Africa for search giant Google. “I want to meet [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg and thank him personally.”

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“I’m talking on behalf of Egypt,” he continued. “This revolution started online. This revolution started on Facebook. This revolution started in June 2010 when hundreds of thousands of Egyptians started collaborating content.

“We would post a video on Facebook that would be shared by 60,000 people on their walls within a few hours. I always said that if you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet.

“The reason why is the Internet will help you fight a media war, which is something the Egyptian government regime played very well in 1970, 1980, 1990, and when the Internet came along they couldn’t play it. I’m gonna talk a lot about this. I plan to write a book called ‘Revolution 2.0’ that will say everything from the start, when there was nothing, until the end, and highlight the role of social media.”

Ghoneim was arrested by Egyptian security forces during protests last week and his whereabouts was for a time unknown. While he was missing, Amnesty International said he was “facing a serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment by security forces.”

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He traveled to Egypt on January 23, two days before massive nationwide rallies erupted demanding the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. Ghoneim was freed on Monday.

“I like to call it the Facebook Revolution but after seeing the people right now, I would say this is the Egyptian people’s revolution. It’s amazing,” he said during a speech to Egyptians in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

“I’m not a hero, you are the heroes, you’re the ones who stayed on this square,” Ghonim told the crowd as they surged around him.

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This video is from CNN, broadcast Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.

With AFP.

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2020 Election

Will Trump peacefully vacate the Oval Office if he loses the presidential election in 2020? A lesson from 1800

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As primary season heats up in the United States, the Democrats are anxiously debating the best path to unseat Donald Trump in 2020. But the question of how to beat Trump is perhaps less urgent than the issue of whether he will accept defeat.

Trump has already questioned his loss of the 2016 popular vote with baseless accusations of voter fraud. He has also repeatedly toyed with the idea of extending his presidency beyond the eight-year limit enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, even trumpeting Jerry Falwell Jr.’s assertion that his first term be extended by two years to compensate for the Russia investigation. Perhaps most ominously, Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen warned while testifying before the House Oversight Committee in February 2019:

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Something is killing galaxies — and science is on the case

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In the most extreme regions of the universe, galaxies are being killed. Their star formation is being shut down and astronomers want to know why.

The first ever Canadian-led large project on one of the world’s leading telescopes is hoping to do just that. The new program, called the Virgo Environment Traced in Carbon Monoxide survey (VERTICO), is investigating, in brilliant detail, how galaxies are killed by their environment.

As VERTICO’s principal investigator, I lead a team of 30 experts that are using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) to map the molecular hydrogen gas, the fuel from which new stars are made, at high resolution across 51 galaxies in our nearest galaxy cluster, called the Virgo Cluster.

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Inside the Trump administration’s chaotic dismantling of the Federal Land Agency

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Early this month, workers at the Washington headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management gathered to discuss a Trump administration plan that would force some 200 people to uproot their lives or find other jobs.

With a vague plan that keeps changing as officials describe it — and no guarantees that Congress would fully fund their relocations — the employees were being detailed to distant locations in the West like Grand Junction, Colorado, and Reno, Nevada. Many career staff saw the move as part of a wider Trump administration effort to drive federal employees out of their jobs. Acting White House chief of staff Mike Mulvaney has described that approach as a “wonderful way to streamline government.”

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