Saturday, June 01, 2013

Trouble In Islami The Middle East

Turkey police clash with Istanbul Gezi Park protesters

Hmmmmm. Something's not quite believable about this.
"At least 12 people have been injured after Turkish police used tear gas and water cannon against protesters occupying a park in central Istanbul.

Demonstrators had held a four-day sit-in at Gezi Park, angry at plans to redevelop that part of Taksim Square.

An Istanbul court later ordered the temporary suspension of the project to uproot trees in the park."
Do people and police forces really go to these lengths over a few stupid trees? Or is this like the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back?

Iran presidential debate on economy dissolves into chaos
"Iran's first debate between candidates for the presidency degenerated into acrimony live on state television on Friday when, instead of discussing the economy, some of the hopefuls resorted to sniping over the questions and format.

The testy exchange between the moderator and reformist Mohammad Reza Aref, moderate Hassan Rohani, and conservative Mohsen Rezaie was the subject of wide ridicule by Iranian viewers who had tuned in for the four-hour disussion.

They were among eight candidates for the June 14 vote presenting their ideas on an economy buffeted by international sanctions over Iran's disputed nuclear programme, rising unemployment, and inflation running at over 30 percent, according to official figures.

The series of three debates are central to trying to build public interest in the presidential vote, the first since 2009, which unleashed months of protests by those who said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's win was fraudulent, demonstrations that were eventually crushed by security forces."
"One question was: If you want to select an official for your administration, what is their most important quality? Candidates could choose between a lack of corruption, experience, expertise or prudence.

They were also presented with pictures, such as an agricultural scene, a market, or a cargo ship, and asked to say whatever came to mind."
"The three, seated with their colleagues in a line of desks in front of a backdrop of flowers and rolling woodland, said the format was farcical and did not allow them to present their plans to the country or engage in dialogue with each other.

Several times they simply refused to answer the question.

"In honour of the dear people of my country I will sit here, but I will answer none of your test questions," said Aref, gesticulating with his pen towards the moderator standing in front of an image of Khamenei.

"I am a patient person and I can tolerate a lot," added Rezaie. "With these repetitive, discontinuous, short, one-to-three minute answers, the people are being harmed and the eight people up here are being insulted."

Rohani, the most prominent moderate candidate in an election dominated by hardliners, said: "People will see this style of debate as insulting."

Nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili; foreign policy adviser to Khamenei Ali Akbar Velayati and Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf are considered the frontrunners and mostly kept quiet.

The slate of candidates, vetted last week by Iran's Guardian Council, is dominated by conservatives and hardliners seen as close to Khamenei. The council banned two independent contenders, moderate former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad ally Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie."
Perhaps the moderator was simply afraid to ask tough questions. I'm sure the Republican Guard was watching. They'll probably come after him anyway, for "insulting" their hand-picked candidates.

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