The popular revolutions now sweeping the region are long overdue. Yet in some ways, they could not have come before now. These are uprisings whose sons and daughters are well educated and idealistic enough to envision a better future, yet realistic enough to work for it without falling into despair. These revolutions are led by the Internet generation, for whom equality of voice and influence is the norm.
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Authoritarian rulers in the Arab world, like Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, have long justified their repressive governments by warning the United States and Europe that the alternative to their governments was "chaos" and an Islamist takeover. The new generation of Arab youth and their supporters, however diverse and different, is united in its desire to topple entrenched autocrats and corrupt governments.
Convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, in a jailhouse interview published Wednesday, said banks and hedge funds were "complicit" in his multi-billion dollar fraud."They had to know," Madoff told New York Times reporter Diana B. Henriques, who is working on a book about the case. "But the attitude was sort of, 'If you're doing something wrong, we don't want to know.' "
Against all odds, southern Sudan’s fragile government called on its people—scattered and benumbed by generations of war—to cast a credible vote on an historic measure in the span of a week. Against every rational forecast, they did so not only without physical violence, but without grumbling.
Fr Steve Assistant Director of Word on Fire, takes a closer look at the recent upheaval in Egypt, offering his perspective on the status of Mubarak's transition out of power as well as the intertwining of political and theological realities in a cultural situation that is outside of a "western" frame of reference.
A Church of England spokesman said: "Given the Church's view on the nature of marriage, the House of Bishops has consistently been clear that the Church of England should not provide services of blessing for those who register civil partnerships."
Confronted with mass demonstrations and fearful about a populace able to organise itself, the Egyptian government had to order fewer than a dozen companies to shut down their networks and disconnect their routers from the global internet.