Egypt's next president may be an Islamist extremist backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. When Hosni Mubarak was ousted last February, the formerly banned Muslim Brotherhood quickly emerged as Egypt's best-organized power bloc. To soothe those who were worried about extremism, the Brotherhood promised repeatedly that it would not field a candidate for the presidency. In recent weeks, the Brotherhood has not only broken that promise but has also taken aggressive steps to crush the competition.
The most recent example appeared on Monday, when an Egyptian parliamentary committee approved a new law that prevents former members of the Mubarak regime from running in presidential elections. The Muslim Brotherhood, which controls parliament, designed the law to terminate the presidential bid of former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.
Suleiman is viewed as an enemy of extreme Islamists, a supporter of military action against Iran's nuclear program, and a friend of the U.S. and Israel. He stepped forward for Egypt's presidential race in response to the Brotherhood's decision to field a candidate, and he was counting on winning the vote of those who fear Islamist rule.
The new law means Suleiman will not even be permitted to run.
This law comes just days after another presidential contender was disqualified because of accusations that his mother is an American citizen. The candidate called the ruling an "elaborate plot" by the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that in reality his mother only has a U.S. Green Card.
Some analysts are alarmed that Egypt is lunging toward Islamism and are afraid of the Brotherhood's growing power.
Mona Makram Ebeid, Egyptian politician and professor of political science, said, "I think that Egypt today is at a crossroads and I believe that this is the most serious and dangerous period that we going through in all of Egypt's history, in all of Egypt's modern history since Muhammad Ali (founder of modern Egypt). Today it is the personality of Egypt that is at stake. We must fight for it to keep a secular, civil, modern democratic state."
Western champions of the "Arab Spring" did not expect Hosni Mubarak to be replaced by such an extremely Islamist, anti-democratic regime. They assumed that the revolution meant Egypt was bound for democracy—a victory for freedom.
But not everyone was convinced. Shortly after Mubarak was toppled, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry said that "many of the Western world's leaders [saw] what [was] happening in Egypt as good news." But he warned that such world leaders "fail[ed] to see the strength of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood."
Now, with presidential elections only weeks away, it is clear that Egypt's revolution was not the democratic triumph many mistook it for—and that post-Mubarak Egypt is racing toward the Islamist camp.
Possessing the biggest-yet space telescope, just launched into orbit, and the only manned spaceship that can take cosmonauts to the ISS, Russia's role in world space programs is irreplaceable, the country's space chief Vladimir Popovkin told RT.
RT:Well, America's Hubble will now have company in orbit. Is the Russian telescope looking to discover something the Hubble has been missing during all these years it has been operating?
Vladimir Popovkin: Foreign scientists, not Russian ones, say that our telescope is more interesting than the Hubble Space Telescope in terms of making new findings. It's a very profound science that implies a high degree of relativity of the final result. It's difficult to forecast anything here.
The telescope makes it possible to monitor the emergence of new stars and galaxies in a radio frequency band, to see how the whole process goes and gather some statistical data on the basis of which it would be possible to predict the dynamics of development of our planet and the Universe and to understand where we have all come from and what's waiting for us in the future. In this respect, this is a historical event which marks Russia's return to space science.
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"THOU ART PETER and upon this rock I will build my church."
1506 2006: 500 years of the New St.Peters Cathedral in Rome.
April 18th, 1506 saw the beginning of the end for the 1200-year-old St. Peters Basilica on the Vatican Hill in Rome. For on this day, under the supervision of chief architect Donato Bramante, the foundation stone was laid for a new St. Peter's Cathedral.
In a sequence of bitter power struggles, shattering defeats and glorious triumphs Bramante, Sangallo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Maderno and Bernini created this world-famous center of the Roman Catholic Church. The Reformation and the Counter-Reformation might well have taken quite a different course without this building. Like a huge precious shell the dome envelops the humble tomb, buried within its depths, is the Apostle Peter, appointed by Jesus to bear responsibility for the Christian faith.
Please visit http://www.kultur.com/500-Years-of-St-Peters-p/d4427.htm for more information on this program
Those who vetoed UN Security Council resolution against Syria, have blood on their hands, say the US and the UK.
What lies ahead for the Arab nations struggling with months of violence?
Will foreign countries interfere directly in Syria like what they did in Libya?
Will they continue arming Anti-Syrian government forces?
Will President Assad overcome this crisis without foreign intervention?
On this edition of News Analysis we are looking into the reasons behind Russia and China's opposition.