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February 22, 2011

Runways \’destroyed\’ at Libya’s Benina International Airport

Runways ‘destroyed’ at Libya’s Benina International Airport

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

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An aerial shot of Benina International Airport

The runways at Benina International Airport in Benghazi, Libya have been destroyed according to an Egyptian government minister. Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that the runways had been destroyed during the violence that is currently taking place. Protests have spread to Tripoli as Muammar Gaddafi has made no signs of stepping down from his 35-year rule as leader of Libya.

Aboul Gheit told media at a news conference “Regarding east of Libya, the Benghazi airport runways have been destroyed. It is not possible for Egyptair flights or any other flights to land in that airport.” He added “If Egyptians need to leave, and I always advise [them] to stay home, then they would have to travel to Egyptian borders by land some 500km in proximity to danger. Such trips must be in groups and in buses.”

Egypt is currently awaiting permission to land at Tripoli Airport. Aboul Gheit compared the situation to the evacuation of Egyptian nationals from Iraq in 1991 during the outbreak of the Iraq war. Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands have all sent transport planes to bring their nationals back home.



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Phones without Internet access join the Facebook revolution

Phones without Internet access join the Facebook revolution

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Nokia 1108 cellphone, without Internet access.
Image: Diego Grez.

Logo of the Facebook website.

Amsterdam-based electronics company Gemalto has announced that it has developed a way of putting Facebook compatibility on to a mobile phone SIM card, to allow mobile phones with no data or internet connection to access the popular social networking site.

The report, appearing on the Slovenian tech site Monitor, says that users will be able to communicate directly with the site via SMS messages, as well as being able to exchange messages online and having the facility to write on other Facebook users walls. The formal announcement of the technogical breakthrough was made at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on February 14.

Users will see the changes to the website appear as messages on their phones, so they will be able to keep track of updates to the site. The announcement has drawn much interest from mobile phone companies and service providers, who are keen to take advantage of the new functionality which would significantly increase revenue due to the scaling up of SMS messages passing through their networks.

“Increasingly people want to be able to stay connected and communicate with their friends on Facebook anytime, anywhere. Gemalto has developed a creative solution in Facebook for SIM that enables people without mobile data plans to stay connected to their friends on Facebook in an affordable way,” Gemalto’s Head of Mobile Business (Facebook), Henri Moissinac, said in a statement.



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Egyptian man names daughter \’Facebook\’

Egyptian man names daughter ‘Facebook’ – Wikinews, the free news source

Egyptian man names daughter ‘Facebook’

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Facebook.svg

An Egyptian man in his early twenties has named his newborn daughter ‘Facebook’ following the 2011 Egyptian Revolution which was almost solely organized on the social-networking site Facebook. The father, Gamal Ibrahim, told the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram that he gave his child the name to “express his joy at the achievements made by the January 25 youth.”

The protests, which were largely organized on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, began on January 25 and led to the end of Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign as president of Egypt.

The Al-Ahram report stated that, “The girl’s family, friends, and neighbors in the Ibrahimya region gathered around the new born to express their continuing support for the revolution that started on Facebook. ‘Facebook’ received many gifts from the youth who were overjoyed by her arrival and the new name. A name that shocked the entire world.”

The Egyptian spelling of ‘Facebook’ is فيس بوك.



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Australian Governor-General travels to Kuwait amidst terror threats

Australian Governor-General travels to Kuwait amidst terror threats

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Her Excellency, Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of Australia is set to travel to Kuwait to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of the liberation of the country from Iraqi rule. This comes as terrorist threats and civil unrest begin to spread throughout the region.

In a tour that is set to conclude on February 27th, Ms Bryce will be representing Australia at several ceremonies marking 20 years since the first Gulf War and 50 years since Kuwait gained independence from the United Kingdom. In addition, she will visit The Australian College of Kuwait and other locations of national interest including sites of Australian wheat imports.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs released a statement claiming “Terrorists have demonstrated intent to conduct attacks in Kuwait against a range of targets, including United States military and identifiably Western targets such as hotels, restaurants and symbols and buildings associated with the Kuwaiti government.”

The visit occurs in conjunction with the news of anti-government protests igniting across the Middle East including Kuwait. Despite this, the Governor-General’s secretary told a Senate committee that the trip shall proceed.



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  • “Kuwait stateless protest for rights” — Wikinews, February 19, 2011

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Libya blocks access to Internet

Libya blocks access to Internet – Wikinews, the free news source

Libya blocks access to Internet

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Libya
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 File:Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi in Dimashq.jpg

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, also known as Colonel Gaddafi, has been the leader of Libya since 1969. In the picture, al-Gaddafi in Dimashq, Syria.
Image: James Gordon.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

The Libyan government has cut off Internet access in the country. The General Posts and Telecommunications Company, Libya’s main provider of Internet access, has ceased to function. It was shut down following citizen protests against the country’s leader, Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, who has been in power since 1969.

The government of Egypt took a similar measure last month, when it cut off Internet trying to quell public protests against the regime. Despite the government’s efforts, Egyptians who took to the streets for two weeks were able to oust the nation’s president, Hosni Mubarak, after 30 years in office.

Limited access to the Internet makes it difficult to get information from the country. Libya is a country with a smaller population than Egypt, and has fewer service providers, which has apparently made the task of disconnecting everything a little easier.

In Egypt, the military refused to attack people protesting. The situation is different in Libya, where the armed forces attacked hundreds of demonstrators in the square of the city of Benghazi, causing many deaths.

The increasing violence in Libya has prompted the 27 European Union ministers to issue a statement protesting Libyan governmental violence toward protesters, saying it “condemns the ongoing repression against demonstrators in Libya and deplores the violence and death of civilians.” Two Libyan pilots have defected to Malta and asked for asylum, saying that they were ordered to fire on protesters, according to Maltese officials.

The violence has spread to Tripoli. Witnesses have reported that a “massacre” occurred today in suburbs of the Libyan capital with the indiscriminate shooting of women and children. According to Human Rights Watch, hundreds have died over the last four days.

The escalating violence is causing turbulence in the world energy markets. The International Monetary Fund says that energy exports accounts for approximately 95% of Libya’s export earning.

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6.3 quake hits Christchurch, NZ

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The ChurchChrist Cathedral was badly damaged by the earthquake.
Image: Arthur Shih.

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand at 12:51 PM local time on Tuesday (Monday 23:51 UTC). Deaths are reported from collapsing buildings in the central city. The top of the iconic Anglican ChristChurch Cathedral has fallen and rubble is strewn throughout the central business district. Two buses are reported to be crushed under the bus exchange. Pools of mud have erupted due to burst water mains and liquefaction. The hospital has been evacuated as people reported cracks and ceilings collapsing. Roads and carparks have cracked and lifted.

The quake was centered in Lyttelton, at a depth of five kilometers. Unlike previous quakes in the region that caused no fatalities, Tuesday quake was shallower and closer to the central city and the damage was much worse. Condemned buildings, weakened by last year’s widespread earthquakes, were destroyed. Some aftershocks have occurred in the area after the earthquake. The historic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Christchurch has half collapsed, while the old Canterbury Provincial Chambers building, Piko Wholefoods, and a church on Durham Street have been destroyed.

Emergency services were hampered by gridlock as motorists and pedestrians evacuated the CBD. Electricity, telephone services, and traffic lights suffered outages. Telecom is attempting to assess the damage. Civil Defence is mounting a response with all available national resources, and Cabinet is holding an emergency session. Speaking to Radio New Zealand, Mayor Bob Parker said he was “thrown quite a distance”, that there were scenes of “great confusion” on the streets, and that the quake was “as violent as the one that happened on the 4th of September”. The emergency telephone code, 111 was not working for the entire region of Southland, New Zealand but is apparently stable as of approx. 4 pm NZDT.



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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