Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in three north-eastern states of the African country after Islamic extremists took control of a number of villages and towns.
"It would appear that there is a systematic effort by insurgents and terrorists to destabilize the Nigerian state and test our collective resolve," Jonathan said, according to The Associated Press.
Army troops have been ordered to the affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, while politicians have been told to remain at their posts. The announcement was made across Nigeria's radio and television networks, with the president warning that any buildings believed to be housing Islamic extremists would be "torn down." more >>
A Coptic Christian schoolteacher, who is being held in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor on allegedly false charges of blasphemy and preaching Christianity, will be in custody for another 15 days, prosecutors decided Saturday.
Dimiana Abdel-Nour, a 24-year-old history and geography teacher at the Sheik Sultan Primary School in Luxor, will be held for another 2 weeks, The Associated Press said Saturday quoting prosecutors.
To protest alleged false charges, Abdel-Nour went on hunger strike days ago, and was sent to a local hospital. She believes Islamist extremists urged students to make false allegations against her, that she insulted the Prophet Muhammad while talking about Islam in class last month. more >>
Ahmed Fawzi, Secretary-General for the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and a leading figure of the National Salvation Front (NSF), stated that the recent ministerial adjustments are merely a continuation of the Muslim Brotherhood's policies in Egypt.
Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Hisham Qandil announced a new ministerial formation this morning in which nine ministers were changed.
This reshuffling excluded the ministers of interior and media despite widespread criticism against Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim. He is blamed for for the security forces' handling of protesters and its inability to protect citizens in the attacks in Khosos and the papal headquarters of St. Mark's Cathedral. more >>
The Revolution Youth Coalition condemned security individuals affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood after they imprisoned a number of journalists who were covering an event close to the Egypt's presidential palace on Monday.
The journalists were covering the "Eggs March," where a number of revolutionary voices were scheduled to speak regarding the current regime.
The RYC charged that the imprisonment of the journalists was an attempt to distract from the human rights violations committed against the revolutionaries, who oppose the ruling regime of the Muslim Brotherhood. more >>
Syrian Orthodox Archbishop George Saliba of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli said that kidnapping of clergy has become "normal" since the events began in Iraq.
"Every day we hear news and rumors about the kidnapping of the two archbishops, Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, and we do not believe any of them because all stories have turned out to be untrue," the archbishop said during an interview.
"We are waiting for the promises made to us regarding the issue of the two archbishops," Archbishop Saliba added. "No one knows what the party responsible for the kidnapping wants and it does not reveal itself. Archbishop Ibrahim's health condition is unstable." more >>
Today, Egyptians celebrate the Spring Festival, or Shame el-Nessim, an ancient Egyptian festival in which Egyptians celebrated the New Year and the start of the spring season.
Copts originally found this day always came during Lent, so they postponed it so that it could be celebrated on the day following the celebration of Easter. Since then, Egyptians have continued to celebrate it on the day following the celebration of Easter.
While it is deemed an official state holiday, Salafists currently prohibit celebrating it, as it is regarded as a blasphemous rite. more >>