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Today we hear the shocking news that President Evo Morales of Bolivia’s presidential jet was grounded and searched in Vienna. He had been flying from Moscow, and was denied access to airspace by the governments of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. His plane was grounded for 12 hours, apparently due to fears that Edward Snowden might be on board!
The hypocrisy of these European governments is remarkable: we know they turned a blind eye when illegal US extraordindary rendition flights crossed their airspace, but they hurry to do the US’ bidding because of a rumour about Snowden. What is particularly embarrassing for them is that Snowden has revealed the extent of US spying on Europe: if European governments had any political backbone, they would offer him asylum, not turn him over.
Egypt faces a crucial moment as the deadline set by the army approaches. Up to 14 million people took to the streets to demand President Morsi step down, and the army has threatened him with a coup if he does not. But what does this mean for democracy? Can we trust a caretaker government run by the army, which has its own vested interested? And how will the protesters consolidate change unless they make a structured challenge to power.
Finally, we report from a successful and inspiring USi Advisory Board meeting.
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