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News in Brief: Al Jazeera Crucial in Coverage of Arab World Protests, and More

Al Jazeera Crucial in Coverage of Arab World Protests

Al Jazeera Crucial in Coverage of Arab World Protests

The Qatar-based satellite channel has been aggressively covering the recent pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and other countries, and by doing so, creating the notion of a common struggle across the Arab world, reported The New York Times. The channel has championed the idea that a section of the population in the Arab world is looking beyond oppressive, US-backed regimes for governance. Al Jazeera was also widely praised for the key role it played in coverage of the Tunisian revolt; “in many ways, it is Al Jazeera’s moment,” wrote The New York Times.

US Continues to Back Mubarak as Thousands of Protesters Battle Police and Nobel Laureate ElBaradei Is Arrested in Cairo

Protests continue to erupt across Cairo and other Egyptian cities as tens of thousands of demonstrators flood the streets calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, reported The New York Times News Service. The police have responded with tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and wide-scale arrests, killing at least two people and taking Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei under house arrest after ElBaradei joined the latest round of protests, reported the Jerusalem Post. Internet access and mobile phone networks have also been shut down. Mubarak has ordered the military into the street as well and a curfew has been imposed, with protests continuing in defiance of the curfew, reported The Guardian UK. Crowds have been cheering the military, hoping they will side with them against the police.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration continues to back the Egyptian President and close US ally Mubarak, whose government is among the top recipients of US foreign aid.

Illinois Supreme Court: Rahm Can Run for Mayor

In a unanimous vote, the Illinois Supreme Court has given the green light to former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’ to remain on the ballot for mayor of Chicago. The ruling has brought to an end months of legal drama after an appellate court ruled that Emanuel was not eligible to run for mayor because he did not fulfill the residency requirements, reports The Chicago Tribune.

Study Finds Having a Baby May Be Worse for Mental Health Than Having an Abortion

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that having an abortion does not increase a women’s risk of mental health problems, but giving birth and raising a baby does. Conducted by Danish researchers, the study was based on the medical records of 265,550 Danish women who did not have a history of mental health problems before pregnancy. According to The Associated Press, the study further debunks the notion that terminating a pregnancy can trigger mental illness, and that postpartum depression is much more of a factor.

Boehner: Obama Doesn’t Believe in American Exceptionalism

Sen. John Boehner has attacked President Obama for not using the words “American exceptionalism” in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, despite the speech’s strong promotion of the idea using phrases such as “the greatest nation on Earth” and “not just a place on a map, but the light to the world,” reported the Washington Monthly. “They’ve refused to talk about American exceptionalism,” said Boehner on CNN Wednesday night. “I don’t know if they’re afraid of it, whether they don’t believe in it. I don’t know.”

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