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Experiments with truth: 2/18/11

  • In Egypt, hundreds of workers went on strike on Thursday along the Suez Canal, one of the world’s strategic waterways, joining workers at textile mills, pharmaceutical plants, chemical industries, the Cairo airport, the transportation sector and banks pressing demands for better wages and conditions.
  • Around 1,500 Jordanians demonstrated on Wednesday in the northern city of Irbid, calling for a “trial of the corrupt” and demanding a new electoral law as well as economic reforms.
  • In Iraq, protests hit the southern city of Kut, the oil hub of Basra, the northern oil city of Kirkuk and other towns — the latest in a series of demonstrations against local governments and demanding an end to food and power shortages.
  • Clashes are continuing in Yemen after over a week of protests against U.S.-backed President Ali Abdullah Saleh. On Thursday, government loyalists attacked a crowd of more than 6,000 protesters in the capital Sana’a. At least five people were wounded.
  • Massive labor protests in Wisconsin have entered their fifth day. On Thursday 30,000 teachers, students, and state and municipal workers took part in a noontime rally at the state house in Madison to oppose Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to eliminate almost all collective bargaining rights for most public workers as well as slash their pay and benefits. Another 20,000 people took part in a rally last night at the state capitol.
  • In Pakistan, over 8,000 teachers working in 400 educational institutions went on indefinite strike on Thursday with a pledge not to resume academic activities until the issuance of notification regarding implementation of teachers’ package announced by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in November 2010.
  • In Egypt, Forty-five prisoners at the central prison in Arish, North Sinai, have begun a hunger strike to protest being detained without trial.