By Gideon Rachman
The “reasonable person” is usually to be found in legal textbooks. If you want to meet the “reasonable person” in the flesh, however, I would suggest a trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos. Read more
On Sunday, President Mohamed Morsi declared a state of emergency in three of Egypt’s troubled provinces, following a weekend of violence in which 48 people were killed in clashes with police. In doing so, he resorted to a tool that had defined the rule of his predecessor, the autocratic Hosni Mubarak, who kept emergency law in force for thirty years as a way to clamp down on dissent. While Morsi’s state of emergency applies only to three cities so far – Port Said, Ismailia and Suez – and is limited to a month’s duration, it has fuelled opposition fears that the president is straying ever further from the ideals of the revolution that brought him to power.
French and Malian forces have made rapid advances in recent days in their efforts to defeat Islamist militants in Mali. On Saturday they captured Gao, which has been under control of the Islamists since last April.
Xan Rice, the FT’s west Africa correspondent, spoke to a teacher from Gao, who did not want his name to be used, about the liberation of the town.
Here is a transcript of the teacher’s account:
“We had a big celebration when the French and Malian army arrived on Saturday. On all the main streets people were out welcoming them.
“It was ‘Long live France, long live Hollande, long live Mali’s army’. The town is secured. We also have soldiers from Niger and Chad here. We are all very happy because nobody liked the Islamists. They were strong but they lost a lot of equipment and vehicles when they attacked Konna [a central town, where the conflict started in January]. We knew that when the army came here, the Islamists would fly away.
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