Monday, March 24, 2014

Trials in Egypt and Wreckage in the Indian Ocean

It appears the people currently running Egypt, or at least the court system, has had enough of the of the Muslim Brotherhood's shenanigans. MSN, via the A.P. is reporting 545 people went on trial in the city of Minya. All of the defendants were either members of the brotherhood, or other supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi. The entire group was charged with murdering a cop and attacking a police station in August of last year. The violence occurred after police and the military cracked down on pro-Morsi demonstrations, which of course, had followed the massive anti-Morsi demonstrations that prompted the army to remove him from office. 150 of the accused were present. Everyone else is currently on the lam, so they were tried in absentia. 

It didn't take long for a verdict to come down. In fact after only two days, the judge, Saeed Youssef Mohamed ended the trial, saying defense lawyers were disrupting the proceedings and muddying the waters by, "discussing politics." 16 people were acquitted while 529 were found guilty and sentenced to death.

Ouch. Not even Isaac, the hanging judge, Parker went that far when he was running the U.S. federal court in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. He condemned a paltry 160 people to die and that number was spread out over 21 years. Well, as we all know, everything moved slower before there was an internet and cell phones.

Needless to say the defense attorneys took exception to the ruling, most claiming the conduct of the judge was unconstitutional and the sentences overly harsh. One hearty optimist went so far as to say the convictions would be overturned on appeal.

A lot of people should hope so, because tomorrow another 683 souls go into the dock, including Mohammed Badie, the head of the brotherhood.

Morsi, who is a member of Badie's outfit, was the first and so far only freely elected Egyptian president in 5,000 plus years. He is currently sitting in a jail somewhere, proving that in some places you can win the vote, but if you lose the army you're utterly screwed.

The brotherhood has now been labeled a, "terrorist organization" and the government blames it for everything from bombings and suicide attacks to faulty plumbing in public buildings.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak announced to the press missing flight 370's last known position was out in the middle of the definition of nowhere. This being the 21st century, relatives of the victims were texted the news rather than being told in person. The comforting message read, "The plane was lost and none of those aboard survived."

NBC reports, Razak claimed the information came from the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch and a satellite owned by Inmarsat Corporation. In his words, the new and improved knowledge was gleaned by, "...performing further calculations on the data using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort." The British wouldn't comment, saying the investigation was, "ongoing."

The revelation came on the heels of accusations, leveled by many of those same relatives this weekend, that the Malaysian government had been deceiving them and the world about what it really knew of the details of the disaster.

NBC also said, an Australian aircraft spotted two floating objects, one orange and rectangular and another, either green, or gray and round. Both were approximately 1,550 miles south west of Perth. This news follows the release of Chinese and French satellite photos showing some sort of debris floating in the same general area.

Malaysian Airlines issued a statement which read, "The ongoing multinational search operation will continue as we seek answers to the questions which still remain."

Yes, there are several of those. The first of which is why did your plane end up closer to Antarctica than its original destination, Beijing? The second one being, who was at the controls?

It has been a rough start to the week, especially if you're a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, or related to someone on the doomed flight 370.

Given what else is going on in the world, the prospects of things improving any time soon seem fairly dim.

sic vita est


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