After days of violent clashes between pro- and anti-Mubarak forces in Egypt, today is relatively serene as Egypt’s defense minister met with some of the anti-government protesters, who are preparing for what they’ve dubbed the “Day of Departure,” a final push for the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak’s government.

pyramidEgyptian President Hosni Mubarak knows exactly what caused his downfall after 30 years of autocratic rule: the Internet. This marvelous communication tool — perhaps the greatest since the invention of the printing press, which had similar effects — exposed Mubarak to the world as a corrupt, tyrannical lackey of the United States, the result of billions upon billions of dollars in unconstitutional American aid to his regime.

The anger of protesters in Egypt, reportedly aimed at a number of issues including President Hosni Mubarak’s failure to indicate whether he plans to seek re-election, should have been assuaged to a degree by the President's announcement that he will not be seeking re-election at the end of his term in September. Unfortunately for Mubarak, it was not. Video footage of crowd reactions to Mubarak’s announcement reveal the people chanting "No!" "No!" "No!"

A referendum on independence for Southern Sudan — to determine whether the South should remain part of Sudan, or secede and become a separate country — has gone surprisingly smoothly, but tensions in Abyei are high, and violent battles have already begun that could cause another civil war to break out.

Russian natural gas corporation Gazprom was given the green light by the government of the north-central African nation Niger for the purpose of exploring the impoverished country for possible uranium mining opportunities. Gazprom subsidiary Gazprombank NGS, based in Moscow, was given a license to explore for uranium in the region of Agadez in northern Niger, reported Bloomberg World News.

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