What the Election of Sisi Means for Egypt

Abdul Fattah el-Sisi

Abdul Fattah el-Sisi

CAIRO, Egypt—In a landslide victory, former military chief Abdul Fattah el-Sisi won the 2014 presidential election in Egypt on Thursday. However, his win is sparking concern for Egyptians who question what will become of the country by reinstating military rule.

El-Sisi resigned from his position as the Egyptian military chief earlier this year in order to receive a presidential bid. The state media says that the polls showed Sisi won with ninety-three percent of the vote. Ahram Online reported a victory message was posted on Sisi’s official campaign Facebook page read, "The nation has put itself, with its great people's will, on the beginning of the right track and has stepped firmly and trustingly ... towards the future they've chosen."

The overwhelming support for Sisi in the polls does not necessarily reflect the country’s sentiments, however. It was predicted that there would be a voter turnout of only forty-six percent. Presidential Elections Commission member Tarek Shebi assessed the final voter turnout at forty-eight percent, according to Ahram Online.

Such low numbers of voter turnout, coupled with the high support for Sisi create skepticism for the legitimacy of the election.  It was reported by CNN that officials even added an extra day to vote, Wednesday, to promote voting, but the attempt proved fruitless. This election did not top the 2012 elections with almost fifty-two percent voter turnout, which does not help Sisi prove his legitimacy.

In addition to the skeptical numbers, the election was plagued with accusations of misconduct. The only opposition, Hamdeen Sabahi claims that his campaign representatives were arrested and attacked, according to CNN. Also, they said that Sisi’s campaign representatives were illegally allowed inside polling places. Allegations of forgery were also made.

The criticism of voter fraud and small voter turnout could be explained by voting boycotts from Sisi detractors. It is reported by BBC News that the Islamist group called the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as some liberal and secular activist groups, boycotted voting in the elections. BBC News also reported a senior member of the Brotherhood, Tariq al-Zumar, called the elections a "theatrical play which did not convince anybody".

Those that celebrate Sisi’s victory hope that his presidency will reverse the radical conservatism that the country saw under the previous presidency of Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi-supporters see it as defeat of the Muslim Brotherhood whom the ousted Morsi was a member of.

Sisi has had a relentless response to removing the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt. He is responsible for 16,000 detentions and 1,400 executions of Muslim Brotherhood members, according to BBC News. The group has since been declared a terrorist organization and banned from the country.

But, according to the numbers, there are supporters of Sisi. Al Jazeera says that most of his supporters are leftover Mubarak supporters, like former members of the regime and business people. Also, the Coptic Christians.

Despite the surrounding controversy, Hamdeen Sabahi, Sisi’s opposition, admits defeat. CNN reports Sabahi released the official statement conceding that said, "It is time to respect the people's choice and admit my loss."'

Contributing Journalist: @allysoncwright

Bieber vs. Sherman | Misadventures of Race in American Media

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Patrice Ellerbe, Staff WriterLast Modified: 19:09 p.m. DST, 26 January 2014

Cornerback Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks, taken Houston Texans 2013, Photo by Bill Hunter

MIAMI, Florida - Thursday morning, globally recognized teen pop star, Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami, Florida, stated CNN. According to police reports, Beiber was charged with driving under the influence, drag racing, and resisting arrest. Since the arrest, the media has labeled Bieber as a “misguided” teen.

Last week after a football game between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, the media threw out mixed feelings regarding statements made between Seahawks' cornerback, Richard Sherman and 49ers' receiver, Michael Crabtree.

According to reports, Sherman successfully completed the “play of the season.” Sherman tipped off a pass intended for Crabtree, allowing his team mate to intercept the ball, and sending the Seahawks to this year’s Super Bowl. After being overjoyed from the play, Sherman attempts to shake Crabtree’s hand, but Crabtree pushes him away by his face mask. Whether Sherman was being sincere or passive aggressive is up to the viewer, however, it doesn’t stop there.

During an interview after the game, Sherman stated “I’m the best cornerback in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you going to get,” says ESPN.

Only days later, Bieber was arrested for his reckless behavior in Miami. Reports read that Bieber was simply a misguided teen, but when it came to Sherman, he was labeled a “thug.” Facts show Sherman, who is an All-Pro cornerback, graduated from Stanford with a 3.9 GPA. He has no criminal record, but simply called himself the best at what he does professionally.

Bieber is an international pop star, who did not graduate from high school. He has been caught in malicious acts and is constantly in the news. Bieber was arrested for a DUI, despite the fact that he is not of legal drinking age, plus he resisted arrest.

Society wants to throw out modern racism, but when situations like these surface, we are still able to see where it exists. Sherman, who is African-American did not deserve to be called a thug. It tarnished his professionalism, and diminished him as a man and an athlete. Although, Bieber's treatment by the media hasn't been positive either, being labeled as a “misguided kid” leaves room for improvement and does not alter the perception of the public that he was just being 'mischievous' versus criminal.

By contrast, Sherman, who has not perpetrated any crime, and was simply participating in his profession and leading his team to the Super Bowl, is labeled a thug. Most thugs typically have some criminal record. Sherman does not have a criminal record, but Bieber does. Most thugs also neglect to finish school, which Bieber has also done. The labels accorded by the media to these two are misleading, and thus illustrate the further misadventures of race in American media.

Follow Patrice Ellerbe on Twitter
Twitter: @nahmias_report Staff Writer: @PatriceEllerbe

China Earthquake Kills 189

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Alex Hamasaki, Student InternLast Modified: 21:10 DST, 25 April 2013

Chinese Earth Quake VictimsYA'AN, CHINA - After a powerful earthquake on Saturday, China is continuing a massive rescue operation in the Sichuan province. The earthquake left at least 189 dead and more than 11,500 injured, reports BBC News.

Thousands of survivors have been forced to seek refuge in cars, tents, and makeshift shelters. China mobilized more than 18,000 soldiers and police for rescue efforts, as well as deployed 23 helicopters from the armed forces, says state news agency Xinhua on Sunday.

The Sichuan Red Cross estimates that within three days, the water in Ya’an will run out despite their efforts to deliver supplies to the quake-hit areas, reports CNN. In more remote areas, people anxiously wait for evacuation along the shifting earth muddied river waters.

Due to the landslides that were triggered as a result of the earthquake, roads were cut off, and power and phone connections were disrupted. The landslides blocked access to aid trucks and prevented some of the casualties from being brought out.

Though emergency teams were quick to carry away bodies and search for survivors, CBS reports that they have done little so far to distribute aid. Even in the more accessible areas of Lushan, BBC correspondents respond that aid has been hampered by road congestion.

The survivors of the earthquake additionally face massive displacement. Despite best efforts, thousands of survivors are now homeless and are forced to seek shelter wherever possible. The collapse of several buildings, including schools and nurseries, lead to widespread criticism of local government’s planning policies, report BBC. In Longmen village, Chinese authorities said nearly all of the buildings had been destroyed.

Some of the hardest hit areas were the villages further up the valleys in Lushan, where farmers grow rice, vegetables, and corn.

It is the poor who feel the brunt of this disaster, with the biggest killer not the earthquake itself but poorly constructed houses, BBC reports.

Follow Alex Hamasaki on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Student Intern: @aghamasaki

CNN: Silent Running on Call to Retract Sympathy For Steubenville Rapists

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Patrice Ellerbe, Staff WriterLast Modified: 01:00 a.m. DST, 23 March 2013

Trent Mays, Steubenville, OH Rape Victim

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio - Two high school football players, Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, were found guilty of raping a heavily intoxicated 16-year old girl in Steubenville, Ohio last August. According to CNN reports, the victim was noticeably intoxicated as the rape occurred. Although the two teens were found guilty early this week, it is interesting to hear how the media has responded to the controversial case.

Adam Mordecai, a contributor to Upworthy news site, suggests CNN focused more on the convicted rapists rather than the victim. On the Upworthy site, Mordecai lists the gist of the statements made as the press somewhat sympathized with the football players. CNN correspondents made at least six statements in reference to the teen boys’  “impressive resumes”, altered decisions as an effect of underage drinking, bravery, and more. One statement even mentioned the reporter felt the boys’ lives will be harder after they are convicted.

It becomes shocking when the media defends men for raping a young woman. The boys were aware of what was going on. Not only have they destroyed their futures, but they scarred a young woman for eternity. Although teens will be teens, there is no excuse for what these teens have done. The media has been insensitive to the victim as well as her family. It seems as if the media is behind the teens, hoping they recover and are less concerned about the victim.

Candy Crowley, a journalist for CNN, stated on air, “I cannot imagine how emotional the sentencing must have been....a 16-year-old, sobbing in court, regardless of what big football players they are, they still sound like 16-year-olds. What is the lasting effect of two young men being found guilty in juvenile court essentially of rape?"

Poppy Carlow, a CNN reporter, said outside the courtroom after the sentencing, “It was incredibly difficult to watch as these two young men who had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watch as they believed their lives fell apart.”

Another CNN correspondent, “Paul Callan”, said “There's always that moment of justice when lives are destroyed. But in terms of what happens now, the most severe thing with these young men is being labeled as sex offenders. That label is now placed on them by Ohio law. That will haunt them for the rest of their lives.”

According to the Huffington Post, CNN reported a statement from the victim’s mother who said the verdicts are “the start of a new beginning for my daughter. We need to stress the importance of helping those in need and to stand up for what is right.” It doesn’t seem as though CNN has taken her advice.

The teen girl was highly sedated and practically unconscious when Mays and Richmond were performing the ruthless sexual acts. Reports read Mays was given a longer sentence because he released photos through text messages, of the rape.

Recollection of that night was given by numerous teen witnesses. According to an unidentified witness, the girl was seen hunched over and violently vomiting. She was then seen sitting in the middle of the street where the party was located. She was ridiculed and eventually left there for the time being.

When questioned in the court room, teen witnesses clearly showed they were unaware of the definition of rape. When asked why they didn’t stop the rape, a teen witness responded “It wasn’t violent”, insinuating it was only considered rape if they were forcing themselves on the female. The male witness that gave this respond also stated he walked in the room during the time the victim was being violated. He could see she was unresponsive to the acts, however, he did not stop it.

Earlier that night, teens witnessed Richmond and Mays in the back seat of a car with the 16-year-old female. Video of the setting was obtained by police, where they saw Richmond and Mays fondling the girl and passing the video camera around.

Even with increased public outcry and pressure on the network, CNN has remained silent on its original stance of focusing more on the perpetrators than the victim. Richmond received a minimum of one year in a youth correctional institution, but is eligible to receive a longer sentence. Mays receive one year for the rape and an additional year as well. Both boys will have to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives, and can remain incarcerated until they turn 21.

UPDATE 26.3.13: As Editor-in-Chief it was my decision to publish the article with the selected title. The substance of the article is about the fact that CNN should have focused more on the victim than on the perpetrators.

In the ensuing controversy CNN and other media outlets no longer continue to solicit sympathy for the perpetrators, but for many it is not enough. A verbal, written retraction is being sought via a petition; however, whether this occurs or not, CNN has retreated into silence on this issue.

We appreciate all constructive criticism, but personal attacks are unwelcome. The title and post have been edited to clarify our position.

Thank you, Ayanna Nahmias Editor-in-Chief **********************************************

Follow Patrice Ellerbe on Twitter
Twitter: @nahmias_report Staff Writer: @PatriceEllerbe