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What we are reading - February 13, 2012

Our readers help us highlight what they are reading about the Arab Spring from around the web...
Arab Awakening
15 February 2012

Who said Gaddafi had to go? London Review of Books, Hugh Roberts

So Gaddafi is dead and Nato has fought a war in North Africa for the first time since the FLN defeated France in 1962. The Arab world’s one and only State of the Masses, the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriyya, has ended badly.

Egyptian Salafist preacher promises to replace US aid with donationsAl Ahram, News

Influential Salafist preacher Mohamed Hassan has called for the replacement of the $1.3 billion annual US military aid to Egypt with local donations.

Al-Azhar head demands Arabs stop Syrian bloodshed Al Musry Al Youm, MENA

Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb called on Arab countries and liberals worldwide to work to stop the bloodshed in Syria, calling the situation in the country “dangerous.”

Tunisia’s Trade Deficit Doubles Tunisia Live, Bernard Yaros

Over 2,000 years ago, ancient Carthage dominated trade throughout the Mediterranean region, exporting textiles, agriculture, artisanal work, manufactured goods and precious minerals.

Bahrain anniversary marked by clashes, arrests Agence France Press, News

Bahraini police fired tear gas and birdshot at pro-democracy protesters and arrested dozens in clashes that raged through the night and into early Wednesday, the opposition said, as the kingdom marked the first anniversary of a Shiite-led uprising.


To suggest articles to be included in next week's recommendations, tweet us @openAwakening

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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