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What we are reading - February 6, 2012

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

Anger after Russia, China block UN action on Syria Egypt Independent, Reuters

The US ambassador to the United Nations said she was "disgusted" by the vote, which came a day after activists say Syrian forces bombarded the city of Homs, killing more than 200 people in the worst night of bloodshed of the 11-month uprising.

The ultras and the Egyptian Revolution Jadaliyya, Mahmoud El-Wardani

A new book describes the bravery shown by Egyptian Ultras throughout the Revolution and the passion for football that ties them together.

Egypt’s Ultras: Politically involved but not politically driven, yet Al Ahram, Sherif Tarek

A year after the revolution, Ahram Online looks at the Ultras — football fan groups in Egypt — and whether soon they might be motivated by more than mere hatred of the police

Activists, politicians see more than hooliganism in football violence Egypt Independent, Mohamed Elmeshad

At least 71 are confirmed dead in the worst-ever fan violence following a sporting event in Egypt, after a fight apparently broke out between fans of the home football team Masry and visiting team Ahly in the coastal city of Port Said.

Tunisia Expels Syrian Ambassador, Withdraws Recognition of Assad’s Government Tunisia Live, Sana Ajmi

The Tunisian Office of the President declared in a statement released today its initiation of the process to expel the Syrian ambassador to Tunisia and to withdraw recognition of the ruling regime in Damascus.


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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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