What we are reading - March 19, 2012

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

Arab Awakening
21 March 2012

Tunisians Celebrate Independence Day in the Thousands Tunisia Live, Sana Ajm

Several thousand Tunisians gathered on Habib Bourguiba avenue today to celebrate Tunisia’s 56th independence day. Parents brought children, politicians came out to greet supporters and political groups rallied their messages up and down the avenue.

Top Muslim sheikhs offer condolences for pope Egypt Independent

Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb and Mohamed Badie, supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, on Wednesday visited the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to offer their condolences for the death of Pope Shenouda III, pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the Saint Mark See.

Egypt's Brotherhood to discuss presidential choice Friday Al Ahram, Ahmed Eleiba

The Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Office will meet Friday to discuss potential presidential candidates, a senior member has told Ahram Online.

Teachers gather at Riad al-Solh to demand pay, benefits The Daily Star

A few hundred teachers from all over Lebanon gathered at Riad al-Solh Square Wednesday afternoon to protest pressing issues plaguing the education community.

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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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