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EVENT: 2011 EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION
EPISODE: S01E05 – AMEN

The revolution, that lasted 18 days (Jan, 25 - Feb 11, 2011) aimed to overthrow the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. The revolution was inspired by the very current Tunisian Revolution. Thousands took to streets to revolt against poverty, unemployment, government corruption and autocracy.

Their main aim was to get democracy in the country since Hosni Mubarak had been the ruler for 30 years and refrained from appointing a vice president. Cairo’s Tahrir Square became their central point of protest. To calm the people down, Mubarak appointed former Intelligence Officer Omar Suleiman as the vice-president on January 29, 2011. In another attempt, he went on television and offered concessions and pledged to not run in the coming elections. On February 10, 2011 he addressed Egypt and stated that he would delegate some of his responsibilities to his VP.

Regardless of all his attempts, the protests continued. On February 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm local time, Omar Suleiman announced that Hosni Mubarak had resigned from his seat and left Cairo. Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces had been entrusted with the leadership.

After Hosnis departure, Egypt still struggled to find a democratic government. Many more protests, sit-ins ensued to ensure the democratic rights demands made to the Supreme Council would be fulfilled. In May, 2011 a second revolution ensued where the citizens demanded trial for the old regime, a new constitution before the parliament elections and no military trials for civilians. On June 15, 2012 the Supreme Council dissolved the parliament. For a year, the protests continued, asking the Supreme Council to meet their demands faster.

On June 2, 2012 Hosni Mubarak was convicted to life in prison. On June 30, 2012 Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, is sworn in.

Documentary: 1 | 2

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+ EVENTS COVERED BY ‘THE NEWSROOM’

EVENT: 2011 TUCSON SHOOTING
EPISODE: S01E04 – I'LL TRY TO FIX YOU

On January 8, 2011 a shooting incident occured in the parking lot in Tucson, Arizona where a constituent meeting was being held. 19 people, including US Representative Gabrielle Giffords were shot. Six people died. Jared Lee Loughner shot Giffords at point blank range, he then proceeded to shoot other people. Giffords was the main target of the shoot.

The on-site first-aid she received from her intern, Hernandez Jr., was credited with saving her life. She was rushed to University Medical Center in Tuscon where the doctors performed an emergency surgery on her. On January 21, 2011 she was moved to Memorial hermann Medical Center, Houston where she underwent physical therapy. On June 15, 2011 Giffords was released from the hospital and on August 1, 2011 she gave her first public appearance.

On a long-term basis, the shooting cost her 50% loss of her vision in both eyes, language struggles, walking problems and her right arm being completely paralyzed. On January 22, 2012 Giffords announced her resignation from Congress so that she can focus on her continuing recovery.

As for Loughner himself, after a series of hearings from May 2011 onwards - that questioned his mental state, thus not competent enough to stand trial - on November 8, 2012 he stood for trial where he pleaded guilty to 19 counts on murder and attempted murder. He was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms and 140 years in prison without parole.

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+ EVENTS COVERED BY ‘THE NEWSROOM’

EVENT: ARIZONA SENATE BILL 1070 (SB 1070)
EPISODE: S01E02 – NEWS NIGHT 2.0

Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (aka SB 1070) is an immigration law enforcement. The original US Federal Law states that ‘aliens’ above the age of 14 who are in the US for more then 30 days are required to register with the US Goverment so that they can be issued registration documents.

The SB 1070 furthers the restrictions by stating it as a ‘crime’ if the alien does not carry those documents whilst in Arizona. It gives the police the right to legally stop and question immigration status of people they suspect. It also imposed penalties on people providing shelter to illegal immigrants. It’s main aim was to put as many restrictions on on illegal immigrants as possible so they would give up and go back home.

The original law passed was a point of a controversy when people stated that it sounded very racist. On April 30, 2010 a new House Bill - Arizon HB 2162 - was signed that modified the SB 1070, stating "prosecutors would
not investigate complaints based on race, color or national origin.” It also redefined some of the police investigation ground rules stating that the police can only act if they have enough proof that a crime is involved. It also reduced charges on the offenders.

The US Government also went to Federal Law to block some of the provisions since the law violates the Constitution. The following four provision were invalidated1:

  • Section 2(B), popularly known as “show me your papers,” which requires police officers to check the immigration status of anyone whom they arrest or detain and allows them to stop and arrest someone if they believe that he is an undocumented immigrant;
  • Section 3, which makes it a crime to be in Arizona without valid immigration papers;
  • Section 5(C), which makes it a crime to apply for or hold a job without proper immigration papers;
  • Section 6, which allows a police officer to arrest someone, without a warrant, if the officer believes that he has committed – at some point in time – a crime that could cause him to be deported.

Links: Fact Sheet | SB1070 for Dummies (YT)

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