Chatter: Cairo, where protesting can kill you




Antler Agency

    Get Chatter in your inbox!        



        *We take your privacy seriously, GlobalPost will not share your information with any other companies.


Egyptian nights. At least seven people were killed in Cairo overnight amid street battles between security forces and supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi. Another 261 people were injured, Egypt's Health Ministry said, as protesters overran the central Sixth of October bridge and other areas, and police responded with tear gas and birdshot.

The deaths come even as senior American envoy William Burns visits with Egypt's new, unelected leadership and assures Egyptians they've been given a "second chance" to make democracy work. For the people killed since the military overthrew Morsi two weeks ago, it's more like a last chance. Take the 51 of his supporters killed at a sit-in in Cairo last Monday, for instance: while the army says it acted in self-defense, a GlobalPost investigation uncovers the picture of a pre-planned attack on largely unarmed civilians. That's the kind of chance most people would rather do without.

Capo captured. In a major coup for Mexico's government, Mexican special forces have caught one of the region's most-wanted drug lords. Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, the fearsome leader of the equally fearsome Zetas cartel, was taken into custody just across the border from Texas, and all without a single shot fired.

Trevino's is the biggest scalp yet claimed by President Enrique Pena Nieto in his drug war 2.0, which is supposed to focus less on nabbing high-profile kingpins than on protecting the average Juan. In this case, Trevino's capture, though impressive, might have just the opposite effect: some observers are already predicting that any vacuum it leaves will swiftly be filled by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and his Sinaloa cartel.


Panam-oh-no-you-don't. Authorities in Panama say they've discovered a stash of secret weapons hidden on board a ship bound for North Korea. Initially suspicious that the vessel was smuggling drugs, officials stopped and searched the ship on its way from Cuba through the Panama Canal — only to find the crew rioting, the captain threatening suicide and "sophisticated missile equipment" stuffed into crates of brown sugar.

Panama is still investigating exactly what the covert cargo is, where it came from, and whether it contravened strict United Nations sanctions on what arms can be shipped into North Korea (hint: very few). But the dramatic bust should show would-be smugglers, according to Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, that "You cannot go around shipping undeclared weapons of war through the Panama Canal."

God save the Chairman. Chinese punk rock is a lot like Chinese street food (bear with us here) — rough, honest, and not the most healthy. The cacophony came out of the country's most famous modern protests: during the 1989 Tiananmen democracy revolt, Cui Jian, the godfather of Chinese punk, taught a generation how to revel in rebellion; and revel they did, throughout the 1990s and across the Middle Kingdom.

Now, with consumerism on the rise, some young Chinese — without a hint of irony — look to punk to help them navigate a turbulent sea of change. Here's GlobalPost's soundtrack to anarchy in the People's Republic.  


Repeat after us: "Nganimpa-ng gen wi-m si-m worm mai aus-ria." To which we'll reply: Really, you saw worms at your house too? Or at least we would if we spoke Warlpiri rampaku, one of the world's newest languages. Invented by children in the remote Australian village of Lajamanu, it's based on a mixture of local dialect and English — but radically different from either.

Some 300 villagers are native speakers, all of them under 35. So chatty are the young generation, in fact, that researchers say the new regional language could eventually overtake the old. Well, at least it's not txt spk (LOL).