Low turnout for first anniversary of Mubarak’s ouster

Activists across Egypt held strikes and demonstrations Saturday to mark the first anniversary of President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, but the turnout was modest, Voice of America said. The day of civil disobedience was called to demand that the ruling military council hand over power to civilian authority.  But the strikes seemed to cause little disruption and only a few protesters gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Also Saturday, Egyptian police arrested an Australian journalist and at least one other person in the city of Mahalla on accusations of trying to pay people to encourage them to participate in the protests.

President calls parties for talks on EU pact, Parliament
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President Traian Basescu yesterday sent parliamentary party leaders an invitation to Cotroceni Palace for consultations today, according to a press release from the presidential office.The party leaders are invited for talks on the following topics: prospects of Romania ratifying the Treaty for stability, coordination and governance in the Economic and Monetary Union and “dialogue between political parties and the functioning of the Romanian Parliament,” the release added.
Opposition Social Liberal Union representatives are invited to the talks at 12 p.m., while ruling coalition Democrat Liberals, Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, National Union for Romania Progress and national minorities are called at 1 p.m., according to the communiqué. The president was scheduled to have talks with parliamentary parties about these topics last Monday, but those talks were cancelled after Emil Boc announced his resignation from the PM office. Party leaders met with Basescu later in the day to discuss who the next PM should be.

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