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Chatter: Egypt marks 2 years of revolution

It's the second anniversary of Egypt's uprising, there are worrying developments in Mali, and North Korea is mad at just about everyone.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

Happy revolution, Egypt. A lot can happen in two years. And a lot can not happen. Today Egypt marks the second anniversary of the uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak but, many say, has yet to give Egyptians the "bread, freedom and social justice" they demanded.

A mass rally is planned in – where else – Tahrir Square, where President Mohamed Morsi's opponents will call for Egypt's revolution to be completed. Clashes began last night in Cairo and other cities, and you can bet they'll continue throughout the day.

Mali's rebels are still rebelling. While government forces, with help from France, insist they're gaining ever more ground, the latest reports say Islamist insurgents have blown up a strategic bridge near the northeast border with Niger.

But it's not just the rebels who are the threat, according to multiple human rights groups who claim to have evidence of atrocities committed by the Malian troops themselves.

Who helped train those troops, by the by? Oh right, the US. Today, the head of American forces in Africa, General Carter Ham, has admitted that the program didn't pay adequate attention to "values, ethics and a military ethos." Huh.

WANT TO KNOW

North Korea isn't just mad at the US. In case there was any doubt, it's severely not pleased with South Korea, too. The day after threatening to test new nuclear capabilities "aimed at the US," North Korean officials have pledged to unleash all-out war against their neighbors if they implement the latest UN sanctions.

"Sanctions mean a war," the regime claims, and will be met by "strong physical counter-measures." Somehow we don't see even long-time ally China supporting that.

Don't try and get anywhere in Athens today. The Greek capital is in the grip of its biggest strike in months, as thousands of public transport workers protest upcoming wage cuts.

Subway employees have been on the picket lines for nine days already, but were  joined today by bus, trolley, train and tram operators. Things are so bad that the government has invoked emergency laws to force drivers to return to work, or face arrest. It ain't pretty.

Cuba's all wired up, but it's not connected. The island's ALBA-1 undersea internet cable was finally activated this month (we think). A great leap forward, into the 21st century? Not so much, says GlobalPost's Nick Miroff in Havana, who compares the new link to "the technological equivalent of a horse-drawn Toyota Prius."

Here's why the long-awaited cable won't have Cubans online anytime soon.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

Crocs on the loose! And we're not talking about practical-yet-hideous footwear. This week some 15,000 crocodiles escaped into South Africa's waterways after flooding at a reptile farm. And only half of them have been caught.

If you were thinking of taking a dip in the Limpopo, well, don't. "There used to be only a few crocodiles" in the river, said one farm hand, with what we might call cold-blooded (groan) understatement. "Now there are a lot."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-egypt-marks-2-years-revolution