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Second Egypt Quote of the Day: 'Inscribed On the Walls'

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, November 3 2011

In the few hours that sunlight enters the dark cell we read what a past cellmate has inscribed on the walls in an elegant Arabic calligraphy.

Four walls covered from floor to ceiling in Qur'anic verses and prayers and invocations and reflections. And what reads like a powerful desire to repent.

Next day we discover, in a low corner, the date of execution of our cellmate of the past. Our tears conquer us.

The guilty make plans for repentance. What can the innocent do?

— Activist and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah, in a letter written from his jail cell, written Nov. 1 and published the next day in the Guardian. Today, a military court refused his appeal against detention; he was detained over the weekend in connection with a fatal Oct. 9 clash between the army and protesters. His summoning before authorities has sparked an outcry over what activists say is the military's unwillingness to proceed with a transition to democracy in Egypt after decades of authoritarian rule under the now-toppled Hosni Mubarak.

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In China, Local Governments Play Whac-a-Mole With Taxi Apps

It seems these days that car-hailing apps exist only to give cities grief. In New York, car sharing start-ups like Lyft ignore labor, safety insurance laws and in China, the situation is no different except in one regard: taxi hailing apps in China are proliferating at a faster rate than in the U.S. In China, however, the taxi system is very much in its infancy and local Chinese governments are struggling to control the proliferation of new apps that flout the law. GO

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The Uncertain Future of India's Plan to Biometrically Identify Everyone

Since its launch in 2010, people in India have raised a number of questions and concerns about the Aadhaar card —formally known as Unique Identification (UID)— citing its effects on privacy rights, potential security flaws, and failures in functionality. GO

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