Rivals’ ‘inner’ wish ... Mursi in outer space

Updated 24 February 2013
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Rivals’ ‘inner’ wish ... Mursi in outer space

Opponents of President Muhammad Mursi are voting to send him where no Egyptian leader has gone before: Outer space.
Mursi yesterday was leading the field in Egypt in an online contest sponsored by Axe to send a lucky few on a shuttle operated by space tourism company Space Expedition Corp.
Egypt’s opposition movement April 6 entered Mursi into the competition. “With God’s help, and under His care, Mursi will soon be launched to the moon,” the group said on its Facebook page, along with a picture of the president in a spacesuit.
The presidency has not responded to the campaign on behalf of the former engineer. But his opponents have enthusiastically embraced the possibility. “I just voted for Mursi to go to space. Proudest moment in voting history,” one of them wrote on Twitter.
Trailing far behind Mursi’s almost 22,000 votes, Egyptian mountain climber Omar Samra said he selected Mursi even though he himself dreamed of going into space.
“That awkward moment when you’re confused between fulfilling your dream to go to space and sending your president into orbit,” he wrote on Twitter.
Twenty-two winners from around the world will be trained for the trip at a camp in Florida, US, before they board the shuttle to take them 103 km above the Earth.


Iran arrests culture ministry official over public dance

Updated 30 min 55 sec ago
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Iran arrests culture ministry official over public dance

  • Iran arrested a senior official after a video posted online showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad
  • The video shared on social networks showed young boys and girls dancing in a shopping mall, where a singer was performing for a huge crowd

TEHRAN: Iran on Thursday arrested a senior official after a video posted online showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, the judiciary said.
“The head of the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance in Mashhad was arrested for undermining public decency and disrespecting the laws,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency said quoting a deputy prosecutor.
Islamic law in Iran prohibits public dancing.
The video shared on social networks showed young boys and girls dancing in a shopping mall, where a singer was performing for a huge crowd. The event took place on Tuesday.
Mohsen Afshar, a spokesman for the shopping center, told the ISNA news agency that a monthly draw is organized and a car given away to the lucky winner to attract customers.
According to Afshar the singer had the necessary “official permits to perform.”
The performance can attract 10,000-12,000 people, he said, including “some individuals whose behavior is contrary to the norms of the Islamic republic.”
But Heydari told Tasnim news agency that the mall was not authorized to organize such events.
Mashhad is a holy and conservative city where in 2016 concerts were banned by the Friday prayer leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Allamolhoda, who also told music-lovers to “Go somewhere else.”
Thursday’s arrest comes days after Tehran’s reformist mayor, Mohammad Ali Najafi, resigned after claims he was threatened with arrest.
Najafi had attracted criticism from hard-liners last month after attending in March a show at City Hall for Iranian Women’s Day in which schoolgirls performed a traditional dance.