Google Executive Missing in Egypt – And Other Quick Hits January 31

Posted on January 31, 2011


It seems impossible that Google could not be able to track anyone anywhere but in all seriousness, one of its CEOs is missing:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Google executive Wael Ghonim is missing in Egypt amid widespread protests. A friend said Monday that Ghonim hasn’t made contact with anyone since Friday morning.

Habib Haddad, a tech entrepreneur who has known Ghonim for four years, said concern was “growing bigger and bigger by the day.”

Ghonim, Google’s head of marketing for Middle East and North Africa, had traveled to Cairo for a conference, Haddad said. But on January 25, protests broke out in the streets over the rule of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Haddad claimed Ghonim wasn’t particularly inclined politically. But Ghonim had been tweeting about the increasingly dire situation in Egypt.

His last tweet on Thursday: “Pray for #Egypt. Very worried as it seems that government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people. We are all ready to die #Jan25” [CNN]

We all have Lawrence of Arabia on our minds whenever we think of a near or middle-eastern country.  One of the film’s stars was Egyptian, Omar Sharif:

Omar Sharif says Egypt’s future is a concern

The Associated PressCAIRO — Omar Sharif, Egypt’s most famous actor, says he’s concerned for the future of his country.

Egyptian actor Omar Sharif gestures, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday Jan. 31, 2011. A coalition of opposition groups called for a million people to take to Cairo’s streets Tuesday to demand the removal of President Hosni Mubarak. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Egyptian film star Omar Sharif points to Tahrir, or Liberation, Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday Jan. 31, 2011. A coalition of opposition groups called for a million people to take to Cairo’s streets Tuesday to demand the removal of President Hosni Mubarak. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where protests have been centered, is visible from his high-rise apartment and helicopters buzz overhead.

“They want the president to step down. This is the first thing. After that, they do not know what they want,” he told The Associated Press on Monday. “I personally don’t know what they will do afterwards. Who will they bring, who will take his place, who will be in charge of the country?”

The protesters blame President Hosni Mubarak for widespread poverty, inflation and official indifference and brutality during his 30 years in power.

Sharif is best known for his roles in “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia.” [AccessAtlanta.com]

Intel agency warns of Iran nuclear disaster

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
01/31/2011 19:41
VIENNA — A foreign intelligence report says that the control systems of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant have been penetrated by a computer worm unleashed last year — and is warning of a possible Chernobyl-like disaster once the site becomes fully operational.

Russia’s envoy to NATO also has raised the specter of the 1986 reactor explosion in Ukraine, but suggested last week the danger had passed.

The report, drawn up by a nation closely monitoring Iran’s nuclear program and obtained by The Associated Press, says such conclusions were premature and based on the “casual assessment” of Russian and Iran scientists at Bushehr.

With control systems disabled by the virus, the reactor would have the force of a “small nuclear bomb,” it says. [JerusalemPost]

And Johnny Depp fans always want to know “where is the world is Johnny Depp.”  Well, last week he bought a little pad in Venice for a few mil.

Johnny Depp paid $13.4 million on a house in Venice after falling in love with the city during filming “The Tourist” with Angelina Jolie last year.

Depp plays American tourist Frank, who meets a mysterious beauty (Jolie) who drags him into a dangerous world of intrigue and espionage while traveling through Europe in director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s paranoid thriller.

According to local newspaper “La Nuova Venezia,” the actor outbid an Arab prince for the empty building, which is situated in the Santa Croce area of Venice and is one of the only available homes overlooking the famous Grand Canal.

Posted in: Uncategorized