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Egypt's new Suez Crisis

The violent epicenter of protests in Egypt is an industrial city few outsiders know much about: the seaport town of Suez, which sits astride the Suez Canal as it opens southward into the Red Sea.

Suez has seen its share of blood over the years. In 1967, the coastal town was nearly wiped out during the Six Day War with Israel and thereafter was the scene of sporadic guerrilla fighting between the two sides. The canal remained closed for nearly eight years, reopening only in 1975.

In recent years, Suez has seen growing prosperity, sending billions in tax revenue from its factories and workers to the government in Cairo. But as in the rest of Egypt, that prosperity hasn't been widely shared, leading to the same sort of dashed hopes that proved so explosive in Tunisia.

This week, Suez erupted in anger as protesters took to the streets to complain about economic conditions and their lack of freedom under Hosni Mubarak's government. It got ugly fast, with several deaths and reports of demonstrators hurling Molotov cocktails in response to a harsh police crackdown. (To get a feel for the chaos, check out journalist Ian Lee's gripping tweets from earlier today.) 

Photographs of the mayhem are now coming out. Here are a few of the latest:

Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

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Did Chinese TV pass off Top Gun footage as a military drill?

As part of its ongoing expansion, has the People's Liberation Army signed up Goose and Maverick? Chinese bloggers are accusing state broadcaster CCTV of using repurposed footage from the 1986 film Top Gun for a story on a recent air force drill. "Ministry of Tofu" explains

In the newscast, the way a target was hit by the air-to-air missile fired by a J-10 fighter aircraft and exploded looks almost identical to a cinema scene from the Hollywood film Top Gun.

A net user who went by the name “??” (Liu Yi) pointed out that the jet that the J-10 “hit” is an F-5, a US fighter jet. In Top Gun, what the leading actor Tom Cruise pilots an F-14 to bring down is exactly an F-5. Looking at the screenshots juxtaposition, one cannot fail to find that even flame, smoke and the way the splinters fly look the same.

Assuming the above screen shots are genuine, the rip-off seems pretty clear. In related news, CCTV recently aired footage of the Chinese Olympic volleyball team at their secret training facility.  

(Via Josh Kucera and Josh Chin on Twitter)