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Protesters take part in a protest demanding that Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi resign at Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Ride home surreal. Jet skiers on Nile, echoes of horns everywhere and a very happy driver, VERY confident army will save things. #Egyptby erin_snider via twitter 7/1/2013 5:45:39 PM
Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi take part in a protest demanding that Mursi resign at Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Mursi meets Egypt army chief after ultimatum
Islamist President Mohamed Mursi met the head of Egypt's armed forces along with the prime minister on Monday, according to a statement on the president's official Facebook page.
The page was updated after General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a virtual ultimatum to Mursi to reach a power-sharing agreement with his political rivals within 48 hours.
The Facebook page showed a photograph of Mursi with Sisi and Prime Minister Hisham Kandil, sitting in easy chairs and smiling. It was not clear when it was taken.
(Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Paul Taylor)
Egyptian military helicopters trailing national flags circled over Tahrir Square during a protest demanding that Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi resign in Cairo, July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Egypt's Nour Party fears army return to politics
CAIRO, July 1 (Reuters) - Egypt's second biggest Islamist party said on Monday it feared the army's return to public life "in a big way" after the military gave politicians 48 hours to resolve the country's political crisis.
The Nour Party believed Egypt's national security was threatened by the division between the ruling Islamists and their opponents, Khaled Alam Eddin told the website of the Al-Ahram newspaper. "But we have fears about a return of the army once again in the picture in a big way," he said.
(Writing by Tom Perry/Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)
U.S. President Barack Obama prods the government of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi to work with the opposition and do more to enact democratic reforms.
Reuters columnist John Lloyd shares his experience in Egypt over the past few days:
The two or three thousand of us who had emerged from metros in the early afternoon heat swelled to many tens of thousands in the evening. Marchers came from every direction, packing into the wide boulevard before the palace complex. In all of Egypt's cities, the same scenes were repeated.
A looter gestures as part of an air-conditioning unit is thrown down from the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters after it was burned down by protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi in Cairo's Moqattam district, July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Pentagon says it won't speculate on Egypt's next 48 hours
The U.S. Defense Department on Monday declined to speculate on what might happen in Egypt during the next 48 hours, saying it was still reviewing the statement by the Egyptian army giving the nation's feuding politicians a deadline to agree on an inclusive roadmap for the country's future.
Smoke rises over the sky in Cairo on July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
World Wrap: June 28
Egypt’s opposition plans massive rallies, South African protesters target Obama, and Syria peace talk date slips again. Today is Friday, June 28 – a good day to #FF @ReutersWorld – and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.Egyptians hold up signs as they dive during a protest against Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, underwater in Colored Canyon in Sharm el-Sheikh, about 289 miles southeast of the capital Cairo, June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
Out with the not-so-old. Protesters in Egypt plan to gather en masse today and over the weekend, with huge demonstrations expected on Sunday. The opposition will call for President Mohamed Mursi to step down and hold early elections, while his backers are planning their own show of support. Egyptian clerics have warned of ‘civil war’ ahead of rallies:
“Vigilance is required to ensure we do not slide into civil war,” the Al-Azhar institute said. In a statement broadly supportive of Islamist head of state Mohamed Mursi, it blamed “criminal gangs” who besieged mosques for street violence which the Brotherhood said has killed five supporters in a week… There was no immediate sign of trouble as Islamists gathered round a Cairo mosque after weekly prayers to show support for Mursi. His opponents hope millions will turn out on Sunday to demand new elections, a year to the day since he was sworn in as Egypt’s first freely elected leader.
Opponents were unimpressed by Mursi’s hours-long, televised public address on Wednesday. Egypt’s opposition complains of economic stagnation, poor standards of living and accuses the ruling Muslim Brotherhood of imposing Islamic rule, while the Brotherhood paints some of its opponents as Mubarak loyalists. The Brotherhood blamed anti-Mursi activists for shooting one of its members dead overnight at a party office. The military, which helped realize Mubarak’s ouster last year, is prepared to step in if the protests turn violent.REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko President Barack Obama in Pretoria, June 28, 2013.S.Protesters carry placards as they protest against the visit of U.
Bad timing for Obama trip. Anti-Obama protesters rally ahead of his arrival in South Africa today, stationed a few blocks away from the hospital where Nelson Mandela remains in critical condition:
Nearly 1,000 trade unionists, Muslim activists and South African Communist Party members marched through the capital to the U.S. Embassy where they burned a U.S. flag in protest, calling Obama’s foreign policy “arrogant and oppressive”… South African critics of Obama have focused in particular on his support for U.S. drone strikes overseas, which they say have killed hundreds of innocent civilians, and his failure to fulfill a pledge to close the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba housing terrorism suspects.
White House officials said they will defer to Mandela’s family on whether to visit or not. On his first extended trip to the continent, Obama faces critics disappointed by his lack of interest in the region and a South African nation distracted by the failing health of a beloved leader.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque President Barack Obama (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 Summit at Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013.S.U.
Don’t hold your breath for Syria conference. The already-fragile Syrian peace talks introduced by the U.S. and Moscow last month are becoming even less likely:
Washington and Moscow have been trying since May to organize an international peace conference to bring an end to the violence. But hopes that such a conference will take place anytime soon – if at all – are fading quickly… The point of the conference was to revive a plan adopted last year in Geneva. At that time, Washington and Moscow agreed on the need for a transitional Syrian government, but left open the question of whether Assad could participate in the process.
Assad’s forces captured a border town close to Lebanon this week as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition monitoring group, reported the death toll in the two-year conflict has risen to over 100,000.
Nota Bene: Iran signaled no change of course on its nuclear program, despite this month’s election of the relatively moderate candidate Hassan Rohani as president.
Ancient treasure - Archaeologists find an untouched royal tomb that predates the Inca. (The Los Angeles Times)
Living big in Kabul - A small Afghan elite lives the high life in glittering apartment complexes. (The Guardian)
Giving the Taliban the slip - A French aid worker describes his escape after being abducted. (BBC)
Gay proxy wars - Christian and LGBT groups bring the battle for gay rights to the Caribbean. (The Atlantic)
Dear South Africa - Richard Poplak’s scathing response to the foreign media’s coverage of Mandela’s health. (The Daily Maverick)
From the File:
- Hacker fights for Islam worldwide from remote Mauritania.
- Bombs planted in police officer’s car kill at least 10 in western Iraq.
- Serbia gets the green light to start EU membership talks.
- Kurdish party calls for summer of protests to pressure Turkish government.
- U.S. cuts off trade benefits for Bangladesh in response to safety conditions.
India starts mass cremation of monsoon flooding victimsA member of the rescue operation team of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), or Armed Border Force, walks toward the officers training center damaged by floods at their campus in Srinagar in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Himalayan tsunami. Government officials reported that India has started the mass cremation of bodies recovered in the northern Himalayan region after nearly two weeks of flooding triggered by heavy and early monsoon rains. At least 822 people have been killed by the floods, 96,000 evacuated and around 350 are still missing:
The disaster has been dubbed a “Himalayan tsunami” by the media due to the torrents of water unleashed in the hilly region, which sent mud and boulders crashing down, burying homes, sweeping away buildings, roads and bridges. Eighteen bodies were cremated on Wednesday in the temple town of Kedarnath – one of the worst affected areas – and at least 40 would be cremated on Thursday, said a government doctor in Guptkashi, some 25 miles from Kedarnath.
Uttarakhand state, the area affected, is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims thanks to its temples and shrines. Aid groups on Wednesday said they fear that rotting corpses are contaminating water sources, potentially causing serious outbreaks of cholera, dysentery and diarrhea. One expert told CNN the floods are an example of “ecocide,” explaining that ad hoc and reckless development has exacerbated the effect of monsoon rains. The flooding is the worst India has seen since 2008, when around 500 people were killed. Footage from Reuters on Tuesday shows survivors running toward rescue helicopters. See more images of the flooding here.REUTERS/Jason Reed President Barack Obama is greeted by Chief Justice Oumar Sakho upon his arrival at the Supreme Court in Dakar, June 27, 2013.S.U.
Obama begins long-awaited Africa tour. President Obama arrived in Senegal on Thursday, starting a much-anticipated trip to the continent with a visit to an infamous slave port:
In his first – and, many Africans say, long-overdue – extended tour of the continent, President Barack Obama will focus on political and economic issues, but is also paying homage to a painful chapter in American history. On the first leg of his eight-day visit he is taking his family to the House of Slaves, a fort built in the late 18th century on Goree Island, off the coast of Senegal, as a transit point for the human traffic and now a museum.
As president, Obama only visited Africa once during his first term, and many Africans were disappointed by the one-day stopover in Ghana. Unlike his predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Obama has not focused extensively on developing ties with the region. Obama said he won’t cancel his visit to South Africa if former president Nelson Mandela succumbs to a lung infection that has placed him in critical condition.A protester uses her mobile device as she walks at Gezi Park on Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 6, 2013. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
Erdogan fail whale. While mainstream Turkish press offered little substantive coverage of recent protests, Twitter served as an essential medium for anti-government protesters to air grievances and communicate. Now Turkey wants a Twitter office, which could give the state tighter control over the microblogging platform.
While Ankara had no problems with Facebook, which had been working with Turkish authorities for a while and had representatives inside Turkey, Yildirim said it had not seen a “positive approach” from Twitter after Turkey issued the “necessary warnings” to the site. “Twitter will probably comply, too. Otherwise this is a situation that cannot be sustained,” he said, without elaborating, but he stressed the aim was not to limit social media. An official at the ministry, who asked not to be named, said the government had asked Twitter to reveal the identities of users who posted messages deemed insulting to the government or prime minister, or that flouted people’s personal rights.
Turkey successfully convinced Google to set up an office last October after blocking YouTube, and is now angling for more access to social media sites. Twitter has not responded to the request yet.
Nota Bene: Egypt faces showdown in the streets after Mursi speech disappoints anti-government protesters.
After the abdication - Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Shibley Telhami discusses what’s next for Qatar after a surprise power transfer. (Reuters)
Chocolate cartel - Canada accuses prominent chocolatiers of price-fixing. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Language lawsuit - A Japanese viewer sues a broadcasting network for causing him “mental distress” by excessively using English words. (BBC)
Fuel for the fire - Long gas lines bolster anti-government frustration in Egypt. (The New York Times)
Origins of war - How things fell apart in the DRC. (The Atlantic)
From the File:
World Wrap: June 26, 2013
Mursi’s political survival is on the line, World Cup spending stokes Brazil protests, and Australia gets a new prime minister. Today is Wednesday, June 26, the 50th anniversary of JFK’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” address. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.
Anti-Mursi protesters sit outside their tents during a sit-in demonstration in front of the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, June 25, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Mursi’s last stand? Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi will address the public in a televised speech on Wednesday, ahead of protests expected to draw millions and intended to remove Mursi from office:
Mursi has given no hint of the contents of what aides called an “important speech,” to start around 9:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. EDT) at a Cairo stadium before an invited crowd. Some speculate he may reshuffle his cabinet to try to defuse the anger against him. Some observers fear Egypt may be about to erupt again, through a combination of political polarization since the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak and an economic slump that means Mursi’s government is fast running out of cash.
The army is ready to step in to prevent violence if necessary, and Egyptians are stocking up on food and fuel in anticipation of unrest. Two years after ousting Mubarak and one year since Mursi became president, liberal Egyptians believe the Muslim Brotherhood has governed so poorly that ousting Mursi and holding new elections would work in their favor. Pro-Mursi Islamists, who say state institutions are out to get Mursi, plan to show support in a rally in Cairo on Friday.
A general view of the Mineirao stadium during its inauguration in Belo Horizonte, December 21, 2012. REUTERS/Washington Alves
The cost of Copas. Brazilian protesters are expected to gather in droves during a soccer match in Belo Horizonte today. The demonstrations are the latest manifestations of popular discontent with public spending on projects for the World Cup:
Brazil has been hit by a wave of nationwide protests as it hosts the eight-team Confederations Cup, a dry-run for next year’s World Cup which will be staged in 12 different cities. Although the protesters have a multitude of grievances, one of their main complaints has been the contrast between shiny new stadiums and shambolic state of public services including health, education and transport. They are also angry that Brazil has broken a promise not to spend public money on stadiums, while failing to build many of the planned infrastructure projects.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called for a referendum to calm protesters on Monday, a move legal scholars say would be unconstitutional.
Australia’s newly elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (L) gestures next to Anthony Albanese as he talks to the media after winning a Labor Party vote at Parliament House in Canberra, June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Taylor
Australia’s new prime minister a familiar face. The Australian Labor Party voted Julia Gillard out of the job today, returning the title to Kevin Rudd in hopes that he will be able to unite a divided party:
Kevin Rudd returned as Australian prime minister on Wednesday, executing a stunning party room coup on Julia Gillard almost three years to the day after being ousted by his former deputy and less than three months out from a general election. The reinstatement of Rudd was a last-ditch effort to shore up support by the governing Labor Party, which opinion polls show faces catastrophic defeat at a poll scheduled for Sept 14.
Gillard promised to step down if she lost the parliamentary vote in light of her weak popular support. Gillard took power from Rudd in June 2010, and barely held on to the position in August 2010 elections.
Nota Bene: Rotting corpses contaminating water sources after massive flooding spark fear of an epidemic in India.
A fragile peace - Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown discusses the dangerous implications of Taliban school attacks. (Reuters)
Biscuit-bingo kingpins - British expats in Portugal were fined for hosting bingo games where winners receive biscuits and drinks. (BBC)
Guilt trip - For some, Obama’s trip to Africa is already a let-down. (Foreign Policy)
No safe space - A woman in New Delhi discusses the dangers of being female in India. (The Los Angeles Times)
Arctic adventure - Hunters stranded on an Arctic ice floe return safely to shore. (CBC)
From the File:
- Chinese astronauts return to Earth after “perfect” space mission.
- Putin definitely won’t hand over Snowden.
- Qatar to get new premier and foreign minister.
- Syria death toll tops 100,000 as rebels lose border town.
- Obama sets out on eight-day trip to Africa.
“Penguen [Magazine constitutes] a bastion of social and political
satire in Turkish media, using impressive wit to critique that which mainstream
media most often does not -- or, more accurately, cannot” – Foreign Policy
Penguin Magazine cover, posted on Twitter by Penguin Magazine on June 18, 2013. The tweet garnered almost 4,000 retweets. (link: pic.twitter.com/N24ZwX8oT4)
The Penguin Protester: Penguins, the flightless birds who take a natural standing posture in everyday life could not have found a better climate for social relevancy than in Taksim Square.
It was only fitting for the Turkish cartoon magazine called Penguen to publish a critical magazine cover this week with a look at the recent “Standing Man” (Duran Adam) phenomenon.
The clever way Penguen mixed memes with real life turned into a delightful magazine cover consisting of a penguin standing next to a standing protester in Istanbul.
A preview of the magazine cover was posted by Penguen cartoonist, Selçuk Erdem on Twitter. The tweet garnered almost 11,000 retweets on Twitter.
The penguin meme first began in early June as a sarcastic response to the lack of local media coverage, specifically by CNN Turk's “airing of a nature documentary featuring penguins while CNN International provided live footage of the brutal means used to disperse demonstrators sparked outrage that, within hours, transformed efforts to preserve a park from destruction into a countrywide protest against police violence and media silence.”
Radio Free Europe also reported on the various creative uses of penguins as a symbol of protest.
(reporting, editing by Margarita Noriega)
"Young Turks are practical, not ideological. They want the right to live freely without struggling. We do not want regime change or a revolution. Just let us live freely." -- Ayse Ridvan, 23, Ankara
A mannequin is placed during a protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul on June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
"Maybe the media and people will learn something from this silent standing, this resistance... Maybe they will feel some empathy. I am just an ordinary citizen of this country. We want our voices to be heard." -- Erdem Gundez, the standing man
Duran Adam: the "standing man" inspires silent protests in Turkey
Performance artist Erdem Gunduz is the new symbol of anti-government protests in Turkey after his eight-hour vigil in Taksim Square on Monday earned him the nickname "the silent man."
Gunduz stands quietly in the large, open square, but Gunduz sought to play down his importance in demonstrations that have shaken Turkey's image of stability. Gunduz said he was protesting in solidarity with demonstrators who were evicted at the weekend from Gezi Park adjoining Taksim, an intervention by police that triggered some of the most violent clashes to date.
People stand facing Ataturk Cultural Center during a protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul on June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
"We want the world and Erdogan to understand that many Turks are unhappy with his imposed limitations on society" -- Ahmet, 19, in Ankara
Young Turks seek greater liberty, not revolution
Ask the younger protesters who have taken to Turkey's streets over the past two weeks what they are fighting for, and the response is simple: "More freedom".
It is an aspiration they might just achieve.
Turkey's worst political unrest in decades has galvanized a wide range of opponents of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party, from anti-capitalist Muslims and gay rights activists to doctors and lawyers, all tired of what they see as his oppressively authoritarian rule.
This is a generation who have grown up in a fast-growing economy, a new middle class with satellite TV, smartphones and social media connections with friends around the world.
Ironically it is Erdogan who has driven that change, overseeing a near-tripling in nominal wealth over his decade in power.
But for the young protesters in Ankara, Istanbul and other cities around Turkey, he has created a generation whose aspirations he no longer understands.
Duran Adam protests spread across Turkey: Overnight, there were copycat demonstrations of Duran Adam in places where people suffered violent deaths both in the latest unrest and further in the past. Three men stood at the place were Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was shot dead in 2007 north of Taksim Square.
A group of women and men also stood facing a former hotel in the central city of Sivas, where 37 people, mostly from the Alevi minority, died in a 1993 fire started during an Islamist protest against the presence at a meeting there of a translator of Salman Rushie's "The Satanic Verses".
In the province of Hatay on the Syrian border, a man stood with his hands in his pockets beside a makeshift shrine for Abdullah Comert, who was killed during clashes there between police and protesters. Others gathered at the place where a man died during the protests in the capital Ankara and there were similar protests in Izmir.
BEIJING/WASHINGTON China lodged a diplomatic protest on Saturday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, but blamed the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own for the "petty" move. | Video