January 7, 2013 |
CAIRO - Egypt swore in 10 new ministers on Sunday in a cabinet shake-up aimed at improving the government's handling of the country's ailing economy ahead of talks this week with the International Monetary Fund over a badly needed $4.8 billion loan. The reshuffle, which President Mohammed Morsi had promised in response to public anger over Egypt's economic malaise, affected two key ministries, interior and finance. It also solidified Islamist control of the government, putting three portfolios in the hands of members of the president's Muslim Brotherhood.
December 11, 2012 |
CAIRO - The Egyptian military on Monday assumed joint responsibility with the police for security and protecting state institutions until the results of a Dec. 15 constitutional referendum are announced. The army took up the task in line with a decree issued Sunday by President Mohammed Morsi. The Islamist leader on Monday also suspended a series of tax hikes announced the previous day on alcohol, cigarettes, and other items. The presidential edict orders the military and police to jointly maintain security in the run-up to Saturday's vote on the disputed charter, which was hurriedly approved last month by a panel dominated by the president's Islamist allies despite a boycott of the committee's liberal, secular, and Christian members.
December 8, 2012 |
CAIRO - An angry Mohammed Morsi refused Thursday to call off a referendum on a disputed constitution that has sparked Egypt's worst political crisis in two years, drawing chants of "topple the regime!" from protesters who waved their shoes in contempt. The Egyptian president's uncompromising stand came a night after thousands of his supporters and opponents fought pitched battles outside his Cairo palace, leaving at least six dead and 700 injured. Morsi, in a nationally televised address, accused some in the opposition of serving remnants of Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian regime and vowed he would never tolerate anyone working to overthrow his "legitimate" government.
November 28, 2012 |
CAIRO - The same chants used against Hosni Mubarak were turned against his successor Tuesday as more than 200,000 people packed Egypt's Tahrir Square in the biggest challenge yet to Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. The flag-waving throng protesting Morsi's assertion of near-absolute powers rivaled some of the largest crowds that helped drive Mubarak from office last year. "The people want to bring down the regime!" and erhal, erhal - Arabic for "leave, leave" - rang out across the plaza, this time directed at Egypt's first freely elected president.
November 21, 2012
Key Congo city falls to rebels NAIROBI, Kenya - Rebel forces in Congo on Tuesday seized control of Goma, a strategic provincial capital in the nation's resource-rich east, despite the presence of U.N. peacekeepers in the area. The takeover sent tens of thousands fleeing and triggered fears of a regional conflict, according to officials and witnesses. "The atmosphere in the city is tense, people are worried," Grace Tang, head of mission in Goma for the aid group Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement before the takeover.
November 12, 2012 |
CAIRO - The crowd of Salafis in Tahrir Square, several thousand strong, was angry that a draft of a new Egyptian constitution wasn't based entirely on sharia law. The bearded men, many dressed in long, traditional galabiyas - with wives garbed in black, from their gloves to the veils that revealed only their eyes - were a far cry from the young liberals who filled the square in January 2011. Many of the men were members of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, a group that killed hundreds of policemen and civilians, and dozens of tourists, in the 1990s.
November 1, 2012 |
CAIRO - Egypt's capital prides itself on being a city that never sleeps, with crowds filling cafés and shops open into the wee hours. So, the government is facing a backlash from businesses and the public as it vows to impose new nationwide rules closing stores and restaurants early. Officials say the step is necessary to conserve electricity in a nation buckling under economic crisis and fuel shortages. But the decision has a strong undercurrent of social control: a desire by secular conservatives and Islamists alike to tame a population they see as too unruly, especially in a post-revolution atmosphere of strikes, protests, and relentless demands on a beleaguered government.
October 31, 2012 |
CAIRO - Egypt's president on Tuesday acknowledged the widespread problem of sexual harassment in his country, ordering his interior minister to investigate a rash of assaults during the weekend's Muslim holiday. Mohammed Morsi acted after his government reported 735 police complaints about sexual harassment over the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday, which ended Monday. In a statement, Morsi stressed the need to fight "all phenomena of moral chaos and abuses, especially harassment in Egyptian streets.
October 10, 2012 |
CAIRO - Several thousand Egyptians marched for miles through Cairo on Tuesday, marking the one-year anniversary of a military crackdown on Christian protesters that killed 26 people and demanding retribution against army leaders they hold responsible for the deaths. Muslim clerics, Christian priests, activists, and liberal former lawmakers joined the procession, filling large boulevards to memorialize the "Maspero massacre," referring to the name of the state TV building where the violence took place a year ago. The protest last year was led by hundreds of Christians angered over a string of attacks on churches and denouncing the military - which ruled the country at the time - for failing to protect them.
September 24, 2012
In the week following 9/11/12 something big happened: the collapse of the Cairo Doctrine, the centerpiece of President Obama's foreign policy. It was to reset the very course of post-9/11 America, creating, after the (allegedly) brutal depredations of the Bush years, a profound rapprochement with the Islamic world. On June 4, 2009, in Cairo, Obama promised "a new beginning" offering Muslims "mutual respect," unsubtly implying previous disrespect. Curious, as over the previous 20 years, America had six times committed its military forces on behalf of oppressed Muslims, three times for reasons of pure humanitarianism (Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo)