Egypt rivals brace for day of mass protests

Supporters and opponents of deposed President Morsi set for rallies after week of harsh rhetoric by political leaders.

Last Modified: 26 Jul 2013 09:02

Supporters and opponents of Egypt’s deposed president are preparing for mass protests called for by the army chief, and later by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, in a struggle over the country’s future.

Egyptians are expected to join street rallies on Friday, with many heeding a call earlier in the week from General Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the head of the army, who urged them to strengthen a military “mandate” to stop “violence and terrorism”.

More are also expected to join thousands of Morsi supporters who have been rallying against his overthrow and holding demonstrations since July 3. The Muslim Brotherhood has called on its supporters to help fill the streets in solidarity.

In another development on Friday, reports said Morsi is being detained for 15 days pending investigations on allegations of spying for Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

China’s coastguard confronts Japanese ships near disputed islands

China says its ships ‘sternly declared’ sovereignty over the islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China

  • guardian.co.uk, Friday 26 July 2013 08.55 BST

China says ships from its newly formed coastguard confronted Japanese patrol vessels on Friday in waters surrounding East China Sea islands claimed by both sides.

The State Oceanic Administration that oversees the service says four of its ships “sternly declared” China’s sovereignty over the islands called Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China, and demanded they leave the area. The uninhabited archipelago is controlled by Tokyo but also claimed by Beijing.

It was not clear if any action resulted from the Chinese declaration. Such sovereignty declarations are usually made by hailing Japanese boats by radio and loudspeaker, as well as flashing shipboard signs.

Merkel aide questioned over US spying

Chancellor’s chief-of-staff insists German intelligence services operate within the law

Derek Scally

 

Chancellor Angela Merkel attended Wagner’s Flying Dutchman in Bayreuth yesterday, leaving her chief-of-staff to face the music in Berlin over grounded American Edward Snowden.

Eight weeks before election day, Ronald Pofalla has faced stiff questioning on just what he – and the chancellor – knew of US data gathering in Germany.

Der Spiegel magazine, drawing on information from whistleblower Mr Snowden, has claimed the US National Security Agency operates a mass dragnet on electronic communications in Germany, has bugged German and EU officials, and has schooled the German intelligence agencies in electronic data interception techniques.

Through it all, Dr Merkel has denied all knowledge and insists she first learned about the NSA’s Prism programme through the media.

LATIN AMERICA

Cuba: Comparing revolutionary goals with realities


Exactly 60 years ago, Fidel Castro attempted to take power in Cuba for the first time. He expressed an ambitious revolutionary platform – but how does the Cuba of today measure up to his grand plan?

Cuba’s revolution officially began on July 26, 1953, the day after the festival of Saint James. A year earlier, the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Bastista rose to power following a coup. Fidel Castro – at that time a little-known, young lawyer – had first unsuccessfully tried to displace the dictator by running against him in the 1952 elections. Voting was called off before Cuban’s had a chance to cast their ballot.

Castro garnered the support of some 130 people, and together they attempted to overtake the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba and seize weapons being stored there. He had hoped the 400 soldiers stationed there would be exhausted or absent after the previous night’s festivities. But the plan failed, and many of the revolutionaries were executed, while the remainder were forced to stand trial.

Mazar-e-Sharif Suicides: Poisonous Freedom for Afghan Women

By Nicola Abé in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

Women in Mazar-e-Sharif have straddled the worlds between Western freedoms and conservative traditions for a decade. As the Taliban gains strength and the West pulls out, Afghanistan’s most liberal city is being plagued by a rash of suicides.

Fareba Gul decided to die in a burqa. She put on the traditional gown, which she usually didn’t wear, and drove to the Blue Mosque. There, at the holiest place in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif, she swallowed malathion, an insecticide. She then ran over to the square, where hundreds of white doves were waiting to be fed by visitors. When she was surrounded by the birds, the cramps set in.

“Fareba was lying on the ground when I arrived, and people were standing all around her,” says her uncle Faiz Mohammed, whom she had called before taking the poison. “She was screaming for help.” He lifted up his niece, carried her to a taxi and took her to a hospital. Foam was pouring from her mouth, and she was slipping in and out of consciousness. One hour later, 21-year-old Fareba Gul was dead. She died on the same day, and in the same hospital, as her 16-year-old sister Nabila.

Cissé treads a new path in Mali

26 JUL 2013 00:00 ALEX DUVAL SMITH

The only woman in Mali’s presidential race is determined to connect with people on the streets.

A black Mercedes pulls up in a grimy street in Bamako and the back door swings open. A satin-shoed foot emerges beneath a crisp brocade gown and steps gingerly on to the litter-strewn asphalt.

Haidara Aissata Cissé, the only woman standing for president in Mali’s upcoming elections, is greeted by deafening chants of “Chato! Chato!”, her nickname.

Cissé is clearly popular among the market traders in Niaréla, the old business district of Bamako where sleek office buildings, hotels and embassies stand incongruously among ragtag, low-rise stalls.

What’s the frequency? For Palestinians, not 3G.

As Israelis and Palestinians get ready to restart negotiations, one area of disagreement isn’t tied to land but in the air above it.

By Staff writer

Secretary of State John Kerry has yet to reveal the details of a $4 billion economic plan to boost Palestinians and sweeten the prospect of engaging in serious negotiations with the Israeli side. But one initiative that would both delight Palestinians and boost economic growth would be allowing them to use 3G.

Even as $800 smartphones proliferate in Ramallah,Israel has yet to allow Palestinian phone companies access to the spectrum needed to offer mobile data services such as email and Facebook access. As a result, those companies are losing tens of millions of dollars annually to Israeli operators, which serve settlements in the West Bank and thus have coverage – including data – across much of the territory, enticing many Palestinians to sign up for service.