World Wrap

Egypt’s Mursi rejects 48-hour ultimatum

By Danielle Wiener-Bronner
July 2, 2013

Egyptian army gives Mursi two days or else, Reuters reporter injured in U.S. invasion returns to Baghdad, and Snowden breaks his silence. Today is Tuesday, July 2, and this is the World Wrap,  brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Military helicopters fly above Tahrir Square while protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans against him and Brotherhood members during a protest in Cairo, July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Mursi’s final countdown? Egypt’s military essentially issued President Mohamed Mursi an ultimatum on Monday, responding to days of massive anti-government protests by demanding that Mursi compromise with the liberal opposition within 48 hours or abide by a military road map for the country:

The confrontation has pushed the most populous Arab nation closer to the brink amid a deepening economic crisis two years after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, raising concern in Washington, Europe and neighboring Israel… Describing civilian rule as a great gain from the revolution of 2011, Mursi said he would not let the clock be turned back. Egypt’s first freely elected leader, he has been in office for just a year. But many Egyptians are impatient with his economic management and inability to win the trust of non-Islamists.

The army said it was prepared to begin deploying troops in cities as necessary. Clinging to office, Mursi said today that he would pursue his own path to resolving the crisis. He is meeting with armed forces chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and the prime minister today. President Obama encouraged Mursi to enact a democratic transition via political process, and the U.N. urged Egypt to engage in “serious national dialogue.” Protesters, delighted by the military’s intervention, remain camped out in Tahrir Square and plan to rally again on Tuesday evening, hoping to force Mursi to resign.

Iraqis examine damage inflicted on their house by a car bomb attack in Al-Mashtal district in Baghdad, March 19, 2013. Car bombs and a suicide blast hit Shi’ite districts of Baghdad and south of Iraq’s capital on Tuesday, killing at least 50 people on the 10th anniversary of the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen

“The last time I left Baghdad I was on a stretcher.” Reuters journalist Samia Nakhoul returns to the Iraqi capital for the first time after she was seriously injured by a U.S. tank shell in 2003, and describes the sectarian strife that has engulfed the Shi’ite-led country since:

Iraq is broken, its society splintered. Sunni and Shi’ite Iraqis have resumed the gruesome sectarian violence touched off by the invasion. The U.S. occupation, sold as a way to end Saddam’s brutal dictatorship, end the threat of weapons of mass destruction, and usher in peace and democracy, instead fuelled longstanding hatreds between the two rival branches of Islam – first in Iraq and now across the region… In retrospect, the invasion of Iraq proved a pivotal moment in the centuries-old balance of power between the two sects that emerged from a schism in Islam 1,300 years ago.

Click through for her first-hand account.

An employee distributes newspapers with a photograph of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden (R) at an underground walkway in central Moscow, July 2, 2013. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Snowden speaks at last. NSA surveillance leaker Edward Snowden, wanted in the U.S. for espionage, is running out of options as more countries reject his asylum requests:

On Monday, [Snowden] broke a nine-day silence since arriving in Moscow from Hong Kong, challenging Washington by saying he was free to publish more about its programs and that he was being illegally persecuted. That ruled out a prolonged stay in Russia, where a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said Snowden had withdrawn his request for asylum after the Russian leader said he should give up his “anti-American activity.” But while country after country denied his asylum requests on technical grounds, Venezuela, part of an alliance of leftist governments in Latin America, said it was time to stop berating a man who has “done something very important for humanity.”

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa told the Guardian that he could not consider Snowden’s asylum request, adding that he regrets giving Snowden a temporary travel pass to fly to Moscow. Snowden remains in Russia’s Sheremetyevo airport, where he will be stuck until he obtains travel documents to fly to another country or a Russian visa to leave the airport.

Nota Bene: President Obama is greeted by both admirers in Obama gear and marching critics on his long-awaited trip to Africa.

Standouts:

After-school soldier - Sudan encourages young students to take a break from school to fight rebel militias. (Al Jazeera)

Impunity fury - Protesters storm local police station in Ukraine over officer is implicated in brutal gang-rape of a young woman. (The Associated Press)

Corrupt cigarettes? - Hungary’s new tobacco laws stink. (BBC)

Red alert - A Syrian hacktivist wants to set up a SCUD missile alert system. (The Atlantic)

You say you want a revolution - Massive public protests may not be the most effective way to revolt. (Foreign Policy)

From the File:

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