More than 50 killed during Egypt protest as political process hits roadblocks

July 8, 2013

Egypt demonstrations take a fatal turn, pilot of doomed Asiana plane was in training, and details emerge on a train derailment in Quebec. Today is Monday, July 8. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi react at Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, in the suburb of Cairo, July 8, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh. Click here for more images from Egypt’s clashes.

Egypt protests turn violent. At least 51 Egyptians were killed on Monday after days of pro- and anti-government protests that followed the ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi on last Wednesday, which government supporters call a coup. Islamist demonstrators at the Cairo barracks said the army opened fire on them during morning prayers, but the military said it was responding to a “terrorist group” that attempted to attack the Republican Guard compound. Egypt’s political process remains at a stalemate after a number of false starts over the weekend:

Talks on forming a new government were already in trouble before Monday’s shooting, after the Nour Party rejected two liberal-minded candidates for prime minister proposed by interim head of state Adli Mansour. Nour, Egypt’s second biggest Islamist party, which is vital to give the new authorities a veneer of Islamist backing, said it had withdrawn from the negotiations in protest at what it called the “massacre at the Republican Guard (compound).” “The party decided the complete withdrawal from political participation in what is known as the road map,” it said. The military can ill afford a lengthy political vacuum at a time of violent upheaval and economic stagnation.

Egypt’s main left-wing political leader called for the swift formation of a government, and the interim leadership said it was making progress despite Monday’s violence. U.S. lawmakers urged a cautious approach towards Egypt, expressing reluctance to pull funding from the economically weak state in spite of a U.S. law that demands aid be suspended to countries that depose a democratically elected leader.

A U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) photo shows the wreckage of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 that crashed at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Calif. in this handout released on July 7, 2013. REUTERS/NTSB/Handout

Inexperienced pilot crashed Asiana flight. The pilot who crash-landed an Asiana flight at San Francisco International Airlines on Sunday, leading to the death of two teenage Chinese girls, was in training, according to the South Korean airline:

Lee Kang-kuk was the second most junior pilot of four on board the Asiana Airlines plane. He had 43 hours of experience flying the long-range jet, the airline said on Monday. The plane’s crew tried to abort the descent less than two seconds before it hit a seawall on the landing approach to the airport, bounced along the tarmac and burst into flames. It was Lee’s first attempt to land a 777 at San Francisco airport, although he had flown there 29 times previously on other types of aircraft, said South Korean Transport Ministry official Choi Seung-youn. Earlier, the ministry said Lee, who is in his mid-40s, had almost 10,000 flying hours.

At least 180 were injured in the crash, some critically. The deceased were on their way to summer camp in the U.S., and reports indicate that one may have been run over by an emergency rescue vehicle. One passenger described the plane skipping along the runway after hitting the ground. Another passenger told CNN that “the back end just hits and flies up into the air and everybody’s head goes up to the ceiling. And then it just kind of drifts for a little bit, probably a good 300 yards, and then it tips over.” This was the third fatal crash for Asiana.

A firefighter walks past a burning train wagon at Lac Megantic, Quebec, July 6, 2013. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

Fire doused minutes before Canadian train exploded. The crew of a Canadian fuel train had extinguished a fire just minutes before it exploded in a small Quebec town, killing five:

A driverless, runaway fuel train that exploded in a deadly ball of flames in the center of a small Quebec town started rumbling down an empty track just minutes after a fire crew had extinguished a blaze in one of its parked locomotives, an eyewitness said on Monday. The train rolled 8 miles from the town of Nantes to the town of Lac-Megantic, near the Maine border in eastern Quebec, gathering speed on a downhill grade. It derailed in the middle of Lac-Megantic early on Saturday and blew up, flattening dozens of buildings.

Forty people are still missing, and none of the dead have been identified yet. The crash calls attention to a recent boom in shipping crude oil by rail, a practice revived by increased shale oil production, and could affect future regulation of the industry.

Nota Bene: The European Union granted a multi-billion lifeline to Greece.


Euro zone funk – Reuters editor Hugo Dixon proposes a way for the euro zone to muddle through its financial crisis. (Reuters)

Retail exercise – Qatari officials encourage citizens to battle obesity by taking long walks in climate-controlled malls. (The New York Times)

Cross-continent boom – Chinese homebuyers are interested in the U.S. market. (CNN Money)

Treed by tigers – Five Indonesian men are brought to safety after spending days trapped in a tree, surrounded by Sumatran tigers. (BBC)

Dummy Darcy – A 12-foot-tall sculpture of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy is installed in a London lake. (The Associated Press)

From the File:

  • The Syrian opposition’s new head expects rebel forces to receive advanced weapons soon.
  • Turkey reopens the public park at the heart of anti-government protests.
  • China gives suspended death sentence to ex-rail minister over corruption.
  • Pope Francis commemorates migrants killed en route from North Africa at Lampedusa.
  • Mexico opposition leads in Baja California election.

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