Thursday, August 1, 2013

CAIRO—At least 120 people were killed and 748 injured in early morning fighting between police and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, the Ministry of Health said, as Egypt's political divisions edged toward prolonged conflict.  Saturday morning's violence was the deadliest single episode in the more than two years since Egypt's first revolution. The killings mark a dangerous escalation in a conflict that has already badly damaged Egypt's emerging democracy and ruptured a society that had once prided itself on its cohesiveness. The violence seemed to further polarize both sides of Egypt's ideological divide, and many appeared to be digging in for a prolonged showdown between supporters of Egypt's ousted president and security forces.  "We are protesting and we will not give up," said Mourad Mohammed Ali, a former spokesman for Mr. Morsi's office and a leader in the Brotherhood. "We will continue fighting to get our freedom."  The violence came hours after dueling protests brought Egyptian streets to a standstill as millions of Mr. Morsi's opponents staged a show of force following a call by army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, who had asked Egyptians to protest Friday to give him a "mandate to confront terrorism"—a request widely thought to refer to Mr. Morsi's mostly Islamist backers.


Anonymous said...

The EU unemployment rate fell to 10.9% in June, down from 11% in May, Eurostat figures released Wednesday showed. The eurozone joblessness rate remained the same in June as in May at 12.1%. A commission spokesperson called the rate "horrendously high" and urged member states to implement agreed reforms.

Anonymous said...

European Jewish groups were set to meet for urgently-convened talks in Brussels Wednesday following the controversial failure of a government-sponsored bill designed to protect Jewish religious slaughter (Shechita) rights in Poland. Last week, the Polish lower house voted by 222 to 178 to defeat the proposed legislation which sought to safeguard the ritual practice for Europe’s largest pre-WWII Jewish community.

Attending the discussions aiming to examine how to protect the endangered practice for the rest of European Jewry will be representatives from the European Jewish Congress (EJC), the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) and senior members of Poland’s remaining Jewish community, including its President Piotr Kadlcil. The country’s chief rabbi Michael Shudrich will participate in talks via video link.

“The issue of shechitah is now at the forefront of our responsibilities as representatives of European Jewish communities,” said EJC Secretary General Serge Cwajgenbaum, on the timing of the hastily-convened talks. “We will galvanise and utilise all legal means to fight this ban in Poland because the future of shechitah in Europe will have an immediate and direct bearing on the future of a thriving and unmolested Jewish community in Europe and by extension a tolerant and broad-minded Europe,” he added.

Contending the decision, which equally has implications for Poland’s larger Muslim population, “constitutes a complete disregard for Polish history” in light of its once-vibrant Jewish heritage, Kadlcik insisted that threats to the “basic right to religious expression are an issue not only for Polish Jews but for all Europe’s Jewish and minority religious communities”.

Representatives attending Wednesday’s meeting will conduct a joint press conference Thursday in Brussels to relate a number of political and legal responses collectively