Shorter Question Everything
• Military seizes power from Morsi in Egypt, suspends Constitution: The Egyptian military seized power Wednesday from President Mohammed Morsi following demonstrations and days of unrest over the leadership of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. The military had earlier prevented Morsi from traveling and his whereabouts were unknown. The effective coup was announced on state television by General Abdul Fatah Saeed Hussein Khalil Al-Sisi who told Egyptians that the Constitution would be suspended as he led the country through a transition period he described as a “road map” toward future leadership.
• Morsi’s location a mystery as military orders mass arrests of 200 officials in crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian prosecutors ordered the arrest of the Brotherhood’s leader, Mohammed Badie, and his powerful deputy Khairat el-Shater for the killing of eight protesters in clashes outside the group’s Cairo headquarters this week, according to the official news agency reported. Morsi, who a year ago became Egypt’s first freely elected president, has been under house arrest at an undisclosed location since the generals pushed him out Wednesday in what his supporters have decried as a military coup. At least a dozen of his advisers and aides are also under house arrest.
• Egyptian judge sworn in as interim president: Adli Mansour was sworn in as Egypt’s interim president Thursday morning, according to state media, after the Egyptian army on Wednesday toppled President Mohammed Morsi and suspended the country’s constitution. Mansour, who was appointed chief justice of the country’s Supreme Constitutional Court three days ago, said in a speech following the swearing-in ceremony that he is looking forward to elections, adding that “the great Egyptian people are the one who gives orders.”
• Egypt – Morsi’s gone: “Egyptian army secures state TV studios”. Update: “Supporters of Egyptian president say military coup is underway”. Update: The Egyptian military has moved into key sites in Cairo”. Update: “Egypt state news agency says transitional period to be followed by presidential, parliamentary elections.” Update: “Travel ban imposed on Egypt’s President Morsi, Brotherhood members”. Update: Morsi’s gone. “Egyptian military leaders have assured the Obama administration that they are not interested in long-term rule following their toppling of President Mohammed Morsi”. Yes! “Amazing Human Shield Forms Around Women Protesters In Tahrir Square”. Photos.
• President Barack Obama urged Egypt‘s military Wednesday to hand back control to a democratic, civilian government without delay, but stopped short of calling the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi a coup. In a carefully worded statement, Obama said he was “deeply concerned”, was ordering the U.S. government to assess what the military’s actions meant for U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. “I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters,” Obama said. The U.S. wasn’t taking sides in the conflict, committing itself only to democracy and respect for the rule of law, Obama said. Egyptian military leaders have assured the Obama administration that they were not interested in long-term rule following their toppling of Morsi. They appointed a government of civilian technocrats to temporarily run the country.
• What trouble is McCain stirring up now? U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit Thursday, a coalition spokeswoman said. The spokeswoman said McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, is expected to meet with U.S. troops, CNN reported. His visit comes as the United States prepares to reduce its presence in Afghanistan.
• McCain Slams Efforts To Curb Rampant Campus Sexual Harassment As Violating Free Speech. McCain’s letter, sent to Holder last Wednesday, accuses Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez and Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers of having “single-handedly redefined the meaning of sexual harassment at all universities and colleges across the country.” Endorsing claims made by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which has led the attack on the DOJ and OCR, McCain suggests that guidelines set out by the DOJ and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) with one university in the wake of increasing student protest and complaint over the epidemic of rape culture across college campuses would somehow restrict free speech.
• North Carolina Taliban Party: In a bit of irony, Republicans in North Carolina sneak a massive anti-abortion attack into an anti-Sharia [seriously?] bill and in doing so, exhibit exactly the type of behaviour the Taliban would approve of.
• Every sperm is sacred: During a discussion Wednesday morning about Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) and the state’s highly contested push to shut down nearly every abortion clinic within its borders, “MSNBC Live” host Thomas Roberts exclaimed that “Republican men” are far too worried about “the sanctity of sperm over a woman’s right to choose.”
• Selective Fundamentalism in North Carolina: Something tells me the North Carolina legislators who suddenly (in order, it seems, to prevent the kind of protests their brethren in Texas are encountering) popped a let’s-shut-down-the-abortion clinics bill onto unrelated legislation would not see the irony in their choice of a Shariah Law bill as the vehicle. Yes, having resolved to protect the Tar Heel State from the entirely imaginary threat of Islamic theocracy, the solons figured they’d show the world what home-grown theocracy looked like. These are the people who can’t stop talking about “liberty,” acting on the very eve of Independence Day. Even if their sense of irony is dead, a little shame or just plain sheepishness would be appropriate.
In other news
• A Turkish court has canceled an Istanbul building project backed by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan which provided the trigger for nationwide anti-government demonstrations last month, a copy of the court decision showed. Authorities may well appeal against cancellation of plans for a replica Ottoman-era barracks on Istanbul’s Taksim Square. But the ruling marked a victory for a coalition of political forces and a blow for Erdogan, who stood fast against protests and riots he said were stoked by terrorists and looters.
• President Obama’s Obamacare Shocker Has Left John Boehner Punching At Air. Republicans are not only shocked after President Obama took the air out of their balloon, but has left John Boehner swinging blindly at the air with his big 2014 issue gone. After the White House announced that they were delaying the employer mandate until 2015, Speaker Boehner could only say, “The president’s health care law is already raising costs and costing jobs. This announcement means even the Obama administration knows the ‘train wreck’ will only get worse. I hope the administration recognizes the need to release American families from the mandates of this law as well. This is a clear acknowledgment that the law is unworkable, and it underscores the need to repeal the law and replace it with effective, patient-centered reforms.” What is this replacement plan that Boehner was speaking of? None of the previous nearly 40 attempts to repeal Obamacare contained a replacement plan.
• Obama’s new Guantanamo envoy begins work, tours detention center. The State Department’s new special envoy for the closure of the prison camp at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba began work this week with a one-day trip to the notorious site and said Wednesday that closing it was a national priority. Clifford Sloan, a former publisher of Slate magazine and a Washington attorney who’s worked in all three branches of government, told McClatchy that he spent Tuesday touring the camp – learning about operations from its military commanders and talking with medical officials, presumably about the hunger strike that’s now spread to 106 of the 166 prisoners.
• Yeesh: Conservative rocker Ted Nugent says he’s considering running in 2016 and already has a campaign pitch: “Hi, I’m Ted Nugent. I have nine children from seven women, and I’m running for president.” [I don't know what is more worrisome: that he'd consider a run or that 7 women bore him children]