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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nearly 300 Dead in New Wave of Egyptian Violence

In a new wave of violence in Egypt, nearly 300 are dead in the violence-ridden country. The clashes began during yesterday’s Muslim-Brotherhood-centered protests over twenty newly-appointed governors who came from the police and military. To combat the violence, Egyptian security forces killed nearly 250 of the protesters, after which the government declared a one-month state of emergency in Egypt, therefore suspending the constitutional right to due process.

With the declaration of martial law, the state of lawlessness that was under former President Hosni Mubarak has been reinstated, thus alienating Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters even further. In response, Muslim Brotherhood associates have burned down at least 20 churches and attacked civilians. “The Third Apostolic Church, its medical center and the house of the priest were set on fire by protesters,” Basem Beshay, the media officer of the local Dostour Party branch told The Daily News.

In the meantime, the U.S. government has condemned the crackdown, but has steadfastly refused to label the military takeover a coup — a designation which would end $1.5 billion in annual aid sent to Egypt. “[T]he only sustainable path for either side is one toward a political solution. I am convinced that that path is in fact still open,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Bradley Manning Seeks Mercy in Sentencing Phase

In the final day of testimony during the Bradley Manning trial’s sentencing phase, Manning asked the judge for mercy, saying, “I’m sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that they hurt the United States. At the time of the decision, as you know, I was dealing with a lot of issues, issues that are ongoing.” He was referring to, among other things, his inner conflict about his sexuality.

He told the judge that he knew precisely what he was doing, but that he didn’t know that his actions would cause harm. “I should have worked more aggressively inside the system…Unfortunately, I can’t go back and change things,” he added.

Although Manning successfully avoided the charge of aiding the enemy, he faces up to 90 years in prison for espionage, releasing classified information, disobeying orders, and releasing information knowing that it would be accessible to the enemy.

New York Times Reports on Problems at Clinton Foundation

The New York Times released an investigative report on Bill and Hillary Clinton’s foundation, reporting that, “For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.” The New York Times adds that the foundations problems highlight “just how difficult it can be to disentangle the Clintons’ charity work from Mr Clinton’s moneymaking ventures and Mrs Clinton’s political future.”

Right-wing outlets have been vocal in their criticism of the Clinton Foundation. However, this marks the most public instance of a major media outlet criticizing the outlet’s motives and organizational practices.

Government Presses Charges Against Two Former JPMorgan Employees

Federal prosecutors announced that they will be pressing charges against two JPMorgan employees with wire fraud, falsifying bank records and contributing to false regulatory records. In a statement prosecutors claimed that the employees “artificially increased” the value of their bets “in order to hide the true extent of hundreds of millions of dollars of losses.” A third employee has entered a non-prosecution deal with investigators so long as he cooperates.

Although charges have been filed, authorities are finding it difficult to arrest the two men. One of the defendants is on vacation, while the other one has left for his native France.

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