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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Obama Postpones Vote on Military Action in Syria

In a speech yesterday, US President Obama asked Congressional leaders to postpone a vote authorizing military action, a vote many political analysts predicted would not pass. Obama is contemplating a Russian-led diplomatic effort, which will cede control of the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons to international monitors. Syria has accepted Russia’s proposed plan. Obama, however, stated “it is too early to tell” if the initiative will remove the threat of Syria’s chemical weapons “without the use of force.” Obama also did not state how long he would be willing to wait and he requested patience from those who associate American “might” with immediate action. Yet, he also summoned support from the left, asking them to understand that “resolutions and statements of condemnation are not enough.”

Explosion in Benghazi Marks Anniversary of US Consulate Bombing

A powerful explosion struck the Foreign Ministry building in Libya today, on the one-year anniversary of an armed attack on the US embassy in Libya that killed four Americans. In recent months, Libyan security forces, members of the former Libyan regime, American diplomats, and western interests have come under attack in Benghazi. This most recent explosion also comes on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US.

In Midst of Political Unrest, Cairo Opera House Begins New Season

The Cairo Symphony Orchestra opens its 2013-2014 season on Saturday, September 14th. In his second season as principal maestro and artistic director, Jiří Petrdlík will open with the work of Liszt, Tchaikovsky, and Mohamed Saad Basha. The works of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt and Pyotr Tchaikovsky are renowned, and have been performed around the world for more than a century and a half. The work of Egyptian-born composer and conducter Mohamed Saad Basha is less well known, and the orchestra plans to perform his work Masr Al-Gadida (New Egypt).

Car Bomb Kills Three in Egypt’s Sinai

More than ten people were wounded and at least three were killed in a car bomb explosion at a military intelligence facility in Rafah in the Sinai region. After the attack, armed assailants fired “rocket-propelled grenades.” The attack comes days after an Al-Qaeda inspired group set off a car bomb targeting the Interior Minister. The group vowed further attacks to avenge the killing of hundreds of Morsi supporters during the crackdown on protestor sit-ins last month. The military has moved troops to the Sinai region and has deployed tanks, armored vehicles and helicopters.

Hope Remains for World Cup Decider Game in Cairo

In sports news, the Pharoahs hope they will get to play the deciding World Cup match in front of 80,000 fans in Cairo. However, security concerns in Egypt forced the team to play its most recent game against Guinea at the Red Sea resort town of El-Gouna. Egypt won the match, which was played behind closed doors, 4-2. Egypt has not played at Cairo Stadium since they beat Niger in an African Cup World Qualifier game in October 2011.

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