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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ten Killed in Suicide Bomb Attack in Sinai

In Sinai, a suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus full of soldiers, killing the driver and nine people, and injuring 31. The soldiers belonged to a unit currently fighting military insurgents in the Northern Sinai region. The battle between security forces and insurgents has intensified in the last month and has spread beyond the  North Sinai, which borders Israel and Palestine. Last week, a high-ranking security official was assassinated in Cairo, and Sinai militants have now claimed responsibility for this attack, according to a new report.

Egypt Beats Ghana 2-1, Fails to Clinch World Cup Bid

After an early goal put Egypt ahead 1-0 in the second World Cup playoff match against Ghana, there was hope that Egypt’s national team could pull off a miracle. But, in need of a five goal margin of victory in order to advance to the World Cup for the first time in decades, they only managed to hang on to a 2-1 victory. Nonetheless, the victory should bring some solace to Egypt after an embarrassing 1-6 loss in the first leg of their World Cup-qualifying match in Ghana. After weeks of concern about the safety issues surrounding the match, the only dangerous event to occur happened when someone threw fireworks on the field.

Afghanistan Demands Contrition from Obama

After months of tense negotiations between the US and Afghanistan over continued US military presence in the country, the Afghan government has a new demand: the US admission of military culpability. Afghan officials say that such a letter from Obama would allow the talks to move forward. However, this would not be enough to complete a security agreement that is being pushed by the US. According to President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman, final approval will still be subject to a council of elders. Despite reports that Obama might comply with the request, national security adviser Susan Rice denied the possibility, saying, “No such letter has been drafted or delivered.” Ms. Rice added that “there is not a need for the United States to apologize to Afghanistan.”

Iran Nuclear Talks in Trouble?

On the same day Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that Iran will not back down from its “nuclear rights,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told The Guardian that current talks are a “horrible mistake, a historic error.” Nonetheless, the third round of talks begins today in Geneva between world powers and Iran over a possible nuclear agreement. The so-called P5+1 powers want to secure a “first phase” deal in which Iran will freeze parts of its nuclear activities. Ultimately, the deal on the table would allow Iran enrichment at “medium” levels, so long as they reduce their stockpiled enriched uranium to the same level, halted work at the Arak reactor, and allowed IAEA inspections. While many are hopeful, a US official called the proposed deal “limited, temporary” and “reversible.” He added that it “will not come anywhere near helping Iran escape the hole that we’ve put them in.”

Anniversary of  Mohammed Mahmoud Clashes Leaves One Dead, 57 Injured

57 people were injured and one person was killed during protests marking the anniversary of clashes between protestors and the military two years ago. According to an ambulance worker, an unnamed 20-year-old man who was shot in the head with birdshot near Tahrir Square later died at Qasr Al-Aini Hospital. The original Mohammed Mahmoud Street clashes broke out on November 19, 2011, when the military killed at least 40 people while clearing protests against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

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