Newscast for Wednesday, July 3, 2013
- Year: 2013
- Length: 29:08 minutes (26.67 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
In Egypt, crowds erupted in celebration in Tahrir square after military leaders announced a “road map” to transition the country from the leadership of President Mohamed Morsi. Fireworks exploded, green laser lights bounced off building walls, and Morsi opponents danced and waved flags. This evening, local time, after much speculation, the military announced it dissolved the constitution and said the Chief Justice was temporarily taking over presidential authority. Massive protests took place throughout Egypt all day, by both Morsi supporters and opponents. Some violence over the last 24 hours led to an estimated 18 killed and 200 injured, according to the Health Ministry. FSRN reached journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous, correspondent for "Democracy Now!" and a fellow at the Nation Institute, earlier today in Cairo. He described the huge crowds in Tahrir Square.
Egypt’s military had imposed a 48-hour deadline that expired today for Morsi to respond to the opposition. Last night, Morsi delivered an address, reminding his opponents that he was democratically elected and warned that his forced removal could lead to more violence. Today, Morsi issued a statement which said, “The Presidency's vision includes the formation of a coalition government that would manage the upcoming Parliamentary electoral process, and the formation of an independent committee for constitutional amendments to submit to the upcoming parliament.” Members of the Muslim Brotherhood have called the military’s actions a coup. Freedom and Justice Party leader Mohamed Beltagy, heard through an interpreter on Al Jazeera.
“It is known to all that we have never been a party to any confrontation or engagement...it is nothing short of a coup against legitimacy.”
In the thick crowds that have gathered in Tahrir Square, women are also increasingly reporting harassment and sexual assault. Mobs have sexually assaulted or raped at least 91 women in Tahrir Square in the past four days, according to rights groups and monitors in Cairo. The group Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault confirmed 46 attacks just on June 30th, the day of the biggest protests. Group members say that as of yesterday, they intervened to protect more than 30 women being assaulted. Four needed medical assistance, two had to be evacuated by ambulance. In its suspension of the country’s constitution, the military also said plans would begin soon for a new presidential election.
This week, military prosecutors rested their case against Army Private Bradley Manning, who faces 22 charges in relation to leaking government and military documents to the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks. Prosecutors attempted to show that some of the material leaked by Manning had been used by Al Qaeda, a key claim in the prosecution’s harshest charge, aiding the enemy. For the latest on the court martial proceedings at Ft. Meade, Maryland, we’re joined by journalist Kevin Gozstola. He’s covering the Bradley Manning trial for firedoglake.com. He is also co-author of Truth and Consequences: The US vs. Bradley Manning.
More than 90 protests against government spying are scheduled across the country Thursday, July 4th. Participants in the Take Back the Fourth national day of action are demanding Congress protect the Fourth Amendment's privacy protections. FSRN’s Janelle Irwin has more.
The Obama Administration announced this week that it will delay the implementation of a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, until 2015. The so-called employer mandate would have imposed a $2,000-3,000 fine on companies with 50 or more workers that do not provide affordable health insurance. The law defines “affordable” as costing no more than 9.5 percent of the worker’s income and covering at least 60 percent of health care costs. In Washington, FSRN’s Alice Ollstein has the details.
A federal judge struck down a piece of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law this week, siding with the American Petroleum Institute against the Securities and Exchange Commission. The rule in question, which was ordered by Congress back in 2010, would require oil, gas and mining companies to disclose the payments they make to foreign governments. Ian Gary is an oil and mining policy expert with Oxfam America, who joined the SEC in this case. He said the intent of the rule was to increase transparency and prevent corruption in resource-rich countries.
“Good examples are places like Angola, where a small clique is controlling oil revenues while the population lives in poverty. Another example is Equatorial Guinea, where the president has been ruling with an iron hand for the last several decades. The country has a per-capita income of over 20 thousand dollars, but the large majority of people live in abject poverty.”
Since the Dodd-Frank reforms passed Congress in 2010, the SEC has been gathering public comments and researching the pros and cons of this rule and several others. The American Petroleum Institute, which represents fossil fuel giants BP, Shell, Chevron and others, sued the agency after they released the final transparency rule last fall. District Judge John Bates struck down the rule this Tuesday. He said the federal agency went beyond the intent of Congress by requiring these disclosures be accessible to the public, not just the US government. But Gary, echoing statements by the SEC and the Senators that originally wrote this rule, said the public disclosure element is crucial.
“Anybody with an Internet connection will be able to go find that information. So if you’re sitting in the Niger Delta, being able to find out how much exactly a company is paying the Nigerian government for a project where you live is hugely important. Not only for the citizens, but the regional governments as well.”
The SEC is currently reviewing the judge’s ruling, and could either rewrite the disclosure rule or appeal this ruling to a higher court.