FROM Nancy Youssef
Obama Condemns Egypt Violence as Death Toll Climbs The United States has cancelled a bi-annual joint military exercise with Egypt in light of yesterday's deadly crackdown by Egypt's interim government on protesters and the new State of Emergency. More than 500 people were killed and 3000 injured. But the US has still not threatened to freeze $1.3 billion in American aid. In recent weeks, the US has been demonized by both Egypt's interim government and supporters of ousted President Morsi. Today, taking time off from his vacation on Martha's Vineyard, President Obama denounced yesterday's violent attack , saying, "We don't take sides with any particular party or political figure." We hear from the President and from the streets of Cairo. Is violence becoming a fact of daily life?
Egypt Descends into a Deeper Political Crisis After the worst street violence in 60 years, Egypt's newly elected President is surrounded by tanks, troops and barbed wire. Key allies have resigned, but Mohammed Morsi says outsiders are organizing the opposition--a favorite claim of the ousted Hosni Mubarak. President Obama has talked with Morsi by phone, but is the US less concerned about Egypt’s internal troubles than their impact on Israel? We update the growing protest, the role of the Army and the prospects for a peaceful resolution. President Mohammed Morsi's first televised address to the nation of Egypt has increased protest that’s already shown the capacity to generate violence. Opponents accuse him of adopting the same tactics as his deposed predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. Is the first elected president turning the country into an Islamic dictatorship? How legitimate is the secular opposition?
US Pulls Back on the Use of Air Strikes in Afghanistan The US has used airstrikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan, but the cost may be higher than any benefit received in combat. General Stanley McChrystal said last week that "air power contains the seeds of our own destruction if we do not use it responsibly," adding, "we can lose this fight." So he's placed new restrictions on the kind of airstrikes that have killed many civilians. Nancy Youssef, chief Pentagon correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers , has been reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Commander in Afghanistan Calls for More Troops Quickly The head of NATO forces in Afghanistan told reporters today at the Pentagon he needs more troops and other assistance " as quickly as possibl e." Violence is up by 30 percent compared to last year, and General David McKiernan says things could get worse before they get better. Nancy Youssef was Baghdad Bureau Chief for the McClatchy newspapers. She's now Chief Pentagon Correspondent.
Marking Progress, Bush Shortens Troop Tours in Iraq Announcing that increased stability in Iraq will likely allow the withdrawal of more American forces, President Bush today reduced the length of assignments there for Marines and soldiers—immediately. Nancy Youssef, former Baghdad Bureau Chief and now Chief Pentagon Correspondent for McClatchy News Service, was in Baghdad yesterday.
More Kidnappings, Iraqis Leave the Country in Large Numbers Baghdad today experienced what may be the largest mass kidnapping since the US invasion as 150 people were abducted from four floors of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Women were separated and locked in a room. The men were taken away in SUV's. Meantime, the United Nations, which has been helping Iraqi refugees to return home in the wake of the US invasion, reports that nearly 100,000 people are now leaving the country every month . The UN is concerned about the humanitarian crisis caused by so many refugees. Who are these refugees and where are they going? What does that mean for Iraq's long-term stability?
US and Iraq Agree to Plan on Security Timeline Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said today that Iraq is on the "verge of chaos." Commanding General George Casey said Iraqi leaders have agreed to develop a timeline by the end of the year for progress in stabilizing the country. Nancy Yousef is Baghdad Bureau Chief for the McClatchy newspapers.
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