Thousands gather for rival rallies in Egypt
Pro- and anti-government protesters converge in Cairo on first anniversary of inauguration of Mohamed Morsi.
Gregg Carlstrom Last Modified: 30 Jun 2013 07:13
Egypt braced for mass protests on Sunday as pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in the capital on the first anniversary of the inauguration of country’s first democratically elected president.
Thousands of people opposed to President Mohamed Morsi have already gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square calling for him to resign, while the president’s supporters have vowed to defend his legitimacy to the end, leading to fears of confrontation.
Morsi supporters held their own rally outside a Cairo mosque on Friday, an effort to preempt Sunday’s demonstrations, and thousands of them are holding an open-ended sit-in.
The anti-Morsi protests are being organised by a grassroots campaign calling itself Tamarod, meaning “rebellion” or “insubordination”, which claims to have collected signatures from 22 million Egyptians demanding the president’s ouster.
The water is running out in Gaza: Humanitarian catastrophe looms as territory’s only aquifer fails
REUTERS SUNDAY 30 JUNE 2013
The Gaza Strip, a tiny wedge of land jammed between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean sea, is heading inexorably into a water crisis that the United Nations says could make the Palestinian enclave uninhabitable in just a few years.
With 90 to 95 per cent of the territory’s only aquifer contaminated by sewage, chemicals and seawater, neighbourhood desalination facilities and their public taps are a lifesaver for some of Gaza’s 1.6 million residents. But these small-scale projects provide water for only about 20 per cent of the population, forcing many more residents in the impoverished territory to buy bottled water at a premium. The UN estimates that more than 80 per cent of Gazans buy their drinking water. “Families are paying as much as a third of their household income for water,” said June Kunugi, a special representative of the UN children’s fund Unicef.
Attacks from America: NSA Spied on European Union Offices
America’s NSA intelligence service allegedly targeted the European Union with its spying activities. According to SPIEGEL information, the US placed bugs in the EU representation in Washington and infiltrated its computer network. Cyber attacks were also perpetrated against Brussels in New York and Washington.
By Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach, Fidelius Schmid and Holger Stark
Information obtained by SPIEGEL shows that America’s National Security Agency (NSA) not only conducted online surveillance of European citizens, but also appears to have specifically targeted buildings housing European Union institutions. The information appears in secret documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden that SPIEGEL has in part seen. A “top secret” 2010 document describes how the secret service attacked the EU’s diplomatic representation in Washington.
The document suggests that in addition to installing bugs in the building in downtown Washington, DC, the EU representation’s computer network was also infiltrated. In this way, the Americans were able to access discussions in EU rooms as well as emails and internal documents on computers.
Credible reports that Nigerian troops killed civilians: commission
Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission said Sunday it has credible reports security forces are killing, torturing, illegally detaining and raping civilians in a fight to halt an Islamic uprising in northeast Nigeria that has killed nearly 2,000 people since 2010.
Sapa-AP | 30 June, 2013 08:24
A report by the commission said troops retaliating against civilians have torched homes and tried to hide evidence of gross violations by disposing of bodies.
In the most egregious case, where troops went on a rampage in several villages after a soldier was killed in mid-April in the fishing village of Baga, it quoted police as saying soldiers “started shooting indiscriminately at anybody in sight including domestic animals. This reaction resulted to loss of lives and massive destruction of properties.”
Serbia gets green light to negotiate entry to European Union
Serbia: After decades of transformation, the former Yugoslav republic will begin negotiating to join the EU in January 2014. Once considered a pariah because of its role in the collapse of Yugoslavia, Serbia has made democratic reforms and captured fugitives wanted for war crimes.
By Adrian Croft and Justyna Pawlak, Reuters
Serbia won the green light on Friday to start negotiations by January on joining the European Union, capping a remarkable transformation in the prospects of the biggest former Yugoslav republic since the 1990s wars.
The decision, taken at an EU summit, rewards Belgrade for an April deal to improve relations with its former province of Kosovo, which broke away from Serbia in a 1998-99 guerrilla war.
EU leaders also agreed Brussels should launch negotiations with Kosovo on a so-called association agreement, which covers trade, economic and political relations and is a step on the path to eventual EU membership.
Mummies reveal ancient nicotine habit
Joseph Castro LiveScience
The hair of mummies from the town of San Pedro de Atacama in Chile reveals the people in the region had a nicotine habit spanning from at least 100 B.C. to A.D. 1450.
Additionally, nicotine consumption occurred on a society-wide basis, irrespective of social status and wealth, researchers say.
The finding refutes the popular view that the group living in this region smoked tobacco for just a short stint before moving on to snuffing hallucinogens.