They're Still Counting Bodies in Egypt

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 15 2013 4:59 PM

Slatest PM: They're Still Counting Bodies in Egypt

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Relatives of the four policemen, killed during clashes with Muslim Brotherhood supporters earlier in the week, mourn during their funeral in Cairo on August 15, 2013

Photo by Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Still Counting Bodies: Reuters: "Supporters of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood stormed and torched a government building in Cairo on Thursday, while families tried to identify hundreds of mutilated bodies piled in a Cairo mosque a day after they were shot dead by the security forces. Egypt's health ministry says 578 people were killed and thousands wounded in the worst day of civil violence in the modern history of the most populous Arab state. Brotherhood supporters say the death toll is far higher, with hundreds of bodies as yet uncounted by the authorities, whose troops and police crushed protests seeking the return of deposed President Mohamed Mursi."

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Live Ammo: CBS News: "Egyptian authorities on Thursday authorized police to use deadly force to protect themselves and key state institutions from attacks, after presumed supporters of the deposed Islamist president torched two local government buildings ...The Interior Ministry, which is in charge of national security, said in a statement that the new measures come after an angry crowd stormed the buildings in Giza, the city next to Cairo that is home to the Pyramids."

A Scorched-Earth Assault: New York Times: "The scorched-earth assault by security forces on Wednesday, which razed two protest camps in Cairo set up by backers of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, was far more ferocious and extensive than the gradual pressure promised by the interim government that replaced him. It was the easily the most violent of the three deadly suppressions that have roiled Egypt since Mr. Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, was forcibly removed from power by the armed forces six weeks ago, plunging the country into its worst crisis since the ouster of Mr. Morsi’s authoritarian predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, in the 2011 revolution."

Obama's Response: Washington Post: "President Obama on Thursday canceled a joint military exercise with Egypt while leaving more than a billion dollars in annual aid in place, in a measured response to the government’s violent repression of opposition demonstrations. Interrupting his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., Obama said American 'national security interests in this pivotal part of the world and our belief that our engagement can support a transition' back to democracy have prompted him to maintain $1.3 billion in annual military to Egypt’s interim government. ... Obama said the biennial joint training exercise, known as Bright Star, would not proceed as scheduled next month. The event was also postponed in 2011, after popular protests led to the ouster of ... Mubarak, but U.S. officials had hoped it would resume this year."

Europe's Response: Wall Street Journal: "Senior European diplomats will meet Monday to begin considering what action to take in response to the bloody crackdown on protesters by Egypt's interim authorities and the imposition of a state of emergency. A European Union spokesman said Thursday that officials from the bloc's 28 member states will meet in Brussels to discuss the situation in Egypt and to prepare a 'possible' meeting of EU foreign ministers in the coming days. The EU and its foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton have played an active role in recent months to try and calm Egypt's political crisis."

It's Thursday, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at@JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @Slatest.

Meanwhile: Associated Press: "A powerful car bomb tore through a bustling south Beirut neighborhood that is a stronghold of Hezbollah on Thursday, killing at least 14 and trapping dozens of others in an inferno of burning cars and buildings in the bloodiest attack yet on Lebanese civilians linked to Syria's civil war. The blast is the second in just over a month to hit one of the Shiite militant group's bastions of support in years, and the deadliest in decades. It raises the specter of a sharply divided Lebanon being pulled further into the conflict next door, which is being fought on increasingly sectarian lines pitting Sunnis against Shiites. ... Thursday's explosion ripped through a crowded, overwhelmingly Shiite area tightly controlled by Hezbollah, turning streets lined with vegetable markets, bakeries and shops into scenes of destruction and burning cars. ... The blast appeared to be an attempt to sow fear among the group's civilian supporters and did not target any known Hezbollah facility or personality."

The Oldest Man, Ever? Chicago Tribune: "Carmelo Flores Laura, a Bolivian cattle and sheep herder, was born in 1890 -- 123 years ago -- according to Bolivian public records. That's a year before the invention of the rotary-dial telephone and two years before the first Ferris wheel spun at the Chicago World's Fair. If the records are accurate, Flores is the oldest living person ever documented. Associated Press reporters recently visited Flores at his straw-roofed hut near Bolivia's Lake Titicaca. Although he has no teeth and is nearly deaf, Flores walks without a cane and speaks in a firm voice, the news agency reported. ... A Bolivian official presented as evidence of Flores' age a registry listing his birthdate as July 16, 1890. He said Flores' birth predates the existence of birth certificates in Bolivia by 50 years ... if his age is correct, the Bolivian has bested by one year Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 at the verified age of 122."

No Lion: ABC News: "Animal lovers at a Chinese zoo received a shocking disappointment this week when an animal advertised as an African lion was discovered to be a dog in disguise .... The fraudulent Fido–a large, long-haired Tibetan mastiff–revealed itself when it began barking at zoo customers at People’s Park of Luohe, located in the central province of Henan. A woman identified by the surname Liu, who had been teaching her son to identify animals by the sounds they make, was one of the first patrons to discover the fake."

W.'s Daughter on Hillary: NBC News: "Barbara Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, wants Hillary Clinton to enter the 2016 presidential race. The 31-year-old daughter of the former Republican president said she found Clinton “unbelievably accomplished” and would like to see her make a second run for president, even though she couldn't guarantee her vote. ... Bush, the twin sister of ... Jenna Bush, said she also supports gay marriage and is politically unaffiliated."

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