Egypt Declares State Of Emergency After Bloody Revolution Leaves 278 Dead

Egypt Declares State Of Emergency After Bloody Revolution Leaves 278 DeadEgypt, including its capital Cairo, teetered on the edge early Thursday as clashes persisted following the bloodiest day since the revolution two years ago that was envisioned to bring peace and democracy to Egypt — but has not.

‘Unrest’

The violence Wednesday pitted Egypt’s military and current government against backers of deposed President Mohamed Morsy, though others also were caught in the fray. At least 278 people were killed, including 235 civilians, state TV reported, citing an Egyptian emergency official. Interim Interior Minister Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim said that an additional 43 police officers died.

The intensity and violence lingered into Thursday morning, when state TV reported Morsy backers were attacking police stations, hospitals and government buildings despite a government-mandated curfew. More Egyptian troops were being deployed at entrances to Cairo and Giza, with the unrest prompting the closure Thursday of banks and the nation’s stock market.


‘Ensure stability’

The 2011 revolution that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who’d kept a firm grip on power for 30 years, was followed by Egypt’s first democratic elections. Morsy — a leader of the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood — won the presidency in that 2012 vote, but was forced out by the military last month.

The government on Wednesday, according to state TV, issued a month-long state of emergency. This a loaded term in Egypt, given that Mubarak long ruled under such a decree that barred unauthorized assembly, restricted freedom of speech and let police jail people indefinitely. The prime minister said the government felt compelled to act to ensure stability, praising security forces for their “calm” and claiming some activists had intent to undermine the government.

What will it take to calm down the situation in Egypt? Can Egypt still achieve true democracy? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us!

Source: Greg Botelho. Josh Levs and Ian Lee | CNN

Image: ABC 30

Supreme Court Strikes Down Part Of Historic Voting Rights Law

Supreme Court Strikes Down Part Of Historic Voting Rights LawThe law passed at the height of America’s civil rights movement, when citizens in parts of the country were fighting each other and sometimes authorities over how skin color impacts a person’s place in a democracy. Now, it’s present and future are in doubt after the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision Tuesday that key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are no longer valid.

‘Unfair barriers’

Tuesday’s ruling doesn’t change the fact it’s still illegal to discriminate against a person when it comes to voting. But it does change how some governments have been singled out. Unlike the rest of the nation, these municipalities, counties and states have had to get the federal government’s approval first before they made any changes to their voting laws and regulations.

Civil rights groups say the Voting Rights Act — specifically Section 5, the mechanism for the special treatment for some locales — has been an important tool in protecting minority voters from governments with a history of setting unfair barriers to the polls.


‘Equal voting process’

The law had been working in preventing “discriminatory voting changes,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. Specifically, he mentioned how it blocked Texas from adopting a new congressional redistricting map that would have “discriminated against Latino voters.” Holder also said the Voting Rights Act changed how South Carolina will implement a law requiring photo identification before being allowed to vote.

Obama characterized Tuesday’s ruling as a “setback,” even as he vowed his “administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process.”

This particular change in the Voting Rights Act — is it a good thing or a bad thing in general? Feel free to air out your comments below!

Source: Bill Mears and Greg Botelho | CNN

Image: Al-Rasub