Thousands are packing Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest what's being called a ruling military council coup. Egypt's Election Commission says it may announce results of the runoff election Saturday or Sunday, with both candidates at this point claiming victory. An Open Doors worker in Egypt has provided a moment-by-moment account of the tense post-election days this week, and the dilemma for Christians in the standoff between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Afghan security forces ended a 12-hour siege by the Taliban at a luxury hotel outside Kabul that resulted in the deaths of at least 15 hotel guests.
The UN says 1.5 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance, as fighting intensifies and is driving more and more residents from their homes.
By mutual agreement, Israel is repatriating more than 1,500 South Sudanese to their homeland. With South Sudan becoming a country in 2010 (the Islamic government of Sudan in the north has no diplomatic relations with Israel), the Israeli government has pledged to assist South Sudan with development projects in exchange for returning the Southern refugees. South Sudan also is home to a remnant minority of Messianic Jews.
The ruling military junta in Burma, also known as Myanmar, continues to wage war against predominantly Christian enclaves in Kachin State, according to this eyewitness report. "Here there is no ceasefire," reports a team from the Free Burma Rangers.
The commentary zone is abuzz over the withdrawal of Brett McGurk's nomination to become the next U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Today David Frum joins Fred Kaplan and others in highlighting the disservice to America after the Obama administration pulled McGurk's nomination with revelations about his adulterous affair with a State Department employee in Iraq (both now are married to one another). I wonder about the disservice. McGurk has never held an ambassadorial post but was selected to head the largest U.S. Embassy in the world. He has by many accounts had a distinguished stint of public service, clerking for Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist and serving in the Bush National Security Council. And he is credited with leading negotiations with Iraq over two status of forces agreements. But by many accounts, the final round of negotiations ended in a debacle that precipitated an early and total troop exit from Iraq not envisioned in previous agreements.
I'm speaking this weekend at The Gospel Coalition National Women's Conference in Orlando, Fla. If any readers are here, please look me up.