Israeli and Palestinian leaders begin their first formal talks in five years today. Israel released 26 long-held Palestinian prisoners but also gave approval for thousands of new Israeli homes on land contested by Palestinians.
Meanwhile, a police crackdown in Egypt to end a six-week standoff with pro-Morsi supporters is turning into one of the bloodiest days in Cairo since the beginning of the largest of the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011. The latest estimates (changing rapidly) are 95 dead and more than 700 injured, and the government has declared a state of emergency starting at 10 a.m. today (Eastern time). It’s worth taking a minute or two to watch live news footage from the BBC as Cairo, the largest city in the Arab world, comes apart. “It’s terror everywhere,” said one resident.
Among the dead are well known journalists, including Sky cameraman Michael Deane, a 62-year-old veteran, and 26-year-old Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, who worked for the Gulf publication Xpress.
Thousands of Morsi supporters set fire to at least three churches in regions outside the capital, stoking fears over rising persecution of Christians across parts of Egypt.
Nigerian author Chinelo Okparanta, whose first collection of short stories published in the United States appeared this week, talks in this interview about the influence of her Christian faith in her writing.
Another just out, timely read is Samuel Tadros' Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity. According to his excellent research, more than 100,000 Christian Copts have fled Egypt since the 2011 uprising.
China may consider alterations to its one-child policy.
Despite raising more than $160 million a year, the Clinton Foundation ran more than $8 million in deficits—as scrutiny and controversy (sound familiar?) over the former president’s expansive charity grow now that Hillary Clinton and what’s widely believed to be her 2016 presidential operation move into the building.
U2 lead singer Bono may be changing his tune: “Aid is just a stopgap,” he said at a recent conference at Georgetown University. “Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid. We need Africa to become an economic powerhouse.”
Some have asked, so here is the landing page for Globe Trot on the web. Bookmark it, and thanks for reading.