News Wrap: U.S. Joins Efforts to Mediate Egypt’s Political Conflict
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KWAME HOLMAN: Turkey’s former military chief and scores of others were convicted today of trying to overthrow the government. Retired General Ilker Basbug was among some 250 defendants in a trial that lasted five years. They allegedly plotted to oust Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Outside the court today, police fired tear gas at protesters against Erdogan’s Islamist-leaning government. And the main pro-secular opposition party condemned the verdicts.
The U.S. has joined efforts to mediate a political solution in Egypt. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met today in Cairo with a jailed senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He met with leaders of the military-backed government over the weekend. Meanwhile, supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi continued their sit-ins, defying warnings to leave.
In Zimbabwe, longtime leader Robert Mugabe has secured another five-year term as president in another disputed election. His supporters cheered and danced in the streets over the weekend as officials announced Mugabe captured 61 percent of the vote. The election was a week ago. The main challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai, called the results a massive fraud.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, Zimbabwe presidential candidate: The fraudulent and the stolen election has plunged Zimbabwe into a constitutional, political and economic crisis. The people of Zimbabwe should be allowed a fresh opportunity to freely, fairly elect the government of their choice.
In this regard, a credible, free and a fair, legitimate election must be held as soon as possible.
KWAME HOLMAN: The African Union endorsed the results, but other observers said one million people may have been barred from voting.
It was a quiet day of trading on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 46 points to close at 15,612. The NASDAQ rose three points to close at nearly 3,693.
A leading lawyer in the civil rights movement was being mourned today. Julius Chambers died Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina. He won eight cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including a 1971 decision that forced crosstown busing to desegregate public schools in Charlotte. Julius Chambers was 76 years old.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.