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News Wrap: Low Turnout at Pro-Morsi Rallies Due to Detainment of Supporters

August 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
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KWAME HOLMAN: Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi held scattered rallies in Egypt today, but turnout was low. Protesters chanted against the takeover by the military as they marched through Cairo, but they avoided areas barricaded by the authorities. Hundreds of members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested, making rallies harder to organize.

Yesterday, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison and placed under house arrest. There also were small protests against his release.

In India, a 22-year-old female photojournalist was raped by five men while on assignment in Mumbai. She was hospitalized in stable condition after last evening’s attack. Her male colleague also was beaten. A suspect has been arrested. He reportedly identified four others. Hundreds of people, including many fellow journalists, held a silent protest in Mumbai today. Some carried signs decrying violence against women in India.

GURBIR SINGH, BusinessWorld: The journalists have gathered together. We are protesting about it to basically ensure that there is safety and security for the residents, as well as the citizens and journalist professionals of this city.

KWAME HOLMAN: Earlier this year, the Indian government adopted a sweeping law to protect women from sexual violence. It was triggered by the gang rape and death of a female student in New Delhi in December.

A fast-moving wildfire in Central California raged out of control today and crossed into Yosemite National Park. The Rim fire has spread to more than 165 square miles and firefighters have it only 2 percent contained. About 4,500 residences are in the path of the expanding blaze. For now, the national park remains open, but one of its entrances has been shut.

Sales of new homes in the U.S. plunged in July as mortgage rates moved higher. The Commerce Department reported sales dropped 13.4 percent last month, the slowest pace in nine months. Stocks on Wall Street stumbled in early trading on the housing news, but recovered late in the day. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 46 points to close at 15010. The Nasdaq rose 19 points to close above 3657. For the week, the Dow lost half-a-percent; the Nasdaq rose 1.5 percent.

The CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, announced today he will retire within the next year. Ballmer took the helm at Microsoft 13 years ago, after founder Bill Gates stepped down. During Ballmer’s tenure, Microsoft’s stock price fell nearly 40 percent, and the company struggled to keep pace with competitors Apple and Google. Microsoft didn’t name a successor, but a search committee is in the works.

The National Zoo in Washington is home to a new baby panda. The giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to the cub this evening. The zoo has been on a 24-hour watch for her to go into labor since August 7. The panda had another cub last year, but it died from a liver problem a few days after it was born.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.