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News Wrap: Islamist Groups Call for Truce to End Violence in Egypt

August 26, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
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KWAME HOLMAN: The leaders of two former militant groups in Egypt are offering a truce to end the violence. The Islamist organizations called today for supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi to halt their street protests if the military government — military-backed government ends its crackdown.

Meanwhile, former President Hosni Mubarak appeared in court Sunday for the first time since being released from prison last week. He’s being retried for the deaths of protesters during the 2011 uprising that drove him from power. A separate trial also opened for three Muslim Brotherhood leaders accused of inciting violence.

The United Nations said today it expects all member states to respect the privacy of diplomatic communications. That came after the German magazine Der Spiegel reported the U.S. National Security Agency hacked into internal communications at U.N. headquarters in New York. The magazine cited documents obtained from NSA leaker Edward Snowden. They claimed the NSA also bugged the European Union’s offices in Washington.

In China, disgraced political figure Bo Xilai now awaits the verdict in his corruption trial. In closing arguments today, Bo denounced the two main witnesses against him. He charged his wife is deranged and his former police chief is dishonest. Prosecutors argued Bo made millions of dollars illegally and interfered in a murder investigation. He was a rising star in the ruling Communist Party before the scandal broke.

The school year is just getting started in most of the U.S., and already the weather has intervened. Severe heat in the Midwest today forced schools in at least six states to end classes early. Readings reached nearly 100 degrees in much of the region, including Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Illinois. Many of the affected schools have sections that are not air-conditioned.

On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 64 points to close at 14,946. The Nasdaq fell a fraction of a point to close at 3,657.

Those are some of the day’s major stories