Protests by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi continued across Egypt on August 16, as the Muslim Brotherhood staged a “Day of Rage.” The protests were often violent, and witnesses reported four protest-related deaths in central Cairo, four in the Mediterranean town of Damietta, and four more in the northeastern city of Ismailia.
Egyptian government security forces conducted operations on August 14 to clear two camps in Cairo occupied by supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, many of them followers of the Muslim Brotherhood. Government troops supported by armored vehicles moved into the camps, using tear gas to disperse crowds and bulldozers to level makeshift structures.
North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory signed a voter ID bill into law on August 12. The new law, which will go into effect for the 2016 elections, will require all voters to present a valid government-issued photo ID at the polls.
On August 8 the U.S. State Department warned U.S. citizens “to defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan,” stating that “The presence of several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups poses a potential danger to U.S. citizens throughout Pakistan.”
The warning added, “On August 8, 2013, the Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel from the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore, Pakistan. The Department of State ordered this drawdown due to specific threats concerning the U.S. Consulate in Lahore.”
Rajeh Badi, press advisor to Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa, announced on August 7 that government security forces have thwarted a plot by al Qaeda to seize oil and gas export facilities and a provincial capital in eastern Yemen.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced on August 4 that U.S. embassies and consulates in 19 Muslim nations will remain closed at least until the end of this week. Psaki stated that the decision to keep the diplomatic posts closed signifies an “abundance of caution” and is “not an indication of a new threat.”
After writing to FBI Director Robert Mueller expressing concerns about the FBI’s use of surveillance drones, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) received a letter from Stephan Kelly, the assistant director at the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs, in which Kelly denied that the bureau required a warrant to conduct aerial surveillance by means of drones.
In the July-August 2013 issue of the AARP Bulletin, the periodical’s editor in chief, Jim Toedtman, wrote an editorial headlined “All Together, Let’s Like Ike.” The headline was, of course, a play on the campaign slogan coined for General Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1951, when internationalists dismayed by the prospect of popular Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft (a non-interventionist in foreign policy) securing the Republican nomination in 1952 started a movement to convince Eisenhower — a lifelong Democrat — to run for president as a Republican.
A story broken by CNET on July 25 stated that the U.S. government has “demanded” that major Internet companies provide federal agencies with their customers’ passwords. The report identified the information as coming from two unidentified technology industry sources “familiar with these orders.”
Reports from Egypt indicate that attacks against Egypt’s Coptic Christians have increased since former President Mohamed Morsi was forced from power on July 3. Copts claim that they have been targeted by Islamic radicals as retribution for their opposition to Morsi, who was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood.