Need to know:
With Egypt in turmoil over President Mohamed Morsi's self-decreed new powers, the country needs a new constitution, like, yesterday.
It will shortly be one step closer to getting one: the special assembly charged with drafting the constitution has announced that it has finished its deliberations and will vote on the text today. That's months sooner than anybody expected them to be done, and paves the way for the next, crucial process: a public referendum, which could be held less than 15 days from now.
Morsi has promised that, "when we have a constitution, what I have issued will stop immediately." But, with accusations that his allies in the assembly – which is boycotted by almost everyone apart from the Muslim Brotherhood and pals – are forcing through a draft that won't satisfy the majority of Egyptians. And certainly not the ones protesting right now, for the seventh day, in Tahrir Square.
Want to know:
The United Nations votes today on whether Palestine is an "entity" or a "state."
Palestinian representatives are seeking to become one of the UN's "full non-member observer states," an upgrade in status that's short of full membership but, they say, symbolically important. Around a dozen countries, half of them European, have promised to back the bid; a handful will abstain, while Israel and the US will inevitably vote against.
The numbers say the Palestinians will make it – a possibility that Israel has already begun facing. From threatening to cancel the Oslo peace accords to touting the overthrow of Mahmoud Abbas, the Israeli government has now changed tack and is downplaying the Palestinians' bid as a "bit of political theater."
Theater or symbol, as GlobalPost's Noga Tarnopolsky reports from Jerusalem, both Israelis and Palestinians can agree that it will take a lot more than a UN vote to make a Palestinian state a reality.
Dull but important:
After eight months of hearings, plenty of unsavory revelations and lord knows how many column inches, Britain's inquiry into press ethics will finally present its findings.
The 2,000-page report is due out within the hour. In it, inquiry chairman Lord Justice Leveson is expected to criticize a whole lot of journalists, editors, publishers, police and politicians – and, most importantly, to advise how they should be made to do better.
Most likely, Leveson will say there should be new laws that state what the media can and cannot do, overseen by an independent body (the press currently regulates itself – or doesn't – via a panel of industry reps most commonly described as "toothless"). But lawmakers from all parties have already made clear their opposition to any such move, which they say will restrain free speech.
Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy, Liberal Democrat coalition partner Nick Clegg, are due to give separate statements shortly. Make of that what you will.
Two people have won a record US lottery haul – and they don't even know it.
Powerball lottery officials say two tickets matched all six numbers in last night's draw to claim the $579.9-million jackpot; but claim it the ticket-holders have not. They stand to take home $293.75 million each, after a 16-week roll-over that created the second-biggest prize ever in US history.
The lucky beggars are said to have bought their tickets in Arizona and Missouri. We hope they've held on to them. Kinda.
Strange but true:
Hey, what do you think it would look like if Yoko Ono designed some men's clothes based on her love for John Lennon? Thanks to US fashion line Opening Ceremony, that question will finally – finally! – be answered.
And oh boy, is the answer weird. Of course. Just listen to Yoko describe her never-before-realized designs:
"I was inspired to create 'Fashions for Men,' amazed at how my man was looking so great. I felt it was a pity if we could not make clothes emphasizing his very sexy bod. So, I made this whole series with love for his hot bod and gave it to him as a wedding present. You can imagine how he went wild and fell in love with me even more."
So naturally, the collection includes a jock strap, toeless knee-high boots, a bandeau bra, some artfully placed handprints and pants with a mesh cut-out over a, erm, special area. Go on fellas, get it. Wherever he is, John'll love you for it.