Chatter: Tanks on the streets of Cairo after deadly protests




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Need to know:
Tanks are on the streets of Cairo today as Egypt's protests escalate, dangerously.

At least five people are reported dead and hundreds more injured after a night of violence outside President Mohamed Morsi's palace. Morsi's supporters descended on the opposition campsite that has sprung up outside the palace complex, triggering fighting, stone-throwing and fire-bombing that even riot police were unable to stop.

Now the army has been called in to guard the streets surrounding the palace, the first time it has intervened in two weeks of crisis. Morsi's opponents say they won't withdraw until he gives up the pharaoh-esque powers he's awarded himself and send Egypt's unpopular draft constitution back to the negotiating table. The government, meanwhile, insists that the constitution will go to a referendum as is on Dec. 15.

With neither side making any nods toward compromise, GlobalPost's Erin Cunningham says in Cairo, Egypt is headed along dangerous lines that, once embarked on, may be hard to get off.

Want to know:
John McAfee
is on the lam no longer.

The US millionaire, software pioneer and murder suspect has been arrested in Guatemala, which he's accused of entering illegally. That charge shouldn't be hard to prove: McAfee bragged of his escape from Belize – where he's suspected of shooting dead a neighbor three and a half weeks ago – on his blog, describing a full-on caper that involved a body double, a fake North Korean passport and "pre-planned misbehavior."

McAfee said he planned to seek asylum in Guatemala, on the grounds that the nasty Belizean police were trying to frame him and would kill him if they got hold of him, "there is no question." His conspiracy theory will soon be put to the test: Guatemalan officials say he could be deported back to Belize as soon as today.

Dull but important:
Thailand's former prime minister is facing murder charges over the death of a Bangkok man during violent protests two years ago.

The man killed, Phan Khamkong, wasn't part of the so-called "Red Shirts" and their anti-government protests. He was a bystander, simply looking for a bus back home when soldiers shot him dead on May 15, 2010.

Today a court ruled that the then premier, Abhisit Vejjajiva, along with his deputy, should be charged with intentionally giving orders that led the death of others. They are the first people to be charged over the more than 80 deaths that took place during the protests and subsequent army crackdown, and, if found guilty – it could be a big if – will face either a lengthy jail term or the death penalty.

Just because:
More than 300 people are confirmed dead and hundreds are still missing after deadly Typhoon Bopha hit the Philippines this week.

Sound familiar? That's because tales of natural destruction are becoming all too common. (Heck, a freak tornado even hit New Zealand today. New Zealand!)

From floods to fires to famine, GlobalPost looks back at the worst disasters to hit in 2012. It ain't pretty.

Strange but true:
OMG: ubiquitous, annoying, and, it turns out, antiquated.

The first recorded use of the abbreviation has come to light and it dates – WTH – back to World War I-era England. In a 1917 letter to Winston Churchill, no less, the former head of the British Navy, Lord John Fisher, wrote:

"I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis – O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)– Shower it on the Admiralty!!!"

There you have it. OMG, period piece. Now if we could just confine its use to sentences involving knighthoods, admiralty and/or the tapis, that'd be great.