Chatter: Another Egyptian massacre?




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They knew it was coming. Egypt's interim leaders have been warning for weeks that if the deposed president's supporters didn't abandon their protest camps on either side of Cairo, they'd be forcibly removed. They stayed put; the security forces held off. Until today.

This morning at dawn, troops went into the two sit-ins that have been maintained more or less constantly since Mohamed Morsi was ousted six weeks ago, and they went in hard. Those reporters who've been able to approach the scene say the death toll is at least in double figures; the Muslim Brotherhood says it's more like triple. "This is not an attempt to disperse a sit-in," claimed one Brotherhood spokesman, "this is an attempt to wipe all opposition to a coup." 

Whatever it is, and however bad it turns out to be, follow the latest developments here


They're out. The 26 Palestinian prisoners Israel agreed to release before resuming peace talks later today are free. Most were convicted of killing or attempting to kill Israelis; none have seen the outside of a prison in 20 years or more. 

The inmates were driven from an Israeli jail to the West Bank and Gaza this morning, where crowds of Palestinians cheered them home. The reaction from Israel, as you might expect, was less enthusiastic. But while many Israelis deplore the release of men they see as terrorists, some want the prisoners to go free — even despite losing members of their own family to the battle they and other Palestinians are fighting. In Israel, GlobalPost hears from the lone voices that support releasing prisoners as one step toward preventing more deaths.

Congratulations, euro zone: you're no longer in recession. The single-currency bloc officially returned to growth in the second quarter, with figures published this morning showing that its 17 members had managed a collective 0.3 percent increase in GDP. 

It's not much, but it's a start — and a darned sight better than the 18 months beforehand, which the euro zone spent languishing in the longest recession it's ever seen. Not everyone contributed equally to this little victory, however: Germany and France are doing most of the heavy lifting, while Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and others continue to struggle.

Submarine down. One of the Indian navy's submarines sank in its home port of Mumbai this morning, after an unexplained explosion caused a massive fire. Eighteen crew members were still onboard the INS Sindhurakshak at the time; some, if not all, are feared dead.

The navy has opened an inquiry to determine what caused the blast. India's defense minister called it "a great loss to us, the greatest tragedy of recent times" — all the more so since it comes less than a week since India proudly unveiled a new nuclear submarine that was supposed to represent a "giant stride" in its capabilities.


Behold the meme. There's a happy ending, of sorts, to the unfortunate tale of a lost artwork: Cecilia Gimenez, the Spanish pensioner behind that restoration (some would say ruination, but she's old, so come on) of the church of Santuario de Misericondia's much-admired painting of Jesus.

A year after her daubings came to light, the church has attracted tens of thousands of visitors and racked up the equivalent of more than $66,000 in entry fees. Reproductions of her "Monkey Jesus" have even found their way onto merchandise from T-shirts to cigarette lighters. Hey, if you can't have a masterpiece, at least have a meme.