Chatter: Egypt's great state of emergency




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After the crackdown, the curfew. Egypt is waking up to a state of emergency this morning, the day after an offensive against protesters in Cairo left more than 400 people dead. Their camps are flattened, the bodies are piled high, cities across the country are in uproar, and Coptic Christian churches and properties are charred in alleged retaliation attacks by Muslim Brotherhood supporters. 

Egypt's interim leaders told their scarred country that the crackdown "had to happen." It didn't, it shouldn't have, and there must be consequences, say governments from Washington to Tehran. Turkey, for one, has called for United Nations intervention.

As the overnight curfew lifted at dawn, reports said Cairo was calm — for now. The Brotherhood has announced plans for a march from the downtown mosque turned since yesterday into a morgue. "The world is watching," the White House told Egypt. You can via our live blog


You know where else things are bad? Iraq. Multiple car bombs planted across Baghdad killed at least 33 people today, including four right next to the fortified "Green Zone" where government offices and foreign embassies are supposed to be kept safe from attack.

Sad to say, it's a case of another day, another double-figure death toll. Similar attacks have become a daily occurrence as extremist groups wage their insurgency against the increasingly unstable government. Here's what analysts said recently when GlobalPost asked them what's behind Iraq's worst violence in five years

A Wikipology. Bradley Manning, the US soldier facing up to 90 years in prison for espionage, has apologized for any damage he did his country by passing classified documents to WikiLeaks. "I'm sorry that my actions have hurt people and have hurt the United States," Manning told a sentencing hearing yesterday. "I understand I must pay the price." 

Experts have testified that the former intelligence analyst, just 22 at the time of the leaks, was suffering from severe emotional problems at the time he decided to act — in what he believed to be, he has always maintained, his country's greater interest. WikiLeaks has accused the US government of coercing him into saying now that he was wrong, in what Julian Assange called its quest for Manning's "humiliation."

The bad boys (and girls) from Brazil. Brazil might be the nation of samba, string bikinis and caipirinha cocktails, but it's also the epicenter of the world’s fastest growing sport: mixed martial arts, better known as cage fighting. Only US college wrestling rivals the South American country's hardknock favelas as production lines for world-class hand-to-hand combatants.

"Americans fight because they choose to be fighters," says one; "Brazilians fight because they have no choice." GlobalPost visits the gym where some of the world's toughest champions train to find out how Rio came to rule ultimate fighting


So you think you're old? Well, unless you can make it to a century and a quarter, you're but a whippersnapper to us. That's because we just found out about Carmelo Flores Laura, the world's newest oldest person (possibly). If records in his native Bolivia are to be believed, the the native Aymara herder is 123 — a full eight years older than the living title holder, and one year ahead of the senior-est senior ever.

The secret to Carmelo's long life? We can but speculate. All we know is that he lives by Lake Titicaca, he can't read or write, and he has no teeth. Hooray for poor dental hygiene.