Military acquiesces to Morsi’s power bid
CAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s military signaled its acquiescence Monday to the president’s surprise decision to retire the defense minister and chief of staff and retake powers that the nation’s top generals grabbed from his office.
President Mohammed Morsi’s shake-up of the military on Sunday took the nation by surprise. It transformed his image overnight from a weak leader to a savvy politician who carefully timed his move against the military brass who stripped him of significant powers days before he took office on June 30.
A posting on a Facebook page known to be close to the country’s military said the changes amounted to the “natural” handing over of leadership to a younger generation.
Ministry blasts U.S. over Iran sanctions
MOSCOW (AP) – Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday harshly criticized new U.S. sanctions on Iran, calling them “undisguised blackmail” and warning that relations between Washington and Moscow would suffer if Russian companies were affected.
On Friday, President Obama signed into law new sanctions on Iran’s energy, shipping and financial industries as part of an effort to pressure Tehran over its suspected nuclear weapons program. The new sanctions would hit foreign companies that mine uranium with Iran or help it export oil by providing tankers, insurance or banking services.
Pope’s butler to stand trial over alleged leaks
ROME (Bloomberg News) – Pope Benedict XVI’s butler Paolo Gabriele will stand trial on charges of “aggravated theft” over the alleged leaking of confidential papal documents to the media, the Vatican said.
Claudio Sciarpelletti, a computer analyst in the Secretariat of State’s office, also will be charged with aiding and abetting Gabriele, according to a statement posted on the Vatican’s website Monday.
Both Gabriele, 45, and Sciarpelletti will be tried by a Vatican court.