Egypt's new president-elect, Islamist Mohammed Morsi has been quoted by Fars News Agency in Iran as saying: he wants to "reconsider" the peace deal with Israel and build ties with Iran to "create a strategic balance" in the Middle East. Morsi , who just moved into the office once occupied by ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, won by a close vote against opponent Ahmed Shafik in a runoff that polarized Egypt. Most Christians preferred Shafiq and half of them ended up boycotting the runoff. Morsi was quoted as saying: "We will not allow Ahmed Shafiq or anyone else to impede our second Islamic conquest of Egypt," and that Christians need to convert or immigrate. Still Christians remain hopeful, because in a recent effort to rally support, Morsi vowed to appoint diverse deputies, including a woman and a Christian. But Morsi now faces a power struggle with the ruling military who dismantled the Islamist dominated parliament and is drafting the constitution.
The Eurozone's fourth biggest economy has become the latest member to ask for financial aid. Spain follows Greece, Portugal and Ireland by going cap in hand to the EU. The nation many regard as "too big to bail" is asking for up to 78 billion dollars to prop up its private banking sector. Spain is currently grappling with high borrowing costs and an unemployment rate of 25 percent.
The American Supreme court has struck down 3 out of 4 provisions of the Arizona Immigration Law. The provisions made it a crime for immigrants to look for work without work permits; and to not carry immigration papers. The one key provision upheld requires police officers to check the immigration status of those they suspect may be illegally in the country. However mandatory checks during routine stops is subject to challenge. Another decision faced by the courts is the part of Obama's health care reform law that requires almost all Americans to buy health insurance by 2014, or face financial penalties. The court could deem the law to be unconstitutional. Some say this is one of the most important appeals the court has considered in years. more >>
Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, two of the world's best male swimmers, will compete today for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Swimming trials for the Olympic team began Monday morning in Omaha, Nebraska. The preliminaries began at 11 am and will play at 6:30 pm tonight on NBC before the final rounds begin.
Both Phelps and Lochte were seeded for the 400 Individual Medley, an event that requires the swimmers to swim each of the four strokes. Phelps completed the event first today, taking first place in his heat with the time of 4:14.72. While the time is low enough for the gold medalist to earn a spot on the Olympic team (he is currently in first), it is nowhere near where Phelps was when he broke the record for the 400 I.M. in the 2008 Beijing Olympics with the time of 4:03.84. more >>
Although the international community has maintained cautious optimism that 2012 would be the first year every participating country in the Olympic Games would be sending female athletes to compete, the oil-rich Middle Eastern monarchy of Saudi Arabia has yet to confirm if it would be sending any female participants to London this summer.
According to a recent article by Human Rights Watch, the International Olympic Committee has been pressing Saudi Arabia to include women in the global sporting competition, and back in March signs of progress seemed to be made. However, the country has still yet to confirm if women will be participating in the games and recent comments by the country's Olympic Committee president indicate that the likelihood of females participating in the games is slim.
Saudi's Crown Prince Nayef bin Abd al-Aziz reportedly said in March that he approved of women competing so long as they "meet the standards of women's decency and don't contradict Islamic laws," according to the U.K.-based pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat. more >>