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Crackdown Threatened In Egypt; Plot Detailed In Russia

Good morning.

We've posted quite a bit already about the morning-after analyses of last night's State of the Union address. And we've passed on word that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' condition has been upgraded to "good" by her doctors in Houston.

As for other stories making headlines now and that we'll be following through the day, they include:

— Protests in Egypt: "Egypt is to crack down on public protest and has vowed to arrest and prosecute anyone found taking to the streets against the government," the BBC reports. "Public gatherings, protests and marches will no longer be tolerated, the interior ministry has said. The warning came as a fourth person died after nationwide protests, which were broken up with tear gas overnight."

— Moscow bombing: Reuters says that "the group behind this week's Moscow airport bombing had planned a devastating attack on the capital on New Year's Eve but were foiled, one of Russia's most popular newspapers reported on Wednesday. A woman planned to blow herself up amid the crowds ringing in the new year near Red Square, but her plot failed when her mobile phone most likely set off the bomb by accident, killing her in her flat, reported Moskovsky Komsomolets. Monday's suicide bomb attack on Russia's biggest airport, Domodedovo, killed at least 35 people, including foreigners, and wounded 100. No one has taken responsibility for the blast, which bore the hallmarks of Islamist rebels in the North Caucasus."

— Latest 'Palestine Papers': According to The Guardian, "British intelligence helped draw up a secret plan for a wide-ranging crackdown on the Islamist movement Hamas which became a security blueprint for the Palestinian Authority, leaked documents reveal. The plan asked for the internment of leaders and activists, the closure of radio stations and the replacement of imams in mosques. The disclosure of the British plan, drawn up by the intelligence service in conjunction with Whitehall officials in 2004, and passed by a Jerusalem-based MI6 officer to the senior PA security official at the time, Jibril Rajoub, is contained in the cache of confidential documents obtained by al-Jazeera TV and shared with the Guardian. The documents also highlight the intimate level of military and security cooperation between Palestinian and Israeli forces."

— Wintry weather: It's going to be another messy day in much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, according to Weather.com. Here's what it says about what to expect around rush hour this evening: "Mix of snow, rain and sleet will transition to all snow, and will become heavy from VA to eastern PA, including Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Rain/snow or snow mixed with sleet spreads into southern New England and the NYC metro."

— Nadal is done in Australia: "Rafael Nadal's bid to win four straight Grand Slam tournaments is over," ESPN.com writes. "The injured Nadal lost his quarterfinal 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 Wednesday to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer at the Australian Open. Nadal, who appeared to have tears in his eyes during a changeover while trailing 3-0 in the third set, took a medical timeout for an apparent leg injury after three games and was clearly out of sorts, failing to chase down balls that he would ordinarily return easily."

Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face with his shirt during the final set against David Ferrer of Spain in their quarter-final men's singles match today in Melbourne. i

Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face with his shirt during the final set against David Ferrer of Spain in their quarter-final men's singles match today in Melbourne. Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face with his shirt during the final set against David Ferrer of Spain in their quarter-final men's singles match today in Melbourne.

Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face with his shirt during the final set against David Ferrer of Spain in their quarter-final men's singles match today in Melbourne.

Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images

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