Today’s Top World News from The Washington Post

Today’s Top World News from The Washington Post


- Egypt orders arrests of Muslim Brotherhood leaders as interim president takes office-- Egyptian authorities installed an interim president and ordered the arrests of senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday, hours after the nation’s all-powerful military ousted Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected leader. The Egyptian armed forces were quick to put a civilian face on what their opponents have labeled a coup. But the swift moves against the military’s longtime nemesis, the Morsi-allied Brotherhood, suggest that the nation’s generals are in no mood to reconcile with an Islamist group that until Wednesday had effectively controlled Egypt’s highest office for a year, report William Booth, Abigail Hauslohner and Michael Birnbaum:


- In Burma, monks accused of stirring up anti-Islamic violence-- And with violence targeting minority Muslims on the rise, some senior members of Burma’s Buddhist monkhood, the revered Sangha, are counseling their peers to choose their words wisely. That’s because some of the men accused of stirring up anti-Islamic violence hail from their own ranks, presenting a jarring counterpoint to the image normally associated with Burma’s crimson-robed monks -- meditation, good works and brave resistance to the country’s former authoritarian regime. The religious tensions are complicating Burma’s still-fragile transition from military rule to democracy, and were high on the agenda as more than 1,500 monks met June 27 at a monastery in Insein township, on the northern outskirts of Rangoon, Burma’s largest city and commercial center, reports Joseph J. Schatz:


- Some Kenyan parents oppose laptop offer to kids, but government defends plans-- An ambitious plan by Kenya’s government to give laptops to schoolchildren has been opposed by parents who say the money for the computers should instead go toward raising teachers’ salaries and feeding children. The program is bound to fail in a country that lacks enough teachers and where others strike regularly for better pay, Musau Ndunda of the Kenya National Association of Parents said Thursday. Kenya currently has a shortfall of 40,000 teachers, and more than 200,000 teachers in public schools across the country are currently striking over unpaid housing, transport and hardship allowances promised 16 years ago, reports Tom Odula:


- Afghan peace negotiations remain uncertain-- Two weeks after the prospect of peace talks with the Taliban dramatically imploded, the insurgent group’s office in Qatar remains an apt symbol for Afghanistan’s diplomatic stalemate. Behind high walls in residential Doha, the office hasn’t been opened for negotiations, and it hasn’t been forced to close. For now, it is a would-be negotiations center — years in the making — that conducts no negotiations. Americans and Afghans are unsure whether it ever will. But closing it could preclude a political solution to the 11-year-long war in Afghanistan, reports Kevin Sieff:


- North and South Korea agree to talks on shuttered industrial complex-- South and North Korea on Thursday agreed to hold talks over reopening a jointly run industrial park, their latest attempt at reconciliation after a period this year during which the two countries cut nearly all ties. The meeting — proposed by South Korea and accepted hours later by the North — will take place Saturday at an administrative building just north of the demilitarized border. This attempt at dialogue comes three weeks after the two Koreas canceled a high-level meeting, unable to agree on who would attend, reports Chico Harlan:





- On immigration reform, nobody’s happy with Republican Joe Heck-- On the flight home from Washington last week for the Fourth of July recess, Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) read all 1,200 pages of immigration reform that had just passed the Senate. It is a document that probably has no political future in the GOP-controlled House, but Heck may be a prime example of why House Republicans will be forced to grapple with immigration in the next few months, despite deep opposition within their caucus and their party. Heck’s district begins just south of the glitzy hotels and casinos on the Vegas Strip and stretches into the neighboring suburbs teeming with Latino and Asian immigrants, who work at the same hotels and casinos. Those immigrant employees comprise about a quarter of the district’s voters and last year they mostly backed President Obama, in part because of his support for immigration reform that is embodied in the recently approved Senate bill, reports Ed O’Keefe:


- Lawmakers remain divided on same-sex marriage-- Although the U.S. Supreme Court struck a mortal blow to the Defense of Marriage Act last week, same-sex marriage is far from settled at the federal level, with lawmakers in Congress responding in different ways. The court’s twin 5 to 4 decisions overturned a key provision of the federal law and let stand a lower court’s decision against Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved state ban on same-sex marriage. Including California, gay marriage is now legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia. But the justices left in place bans in at least three dozen states and did not require those states to recognize gay couples married legally elsewhere, reports Curtis Tate:


- The Fed Page: IRS ‘BOLOs’ raise new questions about political targeting uproar-- Internal Revenue Service documents showing that the agency might have scrutinized politically liberal groups before it inappropriately targeted conservative ones intensified debate on Capitol Hill last week, leaving the agency and its watchdog scrambling to explain themselves. The result may be an already embattled IRS that faces even more criticism, and an inspector general risking a compromised reputation. J. Russell George’s May report about the IRS’s treatment of conservative groups led to public outrage, agency apologies, congressional hearings, a Justice Department probe and several dismissals, including the forced resignation of acting commissioner Steven Miller by the White House, reports Josh Hicks:


- The Fix: How Obama’s job approval rating isn’t influenced by the likability question-- So how does the public go about deciding whether they approve of the job President Obama is doing? Here’s a hint: It’s not about whether or not they think he is likable. Roughly three in four Americans say the label “is likable” applies to Obama, according to a new Gallup survey. But that opinion has no meaningful bearing on whether or not they approve of the job the he is doing, Gallup’s analysis shows. Gallup performed an analysis of character ratings of Obama in order to determine how relevant they are to his job approval rating. Likability is among the weakest predictors. The question of whether the president “shares your values” is the strongest predictor, followed by whether he “displays good judgment in a crisis” and is “honest and trustworthy, ” reports Sean Sullivan:



- Statue of Liberty reopens as nation celebrates Fourth of July-- The Statue of Liberty reopened on the Fourth of July — eight months after Hurricane Sandy shuttered the national symbol of freedom — as Americans across the country celebrated with fireworks and parades and President Obama urged citizens to live up to the words of the Declaration of Independence. Hundreds lined up Thursday to be among the first to board boats destined for Lady Liberty, including New Yorker Heather Leykam and her family. Nationwide, Boston prepared to host its first large gathering since the marathon bombing in April that killed three and injured hundreds, and Philadelphia, Washington and New Orleans geared up for large holiday concerts. In Arizona, sober tributes were planned for 19 firefighters who died this week battling a blaze near Yarnell, reports Colleen Long:



- Wonkblog: Happy Fourth! Good luck paying for that parade-- Like all things joyous and celebratory, parades took a hit during the great recession. Floats and road closures can get expensive, after all, and small municipalities around the country axed their Independence Day celebrations as a way to save cash. Well, it looks like the worst is over, but the post-recession parade economy isn’t quite the same as it used to be. For one thing, cities still aren’t footing the bill. And while before, they might’ve kicked in police time and post-parade cleanup for free, the watchword now is “cost recovery,” reports Lydia DePillis


- Rosy data suggest faster job growth-- Encouraging economic reports this week are boosting hopes that the job market picked up momentum in June. On Friday, the government is scheduled to release its monthly estimates of unemployment and job growth, which are among the most closely watched health indicators of the labor market. Several private readings issued in advance of that data showed businesses increased their pace of hiring, and other indicators, such as auto sales and manufacturing activity, were also better than expected. In a report Wednesday, employment consulting firm ADP estimated that the private sector added 188,000 jobs in June, up significantly from the previous month and higher than many analysts had predicted. Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, which calculates the report, said the gains are particularly notable in the face of significant federal government spending cuts, reports Ylan Mui:


- National insurance plans slow to emerge under new health law-- National health insurance plans aimed at giving consumers more choice might be unavailable in some states next year, leaving residents with fewer options and potentially higher premiums. Such “multi-state” plans were included in the federal health law to boost competition among insurers, particularly in states with few carriers. They were also seen as a consolation to supporters of the failed effort to require a government-run “public option.” Debate continues about whether the plans would fulfill those aims, but the bigger question now is which states will have them in October, when new online marketplaces begin selling insurance to individuals and offering federal tax credits to help cover the cost of premiums to those who qualify, reports Julia Appleby:


- Wonkblog: In Connecticut, a struggle to launch Obamacare-- Facing tight deadlines and daunting workloads, states across the country are scaling back ambitions for implementing the Affordable Care Act. At a monthly board meeting of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, members of the standing-room-only crowd got a reminder that they, too, were behind schedule. The insurance marketplace they were working on nights and weekends won’t be completely ready on time. “It is highly complex, it’s unprecedented and it’s not going to be smooth,” Kevin Counihan, chief executive of the state’s exchange, Access Health CT, told the group. That’s why Connecticut — like other states across the country — has lowered the bar, doing what it can in the time it has left before the health-care law’s major programs are launched Oct. 1, reports Sarah Kliff:


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