Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry were among those joining the meeting in the White House Situation Room, National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said, adding that some officials took part by secure video conference.
"Members of the president's national security team have been in touch with Egyptian officials and our regional partners to convey the importance of a quick and responsible return of full authority to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible; a transparent political process that is inclusive of all parties and groups; avoiding any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters; and the responsibility of all groups and parties to avoid violence," Meehan said. Politico.com has more here.
Sens. McCain, Graham Visit Afghanistan on 4th of July - Senior Republican Sen. John McCain arrived in Kabul Thursday for a surprise visit to American troops in Afghanistan to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.
McCain presided over a reenlistment ceremony for about a half dozen U.S. soldiers in Kabul.
A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and unsuccessful presidential candidate, McCain was accompanied on the visit by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. CBS News has more here.
Report: Mandela on Life Support - The South African government denied that former president Nelson Mandela is in a permanent vegetative state, as outlined in court documents filed on June 26.
" We confirm our earlier statement released this afternoon after President Jacob Zuma visited Madiba in hospital that Madiba remains in a critical, but stable condition," said the statement using Mandela's clan name.
"The doctors deny that the former president is in a vegetative state," the statement added.
Court documents obtained earlier Thursday by AFP showed that doctors treating Mandela said he was in a "permanent vegetative state" and advised his family to turn off his life support machine a week ago. You can read more here.
Egypt’s new president, a virtual unknown named Adly Mansour, vowed to include all sections of society, including Islamists, in an interim coalition government shortly after he was sworn in Thursday. But even as he spoke, an arrest warrant was issued for Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s “supreme guide.”
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.
Authorities operating under the military’s protection swept up Morsi associates in a flurry of arrests and warrants, placing the Brotherhood even further on the defensive. The Washington Post has more here.
A resolution, passed 483 to 98, expresses concern over the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Internet monitoring and other programs.
The NSA's PRISM program reportedly gives the government access to the contents of users' emails, video chats, photographs and other information.
Parliament members also condemned spying on EU representatives and called on the U.S. to provide full information on the allegations. TheHill.com has more here.
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