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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

National Security Advisors Meet to Discuss Terror Threat - President Barack Obama's top national security advisers met at the White House on Saturday to discuss the potential threat of terrorist attacks that caused Washington and its allies to issue travel warnings and close embassies throughout the Middle East. 

The United States issued a worldwide travel alert on Friday warning Americans that al Qaeda may be planning attacks in August, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.

Without giving an update on the nature of the threat, the White House said top officials including Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and national security adviser Susan Rice gathered on Saturday to discuss it. has more here.


Senators Say: "Time for Diplomacy in Iran is Running Out" - More than three-quarters of the U.S. Senate signed a letter calling on President Obama to enact tougher sanctions on Iran, saying the time for diplomacy is quickly running out, The Jerusalem Post is reporting.

"Iran has used negotiations in the past to stall for time," the senators wrote, according to the newspaper. "And in any event, Khamenei is the ultimate decision-maker for Iran's nuclear program."

"Mr. President, we urge you to bring a renewed sense of urgency to the process. We need to understand quickly whether Tehran is at last ready to negotiate seriously. Iran needs to understand that the time for diplomacy is nearing its end."

The U.S. "must toughen sanctions and reinforce the credibility of our option to use military force at the same time as we fully explore a diplomatic solution to our dispute with Iran," the senators wrote, according to the Post. has more here.

Egyptian General Defends Actions - In his first interview since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi last month, Egypt’s commanding general sharply criticized the U.S. response, accusing the Obama administration of disregarding the Egyptian popular will and of providing insufficient support amid threats of a civil war.

Sissi is widely considered the most powerful man in Egypt, wielding more control than anyone over the country’s direction after a tumultuous 21/2 years in which the military has shoved aside two presidents following popular uprisings. He denied interest in running for president but did not rule it out.  The Washington Post has more here.


Mugabe Wins Presidency in Zimbabwe - The only leader that the independent Zimbabwe has ever known will be at the helm for another five years, following an election that pitted 89-year-old President Robert Mugabe against his longtime foe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. 

Mugabe was elected to his seventh term as president with 61% of Wednesday's vote, the head of the country's Election Commission said Saturday.
 Tsvangirai, who won 34%, according to the election commission, has alleged widespread fraud and was quick to promise a court challenge.
 "A fraudulent and a stolen election has plunged Zimbabwe into a constitutional, political and economic crisis," said Tsvangirai, 61. has more here.

Who Will Be Detroit's Next Mayor? - There are 16 candidates here for a job that is difficult to imagine anyone wanting: mayor.

The city’s finances are in the hands of a bankruptcy judge, and a state-appointed emergency manager is calling the shots at City Hall. The position of mayor, a once powerful job that now seems at best undefined, if not irrelevant, was left open when Mayor Dave Bing announced in May that he would not seek a second term. A primary election will be held on Tuesday to whittle the field down to two contenders, who will face off in a general election in November.  The NY Times has more here.


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