July 2013 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of July 2013.
Morsi Deposed by Military After One Year in Office (July 1): The protests in Egypt continue and the military issue a statement saying they will step in if Mohammed Morsi does not respond to the protesters in 48 hours. (July 4): The military deposes Morsi and suspends the constitution, saying the move is an attempt at "national reconciliation" rather than a coup. Morsi, however, calls it a "complete military coup." He is taken into custody and several members of his inner circle are placed under house arrest. Adli Mansour, the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, is sworn in as interim president. He dismantles the Shura Council, the only functioning body of parliament. (July 5): Thousands of Morsi supporters take to the streets of Cairo in protests organized by the Muslim Brotherhood. (July 8): Troops and police fire on protesters during morning prayers, killing more than 50 Morsi supporters and wounding more than 300. Reports in the news media say the attack was unprovoked. However, the military say soldiers were fired at first. About 650 members of the Muslim Brotherhood are arrested. The violence escalates the political crisis. (July 6): The day after the violence-the worst since the revolution began in 2011-the interim military government names Hazem el-Beblawy, a respected economist who supported the ouster of Mubarak, as prime minister and says a new constitution will be drafted and elections will be held within six months. The Muslim Brotherhood, however, rejects both the appointment of Beblawy and the timeframe for a return to a civilian government. Most members of the opposition, ranging from liberals to conservative Islamists, call the timeframe unrealistic and poorly planned. In another development, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates say they will loan Egypt $8 billion, giving the country a much-needed infusion of cash to shore up the crippled economy. (July 26): At the urging of Gen. Sisi, hundreds of thousands of protesters take to the streets to back the military and to "confront terrorism." The next day, members of the Muslim Brotherhood stage their own demonstration in Cairo in support of Morsi, and police open fire, killing more than 80 people and wounding several hundred. Despite the escalating violence, the Islamists vow to continue their protests.
Morales Embroiled in Controversy Involving NSA Leaker Snowden (July 3): Bolivia finds itself involved in the international controversy surrounding the future of Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who leaked top-secret information about U.S. domestic surveillance to several news organizations in June 2013. A plane carrying Morales from Russia back to Bolivia is diverted because several European nations, believing that Snowden is on board the plane, refuse Morales access to their airspace. The move creates a diplomatic furor, and Morales calls the incident an "affront to all [Latin] America," and the vice president, Alvaro Garcia, says Morales is "being kidnapped by imperialism." (July 4): France apologizes the day after the incident. Morales's regional allies, including presidents from Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela, meet in a show of solidarity and demand an explanation about the incident.
Historic Wimbledon Crowns Andy Murray and Marion Bartoli (July 6-7): In the Wimbledon Women's Singles Championship, Marion Bartoli of France defeats Germany's Sabine Lisicki in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4. It is the first Grand Slam title for Bartoli. It is only the second Wimbledon Championship match in the Open era played by two women who have never won a Grand Slam. Andy Murray becomes the first Brit in 77 years to take the Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship. He beats number one seed Novak Djokovic in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. Of the historic match, Murray says, "That last game will be the toughest game I'll play in my career, ever."
Hitto Steps Down as Prime Minister of Syrian National Coalition (July 8): Ghassan Hitto steps down as the prime minister of the opposition Syrian National Coalition after holding the post for less than four months and making little progress in organizing the rebels and their strongholds. Hitto's efforts to garner aid from the West also fell short of expectations. His resignation comes just days after Amad Jarba, a tribal leader from the northeastern part of the country, is elected president of the coalition. As the opposition shows signs of fracturing; Sunni v. Shiite violence intensifies; and Assad's forces hold on to Damascus, most of central Syria, and cities in the north with the help of Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah, the U.S. acknowledges that Bashar al-Assad would likely remain in power and control parts of Syria indefinitely. Meanwhile, the UN reports that the death toll in Syria's civil war had surpassed 100,000.
Same-Sex Marriage Is legalized in England and Wales (July 17): Queen Elizabeth II approves a same-sex marriage bill for England and Wales. Her approval comes a day after it passes in Parliament. While the queen's approval is simply a formality, her quick response clears the way for the first gay marriages to happen as soon as 2014 in England and Wales. The bill allows same-sex couples to marry in both religious and civil ceremonies. It also allows couples currently in a civil partnership to convert it into a marriage. Scotland is currently considering its own new legislation on same-sex marriage.
The Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth to a Baby Boy (July 22): Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gives birth to a baby boy. The baby is born at 4:24 p.m. and weighs 8 pounds 6 ounces. Catherine gives birth in the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London, the same place where Prince William was born. (July 24): The baby's name is announced: George Alexander Louis. He will also have the title His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge and is be third in line to the throne, following Prince Charles and Prince William.
Israel and Palestine Begin New Peace Talks (July 30): Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agree to new peace talks with the goal of reaching an agreement within nine months, according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The initial meeting takes place at the State Department in Washington D.C. and is attended by Israel's Justice Minister, chief negotiator Tzipi Livni and senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat. Livni and Erekat both meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden. White House spokesman Jay Carney says that Obama wanted to "express his personal support for final status negotiations." Livni and Erekat also meet with Secretary of State Kerry. During their meeting with Kerry, both sides vow to meet again within two weeks to begin negotiations. The negotiations will be mediated by Martin Indyk, Kerry's new Mideast peace envoy. Of these new negotiations, Kerry says that both sides agree to put all "final status issues, all of the core issues and all other issues" on the table. Erekat says, "It's time for the Palestinians to live in peace, freedom and dignity within their own independent, sovereign state." Livni adds, "I believe that history is not made by cynics; it is made by realists who are not afraid to dream. Let us be these people."