Cairo – A truck bomb struck the main security headquarters in Cairo on Friday, one of a string of bombings targeting police within a 10-hour period, killing six people. The most significant attack yet in the Egyptian capital fueled a furious backlash against the Muslim Brotherhood amid rising fears of a militant insurgency.
The mayhem on the eve of the third anniversary of Egypt’s once-hopeful revolution pointed to the dangerous slide Egypt has taken since last summer’s military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi: A mounting confrontation between the military-backed government and Islamist opponents amid the escalating violence.
In the hours after the blast, angry residents – some chanting for the “execution” of Brotherhood members – joined police in clashes with the group’s supporters holding their daily street protests against the government. Smoke rose over Cairo from fires, and fighting around the country left 14 more people dead.
More international airlines suspend sales
Caracas, Venezuela – Three more international airlines on Friday joined the list of companies that have suspended ticket sales in Venezuela, complaining that the government owes them billions of dollars.
U.S.-based American Airlines and United Airlines and Panama’s Copa Airlines said they were halting ticket sales in Venezuela in lieu of the government’s failure to pay arrears that as of last month totaled $2.6 billion. Under Venezuela’s complicated foreign exchange rules, the government acts as intermediary in foreign sales of goods and services transacted in the country.
Airlines that previously announced a suspension in business operations included Air Canada, Tame of Ecuador and TAP Portugal.
Venezuela finds itself in a tightening cash shortage partly because of falling oil revenues resulting from declining productivity at oil fields and refineries, which supply more than 90 percent of government revenue and 70 percent of export sales.
President confirms deal, but protests go on
Kiev, Ukraine – Ukraine’s president on Friday confirmed details of the partial deal he reached with the political opposition, saying he would offer amnesty for dozens of protesters arrested in recent days, reshuffle his government and amend controversial laws that set off a fresh wave of protests against his rule.
But opposition leaders indicated they were not satisfied and were seeking help from European organizations to mediate talks with the government, which were expected to continue into the weekend.
President Viktor Yanukovich has faced continuous street protests since November, when he announced that his government was backing out of a long-awaited trade deal with the European Union and linking Ukraine’s future more closely with Russia.