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Chatter: Egypt army's deadline looms

Egypt waits as a showdown between the government and the army comes closer with every minute, Bolivia gets entangled in the Edward Snowden spat, the Mandela family squabbles over grave matters, and Pluto's moons finally get named.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

Waiting for a coup. Egyptians find themselves in the surreal situation of awaiting something that may or may not be a coup, and that's due to begin at precisely 5 PM Cairo time. That's the deadline the military has set for President Mohamed Morsi to reach an agreement with the opponents who want to see him quit.

Will he? Will he heck, at least if last night's address to the nation is anything to go by. Morsi told Egyptians he was "prepared to sacrifice his blood" for the safety of the homeland. You know who else is into that? The armed forces, who responded by announcing that they'll go to any length to defend Egypt against "terrorists, radicals or fools." 

There are now less than four hours to go until the deadline expires. As a showdown becomes more inevitable with every minute, GlobalPost asks Egyptians what they expect, hope and fear when the clock strikes 5.

WANT TO KNOW

What's the difference between an American fugitive and the president of Bolivia? Not much, apparently, if you're the people regulating European air space and you get a tip-off that Edward Snowden is on Evo Morales' presidential jet. A flight carrying the Bolivian president was unceremoniously grounded in Austria today after someone, somewhere heard that the National Security Agency whistleblower might be stashed on board.

Need we add, he was not? The plane has since been allowed to continue, but the government of Bolivia — one of 20 countries Snowden has asked for asylum — is pretty mad. If La Paz is to be believed, several European countries locked down their air space once they heard Snowden was incoming — which seems odd, given what a fuss they've made over, oh, being secretly spied upon by one of their supposed allies. Something here stinks.

A drone's work is never done. More than a dozen people are dead in Pakistan after what's believed to be the third US drone strike in recent weeks. Multiple missiles were fired at a house in North Waziristan, killing 17 and making this the deadliest drone attack of 2013 so far.

The Pakistani government, as it always does, slammed the strike and called for an immediate halt to the CIA's drone offensive. It has never listened yet. 

Grave matters. While Nelson Mandela remains critically ill in hospital, the former South African president's eldest grandson is facing criminal charges of tampering with graves in the family cemetery. Police have confirmed that a case has been opened against Mandla Mandela, who relatives say moved the remains of his father and Nelson Mandela's two other deceased children without seeking permission.

According to a court order, Mandla is supposed to return the bodies by 3 PM today; he has challenged that ruling, and in so doing, dragged some metaphorical skeletons out of the closet too.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

A moon by any other name. Finally, Pluto's newest moons have been given names of their own: the space-y things formerly known as P4 and P5 have swapped those monikers for the more romantic — if hellish — "Kerberos" and "Styx."

The names were chosen by the public in an unprecedented internet poll. (So really, we're lucky we didn't end up with "Boo" and "Grumpy Cat.") For the next vote, can we request a referendum on whether to call Pluto a planet or a rock?

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-egypt-armys-deadline-looms

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