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Jul 2, 201309:40 AM

Cheat Sheet: July 1, 2013

48-hour ultimatum in turbulent Egypt

Though the protests in Cairo against Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi have been very large and mostly peaceful, 16 people have died and more than 700 wounded since Sunday. In response, the Egyptian military leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has given President Morsi 48 hours to meet with opposition leaders.  Al-Sisi repeated that the military would remain neutral as protector of the people and country but that the civil unrest is becoming a threat to national security and the military may be forced to intervene. The protests against the Islamic Morsi come after a year of turbulence and political crisis from the first publicly-elected president of Egypt. Since then, clashes between government supporters and protesters have turned violent, and the military is calling for dialogue to stop further bloodshed. (Source)

19 firefighters die stalling wildfire

In a town northwest of Phoenix, Arizona, while battling an intense blaze that consumed more than 2,000 acres of land, 19 members of an elite firefighting unit lost their lives Sunday. The group of highly-trained firefighters was deployed into the wilderness just after the fire started with heavy gear and chainsaws to build a barrier between the oncoming fire and residents of threatened neighborhoods. In extreme conditions, the men are trained to dig a hole and cover themselves with fire-resistant tents. 19 tents were discovered Sunday, some with the men still inside. This is the largest firefighter casualty while battling a wildfire since 1933, according to the National Fire Protection Association’s website. The Red Cross has opened two shelters to help with the victims of the disaster. (Source)

Stronger penalties for texting while driving         

The General Assembly has approved a change to the existing texting while driving laws in Virginia. The old law made texting, emailing, news-ing, blogging, Facebooking and tweeting behind the wheel as a secondary offence, where law enforcement officers could only issue a ticket after observing another offence, such as speeding or running a stop sign. The new law, which takes effect today, substantially raises the fines of first-time offenders from $20 to $125 and subsequent offences from $50 to $250. This is to discourage distracted driving, a condition which increases the chances of a collision by over 20%. However, if the car is stopped, the driver can text and tweet all she wants, as long as she is not blocking the roadway. So remember to save that text message for a time when it is appropriate to send it--not barreling down Interstate 64. It can wait, or pull off the road. (Source)

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