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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

  • Sharif Abdel Kouddous: As Morsi-Army Showdown Grips Egypt, Protesters Reject Authoritarian Rule


    Egypt is in a state of crisis as President Mohamed Morsi faces possible ouster from the military. The Egyptian army is threatening to take over unless Morsi responds to a deadline of today to outline a "roadmap" for reconciliation after millions of Egyptians took to the streets to oppose his government. A leaked plan shows the military is prepared to overthrow Morsi, scrap a draft constitution and impose a government headed by an army general. We go to Egypt to speak with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, reporting from Cairo’s Tahrir Square. "The more important struggle is the one that is coming from the ground up — and that is a rejection of authoritarianism and a paternalistic form of government," Kouddous says. "We saw a rejection of Hosni Mubarak that threw him out of office, a rejection of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ruling Egypt, and now a rejection and a revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood. [The people] are revolting against these authoritarian elements that deny them political and economic agency."

  • Novelist Ahdaf Soueif: By Ignoring Egypt’s Majority, Morsi Begat the Uprising Against His Rule


    Joining us from Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Egyptian writer and activist Ahdaf Soueif says the refusal by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to run an inclusive government has sparked the massive uprising now seen in the streets. "[Morsi] was not governing Egypt in the interests of Egypt," Soueif says. "He was not even seeing the Egyptian people or their demands, and he lost an amazing opportunity to actually have a government that actually worked for the majority of the people." Soueif is the author of a number of books, including "The Map of Love" and, most recently, "Cairo: My City, Our Revolution."

  • Failure to Stop Doubling of Student Loan Rates Sparks Call to Tackle "Systemic" Debt Crisis


    The interest rate for federally subsidized student loans has doubled to 6.8 percent after Congress failed to reach a deal to avoid the hike. A proposal by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren to lower student loan interest rates to 0.75 percent — the same rate given to big banks on government loans — also faltered before the deadline. Lawmakers will still have a chance to come to an agreement before the next school year, but whatever they decide will barely impact the massive crisis of U.S. student debt. Student loan debt in the United States stands at about $1 trillion after roughly quadrupling over the past decade. The Congressional Budget Office has forecast a profit of $50.6 billion from the interest it charges students paying back their college debt. We’re joined by two guests: Micah Hauptman, the financial policy counsel for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, and Pamela Brown, a Ph.D. student in sociology at the New School, where she helped launch the Occupy Student Debt Campaign pledge of refusal.