From NPR news in Washington, I am Nora Raum.
Egypt’s vice president resigned hours before the final phase of voting on the constitution. NPR’s Leila Fadel reports the vice president led attempts by the embattled President Mohamed Morsi at national dialogue in the day leading up to the vote on the constitution.
Vice President Mahmoud Mekki issued a statement saying he first subdmitted his resignation to the President early last month, but until today the political climate forced him to stay on. In a statement Mekki said that he realized that nature of politics didn’t suit his profession as a judge. The statement hinted he is dissatisfional with Islamist President Mohamed Morsi’s policies. Morsi enraged the opposition and majority of judges when he issued decrees that put himself above the law last month, before rushing an imperfect constitution to a referendum. Mekki defended those policies as Morsi’s deputy despite his history as an activist with the independence of the judiciary. It was unclear if Mekki’s resignation had anything to do with the clause in the Egypt constitution that eliminates the position of vice president. Leila Fadel, NPR news, Cairo.
Police in India used tear gas and water cannons to break up mass demonstrations in the capital New Delhi today. Protesters are demanding justice for a student who was gang-raped in a bus last weekend. NPR’s Julie McCarthy is following the march and says police have also been beating demonstrators.
"The crowds are choking, putting handkerchiefs over their mouths, so they can breathe. And by the thousands they are now returning back to India Gate. It’s not clear where this demonstration is going. The determination of the demonstrators is extreme high. But this use of force guns against them today is dispersing them for the moment. Julie McCarthy, NPR news, in Central Delhi."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today he welcomed the nomination of Senator John Kerry to be Secretary of State. He said Kerry is experienced and known as a supporter of Israel security. President Obama nominated Kerry yesterday.
The president is in Hawaii to celebrate Christmas. No public events are scheduled, but tomorrow he’ll attend a memorial service for the late Senator Daniel Inouye. Before leaving Washington last night, the president recorded his weekly address with some help from the First Lady.
“And on behalf of my favorite Americans – Michelle, Malia, Sasha and Bo – Merry Christmas, everybody.” “Happy Holidays.”
House Speaker John Boehner delivered the Republican address, he urged the Democrats to work with Republicans to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. “Hope spring’s eternal, and I know we have it in us to come together and do the right thing.” Unless they can reach an agreement by the end of the year, income tax rates will go up and spending will be cut for throughout the federal government. This is NPR news from Washington.
A winter storm is complicating travelling in many parts of the US this weekend. Several inches of snow fell today in parts of Pennsylvania. Daniel Carson reports this is expected to be the busiest holiday travel season in 6 years.
Americans are shrugging off the snow storm’s heavy rain and fog that are causing flight delays and traffic jams. AAA reports more than 93million people will travel this weekend, packing hotels, airports, and roads. Personal incomes rose last month, so AAA spokeswoman Heiser Hunter says that’s putting more money in people’s wallets.
“People do have a bit more money for travel, also any of the attempts up to men, after the recession when a lot of people pulled back and started to work itself through.”
Economic growths in the job markets are picking up, and that’s good news for 2 key industries. After nearly 2 years slump, hotels are seeing their occupancy rates steadily climb and airlines have been packing planes at record levels. For NPR news, I am Daniel Carson.
A pharmacy connected to the deadly meningitis outbreak this year has filed for bankruptcy protection. The New England Compounding Center said it’s facing 130 lawsuits and another 270 people have filed claims saying they were injured by contaminated steroid injections. Filing bankruptcy protects the companies from its creditors, while reading all debts under the supervision of bankruptcy judge.
Writer Larry L. King has died. His wife said he died at a retirement home in Washington DC Thursday night. No clause was given. King wrote a magazine article that became a Broadway musical and became a movie starring Burt Reynolds ---“The best little whorehouse in Texas.” Larry L. King was 83.
I am Nora Raum, NPR news, in Washington.