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10 things you need to know today: July 2, 2013
Morsi defies the Egyptian army's ultimatum, Snowden asks more countries for asylum, and more
 
An Egyptian opposition protester chants during a demonstration at the Egyptian Presidential Palace on June 30 in Cairo.
An Egyptian opposition protester chants during a demonstration at the Egyptian Presidential Palace on June 30 in Cairo. Ed Giles/Getty Images

1. MORSI REJECTS ARMY ULTIMATUM TO MEET PROTESTERS' DEMANDS
Egypt remained on edge Tuesday after President Mohammed Morsi rejected an ultimatum from the army giving the Islamist leader 48 hours to make peace with millions of protesters demanding that he step down. Morsi said he would come up with his own reconciliation plan. Egyptian newspapers touted the military's Wednesday deadline as a turning point, with the opposition daily El Watan declaring, "Last 48 hours of Muslim Brotherhood rule." [Reuters]
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2. SNOWDEN ASKS MORE COUNTRIES FOR ASYLUM
Fugitive NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden dropped a request for asylum in Russia after he was told he would have to stop "inflicting damage" on the U.S. with further leaks, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. Snowden, who is hiding out at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, is awaiting decisions from some 20 other countries he has asked to take him in, after his first choice, Ecuador, distanced itself from him. [Agence France Presse]
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3. OBAMA AND BUSH MEET FOR A CEREMONY HONORING TANZANIA BOMBING VICTIMS
President Obama and George W. Bush met briefly in Tanzania early Tuesday to lay a wreath at a memorial for the 11 people killed in the 1998 al Qaeda bombing of the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam. Obama and Bush have had a chilly relationship, but the president has praised his predecessor, who devoted billions of dollars to fighting AIDS in Africa, during his week-long tour of the continent. Bush is in Tanzania with his wife, Laura, who is holding a summit for African first ladies. [TIME]
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4. ARIZONA TOWN MOURNS 19 FIREFIGHTERS KILLED BY WILDFIRE
More than 1,000 people gathered Monday evening in the Arizona mountain town of Prescott to mourn 19 elite local firefighters killed by a massive, erratic wildfire. The 20-member Granite Mountain Hotshots were clearing brush to deprive the fire of fuel when 40 to 50 mile-per-hour wind gusts caused the blaze to change direction, trapping everyone except a member who was moving the crew's truck. It was the nation's deadliest day for firefighters since Sept. 11, 2001. [ABC News]
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5. SAN FRANCISCO RAIL STRIKE ENTERS SECOND DAY
Commuters in San Francisco were left scrambling for ways to get to work on Monday after hundreds of transit workers went on strike demanding higher wages, bringing the Bay Area Rapid Transit rail network to a halt. The system's hundreds of thousands of riders faced the same drill on Tuesday as the strike entered its second day. [Associated Press]
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6. STAFFORD LOAN RATES DOUBLE
Interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans jumped from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on Monday, after Congress allowed a measure that lowered them in 2007 expire. Lawmakers could, in theory, eliminate the hike retroactively when Congress returns from recess, although Republicans and Democrats have been unable to reach a compromise on the issue. The change could cost the average borrower $2,600 over 10 years. [Patriot-News, New York Daily News]
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7. SENATOR'S BROTHER REPORTED MISSING IN ROCKY MOUNTAINS
The brother of Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) has been reported missing after he failed to return as expected from a solo backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains. Randy Udall, 61, left June 20 on what was supposed to be a six-day hike in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Family members reported Udall, an experienced hiker, missing, and rescue crews and helicopters have been unable to find him in searches of mountain passes, said Stephen Smith, a spokesman for the area's sheriff's office. [CNN]
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8. CHINA TELLS PEOPLE TO CARE FOR THEIR ELDERLY PARENTS... OR ELSE
A new rule that took effect in China on Monday requires people to visit or call their elderly parents "frequently" or face fines — even jail time. Respect for the elderly is still deeply ingrained in China, but traditional family networks have been weakened as young people leave rural hometowns to seek work in booming cities. Chinese lawmakers strengthened a law spelling out the right of aging parents to their children's support after a flurry of neglect reports. [Christian Science Monitor]
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9. RUSSIAN ROCKET CRASHES SHORTLY AFTER LAUNCH
A Russian rocket carrying three satellites crashed in Kazakhstan early Tuesday shortly after launch. The Proton-M booster shut down the engine 17 seconds into the flight, then slammed into the ground more than a mile from the launch pad, which was blanketed with burning, toxic fuel. Russian space officials blamed the failure — and a similar one last year — on manufacturing and engineering mistakes. [Associated Press]
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10. SERENA WILLIAMS BECOMES THE LATEST STAR UPSET AT WIMBLEDON
Defending champion Serena Williams, a strong favorite to win her sixth Wimbledon title, on Monday became the latest in a string of top-seeded players to be knocked out of the storied British tennis tournament. Williams, who was unbeaten in her last 34 matches, lost in the fourth round to Germany's Sabine Lisicki, a 23rd seed. Other superstars, including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Maria Sharapova, lost in the first and second rounds. [Bleacher Report]

 
Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

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