BBC News with Julie Candler
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has rejected an offer from the country’s newly installed interim president to participate in a transitional government, calling the country a police state. The Brotherhood has called for mass peaceful protests on Friday. Gehad El-Haddad is a spokesman for the group.
"I’d like to stress on the following facts. Our full refusal and revoltness of the military coup that has happened against the President, against the Constitution and against the legitimacy of the state and our whole denial of cooperation with the authority that has extorted the will of the people, we’ll participate in all peaceful people-led protests and events against this military coup."
Earlier in the day, the new interim President Adly Mansour promised Egyptians a fair or a less fraudulent democracy that should include the Brotherhood. Islamist governments in the region have criticized the events in Egypt. Tunisia’s governing party Ennahda condemned what it called the coup against legitimacy. The party’s leader Rachid Ghannouchi said that although some young dreamers, as he put it, believe they could copy in Tunisia what happened in Egypt, their efforts would be in vain. Turkey’s Islamist government has described Mr. Morsi’s overthrow as unacceptable and called for his release.
A French newspaper says France is running a surveillance operation similar to the controversial US Prism program to spy on international communications. Le Monde says it has evidence that French intelligence agencies illegally intercept and record billions of phone calls, texts and emails. There’s been no comment from the government. Socialist Senator Richard Yung, who sits on the European Affairs Committee, told the BBC that he would be surprised if the activities were unlawful.
"Countries have security measures v.s. the jihadist menace. The article gives them impression that every telephone conversation in France is recorded. It seems to be exaggerated."
The bodies of three of Nelson Mandela’s children have been reburied in their original graves in the village of Qunu where the former South African president was brought up as a family row intensifies. On Wednesday, the bodies were exhumed by police from the homestead of Mr. Mandela’s grandson Mandla. Speaking at a news conference, he veiled against other family members.
“I do not want to hand out our dirty linen as a family in public. It seems like that anyone and everyone can come and say 'I am a Mandela' and demand to be part of a decision-making in this family. Individuals have abandoned their own families and heritage and decided to jump on the Mandela waggon."
World News from the BBC
Human Rights Watch has called on the Greek government to repeal a law forcing sex workers, illegal immigrants and drug addicts to undergo tests for HIV. It was originally passed in 2012 as a part of a bid to stem the rise of HIV infection in Greece, but was withdrawn after campaigning by Amnesty International. The new Health Minister appointed in a reshuffle last week, has reintroduced it. Alleged prostitutes have been rounded up and tested last year.
Russia has blocked a UN Security Council statement which called on Syria to allow immediate access to civilians trapped by fierce fighting in the central city of Holms. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his concern for 2500 people in the district of the city which came under renewed attack last week from the Syrian army backed by the Lebanese Islamist group Hezbollah.
In New York, the Statue of Liberty has reopened to the public for the first time since the city was hit by super storm Sandy last October. Mayor Michael Bloomberg presided over the ceremony which took place on Liberty Island on Independence Day.
“The employees of the National Park Service really feel, I say, an extra rush of pride today because just a few months ago, as Dave said, both the Liberty Island and all of Ellis Island were(was) under water." The path of destruction of Hurricane Sandy swept up the East Coast and really hit these incredibly cherished icons that are visited by nearly four million people each year from around the world.
The President of Burundi has been forced to explain his actions after presenting his wife with a National Award. On the country’s Independence Day earlier this week, President Pierre Nkurunziza honoured the First Lady Denise for her devotion to development work. Civil liberty groups condemned the award. At the press conference, presidential officials said the honor was justified as she had done more than anyone else in this field. Last year, the President also gave his 10-year-old son an award for doing community work at weekends.