Aides urge Egypt aid be suspended
President Obama’s top national security aides have recommended that the United States suspend hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance to Egypt in response to the military’s ouster of the country’s first democratically elected leader, U.S. officials said. Such a step would be a dramatic shift for an administration that has declined to label Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s July 3 ouster a coup and has argued that it is in U.S. national security interests to keep the aid flowing. The officials say the recommendation has been with Obama for at least a week but they don’t expect him to make a decision until after the full Congress votes next week on his request for authorization for military strikes on Syria. The United States provides Egypt with $1.5 billion a year in aid, $1.3 billion of which is military assistance.
Patient likely died of rare brain disease
Public health officials believe one person in New Hampshire has died of a rare, degenerative brain disease, and say there’s a remote chance up to 13 others in multiple states were exposed to the fatal illness through surgical equipment. Dr. Joseph Pepe, president of Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, said officials are 95 percent certain that a patient who had brain surgery in May and died in August had sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Nearly 90 percent of cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease happen spontaneously, when an agent causes proteins in the brain to fold incorrectly.
New Iranian president to speak this month
President Hassan Rowhani of Iran, a cleric who was elected in June after promising to ease the country’s economic isolation and tensions with the West over a disputed nuclear program, will attend the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this month and deliver three speeches, his foreign minister said. The visit will give Rowhani his first big opportunity abroad to distinguish himself from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a conservative who often used his appearances before the General Assembly to antagonize the West, inveigh against Israel and question the Holocaust.
Rabbi fights animal slaughter law
The chief rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, said that the Jewish community had appealed to the highest court to overturn an effective ban on religious slaughter that he said threatened to undermine Jewish life in a nation where the community was all but wiped out during the Holocaust. Polish farmers complain that they stand to lose as much as 700 million euros, or $924 million, annually in exports of halal and kosher meat. Legal experts say that until recently religious slaughter has operated in a legal gray zone, with overlapping laws both allowing and prohibiting the practice.