BRUSSELS – Tense negotiations between Cyprus and its international creditors yielded a preliminary agreement early today that paves the way for the cash-strapped island nation to receive a $13 billion bailout, a diplomat said.
The agreement between Cyprus, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission still needs approval by the 17-nation eurozone’s finance ministers, who were also meeting in the same building in Brussels.
Without a deal by tonight, the tiny Mediterranean island nation of about 1 million would face the prospect of bankruptcy, which could force it to abandon the euro currency and spur turmoil in the eurozone of 300 million people.
Under the last-ditch agreement, Cyprus’ second-largest bank, Laiki, will be restructured and holders of bank deposits of more than $130,000 will have to take losses.
Egypt’s president warns protesters
Egypt’s president delivered a stern warning to his opponents Sunday, saying he might be close to taking unspecified measures to protect this nation two days after supporters of his Muslim Brotherhood and opposition protesters fought street battles in the worst bout of political violence in three months.
Nearly 200 people were injured in Friday’s violence, some seriously, outside the headquarters of the Brotherhood, Egypt’s dominant political group.
If I have to do what is necessary to protect this nation I will, and I am afraid that I may be close to doing so, a visibly angry Morsi said in an animated speech to the opening session in Cairo of a conference on women’s rights.
I will do so very, very soon. Sooner than those trying to shake the image of this nation think, said the Islamist leader who took office in June as the country’s first freely elected president.
Rebels take control of African nation
Rebels overthrew Central African Republic’s president of a decade on Sunday, seizing the presidential palace in Bangui and declaring that the desperately poor country has opened a new page in its history. The country’s president fled the capital, while extra French troops moved to secure the airport, officials said.
The rebels’ invasion of the capital came just two months after they had signed a peace agreement that would have let President Francois Bozize serve until 2016. That deal unraveled in recent days, prompting the insurgents’ advance into Bangui and Bozize’s departure to a still unpublicized location.
UN envoy condemns Myanmar violence
The top U.N. envoy to Myanmar toured a central city wracked by the country’s worst Buddhist-Muslim violence this year, calling on the government to punish those responsible for a tragedy that left dozens of corpses piled in the streets, some of them charred beyond recognition.
Vijay Nambiar, the U.N. secretary-general’s special adviser on Myanmar, also visited some of the nearly 10,000 people driven from their homes after sectarian unrest shook the city of Meikhtila for several days last week. Most of the displaced are minority Muslims, who appeared to have suffered the brunt of the violence as armed Buddhist mobs roamed city.
Falling sign kills 1, injures 3 at airport
A woman and two of her sons are improving at hospitals after they were seriously injured when a flight information billboard fell on them at an airport in Alabama.
A third son was killed Friday when the electronic board, weighing at least 300 pounds, fell at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
The boys’ mother, Heather Bresette, had broken ankles and a crushed pelvis. A hospital spokeswoman said she had surgeries over the weekend and was getting better. She was still unconscious Sunday and does not know that her son died.
Toledo Zoo to get 17-foot crocodile
A crocodile that got into trouble in his native Australia for killing too many cows in the wild will be the biggest attraction at the Toledo Zoo’s new Australian-themed exhibit.
But zoo officials say he’ll get only chicken for dinner in his new home.
The 17-foot crocodile weighing 1,500 pounds is known appropriately enough as Big Guy. He’ll be the largest saltwater crocodile in North America when he arrives next month, said Jeff Sailer, executive director of the Toledo Zoological Society.
The crocodile is estimated to be about 40 to 50 years old.