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Daily Digest: Deadly protests in Egypt, UN report on Afghan torture, a royal visit

Your Daily Digest for Monday, Oct. 10:

Egypt this weekend had its most violent protests since the February ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, the New York Times reports. Christians, angry over an attack on a church, started off a protest that led to a night of violence. Twenty-four died and 200 were injured, some crushed under military vehicles or killed as demonstrators and officers threw rocks at each other. Muslims joined to help defend Christians against the police, turning a protest over a single event into “a chaotic battle over military rule and Egypt’s future,” the Times reported. One the other hand, some Muslims lashed out at Coptic Christians, who make up 10 percent of the population. But others said that was just the backdrop for a larger revolution. “This is not the issue of Muslim and Christian,” one demonstrator said. “This is the issue of the freedom that we demanded and can’t find.”

For those interested in a minute-by-minute Tweet report of the protests, try following NPR’s Andy Carvin (@acarvin), who retweets sources from within Egypt, as well as other Middle East events.

A UN report released today shows systematic torture of detainees by Afghan security forces, the New York Times reports. An early draft of the report led NATO to stop handing some detainees over to Afghan forces last month. According to the report, “a compelling pattern and practice of systematic torture and ill-treatment” is present in the National Directorate of Intelligence’s interrogations. It’s unknown if the Afghan government or any allies used any of the intelligence gained from the tortuous questionings, but the report did show that detainees would be tortured until they signed a confession. One detainee reported being told “even stones confess here.” The government responded to the report denying many of the most inhumane methods had been used, but said it had set up a unit to look into any problems and fired many interrogators. Some human rights experts said the report could trigger a stoppage in American funds for Afghan forces, based on a law called the Leahy amendment.

Whew, that’s a lot of bad news. Here’s some cool pictures from the Nikon Small World Photomicography Competition.

Minnesota will get a little more royal Tuesday as Norway’s King and Queen arrive for their first visit since 1995. They come as Norway is recovering from a gunman’s attack in July that killed almost 80. There’s a deep connection between the state and the country, the Strib reports, shown by the almost 80 places in Minnesota whose names come from the Scandinavian nation. The Associated Press reports the royal duo will visit St. Olaf and Luther colleges, but sounds like they won’t stop by the U.

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