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Defense Secretary Panetta visits Egypt to boost new PM

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Cairo on Tuesday for a lightning visit to the longtime Middle East ally to reaffirm U.S. support for Egypt’s democratic transition, an AFP reporter said.

The Pentagon chief is due to meet Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF, and newly elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

“In the past year, I’ve maintained very close contact with Field Marshal Tantawi. My message has been consistent. We strongly support an orderly, peaceful, legitimate transition to a democratic system of government,” Panetta told reporters accompanying him shortly before landing in Cairo.

Panetta is visiting Cairo two weeks after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in the Egyptian capital.

His trip comes amid a tense power struggle between the military, which held power after the popular uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, and the president, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

For the first time since the ouster of the monarchy in 1952, Egypt’s head of state has not emerged from military ranks.

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But Panetta praised the way the then ruling military handled the elections which brought Morsi to power.

“The SCAF’s show of support for a secure, free and fair presidential election last month is a critical step in this process,” he said.

Panetta will also meet Morsi and “urge the Egyptian government to continue the transition to full civilian rule to provide for as broad a coalition as possible within the government.”

“The Egyptian people should be proud of the progress that has been made on the road to democratic transition. I’m looking forward to meeting with President Morsi,” he said.

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Washington insists that the new leadership respect peace accords concluded with Israel, and has expressed concern over security problems in the Sinai peninsula.

Israel has repeatedly called on Cairo to improve security in the lawless region with which it shares a border, as does the Gaza Strip.

Panetta’s Middle East tour will also take him to Israel and Jordan.

[Leon Panetta image via Agence France-Presse]

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Jon Stewart absolutely levels Mitch McConnell on Fox News for his inaction on 9/11 first responders

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Appearing on Fox News Sunday, comedian Jon Stewart lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for congressional inactivity regarding the plight of the 9/11 responders.

Speaking with host Chris Wallace, the former host of "The Daily Show" singled out the Republican among all the other lawmakers who have failed to step up with renewed support.

“Have you had problems with Senator McConnell?” host Wallace asked.

“Yes,” Stewart replied. “I mean, not me personally, but in terms of getting the 9/11 bills passed, Mitch McConnell has been the white whale of this since 2010.”

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Trump buried by ex-US Attorney for claim the Constitution allows him to do what he wants: Even Bill Barr ‘won’t go that far’

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Appearing on MSNBC on Sunday afternoon, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance slapped aside Donald Trump's claim that Article II of the Constitution "allows me to do whatever I want," as the president put it.

Addressing the president's claim, made during an interview on ABC with host George Stephanopoulos, law professor Vance bluntly pointed out that the president is no constitutional scholar.

After watching a clip of Trump claiming unchecked power as president, Vance was asked what she thought of his claims.

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‘White woman problems’: Twitter stomps ‘lifestyle guru’ after she goes berserk over checkout glitch at Target

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A self-described "lifestyle guru" and TV host is coming under fire after she raged on Twitter about problems purchasing items at Target.

In a tweet on Saturday, Meaghan Mooney demanded Target "make good" after she was not able to immediately purchase a cart filled with goods.

"I just filled my l cart w/ hundreds of $ of merch I need TODAY, but REGISTERS ARE DOWN GLOBALLY???" Mooney wrote. "And NOW after I begging your staff to put my items on hold, I only have till EOD?? 1 inconvenience after the next. How will you be making good w us consumers?!"

Hey @Target — I just filled my l cart w/ hundreds of $ of merch I need TODAY, but REGISTERS ARE DOWN GLOBALLY??? And NOW after I begging your staff to put my items on hold, I only have till EOD?? 1 inconvenience after the next. How will you be making good w us consumers?! #Target pic.twitter.com/4KQTtdNv0M

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