Watch this videoZimbabwe has known only one leader in its entire 33-year history as an independent nation, and President Robert Mugabe hopes that doesn't change any time soon.
Voters head to the polls Wednesday for the first time since the violence-marred election in 2008 to choose between the 89-year-old incumbent and his arch political rival-turned-prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.Zimbabwe has known only one leader in its entire 33-year history as an independent nation, and President Robert Mugabe hopes that doesn't change any time soon.
Voters head to the polls Wednesday for the first time since the violence-marred election in 2008 to choose between the 89-year-old incumbent and his arch political rival-turned-prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.As the July 31 vote day approaches, Zimbabwean election officials and some human rights organizations are giving sharply different assessments on the likely validity of the vote.
Once again, there are allegations that Mugabe's government is targeting the opposition through military intimidation and arrests, and that it is padding the voter list.
But the deputy chairwoman of Zimbabwe's Electoral Commission insists that the country is ready for the elections, and vowed the outcome will be valid.
"Elections will be credible, free and fair," Joyce Kazembe told the South African Press Association this week.
Some 600 foreign observers are monitoring the ballot, in addition to 6,000 local monitors, according to SAPA. Zimbabwe did not invite Western observers to monitor the elections because of sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his top officials for rights abuses.
The African Union, which has sent more than 60 members to monitor the elections, has also expressed confidence in the process.
"The environment in Zimbabwe so far reassures us that that the conditions are good for the election to be held on July 31," Aisha Abdullahi, AU commissioner for political affairs, said at a news conference last week, according to SAPA.
Some observers say that the country may not be as ready as the African Union and Zimbabwe officials suggest.
A Human Rights Watch investigation last month found that the Zimbabwe national army "has deployed soldiers across the country, intimidating, beating, and otherwise abusing perceived supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change or those critical of the government."
Zimbabwe's government has also arrested lawyers and members of organizations they see as threatening, according to Beatrice Mtetwa, a human rights lawyer based in Zimbabwe.
"Certainly in the last nine months we've seen a lot of civil society activists being arrested," Mtetwa told CNN's Christiane Amanpour last month. "I also believe that my arrest is part of that crackdown because they want as few human rights lawyers to be out there during the election period as they can manage to stop," she added.
Mtetwa was detained in March after she asked police for a search warrant when they searched one of her clients' homes, Amnesty International documented. When she told the police that what they were doing was "unlawful, unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic," she was arrested for "obstructing the course of justice."
There are also concerns that the voter roll may be inaccurate.
More than 1 million people on the roll were found to be either deceased or departed, while 63 constituencies had more registered voters than inhabitants, according to a report last month by Research and Advocacy Unit, a Harare-based non-governmental research organization.
"Such statistics suggest that the gap between the ideal and the actual impinges upon the integrity of Zimbabwe's electoral process," the report stated.
Opposition party leaders and observers have called for postponement of elections, saying that more time is required to establish a transparent voting process.
Early voting for security services members has already seen problems due to shortages of ballot papers and voting ink. Out of 63,268 people who were eligible to vote in the early polling, only 37,108 voted, according to Kazembe.
Tsvangirai and the Southern Africa Development Community have urged Mugabe to delay the ballot.
There are fears that this election could descend into violence like the last election in 2008, which resulted in a runoff. Tsvangirai pulled out of the runoff, citing intimidation, torture, mutilation and murder of his supporters.
Regional leaders dismissed Zimbabwe's 2008 election as a sham, and the SADC pressured Mugabe to form a power-sharing agreement with Tsvangirai and his opposition Movement for Democratic Change. As a result, the two bitter rivals entered into an uneasy governing coalition in 2009.
Some 6.4 million voters in Zimbabwe -- about half of the country's population -- will be eligible to cast their ballots on Wednesday, according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
The elections will be held under a new constitution endorsed in a referendum in March that limits the president to two five-year terms. Mugabe is allowed to seek another term because the new charter does not apply retroactively.
Last week, Mugabe had a few words for critics of the upcoming election.
In response to criticisms from the United States on his push for elections without key reforms, Mugabe said at a rally, "Keep your pink nose out of our affairs, please."
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Opponents of Mohamed Morsy gather at Tahrir Square during a protest in Cairo on Sunday, July 7. More than 30 people have died and 1,400 suffered injuries since the coup on Wednesday, July 3. <a href=''>View photos of protests that erupted before the coup.</a>The Egyptian military opened fire on supporters of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsy, and the Muslim Brotherhood, early Monday, killing more than 40 people.
The health ministry put the number of fatalities at 42, and said 322 others were wounded.
CNN counted at least eight bullet-riddled bodies and up to 40 wounded at the chaotic emergency facility in the Egyptian capital, down the street from the site of the shooting. The upper bodies of the victims appeared to be peppered with shotgun pellets and bullet wounds.
Doctors tended to the victims, performing surgeries in many cases before shipping them out to other facilities. Egyptian flags were draped over those who did not survive.
The crowd had been holding vigil outside Republican Guards headquarters, where Morsy was reportedly detained after his arrest Wednesday.
Around the time of morning prayers, witnesses said the military and police opened fire with machine guns and tear gas.
The Egyptian military had a different version of events.
The army said an armed terrorist group attempted to raid the facility and attacked security forces, killing one officer, according to the state news agency MENA.
The army arrested 200 attackers, who were carrying guns, ammunition, and Molotov cocktails, MENA reported.
Party withdraws from talks
Reacting to the shooting, the Al-Nour party -- which supported Morsy's ouster -- withdrew from all talks about forming an interim government.
"We will not remain silent on the Republican Guards Massacre," party spokesman Nader Bakkar said.
Stepping up security
The developments came as protesters took to the streets again, where, for weeks, arguments have turned to clashes.
Ahead of Monday's events, more than 30 people had died and 1,400 had suffered injuries since Wednesday's coup.
Egypt's military said in a statement over the weekend that it was stepping up security efforts for the demonstrations.
"We also warn against any provocation or clashes with the peaceful demonstrators," the statement said. "Anyone who violates these instructions will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law."
Supporters vow peaceful protests
Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood's political party vowed that protests would be peaceful and accused authorities of planning to send fake bearded men into Cairo's Tahrir Square to incite violence.
"This is so they can claim that the supporters of the elected-president and the Islamic groups are attacking the peaceful demonstrators. ... We warn those who play with fire that any sectarian incitement at this critical time will not be in the interests of anyone in our beloved Egypt," the Freedom and Justice Party said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
Human Rights Watch called for the country's military and political leaders to do more to stop the bloodshed.
"All sides need to tell their followers to refrain from actions likely to lead to violence and loss of life," Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. "At the same time, the security forces need to show that they can act professionally and effectively to stop the violence without resorting to unlawful lethal force."
Politics in the midst of chaos
The latest violence comes only hours after state television reported that Egypt's interim president has nominated Mohamed ElBaradei to serve as vice president and Ziad Bahaa el Din as prime minister.
Interim President Adly Mansour will need to get political consensus before they are appointed.
Presidential spokesman Ahmed Almoslemani stressed on state-run Nile TV there is no specific deadline of when the new government will be announced.
Nile TV had previously reported that he said an announcement would be made within 24 hours.
Earlier, ElBaradei's name had been floated for the office of prime minister, but a swearing-in announced for Saturday didn't happen.
Activist group Tamarod spokesman Mahmoud Badr told Egypt's OTV on Sunday that the presidency had tapped ElBaradei to form the new government but then retracted the offer after objections from the conservative al-Nour party.
ElBaradei is known around the world as the former head of the U.N. atomic watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
He was to appear Sunday in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria but canceled it along with all other media interviews, his office said.
Morsy supporters carry a man who was shot during clashes next to the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo on July 5. State broadcaster Nile TV said a number of those backing the deposed leader were wounded as they tried to storm the headquarters, where Morsy reportedly was being held.Violence erupts in Sinai
In the lawless desert of the Sinai, where al Qaeda affiliates have long had a foothold, violent attacks erupted after Morsy's removal.
On Sunday, armed men blew up a pipeline transporting natural gas to Jordan, an ally of Israel and the United States, said a senior Egyptian intelligence officer, who asked not to be named.
Such attacks had ceased when Morsy was president. Before that, armed groups destroyed pipelines every few months, he said.
State-run EgyNews reported Sunday that three police officers in northern Sinai were shot and wounded while on duty when someone in an unmarked car fired shots at them and sped away.
It is unclear whether the attacks were a reaction to events in Cairo.
The pilot of the Asiana Airlines flight that crashed in San Francisco over the weekend had no experience landing a Boeing 777 at that airport. And one of the two teens who died after the crash may have been run over by a first responder's vehicle.
The revelations are the latest in a flurry of developments from the crash at San Francisco International Airport that killed two 16 year-old girls from China and sent 182 people to the hospital Saturday.
The flight, with 307 people on board, originated in Shanghai, China, and stopped in Seoul, South Korea. It was preparing to land in San Francisco when the rear of the plane struck the edge of the runway, severing the tail and causing the plane to erupt in smoke and flames.
Questions surround tragedy
The San Francisco Fire Department said one of the girls killed may have been struck by an emergency vehicle, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said.
"Part of our examination is to determine the cause of death. Our examination will determine whether it was from the airplane crash or secondary incident," Foucrault said.
Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia were among 35 Chinese students headed to California to attend West Valley Christian School's summer church camp, the school said on its website.
The two girls had signed up for the $5,000 summer program aimed to improve students' English.
The National Transportation Safety Board is also looking into reports that one of the girls may have been run over by an emergency vehicle.
"We are aware of the reports but don't have any details yet," NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said. "Our investigators will be looking very closely at this issue ... We are looking to determine if there are lessons to be learned from this accident."
The San Francisco Fire Department has not responded to CNN's request for comment.
Pilot's flight record
The pilot who was landing Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was making his first descent with a Boeing 777 at the San Francisco airport, the airline said.
But it wasn't his first time flying to San Francisco nor his first time in control of a 777.
Lee Kang-kuk, the pilot who was in the captain's seat, had flown from Seoul to San Francisco several times between 1999 and 2004, the airline said.
Including the flight Saturday, Lee flew a Boeing 777 nine times, clocking a total of 43 hours on that model of aircraft, Asiana said. He has piloted a total of about 10,000 hours, the airline said.
Lee was one of four pilots on board who were working in shifts Saturday.
South Korean and U.S. investigators will jointly question Lee on Monday, said Choi Jeong-ho, the head of South Korean's Aviation Policy Bureau.
They will also question Lee Jeong-min, who was sitting in the co-pilot's seat, Choi said.
Clues from the voice recorder
The cockpit voice and flight data recorders showed the flight was coming in too slow and too low and that the pilots apparently sped up seven seconds before impact, the National Transportation Safety Board said Sunday.
Four seconds before impact, a stall warning sounded -- warning the pilots the plane was about to lose its ability to stay in the air.
The voice recorder apparently showed the pilots tried to abort the landing less than two seconds before the plane crashed, NTSB head Deborah Hersman said.
The crew then made an internal decision "to initiate a go-around 1.5 seconds to impact," she said.
When asked if pilot error was to blame, Hersman said the crash landing was still under investigation.
"I would discourage anyone from drawing any conclusions at this point," she said.
The NTSB has ruled out weather as a problem and said that conditions were right for a "visual landing."
Officials are investigating whether construction at the airport may have played a role.
Construction to extend a runway safety area temporarily shut off the so-called glide slope system, which is one of several options pilots have to help them land planes safely, Hersman said.
The frightening crash
With no warning from the cockpit, survivors said, the plane slammed onto the edge of the runway near the seawall. The impact severed the plane's tail and sent the rest of the body spinning on its belly.
When rescuers arrived, they found some passengers coming out of the water, said city fire chief Joanne Hayes-White.
"There was a fire on the plane, so the assumption might be that they went near the water's edge, which is very shallow, to maybe douse themselves with water," she said.
Amateur video obtained exclusively by CNN shows the plane crashing and spinning counterclockwise and coming to a stop. Fred Hayes said he shot the video about a mile from the crash scene.
In all, 182 people were hospitalized. Their injuries ranged from severe road rash to paralysis.
'We're lucky'
The crash, followed by flames and clouds of smoke spewing from the gaping roof, left many fearing the worst.
But 123 of the 307 people on board walked away uninjured.
"We're lucky there hasn't been a greater loss of life," the fire chief said.
Medical personnel were also expecting more casualties.
"We were expecting a lot of burns, but we didn't see them," said Dr. Margaret Knudson, San Francisco General Hospital's chief of surgery. Six survivors were in critical condition at the hospital Sunday.
Many of the injured said they were sitting toward the rear of the aircraft, said Knudson. Several suffered abdominal injuries and spine fractures, some of which include paralysis and head trauma, she said.
Passenger Benjamin Levy said he was bracing for more trauma but ended up walking away from the wreck.
"Honestly, I was waiting for the plane to ... start flipping upside down, in which case I think a lot of people would have not made it," Levy said.
"If we flipped, none of us would be here to talk about it.