In the week following his death, Mohamed Morsi has proven to be as divisive a figure as he ever was in life. His death, after a collapse in a courtroom on Monday, was from an apparent heart attack. But, at the time of his death, Morsi was also suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, and liver disease. Amid suspicion that Egyptian authorities may have neglected to care for him while in jail, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights called his death ”murder by neglect.” Morsi was the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization which has been outlawed in Egypt since 2013. But the government reaction to Morsi’s death, which included a 42-word statement which did not acknowledge him as a former president, shows the government still fears the Brotherhood’s power.
On Friday, the President announced his intention to nominate Secretary of the Army Mark Esper as the next Secretary of Defense. Esper has served in his current role since November 2017. Before that, he spent seven years as a lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon. Upon leaving the company, Esper recused himself from all matters concerning Raytheon. That recusal lasts until November of this year. That recusal has some critics worried. The Defense Department has been working to sell Turkey on the benefits of the Patriot Missile System over the Russian S-400. But, as the Patriot System is made by Raytheon, some defense experts say Esper could not advocate for the system.
After ordering, then canceling, a retaliatory strike against Iran last week, President Trump has announced new sanctions against Iran. Speaking from the Oval Office, Trump said the sanctions will be ”hard-hitting” and are designed to deny Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his office “and many others” access to financial instruments. While Trump called the sanctions a “strong and proportionate response,” neither he nor Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin would offer exact details about what the retaliation was for. Trump said, “this was something that was going to happen anyway.”