Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a news writer for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett and interned at The L Magazine. At New York University she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, The Washington Square News. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

Witnesses said the Egyptian army on Wednesday secured a military barracks where President Mohammed Morsi was working with barbed wire and barriers, Reuters reported.

Armored vehicles and troops were also deployed to prevent Morsi supporters from marching to the presidential palace, according to witnesses. A Reuters journalist saw troops in formation close to a rally where tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered.

The army said that it was securing the area and denied what it said were reports that the military is attacking Morsi supporters.

"The Egyptian army belongs to all Egyptians," the military said in an official statement, as quoted by Reuters.

Unconfirmed reports of tanks on the move outside Cairo surfaced Wednesday after the Egyptian military's ultimatum expired without a resolution to the country's political crisis. NBC's Richard Engel reported via Twitter, citing a Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson, that some Brotherhood members had been arrested and that tanks are moving on Cairo in a "coup." 

The New York Times has learned that travel bans were placed Wednesday on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi as well as the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide and deputy supreme guide. The Times' Cairo bureau reported the development on Twitter, citing Egyptian security officials.

Police were investigating whether an armed customer may have shot and killed two restaurant employees by mistake in a chaotic incident on Monday night in Oakland, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Law enforcement sources, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation into the shooting, told the Chronicle that the customer and another man may have been hiding in the freezer of a Wingstop fast-food restaurant after being threatened by a "third party." When the restaurant employees came back to investigate, they were possibly mistaken for the threatening party and shot by the customer, according to the sources.

Oakland police said they had already apprehended one of the customers, and were in "the process of securing the other man's surrender."

Before the Egyptian military's ultimatum expired Wednesday, President Mohammed Morsi refused to step down and told the military not to "take sides" in the country's political crisis, according to the Associated Press.

Military officers were monitoring content in an Egyptian state TV newsroom Wednesday ahead of the expiration of the army's ultimatum, the Associated Press reported. 

Ecuador has found what it says was a hidden microphone in its London embassy, which houses Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The nation plans Wednesday to announce who it believes controlled the device, according to Reuters

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said the device was discovered in the office of the Ecuadorean ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ana Alban, during one of Patino's meetings with Assange on June 16.

"I didn't denounce this at the time because we didn't want the theme of our visit to London to be confused with this matter," Patino said in a news conference Tuesday in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, as quoted by Reuters. The foreign minister had met at the time with British Foreign Secretary William Hague to discuss Assange.

"Furthermore, we first wanted to ascertain with precision what could be the origin of this interception device in the office of our ambassador," Patino added. "We are sorry to say so, but this is another instance of a loss of ethics at the international level in relations between governments."

Egypt's state flagship newspaper Al-Ahram reported Wednesday that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi will either step down or be removed from office when the army's deadline for resolving the political crisis arrives, according to Reuters.

"Al-Ahram learnt that with the end of the 48-hour period set by the armed forces ... it is expected in the hours that follow it, one of two things: either Mursi announces his resignation himself, or the declaration of his removal through the road map for the future set out by the armed forces," the newspaper said, as quoted by Reuters.

The state newspaper reported the military's "road map" for the country includes a neutral transition government headed by a military leader as well as a three-member presidential council chaired by the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court.

The North Carolina state Senate approved a bill late Tuesday restricting abortions that was tacked onto a measure dealing with foreign law, according to local media reports.

The omnibus legislation was listed on a senate committee's calendar only as House Bill 695, which bars family courts from recognizing foreign law such as Islamic Sharia law, according to WRAL. That bill was then amended at 5:30 p.m. to incorporate abortion provisions, including licensing requirements that would compel abortion clinics to meet standards similar to those of ambulatory surgical centers. Legislative staff said that only one clinic in the state meets those standards, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

Other provisions would require a doctor to be present for the entire abortion procedure, whether surgical or drug-induced (medical); put a ban on sex-selective abortions; and prohibit plans on the federal health care exchange from covering the costs of an abortion.

The Senate tentatively approved the bill 27-14. A final vote Wednesday would send the legislation to the House, where some of the proposals have already passed in separate bills.