Morsi (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi defied a deadline imposed by the Egyptian military today, even as thousands of pro- and anti-government protesters massed in the streets of Cairo. The increasing tension, which has already begun to spill over into violence, presents a thorny diplomatic challenge for the Obama administration, which has little love for Morsi's government, but fears that a military coup could undermine the spread of democracy in the Middle East.

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