Brotherhood to rally for Mursi on Saturday

Updated 29 November 2012
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Brotherhood to rally for Mursi on Saturday

CAIRO: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists will rally on Saturday to support President Muhammad Mursi, a Brotherhood official said, after a mass protest against his decree to assume broad powers.
Mahmud Ghozlan, a senior Brotherhood member and spokesman, told AFP the rally would be held in Cairo, after the movement had cancelled a mass demonstration that would have coincided with Tuesday’s huge opposition protest.
Meanwhile, the country's top appeals court said it would “suspend all work” until Mursi rescinds the decree that gave him unprecedented presidential powers that cannot be challenged by the judiciary.
Crowds poured into the streets on Tuesday to denounce a decision they see as a dictatorial.
Police fired tear gas early yesterday into Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where hundreds of protesters spent the night after the mass rally.
Clashes that erupted on streets just off Tahrir, near the US embassy, spilled into the square, with canisters falling into the crowd forcing protesters to run and sending clouds of tear gas over the tents housing the demonstrators.
The outskirts of the square have seen sporadic skirmishes for nine days since a protest was begun to mark the one-year anniversary of deadly confrontations with police in the same area.
Clashes also raged through the night between supporters and opponents of Mursi in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla and the canal city of Port Said.
In Mahalla, 132 people were injured while 27 were hurt in Port Said, medical sources told AFP. According to a security official, calm in both towns had been restored by morning.
Protesters are furious at the decree that Mursi announced last Thursday allowing him to “issue any decision or law that is final and not subject to appeal”, which effectively placed him beyond judicial oversight. The move helped consolidate the long-divided opposition, with leading dissidents former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei and ex-Arab League chief Amr Mussa uniting with former presidential candidates in the face of Mursi and the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, on whose ticket Mursi ran for office.
The Brotherhood and the secular-leaning opposition had stood side by side in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in 2011 as they fought to bring down Mubarak and his regime.
The movement went on to dominate a committee tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution, prompting a string of walkouts by liberals, leftists and churches.
Mursi’s decree also bans any judicial body from dissolving the controversial panel, putting him on a collision course with the judiciary. Several courts have suspended work in protest.


Five Iranian migrants found drifting off French coast

Updated 3 min 56 sec ago
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Five Iranian migrants found drifting off French coast

  • They were treated by emergency services when brought back to land in Boulogne-sur-Mer

CALAIS: Five Iranian migrants attempting to reach Britain aboard a makeshift boat were rescued Saturday morning off the northern coast of France, officials said.
They were found around at 8:00 am (0600 GMT) in a state of hypothermia and were treated by emergency services when brought back to land in Boulogne-sur-Mer, according to the maritime authorities.
“These crossings are extremely risky and dangerous, despite the apparent proximity of the English coast from the French coast,” the prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea said in statement.
The five Iranians set off in a non-powered inflatable boat and lost their oars in calm seas but with poor visibility due to the haze.
They were found after five hours of searching by a Navy aircraft 8.5 nautical miles (16 km) north of Cape Gris-Nez, halfway to England, and then rescued by the National Society of Sea Rescue (SNSM).
On May 19, a Colombian national was found suffering from hypothermia by sea rescuers in the same area while trying to reach England illegally.