Cairo court affirms death for 7 Copts over anti-Islam film

Updated 30 January 2013
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Cairo court affirms death for 7 Copts over anti-Islam film

CAIRO: A Cairo tribunal yesterday upheld death sentences passed on seven Egyptian Coptic Christians in absentia for their involvement in a blasphemous movie, a judicial source said.
The accused, including the director of the movie that triggered outrage across the Muslim world when it surfaced last September, are currently living in the United States.
Terry Jones, an American pastor based in Florida who is said to have promoted the film and who had also been sentenced to death in absentia, had his sentence reduced to five years in jail by the tribunal.
Egyptian courts usually hand out the maximum punishment — execution in this case for a blasphemy verdict — and send the decision to the state's top Islamic scholar to get his approval.
Yesterday's confirmation of the sentences occurred after his opinions were taken.
If the defendants do return to Egypt, they could get a new trial, according to legal experts.


Israel to destroy Russian S-300 air defense system in Syria if attacked

Updated 2 min 20 sec ago
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Israel to destroy Russian S-300 air defense system in Syria if attacked

LONDON: Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned Tuesday that if Syria uses Russian-made air defense system against Israeli warplanes, then Tel Aviv will destroy them.
In an interview with Israel’s Ynet, Lieberman commented on the Russian plans to supply Damascus regime with improved air defense system.
“What’s important to us is that the defensive weapons the Russians are giving Syria won’t be used against us,” Lieberman Said. Israel Defense Minister warned Damascus that if they were to target Israeli planes Tel Aviv will retaliate and take out the S-300 supplied by Moscow.
“If they’re used against us, we’ll act against them.” Lieberman reiterated his country’s position not to interfere in Syria’s internal affairs, but he warned against Iran’s efforts to flood the country with advanced weapon systems that could be aimed at Israel.