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Morsi's New Powers Bring Protests in Egypt

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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Oct. 7, 2012.Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Oct. 7, 2012.
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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Oct. 7, 2012.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Oct. 7, 2012.

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From VOA Learning English, this is IN THE NEWS in Special English.
 
On Wednesday, Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi earned international praise for helping negotiate a cease-fire in Gaza.

But he faces unrest at home after giving himself wide new powers the next day. Protesters have attacked Muslim Brotherhood offices in several cities. Police fired tear gas at crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Mr. Morsi says Egypt is on a path to freedom and democracy. He says he wants to move Egypt forward as a stable and safe nation. He spoke Friday in Cairo as his supporters and opponents demonstrated in different parts of the city.
 
The president is a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood organization. He narrowly won election in June as Egypt's first elected president and its first Islamist president. Egyptians ousted longtime president Hosni Mubarak during the popular revolution early last year.  
 
Mr. Morsi's declaration on Thursday said his decisions cannot be appealed. He barred the courts from taking any action to dissolve the upper house of parliament or the assembly writing a new constitution. Both are controlled by Islamist allies of the president.
 
Mr. Morsi also ordered retrials of former officials who used violence in efforts to suppress last year's Arab Spring revolution. Those new trials could include a retrial for Hosni Mubarak. He was sentenced to life in prison for failing to stop the killings. But he avoided convictions on more serious offenses of corruption and ordering the deadly suppression of the protests.
 
Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradai says Mr. Morsi has made himself a "new pharaoh" by claiming so much power.
 
The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza halted the most serious Israeli-Palestinian fighting in four years. More than one hundred sixty Palestinians and six Israelis were killed. Israel and Hamas traded rocket fire for eight days after an Israeli missile strike killed the Hamas military chief in Gaza City. That attack followed months of almost daily rocket fire into southern Israel from Gaza.
 
On Friday the first death was reported since the truce took effect Wednesday night. Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man and wounded others as a group of Palestinians came toward the border fence.
 
Egypt brokered the truce in diplomatic efforts that also included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Since his election, President Morsi has tried to present a newly energized Egypt. Mustafa el Labbad directs the al Sharq Center for Regional and Strategic Studies.
 
MUSTAFA EL LABBAD: "Egypt stagnated in the last three decades so much that Egypt was not in a position to negotiate any other matter outside its border. Egypt has its own economic problems and it would be false to think that Egypt is going to have immediately the leadership in the Arab world. But Egypt turned its back to Mubarak's policies and now is heading for active mediation."
 
Protests in support of Gaza broke out across Egypt after the conflict intensified. Hamas grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood. But few Egyptians want to see large numbers of poor and often militant Palestinians cross the border from Gaza into the Egyptian Sinai.
 
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.
 
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Contributing: Elizabeth Arrott
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ahmed from: saudiarabia
12/01/2012 6:24 PM
Ithink that mursi shall not becom as pharaoh because he suffered from hosni mubark much and because of his islamic culture he afraid so much from god punishment and i hope that egypt with him will go up


by: sultan from: Los Angeles
11/29/2012 7:51 PM
I think if you give Morsi's chance to do what he want, that will show you his thinking. Be patience and evrey think will be OK .
Allah yansrkom


by: ALI from: US
11/29/2012 7:50 PM
Morsi's need time to be able to take decision. He is doing well , but he came after many thing was damege . I think with hem Egypt is on a path to freedom.

Thank you .


by: hds from: xi'an
11/29/2012 8:38 AM
He will be a next autocrat , fight against him .


by: abdelhamed al tahawy from: egypt , cairo
11/25/2012 10:56 PM
i refuse the the president morsy's declaration, because he gives him self more illegitimate powers which not accepted in such low country !!!


by: salarn from: canada
11/25/2012 4:57 PM
I am so sorry to egypt with this president.Im worry about egypts future.


by: Dr thierno Ba from: senegal
11/24/2012 12:06 PM
great!!! thanks a lot Mr EMBER for this new topic


by: yoshi from: Sapporo
11/24/2012 11:55 AM
I know few about the political system of Egypt. But my understandigs of modern democratic politics is that the government should have separation of three branches, the administrative, legislative and judicial branches. In this point, corts shouldn't have rights to dissolve parliament. But president Mosri as representative of administration also shouldn't heve rights to ban assembry writing a new constitution because I think revising constitution is the matter of concern of legislative branch.
By the way, it would be a great honor for Morsi to be called a new Pharaou. This is the fact that he has brokered cease-fire between Islael and palestin.

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