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Mursi faces judicial revolt over decree
Cairo, November 24
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi faces a rebellion from judges who accused him on Saturday of expanding his powers at their expense, deepening a crisis that has triggered calls for more protests following a day of violence across Egypt.
An Egyptian man walks past a burning police truck during a demonstration against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo. An Egyptian man walks past a burning police truck during a demonstration against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo. AFP

Back to school in Gaza after Israel offensive 
Gaza City, November 24
Tens of thousands of children are returning to school in the Gaza Strip after eight days of cross-border fighting between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules the coastal enclave.
Palestinian schoolgirls walk on the rubble of a building destroyed during Israeli bombardment as they make their way to their school in Gaza City on Saturday. Palestinian schoolgirls walk on the rubble of a building destroyed during Israeli bombardment as they make their way to their school in Gaza City on Saturday. AFP







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7 killed, 30 injured in Pak blast 
At least seven persons, including four children, were killed and 30 others injured on Saturday when a Shia procession was targeted with a powerful roadside bomb in Pakistan's restive northwest, the latest in a slew of attacks against the minority community during the Islamic month of Muharram.






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Mursi faces judicial revolt over decree
Judges accuse Egypt President of violating their independence

Cairo, November 24
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi faces a rebellion from judges who accused him on Saturday of expanding his powers at their expense, deepening a crisis that has triggered calls for more protests following a day of violence across Egypt.

Judges in Alexandria, Egypt's second city, threatened to go on strike until it was revoked, and there were calls for the "downfall of the regime", the rallying cry in the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, during a meeting of judges in Cairo.

Mursi's opponents and supports, representing the divide between newly empowered Islamists and a more secular, minded opposition, have called rival demonstrations on Tuesday over his decree that has triggered concern in the West.

Issued late on Thursday, it marks an effort by Mursi to consolidate his influence after he successfully sidelined Mubarak-era generals in August. It defends from judicial review decisions taken by Mursi until a new parliament is elected in a vote expected early next year.

It also shields the Islamist-dominated assembly writing Egypt's new constitution from a raft of legal challenges that have threatened the body with dissolution, and offers the same protection to the Islamist-controlled upper house of parliament.

Egypt's highest judicial authority, the Supreme Judicial Council, said the decree was an "unprecedented attack" on the independence of the judiciary.

Youths clashed sporadically with police near Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the uprising that toppled Mubarak in 2011, following Friday's violence in which more than 300 people were injured across Egypt. Activists camped out for a second day in the square, setting up makeshift barricades to keep out traffic.

Liberal, leftist and socialist parties called a big protest for Tuesday to force Mursi to row back on a decree they say has exposed the autocratic impulses of a man once jailed by Mubarak.

In a sign of the polarisation in the country, the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that propelled Mursi to power, called its own protests that day to support the president's decree.

At least three Brotherhood offices were attacked on Friday. "We are facing a historic moment in which we either complete our revolution or we abandon it to become prey for a group that has put its narrow party interests above the national interest," the liberal Dustour Party said in a statement.

Mursi also assigned himself new authority to sack the prosecutor general, a Mubarak hold over, and appoint a new one. Reuters

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Back to school in Gaza after Israel offensive 

Gaza City, November 24
Tens of thousands of children are returning to school in the Gaza Strip after eight days of cross-border fighting between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules the coastal enclave.

Israel carried out about 1,500 airstrikes against Hamas-linked targets in Gaza, while militants fired about as many rockets into Israel.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that 156 Palestinians were killed, including 33 children and minors under 18. Rockets from Gaza killed six Israelis. The group says most of more than 1,000 wounded Gazans were civilians. Dozens of Israelis were also hurt.

Gaza's schools reopened today. Adnan Abu Hassna, spokesman for a UN aid agency, says tens of thousands of students at 245 UN-run schools spent the first day talking about their experiences during the fighting.

Meanwhile, Israel eased restrictions on Gaza fishermen on Saturday, further implementing a three-day-old truce brokered by Egypt after a week of fierce fighting, Palestinian officials said. Agencies

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7 killed, 30 injured in Pak blast 
Afzal Khan in Islamabad

At least seven persons, including four children, were killed and 30 others injured on Saturday when a Shia procession was targeted with a powerful roadside bomb in Pakistan's restive northwest, the latest in a slew of attacks against the minority community during the Islamic month of Muharram.

The bomb, hidden in a mound of garbage, went off as the procession from an imambargah (Shia prayer hall) on the outskirts of Dera Ismail Khan was on its way to the main procession in the city, witnesses and police officials said.

Saturday marks the ninth of Muharram, a religious day holding special importance to the Shia community. Several religious processions were held across the country while the government claimed to have beefed up security in all cities deploying thousands of police and other security personnel. In sensitive areas, army's assistance was also sought in aid of civil administration.

Police officials said the bomb contained an estimated 10 kg of explosives and ball bearings. Footage on television showed the walls of several houses had been pitted by the ball bearings.

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BRIEFLY

Japanese singer and actress Noriko Sakai during a news conference in Tokyo as she came back to the entertainment industry a day after she finished her three years on parole. Sakai was convicted of drug use in 2009. AP/PTI

London
Savita case:
A senior Irish government official has not ruled out a public inquiry into the death of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar who died due to pregnancy-related complications after being denied abortion in Ireland. PTI

Kathmandu
Parties slam Prez deadline:
The Maoist-led ruling alliance in Nepal slammed President Ram Baran Yadav's deadline for parties to form a national consensus government, terming it unconstitutional, even as the opposition lauded the decision. PTI

Vatican City
Pope elevates 6 cardinals:
Six new cardinals, including an Indian, joined the elite club of red-robed churchmen on Saturday who will elect the next pope, bringing a more geographically diverse mix into the European-dominated College of Cardinals. AP

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