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Jun 21, 2014

Egypt upholds death sentence on Brotherhood leader, nearly 200 supporters

CAIRO (Reuters) – An Egyptian court confirmed death sentences on Saturday against the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and 182 supporters, in a mass trial of Islamists who ruled Egypt for a year but face a fierce crackdown under the new president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Mohamed Badie and other defendants were charged in connection with violence that erupted in the southern town of Minya following the ousting of the Brotherhood’s President Mohamed Mursi last July, led by then army chief Sisi.

Jun 21, 2014

Egyptian court confirms death sentences against Brotherhood leader, nearly 200 supporters

CAIRO (Reuters) – An Egyptian court confirmed death sentences on Saturday against the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and 182 supporters, in a mass trial of Islamists who ruled Egypt for a year but face a fierce crackdown under the new president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Mohamed Badie and other defendants were charged in connection with violence that erupted in the southern town of Minya following the ousting of the Brotherhood’s President Mohamed Mursi last July, led by then army chief Sisi.

Jun 17, 2014

Egypt’s Sisi cracks the whip on new government

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered a military-style regime of early morning starts for ministers on Tuesday as he swore in a new government that hopes to revive an economy plagued by sluggish growth and recent political turmoil.

After summoning Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb’s cabinet to the presidential palace to take the oath of office at 7 a.m., the former army chief promptly made clear that ministers should get used to the new timetable.

Jun 5, 2014

Assad declared landslide victor in wartime Syrian election

BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad has secured a landslide victory in a wartime election that was condemned as a sham by his opponents but demonstrated his tenacious hold on power after three years of brutal civil war.

Parliamentary speaker Mohammad al-Laham said Assad secured 88.7 percent of votes cast in the election, which was held mainly in the central and western parts of the country, where his forces hold sway.

Jun 4, 2014

Assad declared landslide victor in civil war election

BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad secured re-election by a landslide, Syria’s parliamentary speaker said on Wednesday, in a vote dismissed as a sham by his opponents and held amid a raging civil war which grew out of protests against his rule.

Speaker Mohammad al-Laham said Assad secured 88.7 percent of the votes cast in the election which was restricted to the parts of Syria under the control of his forces.

May 27, 2014

Chemical weapons team in Syria attacked but safe: OPCW

AMSTERDAM/BEIRUT (Reuters) – A team of international experts investigating the alleged use of chlorine bombs in Syria came under attack on Tuesday but all members of the team were safe and returning to base, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said.

Syria accused rebel fighters of abducting the members of the joint OPCW/U.N. fact-finding team, who had traveled to the central province of Hama to investigate allegations of illegal chlorine attacks by government forces.

May 27, 2014

Chemical weapons team in Syria attacked but safe-organisation

AMSTERDAM/BEIRUT (Reuters) – A team of international experts investigating the alleged use of chlorine bombs in Syria came under attack on Tuesday but all members of the team were safe and returning to base, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said.

Syria accused rebel fighters of abducting the members of the joint OPCW/U.N. fact-finding team, who had travelled to the central province of Hama to investigate allegations of illegal chlorine attacks by government forces.

May 22, 2014

Assad’s forces break rebel siege of Aleppo prison

BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad’s troops broke a year-long rebel siege of Aleppo’s main prison on Thursday, cutting a main insurgent supply line and vowing to press on and recapture the whole of Syria’s biggest city.

State television showed soldiers inside the prison after they routed al Qaeda and other Islamist forces who had tried several times in recent months to break into the jail and free thousands of prisoners.

May 20, 2014

Lebanon’s cannabis farms flourish while army looks away

BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, May 20 (Reuters) – Driving around his
Bekaa Valley farmland, Ali Nasri Shamas carries a revolver by
his side and an automatic rifle in the back of his car, weapons
he says he’s ready to use if the army moves in to try to destroy
his lucrative cannabis crop.

But he may not need them this year. With Syria’s civil war
raging 30 miles (50 km) away, Lebanese security forces have
other priorities than their annual showdown with the Bekaa
hashish growers.

May 18, 2014

Street by street, Assad extends grip in central Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – From his base in Damascus, Bashar al-Assad can contemplate a broad sweep of Syria clawed back from rebels who once threatened to drive him out. The capital which they targeted is now plastered with posters inviting Syrians to reelect him president.

Powerful foreign allies have helped Assad hold or retake a chain of cities which form the north-south backbone of the country, keep his grip on the Mediterranean coast to the west and restore control over the Lebanese border.

    • About Dominic

      "I run Reuters news operations in Beirut, Damascus and Amman. I have reported from across the Middle East since 1992, mainly in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Dubai. I have also edited political and general news from Europe/MiddleEast/Africa and was parliamentary correspondent in London."
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