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Egypt TV head denies inciting president’s murder

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A television channel chief and presenter denied calling for the murder of President Mohamed Morsi when his trial on incitement charges opened in the Egyptian capital on Saturday.

“I merely criticized President Morsi,” Tawfiq Okasha told judges at the court appearance, an AFP journalist reported.
“This is a political trial. The Muslim Brotherhood wants to silence all dissent and reproduce the system from before the revolution,” he said.

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Okasha added that he was in the dock for “revealing the Brotherhood’s involvement in attacks on police stations, courts and prisons during the revolution” in 2011.

Okasha’s Al-Faraeen channel, suspended on August 16, aired a show that was stridently anti-Morsi and anti-Muslim Brotherhood, the party from which the leader emanates.

The charges against him came at the same time that Islam Afifi, the editor of small independent newspaper Al-Dustour, was accused of spreading false news and inciting disorder.

Okasha arrived at court surrounded by his supporters who chanted “The people want Al-Faraeen!”

The court set the next session of the trial for October 3 after hearing the case for the defense, which argued that the complaints against Okasha were not filed by Morsi personally.

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Both Okasha and Afifi were banned from leaving the country in August.

Afifi was freed after spending several hours in custody on the day of his trial, after a decree signed by Morsi scrapped preventive detention for alleged publishing crimes.

Afifi was the first journalist to go on trial since the overthrow of veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak in February last year.

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After his inauguration on June 30, Morsi moved to bolster his power over the influential military and a state media that had been hostile towards his once banned but powerful movement.

He got the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated upper house of parliament to name new editors-in-chief for state media that had been hostile to him and the Islamist group.

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Morsi’s opponents accuse him of seeking to muzzle the press, and there has also been international concern.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the prosecutions of Okasha and Afifi ran counter to the spirit of last year’s revolution.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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Ukraine begged Trump to raise issue of their captive sailors with Putin — he didn’t and Russia state TV gloated

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The ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is being painted by Congress and the press against the backdrop of the ongoing war between Russia and the Ukraine.

As more and more sworn deposition transcripts are released, researchers are able to link up the testimony of events with real-time reactions, giving us a remarkable insight into the implications of foreign policy decisions.

Investigative journalist Julia Davis flagged one key part of testimony in the transcript released of the deposition by Ukraine embassy political officer David Holmes.

The transcript reveals Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the former federal prosecutor who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, interviewing Holmes about Ukraine's desperation to set up a meeting with Trump.

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‘Something nefarious going on’: Obama deputy chief of staff doesn’t buy White House claims on Trump’s health

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The deputy chief of staff for operations in the Obama administration broke down on Monday why the White House claims on President Donald Trump's surprise Saturday visit to Walter Reed Hospital.

Jim Messina, who also was the campaign manager for Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, was interviewed Monday on MSNBC's "The Last Word" by anchor Lawrence O'Donnell.

O'Donnell noted the note the White House physician sent to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham:

[caption id="attachment_1563602" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Memorandum from Dr. Sean Conley to Stephanie Grisham.[/caption]

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Trump doctor denies the president underwent any ‘neurologic evaluations’ at Walter Reed Hospital

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The physician to the president claimed that President Donald Trump did not undergo "neurologic" evaluations during a surprise visit to Walter Reed Hospital.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a picture of a memorandum from Dr. Sean Conley, which was printed on "Office of the Press Secretary" letterhead.

The memo was sent to Grisham.

On Saturday, Grisham had claimed the purpose of the visit was to conduct a "partial" physical. Dr. Conley referred to the visit as an "interim check up."

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