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Egypt government resigns, paving way for Sisi to seek presidency

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Egypt’s government has resigned, the prime minister said on Monday, paving the way for army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare his candidacy for president of a strategic U.S. ally gripped by political strife.

“(The government) made every effort to get Egypt out of the narrow tunnel in terms of security, economic pressures and political confusion,” Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said in a live nationwide speech.

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Beblawi, who was tasked by interim President Adly Mansour with running the government’s affairs until the election, did not give a clear reason for the decision.

For Sisi to run for president he would first need to leave his post as defense minister. “This (government resignation) was done as a step that was needed ahead of Sisi’s announcement that he will run for president,” an Egyptian official said.

He told Reuters that the cabinet had resigned en masse as Sisi did not want to appear to be acting alone.

The top military commander has unveiled a political roadmap meant to lead to elections after toppling Islamist President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July following mass protests against his rule.

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The vote is expected within months in Egypt, which has great geo-strategic importance due to its peace treaty with Israel and control over the Suez Canal, a vital global shipping lane that is the shortest between Asia and Europe.

Egypt’s stock market rose 0.26 percent after news of the government’s departure to 8029.37 points, reversing losses from earlier in the day.

Mursi’s removal triggered the bloodiest political crisis in Egypt’s modern history, with security forces killing hundreds of Brotherhood supporters, jailing thousands and putting top leaders on trial.

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The Muslim Brotherhood accused Sisi of plotting a coup, and human rights groups say that abuses under his watch are growing by the day, allegations the army-backed government denies.

The government has also cracked down on some secular activists who were instrumental in unrest that overthrew autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and who supported Mursi’s removal. They are languishing in prisons and face trial.

Compounding the instability in the Arab world’s largest country, Islamist militants based in the widely lawless Sinai Peninsula have intensified attacks on police and soldiers, killing hundreds.

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The Sinai-based group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing which killed two South Koreans last week, inflicting yet more harm on a tourism industry already gutted by political turmoil and protests.

Ansar also said that it was behind high-profile assassinations of top Interior Ministry officials.

(Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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‘A threat to virtually everything that the United States should stand for’: Scathing NYT op-ed on Trump goes viral

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damning piece by New York Times Opinion Columnist David Leonhardt is going viral. “Donald Trump vs. the United States of America” says it’s “Just the facts, in 40 sentences.”

That’s all it is.

40 sentences, 40 facts chronicling President Donald Trump’s lawlessness, self-dealing, un-American behavior, attempts to do real damage to vital institutions, and grotesque acts. Some are impeachable offenses. Some are just not worthy – or are disqualifying – of a president of the United States.

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Mississippi: African American voters sue over election law rooted in the state’s racist past

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A lawsuit over a Mississippi election law, if successful, will change the way that state elects its governor.

Four African Americans filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in May 2019, charging that the way their state elects its statewide officials violates the Voting Rights Act, the 14th Amendment and the principle of “one-person, one-vote.”

To win election, a candidate for governor of Mississippi has to win an outright majority of the popular vote – and win a majority of the state’s 122 House districts.

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Fox & Friends pushes lies and distortions about intel whistleblower: ‘Almost as if they heard a rumor’

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"Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy pushed inaccurate claims about a whistleblower complaint filed by an intelligence official against President Donald Trump.

The Fox News broadcaster downplayed the complaint, which reportedly involved Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine's president to dig up dirt against Joe Biden, and falsely claimed that Congress had no authority to investigate.

"In this country, you know, we've heard a lot over the last couple of years about how the Democrats would like to impeach the president of the United States," Doocy said, and co-host Brian Kilmeade feigned shock.

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