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American citizen convicted in mass trial dies in Egyptian jail

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The United States on Monday confirmed the death of Egyptian-American Moustafa Kassem in a prison in Egypt where he had been in custody since 2013, and vowed to continue raising concerns over Cairo’s human rights record.

Egypt’s state prosecutor said Kassem died in a Cairo hospital on Monday, saying in a statement an autopsy had been ordered to determine the cause of death. The prosecutor said Kassem had been transferred on Sunday from a jail hospital to the Cairo university hospital.

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Kassem, who had been on a liquid-only hunger strike to protest his conviction, stopped taking liquids last Thursday, rights group Pretrial Rights International said in a statement. The group, which said it was representing Kassem and his family, also said that Kassem died on Monday in a hospital.

“I am deeply saddened to learn today the death of U.S.  citizen Moustafa Kassem who’d been imprisoned in Egypt,” the U.S. assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, David Schenker, told a State Department briefing.

“His death in custody was needless, tragic and avoidable,” Schenker said. “I will continue to raise our serious concerns over human rights and Americans detained in Egypt at every opportunity.”

Kassem was sentenced to prison in September 2018, along with dozens others, over a 2013 sit-in that ended with security forces killing hundreds of protesters. The sentencing, which included jail terms for more than 600 others, concluded a mass trial of people accused of murder and inciting violence during the pro-Muslim Brotherhood protest at Rabaa Adawiya square in Cairo.

Washington is Cairo’s closest Western ally and one of its top aid donors.

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Rights activists say President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has overseen an unprecedented crackdown on freedoms in Egypt since he took power in 2014. Sisi and his backers say the measures are needed to keep Egypt stable and to counter threats from Islamist militants.

Rabaa square was the single most deadly incident in unrest that followed the 2011 popular uprising that toppled Egypt’s longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

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‘Jealous’ Trump mocked as a ‘self-loathing manbaby with crippling insecurities’ after latest Bloomberg rant

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President Donald Trump started off the day by lobbing an attack on Mike Bloomberg, and other social media users suspected he was jealous of the billionaire's wealth.

The former New York City mayor has been spending millions on TV ads in his bid for the Democratic nomination, and the president grumbled about him on Twitter.

"Mini Mike Bloomberg doesn’t get on the Democrat Debate Stage because he doesn’t want to - he is a terrible debater and speaker," Trump tweeted. "If he did, he would go down in the polls even more (if that is possible!)."

Mini Mike Bloomberg doesn’t get on the Democrat Debate Stage because he doesn’t want to - he is a terrible debater and speaker. If he did, he would go down in the polls even more (if that is possible!).

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2020 Election

White House adviser warned colleagues Nancy Pelosi would eventually bring Trump down: ‘She’s an assassin’

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In an excerpt from the new book "A Very Stable Genius," former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon predicted that now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would eventually attempt to bring the president down one way or the other.

According to Axios, the book states, "The night of January 23 [2017], the first Monday of his presidency, Trump came face?to?face with House and Senate leaders from both parties at a White House reception ... At a long table in the State Dining Room, Steve Bannon ... could not stop looking at Nancy Pelosi..."

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‘Dopes and babies!’ Trump unleashed expletive-filled rant at military leaders after growing bored in Pentagon meeting: report

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President Donald Trump erupted during a briefing intended to teach him the basic fundamentals of U.S. foreign policy -- and essentially ended any hope that he would ever learn them.

Six months into his presidency, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were frustrated and alarmed by the gaps in Trump's knowledge of world affairs, and they scheduled a Pentagon briefing to catch him up, reported the Washington Post.

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