January 3rd, 2012
02:01 AM ET

Egyptians to begin 3rd round of voting after weeks of unrest

Egypt opens the third round of voting for the lower house of Parliament on Tuesday after Islamist parties performed strongly in the previous rounds last month.

The vote is the latest step in a tense and complex process meant to move Egypt toward a more representative form of government after the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in February

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has led Egypt's government since Mubarak's fall. It has said it will hand over power to a new government once one is in place.

But the transition has not been quick or transparent enough for some Egyptians. A series of protests in Cairo last month resulted in violent and sometimes deadly clashes between demonstrators and the country's armed forces.

The unrest appeared to have largely stemmed from a stretch of assaults by police and defiant protests by demonstrators demanding that Egypt's ruling military cede power to a civilian government.

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Filed under: Egypt • Middle East • World
January 3rd, 2012
01:47 AM ET

Community leaders to denounce attacks on NY houses of worship

Several religious leaders in New York have called a news conference at 11:30 a.m. ET Tuesday to denounce attacks on two houses of worship over the weekend.

Someone hurled Molotov cocktails Sunday night at an Islamic center and at a residence that also serves as a Hindu temple in the Queens borough of New York City, officials said.

A bodega was similarly damaged in another attack.

In a fourth incident, fire damaged part of a house – but it was too early to tell whether it was a result of a Molotov cocktail and whether it was related to the other incidents, the New York Police Department said.

No one was injured in any of the incidents.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
January 3rd, 2012
01:31 AM ET

Mount Rainier park to remain closed as condolences pour in for ranger

Washington's Mount Rainier National Park is expected to remain closed Tuesday as authorities continue to investigate the deaths of a park ranger and the man suspected of killing her.

Authorities found Benjamin Colton Barnes' body Monday, face down in a river in the park. He was the suspect in the New Year's Day shooting death of park ranger Margaret Anderson.

While officials have shared little about Barnes' background, or a possible motive, park staffers and residents in Eatonville mourned Anderson's passing.

"Everyone is talking about her," Patty Wrzesien, a waitress at Cruiser's Cafe told CNN affiliate KING. "She was such a sweet, sweet lady."

Wrzesien told the station that Anderson would bring her daughters, ages 4 and 1, to the cafe for takeouts.

By early Tuesday morning, more than 670 messages of condolences had been posted online on the Officer Down Memorial Page.

"I remember when everyone at my house saw all the police cars rushing down Mountain Hwy during my New Year's party, and everyone was wondering what had happened," wrote a 15-year-old girl who identified herself as Janelle, a neighbor of the Anderson's.

"Then I remember slowly hearing more and more about what happened up at Mount. Rainier. It really takes a long time for stuff like this to sink in, especially when something this big hits such a small town like Eatonville."

Anderson, 34, was the youngest of three children, who had worked at the park for four years along with her husband and fellow park ranger, Eric Anderson.

She had always liked the outdoors and she liked helping people, her father, Paul Kritsch, told KING. And that is why, she loved her job as a ranger, he said.

She died after a traffic stop Sunday morning.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
January 3rd, 2012
12:30 AM ET

Israeli, Palestinian officials to meet in Jordan to relaunch negotiations

Israeli and Palestinian representatives are expected to meet in Jordan on Tuesday in an effort to relaunch negotiations between the two sides after more than a year of deadlock, Jordanian state media reported.

Netanyahu's special envoy, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, and Erakat will meet in Amman with representatives of the Middle East Quartet - made up of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.

Peace talks between the two sides fell apart more than a year ago over disagreements on the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

In September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made a bid for the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state, a move Israel called premature without direct talks that address its long-standing security concerns.

Filling the vacuum left open by the removal of Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak, Jordan's King Abdullah has taken a more active role in trying to bridge the gulf between Israelis and Palestinians.

In November, King Abdullah made a rare visit to the Palestinian political capital of Ramallah in the West Bank followed by a meeting in Amman a week later with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

While both sides thanked the Jordanian government for its role in bringing about the meeting, few are expecting any serious breakthroughs.

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Filed under: Israel • Middle East • Palestinians • World
January 3rd, 2012
12:21 AM ET

Prosecutors to begin their case in Hosni Mubarak's trial

Prosecutors begin presenting their case Tuesday in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is accused of ordering protesters killed during the country's uprising last year.

"I expect a verdict before January 25, the anniversary of the revolution," said Khaled Abu Bakr, a lawyer involved in the trial.

He was referring to the beginning of the uprising that ended Mubarak's 30-year rule in February 2011.

Adel Saeed, an official spokesman for the general prosecutor's office, confirmed that there is "a possibility" of a verdict by January 25, depending on how long prosecutors and lawyers for the victims and the defense take to present their cases, plus the time the judge needs "to review all the documents and evidence presented."

The former president also faces corruption charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

Abu Bakr said prosecutors will take three days to make their case.

Many Egyptians are critical of the court proceedings and some worry that Mubarak may be acquitted of the murder charges. Five police officers accused of killing protesters were acquitted last week.

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Filed under: Egypt • Middle East • World
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