Protesters climb U.S. Embassy walls in Cairo
Protesters rally in front the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday.
September 11th, 2012
01:43 PM ET

Protesters climb U.S. Embassy walls in Cairo

[Updated at 5:38 p.m. ET] Angry protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and tore down the American flag, apparently in protest of a film thought to insult the Prophet Mohammed.

A volley of warning shots were fired as a large crowd gathered around the compound, said CNN producer Mohammed Fahmy, who was on the scene, though it is not clear who fired the shots.

Egyptian police and army personnel have since formed defensive lines around the facility in an effort to prevent the demonstrators from advancing farther, but not before the protesters affixed their standard atop the embassy.

The black flag, which hangs atop a ladder inside the compound, is adorned with white characters that read, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger," an emblem often used in al Qaeda propaganda.

It was unclear which film upset the protesters.

Egypt's highest court declares parliament invalid
Egyptian parliament members met in Cairo on Tuesday to elect members of a constitution committee.
June 14th, 2012
10:27 AM ET

Egypt's highest court declares parliament invalid

[Updated at 11:44 a.m. ET] Egypt's highest court declared the parliament invalid Thursday, and the country's interim military rulers promptly declared full legislative authority, triggering a new level of chaos and confusion in the country's leadership.

The Supreme Constitutional Court also ruled that a former member of President Hosni Mubarak's regime may run in a presidential election runoff this weekend.

The ruling on parliament means that it must be dissolved, state TV reported.

The court found that all articles making up the law that regulated parliamentary elections are invalid, said Showee Elsayed, a constitutional lawyer.

Parliament had been in session for just over four months. It was dominated by Islamists, a group long viewed with suspicion by the military.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in control of the country since Mubarak's ouster, announced that it now has full legislative power and will announce a 100-person assembly that will write the country's new constitution. The court's rulings come a day after Egypt's military-led government imposed a de facto martial law, extending the arrest powers of security forces.

October 2nd, 2011
02:34 PM ET

Libyan Jew returns from exile to restore synagogue

Libyan Jew David Gerbi on Sunday hammered down the brick wall blocking the entrance to the rundown Dar Bishi Synagogue in Tripoli on what he called a “historic day.”

Flanked by journalists and curious residents from the neighborhood, Gerbi, dressed in an “I love Libya” T-shirt, collapsed as he yelled, “This is for all those who suffered under Gadhafi."

With a U.S. security contractor accompanying him, Gerbi continued to strike the wall until it was destroyed.

“I could not have done it without the permission of three local sheikhs living in the neighborhood and the protection of the rebels,” Gerbi told CNN as he pointed to the faded Hebrew letters meaning  “Hear, O Israel" engraved on the wall above the Torah scroll.

The dusty floor of the scarred building was littered with dead pigeons, clothes, flea-ridden mattresses and syringes that may have been left behind by drug users and prostitutes who used to take refuge in the abandoned building, according to the testimonies of the local residents.

“I will paint the walls and restore the building, but will keep it simple and functional because it’s a place for God and prayers,” Gerbi said as he mopped the floor.

“I feel proud. My smile is back and my dream is fulfilled, and I want tourists to come see this place in a month’s time,” Gerbi told a room full of journalists.


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