Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Egyptian high court says election laws were not valid

Egypt

High court says election laws were not valid

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court ruled Sunday that the laws that governed the election of the country's only operating house of parliament as well as the body that drafted the country's postrevolutionary constitution were invalid. While the ruling is unlikely to have any immediate practical effects, it further erodes the legal standing of President Mohamed Morsi and the legislature, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. The court said the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament currently operating, could continue to function until the election of a new lower house, but the ruling will cast a shadow on the legitimacy of any laws it passes. The court also ruled that the 100-member assembly that drafted the country's new constitution was illegal. That body has disbanded, and the constitution was approved in a referendum late last year. But the court appeared to accept the legitimacy of the constitution itself.

Fort Meade, Md.

Thanks ahead of WikiLeaks trial

The lawyer for an Army private who sent troves of classified material to WikiLeaks thanked supporters who gathered Sunday outside Maryland's Fort Meade ahead of Pfc. Bradley Manning's court-martial. David Coombs thanked supporters for raising money and awareness of the case. Manning, whose trial begins today, is charged with indirectly aiding the enemy by sending classified material to WikiLeaks. He faces up to life in prison.

Saudi Arabia

Three more die from new virus

Saudi Arabia reported Sunday that three more people have died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom to 24. The Ministry of Health said the three deceased were among 38 infected in the kingdom with the respiratory virus called MERS. The World Health Organization said Saturday prior to the latest Saudi announcement that it was informed of 51 worldwide cases of the new virus since September and 30 cases were fatal.

Iran

Police detain aides of candidate

Iranian police have arrested several people campaigning for a reformist candidate in this month's presidential election, an aide said Sunday. Police picked up several supporters of Hasan Rowhani after he delivered a speech Saturday night, his campaign manager, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, told the semiofficial Mehr news agency. The June 14 election is to choose a replacement for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who cannot run for a third term. Authorities have already pared down the list of candidates to eight.

Elsewhere

Zimbabwe: President Robert Mugabe said on Sunday he will abide by a court ruling to hold national elections before the end of July despite objections from his rivals. He spoke to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. while on a trip to Japan.

Venezuela: Defense Minister Diego Molero said Sunday that he would never support a military coup to unseat President Nicolas Maduro and has never even entertained the idea.

Czech Republic: A 23-year-old Czech woman has given birth to quintuplets for the first time in the Czech Republic. The Institute for the Care of Mother and Child said Sunday that four boys and a girl were born by cesarean section.

Times wires

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