Patriarch Rai Created As a Cardinal in Vatican

VATICAN, (ST)_ Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai was created as a cardinal along with other five cardinals during a ceremony presided by Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican on Saturday.

Pope Benedict XVI promoted Patriarch Rai to the rank of cardinal, The National News Agency of Lebanon reported.

Pope Benedict XVI took the universality of the Church as the theme of his allocution to the participants in the Consistory.


I. Zaaboub

Egypt judges condemn 'unprecedented attack' by Mursi




President Mursi says he is making decisions for the good of all Egyptians.

According to BBC, Egypt's top judges have accused President Mohammed Mursi of staging an "unprecedented attack" on the judiciary.

The president passed a decree earlier this week granting himself extensive new powers.

It includes a bar on any court dissolving the constituent assembly, which is drawing up a new constitution.

Thursday's decree sparked angry demonstrations, and attacks on offices of Mr Mursi's Islamist FJP party.

The president has said he is acting to protect the revolution.

In a statement, the Supreme Judicial Council called his move "an unprecedented attack on the independence of the judiciary and its rulings," and called on him to reverse it.

Judges and prosecutors in Egypt's second city Alexandria have gone on strike in protest, saying they will not return to work until the decree is reversed.

Mr Mursi also sacked his prosecutor general on Thursday and gave himself the sole power to appoint a new one.

Tents have again been erected in Tahrir Square, in protest at the decree

His replacement moved quickly to reopen criminal investigations into ousted President Hosni Mubarak, his family, and former regime officials.

Our correspondent says that element is likely to be popular, as although Mubarak is serving a long jail term for ordering the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising, many officials were acquitted, creating deep resentments.

The ruling also bans any challenging of the president's decisions and laws.

Both critics and supporters of Mr Mursi have staged rallies since the decree. Overnight, crowds gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, vowing to stage a sit-in.

A large opposition rally is also planned for Tuesday.

H. Shamout




Sayyed Nasrallah Congratulates Palestinians: This Is a Real Victory




Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah congratulated the Palestinian resistance and people, inside Palestine and abroad,  and all the honorable people in the world for the victory against the Israeli enemy, considering that " blood had triumphed over the sword".

Speaking at the 9th eve of Ashura, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Israel was the one that waged a war on Gaza and not vice versa, indicating that "the resistance which lost a martyr was able to fight efficiently…  resistance movements in the region no longer depend on individuals."

His eminence further said: "It is enough to look at the faces of the tripartite, Netanyahu, Obama, and Lieberman to see their defeat, they were similar to the faces of Livni, Peres, and Olmert after July war"

"Netanyahu did not put high goals for this war. He rather put low goals so that he would achieve them and announce his victory, but even these he failed to achieve," he added, pointing out that "the first goal was to destroy the Palestinian resistance's leadership. He failed in that. The second goal was to destroy the resistance's missile system. He also failed in that. The third goal was to reinforce Israel's deterrence power. This war rather weakened this power."

Sayyed Nasrallah reassured that "this war assured that the Israeli air force is not capable of putting an end to the battle with Gaza," and indicated that "it was clear that when the Israelis called the reserve soldiers, it was for imposing a psychological war, because they were scared of engaging in a ground war."

He added that "the resistance's first victory was that it prevented the enemy from achieving his goals, the greater victory was that it did not let the enemy impose his conditions, and the greatest victory was that it imposed its own conditions."

Moreover, his eminence said "one of the resistance achievements was that the enemy now fears Gaza, and a war on Gaza is no longer a trip."

"If you failed to win a war against Gaza which has been under siege, what would be the case if you engage yourself in a war with someone else?" Sayyed Nasrallah asked the Israelis, emphasizing that "the resistance's power is what imposed a balance of power, and this is the strategy that should be adopted."


Source: Al-Manar Website

Sara Taha Moughnieh





"Mursi is Mubarak", chant rang out in Egypt

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi's decision to assume sweeping powers caused fury amongst his opponents and prompted violent clashes in central Cairo and other cities on Friday.

Police fired tear gas near Cairo's Tahrir Square, heart of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, where thousands demanded Mursi quit and accused him of launching a "coup". There were violent protests in Alexandria, Port Said and Suez.Chants" Mursi is Mubarak" rang out .    

Opponents accused Mursi, who has issued a decree that puts his decisions above legal challenge until a new parliament is elected, of being the new Mubarak and hijacking the revolution,according to Reuters.

"The people want to bring down the regime," shouted protesters in Tahrir, echoing a chant used in the uprising that forced Mubarak to step down. "Get out, Mursi," they chanted, along with "Mubarak tell Mursi, jail comes after the throne."

Mursi's aides said the presidential decree was intended to speed up a protracted transition that has been hindered by legal obstacles but Mursi's rivals condemned him as an autocratic pharaoh who wanted to impose his vision on Egypt.

The president's decree aimed to end the logjam and push Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation, more quickly along its democratic path, the presidential spokesman said.

The president's decree said any decrees he issued while no parliament sat could not be challenged, moves that consolidated his power but look set to polarize Egypt further, threatening more turbulence .

The turmoil has weighed heavily on Egypt's faltering economy that was thrown a lifeline this week when a preliminary deal was reached with the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8 billion loan. But it also means unpopular economic measures.

In Alexandria, north of Cairo, protesters ransacked an office of the Brotherhood's political party, burning books and chairs in the street. Supporters of Mursi and opponents clashed elsewhere in the city, leaving 12 injured.

"We are very concerned about the possible huge ramifications of this declaration on human rights and the rule of law in Egypt," Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, said at the United Nations in Geneva.

Leading liberal Mohamed ElBaradei, who joined other politicians on Thursday night to demand the decree was withdrawn, wrote on his Twitter account that Mursi had "usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt's new pharaoh".


Mursi draws fire with new Egypt decree




CAIRO - Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi triggered controversy on Thursday by issuing a decree likely to lead to retrials of Hosni Mubarak and his aides but which was compared to the ousted leader's autocratic ways.

According to Reuters, the decree shielded from legal challenge an Islamist-dominated assembly writingEgypt's new constitution.

It gave the same protection to the upper house of parliament, dominated by Islamists allied to Mursi, and assigned the president new powers that allowed him to sack the Mubarak-era prosecutor general and appoint a new one.

It stated that all decisions taken by Mursi until the election of a new parliament were exempt from legal challenge.

Presented as a move to "protect the revolution", the decree won immediate praise from Mursi's allies but stoked fears among secular-minded Egyptians that the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies aim to dominate the new Egypt. It seemed likely to deepen the divisions that have plagued the post-Mubarak era.

"These decisions will feed discord in Egyptian politics and will be far from creating a favourable climate for restoration of economic growth," Mustapha Kamal Al-Sayyid, a professor of political science at Cairo University, said.

Leading liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei, writing on his Twitter account, said Mursi had "usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt's new pharaoh". But Mahmoud Ghozlan, spokesman for the Brotherhood, described the move as "revolutionary and popular".

The decree appeared to remove any uncertainty still hanging over the fate of the assembly writing the constitution. The body has faced a raft of legal challenges from plaintiffs who dispute its legality.

Critics say its popular legitimacy had been further called into doubt by withdrawals of many of its non-Islamist members who had complained their voices were not being heard.

The constitution is a crucial element in Egypt's transition to democracy. New parliamentary elections will not be held until the document is completed and passed by a popular referendum.

The decree also gave the body an additional two months to complete its work, meaning the drafting process could stretch until February, pushing back new elections.


The move to order a retrial of Mubarak-era officials will likely be popular among those who feel that revolutionary justice has yet to be served.

Mubarak, 84, was sentenced to life in prison in June for failing to prevent killings that occurred during the uprising that led to his February 11, 2011 downfall. He has been held in a prison hospital since his sentence was handed down.

Yet critics have faulted the process by which he and other officials were put on trial. One of the problems, they say, was that the Mubarak-era prosecutor general had not been replaced.

Mursi had tried to replace Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, the man sacked on Thursday, in October. The move kicked up a storm of protest from judges who said the president had exceeded his powers and was threatening their independence.

Mursi got around the problem this time by giving himself the power to appoint a new prosecutor general, Talat Abdullah, whose swearing-in was shown on state television.

Heba Morayef, Egypt director for Human Rights Watch, said: "Egypt needed judicial reform and the public prosecutor is a Mubarak holdover, but granting the president absolute power and immunity is not the way to do it."