World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt's armed forces chief will keep his post as defence minister in a new cabinet to be formed by President-elect Mohamed Mursi, a member of the military council said.
Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, 76, who served as defence minister for two decades under ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, will keep his post after Egypt's first Islamist president takes over, Major-General Mohamed Assar said in a rare appearance on a talk show on privately-owned CBC television on Wednesday night.
"The (new) government will have a defence minister who is head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces," he said.
Asked if this meant Tantawi would keep his defence portfolio, Assar said: "Exactly. What is wrong with that? He is the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the defence minister and the commander of the armed forces."
Tantawi effectively pushed the 84-year-old Mubarak aside on Feb. 11 last year when it became clear the security forces could not contain street protests against his 30-year rule.
The republic's past presidents, all drawn from the military, have had the title of supreme commander of the armed forces.
Yet Assar's assertion that Tantawi would remain in place even before Mursi has been sworn in on Saturday illustrates the limits the military seeks to set on his presidential authority.
The army council backed a supreme court decision on June 14 to dissolve the Islamist-dominated parliament on the grounds that rules were broken during its election six months ago.
The military council then assumed legislative powers, which Assar said it would exercise until a new assembly is elected.
In another of several actions which the Muslim Brotherhood denounced as a military coup before Mursi's election win was confirmed on Sunday, the council also named a newly created National Defence Council to run defence and foreign policies.
Although Mursi and his future prime minister will also serve on the council, they will be outnumbered by the generals in a body whose decisions will be taken by majority vote.
Assar insisted that Mursi, a 60-year-old U.S.-trained engineer, would have full presidential prerogatives, even as he set an apparent limit on his right to decide on war or peace.
"The president is the head of state with full powers. The president makes a decision to go to war in consultation with the military rulers," Assar said, adding that this was normal practice in other countries, including the United States.
UNRWA, the main U.N. relief agency in Gaza, said it was at "breaking point" with more than 200,000 Palestinians having taken shelter in its schools and buildings
The dead and injured include not just Uighurs but members of China's majority Han Chinese population, the report said.
Three years after Gaddafi's fall, the OPEC nation has failed to control ex-rebel militias who refuse to disband and who are threatening the unity of the country
Providing many examples of ongoing debate around Gaza massacre among Zionists, Philip Weiss from Mondoweiss draws an important picture
Called Abdullah al-Maaraji, the slain officer was the commander of the Yemeni army's infantry brigade that fought against Al-Qaeda in Lawdar District in 2012
The White House has been working closely with lawmakers, privacy experts and technology companies to secure Senate passage of what it considers critical legislation
"Israel's targeting of civilians proves its failure to confront the Palestinian resistance," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.
Propaganda materials from the National Liberation Army (ELN), which regularly attacks oil facilities in Latin America's fourth largest economy, were left at the sites of the explosions, police
In the latest Israeli attacks in the embattled territory on Tuesday, two people were killed when Israeli troops shelled eastern Rafah. An Israeli raid also targeted a house in the southern city of Khan Younis, killing 17 family members.
The ruling Communist Party has decided to probe Zhou for suspected "serious disciplinary violations", the official Xinhua news agency said in a brief dispatch, using the usual euphemism for corruption.
The African country is sliding into a state of anarchy as rival militia forces battle for control in the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.
Syria, Central African Republic and Burma lead the world in displacing people on grounds of religious identities, according to report
Militants group stormed the Katarko town, about 25km from Damaturu, the provincial capital of northeastern Yobe state, and shot dead eight people
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit southwest of Clara, Veracruz, was felt in Mexico City
A 21-year-old Palestinian, Alaa Azaer, died of gunshot injuries he sustained in clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians protesting a deadly Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip
The labels Belgium has in mind would mainly apply to fruit and vegetables grown in Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley of the West Bank