- - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

EGYPT

Court convicts ex-minister, acquits three others

CAIRO — An Egyptian court acquitted three Hosni Mubarak-era ministers of corruption charges Tuesday while finding a fourth guilty in absentia — a decision likely to stoke anger among protesters calling for more accountability for ousted regime officials.

The verdicts came a day after 10 policemen charged with killing protesters were ordered released on bail, prompting hundreds of Egyptians to attack a courtroom in Cairo.

Tensions are running high in Egypt over the ruling military council’s failure to punish those blamed for killing protesters during the 18-day uprising that forced Mr. Mubarak to step down Feb. 11 as well as former officials accused of participating in corruption and cronyism that was widespread during the former president’s nearly three-decade rule.

Many Egyptians feel the courts have not done enough to punish former regime officials, complaining that anti-graft cases have gone too fast to court without proper investigation, leaving them vulnerable to acquittals, while cases pertaining to human rights and the killings of protesters dragged.

Nearly five months later, only one policeman has been convicted in the slayings of at least 846 people during the government crackdown on protesters. He was tried in absentia.

IRAQ

Double bombing kills 37 at government office

BAGHDAD — A car packed with explosives and a roadside bomb went off back-to-back outside a municipal building north of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 37 people and wounding 54, Iraqi police and a hospital doctor said.

The twin blasts in Taji, a Sunni-dominated town about 12 miles from the Iraqi capital, were the latest in a series of attacks across Iraq.

It came at a time of public debate over whether to ask the United States to keep some U.S. troops here past their year-end withdrawal deadline from the country.

Burned bodies were on the ground and about 20 cars were on fire, witnesses said.

YEMEN

40 militants killed in airstrikes, clashes

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