CAIRO — Egyptian prosecutors launched an investigation Tuesday against a popular television satirist accused of insulting the president in the latest case raised by Islamist lawyers against outspoken media personalities.
Lawyer Ramadan Abdel-Hamid al-Oqsori charged that TV host Bassem Youssef insulted President Mohammed Morsi by putting the Islamist leader’s image on a pillow and parodying his speeches.
The case against Mr. Youssef comes as opposition media and independent journalists are growing increasingly worried about press freedoms under a new constitution widely supported by Mr. Morsi and his Islamist allies.
Other cases have been brought against media personalities who have criticized the president since Mr. Morsi’s victory in the country’s first free presidential election last summer.
Clashes erupt after Israeli undercover raid
TAMOUN, West Bank — An arrest raid by undercover Israeli soldiers disguised as vegetable vendors ignited rare clashes in the northern West Bank on Tuesday, residents said, leaving at least eight Palestinians wounded.
Israeli army raids into Palestinian areas to seize activists and suspected terrorists are fairly common. The raids are normally coordinated with Palestinian security forces, and suspects are usually apprehended without violence.
The clashes erupted after Israeli forces disguised as merchants in a vegetable truck arrested one man. Regular army forces then entered the town, prompting youths to hurl rocks to try to prevent more arrests.
Israeli forces fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition as youths set tires and bins on fire to block the passage of military vehicles. In several hours of clashes, dozens of masked youths hid behind makeshift barriers, hurling rocks and firebombs at soldiers.
Dozens trampled following New Year’s fireworks display
ABIDJAN — At least 61 people were killed early Tuesday in a stampede following a New Year’s fireworks display in Abidjan’s commercial center, authorities said.
State radio and a fire department rescue worker estimated that an additional 200 people were injured in the Plateau district of Abidjan at about 4 a.m.
The emergency worker said a crowd of thousands gathered at the Houphouet Boigny Stadium to see the fireworks. After the display, the crowds in the street became a crush in which people were trampled.
Thieves rob Apple Store on New Year’s Eve
PARIS — Masked and armed thieves used the New Year’s Eve fete to rob the flagship Apple Store in Paris.
The French press reported that up to $1.3 million in goods were stolen at the store selling products such as Apple’s iPhones and iPads behind the Paris Opera house.
Police said Tuesday the theft occurred bout 9 p.m. Monday, 3 hours after closing, while police were deployed around the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue where revelers traditionally gather on New Year’s Eve.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports