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U.S. Denounces New Egyptian Counterterrorism Law

The United States denounced Egypt's newly expanded counterterrorism law Tuesday, expressing concern about its potential impact on human rights in the country, a military ally of the U.S.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signed a law Sunday that would expand the government's surveillance powers and, according to critics, muzzle dissent and target critics.

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Egypt Rejects HRW Call for U.N. Probe into Protest Deaths

Egypt hit back Saturday at a call by Human Rights Watch for an international investigation into the killing of hundreds of protesters in Cairo by security forces two years ago.

The foreign ministry criticised the New York-based watchdog's report on the deaths of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square as "politicised and lacking objectivity".

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Minister Says Croatian Hostage Handed Over to IS by Egypt 'Bandits'

A Croatian hostage whom the Islamic State group claims to have beheaded is thought to have been kidnapped by a criminal gang in Egypt before being turned over to the jihadists, Croatia's foreign minister said Thursday.

Tomislav Salopek, a 31-year-old father of two working for a French engineering company, was seized last month from a car some 22 kilometers (14 miles) west of Cairo.

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IS Claims to Have Beheaded Croatian Hostage in Egypt  

The Islamic State group said Wednesday it has beheaded a Croatian hostage, and released a picture of a body after what would be the first such killing of a Westerner in Egypt.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic told reporters he could not "confirm with 100 percent certainty" that Tomislav Salopek, who worked for French company CGG, had been murdered.

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Cairo Bomb Wounds Four Policemen

A small bomb exploded Monday near a traffic post in the Egyptian capital wounding four policemen, two of them seriously, in an attack claimed by a Cairo-based militant group.

Jihadists have launched a wave of attacks targeting security forces since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. 

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21 Dead as Temperatures Soar in Egypt Heatwave

Twenty-one people have died and 66 others were hospitalized with exhaustion as soaring temperatures and high humidity hit Cairo and other parts of Egypt, the health ministry said Monday.

The victims, who all died on Sunday, succumbed as temperatures reached highs of 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit), in conditions made less bearable by elevated humidity levels.

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Kerry in Egypt on First Leg of Mideast Tour

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Egypt on Saturday to relaunch a strategic partnership with Washington's longtime ally, at the start of a regional mini-tour, a correspondent said.

He is also due in Qatar on Monday to meet his Arab counterparts in the Gulf to try to ease their concerns over the Iran nuclear deal.

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'Inflexible Stances' Stop Salam from Finding Solution to Crisis as Diplomats Rush to his Support

Officials close to Prime Minister Tammam Salam were not optimistic on Wednesday on a possible solution to Lebanon's political crisis as top diplomats rushed to his support to stop a possible resignation decision.

The officials, who were not identified, told al-Joumhouria daily that “all efforts, which had been exerted until Tuesday, hit a dead-end as a result of inflexible stances that caused a failure in coming up with solutions” to controversial issues.

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Police: Gunmen Kill Egypt Policeman Guarding Niger Embassy

An Egyptian police officer guarding Niger's embassy in Cairo was shot dead on Tuesday night outside the diplomatic mission by gunmen who then fled the scene, a police official said.

A second officer was wounded by the two armed men, who were on a motorcycle, according to the official. Niger's embassy is situated in southwest Cairo.

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Cairo Furniture Factory Fire Kills 25

At least 25 people died in a fire that gutted an Egyptian furniture factory north of Cairo on Tuesday, a health ministry official said.

Twenty-two more workers suffered from burns and smoke inhalation in the blaze in the Al-Helw factory on the outskirts of the capital, health ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar said.

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