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Egypt's Top Auditor Faces Backlash over Corruption Findings

Egypt's top auditor ignited an uproar when he estimated that corruption had cost the country billions of dollars. Yet the anger was not directed against the government or even long-established oligarchs, but at the auditor himself.

Hesham Genena has endured a barrage of criticism from pro-government media, well-connected businessmen and senior officials since he was appointed in 2012. But now President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, a former military chief who has vowed to wipe out corruption, appears to be siding with Genena's critics.

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Fresh Corruption Cases Harm Spain PM's Last-Ditch Power Bid

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is scrabbling to cling to power, but a relentless series of scandals engulfing his conservative Popular Party (PP) may well be the final blow to his hopes.

The PP "is starting to have more members in the dock than in power," the left-wing El Pais daily sniped on Wednesday, just as Transparency International announced that Spain registered one of the biggest global drops in its corruption index over the past four years.

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Could Bloomberg Upend the White House Race?

Michael Bloomberg to the rescue? In a U.S. presidential campaign already distinguished by volatility, the former mayor of New York is reportedly weighing up whether to launch a late bid as an independent.

Associates told The New York Times at the weekend that Bloomberg was alarmed by the rise of Donald Trump on the extreme right-wing of the Republican party and troubled by Hillary Clinton's lurch to the left in a bid to contain the left-leaning Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

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Libya Army Chief Haftar: Hero or Hindrance?

Seen as an anti-Islamist hero by some and a threat to peace by others, the fate of Libya's army chief has emerged as a stumbling block to efforts to forge a unity government.

General Khalifa Haftar, 73, presents himself as Libya's savior in the face of a growing jihadist threat, but is himself a hugely divisive figure.

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UNICEF: One in Nine Children Globally Live in Conflict Zones

Some 250 million children -- one in nine children worldwide -- live in countries affected by violent conflicts, UNICEF lamented Tuesday, saying it needed nearly $3.0 billion this year to help the most vulnerable of them.

"The number of children trapped in humanitarian crisis around the world is both staggering and sobering," the U.N. children's agency said.

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Zika Pregnancy Panic a Loaded Issue for Latin America

Don't get pregnant for the next two years.

That is the warning El Salvador's government has issued women as Zika, a tropical virus blamed for causing severe birth defects, sweeps Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Crackdown, Demo Ban as Egyptians Mark Revolt Anniversary

Egyptians on Monday marked the fifth anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak amid tight security and a warning from the new regime that demonstrations will not be tolerated.

Dozens of masked policemen deployed in several Cairo squares including near Tahrir Square -- the epicenter of the 18-day anti-Mubarak revolt -- to prevent potential protests against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government.

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Softening Indonesian Hardliners a Long-Term Game

Life isn't easy for convicted militants like Machmudi Hariono when they walk out of prison in Indonesia. Barred from most jobs, shunned by society, Hariono's debts piled up until an outreach program working with reformed jihadists got him a kitchen job in a small cafe.

Today the 40-year-old manages several businesses, including a car rental service, and is "at peace" having found a new calling far from the violent jihad that derailed his life.

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Arab Nations Eye China, Domestic Market to Revive Tourism

Arab nations are looking to Chinese visitors to revive their tourism sectors, battered by security fears, and also need to develop homegrown tourism as a lifeline, ministers from the region say.

Bookings to nations in North Africa and the Middle East, which had been recovering after the Arab spring unrest, fell last year following deadly attacks claimed by Islamic extremists in Tunisia and Egypt that caused foreigners to shun beaches and historic sites across the region.

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Five Years after Mubarak Revolt, Egypt Uprising Crushed

Five years after the uprising against Hosni Mubarak erupted, Egypt has returned to iron-fisted rule by a regime that brutally crushes opponents even as it battles a deadly, jihadist-led insurgency.

The blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood movement is the only group to have called for protests on Monday -- the anniversary of the 2011 revolt.

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