Clashes in Egypt as Morsi defends new powers

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Associated Press

Posted on November 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 23 at 11:36 AM

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt is experiencing the most violent and widespread protests since its Islamist president came to power.

Thousands of opponents of Mohammed Morsi clashed with his supporters today in cities across the country, burning several offices of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The protests were sparked by Morsi's move to grant himself sweeping powers. The violence reflects the increasing polarization in Egypt over what course it will take nearly two years after the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

Critics of Morsi accuse him of seizing dictatorial powers with his decrees yesterday that make him immune to judicial oversight and give him authority to take any steps against "threats to the revolution."

Morsi spoke to a crowd of his supporters massed in front of his palace today saying, "there are weevils eating away at the nation of Egypt."

In Cairo, security forces used tear gas on thousands of pro-democracy protesters clashing with riot police on streets several blocks from Tahir Square.

In Alexandria, anti-Morsi crowds attacked Brotherhood backers coming out of a mosque, raining stones and firecrackers on them. The two sides pelted each other with stones and chunks of marble, leaving at least 15 injured.

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118-r-25-(Sound of President Mohammed Morsi, speaking in Arabic to a crowd in the capital)--Sound of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in Arabic, addressing Muslim Brotherhood members while opposition protests rage elsewhere in Cairo and in other cities. He made this speech one day after declaring broad new powers for himself. (23 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *118 (11/23/12)>> 00:25

114-c-15-(Aya Batrawy (AY'-uh buh-TRAH'-wee), AP correspondent reporting from Tahrir Square)-"currently being writtten"-AP correspondent Aya Batrawy reports that many Egyptians are protesting against President Mohammed Morsi assuming sweeping new powers. ((note audio quality) (23 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *114 (11/23/12)>> 00:15 "currently being writtten"

APPHOTO CAI113: Protesters storm an office of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice party and set fires in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. State TV says Morsi opponents also set fire to his party's offices in the Suez Canal cities of Suez, Port Said and Ismailia. Opponents and supporters of Morsi clashed across Egypt on Friday, the day after the president granted himself sweeping new powers that critics fear can allow him to be a virtual dictator. (AP Photo/Amira Mortada, El Shorouk Newspaper) EGYPT OUT (23 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO CAI113 (11/23/12)>>

APPHOTO CAI118: Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi speaks to supporters outside the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. Opponents and supporters of Mohammed Morsi clashed across Egypt on Friday, the day after the president granted himself sweeping new powers that critics fear can allow him to be a virtual dictator. (AP Photo/Aly Hazaza, El Shorouk) (23 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO CAI118 (11/23/12)>>

APPHOTO CAI117: Egyptian protesters opposed to president Mohammed Morsi chant slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. Opponents and supporters of Mohammed Morsi clashed across Egypt on Friday, the day after the president granted himself sweeping new powers that critics fear can allow him to be a virtual dictator.(AP Photo/Mohammed Asad) (23 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO CAI117 (11/23/12)>>

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