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Egypt’s former president Mohammed Morsi jailed for 20 years

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Egypt’s former president Mohammed Morsi was today sentenced to 20 years in prison in a case related to killing of protesters outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012.

It is the first verdict that has been issued to Morsi in the case. In July 2013, he was ousted by the military subsequent to the mass protests a year after he was appointed the country’s first democratically elected leader.

Morsi was democratically chosen Egypt’s president a year after an upheaval squashed 30 years’ rule of Hosni Mubarak. However, Morsi’s 12 months rule never tried to tackle the country’s social and economic issues rather focused on empowering political control.

The first anniversary of Morsi’s administration witnessed his opponents organizing large protests and demanding his resignation from the post. However, three days later, the then military chief – and present president – Abdul Fattah al-Sisi ousted Morsi. Meanwhile the interim authorities followed a clampdown on Morsi’s supporters, which resulted in the killing of more than 1,400 people.

Implicated for provoking the supporters to kill a journalist and two opposition protesters, and for issuing order for the torture and unlawful detention of others during the uprising outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo in December 2012, Morsi and 14 other senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders underwent a trial in November 2013.

Morsi is also facing trials in these issues:

  •  He named a judge in a public speech and accused him of overseeing fraud in previous elections, resulting in the charge of abusing the judiciary.
  •  Charge of planning a scheme with foreign militants to liberate Islamists in mass prison breaks during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
  •  Charge of conspiring to execute terrorist activities in Egypt with the Palestinian movement Hamas, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
  • Charge of putting national security in jeopardy by disclosing sensitive and secretive documents to Qatar via the Doha-based Al Jazeera network.
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Water-Borne Illness Increases Sharply in Iraq

Iraq's individual provinces have been fighting for water, amid a general shortage.

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Water crisis
A girl drinks water in the street outside her tent at a camp for internally displaced people in western Baghdad, Iraq. VOA

Iraqi health officials say that a health crisis stemming from water pollution and a shortage of clean drinking water has worsened in recent days, as hospitals in the southern port city of Basra treat more than 1,000 cases of intestinal infections on a daily basis. The problem was exacerbated several months ago when Turkey cut back on water distributed to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

A crowd of young men took to the streets on in the southern port city of Basra Tuesday, demanding the central government and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi increase the quantity of clean drinking water allotted to their province, otherwise it’ll lead to a health crisis. Abadi vowed to increase spending on infrastructure for the province during a visit to Basra in July.

A young man, whose friend was killed during a rally several weeks ago, broke down and sobbed over the protesters’ inability to force Iraqi leaders to improve the condition of public services in Basra, especially the region’s worn-out water infrastructure and insufficient quantities of drinking water allotted by the central government.

Some health officials in Basra warn that a cholera outbreak is possible due to water pollution and water-borne parasites that have made thousands of people sick in recent days. The director general of the Basra Health department, Riad Abdul Amir, told Al Hurra TV the situation continues to worsen.

He says more than 17,500 cases of intestinal ailments, resulting from contaminated drinking water, have been treated by Basra hospitals during the past two weeks, alone.

 

egypt. health crisis
The water network in Basra hasn’t been updated in at least 30 years. Pixabay

 

Abdul Amir says the problem stems from insufficient fresh water supplies coming into the city via canals and water pipes from the north.

“Salty water [which has infiltrated the water network],” he asserts, “is known to reduce the efficacy of chlorine used to treat and kill bacteria in drinking water,” he said.

Safaa Kazem, a docotor who has been treating dozens of cases of intestinal problems and diarrhea in Basra’s Sadr Teaching Hospital each day, says water from the city’s supply is not safe to drink.

She says the degree of water sterilization is minimal and that Basra’s water is very salty and has an extremely high level of microbes in it, along with a high degree of chemical pollution.

Basra Governor Assad al Edani told Al Hurra TV that his province has been suffering from numerous infrastructure problems for a long time.

He says the water network in Basra hasn’t been updated in at least 30 years and the old pipes often break, mixing drinking water with sewage.

water, health crisis
The degree of water sterilization is minimal. VOA

Edani says “not enough fresh water is arriving via the region’s only canal from Thi Qar province to the north.” He thinks a “strong current of fresh water will flush out salty water seeping into the water network from the sea.”

Also Read: Iraq Lifts Ban On International Flights to Kurdish Airports

Edani adds that the population of Basra has “more than doubled since the water network was last updated in the early 1990s.”

Iraq’s individual provinces have been fighting for water, amid a general shortage, since Turkey in early June severely curtailed the number of cubic meters of water it funnels into both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. (VOA)