Under pressure from continuing violent protests in front of his presidential palace, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi backed off at the last moment from imposing martial law, and agreed to make some concessions to his opponents, prominent among them the rescinding of the November 22 decree giving himself near dictatorial powers. However, he refused to give way on the constitutional referendum, which will be held on schedule next Saturday.
In other news, a woman in Saudi Arabia was sentenced to ten lashes and five days in jail for marrying a Syrian man. Under the kingdom’s laws governing mixed marriages, their marriage was illegal without official permission. The ex-husband received the same penalty, and will have to pay alimony. The woman has four children.
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