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Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Fighting in Cairo Kills 3 After Port Said Court Verdicts

Protesters in front of the Ministry of Interior in Cairo on Saturday

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Saturday's Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Port Said Braces for Protests After Court Verdicts

2122 GMT: Egypt. Al Jazeera English profiles Colonel Ahmed Wasfi, "the man who came in as the police departed, and the man who is now in charge of getting Port Said running again" after weeks of clashes and protests:

1435 GMT: Libya. The General National Congress has suspended its meetings due to safety concerns after hundreds of protesters besieged the building on Tuesday.

The demonstrators, some of whom were reportedly armed, demanded that the Congress pass the Political Isolation Law, which would bar those linked to the ousted Qaddafi regime from holding positions in State institutions for 10 years.

On Thursday, gunmen stormed the headquarters of a private TV station and took away the channel's owner and four journalists.

The kidnappers, reportedly angry about the channel's editorial policies, which are considered close to the position of the ruling coalition. They released the five captives a day later.

1215 GMT: Egypt. Inflation has reached its highest point since last May, moving to 8.2% in the 12 months up to February.

The rate, pushed up by a falling Egyptian pound, jumped from an annual 6.3% in January.

1205 GMT: Yemen. Oxfam has warned of a growing crisis over hunger, health and living conditions, with only 2% of a United Nations appeal for $716 million funded.

The Yemeni Government is calling for $17 billion to help save the fragile economy. The international community pledged $8 billion at conferences last year, but only 22% has been delivered.

This year's wheat harvest is predicted to be 8% lower than last year's. Already a quarter of a million malnourished children need urgent support, according to Oxfam. In total, some 10.5 million people --- almost half of Yemen's population --- do not have enough food to eat, while 13 million people lack access to clean water.

1125 GMT: Egypt. Striking microbus drivers have caused traffic chaos this morning in Cairo after blocking a major thoroughfare in protest at diesel shortages.

Picketers blocked Giza's Al-Bahr Al-Aazam Street, which leads to Cairo's major ring road.

There were similar strikes by microbus drivers in Mahalla and Alexandria last weeks.

0700 GMT: Egypt. Three people were killed and two public buildings were set ablaze in Cairo on Saturday, following the delivery of more verdicts over the deaths of 74 football fans in a Port Said stadium in February 2012.

The Port Said court confirmed 21 death sentences, which had been imposed on 26 January. It then ruled on 52 other defendants: there were four life sentences; 10 prison sentences ranging from 10-15 years; five sentences of ten years; and two sentences of five years. Twenty-eight defendants were acquitted of all charges.

Two of the nine security officials charged in the case received 15-year sentences; however, supporters of the Ahly Football Club --- many of whose fans died in the Port Said stadium --- were angered at the seven acquittals.

"Today’s acquittals of most of the police 'dogs' are a clear sign that the trial was a sham and the officials we stressed should be convicted were intentionally found innocent," the "Ultras" supporters of Ahly said in a statement on their official Facebook page. "What happened today in Cairo is only the beginning of our rage. Even more of it will surface if all officials involved in the massacre are not put on trial."

Among the dead in Cairo were an eight-year-old child. All three were killed --- two by birdshot, and one by tear gas --- amid clashes near the Qara El-Nil Bridge, close to Tahrir Square.

A Police Club in Gezira and the headquarters of the Egyptian Football Federation were burned.

In contrast, Port Said --- where almost 40 people were killed in clashes following the 26 January verdicts, and where protests have been occuring almost daily since then --- was relatively calm. Hundreds of people marchhed from the Governorate building and towards the port area, but threats to disrupt Suez Canal traffic were not carried out.

"We will focus on big acts of civil disobedience across Port Said, until our demands are fulfilled," Aly Spice, founder of the Green Eagles Ultras supporting the Port Said football club, said. "We want a retrial with a fair judge, justice for those killed in the recent clashes by security forces and the 21 defendants facing the death penalty not to be executed."

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