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Egypt (and Beyond) Live: Mubarak Retrial Opens

See also Syria Live: "We Are Stronger Than Those Who Would Divide Us"
Friday's Israel (and Beyond) Live: A Quiet "Freeze" on Settlement Expansion?

1925 GMT: Palestine. West Bank Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has submitted his resignation to President Mahmud Abba, despite US efforts for him to stay on.

"Fayyad met Abbas for half an hour in the president's headquarters in Ramallah in the West Bank and officially handed him his written resignation," a Palestinian official said.

Abbas tasked Fayyad with the role of caretaker for the current government until a new Prime Minister is appointed, another official said.

Late Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Abbas to press him to find common ground with his prime minister over economic policies, Palestinian officials said.

A senior Palestinian official said Fayyad had had his letter of resignation prepared since 23 March but put off submitting it because of a visit to Israel and Palestine by US President Barack Obama and Abbas's overseas trips.

1715 GMT: Libya. Seventeen armed supporters of former leader Muammar Gaddafi were captured after an attack on a police post in the southern town of Sebha on Friday, a local security official said.

Ahmed al-Atteibi, head of the town's military council, said a police guard and two comrades were killed in the attack, during which the assailants seized vehicles and weaponry.

Armed forces spokesman Colonel Ali Shikhi said the group were transferred to prisons in Tripoli.

1625 GMT: Mali. Medicins Sans Frontieres have released a report on the Malians displaced by months of conflict --- 270,000 inside the country and 170,000 refugees:

The refugees rely completely on outside assistance and humanitarian aid for their survival, including such basic needs as food, water, shelter, and medical care.

So far the humanitarian response has been far from adequate. Aid agencies including UNHCR and the World Food Program (WFP) have been slow to respond to the continued influx of new refugees, resulting in high levels of malnutrition amongst children who have been in the camps for several weeks. In temperatures of 50 degrees, refugees receive only 11 liters of water a day, and shelter and sanitation have been vastly inadequate for their needs. Recently, the provision of food, water, and sanitation has improved, but the situation is still extremely precarious and aid organizations need to maintain their humanitarian response for as long as necessary.

1015 GMT: Egypt. Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was taken back to Cairo's Maadi military hospital after the judge presiding over his retrial announced he was stepping down.

The judge, Mustafa Hassan Abdullah, apologised for his decision and said he was referring the case to the Cairo appeals court, according to Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm. The BBC reported "chaotic scenes" and shouting in the courtroom as Abdullah made his announcement.

0715 GMT: Egypt. Rami Almeghari reports on the construction of paved roads and building of housing units in Gaza, courtesy of Qatar’s $400 million pledge to upgrade infrastructure.

0545 GMT: Egypt. Former President Hosni Mubarak goes on trial again today, accused of complicity in the murder of protesters during the uprising that toppled him in February 2011.

Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison last June, but Egypt's highest appeals court ordered a retrial in January.

Mubarak, former Minister of Interior Habib El Adly, and four top aides face the charges of involvement in the killing of more than 800 demonstrators in the 18-day uprising. Mubarak's two sons, Gamal and Alaa, face retrial on charges of financial corruption.

The former president could have been given the death penalty last spring but will not face that prospect today --- under Egyptian law, he cannot receive a harsher sentence than he did during his original trial.

Mubarak was sent to Tora Prison after being convicted last year and was then moved to a military hospital.  While his sons were cleared of the charges in the trial, they remain in prison pending other corruption investigations.

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