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Female protesters cite abuse by prison guards

CAIRO (AP) --Female protesters and rights groups Wednesday accused Egyptian troops and prison guards of sexual assault during the latest crackdown on demonstrations, reviving allegations authorities use abuse to intimidate female detainees and protesters.

The charges added new tension to Egypt's presidential election campaign, just two weeks before the voting.

More than a dozen women were among more than 300 protesters detained following a protest outside the Defense Ministry in Cairo last weekend.

In charges that recalled dark incidents from earlier protests, rights activist Aida Seif al-Dawla said female prison guards sexually assaulted some women by inspecting their vaginas under the pretext of searching for drugs. "This is a sexual assault," activist Seif al-Dawla said. "The women are injured physically and emotionally."

Some of the released women also said they were verbally and sexually abused by troops.


Queen's speech unveils government's agenda

LONDON -- With all the pomp befitting the British monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday unveiled the government's agenda for the coming year, foreshadowing heated debates over reform of the House of Lords, state pensions, financial regulation and the introduction of a law broadening the scope of intelligence agents to monitor communications.

The annual Queen's Speech -- think the State of the Union but with royal bling -- finds the constitutional monarch acting in her role as messenger of the ruling government, currently a coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Amid the pageantry of trumpet blasts and the ceremonial knocking on doors, the queen laid out 15 pieces of legislation that are likely to dominate Britain's national agenda in the months ahead.

Among them is the proposed reform of the chamber where she spoke, the House of Lords. A move to convert the ancient house composed of appointed and inherited seats into a largely elected upper house is expected to divide the coalition partners.

-- Washington Post


Man dies in rescuing friend from crocodiles

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- A Zimbabwean man was killed while trying to rescue his friend from attacking crocodiles in northwest Zimbabwe, a fishing club said Wednesday.

The National Anglers' Union said Frank Trott, who is in his 70s, died after trying to rescue a friend paddling along the shoreline at Charara fishing camp. His friend survived but suffered wounds to his midsection and buttocks.

Two crocodiles were fatally shot by wildlife rangers after last week's attack. Remnants of the victim -- including intestines and clothing -- were found along the remote shores of Lake Kariba.

The dead man was dragged away by a giant crocodile after going to assist his friend, said Mike Brennan, head of the fishing group. The friend, a fellow farmer in his 40s with experience in the African wilderness, was treated for his wounds.