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Thousands rally in support of Egypt's president

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Thousands rallied on Sunday in support of President Mohamed Mursi, and a recent decree which has given him extensive powers. The decree, which was issued on Thursday, will shield Mursi's decisions from judicial oversight until a parliament is elected, expected sometime next year. It has also shielded the upper house of parliament and a constitution-drafting body which has seen a wave of criticism from liberals, leftists and seculars for its Islamist domination. In El-Arish city in Sinai, thousands gathered at a local mosque, holding banners with pro-Mursi slogans. Facing a storm of protest from judges and political opponents, who accuse Mursi of turning into a new dictator, the presidency said the decree was "not meant to concentrate powers", but to devolve them. It aimed to avoid the politicization of the judiciary, a presidential statement said. The presidency also said it was committed to engaging "all political forces" to reach common ground on the constitution and stressed the "temporary nature" of the decree. In Alexandria, thousands more rallied to express their readiness to back their president and one demanded Mursi takes measures to purge Egyptian media from corruption. More than 500 people in Cairo were injured in clashes between police and protesters worried that Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood aims to dominate the post-Hosni Mubarak era after winning Egypt's first democratic parliamentary and presidential elections this year.

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