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Egypt Names Mahlab New Prime Minister

Egypt's outgoing housing chief has been named as the new prime minister after the surprise resignation of the country's interim government.

Interim President Adly Mansour picked Ibrahim Mahlab on Tuesday to form a new government. Mahlab headed Egypt's mammoth state-owned construction company during the rule of ousted President Hosni Mubarak and served as the housing minister in the interim cabinet that resigned on Monday.

Mahlab said he would form a new government within days. He vowed at a news conference to "crush terrorism in all corners" of Egypt and restore security.

Egypt has been hit with a wave of labor strikes protesting the government's economic failures as the country heads toward expected presidential elections in April.

The reorganization of the government is expected to allow Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sissi to run for president.

Former interim prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi had headed the government since July, when the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

Meanwhile, courts in Alexandria sentenced 220 mostly Morsi supporters to prison terms ranging from three to seven years for instigating violence and demonstrating without a permit last August in the aftermath of Mr. Morsi's fall. The sentences were handed down by three courts in the city.

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