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Panel Approves New Egyptian Draft Constitution

A 50-member panel has approved a new draft constitution for Egypt and will put it before voters by next month.

The draft is the first step towards bringing democratic rule back to Egypt after the July ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

It would also replace the Morsi pro-Islamic constitution.

The new constitution calls for presidential and parliamentary elections within six months after voters ratify it. But it would be up to interim President Adly Mansour to decide which election would be held first.

Meanwhile, authorities used tear gas Sunday to break up a protest in Cairo's Tahir Square against Mr. Morsi's ouster. No injuries were reported.

The military overthrew Mr. Morsi in July. He has been put on trial, charged with inciting violence that led to the deaths of protesters.



Also Sunday, Egyptian authorities freed prominent activist Ahmed Maher, founder of one of the groups that spearheaded the revolt against long-time president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. But prosecutors extended the detention of another prominent activist, Alaa Abdel Fattah, by 15 days.

Both are accused of taking part in last week's violent protest against a clause in the draft constitution that would try civilians before a military court for certain crimes.

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