More British newspaper mayhem erupts
LONDON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- The protracted British phone-hacking scandal that shut down the News of the World newspaper has led to police demanding another paper's confidential sources.
The Guardian newspaper was the first to report earlier this year the News of the World had been using paid police sources and illegal phone-hacking methods.
Friday, Scotland Yard invoked the Official Secrets Act to demand the names of sources from a Guardian reporter in the ongoing investigation.
The Guardian called it "an unprecedented legal attack on journalists' sources," and Editor Alan Rusbridger alleged it was a form of pay-back by the police.
"It seems an extraordinarily heavy-handed use of the Official Secrets Act, which is basically about espionage and international relations, to defeat the privilege journalists have to protect their sources," he said. "What they are trying to do is to find out the source of the embarrassment and no doubt The Guardian's coverage was embarrassing to the police.
"It looks vindictive and it looks ill-judged and disproportionate."
The ramifications of the corruption probe have been wide-reaching. Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson and Assistant Commissioner John Yates resigned and government inquiries were called to determine the scope of the allegedly corrupt news-gathering by the News of the World.
Lawyer: Iran to free U.S. hikers soon
TEHRAN, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- The Iranian government was poised Saturday to release two U.S. hikers originally charged as spies in 2009, the men's lawyer said in Tehran.
Lawyer Masoud Shafiee said the last hurdle was to have two judges sign documents showing a $500,000 bail bond had been posted for each of them, CNN reported.
Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were arrested along with Sarah Shourd while hiking in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq in July 2009. They told officials they had started out in neighboring Iraq and weren't aware they'd crossed into Iran, as there were no marked border signs.
They were accused of being spies and have been jailed since, although Iran released Shourd last year for medical reasons. The charges against her remain, however, the report said.
As for the men's release, Shafiee told CNN he was optimistic.
"Anything is possible. I am very hopeful that it will be today," he said.
Egyptians protest return of martial law
CAIRO, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Political unrest was running high in Egypt Saturday over the temporary military government's re-imposition of martial law, protesters in Cairo said.
The interim Supreme Council of the Armed Forces government that promised to abolish the so-called Emergency Law by the end of September announced Wednesday it was reinstated following an attack on the Israeli Embassy Sept. 9.
Protesters called it a step backward in the process of attaining a democracy, The Washington Post reported.
In addition to the law's re-imposition, the military expanded its prosecutorial scope Wednesday to include offenses including "damaging state property, disrupting people's work, blocking roads through demonstrations, and spreading false news and information," the Middle East News Agency said.
A government official who asked not to be identified told the Post the unrest that led to the embassy attack had to be reined in.
"The emergency law is being reinforced in order to protect public property and the streets and to stop the people who instigate violence," he said. "It will not target views or freedom of expression or criticism."
National elections are scheduled in Egypt in November.
Khamenei warns against US, NATO
TEHRAN, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the leaders of uprisings that have toppled Arab regimes to be wary of U.S. and NATO roles in forming their new governments.
Iran's supreme leader told those attending an international Islamic conference in Tehran Saturday that the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations will seek to dominate the fledgling governments in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere, Ynetnews reported. Arab states, he said, should reject such interference and stick to Islamic traditions.
He called the string of uprisings known as the Arab Spring an "Islamic awaking," the Israeli news Web site said.
The Tehran Times reported the two-day Islamic conference is being attended by about 600 scholars and intellectuals from 80 countries who are discussing the region's political metamorphosis. The newspaper said government officials were not invited to participate.
The conference is unofficial and the countries' officials have not been invited to take part in the event.
Moussa says Camp David Accords stay put
CAIRO, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Egyptian presidential candidate Amr Moussa said Saturday the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel is not subject to change, as he has said previously.
Moussa told Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida the 1979 Camp David Accords have "become a historical record," the Middle East News Agency reported. Earlier in the month, he had said the peace treaty was open to change since it is "neither a Koran nor a Bible."
Since tensions between Egypt and Israel have heightened recently, there have been calls in Egypt for amendments to the peace treaty, which ended the state of war between the two nations and divided much of the Sinai Peninsula into three zones with different security rules, MENA said.
Security issues have come to the forefront recently with the unintended deaths of six Egyptian security force members during Israeli military raids near the border on Aug. 18.