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Nov. 21, 2011 at 8:43 AM
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Death toll rises in Egyptian violence

CAIRO, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Clashes between protesters and security forces killed at least 22 people and injured more than 1,700 in Egypt, the Health Ministry said Monday.

A ministry statement said deaths were reported in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Alexandria and Suez, the Egyptian Gazette reported.

Gunshots and tear gas were reported near the Interior Ministry in Cairo, Britain's Guardian said.

A makeshift hospital was set up in Tahrir Square.

An attempt to reach a cease-fire between protesters and authorities collapsed, the report said.

A week before parliamentary elections to start the process of transition to a civilian government, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took over Egyptian rule after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted Feb. 11, expressed "sorrow" Sunday on its Facebook page for the violence. It said it ordered an investigation and asked the political parties to "contain the situation."


Victim 1' drops out of school

MILL HALL, Pa., Nov. 20 (UPI) -- "Victim 1" in the sex-abuse case against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky dropped out of school because of bullying, his counselor said Sunday.

Psychologist Mike Gillum told the State College (Pa.) Patriot-News his 17-year-old client dropped out of his senior year at Central Mountain High School in Clinton County after some students blamed him for the firing of longtime head Coach Joe Paterno, who was let go along with the university's president and two other administrators after prosecutors charged Sandusky with molesting at least eight boys, sometimes on the Penn State campus.

Sandusky, 67, faces 40 counts of sex crimes involving underage boys. He is accused of aggravated sexual assault and other offenses involving his alleged contacts with boys he met through The Second Mile, a charitable organization he founded while coaching at Penn State.

Gillum said Victim 1 "feels good" about the charges and was encouraged to see other alleged victims come forward.

"That's the one good that's come of all this," he told the newspaper.


Report: Iran may have sent Libya shells

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. government is investigating whether Iran supplied artillery shells for chemical weapons to the Libyan government under Moammar Gadhafi, officials said.

The shells, filled with a highly toxic mustard agent, were found recently by revolutionary fighters at two sites in central Libya, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

The sites were under heavy guard and 24-hour surveillance by drones, U.S. and Libyan officials said.

The discovery prompted a U.S. intelligence-led investigation into how the Libyans obtained the shells and several sources told the Post initial suspicion indicated they came from Iran.

"We are pretty sure we know" the shells were custom-designed and produced in Iran for Libya, said one senior U.S. official, who spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of the accusation.

Gadhafi was killed in October.

Mohammed Javad Larijani, an adviser to Iran's supreme leader, denied the allegation.


GOP: Shield Pentagon from triggered cuts

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Budget cuts triggered if the congressional supercommittee fails to slash $1.5 trillion in U.S. debt must be altered to spare the Pentagon, GOP lawmakers said.

The $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts to lessen the federal deficit -- set to take effect in January 2013 if no budget deal is reached by Wednesday -- "need to be reconfigured" to shield the Pentagon from a projected 10 percent cut, Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction member Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said on the CBS News program "Face the Nation."

Toomey was among a number of members of the bipartisan committee appearing on Sunday talk shows to concede the talks on a grand budget deal were near failure and to blame members of the opposite party for failure-creating irreconcilable differences.

"This marriage is over," a statement from the six-Republican, six-Democrat panel is likely to say in essence Monday, Politico reported Sunday.

A deal effectively needs to be concluded by midnight Monday to meet the panel's parliamentary rules to have it approved by Wednesday, the legal deadline for an agreement before the automated cuts are to be imposed.

But Republican lawmakers said the government programs and departments affected by the automatic cuts could be changed before the cuts take effect to safeguard the Pentagon.

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