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BOLDFINGER

A Cairo lawyer faces trial for an obscene gesture, as el-Sissi bullies rivals ahead of his re-election bid

EGYPT

IF KHALED ALI is worried, he isn’t showing it. Sitting behind a wooden desk in his office in downtown Cairo, the prominent human rights attorney is discussing his case with the calm remove of a lawyer defending his client. Only this time, Ali is the one on trial.

In May, Egyptian authorities arrested Ali, a possible presidential candidate in the Egyptian elections early next year, on charges of “off ending public decency” for making a rude hand gesture outside a Cairo courthouse. Ali made the gesture in January, in celebration of a ruling by one of Egypt’s highest courts in a lawsuit he had filed against the government of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for transferring control of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. The agreement, which many Egyptians believe el-Sissi made in exchange for billions of dollars in Saudi aid and investment, sparked rare street protests last year, despite heavy legal restrictions on demonstrations. Though Ali prevailed that day, he ultimately lost the suit. El-Sissi bypassed the courts and sought approval from Parliament, which ratified the deal on June 14.

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CHOP AND CHANGE This week, we take a look at how scientists are altering our genetic code and engineering new forms of material that improve nature. Everything from flowers that can detect bombs to bacteria that secrete oil.
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