Egypt's president declared today a 30-day state of emergency and night curfew in the three Suez Canal provinces hit hardest by the wave of violence that has left more than 50 dead in three days. Angry and almost screaming, Mohamed Morsi vowed in a televised address that he would not hesitate to take even more action to stem the latest eruption of violence across much of the country. But at the same time, he sought to reassure Egyptians that his latest moves would not plunge the country back into authoritarianism.
"There is no going back on freedom, democracy, and the supremacy of the law," he said. The three provinces are Port Said, Ismailiya, and Suez, and the curfew, also for a month, is effective 9pm to 6am. The worst violence this weekend was in the Mediterranean coastal city of Port Said, where at least 44 people died in two days of clashes there that began yesterday. The spark was a court conviction and death sentence for 21 defendants involved in a mass soccer riot in the city's main stadium on Feb. 1, 2012, that left 74 dead. Click for more.