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News Wrap: Egyptian President Requires Military Protection From Violent Protests

December 10, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi called out the military today, ahead of next weekend’s referendum on a new constitution. Opposition forces say the document will enshrine the power of Islamists and curb human rights. Security forces were deployed today near the presidential palace, where protesters remain camped out. They said it’s not enough that Morsi rescinded decrees that granted him near-absolute power.

HESHAM EZAT, Egyptian protester (through translator): The new constitutional declaration canceled the first one, but at the same time, it contained the same statements as the previous one. He is playing with us and trying to gain time until the referendum. We understand that. And nothing changes our position, because we know he hasn’t changed anything.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The anti-Morsi faction has organized a new round of mass protests for tomorrow. Meanwhile, Morsi’s Islamist supporters are planning a rival demonstration of their own.

The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, flew to Cuba today for his third cancer operation in the last year-and-a-half. Chavez was greeted by President Raul Castro upon his arrival in Havana. Chavez is scheduled to be sworn in to a new six-year term one month from now.

Meanwhile, former South African President Nelson Mandela underwent new medical testing in Johannesburg. He was hospitalized Saturday for an undisclosed ailment. Mandela is 94 years old.

Britain will become the first country to try to map the genetic code of thousands of cancer patients. The government said today it is setting aside $160 million for the project over three to five years.

We have a report from Lawrence McGinty of Independent Television News.

LAWRENCE MCGINTY: Frances Howell had breast cancer two years ago. After treatment, she told me she’s now fine. But genetic tests show she has a gene called BRCA, which means the cancer would almost certainly come back. She decided to have her ovaries and breasts removed to stop it returning. Genetic testing had saved her life.

The prime minister was today banging the drum for even more genetic testing that will analyze all the genes of 100,000 cancer patients like Frances to build up a DNA database. Scientists first decoded the three billion bits of DNA in the human genome 12 years ago, making it possible to tailor drugs for individual patients.

DR. JAMES BRENTON, cancer researcher: Being able to say to the lady in front of us in the clinic, we know from the bar code in your cancer that you will respond to this treatment, but not to this treatment. And that is a very important thing, because we have treatments that work for some of our patients, but we really need to have tests that really can choose the right treatment for the right person at the right time.

LAWRENCE MCGINTY: But it’s not just tailoring drugs for individual patients. Researchers will be able to use the DNA database to look for new cancer genes. Finding them should allow scientists to develop new treatment.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The project has raised privacy concerns, but Prime Minister Cameron’s office said participation is voluntary, and the data will be made anonymous before it is stored.

Parts of the Upper Midwest in the United States are digging out after a slow-moving winter storm dropped up to 14 inches of snow over the weekend. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, roads were a mess on Sunday, as drivers braved ice, snow drifts and low visibility. By this morning, the Minnesota State Patrol reported more than 600 crashes, with at least one fatality.

Trading was light on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 14 points to close near 13,170. The Nasdaq rose almost nine points to close just short of 2,987.

The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has settled a sexual abuse lawsuit for an undisclosed amount. A state court judge in New York announced the agreement today between Strauss-Kahn and a hotel maid. She had accused him of assaulting her last year. Strauss-Kahn said it was consensual, but the incident sparked other allegations and ended his hopes of running for president of France.

Authorities in Mexico and the U.S. confirmed today that singer Jenni Rivera was killed Sunday in a plane crash. She and six others were on a private jet that went down south of Monterrey in Northern Mexico. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Rivera was one of the most popular female singers in the musical genre known as grupero. She sold more than 15 million albums and won a number of Latin music awards. Jenni Rivera was 43 years old.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.