Hundreds of classes have been suspended amid fear and panic in Thailand's increasingly violent southern provinces. The gunning down last week of 51-year-old school principal Nanthana Kaewchan as she drove home from classes in Pattani province has led to demands for the government to guarantee teachers' safety from attacks by Muslim terrorists insurgents.
Ms Nanthana was the 154th teacher killed since the recent insurgency began in 2004. Terrorist attacks and reprisals by state forces in the area have resulted in 5377 people dead and 9513 injured, said Deep South Watch, an organization that monitors the number of victims.
Rather than a lull in the violence, a mass defection of terrorists insurgents in September has been followed by a surge in terrorist attacks in Thailand's four southernmost provinces.
The head of the region's teacher's association, Boonsom Tongsriplai, said Pattani province's 332 schools would be closed indefinitely until teachers were sure they could be protected. He said teachers in other southern provinces would be asked to join the boycott. The association was sorry to inconvenience students and their parents, but teachers were fearful.
* RELATED TOPIX, WORLD NEWS > VARIOUS = HUNDREDS OF THAI SCHOOLS SHUT DOWN OVER ISLAMIST ATTACKS, i.e. Bangkok's abject failure to stop same.
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > THAI INSURGENCY SHOWS NO SIGN OF EASING.
The Maha-Rushian questionne' of the day is just what did the Bammer accomplish or promise to the Thais during his recent sojourn through China's "Soft Belly/Underbelly" of Myanmar, THailand, + Cambodia in South/SE Asia???
* TOPIX > ASEAN CHIEF: SOUTH CHINA SEA RISKS BECOMING "ASIA'S PALESTINE".
[Ynet] Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram reported that security forces in Suez seized "a shipment of a large amount of heavy arms smuggled to Sinai." The report said the weapons shipment was smuggled via the Egypt-Libya border.
A preliminary investigation indicated the shipment contained 185 bullet crates, anti-tank and anti-aircraft artillery, rockets, RPG launchers, land mines and explosives - collectively worth some 20 million Egyptian pounds (roughly $ 3.3 million).
[An Nahar] A 22-year-old Mexican beauty queen was killed in a shootout between soldiers and a suspected gang she was molling riding with in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, prosecutors said Monday.
Authorities suspect that Maria Susana "Toots" Flores, who was the Woman of Sinaloa 2012, was part of the gang and may have fired a gun in Saturday's violence. An AK-47 assault rifle was found next to her body in the group's car.
"She was in the criminal group that clashed with army service members," Sinaloa state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez told a news conference.
He said a forensics test was positive for gunshot residue on her body, suggesting she fired a weapon.
Two men and two women, including Flores, and a soldier died in the gunbattle in the municipality of Mocorito.
The army seized seven AK-47s, a grenade launcher, two grenades, a 40mm-caliber rifle, a handgun and around 1,000 cartridges.
Mexican media say the brunette, who participated in the Miss Oriental Tourism pageant in China in May, was traveling with her boyfriend, a suspected hitman, when the shootout erupted. The boyfriend also died.
The gang is linked to Orso Ivan Gastelum, the suspected leader of a group of hitmen working for the powerful Sinaloa narco mob.
Families and friends held a funeral in the state capital of Culiacan on Sunday, covering Flores in a veil amid a heavy military presence.
On its Facebook page, the organizers of the Nuestra Belleza Sinaloa pageant voiced their "deepest condolences" for the death of Flores, who was a "charming and happy young woman with a great future."
[Shabelle] Unidentified gunnies have on Sunday night assassinated well known traditional elder in Beledweyne town,350 Km north of Mogadishu, the regional capital of Somalia's central Hiiraan, Witnesses said.
Locals have told Shabelle Media that two masked men armed with pistols have murdered Sheikh Mohamed Hussein locally better known as "Maryacadde" at Yobsan market in the city.
The elder was elected on last Monday as the chief of Hiiran traditional elders.
Security forces have reached at the area of the shooting and conducted search operations to arrest the killers, according to the witnesses.
The motive and the identity of the attackers are yet to established by the local administration under Somali government.
Beledweyne, a key town in central Somalia that fell to Somali and Æthiopian troops on December 31, 2011, after Al shabab fighters abandoned the city, without a much resistance.
[Shabelle] Witnesses say a huge blast tore through a military personnel carrier with soldiers serving for the African Union ...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful... peacekeeping mission in Somalia in Marko town, just 110 Km south of Mogadishu.
Local residents in Marko said they heard a loud kaboom at about 2pm on Tuesday that was targeted on AMISOM forces as they were passing on one of the streets in the city.
Details on the casualties are yet sketchy as the AU forces sealed off the area and carried out searched following the attack. The city has once under Al shabab control before the coalition forces moved in almost one months ago.
[Dawn] Interior Minister Rehman Malik Pak politician, Interior Minister under the Gilani government. Malik is a former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intelligence officer who rose to head the FIA during Benazir Bhutto's second tenure. Malik was tossed from his FIA job in 1998 after documenting the breath-taking corruption of the Sharif family. By unhappy coincidence Nawaz Sharif became PM at just that moment and Malik moved to London one step ahead of the button men. He had to give up the interior ministry job because he held dual Brit citizenship. on Tuesday said anyone providing information on the whereabouts of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) front man Ehsanullah Ehsan would be awarded rupees 200 million, DawnNews reported.
Speaking to media representatives in Islamabad, Malik said Ehsan was working for foreign elements and vowed to soon reveal all on the TTP front man.
The minister added that the TTP was a divided organization and now constituted of various groups, including the Waliur Rehman faction, the Hakimullah Mehsud group and other small factions.
Malik moreover questioned as to what kind of shariah the TTP front man wanted to enforce in the country which legitimised the killings of innocent civilians and sanctioned suicide kabooms.
He said "terrorists" were defaming the religion and shariah for money, adding that, the government had struck a peace agreement with the Taliban in Swat ...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat... which the latter had themselves violated.
Malik added that if "snuffies and myrmidons" surrendered and gave up their weapons, the government could consider giving them amnesty.
[Dawn] A suspected Taliban member was set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please! in a joint operation conducted by the intelligence agencies and police in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... 's Orangi Town area, while two suspected hit mans were arrested from different areas of Bloody Karachi, DawnNews reported on Tuesday.
A man suspected to be an important member of the banned thug group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) was arrested in the Data Nagar area of Orangi Town during a raid conducted by intelligence agencies and the area police.
According to security sources, he had been traced through the closed circuit television footage of the attack on Rangers headquarters in North Nazimabad. The footage showed the suspect walking in front of the truck that was used in the attack. The suspect had also been seen surveying the surrounding area on two consecutive days prior to the attack.
Weapons and a cycle of violence were recovered from the suspect who was later transferred to an unknown location for further investigation.
In a separate search incident, a suspected hit man was arrested in the SITE area. According to police sources, the suspect was involved in more than 50 incidents of murder.
The police arrested a suspect following an encounter in the Mauripur area of Bloody Karachi, recovering a pistol and a cycle of violence from him. The police claimed that during preliminary investigations, the suspect confessed to killing at least one person in Liaquatabad.
[Al Ahram] Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... is increasingly relying on Death Eaters and members of the Alawite community to defend his regime as pro-democracy rebels advance in Syria's north and east and inevitably towards a final showdown in Damascus ...The capital of Iran's Syrian satrapy... , analysts say.
As the conflict becomes more drawn out, greater numbers of recruits from a massive pool of Sunni Mohammedans -- 70 percent of the country's population -- are joining the insurgency, which enjoys backing from Turkey and Gulf countries.
At the same time, the army is facing difficulties in attracting new recruits, says Aram Nerguizian, visiting fellow at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
"The regime is ... working to better organise Alawite and other militias, like the shabiha, into more capable forces," Nerguizian told AFP.
Barah Mikail, researcher at Madrid-based think tank FRIDE, concurs that the regime is increasingly turning for support to the Alawite community, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, to which Assad belongs.
"The army has called on reserve troops in Alawite regions to try to avoid new defections," said Mikail.
"Intimidating and very violent, shabiha play a paramilitary role," the Middle East expert told AFP. "They aim at terrorising the population, to dissuade people from joining the uprising" against Assad that erupted in March last year.
Meanwhile, ...back at the game, the Babe was wondering why the baseball kept getting bigger and bigger. Finally it hit him... the army struggles to bring in new conscripts, said analyst Karim Bitar of the French Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS).
"For logistical and sectarian reasons, the same battalions have frequently been called up and moved from one part of the country to another since March 2011," Bitar told AFP.
The army now relies on some 120,000 experienced fighters and conscripts forced to stay on after completing their military service, according to European military experts.
"Naturally, troops' morale is suffering, as they understand full well the fact that the regime is becoming increasingly isolated," Bitar added.
Trained for conventional warfare, the army has focused on besieging and bombing rebel-held areas, including towns in Damascus province, where Orcs and similar vermin have set up rear bases.
"There seems to be a deliberate decision to try to hold terrain in northern Syria where possible, but accept strategic retreat when necessary," analyst Nerguizian told AFP.
[Al Ahram] Women and children are increasingly targeted in a surge of violence in South Sudan's Jonglei state, riven by ethnic killings, a rebellion and an army crackdown, Doctors Without Borders said Tuesday.
"Tens of thousands of men, women and kiddies have been repeatedly attacked, killed and displaced, with devastating impacts on their lives," the report by the medical aid agency MSF read, documenting an upsurge in violence since 2011.
"The lives and health of Jonglei's population are hanging by a thread," said Chris Lockyear, MSF's operational manager, warning of a further "spike in violence" in the approaching dry season.
Violence includes an escalation of traditional cattle raiding between rival tribes into a wave of brutal Dire Revenge™ attacks, exacerbated by an easy availability of automatic weapons.
The nature of the attacks is shifting, MSF said, documenting multiple cases of rape in the vast and grossly impoverished state, while four of MSF's six clinics in Jonglei have also been looted or destroyed since 2011.
"While appropriating cattle used to be the main aim of the attacks, nowadays civilians are targeted, with women and kiddies making up a large proportion of victims treated by MSF teams," the report read.
More than 2,600 people have been killed in Jonglei in the past 18 months, according to the United Nations ...an organization originally established to war on dictatorships which was promptly infiltrated by dictatorships and is now held in thrall to dictatorships...
[Al Ahram] Egypt's Judges' Club denounce the president's office recalcitrance on his Constitutional Declaration and assert they will continue escalating their strike and work to press for the executive to retract his decree.
In a statement released on Tuesday the Judges' Club assert they are struggling to preserve the judicial branch's independence.
President Mohamed Morsi tried to placate senior members of the judiciary in a meeting on Sunday over the Constitutional Declaration he surprised everyone with on Thursday, which protects the Islamist-led Constituent Assembly and lower house of Parliament from dissolution and makes presidential decrees the final word - even untouchable by the judicary.
In a statement the president's office released after the meeting, they stressed that the Constitutional Declaration will remain unchanged and that the president expressed his respect for the independence of the judiciary. Morsi also offered a clarification that only "sovereign" decrees are not challengable by the judicial system.
Meanwhile, ...back at the bake sale, Umberto's Mom's cannoli were a big hit... many courts in several governorates have continued their strike for the third day, demanding the decree be retracted.
[Al Ahram] Car bombs killed four people in Kurdish areas of the disputed northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Tuesday, while roadside kabooms killed two more in a nearby Arab town, a security official and a doctor said.
The attacks come a day after top security officials from the federal government and Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region reached an agreement aimed at easing high tensions in disputed areas of northern Iraq, which the country's parliamentary speaker has warned could lead to civil war.
One car boomwent kaboom! in a Kurdish area of east Kirkuk near a Kurdistan Democratic Party youth club, one of the two main Kurdish parties in Iraq, killing two people and wounding seven, a security official said.
About 10 minutes later, a second car boomwent kaboom! in another Kurdish area in the city's northeast, killing a Kurdish security forces member and wounding four other people, the official said.
And a third car boom detonated in the north of the city killed one person and maimed five, with Kurdish security forces members among the maimed.
Two roadside kabooms meanwhile went kaboom! in an Arab-majority town about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Kirkuk, ... a thick stew of Arabs, Turkmen, Kurds, and probably Antarcticans, all of them mutually hostile most of the time... killing two people, among them a policeman, and wounding one other.
Dr Nabil Yusef from Kirkuk General Hospital confirmed that six people were killed in the attacks.
Also on Tuesday, six roadside kabooms targeted Iraqi army and police in the disputed town of Tuz Khurmatu, wounding two members of the security forces, police Lieutenant Colonel Khaled al-Bayati said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but car and roadside kabooms are a hallmark of Sunni bully boy groups in Iraq.
[Al Ahram] A Syrian newspaper on Tuesday published the names of 142 imported muscle from 18 countries the regime says were killed alongside rebels in Syria's conflict.
Pro-regime Al-Watan published a list, which it said Damascus ...The place where Pencilneck hangs his brass hat... sent to the United Nations ...a lucrative dumping ground for the relatives of dictators and party hacks... Security Council last month, that included Arab, North African, Central and South Asian "terrorists," giving the date and place of their death.
"Most are jihadists (radical Islamists) who belong to Al-Qaeda's network, or who joined it after arriving in Syria," the paper said, adding that they entered Syria via Turkey and Leb.
Among the 142 it named 47 Saudis, 24 Libyans, 10 Tunisians, nine Egyptians, six Qataris and five Lebanese.
It also listed 11 Afghans, five Turks, three Chechens, one Chadian and one Azerbaijani.
Most of the fighters were killed in October and November in the northern province of Aleppo ...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins... , Homs in central Syria, the northwestern region of Idlib, Deir Ezzor in the east, and Hasakeh in the northeast, it said.
Damascus says foreign-backed "terrorists" are responsible for the revolt against Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad One of the last of the old-fashioned hereditary iron-fisted fascist dictators... that broke out in March 2011.
The violence in Syria has killed more than 40,000 people in 20 months, according to the Britannia-based watchdog the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The uprising did not turn into an armed insurgency until several months after it erupted, following a severe regime crackdown.
[An Nahar] Gunmen said to be dressed as soldiers opened fire on a central Nigeria pub, killing 10 people in a region hit by waves of festivities between Christian and Mohammedan ethnic groups, authorities said Tuesday.
The incident occurred in the Barkin Ladi area of Plateau state late Monday and saw gunnies storm the pub then open fire indiscriminately on customers, according to a military front man who denied soldiers were involved.
Barkin Ladi is a mainly Christian area of the region which lies on the fault line between the mainly Mohammedan north and predominantly Christian south of Africa's most populous nation.
"The gunnies opened fire indiscriminately on customers, killing eight on the spot, while two others died later as a result of the gunshot wounds they sustained," Captain Salisu Ibrahim Mustapha said.
"In protest to the killings, some members of the community barricaded the highway, preventing commuters from using the road."
Some residents claimed the gunnies were wearing army uniforms, while a Christian activist from the Stefanos Foundation made the same accusation.
"There was an attack on a drinking spot in Heipan last night by five gunnies dressed in army uniform," Mark Lipdo told AFP, referring to the neighborhood in Barkin Ladi.
Mustapha denied any soldiers were involved. Criminals have in the past dressed as soldiers or police to carry out crimes or commit violence.
[An Nahar] Clashes erupted Tuesday between supporters and opponents of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla, amid a day of nationwide rallies against his assumption of broad powers.
A security official told AFP that both sides threw stones as the protesters enraged by Morsi's adoption of sweeping powers tried to storm the headquarters of the Moslem Brüderbund's Freedom and Justice Party, formerly headed by Morsi.
The Islamist FJP party said on its website that 80 of its followers were maimed in the festivities, and accused police of ignoring requests to intervene.
In the coastal city of Alexandria, the Brotherhood ordered its members to evacuate from their headquarters as it came under attack by protesters, the group wrote on its Twitter account.
At least three people have been killed in violence since Morsi decreed on Thursday that his decisions could not be challenged by the judiciary.
[An Nahar] Syrian rebels downed an army helicopter for the first time on Tuesday with a ground-to-air missile from newly acquired stocks, a watchdog said, in a potential turning point for the 20-month conflict.
A car boom hit a regime security post near Damascus ...The capital of Iran's Syrian satrapy... and festivities raged around the capital, as rebels further tightened the noose around the key northern city of Aleppo ...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins... .
Human Rights Watch ... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world... called on Syria's army to stop using cluster bombs, two days after an air strike killed at least 11 children and state media published the names of nearly 150 imported muscle it said had died alongside bad turbans.
"It is the first time that the rebels have shot down a helicopter with a surface-to-air missile," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman said of the gunship that was on a strafing run near a besieged northwest base.
The Sheikh Suleiman base, 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Aleppo, is the last garrison in government hands between Syria's second city and the Turkish border.
An amateur video uploaded to YouTube showed a helicopter plunging to the ground in a ball of flames.
The Observatory said the missile was part of a consignment newly received by the rebels that had the potential to change the balance of military power in the conflict which began as a peaceful uprising in March last year.
Near Damascus, a car boom killed at least two soldiers at a military police checkpoint in Jdeidet Artuz as the regime pursued its efforts against bad turban strongholds south of the capital.
Battles raged in Moadamiyet al-Sham and nearby Daraya, where a massacre in August killed more than 500 people, according to the Observatory.
Rebels meanwhile seized a military post 15 kilometers southeast of Aleppo, tightening the noose around the city, both the forces of Evil and the Observatory said.
After hours of fighting, the rebels in the area said they had taken the post at dawn in the village of al-Mintar, near al-Safireh.
The operation was carried out by the Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham which fights alongside the Free Syrian Army, the main component of the armed opposition to Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Light of the Alawites... 's regime, they said.
Seventy soldiers were killed or captured, and the rebels seized six 23-mm cannons, rocket batteries, and other weapons and ammunition, they added.
It came a day after forces of Evil took control of a dam in an area that connects Aleppo and Raqa provinces, leaving the regime with only the highway from Damascus to send reinforcements, according to Abdel Rahman.
Elsewhere, in Idlib province in the northwest, an aerial bombardment near an olive press killed at least five people and maimed dozens, the Observatory said.
In the same province, rebel-held Maaret al-Numan was also bombed from the air as festivities raged at the southern entrance of the town strategically located on the Damascus-Aleppo road.
Human Rights Watch called on the army to stop using cluster bombs after at least 11 children were killed by an air strike south of Damascus on Sunday.
According to two witnesses cited by HRW, the air strike occurred as a group of around 20 children were gathered in a field where they usually play.
"This attack shows how cluster munitions kill without discriminating between civilians and military personnel," said Mary Wareham, the New York-based rights group's arms division advocacy director.
The Syrian regime insists it is fighting against foreign-backed "terrorists," and state media published the names of 142 fighters from 18 countries who it said were killed alongside rebels.
Pro-regime Al-Watan published a list, which it said Damascus sent to the U.N. Security Council last month, that included Arab, North African, Central and South Asian fighters, giving the date and place of their death.
"Most are jihadists who belong to al-Qaeda's network, or who joined it after arriving in Syria," the paper said, adding they entered Syria via Turkey and Leb.
An initial toll from the Observatory, which relies on a network of activists and medics for its information, said 87 people were killed across Syria on Tuesday, including 32 civilians.
Two men were sentenced to time in prison for their involvement in a gun-smuggling ring related to the botched Fast and Furious gun-walking operation.
Jacob Anthony Montelongo was sentenced to more than three years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and dealing in guns without a license, and Sean Christopher Steward faces nine years in prison for conspiracy and making false statements to authorities.
Over 100,000 defiant protesters occupied Cairo's Tahrir Square on Tuesday to demand the cancellation of President Mohamed Morsi's controversial Thursday decree. Egypt's ruling Islamists, however, showed no sign of backing down, suggesting that continued political deadlock is inevitable.
Facing his most serious domestic test since assuming power on 30 June, Morsi finds himself embroiled in a battle -- with leftists, liberals, socialists, and several other influential political sectors -- after issuing a decree that would shield his decisions from legal challenge until a new parliament is elected. His decree also protects the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly (tasked with drafting the country's first post-revolution constitution) and the Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament) from dissolution. It also relieved Egyptian Prosecutor-General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud of his duties, bringing in Judge Talaat Abdullah as Mahmoud's replacement.
In rallies that remained largely peaceful, thousands took to the streets in Cairo, Alexandria, Assiut, Tanta, Mahalla, Mansoura, Luxor, Suez and Port Said, in scenes reminiscent of last year's 18-day uprising that unseated autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak.
The Nile Delta city of Mahalla, however, witnessed clashes between Morsi's supporters and opponents in front of the office of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).
"If the decree isn't undone, we will demand that Morsi himself leave. Then we can have new presidential elections," Khaled Metwali, a member of the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Coalition, told Ahram Online.
"We plan to remain in the square until Morsi backtracks on his constitutional decree," Metwali added.
Morsi, backed by Islamist parties and groups, has so far withstood immense pressure to reverse his decision, which has prompted opponents to brand him Egypt's "new Pharaoh."
He has also incurred the wrath of Egypt's judges, many of whom vowed to challenge his decree by calling strikes.
Since Morsi is, after all, endangering their meal tickets...
Many journalists and lawyers were similarly infuriated by the president's latest move, which they believe poses a threat to democracy. Thousands of lawyers marched from their syndicate to Tahrir Square, the cradle of last year's revolt, chanting "The people want the fall of the regime" -- a slogan frequently heard during Mubarak's final days in power.
The Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, launched an attack on Morsi's opponents, accusing them of "not caring about the country's national interests."
"On January 25, united Egyptians [Islamists, liberals and leftists] revolted against autocracy, supported by millions across the country. Today is politics," the Islamist group declared on Twitter.
"When ordinary Egyptians across the nation see pro-Mubarak [elements] protesting in Tahrir along with Islamists' rivals, they know this isn't January 25," the group added. "The opposition thinks the significance of today is of Tahrir protestors; they should brace for millions in support of the elected president."
The Brotherhood had initially planned to hold parallel demonstrations on Tuesday, but backtracked at the last minute to avoid potential clashes with its political rivals.
Morsi's decree has nevertheless sparked violence in several governorates, which have left three dead so far. The president's supporters argue that the decree is necessary to tackle deep-rooted judicial corruption; opponents say it will only pave the way for an Islamist dictatorship.
Since it conveniently removes the last official roadblock to absolute power...
According to Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website, the Brotherhood's authoritative Guidance Bureau is mulling measures to appease protesters, but the group has so far refrained from making any public statements to this effect.
A meeting on Monday between Morsi and Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council, the state's highest judicial authority, failed to bear fruit.
Several of the president's advisers, meanwhile, have resigned over the issue, ratcheting up even more pressure on the president who at one time had been jailed by Mubarak.
It remains to be seen whether Morsi and the Brotherhood will be able to contain the outpouring of public anger, especially among the young people who were on the frontlines in the battle to topple Mubarak.
Many of the protesters camping out in the flashpoint square compared Morsi to his autocratic predecessor, with some going so far as to demand he step down only five months after becoming Egypt's first-ever freely elected head of state.
"It's not my first time in Tahrir Square. I'm here to stand against the constitutional declaration and the 'Brotherhoodisation' of Egypt," Asmaa Salem, 40, a member of the Popular Current, told Ahram Online. "Either Morsi cancels the declaration, or we'll topple him like we did Mubarak."
Standing by protesters, several well-known politicians have established a new 'National Salvation Front' -- including Nobel Prize laureate and opportunist Mohamed ElBaradei and former presidential candidates and opportunists Amr Moussa and Hamdeen Sabbahi -- to oppose Morsi's divisive decree.
Protesters are planning to hold another million-man march on Friday, in hopes of exposing Morsi's and the Brotherhood's growing political isolation.
"Egypt is losing every day," presidential adviser and prominent writer Ayman El-Sayad declared as protesters and Morsi supporters braced for renewed confrontations.