EGYPT

Clashes erupt in 2 cities

Clashes erupted Friday in two cities in northern Egypt, and protesters rallied in Cairo in the latest demonstrations against Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who claims the recent wave of anti-government unrest is the work of conspirators. In the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, hundreds of unidentified assailants threw stones and fire bombs at protesters rallying against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most powerful political group. Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, was elected after Hosni Mubarak was ousted in the 2011 popular uprising. Separately, protesters and riot police clashed in the president’s home province of Sharqiya. Police fired tear gas and exchanged stones with demonstrators tried to torch a Brotherhood office in the city of Zagazig.

ITALY

Coalition talks fruitless

Italy’s president and party leaders have failed in another round of talks to end five weeks of political deadlock over forming a new government. The nation had been waiting to see if President Giorgio Napolitano had chosen someone new on Friday to try to forge a viable coalition after inconclusive election results last month. But Napolitano’s office said the head of state was taking more time to find a way out of the impasse. Analysts say Napolitano will most likely ask a figure outside of partisan politics to put together a government that can last long enough to enact economic and electoral reform before new elections are called.

FRANCE

Terror suspects released

French prosecutors have announced the release of three people detained earlier this week as part of an investigation into the deadly terror attacks in Toulouse that targeted Jews and paratroopers. A spokeswoman for the prosecutors said the three, including a soldier, were freed Friday. None was charged in the case. Investigators in the terror case are trying to understand whether Mohamed Merah — the man police say killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers last March — had any help. Merah was killed in a shootout with police after his deadly spree.

Compiled from wire reports.