In brief: Egyptian political activist arrested for inciting demonstration
Cairo – Egyptian security forces arrested a prominent political activist Thursday over inciting a demonstration in defiance of a new law heavily restricting protests in the country, his family said.
The arrest of Alaa Abdel-Fattah, a blogger who rose to prominence in Egypt’s 2011 revolution, quickly dominated social media. His previous detention sparked protests against the military, which appeared likely again as recently quiet liberal and secular groups have expressed increasing alarm over the military-backed government since it enacted the new protest law this week.
Survey finds French not especially healthy
Paris – Despite having one of the best health systems in the world, only one in four people in France is truly healthy, according to a survey released Thursday that pointed to mounting levels of stress, obesity and alcohol abuse.
The survey, which was carried out by the Axa insurance company, measured the health of the French across five categories – weight, quality of sleep, stress, depression and serious or chronic illness. Only 24 percent scored well on all criteria, down from 27 percent a year ago.
More than one in four people – 28 percent – was found to be seriously overweight, and 16 percent were obese, according to the survey.
Syrian troops capture town near border
Damascus, Syria – Syrian troops captured a western town near the border with Lebanon on Thursday, after days of heavy fighting, anti-government activists and state media said.
The fighting is part of a fierce offensive north of the capital that has seen several rebel strongholds fall into government hands in recent weeks.