In brief: Voting starts in Egypt; el-Sissi heavily favored
Cairo – It wasn’t so much an election as a victory party.
Egyptians on Monday began two days of presidential balloting, with a resounding win virtually assured for Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who presided over the removal of Egypt’s first democratically elected president from office nearly 11 months ago.
The el-Sissi camp hopes that a strong turnout will put a stamp of legitimacy on the rule of the former defense minister, a career military man who shed his uniform to run for president as a civilian. El-Sissi has been the country’s de facto leader since last summer’s popularly supported coup against Islamist Mohammed Morsi.
El-Sissi’s sole opponent was leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, who waged a spirited campaign despite projections that he had almost no chance of winning. Outside polling places, voters overwhelmingly declared themselves in favor of el-Sissi.
Official results are expected next week.
Hurricane Amanda weakens off Mexico
Mexico City – Hurricane Amanda rapidly weakened Monday far off Mexico’s Pacific coast and was not expected to threaten land.
After starting the day as a powerful category 4 storm, the hurricane had dropped to category 2 by Monday night, with maximum sustained winds near 105 mph. That was down from its peak of 155 mph on Sunday, a reading that made Amanda the most powerful May hurricane for the eastern Pacific since the mid-1960s, when reliable records began to be kept.
Onetime heaviest human dies at 48
Monterrey, Mexico – A Mexican man once listed as the world’s heaviest human being died Monday at the age of 48.
Manuel Uribe had slimmed down to about 867 pounds, well below his then-record peak weight of 1,230 pounds, which was certified in 2006 as a Guinness world record.
Uribe’s death was confirmed by an official of the health department of Nuevo Leon state, where the city of Monterrey is located. Uribe had been confined to his bed in Monterrey for years, unable to walk on his own.
The official said Uribe had been taken to the hospital on May 2 because of an abnormal heartbeat. In addition to the cardiac condition, Uribe was also believed to have suffered from liver problems.