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  1. National

Police killed in Sinai attack

Dozens of Egyptian police officers have been killed in an attack in the Sinai region of the country, officials have said.

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  1. John Irvine

US and Britain fear Egypt becoming a failed state

Strong words from President Obama were accompanied by an empty gesture - the announcement that Americans are withdrawing from a joint military exercise.

The Obama administration is wary of doing anything damaging to a country which, in addition to everything else, is on the edge of an economic abyss.

Were Egypt to be subjected to punitive sanctions over this, or a reduction in aid, it would be even closer to becoming a failed state than it already is.

Obviously a military coup and the overthrow of a democratically-elected government go against our core values.

But the calculation in Washington and London is that however distasteful, it might yet prove to be the least worst option for a country that as been in a perpetual state of decline for two-and-a-half years.

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