Egyptian protest turns violent outside palace

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CAIRO — Police have fired tear gas to stop protesters from approaching the presidential palace in Cairo as tens of thousands take to the streets to demonstrate against the assumption of nearly absolute powers by the nation’s Islamist leader.

The violence erupted when protesters pushed aside a barricade topped with barbed wire several hundred yards from the palace walls. Police fired tear gas, and then retreated. There were no immediate reports on casualties.

Today’s march comes amid rising anger over a hurriedly adopted draft constitution by President Mohammed Morsi’s allies and decrees giving him sweeping powers. Morsi called for a referendum on the draft constitution on Dec. 15.

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