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Egypt's Morsi defiant over decrees

Egypt's Islamist president has told the nation's top judges that he acted within his rights when he issued a series of decrees giving him sweeping powers, according to his spokesman.

That stand is likely to trigger a prolonged showdown with the opposition.

Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali told reporters that Mohammed Morsi assured the judges that the decrees did not in any way "infringe" on the judiciary.

Ali's comments signalled Morsi's resolve not to back down or compromise on the steps he announced last Thursday, putting himself and a body writing a new constitution above the judiciary.

Morsi's opponents and supporters plan rival rallies on Tuesday in Cairo.

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