The past week's tempestuous parliament approval of a deal transferring two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia is putting Egypt's government at odds with the judiciary and providing the country's battered opposition with a nationalist cause to whip up at a time of growing economic distress.
The alliance with Gulf countries to isolate Qatar has given a significant boost to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who over the past three years has been trying to find backers in what he calls a "comprehensive" war on militancy.
Egypt's response to the latest deadly attack against its sizable Christian minority — a wave of airstrikes against Islamic militant installations in eastern Libya — may be a sign of both despair and resolve.
Video interviews with survivors of a deadly attack by Islamic militants on a bus taking Egyptian Christians to a remote desert monastery are painting a picture of untold horror, with children hiding under their seats to escape gunfire.
The Latest on the attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt (all times local): 1:50 p.m.