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Mahmoud Hussein is embraced by a man upon his arrival at his family home in the Giza village of Zawyet Abu Musallam, Egypt. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Egyptian authorities have released Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein after detaining him since December 2016, the network announced Saturday.

Why it matters: Egypt’s Ministry of Interior accused Hussein of defaming the government by disseminating false news while receiving monetary funds from foreign authorities, but never brought formal charges against him. Hussein and Al Jazeera repeatedly denied the allegations.

Context: Egyptian authorities have blocked its citizens from accessing Al Jazeera’s news website since 2017 after deeming it too critical of the government, per AP.

  • "There was no official comment by the Egyptian authorities on Hussein’s release on Saturday, which came a month after Egypt and Qatar restored ties following a Gulf summit held in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia," Al Jazeera noted.

What they're saying: Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al Jazeera, said the release of Hussein was "a moment of truth and an inspiring milestone towards press freedom," according to the network.

  • "Al Jazeera Media Network welcomes the news of Mahmoud’s freedom and believes that no journalist should ever be subjected to what Mahmoud has suffered for the past four years for merely carrying out his profession."
  • "Today, we are pleased he is finally reunited with his family, after being robbed four years from his life and deprived of his fundamental rights. We wish Mahmoud a speedy recovery and hope he will be able to overcome this past ordeal and start a new chapter in his distinguished career."

Go deeper

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

2 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Children "very likely" to get COVID vaccine at start of 2022

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Children under age 12 will "very likely" be able to get vaccinated for coronavirus at the "earliest the end of the year, and very likely the first quarter of 2022," NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Why it matters: Children generally aren't at risk of serious coronavirus infections, but vaccinating them will be key to protecting the adults around them and, eventually, reaching herd immunity, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.

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