Egypt opens activists' trial

Egypt went forward with a trial on Sunday that has plunged relations with the US into the deepest crisis in decades, prosecuting 16 Americans and 27 other employees of pro-democracy groups on charges they used foreign funds to foment unrest.

Behind the scenes, US and Egyptian officials were said to be in intense discussions in an attempt to resolve the case.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has raised the matter twice in person with Egypt’s foreign minister — once in London and once in Tunisia — in recent days, according to a senior US official speaking on condition of anonymity.

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