Nightly News | December 08, 2012
>>> there is late word from cairo tonight of a possible turning point after days of mass protests and a deepening crisis after egypt 's new president gave himself sweeping new powers that had some calling him a new dictator. nbc's reporter is in cairo tonight. eamonn, good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, lester . a short while ago egypt 's vice president flanked by other notable figures announced that president morsi has rescinded a controversial decree he issued two weeks ago. today he met with members of the opposition in an attempt to defuse the fallout of that decree that granted him temporary but absolute powers. it triggered weeks of supporters and opponents of the president. hundreds remain camped outside the presidential palace , hoping president morsi would cancel the decree and delay a vote on the new controversial constitution. however, tonight the president insisted that a referendum on a draft constitution will go ahead as planned next saturday, december 15th . critics have dismissed that referendum because they say the draft constitution does not represent a broad consensus of egyptians and fails to enshrine universal rights for women and protect religious freedom . but tonight the president says if the constitution is not approved next week, he will order the public to directly elect a new constituent assembly to write yet another new constitution for the country. already egypt 's liberals and secular forces have quickly rejected the president's announcement because it presses ahead with a referendum on a constitution they say will turn egypt into a religious state. and tonight, lester , egyptian sources tell nbc news a man with links to al qaeda has been arrested in connection with the september 11th attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. a man believed to be in his 40s was involved in the attack that killed four americans. though there were no details as to what specific role he played at the time of the attack, sources say the man was detained more than a week ago as he returned to egypt from libya. lester ?