Top News: Ajnad Misr Claims Wednesday’s Cairo University Blast

Ajnad Misr claimed responsibility for a blast at Cairo University Wednesday. The operation was part of a “Retribution is Life” campaign that targets “criminal,” security forces, the group said in a statement released on its Twitter account.


Egypt’s new electoral districts law will be subject to national dialogue
After chairing a meeting of a technical committee ‎entrusted with finalizing Egypt’s new electoral districts ‎law, Minister of Transitional Justice and House of ‎Representatives Affairs Ibrahim Heneidy indicated ‎that the law will not be ratified by President ‎Abdel Fattah al-Sisi until it gains support from ‎political parties in a national dialogue. Addressing parliamentary reporters, Heneidy said that the ‎electoral districts law is the last obstacle before ‎parliamentary elections. “Once the semi-final draft of ‎the law is issued, political forces will be able to give ‎their opinions on it… they will be able to submit their ‎remarks and proposed amendments… ‎within a period of two to three weeks.”‎ The Free Egyptians party released a statement praising the development and urging that the law not be subject to appeal in the constitutional court given the fragile period facing the country. Mohamed Anwar Sadat, head of the Reform and Development party, also urged that political parties meet quickly to discuss the law. [Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic), 10/23/2014]

Universities for learning not for Molotov cocktails, says PM
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab has called for an end to violence that has erupted across university campuses since the start of the new academic year and saw its first fatality on Tuesday. “Universities are a place for learning not throwing Molotov cocktails,” Mahlab said at a press conference following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Some students and outsiders want to drag the police onto campuses, he said – a reference to supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mahlab reiterated that police would only enter campuses upon the request of university presidents. [Ahram Online, SIS, Ahram (Arabic), 10/23/2014]

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Former prime minister forms alliance for elections, raises controversy | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
Sisi meets Beblawi on occasion of taking post in IMF | SIS, Ahram (Arabic)
Nour party condemns Cairo University bombing | AMAY (Arabic)
NCW raises awareness of women’s legal issues in the governorates | EGYNews (Arabic)


Court rejects US consul’s request to release hunger-striking Soltan
Cairo Criminal Court denounced on Wednesday the US administration’s requests to release Egyptian-American Mohamed Soltan, postponing his trial to November 5. Soltan’s lawyer Halim Henish said US President Barack Obama asked President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to release Soltan on bail, on account of his deteriorating health. The prosecution presented medical reports from the prison saying that Soltan’s health condition was stable and that he is faking his hunger strike, said Hanish. The court said it refused the interference of any country or party in a “purely judicial affair,” and that the Egyptian judiciary is independent and separate from any political dimensions, even if the defendant is a citizen of another country. [Aswat Masriya, DNE, 10/22/2014]

Also of Interest
Court postpones trial of Mosri and fourteen Muslim Brotherhood leaders to November 1 | Aswat Masriya (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic)
Minister of justice agrees to refer fifty-six judges to disciplinary board | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egypt regulator pins bond market hopes on central bank
The head of the Egyptian financial market regulator said that Egyptian authorities are eager to develop an active bond market. Nevertheless, they are counting on the central bank to ensure the participation of commercial banks. Encouraging trade in bonds is key to the Egyptian recovery plan, as it would help fund the state budget deficit. The government issues more than 90 percent of Egyptian bonds. [Reuters, 10/23/2014]

Egypt lacks medium-sized businesses, analysts blame regulation
Most of Egypt’s businesses are small-sized, with 97 percent employing less than 10 workers, according to census data released on Tuesday by state-run statistics body CAPMAS. Medium-sized enterprises with 10 to 50 employees account for around .27 percent of total businesses. However, big businesses with over 50 employees account for 0.4 percent of all enterprises nationwide. The data is part of Egypt’s 2012/13 economic census that shows Egypt is greatly lacking in medium-sized businesses. “Looking at the data, I realized that the medium-sized business is almost missing in Egypt,” says Sherif al-Diwany, executive director of the Egyptian Centre for Economic Studies (ECES). Diwani believes this is due to policies that do not allow small business to grow, leading to a gap in Egypt’s economy. [Ahram Online, 10/23/2014]

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Tech, social entrepreneurs take center stage at RiseUp 2014 | Mada Masr
IDB approves $230.2 million Sharm al-Sheikh airport development | DNE
Egypt rejects World Bank loan for electricity linkage project | Egypt Independent
BG in talks to import gas to Egypt from Cyprus | Reuters
Egypt tourism minister confident of recovery, despite challenges | Reuters
Dana Gas receives $47 million in due from Egypt | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Travel ban lifted for Egypt’s liberal academic Amr Hamzawy
Academic and liberal activist Amr Hamzawy and Nasserist journalist Abdel Halim Qandil have had a travel ban imposed on them lifted on Wednesday, state news agency MENA reported. Giza Criminal Court decided to lift the ban, put into effect last January, from the two public figures along with eighteen others pending a trial over insulting judiciary. [Ahram Online, 10/23/2014]

Also of Interest
ECESR files report against president, prime minister | DNE
EIPR to hold discussion to educate on role of civil society | EIPR (Arabic)


Ajnad Misr claims Wednesday’s Cairo University blast
Ajnad Misr claimed responsibility for a blast at Cairo University Wednesday. The operation was part of a “Retribution is Life” campaign that targets “criminal,” security forces, the group said in a statement released on its Twitter account. “This blessed operation comes after a rise in killing and maltreatment incidents against students. And we have been avoiding targeting the criminal apparatus near universities … til it was proven that they are carrying out systematic crimes [against students] without justification,” it said. The group also pointed out that it was keen on “minimizing the power” of the blast, so as not to affect civilians. An explosive device had detonated near a faculty building across the street from the main university campus in Giza, the site of a previous deadly bombing. The bomb, placed in a gap pipeline and likely detonated by a mobile phone, according to prosecution, had injured six policemen and five civilians. Prosecutors added that the bomb was clearly aimed to target policemen stationed across from the university. [DNE, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 10/23/2014]

Egyptian woman arrested for running anti-police Facebook page
An Egyptian woman was arrested on Wednesday for running a Facebook page that “incites violence against the police and army,” state news agency MENA reported. The suspect administered a Facebook page called “The Revolutionary Alliance,” which allegedly called on people to “disturb national security” and attack governmental installations, banks, police vehicles and other public property posts. Police confiscated a laptop upon arresting her, adding that the woman confessed to being “a member of the Muslim Brotherhood” and to participating in acts of sabotage. The suspect allegedly confessed to communicating with a Brotherhood member in Turkey and assigned her orders for attacks. [Ahram Online, 10/22/2014]

Also of Interest
Assailants throw Molotov at two police cars in Nile Delta, three injured | Aswat Masriya
Explosive device improvised on water line of Ramadan district | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Interior ministry: the ministry is working on the fight against terrorism | Shorouk (Arabic)
Interior ministry denies bombing attempt at Ain Shams University | EGYNews (Arabic)
Security increases presence in Suez in preparation for national holiday celebration | Shorouk (Arabic)
Twelve students arrested for attempting to storm Cairo University, says ministry of interior | Aswat Masriya


EU human rights envoy leaves Cairo after meeting with ministers, June 30 committee
The EU human rights envoy left Cairo on Thursday after his three-day visit to Egypt during which he met a number of senior officials. In his meeting with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, they discussed the cooperation between Egypt and the EU in various fields, including human rights issues. The envoy also met Justice Minister Sabir Mahfouz, two weeks before the EU’s review on Egypt’s human rights records in Geneva. They discussed Egypt’s recent death sentences. Mahfouz pointed out that western media’s coverage of this issue contains false information. Meanwhile, the chairman of the June 30 fact-finding committee stated that the EU delegation refused European countries’ call for an alternative fact-finding committee, saying this demand does not reflect the consensus of the EU. [Ahram (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 10/23/2014]

Shoukry heads to Algeria for Libya crisis discussions
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry flew to Algeria to meet with his Algerian counterpart to discuss regional issues, focusing on the Libyan crisis, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Thursday. Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty said the two ministers would discuss a number of regional issues, but that the Libyan crisis will top the agenda. The statement added the two countries were concerned with “pushing all Libyan parties to abandon violence and weaponry and to cede to the demands of the Libyan people.” Islamic groups in Libya have blamed Egypt for a series of airstrikes against Islamist targets in the Libyan capital Tripoli. [DNE, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic), 10/23/2014]

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Egypt-Ethiopia meeting delayed to November for further preparations | Ahram Online
Yemeni authorities agree to release sixty-four Egyptian sailors and fishermen | DNE
At least three drugs smugglers killed in attack along Egypt border-Israel | Reuters