Top News: Bomb Goes Off in Cairo’s Downtown Leaving Thirteen Injured

A strong blast hit a busy district in central Cairo on Tuesday night, leaving thirteen injured, three of whom are in critical condition. A senior security official said the explosion was caused by a homemade bomb placed in the vicinity of a court house. 


Egypt premier forms committee to finalize elections law
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab ordered on Tuesday the formation of a committee that will be responsible for amending the final draft of a law regulating the upcoming parliamentary elections. The committee will consist of the prime minister’s advisor for security and electoral affairs, an aide to the justice minister for legislation matters, an aide to the interior minister for legal matters, a representative of the local development ministry, and two academics specializing in legal and constitutional matters. [Ahram Online, 10/15/2014]

Nour Party reveals conditions under which women can run on the party list
The Nour Party revealed the conditions under which it would allow women to run on the party’s lists in the upcoming elections. Party leader Younes Makhioun said female candidates running on the party ticket must have relevant experience, be competent, have a good reputation, and must be veiled.  The Party also expressed concern that, due to what it describes as its unconstitutionality, the political participation law could be appealed in court. [Ahram Gateway, (Arabic), 10/15/2014]

Also of Interest
Egyptian Embassy in Washington releases report praising Sisi | Mada Masr


Seven militants given death sentence for Sinai police killing
A leading Islamist militant was sentenced to death on Tuesday after being found guilty of killing twenty-five Egyptian policemen in Sinai last year. Adel Habara was sentenced to death, along with six other defendants, for carrying out an execution-style killing of the policemen in an ambush in August 2013, one month after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Habara, who hit the headlines over his involvement in the attack, is also accused of involvement in another major militant attack in Rafah in August 2012, which saw sixteen soldiers killed. He is also accused of involvement in other militant operations. A military source said that security forces have stepped up measures, in anticipation of increased violence in response to the ruling. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 10/15/2014]

Public prosecutor orders media gag on 2012 election rigging allegations
Egypt’s general prosecution on Tuesday banned publication of allegations that the 2012 presidential elections were rigged, shortly after private daily Al-Masry Al-Youm had announced it would publish documents proving the polls had been fixed. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi won the 2012 elections, beating former Mubarak-era premier Ahmed Shafiq in a run-off vote. Shafiq appealed the decision, alleging the elections were rigged. Chief editor of Al-Masry Al-Youm, Ali al-Sayed said they received the gag order at 4 pm, before Wednesday’s edition went to print. The investigation was accordingly omitted and the rest of the content was printed as usual. [Ahram Online, DNE, Mada Masr, 10/14/2014]

Also of Interest
Raba’a ‘Control Room’ trial resumes today | EGYNews (Arabic)
Eight Turks ordered detained four days pending investigation for possession of birdshot | Shorouk (Arabic)
Verdict barring eleven Islamist parties from parliamentary elections expected November 26 | Shorouk (Arabic)


Apache expects higher gas prices in Egypt by year-end
US oil and gas producer Apache Corp, one of the largest foreign investors in Egypt, hopes to reach an agreement with Cairo on higher gas prices by the end of the year and is encouraged by what it considers greater government transparency. Thomas Maher, Apache vice president and general manager in Egypt, says he expects capital investment to remain steady over the next few years at about $1.4 billion annually, with an additional $450 million in operating expenditures. The outcome of negotiations with the government could determine whether the Texas-based company will expand in the most populous Arab nation. [Reuters, 10/15/2014]

Also of Interest
Egyptian stock exchange falls for third day in a row | Ahram Online
Citi pulls consumer banks from Egypt and other markets | Reuters, AP
Investment ministry forms advisory committee for public sector management | DNE
New investments in fertiliser sector suspended until crises resolved | DNE
Armed forces constructing new cement production line | DNE
GE prepared to assist Egypt with emergency power: Kerry | DNE
Petroleum minister considers establishing power plants with GE’s help | Aswat Masriya


Human rights groups condemn use of force by riot police in campuses
Human Rights Watch (HRW), among other human rights organizations, demanded the Egyptian authorities release university students arrested since the start of the academic year on October 11, 2014. Also, six civil society and human rights organizations condemned, in a joint statement released on Tuesday, the latest storming of Alexandria University campus and the organised campaign to arrest members of the Students Against Coup (SAC) group and other activists Two policemen were wounded on Tuesday in clashes between students who “belong to the Muslim Brotherhood” and the security forces inside Alexandria University, said an Interior Ministry statement.  The security forces arrested thirty-seven students, according to the statement. SAC spokesperson Youssef Saleheen claimed police used live ammunition, and tried to raid buildings inside the Alexandria University campus. Security forces also clashed with students at Zagazig University, while three students were arrested in Sohag. On Wednesday, an uneasy calm hung over Al Azhar University, while security forces temporarily closed off Al-Nahda Square, and streets leading to Cairo University, before opening them up to traffic. Cairo’s Ain Shams University also witnessed intensified security on Wednesday morning. [DNE, Mada Masr, 10/15/2014]

Also of Interest
Sentencing of journalist Ahmed Mansour ‘politicised’ and ‘absurd’: Al Jazeera | DNE
HR lawyer explains legalities of university security measures | Mada Masr


Bomb goes off in Cairo’s downtown, leaving thirteen injured
A strong blast hit a busy district in central Cairo on Tuesday night, leaving thirteen injured, three of whom are in critical condition. A senior security official said the explosion was caused by a homemade bomb placed in the vicinity of a court house. The site of the attack is a busy district and near a subway station. It was initially thought a bomb had been planted in a private car parked in the area but investigations revealed an improvised explosive device was behind the explosion, which took place near the vehicle. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. By Wednesday morning, traffic had resumed as normal in the vicinity of the explosion. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, AP, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, Reuters, 10/15/2014]

Security forces arrest fifteen Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members
A security source has said that fifteen members of the Sinai-based militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) have been arrested in a raid. The source added that they also uncovered an explosives workshop in Rafah. Seven tunnels into Rafah were also destroyed in the raid.
[Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 10/14/2014]

Also of Interest
Blast rocks Egypt’s gas pipeline to Jordan | Ahram Online


Egypt participates in ISIS strategy meeting in Washington
Defense chiefs from around the world gathered at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Tuesday to meet with US President Barack Obama to discuss the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) threat. The meeting will discuss a strategy to “degrade and destroy” the extremist militant group. More than twenty nations, including Egypt, were represented in the meeting, as part of the US’ “broad international coalition” to confront the group. The nations represented at the meeting besides Egypt and the US were Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. [DNE, 10/15/2014]

Also of Interest
Shipment of US Apache helicopters to arrive in Egypt soon: Air force commander | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
Foreign ministry condemns Israeli attack on mosques | DNE