Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has said its Islamic principles will ensure it survives despite a “politicized” decision to ban the decades-old group. The statement on Wednesday came hours after an appeal court in Cairo upheld a decision to ban the group and any group derived from it, and for its assets to be seized. “The coup tyrants do not meet the interests of millions of Egyptians that the Brotherhood served and supported,” said the group. The family of Egypt’s toppled president Mohammed Morsi visited him in prison on Thursday, their first face-to-face contact with him since a popularly-backed military coup ousted him from power four months ago, his wife Naglaa Ali said. “It was just as I expected. He was assuring me and I was assuring him,” she said. The Borg al-Arab prison administration is preparing a visitation permit for several of Morsi’s lawyers on Thursday to conclude procedures related to his defense. A number of political figures also submitted requests to visit Morsi to discuss the possibility of national reconciliation. [Ahram OnlineDNEAPCairo Post, 11/7/2013]


The presidency is keen on issuing the protest law; Islamists will oppose 
At a press conference on Wednesday, presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi expressed the presidency’s “keenness on issuing the Protest Law soon” adding that it will not be issued until “it is ratified by the cabinet and state council.” International rights groups say it will effectively ban demonstrations. A hardline Egyptian Islamist group has said it will rally in defiance of the law designed to regulate protests  “We will protest against the law as soon as soon as it is ratified and we will be on the lookout,” said Alaa Abu al-Nasr, secretary general of Islamist group al-Gamaa al-Islamiya’s political wing, the Building and Development Party. [DNE, Reuters/Aswat Masriya, 11/7/2013]

Also of Interest:
Mansour revives plan for nuclear power plant on Egyptian coast | Ahram Online
Minister of Higher Education postpones student elections | Cairo Post
Committee managing MB assets begins work next week | Cairo Post
The struggles of the Masr al-Hurreya party | Mada Masr
Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya will demonstrate against protest law if ratified | DNE
‘I saw Ittehadiya unfold’: Q&A with former justice minister | Egypt Independent


Hosni Mubarak to remain under house arrest, says Egypt PM
Former president Hosni Mubarak will remain under house arrest after the emergency law is lifted in mid-November, interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi has said. A court ordered Mubarak’s release in August but El-Beblawi placed him under house arrest at Maadi military hospital as part of the recently implemented emergency law. In comments published in Al-Masri Al-Youm newspaper on Thursday, El-Beblawi said Mubarak would be transferred to temporary detention in accordance with the criminal procedures law.
[Ahram Online, Egypt Independent,

In Wednesday meeting, constitutional committee cannot find middle ground
A deadlock seems imminent for the fifty-member constitutional committee with less than a month before the deadline for the final draft of Egypt’s new constitution. Discussions on the most contentious articles, particularly those regarding identity, the rights of minorities—including Copts and women—and military trials for civilians appear to have reached an impasse as divided committee members fail to reach a middle ground. The state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported that the committee bowed to pressure from Al-Azhar and the hardline conservative Salafi Nour Party, and removed one article defining Egypt as a “civil state.” [Mada Masr, Cairo Post, 11/7/2013]

Also of Interest:
Mixed system in constitutional draft | Mada Masr
Fifty-member committee approves sixty-five draft articles | SIS
Criminal court postpones fourth session of Saber sons’ trial | Cairo Post
Court accepts prosecution appeal against Ezz innocence | Egypt Independent
Brotherhood’s El-Erian sees detention extended on suspicion of torture | Ahram Online


Trade Union Federation rejects new minimum wage
The Egyptian Trade Union Federation announced its rejection of the minimum wage decided by the government for the amount of 1,200 EGP, describing it as a “disastrous” decision. In an official press statement released on Wednesday, the federation confirmed that they are in the process of discussing fair wages with representatives of employers to guarantee the rights of workers in the private sector. The Trade Union Federation also denied accusations of allying with the government and the Federation of Industries against the workers. [Cairo Post, 11/7/2013]

Egypt’s foreign reserves drop in October to $18.6 billion
Egypt’s Net International Reserves (NIR) dropped $119 million in October 2013 to record $18.6 billion, announced the state’s Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on Thursday. The fall is NIR’s second consecutive drop as they slipped by $200 million in September after the CBE held its largest exceptional auction early September, selling $1.3 billion of its foreign reserves to cover strategic imports such as wheat, meat, and cooking oil. Mohamed Abu Basha, an economist at the Cairo-based investment bank EFG-Hermes told Ahram Online that the slight dip of the foreign reserves is attributed to the usual commitment of the CBE to meet the country’s staples. [Ahram Online, AP, Mada Masr, 11/7/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt stocks hit three-year high as Morsi trial passes calmly | Ahram Online


Egyptian journalists launch new watchdog against torture
‘Journalists against torture,’ a new body aimed at denouncing the torture and mistreatment of Egyptian journalists at the hands of the authorities, was launched Tuesday. The founding statement of the group was signed by 60 journalists working across 35 media outlets. “We will file collective complaints with the general prosecution to investigate the continuous rights violations journalists are subjected to,” founding member Ashraf Abbas told Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website, adding that violations have “increased in the recent period, including cases of arrest, torture, and physical harm.” [Ahram Online, 11/6/2013]

Increasingly hostile environment to freedom of expression in Egypt, says FIDH
The head of Iranian Al-Alam Channel’s Cairo office and Al-Ahram journalist Ahmed al-Sioufi was arrested on Thursday, after having been summoned by National Security regarding the channel’s broadcasting license. Al-Sioufi’s son Khaled wrote on his Facebook account Thursday that his father had been arrested earlier by National Security and that accompanying police forces had raided their home. Khaled El-Sioufi added that he had not heard from his father since. Egypt has seen an increasingly hostile environment to freedom of expression and assembly over the past three months, said the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in a statement on Wednesday. “What we are seeing here is either the result of pressure exerted by the Egyptian authorities on the media, or a demonstration of zealous self-censorship,” said FIDH president Karim Lahidji in the statement. [DNE, Ahram Online, 11/7/2013]

Also of Interest:
‘Tamarod against the Minister of Antiquities’ gathers 4,000 signatures | DNE
Rights group condemns proposed graffiti law | DNE


Sniper kills soldier; Egyptian armed forces kill three militants in Sinai
A sniper shot dead an Egyptian soldier Wednesday in the lawless Sinai Peninsula where the army has been waging a relentless campaign to root out militants, a security official said. The twenty year-old conscript was killed while training at a military camp in Sheikh Zuwayed, the official said. On the same day Egyptian armed forces killed three Islamist militants in a security operative in Sinai, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported. A military spokesman stated that it had also seized a number of weapons, including machine guns, RPGs, and homemade grenades. The armed forces, supported by police personnel, also torched four cars that did not have licence plates or registration papers, army spokesman Ahmed Ali stated on Thursday via his official Facebook page. [Ahram Online, AFP/DNE, Ahram Online, 11/7/2013]

Monufiya village residents seize gas cylinders by force
Dozens of residents in al-Zawya al-Naora, a village in Monufiya, seized a vehicle carrying butane gas cylinders using weapons. The vehicle was en route to a nearby village. Residents passed out the cargo among themselves after they threatened to kill the driver. One suspect was arrested after the authorities were notified. Cairo and a number of governorates across Egypt are suffering from shortages in butane gas cylinders. [Egypt Independent, Cairo Post, 11/7/2013]


United States should show equal keenness on Egypt relations, says presidential spokesman
Egypt is keen on its relationship with the US, but the latter has to feel the same way for Egypt, presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi said in a press conference Wednesday. Badawi said that even though Egypt is interested in staying on good terms with the US, it is more keen on the Egyptian people’s will and on “national Egyptian dignity.” Also on Wednesday, the Egyptian foreign ministry said that Cairo would see intensive visits in the coming period from a number of Congressmen as a show of the US government’s efforts to maintain good relations with Egypt. Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty said a delegation headed by Robert Karem, senior adviser to the Foreign Affairs Office of the US House of Representatives, is coming to assess the progress of the road map and relay the truth to Congress so as to make the appropriate decisions concerning Egypt. [Ahram Online, SIS, Egypt Independent, 11/6/2013]

Fahmy to discuss EU’s export licenses suspension in Spain
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy will meet with business leaders in Spain during a two-day visit to the European nation. He is also expected to discuss the decision taken by European Union in August to suspend export licenses to Egypt following the violent dispersal of two sit-ins supporting former President Mohamed Morsi. The European Union Foreign Affairs Council, of which Spain is a member, decided to revoke export licenses to Egypt relating to any equipment that could be “used for internal repression.” [DNE, 11/7/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt’s FM: Egypt Can’t be Uprooted from Arab, African Roots | Masrawy
Egypt denies Israeli firm securing Suez Canal | Ahram Online, SIS
Erdogan’s statements driving Egypt into a path it wants to avoid, says presidency | Egypt Independent, SIS