Cabinet spokesperson Sherif Shawqi has claimed Egypt’s emergency law will not continue past mid-November. In remarks on Tuesday, Shawqi said the Cabinet does not intend to extend the emergency law in the wake of the Warraq church attack.


Cabinet says emergency law to end mid-November
Cabinet spokesperson Sherif Shawqi has claimed Egypt’s emergency law will not continue past mid-November. In remarks on Tuesday, Shawqi said the Cabinet does not intend to extend the emergency law in the wake of the Warraq church attack. Media speculation suggesting this is untrue, he claimed. Egypt’s Cabinet extended the law for three months following violence that broke out after the violent dispersals of sit-ins staged by supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsy in Raba’a al-Adaweya and Giza’s al-Nahda Square on August 14. The state of emergency was then extended for two more months through a decree issued by Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour following a rise in violent incidents across the country. The state of emergency cannot be extended for more than three months except after the people’s approval in a public referendum, according to the constitutional decree that currently regulates Egypt’s transitional phase. [Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, SIS, AMAY (Arabic), 10/23/2013]

Egypt’s Nour calls for transitional justice, national reconciliation
A senior member of Egypt’s largest Salafist party has asked interim Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa-Eldin to enforce transitional justice. Talaat Marzouq, the Nour Party’s deputy leader in charge of legal affairs, said on Tuesday that he told the minister the move would increase popular support for the interim government. Marzouq also pressed for the creation of a national reconciliation committee that was announced in the transitional roadmap following Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, Al-Ahram reported. [Ahram Online, 10/23/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt keen on establishing balanced relations with all countries: President Counsellor | Shorouk (Arabic), SIS
Government respects freedoms of opinion, expression; is committed to roadmap, restoring security | SIS
Nour Party condemns church position over identity articles | Ahram Gate


First Constituent Assembly closed session held
The fifty-member Constituent Assembly held its first closed session on Tuesday in the absence of media coverage. The session was followed by a press conference in which assembly spokesman Mohamed Salmawy announced that out of over 200 constitutional articles, the assembly’s drafting committee was done with 189. “The new draft includes eighteen new articles which were never included in Egypt’s previous constitutions,” Salmawy said. He added that six of the eighteen articles were already finalized by the drafting committee. Meanwhile, the committee of ten legal experts and judges who conducted a first round of amendments on the 2012 constitution walked out of a meeting with its successor committee on Tuesday, Al-Masry Al-Youm and Al-Shorouk newspapers reported. According to the newspapers, the fifty-member committee which is now doing a last round of amendments before a referendum is conducted in December, suggested that the members of the committee of ten should not vote over the final draft, which prompted them to pull out of the Tuesday meeting. The reserve members of the fifty-member constitution committee also held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the growing push to ban them from attending the constitution-drafting discussion sessions. Earlier on Tuesday, security surrounding the Shura Council building where committee sessions are held banned reserve members and the media from attending the first session. Tuesday’s session was slated to discuss and vote on draft constitution articles prepared in the first fifty days of the committee’s work. [DNE, AMAY (Arabic), Mada Masr, Ahram Online, 10/23/2013]

More Brotherhood members detained in Cairo and Suez
The head of Egypt’s state NGO federation will be detained for fifteen days while prosecutors investigate allegations against him, judicial sources told Ahram Online on Tuesday. Hatem Khater, who is also a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, is accused of inciting violence and joining an outlawed group, sources said. South Giza prosecutors on Tuesday also ordered the extended detention of Mohamed Badie, Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, for fifteen days pending investigations into clashes that took place outside Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC) in August. Suez prosecution also sentenced five Muslim Brotherhood members to jail for fifteen days pending investigations, Youm7 reported. The defendants are accused of attacking public and private buildings in Suez in August, in addition to inciting violence on October 6, and responsibility over the clashes that took place in al-Arba’een Square. [Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), Egypt Independent, Cairo Post, 10/23/2013]

Also of Interest:
Al-Jama’a al-Islamiya reject new constitution | AMAY (Arabic)
Egypt court postpones Port Said retrial | Ahram Online
High Election Committee: 660,000 expats registered to vote in constitution referendum | Egypt Independent


Egypt’s budget deficit target hard to maintain if expenses increase: Analysts
Egypt’s Ministry of Finance announced this week a package of measures to enhance the economy and promote social justice. The plans are expected to increase state expenses in 2013/14 by almost EGP 40 billion. However, the government said the state deficit would not exceed 10 percent of Egypt’s GDP. “The targeted 10 percent budget deficit is unlikely to be maintained, we are expecting deficit to reach some 13.5 percent,” said Wael Ziada, head of research at EFG-Hermes, the country’s leading investment bank. [Ahram Online, 10/22/2013]

Egypt’s central bank governor criticizes IMF
Egypt’s Central Bank Governor, Hisham Ramez, has criticized the IMF for acting in a “totally unacceptable way” during negotiations over a critical $4.8 billion loan earlier this year, state newspaper Al-Ahram reported. Ramez, who was involved in the talks, said that “some figures” in the IMF had dealt inappropriately with Egypt, without giving details. Al-Ahram released Ramez’s comments in advance of an interview expected to air on Wednesday night on an Egyptian television station. [Reuters, Shorouk (Arabic), 10/23/2013]

Also of Interest:
Italy invests $20 million in Egyptian irrigation system | DNE
Low gas supplies cut into cement production | DNE
Yahoo to shut down Cairo bureau by year end | DNE
No Israeli imports being considered: Head of Egypt Gas Holding Company | Egypt Independent
New Initiative to establish new mining zone on Suez Canal axis | Ahram Gate   
Zaazou: Germans keen to boost tourism in Egypt | SIS


Egypt’s Fayoum lacks access to clean drinking water – report
Egypt’s rural governorate of Fayoum, south of Cairo, lacks access to clean drinking water and sanitation, according to a recently issued report. Researchers tested the quality of water in more than a thousand houses, schools and health clinics in Fayoum to examine water-related diseases through a baseline survey. Fayoum counts as one of Egypt’s poorer governorates, with a population amounting to 2.7 million. [Aswat Masriya, 10/23/2013]

Student protests trigger clashes; Pro-Morsi protesters attempt to storm police station in Upper Egypt
Scores of pro-Morsi students in and outside the capital protested on Tuesday afternoon, continuing a rocky start to the new academic year. Violence flared up between students at Mansoura University, with some lighting fireworks and others hurling rocks, Al-Ahram’s Arabic website reported. Nearly 18 people were injured in the Mansoura clashes, among them seven security personnel, according to Al-Ahram. Twenty-five students and professors will face the university’s disciplinary board on charges of inciting students to protest and engaging in clashes with their colleagues. Students at Al-Azhar university also continued their protests. The students chanted against minister of defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and called for the resignation of the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar and the university president. Meanwhile, police and military forces foiled an attempt by Muslim Brotherhood supporters to storm the Deir al-Barsha police station in Mallawi, Upper Egypt after they had gathered at the building and opened fire. One conscript was injured in the incident on Tuesday night, and one assailant was arrested when security forces were deployed in the village, state news agency MENA reported. [Ahram Online, DNE, Shorouk (Arabic), 10/23/2013]  

Warraq church official says police absent during attack
The administrative head of the Virgin Mary Church in Warraq told prosecutors on Tuesday that police conscripts supposed to be guarding the church were not present during an assault that left four dead and scores injured, Al-Ahram reported. Giza governor Ali Abdel Rahman said on Tuesday that his administration will offer financial compensation to the victims of the attack. The ministry of Social Solidarity pledged EGP 5,000 ($725) for the families of the four killed and EGP 1,000 ($145) for those who had been injured in the shooting, according to state-owned Al-Ahram. Meanwhile, Warraq Prosecution investigations into the Warraq church shooting revealed that the attack has been planned only a few hours ahead, as the attackers viewed a map of the road to the church right before the shooting that only lasted for three minutes. Warraq Prosecution will hear the statements of the pastor of the Church and the three police officers assigned to guard it on Wednesday. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Cairo Post, 10/23/2013]

Also of Interest:
Muslim Brotherhood’s scheme failed in Egypt’s universities: Hossam Eissa | Shorouk (Arabic)
Protest law reflects government’s desire to crush protests: Democracy Index | Shorouk (Arabic)
Cairo trains function for first time in ten weeks | Ahram Online, DNE, Mada Masr, AMAY (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic)  
Tightened security at Cairo’s train station | AMAY (Arabic)
Al-Jazeera warehouse burnt | DNE, AP
Seventeen rights organizations issue joint statement rejecting protest law | Ahram Gate


Attack in Sinai kills soldier, civilian as Egypt arrests seventy-five suspected assailants
Insurgents ambushed an Egyptian army convoy in northern Sinai early Tuesday killing a soldier and a civilian, the local government and the military said, the latest in a rising wave of attacks in the volatile peninsula. Military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Ali said the attackers targeted two buses transporting soldiers, detonating three explosive devices and spraying the vehicles with gunfire as they drove down a main road linking the border town of Rafah with al-Arish, the capital of northern Sinai. In a statement published on his official Facebook page, Ali said forces securing the buses returned fire, forcing the attackers to flee. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities arrested seventy-five suspected assailants in a security crackdown it launched on Wednesday in Northern Sinai’s city of Sheikh Zuweid, security sources said. The security sources said that the arrested suspects were involved in several armed attacks in Sinai, including the latest where a bomb exploded at a security checkpoint in Rafah on Tuesday and killed four people. [AP, Aswat Masriya, 10/23/2013]

Also of Interest:
British man arrested photographing vital facilities | Cairo Post
Security forces arrest reporter in Aswan | Cairo Post
Sisi, Memish review procedures securing Suez Canal | SIS


US Republican senator holds up $60M in aid to Egypt; Moussa blames rocky relations on United States
President Barack Obama’s first package of economic aid to Egypt since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi is hitting a roadblock in Congress, where Senator Lindsey Graham, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees foreign assistance, is holding up the transfer of $60 million, according to US officials and congressional aides. The money would go to support the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund, established during the height of the Arab Spring. Instead of traditional government-to-government aid, the fund offers low-cost capital to investors to spur private sector growth and more competitive markets in an Egyptian economy rocked by a tourism crash and a sharp decline in foreign investment over the last two-and-a-half years. Meanwhile, Amr Moussa, chief of the fifty-member committee, blamed the disturbance in relations between Egypt and the United States on the latter’s politics, which have been dealing for five years with the region’s future through “the new Middle East” principle. He added that the United States tries to push change through creative chaos without expecting that the society would change from inside. “One of the reasons for tension is the preserving of Israeli interests, and aid that the US administration handles through the carrot and stick principle,” Moussa told the Kuwaiti al-Jarida newspaper on Wednesday. [Ahram Online, AP, Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic), 10/22/2013]

Nile should be source of African collaboration, say Egypt FM, Burundi leader
Egyptian foreign affairs minister Nabil Fahmy has announced that the Nile basin states must collaborate in order to meet the future needs of their people. “There is no viable solution that favors one faction at the expense of another, and the goals of one Nile basin country cannot be achieved without the goals of the others,” said Fahmy in a Monday press statement during his visit to Burundi. He also said that Egypt’s interim government is “re-positioning Egypt in its rightful place as a country of Arab identity and African roots.” The visit is part of an extended Africa tour for several Egyptian representatives, including the housing minister and the agriculture minister. The delegation is also visiting Uganda and Congo. [Ahram Online, DNE, SIS, Shorouk (Arabic), 10/22/2013]

Also of Interest:
El-Beblawy to visit UAE on Thursday | Shorouk (Arabic)
Egypt to receive fifty Ukrainian heavy military vehicles | Cairo Post  
Egyptian delegation visits Russia seeking international balance | Cairo Post