Top News: Clinton Meets Morsi, Seeking Israel-Gaza Truce In Cairo

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday in Cairo to discuss a possible truce in Gaza, Egypt’s official news agency report 


Legislation required to block pornographic websites, minister says
Communications and Information Technology Minister Hany Mahmoud said Tuesday that blocking pornographic websites would require parliamentary legislation, adding that the ministry is ready to implement a law once it is issued. Mahmoud explained that the public prosecutor did not decide to block the sites but rather asked for clarification on the matter from the ministry. [Egypt Independent, 11/20/2012]


Al-Azhar official: Withdrawing forces to meet Constituent Assembly members within days
Mohamed Abdel Salam, adviser to the Al-Azhar grand sheikh and a member of the Constituent Assembly, said representatives of Egyptian churches and others who withdrew from the assembly would meet in few days with civilian and Islamist political forces to agree on the constitution draft. Abdel Salam said the meeting seeks to achieve consensus on controversial articles. Several members of the Constituent Assembly who had announced their withdrawal have since returned to the group, among them representatives from the Wafd and the Reform & Development parties.  [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, El Watan (Arabic),11/20/2012]

Retrial begins for police officers accused of torture
The Alexandria Criminal Court held the first session Tuesday in the retrial of five state security officers accused of torturing Sayed Bilal to death in January 2011. The court postponed the case to 20 December after hearing the prosecutor’s argument.West Alexandria Prosecutions head Mohamed Taha accused the defendants of premeditated murder. He said that they beat Bilal, a 31-year-old Salafi, to death on 5 January 2011 during interrogations over the New Year’s Eve Two Saint’s Church bombing, in which 23 Coptic Christians were killed.[Egypt Independent, 11/20/2012]

Military Prosecution investigates New Cairo police station clashes
The Military Prosecution plans to investigate the clashes that erupted between police and army officers in New Cairo’s Fifth Settlement police department on Monday, sources at the attorney general’s office said Tuesday.The sources added that the prosecution would conduct an investigation into the dispute on Saturday between an army officer and a policeman on Cairo-Ismailia road. The Ministers of Defense and Interior met to reaffirm their dedication to a cooperative relationship, unaffected by individual actions of a few officers. [Egypt Independent, Ahram (Arabic), 11/21/2012]

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Egypt to finalize IMF loan agreement in December, source says
A leading member of the Egyptian team negotiating the terms of a US$4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan said the loan agreement would be signed next month. The source said the two parties have decided to sign a letter of intent in the first half of December and will finalize the agreement with the IMF board on 19 December.After the agreement is signed, Egypt will receive an initial $1.1 billion. [Egypt Independent, 11/21/2012]

Egypt’s jobless rate slightly down in Q3/2012: CAPMAS
Egypt’s unemployment rate saw a minor decline of 0.1 per cent in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, reaching 12.5 per cent, the state-run statistics agency CAPMAS stated on Wednesday. The number of unemployed is 3.3 million out of 27 million people represented in the labour force. According to CAMPAS, around 90 per cent of the jobless people are educated and 16.3 per cent of them are located in urban areas, while rural districts witnessed some 9.5 per cent unemployment. [Ahram Online, 11/20/2012]

Egypt is the sixth largest country receiving migrant remittances: World Bank
Egypt came in sixth in the list of top recipients of remittances transferred to developing countries, World Bank Migration and Development Brief showed on Wednesday. At an estimated $18 billion in migrant remittances, Egypt is very close to the Phillipines and Mexico which came in third and fourth at $24 billion, Nigeria which came in fifth at $21 billion. "Remittances to Egypt have surged since 2010, perhaps driven by increased support by migrants to their families in the face of political uncertainty or savings brought by returning migrants," The report read. [Ahram Online, 11/20/2012]

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Egypt to import Turkish-made aerial drones: Report
Egypt will become the first country to import Turkish-made unmanned aerial drones – called ANKAs – after signing a protocol with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Cairo last week, Turkish daily Sabah reported on Tuesday. The unmanned aerial vehicle represents Turkey’s most significant defence project. According to Sabah, it is capable of carrying over 200 kilograms of additional weight and flying at high distances. [Ahram Online, 11/21/2012]

Authorities intercept weapons smuggling from Libya
Security officials in Marsa Matrouh have confiscated 108 Grad rockets and 400,000 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition bound for Sinai in a foiled smuggling attempt. The head of Egypt’s drug control was informed that smugglers would take the Matrouh International Road from Libya overnight. Authorities set up several security checkpoints and police patrolled the desert roads to arrest the smugglers. [Egypt Independent, AP, EGYNews (Arabic), 11/21/2012]


Renewed clashes break out near Interior Ministry
Clashes resumed Wednesday morning between protesters and police forces near the Interior Ministry in downtown Cairo, with the two sides exchanging volleys of rocks and tear gas. Security forces have arrested 118 protesters since Monday in ongoing clashes near the Ministry of Interior, the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page Wednesday morning.Those arrested have been accused of rioting, assaulting police forces and damaging government facilities. The Health Ministry announced Wednesday that 104 people have been injured since Monday. Gaber Salah, a member of the April 6 Youth Movement, who sustained a gunshot to the head is still in a critical condition with little hope of recovery. The Interior Minister stressed that political differences should be settled at the ballot box and not in clashes with the police. [Egypt Independent, DNE, Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic) 11/21/2012]

Crowd chanted anti-Al Jazeera slogans before setting office ablaze

The Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr office in Tahrir Square was set on fire by a mob that had been chanting slogans against the Qatari-owned station, according to a studio employee. The Interior Ministry described the perpetrators as "trouble makers" who had attacked police officers when they had arrived to investigate, the state news agency reported. The public prosecutor has ordered an investigation. [Egypt Independent, DNE, AP, EGYNews (Arabic), 11/21/2012]


Clinton Meets Morsi, Seeking Israel-Gaza Truce In Cairo
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday in Cairo to discuss a possible truce in Gaza, Egypt’s official news agency reported. Clinton travelled from Israel where she had met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Tuesday night she pledged to work for a truce "in the days ahead". [Reuters, AFP/Ahram Online, Ahram (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic), 11/21/2012]’

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