Top News: Court Case to Halt Constituent Assembly’s Activity Until Conclusion of Other Cases


Dr. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Federation for Human Rights, brought a case before the Administrative Court to stop the work of the Constituent Assembly and its committees pending the ruling on the assembly’s validity. 


Egypt’s sure to have a cabinet on Thursday: President spokesman

[Ahram Online, Al Masry Al Youm (Arabic), 7/31/2012] The new government appointed by PM Hisham Qandil is to be both announced and sworn in on Thursday before President Mohamed Morsi, says the presidential spokesperson, Yasser Ali. The spokesman also revealed that the members of the presidential team – a consultative body that is intended to be politically and socially inclusive – will also be announced on Thursday. Ali confirmed that President Morsi and PM Qandil had agreed to make both announcements on the same day. Qandil will officially meet with the final ministerial candidates one more time on Wednesday before the announcement.

PM pressures El-Saeed to stay as Finance Minister

[Daily News Egypt, Al Masry Al Youm (Arabic), 7/31/2012] Sources within the Ministry of Finance have revealed that newly appointed Prime Minister, Hesham Qandil, is committed to re-appointing Momtaz El-Saeed as Minister of Finance in the new government and has applied strong pressure on him to stay. El-Saeed has reportedly refused for a variety of reasons including the objections to the implementation of some of his suggestions during his tenure of the post. The sources said that Qandil’s pressure has left the current Minister of Finance torn between leaving his position and staying on for another term. Al Masry Al Youm also reports Qandil’s inclination to replace the current Justice Minister with someone from the Independent Judges movement.


Court Case to Halt the Constituent Assembly’s Activity Until Conclusion of Other Cases

[Al Shorouk (Arabic), 7/31/2012] Dr. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Federation for Human Rights, brought a case before the Administrative Court to stop the work of the Constituent Assembly and its committees pending the ruling on the assembly’s validity. Gabriel based his claim on documented legal precedent. He said, "The reason for the case relates to the announcement made by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis who say they are working in full swing to finish the Constitution and hold the referendum before the Eid al-Fitr, even though the assembly does not reflect the national consensus and was previously revoked by the court."

Fight club: A concise guide to the controversies over Egypt’s new constitution

[Ahram Online, 7/31/2012] Egypt’s second is racing to finish the first integral draft of the constitution before the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan ends three weeks from now, partially due to fears of its potential dissolution by another court order. The article by Bassem Sabry outlines most of the contentious issues surrounding it.


Egyptian teacher arrested for ‘offending Islam’ on Facebook

[Ahram Online, 7/31/2012] Bishoy Kamel, a Coptic-Christian teacher from the Upper Egyptian Governorate of Sohag, was arrested on Monday for sharing cartoons on a Facebook page that allegedly defamed the Islamic faith and the Prophet Muhammad. Mohamed Safwat, an Egyptian citizen who has pressed charges against Kamel, also claimed that the latter had insulted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and members of his own family. Kamel, who has been detained for four days pending investigation, has admitted to managing the Facebook page in question. He claims, however, that he was not responsible for the content of the page, which, he said, had been hacked on Saturday.


Amid shortages SCAF ships fuel to Gaza

[Daily News Egypt, 7/31/2012] Over half a million liters of industrial fuel are headed for the Gaza strip from Egypt, according to state run news agency MENA, making it one of the largest shipments since the beginning of the blockade on Gaza. The containers travelled from Suez to Al-Awja border crossing in North Sinai on Monday. The increased shipment looks tied to President Mohamed Morsy’s strong relationship with Gaza’s Hamas government, and follows a promise from the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) to supply Gaza with 20,000 tons of industrial fuel. The Egyptian shipment had its own impact at home, with discontent over roving electrical cuts and fuel shortages sparking criticism that Morsy cares about Gaza more than he does about his own people.


Panetta to discuss Syria, Iran with Egypt’s Morsi and Tantawi

[Ahram Online, Al Masry Al Youm (Arabic), 7/31/2012] US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta is set to have his first meeting with recently-inaugurated Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Tuesday. While in Cairo, Panetta is also expected to meet with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Panetta arrived in Cairo Tuesday from Tunisia, where he met with the Tunisian president, prime minister and national defense minister in a visit that lasted only a few hours. Developments in the relations between Israel and Egypt are also expected to be discussed. Before arriving to the region, Panetta had said he would explore every option Washington has to offer to support a "democratic transition, development and stability."

Religious freedom in Egypt is ‘quite tenuous’: Clinton

[Reuters, EGYNews (Arabic), 7/31/2012] Religious freedom in Egypt appears to be "quite tenuous" and its government has failed to aggressively prosecute perpetrators of sectarian violence, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday. In its annual International Religious Freedom Report for 2011, the State Department also said it discerned a rise in global anti-Semitism as well as the increased use of anti-blasphemy laws to restrict the rights of religious minorities. The report gave particular attention to countries where last year’s "Arab Spring" of popular protests unseated authoritarian rulers such as former Egyptian president and long-time U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak.

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