Top News: Egypt Considers Media Gag on Military News; Four Killed in Nile Delta Blast

The State Council’s legislative department received Wednesday a draft law submitted by the Cabinet that would ban news relating to Egypt’s armed forces. 


Egypt sets harsher traffic laws, special courts for violations after mass fatal accidents
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ordered the formation of special court circuit for traffic law violations on Thursday, days after two mass road accidents killed twenty-eight people, mostly minors. Sisi also assigned a specialist council for community development to devise a complete scheme to minimize road accidents. A report of experts is expected to be presented to the president within two weeks. The cabinet also on Wednesday approved amendments to the traffic law, putting harsher punishments on violators. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 11/6/2014]

Sisi appoints former Mubarak, Morsi ministers as aides
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has appointed two ministers who served under deposed presidents Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi as his security aides. Sisi on Wednesday issued a presidential decree naming Fayza Abul Naga, former Mubarak-era minister of planning and international cooperation as his national security advisor. He also named retired general, Ahmed Gamal al-Din, who was one of the interior ministers under former Islamist president Morsi, as a presidential advisor for “security affairs and combating terrorism.” [Ahram Online, DNE, 11/5/2014]

State Council considers draft law imposing media gag on military news
The State Council’s legislative department received Wednesday a draft law submitted by the Cabinet that would ban news relating to Egypt’s armed forces. The council is due to review the law’s constitutionality. An article in the draft stipulates the need for prior permission from the Armed Forces’ general command before reporting or broadcasting news about its formations, movements and equipment. It imposes a jail term from six months to five years and a fine of 100 to 500 Egyptian pounds for violators. The draft law states that this information is vital to state security, therefore requiring entire secrecy so as to prevent it being leaked to entities that would use it against the country. [Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 11/5/2014]

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Morsi’s former spokesperson freed from jail
Yasser Ali, a former presidential spokesperson under deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, was released from prison on Wednesday, a few days after receiving a six month jail sentence. Ali was sentenced by a Cairo court over charges including attempting to aid former Prime Minister Hisham Qandil to flee the country as well as membership of a terrorist group, identified by authorities as the Muslim Brotherhood. His lawyer demanded his release, arguing that his client, who has been detained since his arrest on December 31, had already served time in jail exceeding his sentence. Ali was allowed to walk free from a Giza police station late on Wednesday. The former spokesperson does not face charges in any other case, but has appealed his conviction, seeking official acquittal. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, DNE, 11/5/2014]

Court considers death sentence for four accused of rape
An appeals court referred on Thursday four defendants accused of rape to Egypt’s Grand Mufti to consider their death sentences. The court postponed the verdict of six other defendants to December 18. The ten defendants are accused of kidnapping a woman from the governorate of Kafr al-Sheikh and raping her in 2006. The defendants had already appealed their sentences before, which makes Thursday’s death sentences final, should the Mufti ratify them. The Grand Mufti’s decisions are not legally binding, yet it is customary for the court to adopt them. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 11/6/2014]

Also of Interest
NASL dissolution appeal postponed to November 13 | Shorouk (Arabic)
Alexandria court acquits six students on charges of inciting violence | Shorouk (Arabic)
‘Kerdasa Massacre’ trial postponed to November 12 | Shorouk (Arabic)
Morsi Presidential Palace trial postponed to November 9 | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Egypt receives $1 billion grant from Kuwait, to repay $2.5 billion to Qatar
Egypt received a $1 billion grant from Kuwait earlier this week, an Egyptian government source said on Thursday, the latest in billions of dollars of aid to arrive from Gulf Arab allies since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last year. Meanwhile, Egypt will repay a $2.5 billion deposit to Qatar at the end of November, bringing to $6 billion the deposits it has returned to the Gulf Arab gas exporter Morsi’s ouster, a central bank source said. [Reuters, 11/6/2014]

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Stocks slightly fall, despite OCI Egypt expansion | Ahram Online
NASDAQ Dubai to promote Egyptian firms’ dual listings | Ahram Online
Egypt’s Net International Reserves slightly up in October | Ahram Online, DNE
Innovation complex to be established in Maadi Technology Zone | DNE
10-15 percent growth targets in government sector: al-Kharafi Group | DNE
Egypt’s foreign reserves rise to $16.909 billion in October , says central bank | Reuters
Mobinil may opt out of Egypt fixed-line market, to decide in weeks- CEO | Reuters
More confidence in economy as credit rating of future vision increases | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Memish gives order to start new Suez Canal projects | Ahram (Arabic)


April 6 calls on cabinet to resign
The April 6 Youth Movement called on the cabinet to resign for “failing in all fields” after traffic accidents in Beheira and Sohag left twenty-nine dead this week. The prominent secular activist group mourned the “victims of failure negligence” and extended condolences to their families in a Wednesday statement. It called for those responsible to be held accountable and tried. The movement said that corruption, negligence, and deterioration have intensified under the current cabinet. The political leadership bears full responsibility for the bad and failing outcome of the conditions and services of ministries and government’s institutions, the statement said. [DNE, 11/5/2014]

Also of Interest
Journalists form front to defend profession against self-censorship | Egypt Independent
Truck driver responsible for school bus crash arrested, says interior ministry | Aswat Masriya


Bomb on train kills four in Nile Delta, state of emergency declared
A bomb blast aboard a train traveling in the Nile Delta north of Cairo killed four people and wounded nine, security officials said on Thursday. The blast took place shortly before midnight on Wednesday. Two policemen were among those killed. Also late Wednesday, three were wounded when a homemade bomb went off aboard a commuter train in the Cairo suburb of al-Marg. On Thursday morning in Cairo, a woman was slightly injured when a homemade explosive device went off near one of the city’s presidential facilities, the infrequently used al-Quba palace. No one immediately claimed responsibility for planting any of the three bombs. Following the deadly Nile Delta attack, Mounifeya governorate declared a state of emergency, announcing the closure of the train station after its evacuation. [Egypt Independent, AP, Reuters, DNE, Ahram Online, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 11/6/2014]

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Egypt says civilian attempts to fight Jihadists are illegal | Ahram Online
Five alleged Brotherhood members arrested in North Sinai on charges of inciting against armed forces | Shorouk (Arabic)
Security forces arrest sixteen extremists for targeting security station in North Sinai | Ahram (Arabic)


UN review points at Egypt’s NGO and protest laws
Two controversial laws, one regulating NGOs and another putting restrictions on protesting , took center stage at the UN Human Rights Council’s review of Egypt’s human rights conditions Wednesday. Nearly 125 member countries had recommendations as well as concerns on Egypt’s human rights records during the review. Several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Austria, France, Italy, Romania, Turkey, Norway, the Netherlands and Germany, called for Egypt to draft a new NGO law that complies with international standards and treaties. Several countries also brought up the rights of Egyptian detainees and the security crackdown following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi. British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson said that the UK urges Egypt to engage constructively with the important issues raised in the UK statement during the human rights review. Meanwhile, Amnesty International said Egypt’s defense of its human rights record at the Universal Periodical Review (UPR) “lay in tatters.” The Amnesty statement added that “despite damning evidence of human rights violations”, the Egyptian delegation continuously rejected criticism from other UN member states. [Ahram Online, DNE, 11/6/2014]

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Forbes says Sisi Africa’s most influential leader in 2014 | Egypt Independent
Israel okays Egypt request to deploy more military forces in Sinai | Jerusalem Post
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