Egypt’s deadliest militant group has vowed fresh deadly attacks against security forces next week during the country’s major Muslim feast.


Strong Egypt, Egyptian Current merge into new party
Two political parties, the Egyptian Current and Strong Egypt, have merged. The Egyptian Current, a political party still under establishment, now falls under the umbrella of the Strong Egypt party, headed by former Muslim Brotherhood member and former presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh. Both parties include former Brotherhood members or affiliated splinter groups and were formed after the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The Strong Egypt has yet to decide if it will participate in the upcoming round of parliamentary elections. [Ahram Online, DNE, 10/1/2014]

Also of Interest:
Mahlab restructures social justice committee | Ahram (Arabic)


Students acquitted after nine-month detention
The Nasr City Misdemeanor Court acquitted seven Al-Azhar university students on Wednesday. The students, who have been detained for over nine months, were accused of damaging university property. Security forces had arrested the students on charges of burning a building on campus, after receiving reports of a fire. Revolutionary groups call for the acquittal of more detainees. “Lifting injustice is not justice,” the Freedom for the Brave initiative wrote on their official page in response to the acquittal. [DNE, 10/2/2014]

Also of Interest:
Yasser Ali trial on charges of ‘aiding’ Hisham Qandil postponed to October 11 | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Twenty-five Muslim Brotherhood members arrested for inciting violence | EGYNews (Arabic)
Mansoura court postpones trial of nine students to November | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt’s economy set to grow 3.3 percent this fiscal year: Reuters poll
Egypt’s economy is set to grow 3.3 percent this fiscal year, according to economists polled by Reuters, who nudged up their forecasts from last quarter as confidence has started to return. The forecast is close to the government’s prediction of 3.5 percent growth in gross domestic product. [Reuters, 10/2/2014]

Egypt finance minister: FY 2013/14 deficit was EGP 252 billion
Egypt’s finance minister said on Wednesday the total budget deficit for the fiscal year that ended in June was EGP 252 billion ($35.2 billion), accounting for 12.5 to 12.6 percent of GDP. Hany Dimian told a news conference that the government had targeted the deficit falling to just 9 percent of GDP, “but it rose (due) to the lack of implementation of procedures that were supposed to be applied in the last year.” [Reuters]

Also of Interest:
Egypt pays $1.5 billion to foreign energy companies: oil ministry | Reuters
Three logistical centers to be constructed for EGP13 billion | DNE
Pressure on Qatar to extend maturity of $2.5 billion in bonds owed ​​by Egypt | Egypt Independent
Food prices decline globally, rise in Egypt | Mada Masr


Egyptian authorities censor newspaper
The privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper was prevented from distributing a print issue of Tuesday evening’s paper by the government, as it included a sensitive interview with an intelligence agent. According to the chief editor of the news portal, Ahmad Ragab, the government wanted to review the interview before it was published, in order to make sure no sensitive information was included. When Al-Masry Al-Youm refused to show them the interview, they confiscated the issues from the state-owned Al-Ahram printing offices. Ragab stated that the interview would nevertheless be published online on Wednesday or Thursday. The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) confirmed the incident on Wednesday, describing it as a clear violation of press freedom. [Mada Masr, DNE, 10/1/2014]

Social solidarity ministry will not extend deadline for NGOs
Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali said in an interview with Aswat Masriya on Wednesday that a government deadline for civil society organizations to register with the government will not be extended. The deadline, originally slated for September 2, was extended for another 45 days. Organizations that do not register with the ministry could face investigation. Wali said each organization will be delt with on a case by case basis. “If the organizations are registered under a different law, we will make sure that the law covers all of its activities,” Wali added. During the interview, Wali also defended a draft NGO law that has yet to be passed. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 10/2/2014]

Also of Interest:
Nour Party mulls legal action against government after ‘libel’ noticed in school curriculum | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
Three street vendors detained, security cancels demonstration | DNE
Social housing project to deliver 52,000 apartments in six months | Ahram (Arabic)
Police besiege protesting workers at Alexandria Textile Company | Mada Masr
NCW launches harassment hotline for Eid al-Adha | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Pope Tawadros: We are waiting for investigations in the Jabal al-Tair incident | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egypt militant group threatens deadly attacks during Eid holiday
Egypt’s deadliest militant group has vowed fresh deadly attacks against security forces next week during the country’s major Muslim feast. In a video released online, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis threatened killings against the police would take place Saturday, the first day of the Eid al-Adha feast, saying it “will be a black day on the infidel interior minister and his associates.” Egypt closed its northwestern border with Libya on Wednesday for Eid al-Adha, and will be closing the Rafah Crossing from Thursday. The Egyptian Travel Agents Association also informed Wednesday travel agencies of halting all desert tours west and south of Egypt during Eid al-Adha and 6th October holidays through October 21, as decided in a meeting at the Ministry of Defense attended by security and tourism revival committee representatives. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 10/2/2014]

Bomb blast hits governor office in Egypt’s Delta; two wounded
A bomb blast hit a government office Thursday afternoon in Egypt’s Nile Delta, leaving two injured. Unknown assailants on a motorbike threw a bag containing a bomb near the municipal governor’s office in Gharbiya governorate, north of Cairo. Two security personnel were wounded in the bombing, including Gharbiya security chief, Mohamed Rizk, and a security guard. One of the men is said to be in a critical condition. [Ahram Online, 10/2/2014]

Also of Interest:
Gunmen open fire at café in Upper Egypt, three injured | Ahram Online
Seven militants killed, fifteen arrested in Sinai | DNE
Officials say top militant killed in Egypt’s Sinai | AP
Four arrested on charges of storming Minya police station | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egypt, US sign bilateral agreements worth $286 million
The United States and Egypt signed bilateral agreements worth $268 million this week, the US embassy in Egypt said in a press release on Thursday. The agreements “signify a new era in support from the American people for joint US-Egypt priorities in economic growth, agriculture, tourism, governance, water and waste water management, and education,” the embassy stated. Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Cairo Thomas H. Goldberger said that these programs demonstrate US commitment to investing in Egypt’s future, “particularly for its youth.” [DNE, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 10/2/2014]

Also of Interest:
Arab League Secretary General meets South Sudan FM | EGYNews (Arabic)