Top News: Egypt State Council Bans Al Jazeera, Raba’a on NileSat

Egypt’s State Council ruled on Wednesday to ban broadcasts of two pro-Muslim Brotherhood TV channels – the privately privately-owned Raba’a channel and Qatari-owned Al Jazeera – on Egypt’s satellite operator NileSat. 


Egypt cabinet approves unified license for landline and mobile services
Egypt’s cabinet approved on Wednesday issuing a unified license for all communication companies, according to certain conditions. A unified license allows all telecommunication companies to provide both landline and mobile services, in addition to internet services. Currently, the Egyptian company for telecommunication is the only company that provides landline services. The cabinet also met on Wednesday to discuss several economic and security portfolios, as well as preparations for the beginning of the new school year. [Aswat Masriya, 9/3/2014]

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Mubarak-era tycoon Hussein Salem sentenced to ten years in absentia
Alexandria Criminal Court, headed by Judge Gamal Gomaa, sentenced fugitive businessman Hussein Salem, his son and daughter, in absentia to ten years imprisonment in a maximum-security prison on charges of selling electricity to bodies other than the Egyptian Electricity Authority. Four other officials at the Alexandria Oil Company were sentenced to seven years in prison, while six received one year suspended sentences. The accused were ordered by the Alexandria court to collectively pay EGP23 million as a fine and return the squandered money. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 9/2/2014]

Egypt State Council bans Al Jazeera, Raba’a on NileSat
Egypt’s State Council ruled on Wednesday to ban broadcasts of two pro-Muslim Brotherhood TV channels – the privately privately-owned Raba’a channel and Qatari-owned Al Jazeera – on Egypt’s satellite operator NileSat. Egyptian lawyer Mamdouh Tamam had filed a lawsuit with the council, which is a judicial advisory body, to ban broadcasting Al Jazeera on NileSat on charges that it violates rules set by the Council of Arab Ministers of Information that call on media outlets to maintain public unity and order. The Urgent Matters Court had ordered the channel’s ban last September. Viewers in Egypt can still receive Al Jazeera on their televisions through other satellites. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic), 9/3/2014]

Ahmed Douma’s lawyer withdraws from trial in protest over procedures
Political activist Ahmed Douma’s lawyer withdrew on Wednesday from his trial and 268 others over violence, which occurred outside the cabinet’s building in December 2011. The Cairo Criminal Court postponed on Wednesday the trial to September 17. It referred three of Douma’s lawyers to investigation, accusing them of “rioting” and refusing to follow the court’s orders, according to an eyewitness account. An altercation erupted between the court and the defense team, the eyewitness said. Osama al-Mahdy, Douma’s lawyer and one of those referred to investigation, told Aswat Masriya he withdrew from the session because the court “breached the guarantees of a fair trial.” Douma’s wife Nourhan Hefzy said on Tuesday that his health is rapidly deteriorating, putting him at great risk. [Aswat Masriya, Shorouk (Arabic), 9/2/2014]

Also of Interest:
Egypt court suspends verdict cancelling Porto Venice land deal | Ahram Online
Egypt court extends detention for leading Wasat Party figure | Ahram Online
Trial of twenty-four Brotherhood members in Mansoura postponed to November 3 | EGYNews (Arabic)
Detention of 77 Brotherhood members in Sharqiya extended 15 days | EGYNews (Arabic)
Badie Raba’a “Control Room” trial resumes today | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt business activity expands in August, hits 8-month high: PMI
Business activity in Egypt grew at its sharpest rate in eight months in August, a survey showed on Wednesday, as the economy rebounded strongly from the initial shock of cuts in energy subsidies last month. The PMI survey of around 350 private-sector firms showed that output rebounded strongly in August, with the related subindex reaching 53.5 points, its most marked increase in eight months, after shrinking to 48.7 points in July. [Reuters, 9/3/2014]

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Egypt’s main index hits six year high | Ahram Online
Suez Canal revenue hits record $508 million in August -chairman | Reuters
Government to settle 22 disputes with investors | DNE
Government begins reviewing bids for renewable energy projects | DNE
Egyptian cotton exports decrease by 69.7 percent: CAPMAS | DNE
Egyptian pound steady on official, black markets | Reuters
Purchase of Suez Canal project investment certificates to begin on Thursday | Aswat Masriya


Censorship authorities confiscate three books on arrival
Censorship authorities have confiscated three books published by Al-Tanweer Publishing, which were part of a delivery of books entering Egypt on Saturday. The confiscated books include “Introduction to Semiotics” by the Egyptian academic writer Nasr Hamed Abu Zayd, “Al-Mabrouma” by Lebanese novelist Rabei Gaber and the French philosopher Alain Badiou’s “In Praise of Love”. The publishers were informed by their shipping company that the books were confiscated by censorship authorities, said Sherif Joseph Rizk, manager of Al-Tanweer publishing. The books will be confiscated for a week before a final decision will be made on whether they will be allowed into the country. [DNE, 9/3/2014]

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6 April Movement demands release of thirteen members | Egypt Independent
Dar al-Ifta: Western media serve terrorism | Egypt Independent
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Police arrest journalist who allegedly shot ‘Helwan Brigades’ video
Security forces have arrested a journalist who they say filmed a video of an alleged anti-police armed group, state news agency MENA reported on Wednesday. A high-profile security source said that Alyaa Awad, who is allegedly a photojournalist at Islamic-affiliated news portal Rassd, was arrested in Alexandria. In August, the self-proclaimed militia appeared in a video published and circulated on social media networks in which they vowed to target all police facilities in Helwan. [Ahram Online, 9/3/2014]

One policeman, seven alleged militants killed in separate incidents in North Sinai
Gunmen shot dead an Egyptian off-duty policeman Wednesday in the restive north of the Sinai Peninsula, a security official said. The official said the 32-year-old first sergeant was walking home after work when gunmen opened fire, killing him on the spot in al-Arish. In a separate incident, security sources said seven “jihadists” were killed and six others injured Tuesday night in North Sinai. Security forces also arrested eleven suspects and eliminated thirty-five “terrorist hotbeds.” The security campaign comes in retaliation over an attack on a security convoy on Tuesday, which left one officer and ten conscripts killed. [Ahram Online, DNE, AP, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 9/3/2014]


Sisi meets US congressional delegation, urges economic support of Egypt
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi told a US congressional delegation on Tuesday that events in the region should compel leading countries to take quick measures to support “moderate” regional states in the face of terrorism, Egypt’s presidential spokesman said in a statement. Sisi told the delegation, headed by US Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon and comprised of seven other House members, that facing terrorism means taking socioeconomic steps alongside military action, and supporting “moderate states'” to strengthen their economies. The delegation left Cairo on Wednesday morning. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 9/3/2014]

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‘An international commitment’ to fight ISIS: Shoukry | DNE