At least eight people were injured in northern Cairo when homemade explosive devices blew up at four metro stations and a courthouse on Wednesday morning in the first attacks in Cairo since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president earlier this month.


Egypt’s Sisi reintroduces appointment of university heads and deans
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a presidential decree on Tuesday reintroducing the direct appointment of university heads and faculty deans. Sisi’s new amendments to the university law – which predominantly relate to articles 25 and 43 – stipulate that the minister of higher education present three candidates for the positions of university head and faculty deans. The candidates are to be selected by a committee – appointed by the minister of higher education following the approval of the Supreme Council of Universities – with the prerogative to establish the selection criteria. The decree has received mixed reactions from university faculty. Hany al-Hosseini, Cairo University lecturer and member of the 9 March Movement for the Independence of Universities, strongly condemned the decree. Hosseini described the decree as a “total abuse of the constitution and a declaration of the dictatorial intentions of the new regimes”. [EGYNews (Arabic), SIS, Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 6/25/2014]

Islamist hardliner Zomor backs transition of power following Morsi’s ouster
Leader of the ultra-conservative al-Jama’a al-Islamiya Aboud al-Zomor says that choosing a new Egyptian president after Mohamed Morsi’s ouster is necessary to prevent a slide into total chaos. In an article published on Monday on Al-Mesryoon news website, Zomor, whose group is a member of the main pro-Morsi Islamist coalition the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL), argued that if a leader is captured or barred from practising his authorities, someone must be delegated to do his job until he returns. The Islamist leader further criticized calls for boycotting the upcoming parliamentary elections. Zomor also advised the Muslim Brotherhood to “restructure the situation and to give up being on the forefront”, adding that the group’s leaderships was either “imprisoned or hurt” and were thus incapable of making the right decisions. [Shorouk (Arabic), 6/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt parties call for amending protest, parliamentary elections laws | Ahram Online
  • Suez governor to donate half his salary following Sisi’s announcement | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • South Sinai governor to donate half his salary following Sisi’s announcement | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Cabinet holds first meeting on Wednesday | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Mahmoud Bakri’s Misr Balady announces coalition with Ahmed Shafiq’s party | Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic)


Suez court sentences journalist to three years prison
Suez-based journalist Abdel-Rahman Shahin was sentenced on Wednesday to three years in prison and a EGP10,000 ($1,398) fine. Shahin, arrested last April, was accused of torching police stations, vandalizing public property, attempting to topple the regime and joining an outlawed group, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood. State media reports claim Shaheen was a correspondent for Al-Jazeera, but Osama Saeed, spokesman for the Qatar-based network, said that Al-Jazeera has not had any staff in Egypt since the arrest of three of its journalists in December. Shaheen previously worked for pro-Islamist television channel Misr 25, and for the official newspaper of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, 6/25/2014]

Court orders hunger-striking detainee Mohamed Soltan back to hospital
The Cairo Criminal Court on Monday ordered Egyptian-American hunger-striking political detainee Mohamed Soltan back to Manial Teaching Hospital for medical care. His trial has been postponed to July 8, when the court will hear eyewitness testimony, and the defense will further examine confiscated material. Soltan is accused, alongside other detainees in the case, of involvement in a range of activities, including forming an operations room to direct the Muslim Brotherhood and defying the government during the Raba’a al-Adaweya sit-in dispersal. [DNE, 6/24/2014]

Egypt refers 23 to trial for breaking protest law
A prosecutor ordered on Wednesday that 23 people, including seven women, who were arrested late on Saturday for breaking the protest law be referred to trial on June 29.  The defendants are accused of stirring chaos, assembling, breaking the protest law, vandalizing public and private property and arms possession. They are also accused of resisting the authorities and attacking security forces. [Aswat Masriya, AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Online, 6/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Tahrir sexual assaults trial postponed to June 29 | Aswat Masriya (Arabic), DNE, AMAY (Arabic)
  • Administrative court lifts ban on Islamic-based charity | DNE
  • Egypt acquits 29 Brotherhood members of rioting charges | Aswat Masriya
  • Court postpones AUC detainees ruling | DNE
  • Acquitted revolution anniversary detainees yet to be released | DNE
  • Judges Club rejects criticism and foreign intervention | Mada Masr
  • Prosecutors order arrest of suspect harassing girl in Zamalek Club | Egypt Independent
  • Morsi Ittihadiya trial postponed to June 26 | DNE, Shorouk (Arabic), Egypt Independent, AMAY (Arabic)
  • Misdemeanors Court to look into Ittihadiya Palace protest case | DNE


Egypt expanding efforts to ease food subsidy costs – minister
Egypt is expanding its use of modern technology to tackle decades-old problems of corruption and waste in its costly food subsidies system as the government pursues reforms to ease the strain on state finances. Supplies Minister Khaled Hanafi said some 25 million Egyptian families who already have electronic smart cards for bread purchases will be able to use them to buy twenty different subsidized goods at grocery stores across the country starting in July. The new system aims to raise incentives for Egyptians to buy only as much subsidized bread as they need, helping to reduce spending on wheat, of which Egypt is the world’s top importer. [Reuters, 6/25/2014]

Egypt finance minister eyes 10 percent budget deficit for coming fiscal year

Finance Minister Hani Kadry speaking to Egypt’s CBC TV said on Tuesday he expects the new budget deficit to stand at 10 percent in the coming fiscal year that starts on July 1. His ministry issued a statement later saying it would revise the budget on Wednesday and re-send it to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. [Reuters, 6/24/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Delegation of US businessmen to visit Cairo in November to explore investments | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Foreign trade minister issues export ban on solvents to prevent petrol smuggling | DNE
  • Industrial growth rate registers 6.9 percent in Q3 FY 2013/2014: Abdel Nour | DNE
  • Budget under review, hearing to be held Wednesday: PM media adviser | DNE
  • Official: Sisi likely to reduce maximum wage rate | Egypt Independent
  • Finance Minister: subsidies and high wages lead to deficit crisis | AMAY (Arabic)
  • IMF ready to help Egypt if requested | SIS, AMAY (Arabic)


Egypt blocks three Iraqi TV stations from broadcasting
Egypt has barred three private Iraqi TV stations from its main satellite system, the broadcasting regulator said on Tuesday, after Baghdad complained that their coverage was stoking sectarian tensions. Al-Baghdadia, Al-Rafidain and Al-Hadath TV stations were all barred from the state-owned Nilesat, which broadcasts across the Middle East and North Africa, the head of Egypt’s broadcasting regulator Free Zone said. The three channels have been off the air in Iraq and Egypt since last week. They often took a pro-Sunni, anti-Iraqi government line that appeals to Iraq’s Sunni minority. [Ahram Online, Reuters, 6/24/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Ministry of endowment calls on mosques to preach on rationalization of consumption this Friday | Shorouk (Arabic)


Eight injured in string of Cairo blasts; Authorities blame Brotherhood
At least eight people were injured in northern Cairo when homemade explosive devices blew up at four metro stations and a courthouse on Wednesday morning in the first attacks in Cairo since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president earlier this month. Bombs were reported at the Shubra al-Kheyma, Ghamra, Hadayeq al-Quba and Ezbet al-Nakhl stations. Two more blasts were reported an hour later near a Cairo courthouse in Heliopolis, caused by a bomb planted under a car. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Egypt’s interior ministry has held the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood responsible for the series of blasts. Authorities accused the Brotherhood of orchestrating the attacks as “desperate attempts” to disrupt the “prevailing state of stability.”  The ministry also denied reports of at least one injury caused by the Heliopolis blast. A spokesman for the Metro company said the metro system was operating normally. Egypt’s prosecutor general has opened an investigation into the series of blasts.  [Reuters, Ahram Online, AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), DNE, Shorouk (Arabic), 6/25/2014]


House Appropriations committee votes against Egypt aid amendments
Senior US lawmakers said on Tuesday they were rethinking the more than $1 billion in military aid Washington sends to Cairo. Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the US Senate subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, said further funds should be withheld until Egypt’s leaders demonstrate a commitment to human rights. California US Representative Adam Schiff introduced an amendment to an annual appropriations bill on Tuesday that would shrink Egypt’s overall aid package by about 30 percent and redistribute some of the money to support education and democracy. The House Appropriations committee voted 35-11 to defeat Schiff’s amendment, but he said he intended to introduce it again as the bill moves through Congress, with more hope of support in the full House and Senate. The lopsided vote was partly due to pressure by the pro-Israel lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), according to statements made by Schiff to Al-Monitor. “I didn’t know that AIPAC was weighing in at all on this until after the vote,” Schiff told Al-Monitor. “But members did communicate to me after the vote that they had been persuaded by AIPAC not to support this.” [Reuters, Al Monitor, DNE, 6/24/2014]

Sisi discusses bilateral ties with Algeria’s Bouteflika
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi arrived in Algeria on Wednesday in his first foreign visit since taking office earlier in June. Sisi discussed regional and international developments, with a focus on Libya and Syria, with Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika. According to a presidential statement, the visit is also an opportunity to look into means of enhancing political and economic ties between the two countries. After Algeria, Sisi will head to Equatorial Guinean capital Malabo for the 23rd African Union Summit. He is expected to address the summit, as is tradition for a newly elected president of a member state. [Ahram Online, DNE, AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 6/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Party leaders: Kerry’s visit to Egypt official recognition of 30 June | Egypt Independent
  • Egyptian delegation in Brazil to promote tourism | Egypt Independent, SIS
  • Egypt receives ‘warm welcome’ at African Union | DNE
  • FM discusses boosting relations with Tanzanian counterpart | SIS, Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Sisi receives Italian parliamentary delegation | SIS
  • Egyptian ambassadors abroad present public prosecutor’s statement regarding ‘Marriott Cell’ case | SIS
  • US business delegation to visit Egypt in November | AMAY (Arabic)
  • French ambassador rejects death penalty and the imprisonment of journalists | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Egyptian ambassador in Washington affirms independence of the judiciary to State Department official |  Ahram Gateway (Arabic)