Top News: Forty Students Expelled from Egypt’s Police Academy Over Brotherhood Links

Forty students were expelled from the police academy after “investigations by the security forces and the national security proved that they belong to the Muslim Brotherhood,” said interior ministry spokesperson Hani Abdel-Latif on Tuesday.


Floor for parliamentary elections to open in last week of December
Egypt’s High Electoral Commission will open the floor for the parliamentary elections during the last week of December, a government official told Aswat Masriya on Wednesday. The official, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that Egypt’s cabinet will finalize the draft electoral districts law on Wednesday night and refer it to the presidency for ratification on Thursday. Meanwhile, Minister of Transitional Justice Ibrahim al-Heneidy said political forces, which he described as the “old forces,” would not be part of the upcoming parliament. The revolutionary forces will occupy the majority of seats he said on Tuesday. [Aswat Masriya, 12/17/2014]

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Twenty-six men referred to court over Cairo bathhouse ‘debauchery’
Azbakeya prosecution referred on Wednesday twenty-six suspects to court on “debauchery” charges. The men were arrested last week in a bathhouse in downtown Cairo for allegedly holding a gay sex party for money. The prosecution accused the bathhouse owner and four others of running the place to “practice, facilitate and incite debauchery.” The twenty-one other men were accused of “debauchery” and violating public decency. The men are scheduled to face court on December 21. Forensics authority spokesman Hisham Abdel-Hamid said that medical tests could not conclude whether the defendants suspects were engaged in “homosexual acts” or not. The suspects denied the accusations.  [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 12/17/2014]

Egyptian court overturns some Muslim Brotherhood asset seizures
An Egyptian court on Tuesday overturned decisions by a special committee to seize the assets of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, without saying which members or assets will be affected. An administrative court said in a ruling that seventeen decisions made by the committee “ignored the provisions of the constitution and the law,” adding, “A criminal court is the appropriate body to freeze funds and property, and preventing owners from accessing what is theirs cannot be done with an administrative decision.” The ruling did not identify which Brotherhood leaders’ assets would be affected. [DNE, Reuters, 12/16/2014]

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Hunger striker Mohamed Soltan transferred to hospital | Ahram Online
Government corruption cases exceed 100,000 this year – official | Aswat Masriya
Seventeen Azhar students referred to court for violating protest law | Aswat Masriya
Morsi Ittihadeya trial postponed to December 23 | EGYNews (Arabic)
Minya court releases thirty-six Brotherhood members on 5,000 Egyptian pounds bail | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt set to pass mining, industrial land laws
According to Egyptian investment ministry, Egypt will reportedly pass laws related to mining and the allocation of industrial land in an attempt to speed up reforms in order to attract foreign investors ahead of the investor conference in March. The World Bank urged Egypt to take concrete steps towards reforms early this week. Few details about the exact content of the laws were given and legal reforms were not discussed while they are aimed at facilitating the investment process. [Trade Arabia, 12/17/2014]

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Egypt launches start-up incubator with 10 billion Egyptian pounds capital | Ahram Online
Egypt exports to UK grow by 30 percent in 2014 | Egypt Daily News
Egyptian stocks drop 3.58 percent following global trends | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
Minister: Independent trade unions deteriorating economy | Egypt Independent
Israel could give up $4.2 billion gas supply complaint against Egypt | Egypt Independent
Egypt’s GASC says Russian wheat will remain in its tenders | Aswat Masriya
Egyptian pound steady on official, black markets | Reuters
Egypt’s unprofitable national airline hires US firm for restructuring | Reuters


714 protests in November according to Democracy Index
Egypt witnessed a rise in protests in November, most significantly after a court verdict that acquitted former president Hosni Mubarak, a Democracy Index report said. The Cairo-based research project, issued by International Development Center, said Tuesday there were 714 protests nationwide in November, of which most were student-led. The group counted forty-two protests decrying Mubarak’s acquittal on November 30. The highest number of protests was recorded on November 28, the date on which the ultra-conservative Salafi Front had called on people to take to the streets. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 12/16/2014]

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Egypt among worst ten jailers of journalists says CPJ | Ahram Online
Al-Azhar University expels 71 students for riots | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya


Forty students expelled from Egypt’s police academy over Brotherhood links
Forty students were expelled from the police academy after “investigations by the security forces and the national security proved that they belong to the Muslim Brotherhood,” said interior ministry spokesperson Hani Abdel-Latif on Tuesday. He said that investigations revealed that “40 junior and senior students belong to the terrorist [Muslim Brotherhood] organization.”  He added that the students’ first and second degree relatives take part in “the organization’s terrorist practices.” He added that the students were in their final years of study, and were enrolled in the Academy during the presidency of Mohamed Morsi. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 12/17/2014]

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Obama administration welcomes flexibility in bill permitting waiver on Egypt aid
The Obama administration said Tuesday that it welcomes new flexibility in providing up to $1.4 billion in aid to Egypt. The fiscal 2015 spending bill that Congress passed on Saturday includes a longer list of conditions for releasing aid to Egypt, the bulk in the form of military aid. Those provisions include holding free and fair elections, allowing peaceful assembly, due process for detainees and the release of American citizens held as political prisoners. Unlike last year’s spending bill, this year’s legislation also includes a waiver allowing Secretary of State John Kerry to ignore the preconditions for national security reasons. “Generally speaking, we welcome the flexibility that the bill provides to further our strategic relationship with Egypt and our national security interests,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday. “That said, there’s been no policy decision with regard to our assistance program, which remains under review. And our concerns about Egypt’s human rights record, which we speak about frequently, that has not changed.” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., did not support the waiver. “He hopes the secretary will not waive the law, as he believes that would send the wrong message to the Egyptian people and to the region as a whole,” Leahy spokesman David Carle said. [AP, 12/16/2014]

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Ethiopian ‘people’s delegation’ in Cairo for meetings | Ahram Online
Iraqi president praises Egyptian role in fighting IS | Ahram Online
Kuwaiti and Egyptian Foreign Ministers discuss bilateral ties | DNE
Egyptian plane held in Sweden for carrying Syrians with fake visas- sources | Aswat Masriya
Saudi Arabia arrests thirty-three Egyptian fishermen in its waters | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)