Egypt’s most active militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, has sworn allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) according to an audio clip posted on its Twitter account.

POLITICS

Egypt’s political parties mobilize against elections laws
While Egypt’s cabinet is expected Wednesday to endorse a new electoral districts law to pave the way for parliamentary polls, political parties underlined they remain dissatisfied with two government-drafted election laws. Leaders of Egyptian secular opposition parties said they plan to step up efforts aimed at amending the law on the House of Representatives and the law on exercise of political rights. Hossam al-Khouli, assistant secretary-general of the Wafd Party, said that Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab urged leaders of the Egyptian Wafd Alliance to send their objections and proposed amendments of the two laws to the technical committee he formed three weeks ago. Khouli cited Mahlab as saying that once the new electoral districts law is finalized, the technical committee will open a national dialogue on it and other elections laws. [Ahram Online, 11/8/2014]

Cabinet plans to face “foreign private channels” which harm “Egypt’s reputation”
Egypt’s cabinet vowed on Sunday to develop a plan to face “foreign private channels” which commit practices that “harm Egypt economically, religiously, socially and politically.” Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab met with the ministers of communications, justice and foreign affairs, as well as the heads of the Media Production City, the Egyptian Radio and Television Union and the NileSat, and representatives from the Federation of Egyptian Industries, a cabinet statement read. The attendants accused certain channels which broadcast on foreign satellites of “targeting Egypt’s reputation and spreading rumors against it.” They added that such channels “broadcast material which could harm Egypt’s system of values and traditions” and its “religious beliefs”. Other channels, the attendants said, commit acts of piracy against Egyptian films and shows. The cabinet statement failed to mention examples of the channels it referred to. [Aswat Masriya, 11/9/2014]

Also of Interest
Salafi Call: Arab Spring produced terrorists | Egypt Independent
Salafi Front renews call for “Islamic revolution” on November 28 | Egypt Independent

COURTS

Appeal verdict for twenty-three Egyptian activists, including Sanaa Seif, December 28
A verdict on the appeal case of twenty-three defendants charged with violating the protest law will be issued on December 28, a Cairo Misdemeanor Court of Appeals announced on Sunday after the first appeal session. The defendants, including Sanaa Seif, will remain in detention pending the verdict on what has become known as the “Ittihadiya presidential palace” case. Sunday’s court session was attended by a number of human rights activists and a delegation from the European Union. Defense lawyer Taher Abul Nasr stated on Sunday that the referral of Sanaa Seif to the prosecution is invalid, as she was never interrogated. He also questioned the pre-trial detention of all the defendants. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 11/9/2014]

Egypt’s highest court strikes down SCAF decree banning clemency
Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court on Saturday ruled that a decree issued by the country’s military council barring judges from downgrading punishments in cases related to unlicensed weapons was unconstitutional. The court ruled that judges must be allowed to downgrade punishments as they see fit. “The state of law is where the rights and freedoms of each citizen are guaranteed by and independent, immunized judiciary,” the court said in the ruling. As such, taking away that right violates judges’ independence. [Ahram Online, DNE, 11/8/2014]

Morsi’s nephew sentenced to life for attacking fellow student  
The nephew of former president Mohamed Morsi was sentenced to life imprisonment on Saturday for the attempted murder of a fellow student at Zagazig University. Mohamed Said was a law student at the university until May, when he was suspended due to charges in several different court cases. The charges leading to his life sentence were related to an incident that took place in December 2013, during pro-Morsi student protests in Zagazig University. The prosecution found that Said, along with three other students, physically assaulted another student who disagreed with their political views. [DNE, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 11/8/2014]

Also of Interest
Court to resume lawsuit demanding expulsion of Qatari, Turkey citizens in Egypt | Egypt Independent
Egyptian driver, school officials sentenced over student death | Ahram Online
Activist Ragia Omran innocent of disrupting trial | DNE
Al Jazeera appeals against ban on broadcasting | DNE, Aswat Masriya
Nassef Sawiris appeal postponed to late November | DNE
Three Azhar students referred to trial for on-campus violence | Aswat Masriya
Morsi palace clashes trial postponed to December 1 | Aswat Masriya

ECONOMY

Postponement of Economic Summit met with conflicting reactions
Political and economic analysts have attributed the Egypt Economic Summit’s postponement to March to the parliamentary elections and the failure to attract a high number of participants. Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Mosbah Kotb denied these comments, saying that the delay to the summit’s initial timing is due to its coinciding with the Chinese New Year holiday. Kotb added that Egypt is not the sole organizer of the conference, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also in charge of managing the conference. [DNE, 11/9/2014]

Also of Interest
Egypt consumer inflation rises to 11.8 percent in October | Reuters, DNE
Kuwaiti investors threaten Egypt with lawsuit over land, accuse government of “lack of seriousness” | DNE
Shell will not proceed with deep water research, exploration in Egypt | DNE
Overall budget deficit declines to 12.8 percent during FY 2013/2014, says finance minister | DNE
Egypt’s trade minister to visit Ethiopia in December | DNE
Egypt negotiates over new Saudi deposit worth $1 billion | Egypt Independent
Sisi discusses establishing global trade city near Red Sea coast | Egypt Independent
Egyptian pound steady on official and weaker on black market | Reuters
Egypt near agreement with Italy’s Eni over revised gas prices | Reuters
Petroleum Minister: twenty new agreements investing $2.1 billion | MENA
Businessmen offer investment package on US delegation | Egypt Independent
UAE’s Aabar buys 5.1 percent stake in Egyptian developer Palm Hills | Reuters
New Delhi to hold second Egyptian-Indian joint trade committee on Monday | Egypt Independent
Egypt received $10.6 billion from Gulf last fiscal year, says minister | Reuters

SOCIETY & MEDIA

Police deny Cairo University student arrested for possessing Orwell’s ‘1984’
A security official denied rumors circulating on social media and in Egyptian media reports that a Cairo University student was arrested for possessing George Orwell’s novel 1984. Giza Security Directorate, General Mahmoud Farouk said that the student, identified as Mohamed T, was arrested because he was filming security forces stationed around Cairo University, not for possessing the novel. The student has been referred to prosecution for investigation, he added. [Mada Masr, 11/9/2014]

Egyptian chief editors to establish press industry chamber; Syndicate rejects plan
Chief editors of a number of Egyptian privately-owned newspapers held a meeting, Saturday evening, where they discussed the establishment of a press industry chamber. Representatives of al-Watan, al-Masry al-Youm, al-Youm al-Sabea, al-Bawabah News and others attended the meeting. A statement, signed by seven chief editors, confirmed that they will start with the legal procedures necessary to establish an industry chamber for privately-owned newspapers, as “press is a national industry, with vital credit within the Egyptian economy.” Egypt’s Journalists Syndicate rejected the plan, describing it as “dangerous” and against the legal and constitutional principles of journalism in Egypt. [Ahram Online, 11/9/2014]

Egypt NGO ultimatum expires Monday
A government ultimatum for NGOs to register under a law passed during the reign of ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak is due to expire on Monday. Egypt’s government says NGOs but not registered as such must correct their status by Monday to comply with a 2002 law it is enforcing while it works on new legislation for the sector. Rights groups are bracing for a possible crackdown as this ultimatum expires. Some Egyptian human rights groups shredded documents on Sunday and instructed their staff to stay home. [Ahram Online, DNE, AP, Reuters, 11/9/2014]

Also of Interest
Two students killed in Friday clashes | DNE, Ahram Online
Clashes in Beni Suef between protesters, police leave one dead | DNE, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
Student protests take the lead in October – Democracy Index | Aswat Masriya
President appoints new deans to seven university faculties | DNE, SIS
April 6 Democratic Front demonstrate against protest law | DNE
Students vow to break ‘campus siege’ | DNE
Egpyt’s al-Azhar University to reopen dorms this week | Ahram Online
Trains running again in Upper Egypt after earlier derailment | Ahram Online
Arrest ordered for Alexandria medical workers on strike | Egypt Independent

SECURITY

Egypt arrests US-Egyptian citizen over threats to American schools
Egypt on Saturday announced the arrest of a US-Egyptian citizen accused of having posted on jihadist websites a threat to attack American and other international schools in the region. Egypt’s interior ministry, in a statement on its official Facebook page, said the 60 year old man was behind the threats and had been arrested, although it did not say when. Interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel Latif said the suspect was arrested in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, and that he has lived in the United States for twenty-seven years. The interior ministry arrested him after determining the origin of a message diffused across militant websites urging to carry out attacks. [AFP/Ahram Online, DNE, 11/9/2014]

Fresh statement claims Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has allied with ISIS
Egypt’s most active militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, has sworn allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) according to an audio clip posted on its Twitter account. If genuine, the declaration of allegiance would be a boost for ISIS, showing its widening influence in the region alongside its territorial advances in Iraq and Syria. The recording was published early Monday on the group’s Twitter account and on jihadist websites such as al-Battar. The over nine minute long message was read by an unidentified speaker, and called on Egyptians to pledge their allegiances as well. [Ahram Online, DNE, AP, Reuters, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, The Guardian, 11/10/2014]

Also of Interest
Police conscript shot dead in Egypt’s Fayoum | Ahram Online, DNE
Bomb explodes near Cairo University, no injuries | DNE, Ahram Online
Traffickers of military and police uniforms arrested, says Interior Ministry | DNE
Prisoner at large in Kafr al-Sheikh police station escape | DNE, Ahram Online
Sarray al-Qobba Metro station closed for security reasons | Ahram Online
New Rafah city planning to start within few days | Egypt Independent
Man with two death sentences, nine life sentences arrested in Giza | Egypt Independent
MOI uncovers “destructive” plans of “International MB Organization” in Egypt – spokesman | Aswat Masirya
Eight ‘terrorist elements’ killed in North Sinai operations: armed forces | DNE, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya
Armed forces killed nineteen ‘terrorist elements’, arrested 249 in past two weeks | DNE, Aswat Masriya
Interior ministry announces dismantlement of terrorist cells | DNE
Army kills one “terrorist” in crossfire – spokesman | Aswat Masriya

INTERNATIONAL

Egypt to study over 300 human recommendations submitted in UN human rights review
Egypt vowed to study over 300 recommendations submitted on Friday by around 122 states which have questioned its human rights record during the Arab country’s second Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Egypt’s ministry of transitional justice said in a Friday statement that the country received around 314 recommendations. “Around 219 recommendations have already been practically implemented throughout the past three years,” the statement read. Egypt garnered the endorsement of at least 105 countries. The ministry said Egypt will announce its final stance toward the recommendations in March. Minister of Transitional Justice Ibrahim al-Heneidy said the Egyptian delegation managed to prove to the entire world Egypt’s positive attitude in the area of human rights. [DNE, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 11/9/2014]

Also of Interest
Egypt renews support for Libya’s ‘legitimate institutions’ | DNE
132 arrested attempting to illegally enter Libya | DNE
Egypt expresses concern over continued al-Aqsa Mosque violence | DNE, MENA
Egypt, Greece, Cyprus pledge to boost energy cooperation | DNE, Ahram Online, Reuters, Mada Masr

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