Any threat to police facilities “will be met with force and if necessary with live rounds,” ministry of interior spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said in an interview on Sunday.


Three parties withdraw from Mubarak-era electoral alliance; Nour Party fails to form alliances
Three Egyptian liberal and leftist political parties have retreated from joining a parliamentary electoral alliance formed by Hosni Mubarak-era minister Kamal al-Ganzouri. The liberal Conference and Ghad parties, along with the leftist Tagammu Party, said on Tuesday they won’t join the alliance due to a lack of “vision” and “clarity in knowing the partners.” On the other hand, sources said that Nour Party will take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections through the single-winner system, after failing to form joint electoral alliances with liberal parties. Salah Abdel Maaboud, a member of the party’s presidential council, said the party hadn’t yet formed electoral alliances with liberal parties, criticizing attempts by some liberal figures and parties to exclude the Nour Party from the political scene. In addition, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab met on Sunday with a delegation from the Independence Current, an alliance of leftist political parties. The alliance called on Mahlab not to issue the law on electoral constituencies division before the demarcation of governorates. In a statement on Monday, the alliance said that Mahlab stressed needs to widen the electoral alliances as well as presence of a civil political alliance to support democracy in Egypt. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 11/18/2014]

Government ready for tough response to Salafi Front ‘Islamic Uprising’
Any threat to police facilities “will be met with force and if necessary with live rounds,” ministry of interior spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said in an interview on Sunday. Abdel Latif’s comments came in response to the Salafi Front’s announcement that it intends to spearhead a new wave of protests under the name “The Muslim Youth Uprising” on November 28. The spokesman added that there is a special plan, involving heavily armed special forces, to counter all possible “violent protests.” Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim also said in a Sunday meeting with the Higher Police Council that police forces are planning to secure state facilities. This comes in the wake of calls by “terrorist groups to stage protests that aim to spread chaos and unrest.” Ibrahim stressed that security forces should “launch preemptive strikes to abort those plots.” [DNE, SIS, EGYNews (Arabic), 11/17/2014]

Also of Interest
Mahlab’s choice for cultural advisor met with controversy | Egypt Independent
Fact-finding committee to release report on post-June 30 violence next week | Mada Masr


Actor accused of treason for criticizing Sisi’s security record
Lawyer Samir Sabry has filed a lawsuit against actor Khaled Abol Naga for criticizing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s security record. Sabry accused Abol Naga of treason, inciting against the Sisi administration and threatening society’s general well-being. In a video appearance during Cairo International Film Festival, Abol Naga had criticized Sisi and the security apparatus’ performance, one year after the Egyptian people gave the president a full mandate to fight terrorism. The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the lawsuit, and called on Egypt’s judiciary to “take a stance” against such reports.” It said that people who file such reports use them to “settle political scores or oppress the opposition.” A group of actors, artists, journalists, and writers also issued a statement expressing their solidarity with Abol Naga. [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 11/17/2014]

Cairo court postpones Shura Council appeal verdict to November 23
The Cairo Criminal Court adjourned on Monday the verdict of the Shura Council appeal to November 23, with the defendants to remain in custody. The defendants, among them activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, were accused of violating the protest law after demonstrating outside the Shura Council. During the trial, the judge ordered for mobile service providers to reveal the location of Abdel-Fattah’s whereabouts on November 26 last year, the day of the protest. Meanwhile, defense lawyer Khaled Ali accused the prosecution of forging videos shown in court on Monday during the trial. According to Mohamed Hafez, the prosecution showed videos of old events that occurred in front of the Journalists Syndicate, rather than the Shura Council. [DNE, 11/17/2014]

Also of Interest
Sisi issues decree allowing prosecutor to assign judges to investigate in any stage of a lawsuit | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Final court ruling bans entry of blank guns | Egypt Independent
Morsi supporters jailed for illegal protest in Marsa Matrouh | Ahram Online
Military court sentences seventeen Morsi supporters to five to ten years in jail | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya
Eleven students detained fifteen days pending investigation in Sharqiya | EGYNews (Arabic)
Morsi espionage trial postponed to November 19 | EGYNews (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
Administrative court postpones lawsuit on closure of unlicensed foreign organizations to December 23 | EGYNews (Arabic)
Judges say referral of al-Azhar case to military court is permissible and can be appealed | Shorouk (Arabic)
Twenty-seven Morsi supporters detained in Kafr al-Sheikh on charges of protesting | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egypt spent $3 billion on fuel subsidies in the first quarter, says official
Egypt spent 22 billion Egyptian pounds($3.08 billion) on fuel subsidies in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014-2015, down 29 percent from the same quarter a year ago, an oil ministry official said on Monday. As part of efforts to revive an economy battered by three years of political turmoil since the uprising that removed Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s government has introduced a series of reforms including deep subsidy cuts. It cut energy subsidies in July, raising fuel prices by up to 78 percent. Its budget for the full year foresees savings of more than 40 billion on energy subsidies as a whole. [Reuters, 11/18/2014]

Also of Interest
Egyptian stocks continue decline as investors sell | Ahram Online
Minister: Egypt’s GDP growth rate reaches 6.8 percent in first quarter | Egypt Independent
Egypt’s economy grows 1.1 percent in first quarter as power shortage takes toll | Ahram Online
UAE’s Abraaj gets go-ahead on Bisco Misr acquisition | Reuters
Industry minister: Egypt to increase foreign investment of $3 billion in nine months | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Smart fuel cards available nationwide starting April, says minister | Aswat Masriya
Contaminated water delays Sinai canal | Al-Monitor
Sisi stresses importance of tourism sector recovery | Ahram (Arabic)


Egypt rights group says constitution violated
Twelve articles of the 2014 Egyptian constitution were violated by the authorities between January and November, according to the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), an Egyptian rights group. Most of the violations “fall under the rights and freedoms section,” according to a research paper titled “Violations of the Constitution before the Ink is Dry,” published by ANHRI on Tuesday. According to ANHRI’s statement the constitution has been violated in a number of times in clear explicit articles. ANHRI claim that the violations are frequently enabled by laws that contradict constitutional articles. [AP, DNE, 11/18/2014]

Also of Interest
Flash protest in Mohamed Mahmoud Street in downtown Cairo | DNE
UK-based group calls for hunger strikes in solidarity with detained Egyptians | Egypt Independent
Head of National Council for Women: Female prisoners are better off behind bars | Mada Masr
Egyptian student deaths stir parents’ fears | Al-Monitor
Alexandria University witnesses skirmishes between pro- and anti-Brotherhood students | EGYNews (Arabic)
Rights organizations call on social solidarity ministry to engage in dialogue with civil society | EGYNews (Arabic)
Security forces disperse more student protests in al-Azhar University | Ahram Gateway (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)


Reports show suicide bombers in Libya include Egyptians
Unverified images of fighters, who allegedly carried out suicide bombings in Libya, were published on a website affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The website claimed that the fighters were affiliated with the group. It further stated that the fighters hail from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The publication comes days after an audio recording was released, in which a fighter pledges allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In the recording he said that the “Islamic State has expanded to include” Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Algeria. He added that he accepts the pledges made to him from these countries. [DNE, 11/17/2014]

Also of Interest
Sinai caught in the middle of Egypt’s ‘war on terror’ | AFP
Apache air strike kills five more “extremists” and destroys ammunition warehouses in North Sinai | Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Ahram (Arabic)
Six civilians injured after rocket fell on their houses in North Sinai | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
“Terrorist cell” leader arrested in Giza | Ahram (Arabic)


Report: Egypt, Tunisia witnessed no progress in democratic reform since 2011
Egypt and Tunisia came in fourth and sixth place respectively, according to the Arab Democracy Index (ADI), marking no change since the 2011 ranking. “This is because though real progress in freedoms was registered, these were countered by poorer living conditions and rising insecurity,” the Index said. In its November report entitled ‘​Measuring the Pace of Change’ on the positive impact of the 2011 Arab Spring on nine countries, ADI listed Morocco on top of countries, then Jordan, with positive changes and reforms, although no uprisings took place there. Algeria came next. Bahrain came in the last rank “reflecting the most negative scenario,” according to the report. The report indicated signals of continuing progress in democratic reforms, despite the slow growth. [Egypt Independent, 11/18/2014]

Also of Interest
Shoukry, Kerry discuss ways to prevent Middle East from ‘sliding into violence’ | DNE, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
Egypt welcomes Burkina Faso’s return to civilian rule after coup | DNE, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Shoukry meets Saudi counterpart in Paris during European Tour | DNE
Sisi to visit Italy, France, and China | Egypt Independent, SIS, Ahram (Arabic)
African Group ambassadors meet to support Egypt’s campaign for Security Council membership | Ahram Gateway (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)