The new draft law on terrorism currently under works expands the definition of terrorism to include attempting to storm presidential headquarters and foreign embassies, murder in public and harming national unity, according to sources familiar with the legislative committee of the cabinet discussing the law.


Ending state of emergency does not mean curfew will be lifted: governmental source
A nighttime curfew imposed in Cairo and thirteen other governorates might remain in place despite a planned end to the state of emergency in mid-November, an official source has told Al-Ahram Arabic news website. A cabinet media advisor said on Tuesday that the state of emergency, in force since mid-August, would probably end next month.  Raafat Fouda, head of the Public Law Department at Cairo University, however told Ahram Online the curfew cannot be extended legally outside the state of emergency. Meanwhile, the Egyptian government reduced on Thursday the curfew by one hour except for on Fridays, where it will continue to begin at 7 p.m., Al-Ahram reported. The decision to reduce the curfew, now from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., was made in accordance to interior ministry security reports, Al-Ahram added. The Friday curfew was not shortened, as the weekend day is popular for protests calling for the reinstatement of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. [ Ahram Gate (Arabic), Ahram Online, Tahrir (Arabic), AP, 10/24/2013]

New political movement to unite advocates of Egypt’s two revolts
A new political current was launched Wednesday, aiming to bring together January 25 and June 30 advocates. In a press conference to launch the new movement, one of its leaders, Shady El-Ghazali Harb, a founding member of the January 25 Revolutionary Youth Coalition, said the interim authorities should listen to the peoples’ demands and stop the strategy of back room deals. The new ‘National Partnership Current’ has suggested a list of demands, including rejecting the draft protest law and progressing the transitional justice law. The group has also called for reform of the police force and the implementation of laws that guarantee the Interior Ministry will fully respect the rights of citizens. [Ahram Online, 10/24/2013]

Egypt military officers back army chief for president
Military officers are pushing popular army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to run for president. Senior military officers have over the past three months told Sisi of their fears about the political upheaval in a series of meetings, army sources said. “We told him that we need to maintain stability. He is needed for Egypt and the people love him and want him. Besides, who else can run but him? There is no one else as popular as him,” said one army officer, who asked not to be named. [Reuters, Ahram Gate, 10/23/2013]

‘Harming national unity’ could become a terrorist crime: sources
The new draft law on terrorism currently under works expands the definition of terrorism to include attempting to storm presidential headquarters and foreign embassies, murder in public and harming national unity, according to sources familiar with the legislative committee of the cabinet discussing the law. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the bill’s items have reached fifty-seven, due to amendments relating to the definitions of terrorism in addition to items on funding and incitement. Though harming national unity has been classified as a terrorist crime in the law, it remains unclear who has the authority to define “harm,” whether it is reserved for extreme cases such as promoting violence against minorities, or merely expressing a political view against the government. [Egypt Independent, 10/24/2013]

Also of Interest:
Military production seeks to secure all Armed Forces’ ammunition, weapons | Cairo Post, Shorouk (Arabic)
NSF conducts talks with Tamarod over forming electoral alliance | Egypt Independent
Time to expose the crimes of the coup: Asala Party president | Egypt Independent
Preachers’ bill to be referred to interim president | SIS
Coup opponents warn Egypt heading towards civil war | DNE
I am not assigned by government to negotiate with the Brotherhood: Al-Magd | Cairo Post
Tamarod explains its plan for upcoming parliamentary elections | Cairo Post


Constitution amendment committee discuss controversial articles with president
Amr Moussa, the head of the fifty-member constitution committee, and the committee’s deputies and officials in charge of sub-committees met with interim President Adly Mansour to brief him on the development of the work of the committee and discuss controversial articles, sources from the former Shura Council said. The purpose of the meeting was also to resolve a recent crisis that led members of the ten-member committee to withdraw from a session held two days ago. A number of reserve committee members have also threatened to sue Moussa and resign from the committee if he prevents them from attending the final voting session. The writing of articles regulating the performance of the armed forces and judicial authorities have so far proved difficult for the committee, but Moussa denied that the committee is subject to external pressure or that the Armed Forces has asked for immunity for the Defense Minister. Meanwhile, Moussa announced that the referendum on the final draft of the constitution will take place in December. [Egypt Independent, AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Gate, Ahram Online, Mada Masr, SIS, 10/24/2013]

Prosecution refers former Minister of Information to criminal court
General Prosecutor Hisham Barakat referred former Minister of Information Salah Abdel Maqsoud and former manager of broadcasting in the engineering department in Maspero, Amr al-Khafif, to criminal court on Wednesday with charges of wasting public funds and benefiting media outlets and themselves illegally through public funds, state-owned Al-Ahram reported. Abdel Maqsoud and al-Khafif allegedly gave other media outlets the permission to use Egyptian State TV equipment for forty-one days for coverage of a sit-in in Raba’a al-Adaweya protesting the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. Among these media outlets was Qatari-based Al-Jazeera. [DNE, AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Online, 10/24/2013]

Four police officers charged with killing thirty-seven detainees
The Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered Wednesday the trial of four police officers in connection with the deaths of thirty-seven detainees on August 17. The prisoners were reportedly killed at midday prior to transport in a police vehicle, when inadequate ventilation caused them to create a disturbance, which in turn prompted the officers to fire a teargas canister inside. The prisoners were being moved from the Heliopolis police station to Abu Zaabal prison, following a three day investigation by the prosecutor’s office into their role in the Raba’a Square sit-in. According to the prosecutor’s office, the officers are being charged with murder and negligence. [DNE, 10/23/2013]

Also of Interest:
Verdict in Ahmed Shafiq land case on December 19 | Ahram Online
Egyptian sexual harasser’s sentence reduced from forty-five to five years | Ahram Online
Court postpones review of lawsuit challenging Brotherhood ban to October 30 | Egypt Independent
Hassan Mustafa’s verdict suspended | DNE
Fifteen days imprisonment for forty four Muslim Brotherhood members | Cairo Post
Different parliamentary models proposed | Mada Masr


Government’s mixed economic message comes under fire from analysts
The interim government has raised concerns over its ability to bring about economic reforms, through its adoption of costly populist projects while simultaneously attempting to bridge a widening budget deficit, experts say. While the government recently announced a EGP 29.6 billion stimulus plan, it failed to detail its sources of financing, prompting many analysts to question its viability. [DNE, 10/23/2013]

Also of Interest:
Local, foreign investors maintain confidence in Egypt potential: AmCham |DNE
First Egyptian manufactured car to appear in two years: military production minister | Shorouk (Arabic)  
Minister of planning says Egypt’s unemployment rate rose to 13 percent | AMAY (Arabic)  
Foreign debt rose to $43.2 billion at the end of June: CBE | Tahrir
Finance ministry issue EGP 6.5 billion in treasury bonds | Tahrir


Egyptian Islamists call for protests against Israel and over Morsi trial
Supporters of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi have called on Egyptians to hold mass protests on November 4, the day he goes on trial for inciting murder, raising the prospect of more bloodshed as the country’s political crisis drags on. The National Coalition to Support Legitimacy also announced that it would hold protests on Friday to demonstrate against the “Israeli attacks on al-Aqsa mosque” and the “Zionist attacks on the Sinai peninsula.” In a statement released Thursday, the Coalition said: “On the basis of our revolutionary path the National Coalition to support legitimacy calls on the masses of Egyptian people to take to the streets in rallies under the banner ‘Suez to Jerusalem Friday’, which will be the beginning of a week of peaceful protests.” [Reuters, DNE, 10/24/2013]

Also of Interest:
Church accuses Muslim Brotherhood of involvement in Warraq church shooting | Egypt Independent
Eyewitnesses testify in investigations about Warraq shooting | Cairo Post
NGOs condemn church attack and state’s “slackness in protecting Christians” | DNE
Clashes between pro and anti-Morsi protesters in Zaqaziq | Shorouk (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic), Cairo Post
They Way of the Revolution Front calls for demonstrations Saturday against the protest law | Ahram Gate (Arabic)
University students continue campus protests | Egypt Independent


Soldier shot dead in attack on checkpoint in central Sinai
An attack on a security checkpoint in Sinai on Wednesday left one soldier dead, state-run MENA reported. The attackers opened fire on the checkpoint, located on a road in Central Sinai, and fled after one bullet hit the twenty-one year old soldier in the head, killing him instantly. Another attack on a bus carrying soldiers took place on Wednesday but did not leave any casualties. Meanwhile the security operation in Sinai continues as units from the second field army destroyed a huge weapons storage area containing missiles, RPG missiles and big amounts of weapons and armor in Rafah, North Sinai, near a border tunnel, a military source told Youm7. Ismailia security services have killed a terrorist during an exchange of fire and apprehended seven others. Meantime, the Armed Forces and police managed to destroy seven terrorist hideouts in al-Moqataa village, south of Sheikh Zuweid and apprehended two suspects during a crackdown on criminal and terrorist hideouts. Army and police forces discovered Wednesday an underground field hospital set-up by alleged militants near the border with the Palestinian Gaza strip in the volatile northern Sinai, security officials told Aswat Masriya. [Ahram Online, DNE, Cairo Post, SIS, Shorouk (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic), Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 10/24/2013]  


Public figures head to Moscow for public diplomacy efforts
A popular delegation, composed of political and public figures, is heading to Moscow Thursday, in order to hold talks with a number of Russian officials. An official source said this visit comes in light of Egyptian diplomatic efforts to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. The delegation includes a number of politicians and 50-member constitutional committee representatives. According to sources, the visit will last three days and may include a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the promise of the Russian ambassador in Cairo Sergei Kerbachenko. [Cairo Post, Shorouk (Arabic), 10/24/2013]

Also of Interest:
Israeli envoy departs Cairo after discussions on security situation in Sinai |  Shorouk (Arabic)
Deputy PM discusses joint projects with Italian Ambassador | Cairo Post, Shorouk (Arabic)  
Deputy PM discusses future projects with French officials | Cairo Post
Japanese foreign ministry alleviates ban on travel to Egypt | Tahrir
Egypt’s UN envoy criticizes increase in Israeli settlements | DNE, SIS
Ministers conclude Nile Basin tour | DNE