Efforts by Islamist figure Ahmed Kamal Abul-Magd to mediate between the Muslim Brotherhood and interim government appear to have reached an impasse Ahram Online reported on Monday.


Latest mediation between Islamists and Egypt government reaches stalemate
Efforts by Islamist figure Ahmed Kamal Abul-Magd to mediate between the Muslim Brotherhood and interim government appear to have reached an impasse Ahram Online reported on Monday. The Islamist thinker and constitutional expert attempted to end the current political deadlock by proposing that Islamists acknowledge the interim “revolutionary authority” as a first step towards national dialogue. His suggestion has been rebuffed by Islamists, who consider it tantamount to legitimizing a “coup” against the country’s first democratically elected president. Mohamed Ali Bishr, Muslim Brotherhood figure and leading member of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL), outlined a set of stipulations for potential dialogue, including the rejection of “foreign interference” and any political role played by the military. Three days earlier, Sherif Taha, Nour Party spokesman said the NASL’s demands are “unrealistic” as there is no chance that ousted President Mohamed Morsi, Shura council and the 2012 constitution will be reinstated. He also said, “Communication was with the group figure Mohamed Ali Bishr. However, communication has grown weaker, as he is no longer a decision maker within the group.” Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood hopes to begin an initiative led by Dr. Mohamed Selim al-Awa to try to resolve the crisis between the Brotherhood and the current administration, sources revealed to Youm7, while al-Jama’a al-Islamiya also called for a political solution that is not “security related” to Egypt’s ongoing deadlock. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Cairo Post, 10/14/2013]

Also of Interest:
Registration for constitution referendum opens for Egyptians abroad | Ahram Online
Tamarod backs Sisi’s decision not to run for presidency | Aswat Masriya
Cabinet says curfew not to be changed in Eid | Egypt Independent, SIS


Army’s constitutional articles still under discussion, Moussa says
Despite earlier reports to the contrary, Amr Moussa, chairman of the fifty person Constituent Assembly, said articles dealing with the armed forces in Egypt’s constitution are still under discussion and in the drafting stage. He also said military representatives and other committee members are in full agreement about the direction of amendments. Meanwhile, Mohamed Salmawy, committee spokesman, said the assembly will begin discussing the prepared draft constitution in the coming few weeks before voting on it in the first half of next November. He added Article 2 would remain as it is. “Each article must receive at least 75 percent of the committee members’ votes in order to be passed,” Salmawy said. [Egypt Independent, 10/13/2013]

Senior Brotherhood figure arrested; Morsi detention extended
A judge has extended the detention of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi for thirty days pending investigations into his escape from prison during the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Former Supreme Guide of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Mahdi Akef was referred to Cairo Criminal Court Saturday on charges of “insulting the judicial authority.” Egyptian authorities arrested senior Muslim Brotherhood figure Walid al-Haddad early on Monday, security sources said. Al-Haddad, foreign relations coordinator of the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), was apprehended over allegations related to “inciting violence.”  On Saturday, security forces arrested three leaders of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy – Abdallah Sadiq Nasr, former MP for the FJP, Abdel Nasser Sayed, member of the FJP administrative office in Assiut, and Atef Hassan Abdel Salam, a member of the National Alliance – in Assiut.Meanwhile, the general prosecution renewed the detention of fifteen Muslim Brotherhood members and leaders in Suez, including former Menoufia governor Ahmed Shaarawy over charges of inciting violence, while the military prosecution renewed the detention of twenty-two Morsi supporters. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, SIS, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 10/14/2013]

Egypt prosecution to investigate death of US citizen in prison
Egypt’s general prosecution ordered investigations into the death of an American citizen who was found hanged in his police cell in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia on Sunday. He was found dead in an Egyptian prison on Sunday in an apparent suicide six weeks after he was arrested for breaking a curfew, security sources said. James Henry Lunn had been held at Ismailia, northeast of Cairo, since his arrest on August 28 near the border with the Gaza Strip. A US embassy official said a US citizen had died as the result of an apparent suicide at the Ismailia prison. Egyptian authorities made no immediate comment. The US State Department issued a statement confirming Lunn’s death and said it had contacted his family and was providing consular assistance, including helping repatriate his remains and protecting his personal property. At the time of Lunn’s arrest, security sources had said that he was on his way to Gaza. [AFP, Reuters, 10/13/2013]

Egypt detains fourteen for “homosexual acts” at medical centre
An Egyptian prosecutor ordered on Saturday that fourteen suspects be detained for four days pending investigations into allegations that they committed “homosexual acts” inside a medical center in the neighborhood of al-Marg in Cairo. The prosecutor also ordered that they be sent to a pathologist for forensic reports and that the center be shut down. Egyptian authorities raided the center after it was confirmed that the “immoral acts” were taking place between males aged between eighteen to fifty-seven years old. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 10/13/2013]

Also of Interest:
Prosecution starts investigating defendant of bombing Maadi satellite | Cairo Post, Reuters
Egypt president meets senior judges amid row with constitution body | Ahram Online
Egypt frees Briton arrested over police-like clothes | AFP, DNE  
Student dies in custody | DNE
State Council insists on keeping its disciplinary function | Egypt Independent
Egypt prosecution to investigate alleged al-Sisi leaks | Ahram Online


IMF official says committed to supporting Egypt during interim period
The IMF praised Egypt’s stimulus plan to revive the economy and welcomed support for the cash-strapped country from friendly Arab states, but said introducing much needed reforms to restructure the economy remains a challenge Egypt’s government is yet to tackle. Economic activity in Egypt has slowed since the popular uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011, with sectors such as tourism and real estate being the hardest hit. The state-run Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said that poverty has risen among Egyptians in the fiscal year 2010-2011, compared with the fiscal year 2008-2009. CAMPAS noted that around 25 percent of Egyptians were poor in the fiscal year which started in July 2010 and ended in June 2011. It says residents in Egypt’s southern provinces are generally poorer than their compatriots in the north of the country. [Ahram, Bloomberg, Reuters, Mada Masr, World Bulletin, 10/15/2013]

Poverty increased in 2011, says report
The percentage of poverty in Egypt increased to 25.2 percent in 2011, state statistics agency CAPMAS has revealed, according to an EgyNews report on Sunday. The poverty rate increased from 16.7 percent in 1999-2000 to 25.2 percent in 2010-2011, according to Al-Ahram. EgyNews said that the majority of the poor are concentrated in rural southern Egypt, where poverty stood at 51.4 percent in 2011, compared to 43.7 percent in 2009. The most affected governorates were Assiut (69 percent living in poverty), Sohag (59 percent), Aswan (54 percent), and Qena (51 percent). The report stated that 4.8 percent of Egyptians were in a state of pauperization in 2011, while 12.6 percent suffered chronic poverty. It added that 15.2 percent had entered this persistent state of poverty between 2009 and 2011. [Mada Masr, 10/13/2013] 

Also of Interest:
Qatar National Bank might sell freshly acquired NSGB Egypt | Ahram Online
IMF studies Egypt’s economy and development | DNE  
Egypt and Poland seek bilateral investments | Aswat Masriya
PM heads to Sharm al-sheikh to open tourist project | Egypt Independent  


Rival protests after Eid prayers in Giza; Security disperses pro-Morsi protest in Alexandria
Rival protests broke out in Giza’s Istiqama mosque after Eid prayers early on Tuesday morning, as supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi exchanged chants with supporters of army chief and Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Meanwhile, on Monday, Egyptian police fired teargas at protesters supporting deposed president Mohamed Morsi who gathered east of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, according to Al-Ahram. Eyewitnesses also said the troops fired birdshot to disperse the protesters. Authorities arrested three three people, allegedly belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, during the clashes. The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL), an Islamist coalition supporting Morsi, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood, had called for mass demonstrations under the slogan “pray for Egypt” on Monday. Amid these calls, Egypt’s interior ministry prepared a mobilization plan for the country’s main streets and squares ahead of the week-long Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, a security official told state news agency MENA. Friday’s protests left one dead in Sharqiya, and seven injured in Damietta, according to Ahmed al-Ansari, the Egyptian Ambulance Organization head. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, DNE, Reuters, 10/14/2013]

Egypt security forces disperse Ultras demonstration with teargas
Twenty-five Ultras Ahlawy arrested during clashes in Cairo International Airport Sunday night have been detained and are facing investigation on charges of attempted murder and vandalism, Al-Ahram reported Monday. A security source told the state-run newspaper that the suspects were arrested in possession of pellets, fireworks, sticks and belts, and that fourteen policemen were injured in the incident. The Ministry of Interior released a statement saying that the violence started when handball fans who had gone to greet their team returning from Morocco, lit fireworks inside the airport and attempted to force their way in. On Monday, dozens of Ultras stopped traffic Monday on Cairo’s Galaa Bridge demanding the release of the twenty-five members. Consequently, security forces arrested nineteen Ultras members on charges of blocking the roads and attacking civilians and police. Egyptian security forces also fired teargas Monday evening to disperse a demonstration by around 500 Ultras members in the eastern Cairo district of Heliopolis near Cairo airport. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 10/14/2013]

Also of Interest:
Morsi will not backtrack on legitimacy, says brother | Egypt Independent, Ahram Online
Egypt’s April 6 (Democratic Front) denounces draft protest law | Ahram Online
Tamarod to begin election rallies for Egypt parliament seats after Eid | Ahram Online
Protest on Cairo campus against killing of pro-Morsi student | Ahram Online
At least twelve die attempting to cross Mediterranean from Egypt | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent  
Former endowments minister says army is carrying out honorable role | Egypt Independent
Mahalla textile workers continue sit-in | Ahram Online
Hundreds of students protest demanding release of detained colleagues, faculty members | Egypt Independent
Salmawy leads popular diplomacy delegation to London | SIS


Egypt arrests seventy-six extremists in Sinai
Armed forces continue their efforts to clear twenty villages in North Sinai from armed extremists and outlaws, Egypt’s army spokesman said. Spokesman Ahmed Mohamed Ali said in a Facebook statement that seventy six extremists and outlaws were arrested in security operations on Saturday. Unknown assailants opened fire on a vehicle belonging to the interior ministry on Sinai’s Sheikh Zuweid neighborhood on Sunday. An official source said that three state security conscripts were wounded in the attack and transferred to the hospital to receive medical attention. An eyewitness told Aswat Masriya that the assailants fired shots from inside a vehicle on conscripts guiding the Sheikh Zuweid police station early on Sunday. [ Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 10/13/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt military plane crashes near Luxor killing one | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr
Egypt to close border with Gaza during Eid | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent


US Defense Secretary Hagel, General Sisi discuss Sinai
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel offered his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warm wishes for the Eid Al-Adha holiday in a phone call Monday. In a statement, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said they tackled a number of security issues. “They discussed the importance of the US-Egyptian relationship to the national security of both countries and to the region,” the statement read. They also discussed the importance of security cooperation, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula. [Ahram Online, 10/15/2013]

House GOP concerned by Egypt aid cutoff as US quietly observes coup law
House Republicans are concerned the Obama administration’s suspension of some US aid to Egypt could undercut an ally in the midst of democratic transition and undermine US interests. In an internal document, House Armed Services Committee staff members criticized the administration, saying it hasn’t set clear conditions for Egypt to recoup the money. They also warned that the aid cutoff could hamper the Egyptian economy and democracy-building efforts, and, could hurt the reputation of Egypt’s military, a close US partner, and prompt a reaction that hurts American interests. Meanwhile, US officials briefed Congress this week on their decision to withhold deliveries of fighter planes, tanks, helicopters and missiles – as well as $260 million in budget aid to Egypt. During the briefing, officials told congressional aides they had quietly decided to respect a law that bars aid to the Egyptian government in the event of a military coup – even though the administration decided it was under no obligation to decide whether or not a coup had taken place and so did not have to apply the law. AP asserted that in the short run, the suspension of hundreds of millions of dollars in aid will have little effect on Egypt’s military and its ability to defend itself. The cutoff probably will not do much damage to most of the companies with contracts to build such weapons. [Reuters, 10/12/2013]

Egypt used ‘live ammo’ against Morsi backers: Amnesty
Egyptian security forces used live ammunition on October 6 to disperse supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi who were also attacked by men with firearms and swords, Amnesty International said Monday. At least forty-nine people were killed and hundreds wounded in Cairo alone as security forces used “excessive and unwarranted lethal force” to disperse pro-Morsi crowds, said the human rights watchdog. The organization collected evidence from mortuary records about live ammunition deaths. The organization’s representatives also visited the Ibn Sina hospital and saw five dead bodies lying on the floor of the reception. They met with five people struck in their eye with shotgun pellets. [AP, Mada Masr, AFP, DNE  10/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Dutch Ambassador: Restoring judicial cooperation with Egypt | SIS
Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan discuss “Renaissance Dam” in October | SIS