Top News: Military Experts Slam Article on Declaration of War

Morsi Tehran

The assembly’s committee on systems of governance decided on Monday evening that the president would have the power to declare war with the approval of the People’s Assembly, and in consultation with the National Defense Council. Experts contend that the article should be reworded to give the military council or the National Defense Council the final word in declaring war.


Military experts slam article on declaration of war

[Egypt Independent, al-Ahram (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 8/31/2012] The assembly’s committee on systems of governance decided on Monday evening that the president would have the power to declare war with the approval of the People’s Assembly, and in consultation with the National Defense Council. Experts contend that the article should be reworded to give the military council or the National Defense Council the final word in declaring war. The final draft of seven articles pertaining to defense and national security have been released that also stipulate the role of the president as Commander-in-Chief and the authority to review the military budget.

Minister of Legal Affairs: We will maintain Article 2 as it was in the 1971 Constitution

[Al-Jazeera Mubashir (Arabic), 8/31/2012] Dr. Mohammed Mahsoub, Minister of Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Councils, and a member of the Constituent Assembly, said that Article 2 of the constitution was finalized, and that it will remain as it is in the 1971 constitution with the majority of members of the Assembly refusing to allocate al-Azhar as the final reference on religious matters. Mahsoub also claimed that the text concerning the military budget will consider it part of the general state budget to prevent separate military economic projects.

"Administrative Justice" considers lawsuits dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood tomorrow

[Youm 7 (Arabic), 8/31/2012] Abdel Salam al-Naggar, head prosecutor for the administrative court and deputy head of the State Council, will look into the case against the Muslim Brotherhood charging the group with social and political activities since the 1930s despite being ruled an illegal entity for over 60 years. Charges included noncompliance with Law 84/2002 which ruled that all NGOs must adjust its operations to the provisions in the law.


Egyptian-Asian summit in 2013 to strengthen import from Egypt

[Al Masry Al Youm (Arabic), 8/31/2012] Hatem Saleh said, Minister of Construction and Foreign Trade, said that a delegation of Chinese importers will visit Cairo in January next year as part of an Egyptian-Asian economic summit to promote imports from Egypt and improve the balance of trade between the two countries, which suffers a clear deficit in China’s favor. Saleh clarified in a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm that China has agreed to apply its previous experience with the European Union in promoting a mutual trade balance after complaints from Europe of Chinese dumping in the markets.


Egyptian reportedly beheaded by Sinai militants

[Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic), 8/31/2012]Egyptian police said they found a decapitated head in Sinai on Friday of a man kidnapped by Islamist militants, reportedly for his role in assassinating an extremist. A security official said another man, also accused in the assassination, was believed to have been kidnapped by the Bedouin militants. In related news, unknown gunmen exchanged fire early Friday morning with security forces at the Rayesa checkpoint on the Rafah-Arish international road. No casualties were reported. The same checkpoint has been subjected to numerous attacks since the revolutions, the latest taking place on 27 August.


Leftist forces to stage Friday protest against Brotherhood

[Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), al-Ahram (Arabic), Youm 7 (Arabic), 8/31/2012] Leftist, liberal and revolutionary forces announced that they would stage a protest in Cairo on Friday against Muslim Brotherhood domination. The protest was called for by Kamal Khalil, founder of the Revolutionary Socialists movement. The planned protest will articulate the following demands: putting on trial all members of Egypt’s military council involved in the killing of protesters since last year’s revolution; the rejection of all loan proposals from the IMF and World Bank; a national minimum monthly wage of LE1500 (and a maximum wage of LE15,000); and the release of all Egyptians detained by the military for "political reasons." Some political and Christian groups have refused to participate, however, due to a lack of coordination and support for the protest. Tahrir Square remains calm at this time.

Egypt activists hail Morsi’s swipe at Assad at NAM summit

[Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 8/31/2012] The Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party have called on Egyptians to receive President Mohamed Morsi at Cairo International Airport to show their support following his speech at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit earlier on Thursday in Tehran. The Salafist Nour Party’s Nader Bakkar, activist Asmaa Mahfouz, former MP and political science professor Amr Hamzawy, journalist Wael Abdel-Fattah, and spokesman for the liberal Free Egyptians Party Ahmed Khairy all praised the speech. Egypt’s Shia community was less than optimistic about President Mohamed Morsy’s visit to Iran to attend the Non-Alignment Summit this week. “It was merely a protocol visit to hand over the presidency of the [Non-Aligned] movement,” said Shia activist Mohamed Ghoneim. “It does not mean the Shias will be allowed to practice their religion freely [in Egypt].”

Okasha, Abou Hamed accused of causing journalist’s injuries

[Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic), 8/31/2012] Controversial talk show host Tawfiq Okasha and former MP Mohamed Abou Hamed have been accused of responsibility for injuries sustained by a correspondent for the Rassd news website during the 24 August protests against the Muslim Brotherhood. The Freedom and Justice Party’s legal affairs office in Alexandria submitted the charges to the public prosecution. Charges were also filed against Ahmad Shafiq for incitement to violence against reporters.


US welcomes UN and Egyptian criticism of Iran and Syria

[Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, 8/31/2012] The United States welcomed Thursday a decision by UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy to criticize Iran and Syria during a Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran. Ban and Morsy’s decisions to attend a summit hosted by Iran raised concerns in some quarters, but Washington expressed satisfaction when they chose to use the opportunity to tackle Tehran and its ally in Damascus respectively. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moallem attributed Morsi’s recent swipe at Damascus to the Egyptian president’s close ties to Muslim Brotherhood. In the absence of good faith, the Syrian foreign minister argued, it is pointless for the Syrian regime to offer any fresh initiatives or attempt to come up with any creative solutions to the current crisis.

Hamas hopeful about future with Morsy

[Egypt Independent, EGYNews (Arabic), 8/31/2012] Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar, who also serves as the foreign minister for the Hamas-led government in Gaza under Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, told Egypt Independent from Gaza that “up until now, there is absolutely no proof that anyone from Gaza was part of this attack.” Egyptian officials and senior figures in the Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, have devised plans to preempt any attacks similar to the 5 August attack in Rafah. Arab media describes the talks as a significant development in security cooperation between Egypt and the Palestinians that would contribute to preserving Egypt’s national security.

Photo Credit: AFP

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