Top News: Military Officer Takes Charge as First Secretary-General of Egypt’s Parliament


Army major general Khaled Abdel-Sallam al-Sadr will begin his new job as secretary-general of Egypt’s House of Representatives – the lower house of parliament – this week, becoming the first man from military ranks to hold this post.


Military officer takes charge as first secretary-general of Egypt’s parliament
Army major general Khaled Abdel-Sallam al-Sadr will begin his new job as secretary-general of Egypt’s House of Representatives – the lower house of parliament – this week, becoming the first man from military ranks to hold this post. Egypt’s transitional justice minister and the head of House of Representatives Affairs, Ibrahim al-Heneidy, selected Sadr to be the new secretary-general of the House, replacing Farag al-Dorri who reached retirement age on September 30. [Ahram Online, 10/18/2014]

Cabinet reassures press syndicate of involvement in drafting laws
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlab said Saturday, “No law will be imposed on journalists and media professionals without the agreement of all parties involved.” His statement came during a meeting with head of the Supreme Press Council Galal Aref and Press Syndicate Chairman Diaa Rashwan. Mahlab’s previous decision to form separate cabinet committees involving representatives of the government to review media legislations and laws drafted by a committee of media figures provoked anger among journalists. They argued that such an arrangement breaches the constitution, which states the Supreme Press Council must have a say in press laws. [Ahram Online, DNE, Mada Masr, 10/19/2014]

Also of Interest
Brotherhood accuses Interior Ministry of ‘false propaganda’ | DNE
State council approves draft law introducing “community police” | Aswat Masriya


Egypt refers sixty ‘pro-Brotherhood’ judges to disciplinary board
A judge referred on Monday sixty judges of different judicial levels to the disciplinary council for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. Judge Sherine Fahmy, delegated by the Cairo Appeals Court to investigate the issue, ruled to refer sixty judges to the board and called for them to be removed from office. Sherine accused the judges of signing a statement read out during the pro-Mohamed Morsi Rabaa al-Adawiya camp on July 24 last year. He also accused the judge who read out the statement, Mahmoud Mohi al-Deen, of fraud. Supreme Election Committee Head Nabil Salib mandated Sherine in July 2013 to investigate seventy-five judges who signed a statement called “the independence current.” The judges were accused of interfering in politics and violating the judicial authority law. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 10/20/2014]

Fugitive Mubarak-era business mogul offers $7 billion in settlement
Fugitive, Spain-based businessman Hussein Salem is nearing a settlement with the Egyptian government by giving up assets predictably worth $7 billion, his lawyer has revealed. Tarek Abdel Aziz said he was heading within hours to Spain to agree with his client on the final settlement formula and sign it. He said that Egypt’s Illicit Gain Authority had decided to restart negotiations, rather than build on earlier talks conducted under former president Mohamed Morsi. Salem was sentenced to fifteen years in another financial corruption case. He is still on trial for corruption related to Egypt’s natural gas deal with Israel. [Egypt Independent, 10/20/2014]

Also of Interest
Egypt arrests twenty-nine “rioting” students in four universities | Aswat Masriya
“Prison break” trial postponed again | DNE
Aswan tribal violence trial postponed | DNE
Strong Egypt party dissolution trial postponed | DNE
Five years sentence for Egyptian orphanage staff for beating child | Ahram Online
Court fines Central Auditing Organization director for insulting Egypt’s Judges’ Club | Aswat Masriya


Moody’s upgrades Egypt’s outlook to stable
On Monday, international credit ratings agency Moody’s upgraded Egypt’s outlook to stable from negative. This is expected to make the country’s struggling economy more hospitable to international investors. The decision was based on the country’s improved political stability, fiscal consolidation, and signs of growth recovery. It remains limited by high fiscal deficits and government debt levels. A factor in upgrading the country’s rating was also the strong support from external donors. [Ahram Online, 10/20/2014]

Egypt planning minister calls for legal review, “economic revolution”
According to Egypt’s planning minister, Egypt needs an “economic revolution” in order to recover from the damages caused by political instability. The country seeks to attract billions of dollars in foreign investment and repair its state finances. He added that in order to compensate for the losses and be able to compete globally, Egypt has to overhaul a state dominated economy and show investors it is committed to safeguarding their money. [Reuters, 10/20/2014]

Also of Interest
Egypt signs with six international firms to dredge new Suez Canal | Reuters
Israeli group in talks to ship gas into Egypt via EMG pipeline | Mada Masr, Reuters
Government negotiates with Apache and British Gas to gas prices adjustments | DNE
UAE company to cement deal for one million Egyptian homes | Mada Masr, Reuters
UAE company Al-Sweiden to invest over EGP40 billion in Egypt | DNE
Deutsche Bank plans to allocate $35 million in grants to Egypt: Investment Minister | DNE
400 percent tourism growth from UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, says official | DNE
Signs of rebound in Egypt’s tourism sector, says Oxford Business Group | Egypt Independent
Egyptian developer SODIC to invest $336 million in 2015, sees property boom | Reuters
Exporting rice “harder” under new ministry guidelines: Vice Head of Rice Division | DNE


Students and police clash again at Egypt’s universities
Clashes broke out between university students and police forces on Sunday as students held protests. The ministry of interior said twenty-nine students were arrested from Al-Azhar, Minya, Mansoura, and the Faculty of Dentistry in Cairo University amid protests at universities around the country. Students have vowed to hold protests in the second week of the new academic year condemning the arrest and suspension of fellow students, and the presence of security forces on and around campuses. Students at the British University in Egypt chanted slogans against the administration at a campus demonstration on Sunday, demanding the return of several colleagues expelled for participating in previous protests. The Students Against the Coup issued a statement Sunday calling on a new wave of protests. Students from various movements formed on Saturday Egypt’s Student Coalition in support of academic and political freedom, demanding the release of arrested students. According to a Saturday statement from the Democracy Index, during the academic year’s first week, eighteen universities across Egypt witnessed fifty-eight protests, an average of ten per day. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, DNE, 10/19/2014]

Also of Interest
Egyptian law graduates denounce class-based job discrimination Ahram Online
MENA slams Al-Ahram for accusations in NYT article controversy | Mada Masr
Campaign demands debate before adoption of new labor laws | Egypt Independent
Police using “excessive force” against student protesters, says Amnesty | Ahram Online, DNE
University professors gain government assurances on new law | DNE
Over 4,000 students undergo drug testing at Cairo University | Ahram Online, DNE


Egypt army arrests Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis leader, says sources
Military forces arrested the leader of the military wing of the militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in North Sinai on Friday, reported Ahram Arabic news. An official source said that Walid Attalah is suspected of orchestrating an RPG attack late Thursday in North Sinai, which killed three policemen and injured seven others. “Walid Attalah received Egyptian citizenship during the era of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and he is of Palestinian origins,” the source said. Security officials are currently questioning Attalah. [Ahram Online, 10/18/2014]

Interior ministry arrests fifty-two ‘terrorists’ for targeting infrastructure
Security forces arrested eight “terrorist cells” involving fifty-two defendants in possession of weapons, highly explosive material and large sums of money, the ministry of interior announced on Saturday. The arrests took place in the governorates of Giza, Minya, Daqahliyah, Alexandria, Fayoum, and Sharqiya, the ministry said in a press statement. The interior ministry also said on Saturday that it arrested five “Muslim Brotherhood cadres” during an “organizational” meeting held to plot for “stalling education and spreading chaos among students.” [DNE, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 10/18/2014]

Deadly attacks in Sinai kill security personnel
A bomb attack on a police vehicle killed six members of Egypt’s security forces on Sunday, the latest in a wave of bombings and shootings targeting police and army troops. Five others were injured when the roadside bomb went off near an armored vehicle in the southern part of the North Sinai capital of al-Arish, according to a military spokesperson. Security forces were combing the area to search for the perpetrators, a military source said. The armed forces spokesman said in a statement on his official page that the “armed forces assert that such cowardly terrorist actions only increase the resolve of its members and their determination to continue to uproot terrorism.” [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, SIS, Egypt Independent, AP, 10/19/2014]

Also of Interest
Egyptian ex-police officer conducted ‘ISIS suicide attack in Iraq’ | Ahram Online
Egyptian army officers die destroying North Sinai tunnel | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya
Egypt arrests around 200 illegal migrants near Libya | Ahram Online
Democracy Index report: 30 bombings across Egypt in September | Egypt Independent
President to attend army’s largest wargame | Egypt Independent
Missing resident found shot dead in Sinai | Aswat Masriya


Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia agreement sets date for commencing GERD impact study
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia will choose an international firm to conduct studies on Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam by December. In a press conference held in Cairo on Sunday, Egypt’s irrigation minister Hossam Moghazi said this week’s tripartite talks over the dam succeeded in establishing the terms upon which the three countries will choose the firm. These terms have been sent to seven international consultancy firms, the minister said, which will be invited to Cairo to meet the three countries’ representatives. [Ahram Online, Reuters, DNE, 10/19/2014]

Egypt’s Sisi, Sudan’s Bashir seek stronger ties
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir at the Presidential Palace on Saturday to discuss bilateral relations, according to a presidential statement on Sunday. The two presidents agreed to elevate the joint Egypt-Sudan committee from the ministerial level to the presidential one. They also discussed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as well as the situations in Libya, Syria, and Iraq as part of the talks. [Ahram Online, SIS, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 10/20/2014]

Also of Interest
US medical firm slammed for delay in hepatitis cure delivery | Egypt Independent
Nineteen Sudanese nationals detained by Kafr al-Sheikh border guards | DNE
Egyptian FM welcomes formation of new Iraqi government | DNE, SIS
Dozens of Egyptian fishermen detained in Yemen | DNE
Germany tones down travel warning for Aswan and Luxor | Egypt Independent
Egypt to boost cooperation with Ethiopia in education and science | Ahram Online