Top News: Ministry of Social Solidarity Launches Funding Hashtag; Says Only Seventeen NGOs Registered before Deadline

On Thursday, the ministry of social solidarity launched a hashtag on social media sites. The hashtag is titled, “To protect our society, it’s our right to know civil society organizations’ sources of funding.”


Ministry of social solidarity launches funding hashtag; Says only seventeen NGOS registered before deadline
On Thursday, the ministry of social solidarity launched a hashtag on social media sites. The Facebook post announcing the hashtag is titled, “To protect our society, it’s our right to know civil society organizations’ sources of funding.” The ministry called on its followers to participate in the conversation using the hashtags, “Work with transparency and don’t fear,” and “Society wants to know the source of your funding.”  The ministry also revealed that, in the past three months, only nine foreign and eight Egyptian organizations complied with a registration deadline set for November 10. According to the ministry, there are at least 300 civil society organizations operating in Greater Cairo, and another 300 throughout Egypt’s governorates.  [EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram (Arabic), 11/14/2014]

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Egypt issues first microfinance law
Egypt has issued the country’s first law regulating microfinance services, the Egyptian Supervisory Authority said late on Thursday. The law regulates microfinance funding by non-bank sources including companies and non-governmental organizations and puts them under the authority of the financial regulator, known as EFSA. Banks will continue to be regulated by the central bank. [Reuters, 11/14/2014]

Egypt said to repay debts to foreign oil companies
According to the Egyptian oil ministry, Egypt plans to repay all of the $4.9 billion debt owed to foreign oil and gas companies within six months. The ministry expects to borrow $2 billion to help finance the repayments as it seeks to pay back 60 percent of the arrears by year-end. A gas shortage has left Egypt struggling with the worst energy crisis in years, diverting gas export to meet domestic demands. [Reuters, 11/13/2014]

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Egypt’s state newspapers voice disapproval of press chamber for private outlets
A number of state-owned newspapers issued a statement on Thursday criticizing the establishment of a press chamber for private newspapers. Earlier this week, seven chief editors signed a statement confirming they would start with the necessary legal steps to make an industry chamber for privately-owned newspapers. But Thursday’s statement from state-run papers said that any press industry should include all sectors, whether national or private, in order to defend their rights and interests. “The private newspaper business does not own the journalism industry in Egypt, as 99 percent of the printing machines are owned by publicly-owned press houses,” the statement read. [Ahram Online, 11/13/2014]

Security forces disperse pro-Brotherhood protests
Clashes erupted on Friday between pro-Brotherhood protesters and security forces in the Sidi Bishr district of Alexandria, with protesters rallying in other parts of the city. Assistant interior minister for Alexandria said that security forces arrested six members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Security forces also dispersed demonstrations in Toukh, where protesters called for the release of detainees and chanted against the military and the police. In Beheira, security forces arrested three protesters on charges of inciting riots. [EGYNews (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 11/14/2014]

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Five Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members killed, leading member arrested in North Sinai
Five members of the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis were killed and seven others arrested on Friday at dawn during two military and police security campaigns in North Sinai, security sources said. Six other “extremists,” not belonging to the group, were also arrested.  A leading member of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was arrested on Thursday in a raid in the Sinai Peninsula, an army spokesman has said. The army said that it had also arrested twenty-five other terrorist suspects in North Sinai, Ismailia, Port Said and Daqahliya. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, DNE, 11/14/2014]

Masked men claim responsibility for attack on Damietta naval forces
A group of unidentified masked men claimed responsibility for an attack on a naval ship in the coastal city of Damietta yesterday in a video published on YouTube Friday morning. With a black flag hanging in the background, the five men identified themselves as “youth from the land of Kenanah,” a Quranic expression referring to Egypt. They directly addressed the Armed Forces, accusing the military of waging war against Islam. Meanwhile, according to state-run Al-Ahram, foreign “elements” took part in the attack.  [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 11/14/2014]

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Forty-three arrested on charges of attempting to torch Fayoum court | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
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Sisi discusses East Jerusalem with Jordan, Israel, and United States
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi joined in a conference call on Thursday afternoon with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, said Egypt’s presidency. Abdullah, Netanyahu and Kerry are currently meeting in Amman, Jordan, and Sisi spoke with them by phone, said Egyptian presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef. The discussion on Thursday also included ideas to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, where Sisi insisted on the importance of reaching a two-state solution. [Ahram Online, 11/13/2014]

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Egypt and Algeria sign on seventeen agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation | Ahram (Arabic)