Top News: More than 70 Detained in US Embassy Protests

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The Public Prosecution has said 142 people would be indicted for their alleged involvement in storming the US Embassy in Cairo, a spokesperson from the Interior Ministry’s media department said Sunday.


ElBaradei’s Constitution Party receives legal approval

A judicial committee on Sunday approved the establishment of the Constitution Party, which was founded by Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei and other liberal figures. The Political Parties Affairs Committee, which is responsible for authorizing new political parties, said that the party will be able to engage in political activities, effective Monday. [Egypt Independent, 9/17/2012]

Nour Party election results announced in two days

The final results of the Salafi Nour Party’s bureau elections in 18 governorates around the country, which took place on 15 September, will be announced tomorrow, said Ahmed Abdel Hamid, spokesperson for the party’s electoral commission. The elections caused a dispute between the head of the party and the party’s upper body after party head Emad Abdel Ghafour insisted that elections be postponed until a new elections commission is formed. [Egypt Independent, 9/17/2012]

Shafiq announces new political party

Former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq announced the establishment of a new political party, the Egyptian National Movement. Shafiq tweeted on Monday saying that through the Egyptian National Movement, he seeks to establish a balanced society that accepts diversity, is open to the world, protects its land and yearns for peace. [Egypt Independent, 9/17/2012]


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Activists launch signature campaign to disband Constituent Assembly

Some 500 activists on Sunday launched a campaign to collect 1 million signatures calling for the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, which they say does not adequately represent all segments of Egyptian society. The assembly, which comprises 100 members and has a strong Islamist representation, was appointed by the People’s Assembly, which was disbanded in June by a court order which said its elections were unconstitutional. [Egypt Independent, 9/16/2012]


OPEC’s development fund gives $30m to Egypt for food security and poverty alleviation  

Members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries have confirmed a $30million loan for Egypt aimed at food security and poverty alleviation. The international development funding arm of OPEC, the Fund for International Development (OFID), approved 12 loans and grants to 29 developing countries, worth $201 million, for the purpose of improving socio-economic conditions. OFID’s $30 million loan to Egypt will be used to support ongoing efforts to revive Egypt’s archaic irrigation and drainage systems. [Daily News Egypt, 9/16/2012]

Egypt trade balance deficit surges for sixth time in June

Egypt’s trade deficit saw yet another surge in June, growing a whopping 49 per cent over the same month last year, latest data from Egypt’s official statistics body CAPMAS showed Sunday. The trade deficit reached LE17.6 billion in June 2012 versus LE11.9 billion a year earlier. On a monthly level, the trade deficit dropped from LE19 million in May. A drop in exports was behind the increased deficit, the former falling 17.6 per cent in June to sit at LE14.7 billion. The CAPMAS report attributed the exports drop to a decline in overseas demand for Egypt’s petroleum products, garments, fertilisers and electrical wires. [Ahram Online, 9/16/2012]


Military: Sinai operation against militants is ongoing

The Armed Forces are still fighting suspected militants in Sinai, the general command of the Armed Forces said Sunday night in a statement clarifying developments of their operation in the area. Ahmed Mohamed Ali said military and police forces launched a campaign against extremist and criminal groups at Moqataa village. The statement said one soldier was killed, and seven security forces members and three passers-by were injured by gunfire. [Egypt Independent, AP, EGYNews (Arabic), 9/16/2012]


More than 70 detained in US Embassy protests

The Public Prosecution has said 142 people would be indicted for their alleged involvement in storming the US Embassy in Cairo, a spokesperson from the Interior Ministry’s media department said Sunday. The spokesperson said police had arrested 431 people since the start of clashes between security forces and protesters outside the embassy. The prosecution said it would charge the 142 people already questioned within four days. The remaining 289 people arrested have yet to be investigated, according to the spokesperson. [Egypt Independent, 9/17/2012]

Protests at five universities with the beginning of the school year

The Universities of Alexandria, Damietta, Tanta, Assiut and Mansoura started the first day of the new school year Saturday with a series of protests, sit-ins and strikes staged by both workers and students. Egypt’s Central Security Forces forcefully disperses Nile University (NU) students and faculty members who have been staging a sit-in on the campus since 28 August. The security decision to clear the protest comes in response to a Giza court order issued on Monday, Mahmoud Allam, one of NU’s founders, told Ahram Online. The court action follows a decision made on Sunday, by the Cabinet committee appointed to solve the NU crisis, that the students are to use the buildings of Mubarak City University instead. Student and worker protesters at the American University in Cairo further escalated their demonstration last Thursday by taking down the American flag on campus, as they continue protesting the policies of the university administration and university President Lisa Anderson. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, al-Watan (Arabic), Youm 7 (Arabic), 9/17/2012]

Labor protests on the rise, with demonstrations across sectors

A wave of fresh labor protests has hit the country this week at schools, universities and government bodies, mostly demanding better wages and improved working conditions. On Sunday, the second day of the new school year, thousands of workers at 13 public universities demanded pay equal to that of teaching staff and the ability to participate in university leadership elections. Some workers started a strike, threatening to continue until their demands are met. Several thousand bus drivers, mechanics, engineers and fare collectors employed at the Public Transport Authority went on strike Saturday and Sunday. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, 9/17/2012]


Jama’a al-Islamiya asks Morsy to cancel US visit

Jama’a al-Islamiya has called on President Mohamed Morsy to cancel his visit to the United States on 23 September to address the United Nations General Assembly, due to current tensions in Arab and Muslim countries over a film that disparaged the Prophet Mohamed. “The film was produced by Coptic Christians under American auspices,” said Assem Abdel Maged, a leading figure in the group. “The whole Egyptian people reject it.” Hamada Nassar, a Jama’a al-Islamiya spokesperson, said the US would have deleted the film from all websites and from Google had it been against the Jews.  [Egypt Independent, 9/16/2012]

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Photo Credit: Ahram Online/Dr. Mahmoud Allam

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