Top News: Nearly 1,000 Killed in Cairo since August 14 Crackdown

Clashes in Cairo and its suburbs have killed at least 989 people since security forces launched an August 14 crackdown on supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, a forensic official told AFP Thursday.


President Mansour issues anti-corruption law for government officials
Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has issued a law banning activity that constitutes a conflict of interest for government officials, a state news agency reported. Presidential spokesman Ihab Badawy told MENA on Thursday that the new law tackles one of the legal loopholes that allowed officials to use their posts for personal benefits.The new law establishes integrated and detailed regulations of what officials may and may not do in terms of activities or possession of assets. Public officials include senior state posts such as the president, his deputies, the cabinet, local governors and the heads of public agencies and regulatory bodies. “The law protects society from illegal interaction between power and money, putting clear limits for those in public office positions,” Badawy explained. The Nour Party welcomed the law saying it is a positive step on the path to reforming the state. This law plugs “one of the legislative loopholes that allowed using public office to make illicit gains”. [Ahram Online, SIS, AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), Aswat Masriya, Cairo Post, 11/15/2013]

Nearly 1,000 killed in Cairo since August 14 crackdown
Clashes in Cairo and its suburbs have killed at least 989 people since security forces launched an August 14 crackdown on supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, a forensic official told AFP Thursday. On August 14 itself, 627 people were killed when security forces stormed Cairo’s Raba’a al-Adaweya square to disperse a sit-in by Morsi’s backers, said Hisham Abdul Hamid, spokesman for Egypt’s forensic authorities. Ahram Online, however, reported that the dispersal of the Raba’a sit-in left 377 dead, while the camp in Giza’s Nahda Square resulted in twenty-one deaths. The Health Ministry’s original estimate was far lower than the death toll reported by non-governmental sources. The cause of death for the majority of those killed at Raba’a was live shots to the head and neck, the reports claimed, with the exception of six victims who died after being beaten with sticks and stones. The reports also indicated that eleven bodies were burned after the victims were shot. [AFP, Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 11/14/2013]

Also of Interest:
Amr Moussa says he will not run for executive post soon | Aswat Masriya, Cairo Post, Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)    
Egypt presents report to UN CESCR in Geneva | SIS


Parliament, president can remove government under new Egypt charter: Panel member
Egypt’s new constitution will introduce a semi-presidential system in which the president and parliament can remove the cabinet, a member of the drafting committee has said. The panel has agreed that a two-thirds majority of parliamentary members can withdraw confidence from the government, or one-third if the move is initiated by the president. The two-third proportion is meant to protect the government amid the current volatile political climate, said Diaa Rashwan, head of the Journalists’ Syndicate and a member of the fifty-member drafting committee. Meanwhile, spokesman Mohamed Salmawy for the drafting committee said on Thursday said that the new draft could be ready in as little as a week or ten days. Salmawy said that the articles of the new draft would be subject to a final vote by members of the committee once completed.Once the vote is finalized, which is expected to be at the end of this month or by early December, the final draft constitution will be passed to interim president Adly Mansour to be put to referendum. According to Salmawy, the committee has so far finalized the first reading of three quarters of the new constitution, which contains around 200 articles. Head of the drafting committee Amr Moussa said on Thursday that the new Egyptian constitution should not be an “eternal” document. Moussa argued that the charter should continue to develop, to reflect people’s demands and aspirations. [Ahram Online, 11/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Thirty-four arrested for burning police stations in Fayoum | Egypt Independent
Habib al-Adly’s trial adjourned to December 7 | AMAY (Arabic)


Egypt gets first sovereign credit rating upgrade since 2011 revolution
International credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s raised its long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings for Egypt on Friday from “CCC+/C” to “B-/B” with a “stable” rating outlook. The upgrade reflects Standard & Poor’s view that the Egyptian authorities have secured sufficient foreign currency funding to manage Egypt’s short-term fiscal and external financing needs. “We expect support from bilateral lenders to continue over the medium term as the Egyptian authorities try to address the country’s political and economic challenges,” Standard & Poor said in a statement. [ Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, SIS, EGYNews (Arabic), 11/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Butane shipment from Algeria arrives in Egypt | Ahram Online
Egyptian cabinet approves law exempting 80 percent of bank provisions from tax | Ahram Online, SIS, AMAY (Arabic)
Main Egyptian index slides on profit-taking and curfew speculation in subdued session | Ahram Online
France to launch development projects worth €110 million | DNE, Cairo Post, EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic)  
Egypt has the potential to become a powerful economy: World Bank Vice-President | DNE
Egypt cooperates with World Bank to implement government’s plan to achieve social justice | SIS, EGYNews (Arabic)


Tension surrounds al-Hussein Mosque hours before Ashoura commemorations
A tense atmosphere permeated al-Hussein Mosque in Old Cairo ahead of the religious Ashoura celebrations expected on Thursday night. Egypt’s Ministry Religious Endowments closed the shrine at the heart of al-Hussein Mosque to visitors for the second consecutive day to avert possible clashes between Salafists and Shias during the Ashoura commemorations. Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted sources who claimed that ministry authorities have officially approved the Ministry of Interior’s intervention should anyone violate these rules. Security forces heavily guarded al-Hussein Mosque on Thursday, and also installed security cameras to monitor any potential violations, the newspaper reported. Ashoura, the tenth day of the Islamic calendar, is a festival for the general Muslim community who celebrate it for a number of religious events that, although unrelated, coincided on the same day. [Ahram Online, AMAY (Arabic), Mada Masr, 11/15/2013]

Morsi supporters to march against ‘retaliatory justice’
In a statement issued Thursday, the Anti-Coup Alliance, supported by the Muslim Brotherhood and other pro-Morsi groups, blamed the “deep state” for Morsi’s ouster, including the judiciary, saying that among “honorable judges” were other ones working against the revolution. The alliance added that it considered ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s trial as a “judicial farce” because it violated the constitution and did not seek justice for the Muslim Brotherhood members killed on the same night at Ittehadiya presidential palace. The statement by the group went on to call the speedy trial and conviction of twelve students for clashes at Al-Azhar University a “judicial tragedy”, adding that no security officers who had allegedly killed protesters were being tried. The statement called on “honourable Egyptians” to protest on Friday in a “million man march saying no to retaliatory justice.” The Egyptian interior ministry sent 100 armed units into major squares and streets in Cairo to tighten security following news of planned demonstrations. Egyptian army and police forces sealed off Tahrir and Raba’a al-Adaweya squares to traffic. Police forces broke up a pro-Morsi protest in Alexandria’s Siouf area after Friday noon prayer, a witness reported. The police fired gas bombs to disperse the crowds and arrested some of them, the witness added. Six marches were staged in Alexandria on Friday to express support for Morsi and the Brotherhood. [Egypt Independent, DNE, EGYNews (Arabic), Cairo Post, EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic), Ahram online, Aswat Masriya, 11/15/2013]

New national council for observing media announced
The fifty-member constitutional committee agreed on forming an independent national council to regulate the audio, visual and print media for public and private sectors, journalist’s syndicate head Diaa Rashwan said on Thursday. Rashwan added that the council will consist of two bodies, one for journalism and another for media, to work in conjunction with the Supreme Council for Media. Their role will be administrative and supervisory, focusing on the adherence to regulations and ethics of the media profession. He said the two bodies will act as an administrative council for state-owned newspapers and media institutions, adding that this is the first time in Egyptian history that independent bodies for managing national newspapers do not follow the state, as was the case in the Shura Council. [Cairo Post, 11/15/2013]

Also of Interest:

Tamarod reforms political office, chooses Badr, Shahin and Abdel Aziz | Cairo Post, Ahram Gate (Arabic)


Security alert in Sinai after lifting the curfew
Army and police forces heightened security procedures in Sinai as the state of emergency and curfew has been lifted. Security forces continues it raides to the terrorist safe havens in the area and increased the number of forces guarding the entrances of the areas and the strategic buildings there. [EGYNews (Arabic), 11/15/2013]


CIA declassifies Camp David Accords intelligence
The Central Intelligence Agency has declassified 1,400 pages of intelligence related to the Camp David Accords that President Jimmy Carter negotiated in 1978 with the leaders of Israel and Egypt. The documents include political and personality profiles of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin that Carter read before the thirteen-day summit at the presidential retreat. Carter said Wednesday in Atlanta that the documents helped prepare him to negotiate what became the first treaty between the Jewish state of Israel and one of its Arab neighbors. “The declassified documents detail diplomatic developments from the Arab peace offensive and President Sadat’s trip to Jerusalem through the region-wide aftermath of Camp David,” the CIA said on its website. Among the papers is a short file analyzing former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s personal characteristics and leadership style. The report states that Sadat initially had “neither the strength nor the political astuteness to be successful” when he reached the presidency in 1970 following the death of his predecessor Gamal Abdel-Nasser, describing him as a “former revolutionary and ardent nationalist who rose from peasant origins.” The document states that Sadat had pride in his peasant background. The profile also contains praise for Sadat’s moderation as a leader and pragmatic politician.[Ahram Online, 11/15/2013]

United States focused on its own relationship with Egypt: State Department
In response to a question regarding the high-level Russian delegation visit to Egypt, spokeswoman for the United States State Department stressed that the United States is focused on its relationship with Egypt. Asked about the timing of the Russian visit, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “We’re focused on our bilateral relationship and where it goes moving from here. And obviously, Russia is focused on theirs.” She referred to a Thursday joint press conference given by interim Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, saying that “they talked about the purpose of the visit and just talked about activating their relationship.” Psaki said she had no “further analysis” on the visit and referred reporters to comments from the Egyptian and Russian sides. [DNE, Press Briefing, 11/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Russia offering Egypt helicopters, air defense systems | Ahram Online, DNE
US embassy in Cairo warns Americans of more protests | Egypt Independent
Vast majority of Egyptians ousted Morsi: Rice | SIS
We will not stop building the dam: Ethiopia Ambassador | Cairo Post

Image: Photos: Mosa'ab El Shamy