draft law organizing protests is still causing disagreements, even within the Cabinet that is set to pass it. The law, drafted by the Ministry of Justice, imposes several restrictions on demonstrations that were slammed by advocates of freedom of expression, but also considered necessary by others who say the country is at a security risk and hence needs this law.


Protest law causes disagreement within Cabinet
A draft law organizing protests is still causing disagreements, even within the Cabinet that is set to pass it. The law, drafted by the Ministry of Justice, imposes several restrictions on demonstrations that were slammed by advocates of freedom of expression, but also considered necessary by others who say the country is at a security risk and hence needs this law. Sources told the privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm that an argument took place between Vice Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa-Eldin and Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim on Tuesday. Bahaa-Eldin contested the draft, while Ibrahim said it is a much-needed instrument given the protests his ministry has to deal with and the hazards they are exposed to. The law is pending approval from Interim President Adly Mansour, to whom the draft law was passed this week by Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawy, the state-run MENA reported. [Mada Masr, AMAY (Arabic), 10/16/2013]

Egypt’s Justice Ministry to draft anti-terrorism law
Egypt’s Ministry of Justice is due to start discussions with the National Council for Human Rights, as well as other rights groups, to draft an anti-terrorism law “specifying terrorism crimes and penalties facing the perpetrators,” state-owned Al-Ahram daily reported on Wednesday. The suggested definition of terrorism is “an action that leads to the spread of terror and sense of threat to the lives of citizens and state institutions through the use of violence in both its tangible forms and intangible forms affecting morale to fulfill aims that harm the security and interests of the country.” According to the report, suggestions for the new legislation include tight prison sentences for acts of aggression, sabotage and attacks committed against state institutions, public transport, museums, schools, hospitals, private property, police stations and checkpoints. [Ahram Online, 10/16/2013]

Solidarity minister: Government surveillance of NGOs is temporary
Civil society organizations should go through temporary control, Minister of Social Solidarity Ahmed al-Boraie told the privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm on Tuesday. Boraie has formed a committee to draft a new NGO law that he said is about to be finalized. In his comments to the local newspaper, Boraie said that the plan to follow the work of NGOs is meant to be temporary and is aimed at confronting “evil groups aiming at destabilizing the country.” According to him, this control is inevitable given the critical threats the country is facing. Boraei said monitoring NGOs’ activities would be temporary to reach the funding sources of NGOs which he claims go to supporting terrorists in Egypt. [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 10/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Tamarod backtracks, says will back Sisi for president | Ahram Online
Muslim Brotherhood’s cohesion is also its pitfall | AP
Al-Watan criticizes government intransigence against Muslim Brotherhood | Cairo Post
Brotherhood member offers solutions for Egypt stalemate | Ahram Online
Brotherhood’s terms for reconciliation preposterous, says minister | Egypt Independent


Morsi trial will take place at officers institution or police academy
The Judicial Committee will examine both the police officers’ institution and the police academy in the Fifth District in Cairo to make a final report about the appropriate place for ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s trial on November 4, a judicial source told Youm7. The source said the Ministry of Interior will cooperate with the military to secure the trial sessions, along with the judges, lawyers, and media attending the trial. Meanwhile, one security source said there might be an intention to choose the officer’s institution at the Tora prison for the trials. It would be a secure place because of its strategic location and the intensified existence of security guards there. [Cairo Post, 10/15/2013]


Fuel smart cards for 1,100 Egyptian firms
The Egyptian government has selected 1,100 heavy-consumption fuel customers to use the new smart card system for subsidized fuel, the ministry of finance stated on Tuesday. Among such clientele are big construction firms, mobile companies, hospitals, hotels and tourism resorts. Smart cards are part of a program to prevent the leakage of petroleum products onto the black market and to smugglers. It aims to restrict governmental fuel subsidies, which reached EGP 120 billion in 2012/13, compared to EGP 40 billion in 2005/06. The total energy subsidies bill is expected to be reduced to EGP 100 billion in 2013/14. [Ahram Online, 10/15/2013]

World Bank offers $500 million loan for Egypt gas delivery
Taher Abdel-Rahim, head of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), said that negotiations with the World Bank were being championed by the Ministry of International Cooperation. The Egyptian government allocated around EGP 20 billion ($2.9 billion) in subsidies for gas cylinders in 2012-2013. The EGAS chairman said that the delivery of natural gas to around one million homes will save around EGP 650 million a year. “The government eyes delivering natural gas to around 8 million homes in the next five years,” Abdel-Rahim said. [World Bulletin, 10/16/2013]

Also of Interest:
Tax revenues increase by EGP 20 billion in the last quarter of 2012-2013 | Tahrir (Arabic)  
Tourism minister travels to Italy to foster tourism | ONA (Arabic)
Beblawy says all Egyptian touristic destinations ready to welcome all visitors | SIS
Implementing projects with investments of EGP 1.3 billion in six governorates: Minister | SIS
Government informs IMF that Egypt does not need the loan: source | AMAY (Arabic)
Vegetables prices hike despite government instructions | Egypt Independent
Egyptian-Chinese negotiations for contribution in petroleum fields, Suez Canal development | SIS


Nubian history to be taught in public schools
The ministry of education has decided to include parts of Nubian history in history curricula in elementary and preparatory schools in Egypt. The new curriculum will contain information about historical figures the Nubian history, challenges facing Nubians, and how to possibly resolve them. According to ministry of education official Sana’ Goma’a, this is the first time Nubian history will be included in Egyptian school curricula. [AMAY (Arabic), 10/16/2013]      

Al-Jazeera to prosecute Egypt state TV for Ghana match broadcast
Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera Sports TV network said it will take legal action against Egyptian state television for broadcasting Tuesday’s Egypt-Ghana match in the first leg of the World Cup playoff, a right exclusive to al-Jazeera. Egypt’s state TV broadcast the match on two local channels without prior announcement or approval from Al-Jazeera as tensions continue to rise between the Qatari-owned network and Egypt’s government. Meanwhile, the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) said on Tuesday it filed a report with Egypt’s prosecutor-general accusing Al-Jazeera of “using Egypt’s state-TV live-broadcast vehicles for forty-one days” at the now-dispersed Islamist Raba’a al-Adaweya protest camp, demanding EGP 200 million in compensation. [Ahram Online, 10/16/2013]

Also of Interest:
Ultras Ahlawy organize march calling for release of arrested members | Shorouk, AMAY (Arabic)
April 6 condemns security assault on Ultras members | Tahrir (Arabic)   
Limited skirmishes occur in Mahallah between Morsy supporters, opponents | Ahram Online
Pro-Sisi presidential campaign stages human chain in Qena | Ahram Online
Transitional justice is a necessity: National Council for Human Rights | ONA (Arabic)  
Alexandrians employ campaign to counter sexual harassment | Ahram Online


Three arrested in attempted attack on police station
Three were arrested in Qalyubiya after security forces thwarted an attempted attack on the Shubra al-Kheima police station early Wednesday, reported the state news agency MENA. On Tuesday, as security measures were tightened in preparation for Eid celebrations, security forces arrested two people who are facing several charges in previous cases. After the two men were detained, MENA reported, their families gathered in the area in protests of their arrest and clashes ensued with security forces as they attempted to storm the prison. [Mada Masr, 10/16/2013]

Also of Interest:
Security tightened at Cairo Airport for national team’s return | Ahram Online
Army seals off Mostafa Mahmoud Square | Mada Masr
Armed Forces block Nahda Square on the second day of Eid | Cairo Post


Egypt-US relations in turmoil: Egyptian foreign minister
In an interview conducted by the state-owned daily Al-Ahram, foreign minister Nabil Fahmy said that the current strain in US-Egyptian relations is more critical than ever because it comes at a crucial time for the entire Middle East. Fahmy added that Egypt had been dependent on US aid for too long but Washington was wrong to assume the Cairo government would always follow its line, “We are now in a delicate state reflecting the turmoil in the relationship and anyone who says otherwise is not speaking honestly.” Fahmy stated that elements of the work of the Egyptian foreign ministry include three axes; protecting, supporting and showing the true image of the Egyptian revolution, restoring the Egyptian role on the regional and international level, setting the correct foundations for Egypt’s foreign policy in future until 2030. Fahmy stressed that the most important principles governing Egypt’s foreign action is its Arab and African belonging. He added that Egypt moves actively to maintain its interests in the Nile water with full respect to aspirations of the Nile Basin peoples in the field of development. [Shorouk (Arabic), Reuters, AP, SIS, 10/16/2013]