Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a United Nations speech on Wednesday that he aims to build a state that respects “rights and freedoms” and “ensures the coexistence of its citizens without exclusion or discrimination.”


Draft legislative amendment bans politics in schools
Education minister Mahmoud Abul-Nasr announced that a legislative amendment has been drafted, banning political activities in schools. The ban is similar to an earlier amendment passed prohibiting political activities on university campuses. Abul-Nasr, speaking during a press conference held on Thursday, did not go into details about the amendment, but warned students and employees against taking part in political or partisan activities in school, saying they could face expulsion as a result.  [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 9/25/2014]

Also of Interest:
Egypt’s justice ministry staffers go on strike over financial demands | Ahram Online
Nour Party negotiates with tribal leaders to contest parliamentary elections | AMAY (Arabic)


Egypt courts jail nearly 100 Morsi backers
On Thursday, a court in Kafr al-Sheikh sentenced eighty-six people for up to fifteen years in jail for causing violence at a protest in January. The defendants, including four minors, were tried for clashes with security forces outside a police station in Kafr al-Sheikh, which had caused no casualties. The defendants were accused of illegal assembly, attempted murder, vandalism, stealing a gun from a policeman and possessing illegal arms. Seventy-three were sentenced to fifteen years in absentia, nine were handed ten year terms, while the four minors were given one year suspended sentences. In a separate case, four defendants were sentenced to ten years in jail, another six to seven years in prison and a minor was given one year suspended sentence for causing violence outside Cairo in December. In a third case, two supporters of Morsi were sentenced to life imprisonment amounting to twenty-five years in jail for violence that left two dead in July 2013. They were sentenced during a retrial in a case which has already seen the chief of Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, given life imprisonment. [AFP, 9/26/2014]

Court rejects change of judges in case against hunger striking activist Douma
A Cairo court refused on Wednesday activist and hunger striker Ahmed Douma’s request for the judges in his case to recuse themselves. Douma, along with 268 other co-defendants, are charged with illegal assembly and attacking army and police personnel and state institutions during clashes that date back to December 2011. On October 1, an appeals court will also look into another demand filed by Douma to change the court panel in the same case, accusing judges of personal hostility towards defendants. [Ahram Online, 9/24/2014]

Leading Islamists escape death sentence as court downgrades verdict
The death sentences for two leading Islamist figures were downgraded to life imprisonment following a retrial by Cairo’s criminal court on Thursday. In July, Abdallah Barakat, dean of the Islamic Call’s faculty at Al-Azhar University, along with top Muslim Brotherhood member Hossam Marghany and eight other defendants were given the death penalty on charges of inciting violence and cutting off the highway between Qalyubeya and Cairo in July 2013 after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. [Ahram Online, 9/25/2014]

Also of Interest:
Egypt sentences alleged al-Qaeda member to life | AP, Mada Masr, EGYNews (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
Two Brotherhood figures sentenced to life over Qalyub incidents | Egypt Independent, EGYNews (Arabic)
Court to issue verdict against suspects involved in Azbakeya riots September 30 | Egypt Independent
Twenty-two Brotherhood members detained fifteen days in Alexandria pending investigation | EGYNews (Arabic)
Ten sentenced to seven to ten years hard labor for Shubra al-Kheima violence | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt says Saudi Arabia has sent $3 billion oil products
Saudi Arabia sent Egypt $3 billion worth of refined oil products from April up to the first week of this month, an official from Egypt’s state oil company told Reuters on Thursday. The petroleum aid has not, however, managed to noticeably ease Egypt’s energy frequent power cuts, even in upscale areas. [Reuters, 9/25/2014]

Egypt’s current account deficit shrinks to $2.4 billion on foreign transfers
Egypt’s 2013-14 current account deficit shrank to $2.4 billion in the 2013-14 fiscal year from $6.4 billion the previous year, boosted by billions of dollars in foreign transfers, according to the central bank. The improvement in the current account deficit was driven by a rise in remittances and other payments from abroad, including aid. [Reuters, 9/25/2014]

Also of Interest:
Kuwait to ship first crude to Egypt in October under long term deal | Reuters
Cabinet approves presidential decree endorsing renewable energy production | Aswat Masriya
Egypt to require companies and government agencies to purchase national products | Ahram (Arabic)
British Gas to finish connecting 500m cubic feet per day in al-Borolos fields | DNE
Egyptian pound steady on official market, weaker on black market | Reuters
Ezz Steel posts first-half net loss of EGP 176 million | Reuters


Private security companies to guard nine Egyptian universities
Minister of Higher Education Sayed Abdel Khalek hired a private security company to guard nine public universities during the coming academic year, the cabinet announced on Wednesday. The cabinet discussed measures to be adopted in preparation for the new academic year, due to begin on October 11. Abdel Khalek said that only students and university faculty and staff would be allowed into university campuses, after verifying their identities. The cabinet also approved during its meeting a presidential decree amending a law in a manner which allows university chairmen to expel faculty members who “commit crimes which disturb the educational process,” according to a cabinet statement. [Aswat Masriya, 9/24/2014]

Also of Interest:
Obama should criticize Egypt crackdown: HRW | DNE


Bomb defused on 26 July corridor
A bomb squad defused an improvised explosive device attached to a timer and the a bombing circuit on Thursday, said Director of the Department of Civil Protection in Giza Major General Magdy al-Shalqany. Shalqany added the IED was placed on the 26 July corridor at Nahia village. According to Shalqany, security personnel combed the rest of the road but found nothing. [Egypt Independent, 9/25/2014]

Also of Interest:


Sisi seeks Security Council seat in UNGA speech
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a United Nations speech on Wednesday that he aims to build a state that respects “rights and freedoms” and “ensures the coexistence of its citizens without exclusion or discrimination.” He added that, since his election in June, he has sought to build a “civil democratic state.” In his speech, Sisi called on member-states to elect Egypt as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. He also spoke of Egypt’s fight against terrorism, confronting extremism in the region, and Egypt’s development plans. Following his speech, Sisi attended a series of meetings, with leaders from Palestine, Iraq, Kuwait, Mauritania, South Sudan, and Uganda. Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Alaa Youssef said Sisi is expected to discuss the country’s “real” situation in a meeting with US President Barack Obama in New York on Thursday. [DNE, Aswat Masriya, SIS, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, AP, 9/25/2014]

FM tells CNN Egypt role in war on IS yet to be determined
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Egypt’s role against the Islamic State of Syria and al-Sham (ISIS) will be a “political and religious” one, and not necessarily involve its military. Shoukry said it’s necessary that coalition members play different roles. “We are concentrating on utilizing our religious institutions to impact the ability of these organizations to recruit new fighters and of course to cut off the funding and to provide information,” he added. Meanwhile, Shoukry and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed developing bilateral ties between Egypt and the United States in a meeting on Tuesday. A statement by Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the two sides discussed future cooperation in confronting terrorism, specifically ISIS. [Egypt Independent , Ahram Online, 9/25/2014]

Egypt blasts Turkish leader Erdogan after UN speech
Egypt has accused Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan of supporting terrorists and seeking to provoke mayhem in the Middle East after he questioned the legitimacy of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in a speech at the UN General Assembly. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry cancelled a bilateral meeting with his counterpart requested by Turkey after the speech. Meanwhile, an advisor to the Turkish president denied Egyptian media reports that the countries’ leaders were planning to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, SIS, Egypt Independent, 9/25/2014]

Also of Interest:
Visit to Ethiopia doesn’t mean Egypt agrees on dam project: Minister | Ahram Online
Water Minister: Confidence being rebuilt between Egypt, Ethiopia | SIS
Egyptian visit to Ethiopian dam raises hopes for resolution | Al-Monitor