Several cities witnessed demonstrations and rallies organized by supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi despite the presence of intense security on Friday. Two people were killed during clashes between Islamists and security forces south of Cairo according to reports from Al Ahram.

Sabbahi says tangible social justice top priority in electoral platform
Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi has said that achieving tangible social justice and establishing a democratic system are priorities on his electoral platform. Sabbahi met on Thursday with a group of the revolution’s youth in a meeting arranged by the National Partnership Current, headed by Shadi al-Ghazali Harb and Mahmoud Afifi. The main axes of the electoral platform are national independence, social justice, and freedom, Sabbahi said in a statement. He called for crystallizing a collective political, cultural and moral stance against violence and terrorism as well as those who call for it. Security and stability should not substitute rights, he stated. Sabbahi will also meet with the Salafi Nour Party on Friday, according to the Nour Party’s Mohamed Ayad, to discuss his electoral platform. [Aswat Masriya, 4/25/2014]


Dar al-Ifta denies issuing decision on mass death sentence in Minya

Egypt’s official religious institution tasked with drafting edicts has denied issuing a final ruling on the death sentence handed down to 529 defendants in Minya. Late on Thursday, the privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm (AMAY) first reported that the Dar al-Ifta had rejected the sentence, later amending the story to say it ratified the death sentence ahead of the court’s final verdict on April 28, clarifying that the institution accepted the ruling for some of the defendants while rejecting it for others. Three hours later, the newspaper ran a denial from Ibrahim Negm, advisor to Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawky Allam, citing Negm’s comments to the Turkish news agency Anadoul. [Mada Masr, 4/15/2014]


Egypt expects record purchase of domestic wheat in 2014

Egypt’s government is expecting more wheat than ever before from local farmers this year, thanks to the introduction of a new nationwide system of contractual farming, officials from the agriculture ministry told Ahram Online. The world’s largest wheat importer is expected to buy 4.25 million tons of local wheat by July this year, almost half of the projected harvest’s 9.6 million tons. Egyptians consume a total of between 15 and 20 million tons of wheat per year, of which 10 million tons are produced locally, with the rest coming from imports. In related news Egypt will try to save half the money it spends on wheat subsidies by issuing a new smart card system to ensure that the cheap bread goes to only the neediest. Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy said in an interview this week that the new cards will help the government prevent citizens from buying in bulk and save roughly EGP 11 billion ($1.6 billion), half of what it spends on bread subsidies annually. [Ahram Online, 4/24/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Fire destroys ten acres of farmland in Egypt’s Siwa Oasis | Ahram Online
  • Centamin hopeful that Egypt’s new investment law will end legal claims | Ahram Online
  • Egypt loses eleven positions in Global Information Technology Report, falls to 91 place | Egypt Independent


Two killed in clashes as several Egyptian cities witness demonstrations
Several cities witnessed demonstrations and rallies organized by supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi despite the presence of intense security on Friday. Two people were killed during clashes between Islamists and security forces south of Cairo according to reports from Al Ahram. One of the victims, Reda Ramadan, was shot in the stomach during a rally in Fayoum. The other victim was not named. In Giza, Morsi’s supporters organized two rallies after noon prayers. Participants shouted slogans against the security forces and the police while carrying banners against the transitional government. In Daqahliya, residents clashed with Brotherhood supporters following a rally against the candidacy of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The opposing sides threw stones at each other after angry residents confronted the rally. Security forces in Cairo closed Tahrir square in anticipation of large demonstrations. [Ahram Online, 4/25/2014]

Activists will march on April 26 to demand repeal of protest law
Egyptian activists held a press conference on Thursday in front of the presidential palace in Cairo to announce an escalation in their demands for the country’s controversial protest law to be repealed, Al-Ahram reported. Those participating in the conference included the April 6 movement, the Revolutionary Socialists and the Egyptian Popular Current, in addition to Nourhan Hefzy, wife of prominent activist Ahmed Douma, who was recently sentenced to three years in jail for breaking the protest law. The groups announced a march on Saturday, 26 April, beginning at 5pm in front of Saraya al-Qubba and continuing until the Ittihadiya presidential palace. [Ahram Online, 4/24/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Twenty nine Al-Azhar students contract food poisoning | Ahram Online
  • Defiant Egypt workers pose challenge to next president | DNE/AFP


Six Sinai militants killed; Seven Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members arrested

At least six militants were killed on Wednesday in an air strike by the army in Northern Sinai’s Sheikh Zuweid, including one of the prominent leaders of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis extremist group, army sources said. Twenty of the militants were wounded in the security operation, according to the sources. In Cairo and Qalyubiya, the National Security Sector arrested seven Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members on Thursday, according to security sources. Four members were arrested in Qaliubiya while three others were arrested in Marg area in Cairo with electrical circuits and homemade bombs in their possession, sources told the Middle East News Agency. In related news, an Egyptian soldier was wounded in an armed attack on a security checkpoint in Sinai’s Sheikh Zuweid on Friday, security sources told Aswat Masriya. The attackers were in a truck when they started shooting on soldiers stationed at al-Zohoir checkpoint early on Friday. [Aswat Masriya, 4/25/2014]

Eighteen injured after train set on fire

A train running between Tanta and Zagazig was set on fire by two unidentified assailants on Thursday, the privately owned newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (AMAY) reported. The train was attacked at the Nakareya Station in Zagazig, the capital of the Sharqiya governorate. Two cars were completely destroyed, and at least eighteen people were injured due to smoke inhalation and shock, according to AMAY. Eyewitnesses reported that the assailants threw Molotov cocktails into the last two cars of the train and then fled the scene. [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 4/24/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • In Cairo, one family’s story shows rise of radical threat | Reuters
  • After ten months on the run, FJP spokesman Yasser Mehrez arrested in apartment in October 6 | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Bomb experts defuse bomb targeting central security forces in Minya | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Egypt’s Foreign Minister Fahmy arrives in US for talks
Egypt’s foreign minister Nabil Fahmy landed in San Francisco on Thursday to kick off his multi-day visit to the United Stated to hold talks on mutual ties and regional issues, the foreign ministry said. The senior diplomat is due to visit Washington DC and San Francisco to hold talks on bilateral relations and regional issues with his counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry as well as other senior officials in the Obama administration, the ministry said earlier this week. Fahmy on Thursday held discussions with US communications and investment experts and sat with members of the Egyptian community in San Francisco, official foreign ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atti said in a statement on Friday. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, SIS, 4/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Ethiopian PM calls on Egypt to resume talks over Renaissance dam issues | Ahram Online