Category Archives: Egypt
Reuters Via Yahoo: Egypt will keep all state-owned firms in public hands, President Mohamed Mursi said in a speech on Tuesday, calling a halt to a flawed privatization program that failed to kick-start the country’s economy
“There will not be any more selling of the public sector again. That is over,” Mursi said in a speech to metal industry workers in a Cairo suburb during celebrations ahead of Labour Day.
The Egyptian Jewish Community Council has selected Magda Haroun as its new head succeeding Carmen Weinstein, who died on Saturday aged 82. Haroun, 61, said she was chosen after a meeting for the community, about 20 women, following Weinstein’s death and that arrangements for the funeral were made. A mother of two daughters, Haroun is fluent in Arabic, French, English and is fond of painting and handicrafts, according to the Bassatine news letter.- Algemeiner
INN Reports: Egypt’s foreign ministry summoned Canada’s charge d’affaires in Cairo on Monday, over Foreign Minister John Baird’s controversial visit to eastern Jerusalem to meet an Israeli minister last week.
According to a report in AFP, Egypt’s foreign ministry expressed its “astonishment” at Baird’s visit and demanded “a clarification of the reasons for convening the meeting in the occupied capital of Palestine,” it said in a statement.
Daily Dot Reports: The United States Embassy in Cairo found itself at odds with the Egyptian president’s office after it tweeted out the video of The Daily Show host Jon Stewart defending TV host and satirist Bassem Youssef.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo’s Twitter account, which has a history of confronting its critics online, originally posted a link to the video on Tuesday.
Lee Smith Reports: Today Sen. Marco Rubio introduced the Egypt Accountability and Democracy Amendment, legislation blocking “economic support funds and new foreign military financing” “unless economic reforms and human rights safeguards are adopted, while also initiating a more thorough, longer term reevaluation of U.S. military assistance to Egypt.”
AP Via Boston.Com Reports: Egyptian security agencies have stopped the screening of a documentary on the Egyptian Jewish community a day before it was due to debut in local cinemas, the film producer said in a statement Tuesday.
He said no reasons were given.
Lee Smith Writes: It is unfair that the American embassy in Cairo is taking most of the blame for the [Samira] Ibrahim affair. Yes, they should’ve done a better job of vetting her before sending her name on to Washington. To get a read on Ibrahim’s political positions, all embassy staff had to do was check with some of Egypt’s genuine liberal activists, like those who since the story broke have criticized her vicious opinions, or like Samuel Tadros, or Mina Rezkalla and Amr Bargisi, or anyone from the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth. But that hardly excuses management at Foggy Bottom, who should have smelled something fishy at the outset…
AP Via Yahoo Reports: Egypt’s powerful military is showing signs of growing impatience with the country’s Islamist leaders, indirectly criticizing their policies and issuing thinly veiled threats that it might seize power again.
The tension is raising the specter of another military intervention much like the one in 2011, when generals replaced longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak after they sided with anti-regime protesters in their 18-day popular uprising.
AP Via ABC News Reports: An Egyptian security official said Saturday that the interior ministry has agreed to purchase 100,000 new 9mm pistols after low-ranking policemen went on strike demanding greater firepower to defend themselves against increased lawlessness.
The announcement ended five days of strikes by thousands of low-ranking policemen that threatened to further unravel security in the Arab world’s most populous nation, two years after the overthrow of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Reuters Via VIN Reports: Egyptian forces have flooded smuggling tunnels under the border with the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said.
The network of tunnels is a vital lifeline for Gaza, bringing in an estimated 30 percent of all goods that reach the enclave and circumventing a blockade imposed by Israel for more than seven years.
Reuters reporters saw one tunnel being used to bring in cement and gravel suddenly fill with water on Sunday, sending workers rushing for safety. Locals said two other tunnels were likewise flooded, with Egyptians deliberately pumping in water.
WashPost Reports: An Egyptian court ordered a one-month ban on YouTube on Saturday, after it said the video-sharing Web site had failed to remove an American-made anti-Islam video.
Cairo’s administrative court ruled in response to a suit filed by an independent Egyptian lawyer. Judge Hassouna Tawfiq, who presided over the case, said the ban would also apply to other Web sites that circulated the video, including, potentially, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
It was not clear when the ban would come into effect. Implementation of the ruling is left to Egypt’s prime minister and communications minister. The court’s decision can also be appealed.
AP Via USA Today: Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi gave Ahmadinejad a red-carpet welcome on the tarmac at Cairo airport, shaking the Iranian’s hand and exchanging a kiss on each cheek as a military honor guard stood at attention.
Ahmadinejad’s three-day visit, which is centered around an Islamic summit, is the latest sign of improved relations between the countries since the 2011 uprising ousted Egypt’s longtime ruler President Hosni Mubarak and brought an Islamist government to power in Cairo. Such a visit would have been unthinkable under Mubarak, who was a close ally of the U.S. and shared Washington’s deep suspicions of Tehran.
Reuters Reports: Egypt’s army chief said political unrest was pushing the state to the brink of collapse – a stark warning from the institution that ran the country until last year as Cairo’s first freely elected leader struggles to curb bloody street violence.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a U.S.-trained general appointed by President Mohamed Mursi last year to head the armed forces, added in a statement on Tuesday that one of the primary goals of deploying troops in cities on the Suez Canal was to protect the waterway that is vital for Egypt’s economy and world trade.
Reuters Via Yahoo Reports: At least 32 people were killed on Saturday when Egyptians rampaged in protest at the sentencing of 21 people to death over a soccer stadium disaster, violence that compounds a political crisis facing Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
Armored vehicles and military police fanned through the streets of Port Said, where gunshots rang out and protesters burned tires in anger that people from their city had been blamed for the deaths of 74 people at a match last year.
The Forward Reports: The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called on the White House to withhold aid to Egypt over President Mohamed Morsi’s insulting comments about Jews In a statement released on January 15, the anti-Semitism watchdog asked the government to make a consignment of F-16s and other military hardware bound for Egypt conditional on Morsi’s promising to curb anti-Semitism in the country.
“America must signal that it will not be business as usual with the government of the Arab world’s largest and most powerful nation, while they continue to characterize Jews as ‘descendants of apes and pigs’, ‘war mongers’, and threaten anti-Semitic Jihads,” Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Founder and Dean and Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said in a statement released January 15.
The Algemeiner Reports: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s antisemitic proclamations, including that Jews are “the descendants of apes and pigs,” may be coming back to haunt him. The comments, made during two separate 2010 interviews, but just now being brought to light because of access to their English translation, also urge violence against Zionists and refers to Jews as bloodsuckers and warmongers.
At a White House Press briefing Tuesday, Press Secretary Jay Carney condemned the remarks:
NYT Reports: An Egyptian appeals court on Sunday overturned the life sentence of former President Hosni Mubarak for directing the killing of protesters, a ruling that could prolong a politically fraught legal battle over the fate of Egypt’s deposed autocrat two years after he was ousted.
The court reportedly ordered a new trial. Although expected, the decision may also put the issue of retribution for Mr. Mubarak and his inner circle back in the news just as a campaign begins for new parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for April. The court decision may bolster the prospects of the Islamist party of President Mohamed Morsi, who campaigned for president last year on a pledge to seek a retrial of Mr. Mubarak, capitalizing on anger over the weak conviction shortly after it was released.
AP Via Yahoo Reports: Iran’s foreign minister on Thursday invited Egypt’s president to visit Tehran again, a sign of improved relations between the two nations since an Islamist government took over in Cairo.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi discussed the Syria crisis with President Mohammed Morsi, who has launched a four-nation initiative to end the civil war that has taken the lives of more than 60,000 people in 22 months.
The LAT Reports: President Mohamed Morsi replaced Egypt’s finance and interior ministers Sunday in a Cabinet reshuffle aimed at calming growing economic and security pressures over unemployment, poverty and plummeting foreign capital reserves.
The nation’s dire financial predicament — the Egyptian currency has tumbled to new lows against the dollar — is likely to prove Morsi’s biggest challenge, despite its having been overshadowed by political unrest and the passage of an Islamist-backed constitution. The president and his Muslim Brotherhood party have yet to convince foreign investors and working-class Egyptians that they can rescue the economy.
Essam al-Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, called on Egyptian Jews to leave Israel to the Palestinians and return to their own homeland.
“Their presence in Palestine contributes to the Zionist occupation of Arab lands, and every Egyptian has the right to live in his country — nobody can deny that,” Erian said during an interview on the privately operated Dream TV on Thursday. …
“Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity,” Erian said.
Read more: Washington Times
VOA Reports: Egypt’s upper house of parliament has convened for its first session since President Mohamed Morsi signed a decree putting the controversial new Islamist-backed constitution into effect.
The Shura Council met on Wednesday to swear in 90 new members appointed by Morsi. The council is also expected to begin setting the framework for elections in the lower of house of parliament within the next two months.
Morsi signed the decree late Tuesday, after the election commission said almost 64 percent of voters had backed the constitution in this month’s polling.