Ministry of Interior Denies Reports of Heightened Internet Surveillance

The Ministry of Interior has denied reports that Egypt contracted an outside company to monitor social media inside the country. On September 17, BuzzFeed News reported that Egypt had already begun to work with Systems Engineering of Egypt (SEE), a partner of the U.S.-based Web communications security firm Blue Coat Systems, to monitor usage of sites like Skype, Twitter, and Facebook, among others. In a statement, the Ministry of Interior said that

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Four Beheaded Bodies Found in Sinai

The decapitated bodies of four civilians were found in the Sinai Peninsula by residents of Sheikh Zuweid, two days after their reported abduction by gunmen as they traveled by automobile near the village. A week after the bodies were found, the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis released a video in which the four men were rounded up by masked militants and beheaded. Initially, security officials suspected that the beheadings were due

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Alaa Abdel Fattah Begins a Hunger Strike

Alaa Abdel Fattah, an Egyptian activist who is in prison and awaiting retrial on charges of rioting, destruction of public property and attacking security forces, started a hunger strike. He reached this decision after he and his younger sister, Sanaa Seif, who is also on trial for unauthorized demonstrations, visited their father in the hospital and found him unconscious after having suffered a cardiac arrest. Their father, Ahmed Seif El-Islam,

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Suez Canal Development Contract Awarded; 11 “Terrorists” Killed in Sinai

On August 4, 2014, the Suez Canal contract was awarded to the Saudi Arabia branch of the global engineering firm Dar al-Handasah, in partnership with the Egyptian Armed Forces Engineering Authority. Fourteen partners were originally invited to bid. Among them were the state-run Arab Contractors, James Cubitt and Partners, and the global management-consulting firm McKinsey & Company. The project will raise the canal’s revenue to $13 billion

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Explosions at Presidential Palace Kill Two Policemen

Three explosions occurred near Ittihadeya Palace, the presidential residence on June 30, 2014, on the anniversary of the first round of protests that lead to Morsi’s ousting in 2013. The explosions killed two police explosive experts and injured at least three others. The two officers, Col. Ahmed Amin Ashmawy and Lt. Col. Muhammad Ahmed Lotfy were attempting to diffuse devices placed throughout the area. The terrorist organization Ajnad Misr claimed

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Sisi Appoints New Cabinet and Prime Minister

Sisi appointed his new government on June 17, 2014. To head his government, Sisi reappointed Ibrahim Mahlab, who was the acting Prime Minister in the interim government. Mahlab will oversee a cabinet of 34 ministers, most of whom also served in the interim government. Sisi also appointed 13 new ministers, including four women. The notable changes include: Nabil Fahmy, previously the Minister of Foreign Affairs, was replaced by Sameh Shoukri, the

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Abdul-Fattah El Sisi Sworn in as President

Abdul-Fattah El Sisi was sworn in as the Egyptian President on June 8, 2014. Attendees included top Egyptian officials as well as leaders and dignitaries from Arab, African, and Western allies. Among the attendees was Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom. Relations between the two countries has been strained as of late due to a controversial hydroelectric dam that is being built in Ethiopia, which Egypt fears could affect its major source

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Final Day of Presidential Race

Citing poor weather and work-related issues, the Presidential Election Commission (PEC) decided that a third day of polling was needed to meet demand. The extension of voting was not well received by either candidate or many of their supporters. Candidate Hamdeen Sabahy formally withdrew all of his representatives from polling stations in protest, though he dismissed calls to withdraw from the race. The Dostour Party, which supports Sabahy, backed

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Second Day of Voting in Presidential Runoff Begins

In efforts to increase turnout in the election, with reports indicating that somewhere between 15% and 30% voted the previous day, the government declared a national holiday and extended voting for a third day. Several organizations, including municipal governments and the Nour Party, began offering transportation to Egyptians who wished to vote. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb also threatened a fine of LE 500 for any citizen who failed to cast a ballot.

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Voting for New President Begins

Polls opened today for the first day of balloting in the first presidential elections held under the new constitution. The Presidential Election Committee declared that approximately 3 million of the 50 million eligible voters cast ballots for either Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi or Hamdeen Sabahy thus far. News sources reported that the youth turnout for the first day of voting was quite low, with woman voters outnumbering men. There were some reports of

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