Egypt Media Roundup – Aug 20, 2014

08/20/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

An appeal for jailed Al Jazeera English journalists Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste was filed today at a Cairo appeal court. Their appeal submitted by their lawyer, Mostafa Nagy, who confirmed that all necessary paperwork for the appeal was completed within the required timeframe. It remains unclear whether Mohamed Fahmy, the third Al Jazeera English journalist, has  submitted an appeal. According to Nagy, the appeal court is required to schedule a session to announce whether it has accepted the appeals. If Mohamed and Greste’s appeal are accepted, they will stand a retrial. [Ahram OnlineRead More…

Economy

Officials have promised that the extended power blackouts in Egypt will end in four months. The same officials point to the fuel shortage, weather, and insufficient maintenance of power plants as the culprits for the continued blackouts. The blackouts have been known to last for many hours and occur several times daily, endangering the health, safety, and potential productivity of the Egyptian people. Prime Minister Mehleb assured the Egyptian public that they will see “gradual improvement” in the crisis beginning next Sunday. Mehleb also stated that 50% of the current power deficit will be corrected by the end of August 2014. Mehleb announced that Egypt currently requires 10,000 megawatts of electricity, a need which he is confident will be met quickly thanks to the attention and involvement of the Egyptian government. [Aswat Masriya, ABC NewsRead More…

Security Sector

Sinai militants are suspected to be behind the killing and decapitation of four men in North Sinai. Residents of Sheikh Zuweid found the beheaded corpses of four men who had been abducted by gunmen two days earlier while they were travelling in a car several kilometers from the Gaza border. The men were civilians, but sources suggest they were targeted for their perceived support of the military or police. A group recently distributed leaflets in the area threatening to kill anyone that collaborated with Egyptian forces. [Reuters Africa, The Daily StarRead More…

Foreign Relations

After a 24 hours extension to the originally five-day ceasefire was breached, head of the Palestinian delegation Azzam al-Ahmed announced the withdrawal of Palestinian delegations from Egypt until “the atmosphere is set to resume negotiations.” Israel revoked its delegation at 4 p.m.  “before the temporary ceasefire was broken,” but were according to al-Ahmed, unresponsive all throughout Palestinian and Egyptian attempts to broker a permanent ceasefire agreement. Israeli officials blamed Palestinian factions for launching the first rockets before the expiration of the 24-hours, which spokesperson Mark Regev said was Hamas’ eleventh time at failing to negotiate a ceasefire, although no Palestinian representatives have claimed responsibility for the attacks and blame Israel for being absent and uninvolved in a serious truce proposal. Daughter and wife of Mohamed Deif, a commander in Hamas’ military wing, were killed by Israeli rockets at the beginning of the broken 24-hour ceasefire. [Mada Masr, Ahram Online

 

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 Mursi supporters sentenced to life in prison, one to 15 years 

Aswat Masriya: 17 sentenced in absentia to life in prison over clashes following Mursi’s ouster

Ahram Online: Cairo court sentences 17 Morsi supporters to life in prison

In this article: Eighteen alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were given sentences on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by Cairo Criminal Court for “rioting” in Cairo’s El-Manial district in August 2013. The clashes resulted in the death of five people while defendants were accused of partaking in a terrorist organization, “possessing live bullets and ammunition,” and “attempting murder.” Seventeen defendants were given life in prison, and one defendant was issued a sentence of 15 years in prison.

 Former Egyptian minister Rashid and his daughter sentenced in absentia 

Aswat Masriya: Mubarak-Era Trade and Industry Minister Served 15 Years in Absentia

In this article: Former Foreign Trade and Industry minister Rashid Mohamed Rashid was sentenced by an Egyptian court on Wednesday, August, 20, 2014 to 15 years in prison and a fee of 522 EGP for “illicit gains.” His daughter was given the same sentence in absentia, though the two will receive a retrial when all defendants and lawyers are present. Rashid and his daughter are facing charges for the alleged “smuggling” of 500 million EGP during the Mubarak regime to Cyprus.

Economy

 Electricity consumption continues to grow, while production stagnates 

Ahram Online: Blackouts intensify in Egypt as consumption soars, production lags

In this article: “Electricity consumption” has soared in Egypt in recent decades, as production has not met demand. Some neighborhoods have experienced shortages of electricity for up to six times a day which, hurting homes and local businesses. Officials blame the phenomenon on terrorist groups who have caused $37 million in damage to electricity pylons, according to Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker, as well as basic fuel shortages. Political unrest in the country has also largely attributed to the crisis of fuel shortages in Egypt.

Security Sector

 Three suspected militants killed, 30 arrested in North Sinai raids 

Ahram Online: Three Islamist fighters killed, tens arrested in fresh Sinai offensive

Daily News Egypt: 30 arrested in North Sinai operation

In these articles: Egyptian armed forces conducted raids in Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, killing three suspected militants and arresting 30 others. Around thirty shacks and buildings presumed to be terrorist hideouts were also destroyed during the operation.

 Ministry of Interior analyzing Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis video 

Daily News Egypt: Interior ministry to investigate Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis video

In this article: The Ministry of Interior is investigating a video uploaded by the militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis that shows footage of armed men executing police conscripts. The Interior Ministry is analyzing footage to find the location of the broadcast and identify suspects. The ministry’s spokesman Hany Abdel Latif called the release of such videos “psychological warfare” against the Egyptian people.

 Jordanian and Israeli sentenced to 10 years for spying 

Aswat Masriya: Jordanian and Israeli receive jail sentences for spying

The Daily Star: Egypt sentences Jordanian, Israeli for spying

Ahram Online: Jordanian, Israeli get 10 years in jail for spying

In these articles: The Supreme State Security Court sentenced a Jordanian and Israeli to ten years in jail on espionage charges. Abu Zeid, a Jordanian communications engineer, was arrested in 2011 accused of using communication networks to spy on Egyptian officials. The Israeli, Ofer Haray, was sentenced in absentia, and is accused of working for Israel’s spy agency, Mossad.

 Bomb explodes in Old Cairo religious compound 

Cairo Post: Bomb explodes in Religious Compound amid renovations

In this article: Late on Tuesday, August 20, a bomb exploded in Old Cairo’s multi-religious compound. The bomb was placed under a vehicle 150 meters from the police checkpoint at the entrance of the compound. A bomb squad successfully defused a second bomb.

 Interior Ministry pursuing Helwan Brigades 

Shorouk News: Special Operations Chief: Islamic State and Helwan Brigades are terrorist groups who splintered from the Brotherhood [AR]

In this article: Major General Medhat al-Manshawy, Director of Special Operations for the Interior Ministry, said that the ministry was actively pursuing alleged members of the Helwan Brigades. Manshawy said his forces conducted over forty raids in Helwan, Fayyoum, Beni Suef, and Cairo, arresting a number of suspects.