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Egypt Media Roundup (September 4)

[Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II laying the foundation stone of the new diocese headquarters at Caringbah, Sydney on 30 August, 2017. Photo from the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Sydney & Affiliated Regions Facebook page.] [Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II laying the foundation stone of the new diocese headquarters at Caringbah, Sydney on 30 August, 2017. Photo from the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Sydney & Affiliated Regions Facebook page.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] 

Political Rights

UN Human Rights Council statement slams Egypt website blocks Two UN officials issued a joint statement expressing their “grave concern” over the Egyptian government’s decision to block access to websites on Egyptian internet service providers, in what is the first public comment on the issue by one of the international organization’s bodies.

Egyptian journalist missing after arrest, 2 others referred to court A reporter working for the privately owned Al-Bawaba newspaper went missing on 17 August after being arrested by National Security Agency officers, the pro-state newspaper reported on Sunday.

Al-Bawaba confiscated for report on fugitive former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly The Sunday edition of the privately owned Al-Bawaba newspaper was confiscated by unidentified authorities for reporting on the disappearance of former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, who has not been seen since he was convicted of corruption in April.

NGO foreign funding case defendants submit lawsuit to challenge extension of investigating judge’s appointment An appeal to challenge the extension of the appointment of the investigating judge presiding over the NGO funding case was submitted to the State Council on Monday by several human rights workers standing trial in the controversial case.

14 days of a storm in July: Recounting what happened in Arish Since October 2014, the city of Arish, along with others in the governorate, has been the site of an exceptional set of circumstances: The state imposed a state of emergency and a curfew, along with a host of other measures in the context of its war on terrorism. Since then, the city’s residents have gone about their lives amid an ongoing war between the military and militants of the so-called Province of Sinai.

Egypt's navy foils illegal migration attempts by 230 people in August Egypt's navy has foiled illegal emigration attempts by 230 individuals over the past two weeks, Egypt's military spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.

Two leading Brotherhood figures among 296 names added to Egypt's terror list Egypt’s state gazette on Wednesday published the names of 296 individuals who have been added to the state's terror list by court order, including two leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt's Sisi performs Eid prayers in Alexandria, exchanges greetings with Gulf leaders Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Friday performed prayers for Eid Al-Adha at a mosque in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

Economy

Saudi Investors to Inject New Investments in Egypt Worth of $2.15 Billion The Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr agreed with the Saudi investors Sheikh Abdul-Rahman al-Sharbatly and Sheikh Fahd al-Shobokshy to inject new investments in Egypt worth of around 2.15 billion USD.

Egypt Plans to Double Cotton Production, Revive ‘White Gold’ Industry Egypt is planning to double the production of its most famous crop, cotton, in an effort to revive a lucrative industry that can re-launch a faltering economy and increase the country’s exports.

Egypt signs oil and gas exploration deals with Shell, Apex Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek al-Molla has signed three oil and gas exploration deals for sixteen new fields in the Western Desert worth at least 81.4 million USD in total with Royal Dutch Shell and the U.S.-based Apex Oil Company.

Foreign Relations

UPDATED: Sisi arrives in China to attend BRICS summit Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi arrived in China on Sunday to participate in the BRICS summit.

An Egyptian-Israeli agreement: New maritime borders and Israeli gas imports for a reduced gas fine Egypt has reached preliminary agreements with Israel to resolve an international arbitration case, in which Egypt is required to pay a 1.76 billion USD fine for suspending gas exports to Israel in 2012, according to private and public sector sources.

Location of new Israeli Embassy in Cairo finalized as ambassador returns to Egypt An agreement has been reached regarding the location of the new Israeli Embassy in Cairo. This follows reports on Tuesday that Israeli Ambassador David Gorvin had arrived in the capital accompanied by eight diplomats. The envoy is expected to resume his post after an eight-month absence.

Germany to help fund job training, improve refugee facilities in Egypt According to an agreement signed by Egypt and Germany in Berlin on Sunday, Germany will provide Egypt with more resources to run training programs to help locals find better jobs, and more funds for Egyptians to study in Germany, as part of Germany's wider effort to fight the causes of unchecked migration.

Egypt, Germany to focus on 'root problems' behind irregular migration: Ministry Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday that a recently signed memorandum of understanding between Egypt and Germany on irregular migration will focus on targeting the "root of the problem."

Egypt renews rejection of establishing camps to shelter refugees  Egypt renewed Monday its rejection of the establishment of camps to shelter refugees in Egypt or the settling of foreign nationals on its lands, and the country signed an agreement with Germany regarding immigration, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid said in a statement.

Media spotlight: Giulio Regeni as seen by Egypt’s media pundits Much of the scant commentary in Egyptian newspapers and on television talk shows on the Regeni case has oscillated between speculation that foreign media is conspiring to bring Egypt down — a staple state discourse — and calls to defend national interests, specifically the country’s economic deals with Italy and its mediating role vis-a-vis Libya.

Russian, Egyptian military ties increase Days after the US cut part of the financial and military aid to Egypt, state-owned media in Russia announced that tactical military exercises from both sides will take place next September in Russia. The outlet also announced that drills will take place to train Egyptian pilots on the newly acquired Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters.

Coptic Pope Tawadros arrives in Australia for his first-ever pastoral visit Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II arrived in Australia on Wednesday for his first-ever visit to the country, where he will lay the foundation stone for a new church building.

Pope Tawadros II to Australian Coptic Youth on Same-Sex Marriage Vote: “Fight for What is Right” Pope Tawadros II addressed around 1000 Australian Coptic youth in an event on Friday where he spoke of the importance of ‘fight[ing] for what is right’ on the issue of same sex marriage, ahead of the forthcoming national Australian plebiscite on the issue.

Domestic Security

Military spokesperson: 7 alleged militants killed in North Sinai in ongoing operation Egypt’s military spokesperson announced the death of seven alleged militants in North Sinai on Monday during an ongoing operation in parts of central and north Sinai that has caused disruption to local residents.

Egyptian police hunt two 'Helwan militia' defendants who broke out of transfer vehicle Egyptian security forces are attempting to trace two detainees who escaped from a prisoner transport vehicle on Sunday evening.

From Jadaliyya Egypt

New Texts Out Now: Tamir Moustafa الصراع على السلطة الدستورية: دور المحكمة الدستورية العليا في السياسة المصرية Jadaliyya interviews Tamir Moustafa on his recently translated work, The Struggle for Constitutional Power: Law, Politics, and Economic Development in Egypt.

تامر مصطفى: الصراع على السلطة الدستورية: دور المحكمة الدستورية العليا في السياسة المصرية Jadaliyya interviews Tamir Moustafa on his recently translated work, The Struggle for Constitutional Power: Law, Politics, and Economic Development in Egypt.

Arabic

المنيا و"شيطان" الديموجرافيا الطائفي  The article analyzes the causes of the escalation of sectarian violence in Minya.

"الأكاديميون وازدراء الأديان.. تُهمة "فضفاضة" وقانون "مطاط  Egyptian academics have been dramatically brought before disciplinary committee on accusations of disdain for religion, imposing unjustified restrictions on the freedom of expression under overly vague regulations.

يوميات صحفية برلمانية| قبل العودة.. "دعم مصر" يطلق صراعات البرلمان  Parliament's parties seek to gain more power by chairing committees in order to secure a strong relationship with the executive power. 

أحمد الخطيب.. في انتظار حكم قضائي بفرصة للحياة  Despite reports on the deteriorated health condition of prisoner Ahmad al-Khateeb sentenced to ten-year rigorous imprisonment, the Administrative Court adjourned the hearing session to 3 October 2017.

)الغلاء يسرق فرحة العيد .. وإحجام عن شراء الأضاحي (تقرير  The article reports that citizens were not able to afford sacrifices this year due to inflation and high prices

ما بعد «ريجيني».. المصالح المشتركة والوعود السياسية يمهدان للقاء السيسي وجنتيلوني  An Egyptian diplomatic source revealed an attempt to arrange a meeting between President Sisi and Italian Foreign Minister Gentiloni next month.

فيديو | «مع سيف» في الذكرى الثالثة لرحيل المحامي أحمد سيف الإسلام: مؤتمر الإفراج الصحي عن المسجونين  In commemoration of lawyer Ahmad Seif Al-Islam who passed away three years ago, ''Treat them or release them'' campaign was held at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights headquarter to demand the urgent release of prisoners on medical grounds.

إصابات العمل يف القطاع احلكومي عام 2016  The Central Agency of Public Mobilization and Statistics reported 13620 cases of work injuries in 2016, recording forty-seven percent of total injuries in public sector compared to thirty-four percent in private sector.

بتأييد السيسي.. البرلمان يتنازل عن صلاحياته الدستورية  The parliament's support for Sisi to run for a second term undermines its capacity to scrutinize legislative procedures and hold the executive accountable. 

المادة 107 عقوبات» ..مجرمون تحت حماية القانون« Article 107 of the penal code is likely to promote corruption and bribery instead of combating it, analysts explain.

قانون جديد لتنظيم سوق الدواء المصري.. هذه أبرز تفاصيله   A new law on the regulation of drugs market in Egypt is underway, parliamentary sources said.

 بتدويل القضية.. هل تتخلص مصر من كابوس سد النهضة الإثيوبي؟  Egypt might internationalize the Nile Dam issue, in an attempt to prevent Ethiopia from implementing its renaissance dam project on the Nile river, analysts disclosed.

ننشر الضوابط الجديدة لـ" استئناف الجنايات" وتعويضات الحبس الاحتياطي   The article publishes the new amendments to the criminal appeal law filed by the government.

مجلس الدولة يُصدر بيانين لتفسير حُكم «الحدود البحرية بين مصر وقبرص» خلال 24 ساعة  The Administrative Court issued a ruling stating that it is beyond its competence to consider the case of the suspension and nullification of the two maritime demarcation agreements between Egypt and Cyprus.

خفايا الحركة الدبلوماسية الجديدة: استبعاد لشكوك في «الولاء والانتماء».. ونائب مدير المخابرات سفيرًا  Struggles for influence between FM and intelligence have been intensified lately, resulting in major replacements of diplomats and officials within the ministry.

الانتهاء من اختيار المقر الجديد لسفارة إسرائيل في المعادي  An Egyptian diplomatic source announced that the embassy of Israel will officially move to the new headquarter located at El Maadi.

»إخلاء سبيل مالك مصطفى ومحمد عبدالعظيم بكفالة ألفين جنيه لكل منهما في قضية «المجتمع المدني  Two activists were released on 2000 Egyptian pounds bail for each over "participating in illegal activities" in Hisham Mubarak center case.

في "اليوم الدولي لضحايا الاختفاء القسري" تدعو المبادرة المصرية الحكومة المصرية إلى التوقيع والتصديق على الاتفاقية الدولية لحماية جميع الأشخاص من الاختفاء القسري  On the occasion of the seventh anniversary of the international day of the victims of enforced disappearances, EIPR called on the Egyptian government to ratify ICPPED, to investigate complaints filed by the families of persons who have been forcibly disappeared, and to prosecute perpetrators of such crimes. 

Syrian Population Regression

Population: ~ 17,583,863 (2017 est.)

2011:  5,800+ (killed)

2012:  60,000+ (killed) and 500,000+ (external refugees), 3+ million (internally displaced)

2013:  100,000+ (killed), 2,000,000+ (external refugees), and 8 million+ (internally displaced)

2014: 200,000+ (killed), 3.5+ million (external refugees), 7.6+ million (internally displaced)

2015: 250,000+ (killed), 4.4 million (external refugees), 6.6+ million (internally displaced)

2016: 400,000+ (killed), 4.9+ million (external refugees), 6.3+ million (internally displaced)

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Syria Map and Stats

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Population: 17,185,170 (July 2016 est.)
GDP: $24.6 billion (2014 est.); $50.28 billion purchasing power parity (2015 est.)
Unemployment: 50% (2016 est.); Youth Unemployment (ages 15-24): total: 35.8% (male: 26.6%; female: 71.1% [2011 est.])
Internet Users: 5.116 million - 30%/pop. (July 2015 est.)
Exchange Rate: ~ 497.8 Syrian pounds per US dollar (2016 est.)
GDP Growth Rate: -9.9% (2015 est.)
Military Expenditures: 5.9% of GDP (World Rank: 10) (2011 est.)
Health Expenditures: 2.9% of GDP (World Rank: 180) (2011 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 1.56% (2016 est.)
Age Structure: 0-14 years: 31.95% (male 2,815,140/female 2,675,166); 15-24 years: 19.65% (male 1,711,847/female 1,664,814); 25-54 years: 39.03% (male 3,342,264/female 3,364,406); 55-64 years: 5.26% (male 447,205/female 457,525); 65 years and over: 4.11% (male 318,691/female 388,112) (2016 est.)
Literacy: 86.4% (male: 91.7%; female: 81% [2015 est.])
Religious Demographics: Sunni Muslim 74%; other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16%; Christian (various denominations) 10%
Ethnic Demographics: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%