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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Al Jazeera Releases Video Showing Army Discussion About Controlling Media

Al Jazeera released a video today which shows an officer advising General Abdel Fatah el-Sissi on the necessity of controlling the media in Egypt. “The media is controlled by 20 or 25 people,” the officer says. “We should either terrorize them or win them over.” Sissi is then heard replying, “I know how to win them over, but tell me how do you suggest I terrorize them?” Since the army removed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in early July, Egyptian security forces have arrested several journalists and cracked down on news organizations like Al Jazeera.  Two Al Jazeera journalists remain in detention, and the interim government shut down Al Jazeera’s local channel. Rights groups have spoken out against the attacks on free speech under the new interim government, and against the continued detention of 10 Egyptian journalists.

Egypt Cabinet Passes Law about Insulting the Flag, National Anthem

The Egyptian Cabinet approved a draft law which will make ridiculing the Egyptian flag and refusing to stand during the national anthem a punishable crime. The maximum punishment will be six months in jail and EGP 5,000. The decree comes after conflict arose in the Constitutional Committee, when some Islamist members refused to stand for a moment of silence to honor policeman killed in clashes with militants. Mohammed Ibrahim Mansour, a member of the Salafist Nour Party, was quoted as saying it would be better to pray for those who had been killed.

Student Killed in Suez Clashes

A high school student from the city of Suez, Abdallah Mohamed Attiya, died from bullet wounds yesterday evening. Attiya was injured when Egyptian security forces attempted to break up a protest and clashed with protesters who support the deposed president Mohamed Morsi.  The Muslim Brotherhood has announced that Attiya was a Morsi supporter. Pro-Morsi groups have also announced plans to protest around the country and in Tahrir Square this Sunday, October 6, during Egypt’s National Armed Forces Day. The holiday commemorates Egypt’s crossing of the Suez canal during the 1973 war with Israel.

 Egypt’s Army May Attack Gaza if Situation in Sinai Deteriorates

According to an anonymous security official, Egypt’s army has used planes to photograph potential targets in Gaza and will attack these locations if the security situation in the embattled Sinai peninsula goes downhill. The Sinai Peninsula has seen an increased number of armed attacks against Egyptian police officers, government buildings and infrastructure near the Rafah border with Gaza in the past few months after President Morsi was removed from office. Egypt believes that residents of Gaza are staging some of these attacks. Egypt has also experienced strained relations with Hamas, the political group that governs the Gaza strip, over securing the Rafah border.

Egypt Ranks Second Among Countries Most Addicted to Facebook

In a recent survey released by Socialbakers, a media analytics group, Egypt was ranked second in the world in terms of countries most addicted to the social networking site Facebook. The US has the most registered Facebook users, but Brazil and Egypt ranked above the US in terms of how frequently people used the site and the amount of activity. Facebook users in Egypt publish an average of 380 posts a month, according to the study. The top five countries on the list are Brazil, Egypt, the US, Turkey and Spain.

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