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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Protests on Anniversary of 2011 Cabinet Clashes

About 500 protesters braved the unseasonably cold weather to participate in a protest march in downtown Cairo last night. The march was to commemorate the anniversary of the ‘Cabinet Clashes’ that occurred during the Egyptian revolution in 2011, during which police killed 12 people and injured over 800. Protesters chanted slogans against the police and the army and announced via megaphone that they were ignoring the new protest law, which requires all potential demonstrators to notify the police and receive a permit before staging a demonstration. A government spokesperson contradicted this, and said that permission for the protest had been granted. Police arrested ten people over the course of the evening.

Government Sort of Apologizes for Constitutional Banner Snafu

The Egyptian government reacted quickly to the negative press surrounding the new constitutional banner which was unveiled earlier this week, as part of a campaign to encourage Egyptians to vote ‘yes’ on the upcoming constitutional referendum. The head of Egypt’s State Information Services (SIS) apologized for misspelling the word “Egyptians” in Arabic on the banner, and placed the blame on the non profit that had provided the banner as a gift. He downplayed, however, the fact that three of the ‘Egyptians’ in the poster were actually not Egyptian: the images had been taken from English websites in Ireland, Canada and the US. In regard to the storm of media criticism surrounding the banner, SIS Head Amged Abdul Ghafer said that he believed the matter was “overblown.”

Taxi Driver Murdered by Protesters

A taxi driver who drove through a pro-Morsi demonstration in Mansoura yesterday ran over a female protester, and was murdered by a group of angry demonstrators. According to state media, a group of protesters attacked the man and then cut his throat. The woman who was run over remains in critical condition in the hospital. In other news, an explosive device was detonated near a school in the Cairo neighborhood of Nasr City earlier today, though the story is still developing and details are yet unclear. The news comes after the Egyptian armed forces announced that they had killed a militant in the restive Sinai region, who was allegedly responsible for an attack on Egyptian soldiers in August which left 16 dead.

Secret Excavations Inside Cheops Pyramid

Egypt’s minister of antiquities has announced that he is forming a special committee to look into evidence that anonymous suspects were carrying out secret excavations inside the Cheops Pyramid. No one knows if a theft has taken place yet, but there is evidence that some stones within the pyramid have been damaged and part of the cartouche of King Khufu may have been stolen.

Gunfire, Battles in South Sudan After ‘Attempted Coup’

Gunfire and battles between government forces and soldiers loyal to the former vice president erupted again today in South Sudan’s capital city of Juba, leaving at least 26 people dead. The fighting comes despite president Salva Kiir’s reassurances that he had quashed an attempted coup yesterday, after supporters of South Sudan’s former vice president attacked an army facility. Thousands of people have tried to flee the city, and others are hiding in UN compounds, or barricaded in their homes. Kiir dismissed Vice President Riek Machar in July (along with the rest of his cabinet) in reaction to ongoing economic failures and as an attempt to improve relations with the Sudanese government in the north. South Sudan seceded from the north in 2011.

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