newsflash

 

Associated Press 

Egypt's top court to rule on constitutional panel

Maggie Michael

Egyptian protesters chant slogans outside the State Council, background, following the High Administrative Court's session in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Egyptian protesters chant slogans outside the State Council, background, following the High Administrative Court's session in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) 

CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Tuesday asked the country's highest tribunal to rule on whether to disband the body tasked with writing a new constitution. The delay in a ruling is a possible blow to liberals, since it could give Islamists time to finish drafting the contested document.

 

Egypt school teacher fired for cutting girls' uncovered hair

An Egyptian school teacher was fired on Wednesday for cutting the hair of two 12-year-old girl pupils because they were not wearing Islamic headscarves, an act condemned as an illegal violation of human rights by a leading woman's organization.

Iman Abu Bakr Kilany, a science teacher who wears a full veil, said she had been dismissed from her school in the southern town of Luxor following complaints by relatives of the girls - the only two in her class who did not wear headcarves.

 

Thousands march a year after Egypt Copt killings

By Khaled Desouki

Thousands of Egyptian protesters marched Tuesday to mark one year since nearly 30 people were killed in a Coptic Christian demonstration that was violently crushed by security forces.

Demonstrators carrying posters of those who died during the violence walked solemnly down a main Cairo thoroughfare in the working class district of Shubra towards Maspero, in the city centre.

Some waved flags, others held posters of officials they want to see put on trial.

Groups of them chanted against Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the military ruler who took charge of the country following the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, and whose forces are accused of killing the protesters.

Daily News Egypt 

Copts remember Maspero victims at Cathedral

Basil El-Dabh

Pachomius: “We live in a new era of martyrdom.”

A special prayer service is held at Saint Mark’s cathedral to remember those killed in the Maspero massacre in 2011 and to ask for guidance in electing a new pope Basil El-Dabh

A special prayer service is held at Saint Mark’s cathedral to remember those killed in the Maspero massacre in 2011 and to ask for guidance in electing a new pope
Basil El-Dabh

The Coptic Orthodox Church held a liturgy on Wednesday at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Abbaseya. The service commemorated the protesters who died almost a year ago on 9 October 2011 and marked the next phase of the selection of a new pope.

Banners with photos of the dead protesters were suspended over the entrance of the cathedral as grief-stricken family members, dressed in black, and other Christians filed in to take part in the liturgy attended by many high ranking church officials and headed by Metropolitan Pachomius of Beheira, the Church’s interim leader.

 The Daily Beast

Amnesty Reports: Egyptians Still Terrorized by Police, Security Forces

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt

Post-Mubarak police and security forces haven’t stopped using excessive, unnecessary, and often deadly force against Egyptian citizens. In two new reports on the abuse, Amnesty International demands that the new government deliver on promised reforms.

Last November, deadly clashes between Egyptian security forces and enraged protesters cycloned through sections of Cairo in what, to many, appeared to be a revolution unraveling at the seams. Dozens of demonstrators—mainly Coptic Christians—had been killed the previous month in a battle with police outside Egypt’s state television headquarters, and the public had grown sick of unfulfilled promises for police reforms.

 

Pharmacist who asked colleague what her favourite sex position is LET OFF at tribunal because he had a 'restrictive Muslim background'

  • Professional panel accepted Khalil Jamil's conduct was not sexually-motivated
  • He claimed his strict Muslim background meant he lacked basic understanding of appropriate workplace behaviour
  • Jamil was cleared of professional misconduct and was instead given an official warning

By Kerry Mcqueeney

Warning: Khalil Jamil blamed his behaviour on his restrictive background

Warning: Khalil Jamil blamed his behaviour on his restrictive background

A pharmacist who made crude remarks to three of his female colleagues has escaped with a warning after a panel heard he came from a 'restrictive Muslim background' and was unaware of the offence his conduct had caused.

Khalil Jamil asked one of the women about her favourite love-making position and quizzed another about the mating habits of her horses - but a professional panel ruled his behaviour was not sexually motivated.

 

Egypt prosecutors refer to trial radical Islamist who tore the Bible over anti-Islam film

CAIRO — Egyptian prosecutors referred to trial Tuesday a well-known radical Islamist who tore up an English copy of the Bible during a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo against an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.

The case against Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah is a rare example of Egypt’s blasphemy laws — often condemned by rights groups as restrictive of freedom— used against someone who allegedly insulted a religion other than Islam.

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage 

 

Editorial 

Egypt has no business accusing Canadians of insulting Islam

Egypt appears to be trying to make the crime of “offending Islam” a worldwide one. Or perhaps it just wishes to offer a bone to the mob. Its prosecutor-general has put out an arrest warrant for two Canadians and several other Coptic Christians allegedly involved in the making of Innocence of Muslims, the anti-Prophet Mohammed film that has sparked deadly riots in some Muslim countries.

 

Cruises cancel Egypt and Tunisia ports of call following violent anti-Western protests

By Travelmail Reporter

Pakistani Sunni Muslim protesters torch a US flag

Fears: Violence has taken place across the Muslim world, prompting cruise lines to cancel stops in popular Egypt and Tunisia

Major cruise lines are diverting their ships to avoid popular holiday destinations where there have been violent protests against the American amateur film The Innocence of Muslims.

Ahram on Line
  
Romney says United States should get tougher with Egypt
 
US potential presidential candidate warns Egypt risks losing the annual US aid if it fails to secure foreign diplomats

Romney
U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney (Photo: Reuters)
 
Egypt needs to ensure the security of foreign diplomats or risk losing the $1.3 billion in aid it receives each year from the United States, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Friday.

 

After Islamist protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo this week, Romney told a fundraising breakfast in New York the United States should take a tougher line with Egypt.

Minister for groping: Egyptian politician in Paralympics delegation fondled woman...then tried to claim immunity

رئيس البعثة ابراهيم خليل مذنب بالإعتداء الجنسي على فتاه اثناء الدورة الاوليمبية بلندن

Embrahim Khalil, vice minister of sport, pictured leaving City of London Magistrates, was fined for sexually assaulting a 21 year old woman

Embrahim Khalil, pictured leaving City of London Magistrates, sexually assaulted a tourist

An Egyptian sports minister tried to claim diplomatic immunity after being arrested for groping a tourist while in London with his country’s Paralympic delegation.

Ebrahim Ahmed Khalil, 56, fondled the 21-year-old’s breast as he showed her where to pin a flag badge hours before Sunday’s closing ceremony.

After he was arrested and accused of sexual assault, his embassy tried to claim diplomatic immunity. But the attempt failed and Khalil wept yesterday as he was fined by magistrates.

 

Egypt’s tourist guides protest security vacuum at country’s monuments

Nasser Nasser/Associated Press - Two Egyptian tour guides display their Union membership cards during a protest demanding higher pay in front of the Egyptian museum in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. Egypt’s tour guides are protesting lack of security at the country’s tourist attractions, such as the famed Valley of the Kings in Luxor, or Cairo’s Islamic Medieval Citadel, leaving them and their foreign clients vulnerable to attacks from thugs and peddlers and hurting the already ailing tourism industry.

By Associated Press,

CAIRO — Egypt’s tour guides demonstrated Sunday, protesting that they are attacked by souvenir vendors and unlicensed competitors at famed sites like the Valley of the Kings tombs in Luxor or Cairo’s medieval citadel.

The turmoil reflects the crisis in Egypt’s vital tourism industry, which has suffered from the country’s internal unrest since the 2011 uprising that forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

 

Mirror Reader Offers

"I'm ready to become a suicide bomber": Chilling confession of 7/7 attacker's widow

Fugitive wife of Jermaine Lindsay reveals horrific plan in online poem where she says she is “breathing ­Jihad”

 

On the run: Lewthwaite is wanted over three grenade deaths in Kenya

 

 

The fugitive widow of 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay is preparing to end her own life in a suicide attack.

Samantha Lewthwaite ­revealed her horrific plan in a chilling poem she posted online which tells how she is tired of life on the run and is “breathing ­Jihad”.

She writes: “I’d rather be ­receiving my martyrdom, think I’ll get ready... and buy a vest.”

The threat comes as police step up their search for Lewthwaite, 28, known as the White Widow, who has been missing for nearly a year.

 

The four Christians accusing their employers of discrimination

Four Christians who believe that they have suffered discrimination in the workplace because of their faith plan to take their legal fight to the European Court of Human Rights.

Nadia Eweida, 58, a check-in clerk at Heathrow Airport was sent home for wearing a small silver cross

Nadia Eweida, 58, a check-in clerk at Heathrow Airport was sent home for wearing a small silver cross Photo: HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY

Nadia Eweida

Nadia Eweida, a British Airways check-in clerk, was suspended by BA in 2006 for breaching the company’s uniform code. Mrs Eweida, then 55, had been employed by BA for seven years when she was effectively forced to take unpaid leave after refusing to conceal the symbol.

BA said that Mrs Eweida was permitted to wear the cross if it was worn concealed underneath her uniform, as stated in its uniform policy.

Mrs Eweida lost an initial appeal to her employer, but in 2007 BA caved to pressure and dropped its ban on wearing crosses.

Seeking to recoup money lost during the period of her unpaid leave, Mrs Eweida took BA to an employment tribunal alleging religious discrimination, which she lost. After two further failed appeals, Mrs Eweida will finally be heard by the European Court of Human Rights.

Egypt's Garbage Problem Continues To Grow

By SARAH EL DEEB 09/01/12 02:17 PM ET

Egypt Garbage

In this Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012 photo, a woman throws her waste in a street in Cairo. (AP Photo)

CAIRO -- The pile of trash overwhelmed the median divider on Ahmed Zaki Street and spilled into oncoming traffic – egg shells, rotten eggplants, soiled diapers, bottles, broken furniture, junked TV sets. Flies swarmed and the summer sun baked up a powerful stench.

Then Kawther Ahmed and her mom came out to add their plastic bag of household trash. The garbage collectors hadn't been by for two days, said Ahmed, 25, and the metal trash bins in the lower-income Cairo neighborhood, called Dar el-Salam or "House of Peace," had disappeared, probably sold for scrap metal. "What can we do?" she asked.

Egypt's newly elected president, Mohammed Morsi, is under growing pressure to answer that question.

 

Egypt: Journalists Charged For Opposing Morsi

Egypt's new president Mohamed Morsi is accused of stifling legitimate criticism of his regime.

An August 3, 2012, file photo shows Islam Afifi, editor of Egyptian El-Dostour newspaper, gesturing during a meeting at the newspaper's offices in Cairo.

Islam Afifi (left) and Tawfiq Okasha are facing trial after being arrested

Emma Hurd

Middle East Correspondent

Two Egyptian journalists are to stand trial accused of "inciting" against President Mohamed Morsi, in a sign of a growing crackdown against free speech.

Tawfiq Okasha, the host of a talk show on a privately owned TV station, is to face a charge of "incitement to murder" over his vocal opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood leader.

The editor-in-chief of the Al Dustour newspaper, Islam Afifi, will also face trial for "publishing false information" which was considered insulting to the President.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been accused by Egypt’s Journalists’ Syndicate of using the same repressive tactics as Hosni Mubarak’s regime to stifle the media and silence dissent.

 

Egypt President Mohammed Morsi picks a fall guy for Sinai attack

David Ignatius

IN firing Egypt's chief of intelligence for his alleged failings in Sinai, President Mohammed Morsi sacked a general who has won high marks from US, Israeli and European intelligence officials - and who, ironically, has been one of the Egyptians pushing for a crackdown on the growing militant presence in Sinai.

This week's shuffle is bound to raise concerns among US and Israeli officials about the security policies of Morsi's government, and its seeming mutual self-protection pact with the Egyptian generals who still hold considerable power through the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF.

 

British court found Pakistani parents guilty of honour killing daughter, sentenced to life

A court has sentenced a Pakistani-born couple, convicted of the "honour killing" of their 17-year-old daughter, to life imprisonment, remarking that they had sought to keep the teenager in the "sealed cultural environment" of rural Pakistan rather than modern Britain.

By: Anugrah Kumar

 

For the convicts, 52-year-old Iftikhar Ahmed and his 49-year-old wife Farzana, their fear of losing "honour" in their community was greater than their love for their daughter Shafilea Ahmed, Britain's Telegraph daily quoted Chester Crown Court judge Roderick Evans as saying.

The Ahmeds tortured their westernized daughter for years. And then one day in 2003, when she refused to give in to their demand to get married, the couple stuffed a plastic bag into her mouth in front of their four other children at her home in Warrington, Cheshire. Her dismembered body was found on a riverbank in February 2004.

The trial went for nine years for lack of evidence until the victim's sister Alesha spoke up against her parents in court. Alesha told the court she couldn't speak the truth earlier as she feared for her life, too.

The parents will serve at least 25 years in prison, as per the sentencing.

The judge said the parents' expectation that she live in a "sealed cultural environment separate from the culture of the country in which she lived was unrealistic, destructive and cruel."

"You wanted your family to live in Pakistan in Warrington," the judge said. "Although she went to local schools, you objected to her socialising with girls from what has been referred to as the white community," he added. "You objected to her wearing western clothes and you objected to her having contact with boys. She was being squeezed between two cultures, the culture and way of life that she saw around her and wanted to embrace, and the culture and way of life you wanted to impose on her," the judge added.

Victim's close friend Melissa Powner said she hoped the conviction and sentencing of the Ahmeds would send out a strong message to others. "If there is one thing that we pray will come from this, it is that her beautiful face and tragic story will inspire others to seek help and make them realise that this kind of vile treatment, no matter what culture or background they are from, is not acceptable and there is a way out," she was quoted as saying.

 

New Egypt government puts Muslim Brotherhood in key posts

Women and Christians get only token representation; leaders of uprising left out

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (photo credit: Amr Nabil/AP)

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (photo credit: Amr Nabil/AP)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Islamist president swore in his first new government Thursday, led by a devout Muslim and including five members of his Muslim Brotherhood in unglamorous but ideal ministries for a group whose long-term aim is to Islamize the most populous Arab nation.

The Cabinet is a far cry from the inclusive administration that President Mohammed Morsi has repeatedly promised. No other political factions came on board to join. Women and Christians received only token representation, and figures from the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak last year were left out.

   
US Lawmakers Clash Over Middle East Religious Minorities Bill
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) ripped into Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) on Thursday for holding up legislation to protect religious minorities that has bipartisan support.
  

Wolf's bill to create a special envoy to promote religious freedom of religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia despite the State Department's objection sailed through the House on a 402-20 vote one year ago and has been lingering in the Senate since January. After hitting an impasse with Webb, the co-chairman of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission publicly castigated him by publicly sharing a letter he'd sent to the senator Wednesday night.


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