• Egypt 25th of January Égypte anniversaire du 25 janvier

    Your guide to surviving downtown during the revolution anniversary crackdown | | Mada Masr

    In the lead-up to each anniversary of the January 25th revolution, the authorities launch widespread security campaigns in downtown Cairo and its surrounding areas. These include apartment raids, arbitrary arrests, and the stopping and searching of cars, motorbikes and pedestrians throughout December, January and early February. Heavily armed police and armored security vehicles are currently stationed throughout the area. During this period, downtown becomes dangerous for its own residents, and many people choose to stay away from the area.

    It’s impossible to accurately report the number of raids and arbitrary arrests that have taken place this year, or to tell every story of humiliating search or interrogation. Perhaps comprehensive data is not the most useful information we could give you, when the context is one of such relentless threat and harassment. We will try, instead, to think of how we can avoid being targeted. Mada Masr gathered the advice of lawyers and downtown residents with years of experience dealing with these annual campaigns. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egyptian official: Ethiopia dam negotiations in Washington ’a disaster’ | Mada Masr

    Three days of negotiations in Washington between the foreign and irrigation ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan ended on Wednesday without an agreement over the filling schedule for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, according to a joint statement by the three countries and the World Bank that was released by the US Treasury Department, which hosted the meeting.

    The ministers agreed to hold further technical and legal talks before reconvening again in Washington on January 28 and 29 where they plan to finalize an agreement, the statement said. The three countries agreed to begin filling the dam in stages during the wet season between July and August and will aim for an initial level of 595 meters above sea level.

    Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Thursday that Egypt is “cautiously optimistic that we are reaching a critical point” in the negotiations.

    But Egyptian officials, who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity, say that Cairo finds itself in a weak negotiating position with little outside support and is coming under pressure to agree to a less than favorable dea❞ via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypt Thinking with Alaa | | Mada Masr

    Software developer and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah has been imprisoned in the Maximum Security Wing 2 of the Tora Prison Complex for the last three months. He was arrested by national security agents on the morning of September 29 as he was leaving Dokki Police Station where he had been forced to spend 12 hours every night — from 6 pm to 6 am — as part of his probation since his release from prison at the end of March after serving a five-year sentence.

    Alaa is being held in remand detention on charges of belonging to an illegal organization and spreading false information. His detention is renewed by the State Security Prosecution every 15 days.

    The conditions of Alaa’s current imprisonment are the worst of his multiple detentions dating back to 2006. He has no access to reading materials, sunlight, or clean water. All visitations are conducted through a glass barrier and he has no physical contact with his family.

    At his most recent detention renewal hearing on December 9, Alaa addressed State Security Prosecution and spoke out about the conditions of his detention. In his remarks, he made historical references to the Egyptian state’s ascent to modernity and its relation to the written word.

    Mada Masr asked historian Khaled Fahmy, a professor of modern Arabic studies at Cambridge University and the author of four books on the social and cultural history of nineteenth-century Egypt, to critically engage and reflect on Alaa’s remarks.

    The following are Alaa’s remarks in full followed by Khaled Fahmy’s text. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypt. President’s eldest son, Mahmoud al-Sisi, sidelined from powerful intelligence position to diplomatic mission in Russia | | Mada Masr

    Mahmoud al-Sisi, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s son and a senior official in the powerful General Intelligence Service (GIS), is being reassigned to a long-term position at Egypt’s diplomatic delegation in Moscow, according to multiple sources, including two GIS officials who spoke to Mada Masr separately.

    The move is based on the perception within the president’s inner circle that Mahmoud al-Sisi has failed to properly handle a number of his responsibilities and that his increasingly visible influence in the upper decision-making levels of government is having a negative impact on his father’s image, the GIS sources said.

    The suggestion that the president’s son be sidelined also came from senior government figures in the United Arab Emirates, a close and influential ally of Egypt, who view Mahmoud al-Sisi’s role as having become damaging to the president, according to a source close to Abu Dhabi’s decision making circles.

    The two GIS sources — who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity — did not specify the length of Mahmoud al-Sisi’s term in Moscow, but they both stated that it would be a long-term assignment that could last months, or even years. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • In wake of government crackdown, Egypt lobbies for support ahead of major UN human rights review | | Mada Masr

    Egypt is “fully prepared” to face all the accusations it expects will be brought against it at the Universal Periodic Review session scheduled to be held at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, according to a government official in Cairo.

    The official says he expects an “attack” on Egypt’s record regarding overall freedoms and conditions for civil society, as well as its criminal justice climate: alleged violations committed by security forces against people under arrest, detainees under investigation or in remand detention, and especially issues regarding the death penalty.

    In preparation for its third such review since the 2006 inception of the Universal Periodic Review process, Egypt intensively lobbied other countries to comment positively on its human rights record, according to two government sources. However, the Egyptian delegation nevertheless expects a number of states to criticize Egypt’s rights record and to issue recommendations for improvement. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Southern Lebanon is in revolt too | | Mada Masr

    A wide range of sentiments accompanied the outbreak of the Lebanese uprising, but the sense of shock coming from southern Lebanon is unique. There has been shock about everything: the sharp escalation in the first days of the protests, the way in which Hezbollah — which, along with Amal, is the strongest political actor in the South — has dealt with the protests, the propaganda and counter-propaganda and the general state of affairs more than two weeks after the start of the uprising.

    The shock also comes from the end of the exceptional circumstances imposed on the region by Hezbollah since it entered the Lebanese political arena. No longer is the group out of reach of the popular movement and its demands, which accuses them of participating in and covering up the corruption of political authorities, while also recognizing Hezbollah’s role in confronting Israel. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Lebanon’s Tripoli rises above lingering effects of war to revolt | | Mada Masr

    The road north from the capital to Tripoli offers a journey through Lebanon’s mass protest movement. In the suburb of Jal el Dib, a fifteen-minute drive from the main sit-in in downtown Beirut, a recently built bridge has been turned into an elevated protest space, with demonstrators chanting: “We finally know what the bridge is for.” With the main highway blocked, a fork in the road diverts traffic towards alternate routes north — one along the sea, the other through the mountains.

    The journey passes through several cities and towns that are taking part in the uprising, including Zouk Mosbeh, Ghazir and Batroun — the hometown of Minister of Foreign Affairs Gebran Bassil and a primary target of protest anger — before reaching Tripoli.

    The demonstrations in Lebanon’s second-largest city, which is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim, have a different feel from the rest of the country. The clarion call of the nationwide protests — “All of them means all of them” — that expresses a demand to rid the country of its entire political order has been changed in Tripoli to, “All of them means all of them … No, all of us means all of us”— a call for unity and for all Lebanese to band together, regardless of region, religion, or sect. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypt. Alaa Abd El Fattah and his lawyer recount humiliation and beatings in maximum-security prison | | Mada Masr

    Shortly after his arrest on September 29 from the Dokki police station, where he had been serving a probation sentence, activist and writer Alaa Abd El Fattah was blindfolded and taken to the maximum security wing of Tora Prison.

    A press release issued by his family on October 9 recounts beatings and humiliation they say Abd El Fattah endured once he arrived to prison.

    “He was slapped and kicked as he passed the prison door, was told to strip to his underwear, then forced to walk down a corridor of people as he was beaten on his back and his neck. This is known as the “welcome parade”, and is routine abuse in Egypt’s prisons. It lasted 15 minutes,” the statement read.

    Following the “welcome parade”, an officer told Alaa that he hates the revolution and hates him and that prison is made to ‘teach people like you a lesson’ and that he “will be in prison for the rest of his life.” via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypt: calls for more ’open’ political process amid tense security situation | | Mada Masr

    Despite the continued security crackdown, several political actors and media figures made gestures toward the need for a more inclusive political landscape over the last two days in the wake of the September 20 protests.

    Chief among them was Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, whose legislature faces a presidential directive to freeze its activities due to dissatisfaction with its performance, with the NSA being tapped to form a new roster of MPs from among regime loyalists.

    In the opening session of the fifth and final parliamentary session on Tuesday, Abdel Aal announced that today’s session would aim to bring about “national cohesion,” while standing behind the political leadership, the Armed Forces and the Egyptian police.

    Parliament, the speaker said, would not allow the country’s problems to be foisted onto the president.

    Abdel Aal went on to extol the need to build up Egypt’s infrastructure, even going so far as to reference the gains made by Nazi Germany in developing a modern transportation system.

    “Building countries in transitional periods requires harsh measures. It is the period in which institutions and infrastructure are built. No country progresses without infrastructure,” Abdel Aal said. “Hitler had his mistakes. What allowed him to expand eastward and westward was the existence of infrastructure, including the railroads that, to this day, allowed Germany to be among the top countries.”

    Abdel Aal’s message was echoed by MP Mostafa Bakry, who criticized what he called media propaganda and urged Sisi to hold a national reconciliation session.

    Bakry also called for the return of the “opposition” to the political and media spheres, warning against a repetition of the January 25 Revolution, which came about, in the MP’s opinion, as a result of ignoring the problems of the people.

    In the increasingly politicized legislative body, Abdel Aal made a key appointment preventing the transfer of a close ally to Fayoum.

    In Tuesday’s session, Abdel Aal appointed Mahmoud Fawzy as the Parliament’s secretary general, replacing Ahmed Saad Eddin who had served in the position for more than three years.

    According to parliamentary procedure, an appointment of the secretary general is ratified by the Parliament’s bureau based on the nomination of the speaker of the legislature. The secretary general attends all parliamentary sessions, supervises all departments of the Parliament’s General Secretariat and is accountable to the speaker for the smooth functioning of the parliament’s operations.

    Fawzy’s closeness to the speaker can be seen in comments Abdel Aal made at the close of Parliament’s fourth legislative session on July 15, where he praised a number of his advisors, most notably Fawzy.

    “If you put the entire Parliament on one side of the scale and [Fawzy] on the other, his side would prevail. All of the legislation that has my fingerprints on it also has his. He has special skills outside of his legal ability. Due to his experience in the legislative committee of the State Council, he has political, linguistic and interpersonal skills and understands how laws are drafted.”

    Abdel Aal also praised his other advisors, calling them a “strike force selected by the State Council,” the body which notably struck out against Sisi’s decision to transfer sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, in a move met with popular resentment and a protracted legal battle.

    Prior to his selection as the new secretary general, Fawzy was set to become a member of the Fayoum Administrative Court at the beginning of the next judicial year. However, his new full-time post prevented the transfer.

    Judicial sources from the State Council told Mada Masr that Fawzy had filed an appeal against the decision to transfer him from the Technical Inspection Department to the Fayoum Administrative Court. However, the source said that this appeal was denied.

    Political figures were not the only ones to issue calls for greater political openness.

    Al-Shorouk editor-in-chief Emad Eddin Hussein wrote of the “danger of the absence of politics” in his daily column on Monday, adding that he believes that “if there were legitimate civil political groups that were actually able to function, no foreign media company or fake social media accounts would have been able to create such an uproar after the protest of a few hundred people.”

    For Hussein, the recent events are evidence that “citizens aspire to participate in a normal political process, within the framework of the law and Constitution, but they can’t find formal channels for that.”

    Hussein placed the blame for the “death of politics” on former President Hosni Mubarak’s rule, adding that the “current government” is responsible in so far as it does not allow political parties to “function normally.”

    Speaking to the Egyptian Effendi TV show broadcast on Al-Qahera wal Nas channel, Akhbar al-Youm chief editor Yasser Rizk said more freedoms are necessary, “because the press and media can only bloom where there is freedom of opinion and expression.”

    As for political life, Rizk said it was a “grave mistake” to eliminate all political factions that took part in the alliance – spearheaded by the National Salvation Front – that formed to defeat former President Mohamed Morsi’s 2012 constitutional declaration.

    “It is required that the space for freedom of opinion and expression, which is the pillar for political reform, be expanded. Political reform is what the president is about to do in the coming period, I believe,” added Rizk.

    Rizk was also critical of the arrest of leading political figures in the fledgling Alliance for Hope coalition in June.

    The Coalition for Hope included MPs, political party leaders, youth and journalists who were looking to enter the political arena and prepare to run in the upcoming 2020 parliamentary elections.

    Former Member of Parliament Zyad Elelaimy, journalist Hisham Fouad, Multiples Group investment firm founder Omar El-Shenety, former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi’s campaign manager and journalist Hossam Moanis, Mostafa Abdel Moez Abdel Sattar, Independence Party supreme committee member Osama Abdel Aal Mohamed al-Aqbawy, Ahmed Abdel Galeel Hussein Ghoneim, and labor activist Hassan Mohamed Hussein Barbary have been held in remand detention since June, pending investigations before the State Security Prosecution.

    Despite these calls, the Supreme Judiciary Council instructed the Supreme Media Regulatory Council (SMRC) to prohibit media coverage of cases under investigation without prior permission from the public prosecution or a relevant court.

    The council announced the decision in a statement released on Monday, citing the need to curtail “fake news” being reported around the death of the child named Ganna, who was reported to have been killed and raped by her uncle, allegations which the prosecution found to be false.

    Citing an official source in the SMRC, the official Middle East News Agency reported that the council intends to inform all media outlets that the decision by the Supreme Judicial Council must be followed.

    Meanwhile, Gamal Shawky, the head of the complaints committee at the SMRC, said that the committee had identified 128 pages and channels on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that “incite violence, spread lies, fabricated stories and are connected to terrorist groups.” Shawky said he sent a report listing these pages to the council in order to refer them to the public prosecutor. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Le portrait de l’homme d’affaires qui est à l’origine des manifestations en Égypte, un portrait tout en nuances du meilleur site d’information du pays.

    Money and image : Framing Mohamed Ali’s face off against Sisi | MadaMasr

    Before September 2, 2019, Mohamed Ali was an aspiring actor and minor celebrity. He looks a bit like actor Asser Yassin, loves horseback riding like Ahmed Elsaka, and is fond of being photographed with his luxury automobiles like Mohamed Ramadan.

    Asser Yassine

    Ahmed Elsaka

    Mohamed Ramadan

    But none of that made him leading man material. When he took a gamble and produced a star vehicle for himself — Elbar El Tani (Other Land, 2016) — it lost LE27 million, and he gave it to television networks for free. No one remembers it.

    But on September 2, he would suddenly step into the limelight, marking a clear break between everything he accomplished before that date and everything that would come after — without spending LE27 million or enlisting the services of a director or film editor, or even a professional camera. He uploaded a video on his personal Facebook page demanding his money: LE220 million owed to him by the state for contracting services he had rendered on construction projects. Other videos followed. Titled “Exposing corruption among the military elite and the head of the Egyptian state,” the videos offered a detailed account of the extravagant spending he personally witnessed after being hired to implement the projects. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Scattered protests emerge in cities across Egypt Friday night | MadaMasr

    Three of our journalists saw small-scale protests in Tahrir Square, where dozens were trying to assemble, chanting “The people want to bring down the regime.” During one of their attempts, riot police were seen arresting about 30 people and using tear gas. Riot police have closed some streets to all traffic, while police trucks have been driving frantically on the streets surrounding the square. Another journalist working with us saw a number of people in cars honking their horns in the Azbakeya area of central Cairo, chanting, “Down with Sisi.”

    In Alexandria, an eyewitness saw about 20 to 30 protesters gather in the central Qaed Ibrahim area, chanting “The people want to bring down the regime” and “Leave, Sisi.” Shortly after they gathered, police dispersed the crowd, beating some protesters using sticks. Some were dragged to microbuses belonging to the Ministry of Interior. Another protest took place in Raml Station, another central Alexandria neighborhood, according to a second eyewitness.

    In Suez, an eyewitness told us that a small group gathered in al-Arbaeen Square, and was left to chant against the regime for half an hour. When numbers increased, police intervened to disperse the protesters, and then began chasing after people as they dispersed. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypte
    Sacking TV presenter Osama Kamal: How graduates of the Presidential Leadership Program manage Egypt’s TV channels | MadaMasr

    On August 6, television presenter Osama Kamal was about to set off to the headquarters of the DMC television network in Egyptian Media Production City to present his talk show “DMC Evening,” as he did every Tuesday. Just before he set out, he received a phone call from a member of the program’s production team informing him that another presenter, Ramy Radwan, had arrived at the studio with his own production team in tow and that they were getting ready to present the show themselves.

    Kamal usually anchored his show four days a week, from Tuesday to Friday. Assuming there had been a mistake in the broadcast schedule, Kamal called a high-level security official who handles the channel’s daily affairs to find out what was happening. It was then that he received the staggering news. “There is no mistake,” the security official reportedly told him. “Ramy Radwan will present the show instead of you today and going forward until new instructions are given.”

    Since then, Radwan has continued to present the program without any official announcement from DMC regarding Kamal’s sudden departure. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Normalizing the military judiciary: How the constitutional amendments bring the Armed Forces into Egypt’s judicial system | MadaMasr

    The day after a set of controversial constitutional amendments were approved in a national referendum in April, the Minister of Justice sent three laws to the heads of Egypt’s judicial bodies.

    The first two bills regulate how the heads of the country’s top judicial bodies are selected — namely the Supreme Constitutional Court, the Administrative Prosecution Authority, the State Lawsuits Authority, the Court of Cassation, and the State Council — as well as the military judiciary.

    The third law establishes a Council of Judicial Bodies, headed by the president and comprised of the heads of various judicial agencies, and also includes the head of the military judiciary.

    Justice Minister Mohamed Hossam Abdel Rahim included a letter with the three bills addressed to the head of each body asking them to offer their opinion on the draft laws. According to a judicial source, at least one of the judicial heads responded, inquiring into the reasons for the military judiciary being included in the bills. The minister responded by saying that the laws are an implementation of Article 185 of the amended Constitution.

    The first two laws were eventually ratified by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on June 26, while the third law to establish a Council of Judicial Bodies was postponed by Parliament, pending the selection of new judicial heads by the president. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypt. Arrests target political figures involved in new coalition to run in 2020 parliamentary elections | MadaMasr

    Several political figures involved in discussions to form a new political alliance meant to stand in 2020 parliamentary elections were arrested beginning at dawn on Tuesday.

    At least eight people have been swept up in the arrest campaign, most prominently former Member of Parliament Zyad Elelaimy, journalist Hisham Fouad, Omar El-Shenety, the founder of the Multiples Group investment firm, and Hossam Moanis, the former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi’s campaign manager.

    The other four people identified by the Interior Ministry in a press release issued this morning are Mostafa Abdel Moez Abdel Sattar, Osama Abdel Aal Mohamed al-Aqbawy, Ahmed Abdel Galeel Hussein Ghoneim, and Hassan Mohamed Hussein Barbary.

    Those detained face accusations of leading a plot “to bring down the state” ahead of the June 30 anniversary. This plot — identified by the ministry as “The Plan for Hope” — was backed by 19 companies and economic entities secretly managed by Muslim Brotherhood leaders from abroad, according to the Interior Ministry. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Who are the key actors behind Sudan’s moment of violence? | MadaMasr

    In the hours before the Rapid Support Forces descended on the protest camp outside the military headquarters in Khartoum at 5 am last Monday, alarm bells were already being sounded on social media.

    Just after 2 am, the Sudanese Professional Association published an urgent appeal to call for support in the face of what it called increasing “threats and violence” to break up the sit-in that had been in place since April 6 and had been a primary catalyst in bringing an end to the 30-year, authoritarian rule of former President Omar al-Bashir.

    The state of high alert had been building as small-scale skirmishes played out over the last few weeks, with the first coming when assailants dressed in RSF-like uniforms attacked the protest camp in mid-May on the same day that opposition forces and the transitional military council that has ruled the country since the Bashir ouster reached a preliminary agreement on a transitional plan. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • After the violent dispersal of the Khartoum sit-in: Revolutionaries block roads, start civil disobedience | MadaMasr

    “Armed soldiers threw me into the back of a military vehicle and beat me with the butts of their rifles. My blood soaked into my clothes while the vehicle drove to the district of Bori, east of Khartoum, where they threw me out to lay bleeding on the side of the road before a group of revolutionaries brought me to Yabstashiroun Hospital. As soon as my wounds were stitched, Rapid Support Forces stormed the hospital, but the doctors managed to hide me under the table they were working on.”

    Bakri Othman, 28, whose head and hands were wrapped in medical gauze, recalled the events of Monday at dawn, after Rapid Support Forces stormed the sit-in outside of the military headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan, and opened heavy gunfire, dispersing the protest. The number of casualties has risen to 35 confirmed dead and more than 150 injured, according to the Sudan Doctors Union.

    “The violence I witnessed when the Rapid Support Forces stormed the sit-ins and when I was violently attacked during my arrest will only make us more determined to confront them with peaceful means,” Othman adds. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Calling a coup a coup? Egypt’s African Union bid to make inroads in Sudan | MadaMasr

    While the head of the transitional military council that has ruled Sudan since ousting former President Omar al-Bashir announced a “readiness” to hand over power to a civilian government last night, negotiations to usher in the transition to civilian rule in Sudan are at a “deadlock,” sources in the opposition tell Mada Masr.

    Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who sits atop the transitional council, took to television late on Sunday night to announce the military’s willingness to hand over the “reins of government” as early as tomorrow, provided that political forces reached a consensus among themselves and put forth a government they could agree upon.

    Burhan’s speech was roundly rejected by leading member of the opposition Freedom and Change Coalition Wagdi Salih, who spoke at a rally in front of the military headquarters shortly after the lieutenant general’s address, announcing that the opposition would suspend talks with the military council.

    “We were supposed to have a meeting with the military council yesterday to inform them of the choices for the civilian sovereign council, but the council, which is a continuation of the ruling regime, revealed its dark side. The council told us they want to discuss our proposal among another 100 proposals from political parties,” Salih told protesters.

    Sunday’s televised exchange played out against the backdrop of a flurry of meetings held on Saturday, when the African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki met with the military and opposition in Khartoum. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • With Bashir ousted, protesters reject Sudanese military’s fractured power grab | MadaMasr

    A transitional military government has assumed control over Sudan after President Omar al-Bashir was ousted from power by the Sudanese Armed Forces early on Thursday and placed under house arrest, according to a statement delivered on Sudanese national television by Defense Minister Awad Ibn Auf.

    In the televised address that ended Bashir’s nearly 30-year rule, Ibn Auf announced a one-month daily curfew, a three-month state of emergency and a two-year-long transitional period of military rule until “free and fair elections” could be held to elect a democratic Sudanese government. This decision sits alongside a long list of measures that the military would put into effect immediately, including the dissolution of Sudan’s Constitution, president’s office, Cabinet, Parliament and a number of other state bodies. The defense minister also called on armed resistance forces to join the government’s transition efforts and asked citizens to maintain peace.

    However, the defense minister did not announce who would sit atop the transitional military government, stating that a second communiqué would be issued to announce the members. The lack of clarity throws into stark relief what an Egyptian government source who has been in touch with officials in Khartoum says is “disagreement among top generals” over who will lead Sudan going forward.

    The suggestion of conflict among the military and political figures negotiating Bashir’s successor is echoed by a junior officer within the Sudanese military, who tells Mada Masr that there had been “multiple coup attempts” occurring in parallel in the hours before Ibn Auf’s announcement.

    This “disagreement” played out amid hours of waiting for an official announcement to come, after a Sudanese military source told Mada Masr early on Thursday morning that Bashir was being removed from power and Sudanese national television suspended broadcasting and informed viewers that the military would make an “important statement” shortly. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypt. And what about the unstoppable train of austerity? | MadaMasr

    After over 20 people were killed and 45 injured in the Ramses Railway Station train crash last week, the country inevitably began debating the causes of the tragedy. But how can you prove beyond doubt that one action leads to a specific outcome, and if it is just probable causation, then when does the action determine the outcome in some cases but not others? When does correlation means a causation, and when does it not? Where does the ripple effect begin and where does it end, if ever?

    Unfortunately, there is not, and probably never will be, an agreed upon answer to these questions about multifaceted social phenomena. The issue of causation is one of the most contentious in social research and statistical work.

    However, in order to manage all aspects of life, there is no way around having to deal with this problematic terrain. How can we go about our lives without trying to identify what kills us, makes us poor, etc.? The debates about the responsibility of the recent train crash in Egypt also remind us that the issue of causation is not void of political and ideological bias. via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypt. Judicial officials: Constitutional amendments final battleground in struggle for judicial independence | MadaMasr

    In a meeting with Middle Eastern and North African general prosecutors in Cairo on Wednesday, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi once again stressed the importance of judicial independence, asserting that “no one can interfere with the work of the judiciary.”

    Yet critics say a set of constitutional amendments making its way through Egypt’s Parliament does precisely that.

    Last week, Parliament voted overwhelmingly to advance the amendments, the primary focus of which have been changes that would allow Sisi to extend his term in office until 2034. But the proposed amendments also include a number of other controversial changes, not least of which are revisions to articles that could further undermine judicial independence and erode the separation of powers by giving the president tighter control over the judiciary. via Nouvelles d’Orient