The House of Representatives is expected to vote on two pieces of controversial legislation today, according to Ahram Online. Chief among them: the Labor Unions Act, which has been widely criticized by independent labor unions in Egypt, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Egyptian presidential candidate and human rights lawyer Khaled Ali. Ali had said last week that law the violates workers’ constitutionally protected right to unionize, Al Mal reports. The Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions had raised similar concerns at meetings with the UN-affiliated ILO last week, particularly noting that the legislation outlaws the establishment of independent trade unions. The organization relayed those concerns to the House Manpower Committee last week, which claimed to have made amendments that would make the act more palatable to the ILO.
The House is also to vote today in plenary session on the Youth Institution Act, which bans political activity at public youth clubs. House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, wearing his ‘Defender of Democracy’ t-shirt beneath his suit, had apparently said that “the exercising of political activities should be confined to licensed political parties only.” Parliament may also decide today on a law restricting the sale and ownership of drones.
In the region and around the world:
Drama at the London Stock Exchange: Under pressure from an activist hedge fund, directors of the LSE are debating publishing a dossier on Xavier Rolet’s “hard-charging management style … to defend themselves against accusations of wrongly forcing him to resign,” the FT reports. Rolet said last month that he would step down by the end of 2018.
Saudi anti-corruption drive chills foreign investors: “Half my Rolodex is in the Ritz right now. And they want me to invest there now? No way,” said one senior investor. “The wall of money that was going to deploy into the kingdom is falling apart,” reports the Financial Times.
Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF will meet today to sack President Robert Mugabe and reinstate the vice president he dismissed, Reuters reports.
You won’t be buying (or getting) Apple’s HomePod smart speakers for Christmas — not even by Coptic Christmas, it seems. “We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod … but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers. We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018,” Apple said on Friday. The Verge has the story, Reuters has analysis.
“But it’s gadget season,” you cry. Don’t worry. The Verge (exhaustive) and the Financial Times (ultra-short) have got you covered with two of the best gadget guides on the interwebs.
What’s with all the focus on holiday gift-giving? It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States, which kicks off peak holiday retail season beginning with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and the New York Times has got you covered if you’re in the US or otherwise planning to participate in mass consumerism with its “How to Shop Smart on Black Friday (and Cyber Monday).”
Egyptians never miss the opportunity to (a) engage in random acts of passionate consumerism or (b) celebrate a holiday (ours or someone else’s, it doesn’t matter). With that in mind: Black Friday (or White Friday, as some insist) looks set to be bigger than ever in Egypt this year, if the spend on outdoor advertising around the capital city is any gauge. (Those ads following us around the interwebs are getting rather persistent, too.) We’ll be watching to see whether this year’s lineups eclipse those on Black Friday last year, which saw shops mobbed just weeks after the float of the EGP.