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Monday, 31 October 2016

What we’re tracking on 31 October, 2016

The House Economics Committee will open a hearing today on regulation of the free market, including price and margin caps on certain commodities. Among those expected to testify: Mona El Garf, the exceptionally competent head of the Egyptian Competition Authority, and Atef Yakoub, head of the Consumer Protection Agency, Al Mal reports. The hearing will focus in part on the Consumer Protection Act, which includes provisions that would allow cabinet to fix prices on “strategic” consumer goods for a period of up to two years, Yakoub has previously said.

Today is the deadline for Telecom Egypt to reach an agreement to use the three existing mobile network operators’ 2G and 3G network infrastructure. There were no reports of an agreement or updates on status at dispatch time this morning.

Singapore’s president on five-day visit: President Tony Tan Keng Yam arrived in Egypt on Saturday for a five-day visit that will include meetings with Egyptian government officials. Singapore’s Straits Times has a full rundown on the visit.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the crash of Metrojet flight 9268, which went down over Sinai, killing all 224 people on board. The crash resulted in Russia’s imposition of a ban on direct flights to Egypt that continues to this day. The Civil Aviation Ministry organized a candlelight vigil at the Sharm El Sheikh Airport in memory of the victims. The Tourism Minister, Antiquities Minister, and Russian Ambassador to Egypt were also in attendance. CBC extra has coverage of the event and speeches (run time: 32:33).

What’s going on in Morocco? Thousands of Moroccans took to the streets in several cities yesterday and overnight to protest state corruption after a fish merchant named Mohsin Fikri crushed to death inside a garbage compactor as he tried to recover USD 11k in inventory confiscated by members of the police service. (A graphic image of the death is circulating on activist Twitter.) Protests have apparently taken place in Rabat, Marrakesh, Nador, Tetouan and Fikri’s hometown of Tetouan. Reuters and the New York Times have coverage, and the hashtag طحن_مو# (“Crushed to death”) aggregates more on Twitter.

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