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Monday, 9 July 2018

Press freedoms are once again at the forefront of the airwaves last night

We’re chuffed: Freedom of the press was again at the forefront of the airwaves last night, as the Maglis El Dowla (Council of State) issued a scathing report on the Press and Media Act, saying multiple articles violate constitutional provisions on freedom of speech and due process (we have more detail on the Maglis’ verdict in the Speed Round).

MPs scramble to defend the law: A case in point: Rep. Nader Mostafa, who told Hona Al Asema that the Council’s report did not address articles that had been controversial in the House of Representatives, then cites article 12, which bans journalists from filming in public spaces, attending interviews or going meetings without explicit authorization from the Supreme Media Council. The article was indeed been among those the Maglis took issue with, according to AMAY. Mostafa rejected the Maglis’ notion that the law is unconstitutional. He added that further discussion on the act will take place in the House before a final vote (watch, runtime: 10:52).

Also occupying our esteemed representatives’ minds was the Madbouly Cabinet’s platform. Rep. Elsayed Sherif told Hona Al Asema that MPs have questions and concerns that they would like the cabinet to address before they vote on the program. Among these is having the cabinet present a quarterly report to the House (watch, runtime: 6:50). Other MPs took to the airwaves to express their support for the agenda: Rep. Alaa Abed told Al Hayah fi Masr’s Kamal Mady that the plan would constitute a “quantum leap” for Egypt. He also suggested parliament broadcast the vote on the program (watch; runtime: 3:36).

President Abdel Fattah El Sissi approved the import of rice in a bid reduce prices, the talking heads said. The head of the Federation of Industries rice division, Ragab Shehata, told Masaa DMC that the president’s decision will see rice mills restart operations (watch, runtime: 6:56). Agriculture Ministry spokesman Hamed Abdeldayem also praised the decision, saying it would also help curb market manipulation by rice traders. He noted Egypt consumption of rice stands at around 3mn tonnes annually (watch, runtime: 6:08).

Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary showcased a report exposing the black market sale of subsidized fuel on the streets of Giza (watch, runtime: 3:13). Rep. Amr El Yazeed said the government should reinstate monitoring of fuel stations (watch, runtime: 5:22).

Also keeping the talking heads preoccupied was the arrest of the kidnappers of a six-year old child in Al Shorouk City. The case earned substantial coverage on Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 36:54), Yahduth fi Masr (watch, runtime: 7:02) and Al Hayah fi Masr (watch,runtime: 1:35).

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