Middle East News Thread

Morsi cancels controversial decree, yet anger remains in Egypt

Morsi says he will still press ahead with referendum as opposition dismisses his announcements as ‘political manoeuvre aimed at duping people’.

Egypt’s main opposition considered Sunday whether to maintain mass protests against President Mohamed Morsi after the Islamist leader announced a key concession in the political crisis dividing the country.

Opposition protesters to march again to presidential palace

Several political parties and movements once again plan to march to the presidential palace Sunday to protest the constitutional declaration and upcoming referendum.

Referendum still set for 15 December, constitutional declaration replaced

The constitutional referendum will be held on its previously set date of 15 December and the constitutional declaration issued by President Mohamed Morsy on 22 November has been largely canceled, former presidential candidate and Islamist thinker Mohamed Selim al-Awa announced in a press conference following the conclusion of a “national dialogue” meeting on Saturday night.

Awa, appearing with the eight other members of the committee who drafted the new constitutional declaration after the nearly nine-hour meeting’s conclusion, said that the new constitutional declaration, which is immune from judicial appeal, still gives the president the power to “protect the revolution,” but reinstates judicial oversight of his decisions.

Fighter jets buzz Giza

More than six fighter jets flew over Giza on Sunday.

Presidential sources said it was only “routine training” conducted by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF).

*Sunday’s papers: Competing statements from bitter rivals

*Egypt’s journalists struggle under Mubarak-era laws

*Looking at Egypt, Worrying About Turkey

*Ankara Fears Breakup Of Syria

Rebel Missiles Could End Up Being a Nightmare for Turkey

Pictures from the battlefield show that opposition fighters now have low-altitude air defense missiles, which have resulted in the downing of more regime planes and helicopters. Although this is good news for the opposition, it could well become a nightmare for other countries  in the region.

*Rebels seize regiment command center in Northern Syria: activists

*Winds of conflict in Syria fuel deadly violence in Lebanon

*New talks on Syria involving Russia, US

*Kuwait opposition ups pressure to dissolve newly elected parliament

*Netanyahu: Hamas’s Gaza jubilation proves Israel is at risk

*Iraqi Corruption Committee May Summon Maliki

Good news from the Middle East

*Qatar cooks up new plans for peace to replace Arab initiative

NGOs organize constitutional awareness programmes across Libiya

Non-governmental organisations, Lawyers For Justice in Libya (LFJL) and H2O Team, are holding independent cross-nation constitutional awareness bus tours, aimed at informing the public and creating debate on the upcoming drafting process of Libya’s constitution

Zeidan to visit Algeria

(Let bygones be bygones)

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is due to visit Algeria on Sunday. It will be his first official visit abroad since taking office. A ministerial delegation is expected to accompany him but no details have been announced as to its composition.

Instead of black gold, Libya turns to Mediterranean green gold

Libya is turning to olive oil — the green gold of the Mediterranean — to compete with its North Africa neighbours, conquer European markets and diversify its hydrocarbon-dependent economy.

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