PHOTO: Moment of explosion of car bomb in southern Beirut on Tuesday

Egypt — Foreign Ministry Summons Turkish Ambassador Over “Interference”

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the Turkish ambassador over recent calls by Turkish officials for the UN to take action in Egypt, according to Egypt’s state news agency, MENA.

Turkey has said the Army’s move to oust President Mohamed Morsi was a military coup.

MENA quoted Ministry officials as saying that Ankara’s actions showed a “misunderstanding” of the current state of affairs and were “foreign interference” in Egypt’s internal affairs. MENA said the Ministry called on Turkey to reconsider its stance, and that Egypt hoped to preserve the “historical relations” between the two countries.

Lebanon — Health Minister Says 41 of 53 Injured In Beirut Bombing Discharged From Hospital

Caretaker Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil told Lebanon’s LCBI on Tuesday evening that 41 out of 53 injured persons were discharged from hospitals after having sustaining minor injuries.

Bahman hospital, located in the area of the blast, confirmed 40 injured people had been treated. The Lebanese Red Cross said that 37 people were slightly injured and transferred to medical centers.

Egypt — Saudi Approves $5 Billion in Aid

Saudi Arabia has approved a $5 billion aid package to Egypt — a $2 billion Central Bank deposit, $2 billion in energy products, and $1 billion in cash — Saudi Minister of Finance Ibrahim Alassaf has said.

The package quickly follows the UAE’s extension of $3 billion in assistance to Cairo on Tuesday.

Egypt — ElBaradei Named Vice President for Foreign Affairs

The interim President’s office has confirmed that Mohamed ElBaradei has been appointed Vice President for Foreign Affairs.

The Nobel laureate ElBaradei, a leader of the National Salvation Front, was considered for the Prime Minister’s post, given to Hazem El Beblawi today, but this was reportedly blocked by opposition from groups like the Salafist Nour Party.

Egypt — Tamarod “Was Not Consulted about Constitutional Declaration”

The Tamarod movement, which organized last month’s mass protests against then-President Morsi, said on their Facebook page on Tuesday that they were “surprised” by the Constitutional Declaration. They said it had not been presented to them or to Mohamed ElBaradei, the leader of the National Salvation Front.

Tamarod said that they planned to issue an amendment to the declaration. They have called an advisor to interim President Adli Mansour, with a meeting with Mansour would be scheduled for later today.

Egypt — Economist Named Interim Prime Minister

Economist and former Minister of Finance Hazem El Beblawi has been named interim Prime Minister.

El Beblawi served as Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister from July to December 2011 in the Cabinet of Essam Sharaf. He is a founding member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party.

The 76-year-old El Beblawi taught at several Egyptian universities and held visiting posts in France, Kuwait, and the US before becoming Chairman and CEO of the Export Development Bank of Egypt in 1983. He moved to the UN in 1995 and became an advisor to the Arab Monetary Fund in 2001.

Lebanon Video — Raw Footage of This Morning’s Beirut Bomb

Lebanon — “Free Syrian Army Brigade” Claims Responsibility for Beirut Bomb

In a statement on Facebook, a group claiming to be a brigade of the Free Syrian Army has said it carried out this morning’s car bomb in a Hezbollah stronghold in south Beirut.

In the statement, the “313 Brigade” claims responsibility for earlier bombings of Hezballah in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. It says today’s explosion was in retaliation for Hezballah’s participation in a Syrian regime offensive in Homs, claiming also that the Lebanese State assists the organization.

Egypt — UAE To Provide Emergency Aid?

Just after the head of the Egyptian Central Bank visited the United Arab Emirates, a UAE delegation is coming to Cairo early this week, according to “a source close to the UAE Government”.

The delegation is headed by UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and national security adviser Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed.

The source did not disclose the purpose of the visit, but Egypt has been seeking emergency aid and loans from Gulf States to prop up a declining economy. Cairo’s foreign reserves have fallen to $14.9 billion, covering less than three months of essential imports.

An “Egyptian source” has claimed that the UAE has agreed to grant $1 billion and lend another $2 billion.

The UAE has also sent 30,000 tonnes of diesel fuel to Egypt.

In 2011 the UAE pledged $3 billion in aid to Egypt, but the money was never delivered.

The Egyptian source also claimed Saudi Arabia

Egyptian source says #SaudiArabia expected to lend $2 billion, will be confirmed within two days | #Egypt |

— LBCI News English (@LBCI_News_EN) July 9, 2013

” target=”_blank”>would pledge $2 billion in the near-future.

Lebanon — Injury Toll Rises from Car Bomb

The acting Minister of Health has said that 53 people were injured in this morning’s car bomb in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut. He said 41 of the wounded had been discharged from hospital, and the others are being treated for “non-serious injuries”.

Egypt – Jama’a al-Islamiya Rejects Interim President’s Constitution; Begins Petition to Reinstate Morsi

The Jama’a al-Islamiya and its Construction and Development Party has rejected the transitional constitution issued by Interim President Adly Mansour on Monday.

In a statement on its website, the group rejected the consititution “issued by an illegitimate president” stressed that the only legitimate constitution is the one that received Egyptians’ approval. The statement added “The constitution cannot be suspended just because some people want this.”

Meanwhile, Jama’a al-Islamiya leader Assem Abdel Maged has announced his intention to launch a campaign seeking to gather 40 million signatures in support of reinstating ousted president Mohamed Morsy’s. The move echoes the petition by the Tamarod — “rebel” — campaign that called for Morsi’s resignation and early presidential elections, which claimed to obtain over 22 million signatures and culminated in mass protests against the former president.

Egypt – Nour Party Would Accept Radwan as Interim Prime Minister

Nader Bakkar, spokesman for the Nour Party, has said that the party would accept Samir Radwan as interim prime minister because of his previous experience in government and he is a “technocrat” economist.

Bakkar told Reuters “We asked for a technocrat economist … a neutral guy.” The party, which is the country’s second biggest Islamist group after the Muslim Brotherhood, previously rejected the potential appointment of Mohamed ElBaradei.

Nour’s acceptance of Radwan has had a positive affect on Egypt’s main shares index, which rose 1.7 percent after Bakkar’s announcement.

Egypt – Former Finance Minister Samir Radwan Being Considered for Prime Minister

The Guardian’s Patrick Kingsley reports that Samir Radwan, the former finance minister, has confirmed that he is being considered for prime minister and is ready to take up the role.

Kingsley said:

He was on the phone to me from Geneva where he said he had just arrived on holiday, which shows the surprising nature of his would-be appointment. He said he initially thought he might be considered for some finance ministerial position, rather than the top job.

Radwan, a development economist, said that his priorities would be “national reconciliation” and the economy, “which he said was the worst it had ever been for half a century.” He is seen as a less divisive figure than the overtly secular Mohamed ElBaradei whose appointment as interim prime minister was blocked by Salafists.

Lebanon – Beirut Explosion: LBC Group “Several Wounded, Deaths Unconfirmed”

LBC Group has revised its initial report on the explosion in Beirut’s Bir al-Abed district – which EA used – to “several wounded, deaths unconfirmed.”

Earlier, the LBC Group had reported that several people had been killed by the car bomb explosion.

Meanwhile, Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati denounced the explosion, saying “The Lebanese must gather to address the ongoing security and political crisis in Lebanon.” Caretaker Minister of Interior Marwan Charbel also condemned the attack as an attempt to create Sunni-Shiite division in the country, declaring “This attempt at sedition is rejected by all Lebanese and will not proceed.”

Turkey: 37 People Detained After Police Crackdown at Gezi Park

Thirty-seven people were detained yesterday after riot police used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse protestors at the reopened Gezi Park in Istanbul.

A seventeen-year old boy was injured when he was struck in the head by one of at least six tear gas canisters that were shot into the crowd. Of the people detained, seven were members of the Taksim Solidarity Platform including one of its spokesmen, Mücella Yapıcı, and Ali Çerkezoğlu, general secretary of the Istanbul Medical Chamber.

A man who was seen — and caught on camera — shooting a gun into the air following an argument with protestors has since been detained.

Gezi Park, the site of mass anti-government protests in recent weeks until it was closed on 15 June, was officially reopened to the public yesterday but just three hours later police blocked it off as demonstrators gathered there once more.

Lebanese Red Cross: 37 People Slightly Injured In Bombing

Lebanon — Car Bomb in Hezbollah’s Beirut Stronghold “Kills Several”

Beirut’s Daily Star, quoting “security sources”, says at least 21 people have been wounded in the bomb in Bir al-Abed, a Hezbollah area in the south of the capital.

At least a dozen vehicles in a parking lot were set on fire.

Al-Manar TV, linked to Hezbollah, says there are few serious casualties:

Lebanon — Car Bomb in Hezbollah’s Beirut Stronghold “Kills Several”

Several people have been killed and wounded after a car bomb exploded at a shopping mall in the Bir al-Abed district in southern Beirut.

Hezbollah — who control the area and run the mall — sealed off the site of the explosion, which occurred in a parking lot near the Al-Hussein Bin Ali technical school. Witnesses report huge clouds of black smoke can be seen from miles away.

Egypt — Assessing the “Roadmap”

Bassem Sabry offers a detailed overview of the Constitutional declaration issued by interim President Adli Mansour late last night, beginning with this timetable:

A referendum to amend the suspended 2012 constitution in around four months;
Parliamentary elections to be called for 15 days after the success of the referendum;
Presidential elections to be called for within a week of parliament going into session.

Sabry’s critique includes these notes:

A 10-member committee, composed of six top judges and four constitutional law professors, will be tasked with amending the 2012 Constitution. The committee is thus purely technical, and gets no official guidance with regard to what is it trying to achieve, suggesting the current “administration” should have effective final influence on the text behind the scenes….

The interim president, who is the constitutional court head, officially has absolute powers, including full legislative authority….

Article 19 is vague enough to potentially allow for military trials of civilians….

The right to strike, a major issue over the past 2½ years, is not expressly mentioned in this declaration.

Egypt — Colleagues Mourn Journalist Killed in Monday Attacks

Among the 51 killed in Monday’s gunfire was photographer Ahmed Samir Al-Snoosi of the Freedom and Justice newspaper, affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.

Al-Snoosi was killed while covering the firing by security forces on supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi at Cairo’s Republican Guard Headquarters.

The Journalists Syndicate will grant Al-Snoosi honorary membership and his family will receive a pension.

The Freedom and Justice daily is the newspaper of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.

Egypt — Interim President Publishes Plan for Political Transition

In a deadlier event than any single incident in the 2011 Revolution, at least 51 people were slain when security forces clashed with supporters of former President Morsi on Monday morning.

Almost all of the victims were protesters hit by gunfire from the Army outside Republican Guards Headquarters in Cairo. Many were in a sit-in for Morsi, believed to be held under house arrest inside the compound since he was overthrown by the military last Wednesday.

Witnesses and victims say the security forces opened fire on dawn prayers. A military spokesman and other officials claimed armed protesters had tried to storm the compound and attacked personnel, killing three.

Interim President Adli Mansour finally broke his silence on the events late last night to present a Constitutional declaration including a timetable for elections. The vote for Parliamentary elections will be held by 2014, after which a date will be announced for a Presidential ballot.

Mansour said there will be five months to amend the current draft Constitution — suspended on Morsi’s removal last week — and ratify it in a referendum.

Egyptian Chronicles posts an English translation of the key Articles from the declaration.