Tuesday’s papers: English exam shock, apartments for shantytown residents, electricity workers’ sit-in suspended

The arrest of the alleged Israeli spy continues to dominate the headlines of Tuesday’s state-owned and independent newspapers.

Al-Ahram starts off its news with a report on Ilan Grapel, an Israeli spy, arrested last Sunday and held in custody for 15 days pending investigations. 

Reports indicate Grapel is accused of inciting citizens from inside Al-Azhar mosque against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and meeting with foreign nationals in a Jewish synagogue to provide them with information about the country.

The paper also states that Grapel entered Egypt on 11 February and was seen several times in Tahrir Square. Then, he left Egypt on 10 May with an American passport.

State-owned daily Al-Akhbar reports that both Ministries of Housing and International Cooperation, along with Cairo Governorate, will sign a protocol for granting a thousand apartments weekly to shantytown residents. The project is among the government’s efforts to eliminate the slums and relocate low-income residents to new residential communities within a year. The paper adds that the government has already allocated LE100 million to put up a thousand flats for residents during this week. 

The liberal Al-Wafd paper writes that electricity station engineers have suspended their sit-in strike untill next Saturday after both Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and Ministry of Electricity promised to meet their demands. Last Sunday, it was reported that engineers threatened to cut off electricity if their cumulative incentives were not paid and the chairman of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company was not sacked.

However, in the independent daily Al-Dostour’s front-page article, Mohamed Raafat, coordinator of electrical station engineers’ coalition, categorically denied that they intend to disconnect electricity, saying they are aware of the importance of electricity to Egyptians. Raafat also pointed out the role of his colleagues: “While police have withdrawn from Egypt’s streets during the revolution, we were keen to carry out our responsibilities and preventing electricity from getting shut off.”

On the same front, the independent paper quotes the latest statements of Mohamed ElBaradei, presidential hopeful and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, as saying: “The referendum of constitutional amendments was not democratic. The absence of security after 100 days of the revolution is considered a mystery and continually subjecting civilians to military trials means that we haven’t carried out the revolution in the first place.”

It is also reported that ElBaradei wondered why the officials who planned to sabotage the country and conspired a counter-revolution have not yet been arrested. 

In a related context, Al-Akhbar sheds light on a seminar attended by Amr Moussa, Arab League Secretary General and another potential presidential candidate, in which he supported the idea of holding presidential elections before drafting the constitution. The “transitional period should not be extended,” he is reported as saying.

Moussa said that if it is agreed to draw up the constitution in advance, it must be drafted by an elected panel, not a group of individuals. 

“A shock for secondary school students due to the difficulty of English exam,” reads a headline on Al-Ahram’s front page.

The state-run paper writes that most of the students complained that the translation question, as well as a comprehension text about journalism, was difficult.

Reporting on the same issue, Al-Wafd states secondary school students' sense of grief contrasts with their prior elation following the recent Arabic exam, which was widely considered to be easy. The paper writes that while most of the students had sufficient time to complete the exam, others believed that they needed extra time.


Egypt's papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Arab Nasserist party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

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