Egypt highest court declares Shura Council illegal

In a major blow to Islamists in Egypt, country’s highest court declared the nation’s Islamist-dominated legislature and constitutional panel illegal questioning the legal basis of the Islamists’ hold on power.

  • Shura Council is the upper house of Parliament which was given legislative powers last year after Parliament was dissolved.

As per the court ruling, the Shura Council, a historically powerless body elected by 7% of the electorate which was pushed into a legislative role when Parliament was dissolved, would maintain its powers until Lower House is elected later this year.

However, the constitution of the country will remain in place because it was adopted by a popular referendum. The constitution was adopted in a nationwide vote in December with a relatively low turnout of about 35%.

The court also invalidated the clauses in a 1958 law giving the President far-reaching powers under a state of emergency. The invalidated clauses had allowed suspects to be arrested with little recourse and imposed restrictions on the freedoms of movement and assembly.

Russia to supply sophisticated MiG fighter planes to Syria

Russia is planning to supply its latest MiG fighter planes to Syria which would strengthen to the country’s air defence capabilities. As per the contract signed with Syria, Russia would deliver more than 10 MiG-29M2 planes. The MiG-29M2 will enhance the Syrian capability against possible attacks by Israel or NATO.

  • The issue supply of arms has become a cause of concern for the West and the Arab countries who doubt that these arms would be used by the Syrian army to suppress the uprising going there.

However Russia has maintained that it had given Syria only “defensive” weapons, mainly short-range air defence systems and anti-ship missiles, to protect itself against foreign intervention. Russia has strong, stable, and friendly relationship with Syria in terms of both trade and strategic.