Sultan Qaboos in Nominal Health Following Medical Examination

Oman’s royal court confirmed that Sultan Qaboos, who had undergone a medical check-up in Germany since July, is in good health condition. The media reported the court’s statement, but they did not specify the medical tests and check-up methods used on the Sultan.

“His majesty the Sultan is in good health and is continuing…during the coming period the specified medical programme, which, with God’s grace, is achieving the reassuring and required results” said the official statement from the royal court. It also added Sultan Qaboos’ greetings to Omanis for the coming Eid on Saturday.

Omanis have been worried that Sultan Qaboos is in grave condition and possibly suffering from cancer. However, the Oman royal court has yet to comment on this angle of the story.

Sultan Qaboos is well-loved and criticised by Omanis as he transformed Oman into a modernised country from its small oil-exporting days. He is also well-known for his mediatory work between Arab and Gulf states.


Egyptian Courts Ban Muslim Brotherhood Activities

According to experts, banning the activities of the Egyptian political party the Muslim Brotherhood will only increase the tensions between pro and anti Mohammed Morsi supporters. Egyptian courts have banned all the activities of the political group, which might threaten the presence of Islamists in the Egyptian political system.

Experts said that this was a crucial blow to the Muslim Brotherhood and both supporters and opposition to the group might view the move with conflicting interpretations. To supporters and the political group itself, experts said that they might see it as the return of their condition during the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, who banned all the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, analysts also said that the Brotherhood also brought itself to its demise because it could have persuaded Mohammed Morsi to step down from office voluntarily, thus avoiding the great civil unrest in the country. Their hesitation to accept other social and political forces, namely in writing the Egyptian constitution that began the entire situation, had brought them to this state.

The military and state government also played a great negative role in the crisis. Ousting the president and declaring co-political party members as terrorists who threaten national security urges the people to view the Egyptian military as having their own agenda.

Japan Scrambles Jets Against To Chinese Plane

On Wednesday, Japan’s air force scrambled as a Chinese 7-8 early warning aircraft flew past the airspace between Miyako Island and Okinawa in the East China Sea. Japan’s Defence Minister said that it was the first time a Chinese military plane flew over the Okinawa islands and symbolic of China’s military advances.

Itsunori Onodera, the Japanese Defence Minister, said that Chinese naval vessels have been spotted to sail through water passages in the same area. According to him, the region is strategic. Experts believe that the Y-8 plane was conducting electronic surveillance for intelligence gathering.

They also said that the Y-8’s overflight might be a provocation against the Japanese government regarding the tensions surrounding the region.

The Chinese defence ministry said that it was free to fly in international air space, which justifies that they have 12 nautical miles from a country’s coastline based on America’s argument of “freedom of navigation.

The United States plays a pivotal role in the Japanese-Chinese conflict regarding the Senkaku islands, which China claims to be its own territory. The US guaranteed the US-Japan Security treaty if war broke out over the rocky islets. Currently, Japanese soldiers are being trained in the US bases for military exercises, heavily leaning on amphibious assault exercises.

Adly Mansour Delivers His First Public Speech

Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour first addressed the public with his speech Thursday saying that he intends to protect Egypt from unnamed groups who aim to cause chaos in the country. He said that justice will be done for Egypt, including those who intend to cause unnecessary violence.

President Mansour gave his address to Egypt before the Muslim Brotherhood’s promise of protests on Friday could come to pass. Egypt’s military, who overtook Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy for failing to provide fairly for the Egyptians, was deeply concerned with post-coup violence in the country. They have issued a warning for groups that intend to cause unrest during the Muslim Brotherhood’s protests.

Mansour said in his speech that Egypt was going through a “transformative phase” where its political decisions will swerve it towards success or the failure intended by radical groups as they continue their violent activities in the country.

The Interim President reassured the country that he and the government were committed to ensuring security all over the country and that they will not be “shaken” by political and terrorist factions to “preserve the revolution”.

However, the Muslim Brotherhood and other pro-Morsi parties do not recognize Adly Mansour as the Interim President. Many continue to believe that the military intends to retake the government using Mansour as the representative of Egyptian Military Chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Muslim Brotherhood and Other Rival Groups Reject Timetable

Interim President Adly Mansour’s proposed timetable was vehemently rejected by the Muslim Brotherhood and the NSF or National Salvation Front because would set Egypt back to where it started years ago.

On Tuesday, the transitional administration placed Hazem el-Beblawi as its Prime Minister and appointed liberal opposition chief and Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed el-Baradei as vice president for foreign relations.

The Brotherhood dismissed the transition timetable because it would take Egypt back to zero; the country’s state after Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

The timetable was published after the army opened fire on people outside the elite Republican Guard’s headquarters in Cairo on Monday.

The timetable indicated holding parliamentary elections by 2014, five months to amend the current draft constitution on hold because of Egyptian President Morsy’s arrest, its ratification and then parliamentary elections. The process indicates that it would need 210 days to put up constitution and government.

The NSF complained that it was not consulted when the charter was made and in a statement, said that it also rejected the constitutional decree.

Egypt’s military also issued a warning that the interim government is the legitimate government and anybody who would “endanger the people of the country” and who disrupts the transition process would face great consequences

Egypt’ Tourism Minister Resigns upon Adel Khayat’s Governor Appointment

Egypt’s tourism minister announced his wish to resign from his position following the appointment of a former ex-militant as the governor of Luxor. Adel Khayat’s appointment as governor roused protests from Luxor citizens. He was a member of the political wing Gamaa Islamiya, who claimed responsibility for killing 58 tourists in a 1997 attack.

However, Luxor Governor Khayat denied any role in the said attack. He promised to protect Egypt’s tourists in Luxor. The city was a usual spot for tourists, but because of the political instability in the country since 2011, Egypt’s tourist numbers have dropped greatly.

Dr. Hisham Zazou appointment of Khayat, said that his nomination will have great consequences on Egypt’s tourism. Prime Minister Hisham Qandil rejected Zazou’s resignation and said that the government will continue to review the details about Khayat and Zazou is to remain as tourism minister until then.

The president’s appointment of governors all over Egypt generally enraged the public as majority of these governors were from the Muslim Brotherhood where President Mohamed Morsi also belonged. The Muslim Brotherhood now control 13 of Egypt’s 27 governorships.

Protests continue against the governors, who found it difficult to enter their offices as protesters locked the gates and attacked escorts.