| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
An Egyptian court ordered on Thursday a renewed corruption probe into ousted president Hosni Mubarak, who has been cleared for release after almost six years in detention, judicial officials said. The court ruling to reopen the investigation after it had been dropped would not affect a prosecution decision to release Mubarak after his acquittal in another case, the officials said. Mubarak, 88, remains in a Cairo military hospital. The new investigation centres around allegations that he, his wife, two sons and their wives received gifts from the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper valued at about $1 million. An investigative judge had agreed in 2013 to drop the probe after they paid back the amount, but the prosecution...
(Financial Times 03/23/17)
After a radical reform, investors are returning, but can Cairo stay the course? It was the nettle that successive Egyptian governments had consistently shied away from grasping but could no longer avoid: the full float of the currency. Finally adopted in November 2016, the Egyptian pound halved in value against the dollar overnight, catapulting the country into a new era of risk and potential. The flotation of the pound — long overdue, according to analysts and businessmen — was the most radical of politically-sensitive measures implemented by the Egyptian government to clinch a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a $12bn loan. The aim was not just to shore up the country’s precarious finances and ease a severe dollar...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
An Egyptian court sentenced on Wednesday six policemen to jail for torturing a detainee to death, the latest such ruling after the government pledged to crack down on police abuses. The Cairo court sentenced an officer to five years in prison, another to one year, and four policemen to three years, a judicial official said. They had been convicted of beating to death Saed Said, a 26-year old accountant, in a police station in 2012. In July last year, a court in southern Egypt sentenced six policemen to prison for beating to death a 47-year old detainee.
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
Ten Egyptian soldiers were killed in two roadside bombings as they clashed with Islamic State group jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula, the military said on Thursday. Fifteen jihadists were also killed in the fighting, the military said in a statement, without saying when the incidents took place. The military said the clashes broke out when soldiers raided "an extremely dangerous" jihadist hideout. It said soldiers found a cache of explosives and bombs ready for use as well as grenades and ammunition. The Islamic State group had said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that it blew up two army vehicles during clashes
(Andalou Agency 03/23/17)
On visit to Cairo, Lebanese PM Saad Hariri asks Egypt to continue providing army officers with training. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has asked Cairo to continue providing Lebanese army officers with military training, Egyptian state media reported Thursday. “At a [Wednesday] meeting with [Egyptian] President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Prime Minister Hariri asked Egypt for help in training Lebanese army officers,” Egypt’s official MENA news agency said. According to MENA, al-Sisi had voiced Egypt’s readiness to assist Lebanon in this regard,...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Since Egypt devalued its currency, life in Cairo has gotten a lot easier if you sell stocks for a living -- and a lot harder if you sell fruit. Mostafa Nagaty at Arqaam Capital says he’d begun to fear that “this profession was dying.” Investors had fled Egypt after the uprising of 2011, and strict exchange-rate controls helped keep them away. Then, four months ago, the central bank let the pound float. “Now I’m getting approached by all types of...
(CBS News 03/23/17)
About $50 million worth of artifacts and antiques were shipped from both Egypt and Turkey to the United States in 2016 — the highest annual value from each of those countries in at least 20 years, according to U.S. Census Bureau documents. The artifacts, totaling about $100 million between the two countries, were imported “for consumption” and not for temporary display in a museum, the documents say. Most of the artifacts were shipped to New York City, where numerous antiquities...
(BBC News Africa 03/23/17)
Ten Egyptian soldiers have been killed by two roadside bomb blasts during a raid against jihadist militants in the Sinai peninsula, the military says. Fifteen militants were killed and seven others arrested during the operation, according to a statement. Soldiers also destroyed half a tonne of the explosive TNT and seized two vehicles containing hand grenades and hundreds of mobile phones, it added. An affiliate of so-called Islamic State (IS) is active in the Sinai peninsula. It has been blamed...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
An Egyptian court sentenced on Wednesday six policemen to jail for torturing a detainee to death, the latest such ruling after the government pledged to crack down on police abuses. The Cairo court sentenced an officer to five years in prison, another to one year, and four policemen to three years, a judicial official said. They had been convicted of beating to death Saed Said, a 26-year old accountant, in a police station in 2012. In July last year, a...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Egypt on Monday received the second tranche of a $3-billion World Bank loan in support of the government's economic and social agenda, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said. In a statement on the ministry's Facebook page, Nasr said the second tranche would contribute to "encouraging private sector investment and supporting growth projects that promote employment". Cairo received the first tranche of the loan in September 2016. The minister said the financing was part of a loan of eight billion dollars,...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
The World Bank has disbursed another $1 billion in financial assistance to Egypt out of its $3 billion loan program with the country, the bank said in a statement on Monday. Egypt has been negotiating billions of dollars in aid from various lenders to help revive an economy hit by political upheaval since a 2011 revolt and to ease a dollar shortage that has crippled imports and hampered its recovery. "The government has taken important steps in implementing key policy...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
A trading unit of top Russian oil producer Rosneft has signed a deal to supply 10 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes to the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company this year. The first delivery by Rosneft Trading SA (RTSA) is expected in May, Rosneft said. "This agreement will help to further strengthen the strategic partnership between Rosneft and Egypt in an important area of energy security," the company said. RTSA delivered three LNG cargoes to Egypt in 2016. Once an energy...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will visit Washington in April for talks with US President Donald Trump that will include the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace process, his office said Monday. A statement by the presidency said "the Palestinian issue will be discussed" with Trump during Sisi's "visit to Washington early in April". Sisi "stressed the importance" of the US administration's "pivotal role in pushing forward the peace process" to try to find a solution to the decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/20/17)
Egypt's new stamp duty on stock exchange transactions will come into effect in May and include for the first time a 0.3 percent levy for investors acquiring more than a third of a company's stocks, deputy finance minister Amr al-Munayer said. Egypt's finance minister said last month the government planned to introduce a stamp duty of 0.125 percent on buyers and sellers of stocks, rising to 0.150 percent in the second year and 0.175 percent in the third. But Munayer...
(Andalou Agency 03/20/17)
Halayeb and Shalateen region has long been a sore spot in Egypt-Sudan relations. Sudan has formed a panel to look into “diplomatic” means of forcing Egyptians out of a disputed border area. Abdullah al-Sadeq, the head of the Sudanese technical committee for border demarcation, said the panel has met to set the guidelines for its work regarding the disputed Halayeb and Shalateen Triangle. The meeting also tackled “a roadmap about the region and how to force Egyptians out of the...
(Xinhuanet 03/20/17)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi stressed on Monday the importance of a two-state solution to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, official Ahram newspaper reported. Sisi's remarks came during his meeting with visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who arrived Sunday in Cairo for talks with his Egyptian counterpart ahead of the Amman Arab Summit meeting later this month. During the meeting, Abbas briefed the Egyptian president on the latest developments in Palestine in light of the ongoing Israeli settlement activities. The two leaders...
(The Associated Press 03/20/17)
Egyptian and Palestinian leaders held talks in Cairo on Monday in what Egyptian media reports have called a "reconciliation" meeting. Relations between Cairo and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have been tense over a range of issues, including Egypt's contacts with Gaza's Hamas rulers and other factions that are at odds with Abbas' Palestinian Authority. Relations further soured in December when Egypt withdrew a draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council against Israeli settlements. The draft was later resubmitted by other...
(AL Jazeera 03/20/17)
Detention of Al Jazeera journalist renewed for fifth time, as recent video footage shows him visibly exhausted. Egyptian authorities have renewed the detention of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein for the fifth time, announcing on Saturday that he will be held for another 45 days. Hussein, an Egyptian who lives in Qatar, was stopped, questioned and arrested by the Egyptian authorities on December 20 after travelling to Cairo for a holiday. Recent video footage of Hussein outside an Egyptian court...

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