Wednesday 18 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas dispatched teams to Egypt on Monday for talks in a renewed push to end their decade-long split after a key breakthrough last week. Senior figures in Islamist movement Hamas and secular party Fatah will meet in the Egyptian capital on Tuesday as they seek to end a division that has crippled Palestinian politics. Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank-based Fatah of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas have been at odds since they fought a near civil war in 2007. Senior Fatah figures attending the Cairo talks include intelligence chief Majed Faraj and Fayez Abu Eita, a party leader in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian official news agency Wafa said. Newly appointed Hamas deputy...
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
The remains have been unearthed of 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by jihadists on a Libyan beach two years ago, the interior ministry said on Saturday. "The heads are separated from the bodies clad in orange jumpsuits, hands bound behind the back with plastic wire," said the ministry's unit for fighting organised crime in the city of Misrata. It said the bodies of 20 Egyptians and a man of unknown African nationality were unearthed from a mass grave south of the one-time jihadist bastion of Sirte, 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of Tripoli. Friday's find came after confessions by Islamic State group jihadist prisoners, it said in a statement, adding that the remains had been transferred to Misrata for forensic examination...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA- Cairo (Egypt) - Egypt's Pharoah have qualified for the football World Cup for the first time in 27 years by beating Congo 2-1 in Alexandria on Sunday evening. The thrilling match at the city’s Borg el Arab stadium saw the Pharoahs doing just enough to edge the visitors to book their place to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah was the hero after a last gasp goal which completed his brace and secured Egypt’s qualification in sensational fashion. Given the balance of play, the hosts were deserved winners, dominating the game from the start. Egypt are the unassailable leaders of Group E, four points ahead of second-placed Uganda with just one match remaining. The Pharoahs are...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA- Cairo (Egypt) - Egypt will sign a $500 million loan agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) before the end of 2017, which is a part of a $1.5 billion agreement reached in 2015 to support economic development, the Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr said on Wednesday. During a meeting with AfDB officials, Nasr discussed the bank’s proposal to fund the Abu Rawwash water treatment plant in Giza with $150 million. For his part, Vice President of the bank, Khaled Sherif said that Egypt is a founding member of the AfDB and the second largest contributor in the bank, which finances 29 projects with a total value of $2.3 billion. “Around 44 percent of the projects are in the...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA- Cairo (Egypt) - Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has asserted that his country is currently waging a fierce war on terrorism, which is not fully understood by the rest of the world. In a speech marking the 44th anniversary of the so-called October war against Israel, Sisi commended the sacrifice of Egyptians in the fight against extremists since he came to power. He noted that Egypt has proved for more than 40 years its ability to preserve the gains of peace and resisted any variables and barriers that seek to undermine development and stability. Sisi stated that the October 1973 war against Israel was basically a war for peace and development and spoke about a triumph of faith and...
(AfricaNews 10/05/17)
Moushira Khattab, Egyptian human rights advocate and the country’s nominee for UNESCO director-general position could be the cultural agency’s first leader from the African region. She is contesting with eight other nominees in the October 9 election which will take place at the ongoing UNESCO Executive Board meeting in the French capital Paris. The former family and population minister faces strong competition from China’s Tang Qian who is UNESCO’s assistant director-general for education; former French culture minister Audrey Azoulay; and former Qatari culture minister Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari. They seek to replace the outgoing director-general Irina Bokova, a former Bulgarian foreign minister who became the first woman and first eastern European to lead the organization in 2009. She served the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/17)
Debauched, perverted, sick, deviant... just some of the words used to describe gays in Egypt amid a police crackdown on homosexuality after the rainbow flag was raised at a concert. Despite homosexuality not being illegal in the North African country, the number of arrests of suspects is mounting. The crackdown comes after an open-air concert in Cairo on September 22 by Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila, when the flag representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community was raised. Pictures of the incident were shared widely on social media, leading to a public backlash and discussions on prime time television with many calling for those involved to be punished. Showing support for the LGBT community and their freedoms with the rainbow...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/04/17)
Sohag, EGYPT (Reuters) - Turn the clock back just over half a century and a contest between two men in the ancient Egyptian martial art of tahteeb could see the loser injured, or even killed. Today however, striking is no longer permitted in this form of stick-fighting, references to which were discovered written inside ancient Egyptian tombs. In the city of Sohag which lies on the banks of Nile in central Egypt, one martial arts school is working to keep the ancient sport alive. “Long ago, this game was violent, and about 60 or 70 years ago, it was similar to fighting games, because that was the era known as one of manhood,” said Sabry Mohamed, who founded the International...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said Palestinian reconciliation could be an "opportunity" for wider regional peace, while Hamas welcomed their aid. "The whole world is waiting for your efforts to achieve reconciliation among the Palestinian people and appreciates your determination to address all obstacles," Sisi said in a pre-recorded speech addressing the two main Palestinian movements on Tuesday. "There is a chance to realise peace in the region, providing all the parties are united." The video was played as Egyptian intelligence head Khaled Fawzy met with Hamas and Palestinian Authority leaders in the Gaza Strip.
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
The Egyptian government denied on Monday that a shipment of weapons from North Korea was destined for its military, as reported in The Washington Post. In a report published on Sunday, the US newspaper reported that the Egyptian military was the undisclosed buyer of $23 million worth of rocket-propelled grenades from North Korea in 2016. The Post cited US officials and Western diplomats familiar with the findings who remained anonymous. But the Egyptian foreign ministry denied the report on Monday. In a statement sent to AFP, spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid "categorically denied what the (Washington Post) report mentioned regarding Egypt being the destination for the shipment. "The sanctions committee report did not indicate that the shipment was destined for Egypt,"...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
An imam in Egypt faces a disciplinary hearing over accusations that he married off underage girls, the administrative prosecution authority which monitors civil servants including imams said on Monday. Egyptian law prohibits the registered marriage of men and women under 18, although it does not prohibit informal marriages that are not officially registered. "The crime comes under the category of human trafficking cases," said Mohamed Samir, spokesman for the authority. The imam was allegedly "implicated in the marriages of nearly 27 minor" females, Samir said. The cleric presided over El-Arbaeen mosque in Meet Habeeb village in the Nile delta province of Al-Gharbiya north of Cairo. News of the case comes after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expressed shock at the number...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
Egyptian delegates arrived in Gaza Sunday on the eve of a fresh attempt at reconciliation between the strip's Hamas rulers and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah movement, an official said. West Bank-based Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah is to make his first visit to Gaza since 2015 on Monday, aiming to crown a rapprochement between the rivals after a decade of animosity and outbreaks of violence. Official Palestinian news agency WAFA said Hamas head Ismail Haniya called Abbas on Sunday evening to discuss preparations for Monday's visit, but it did not give any details. The initiative is backed by Egypt which will be closely following the talks, intended to prepare for a transfer of power in the Gaza Strip from...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
Seventeen men suspected of being homosexuals went on trial in Egypt on Sunday for alleged "debauchery" and "incitement to debauchery", judicial sources said. There was no further information about the hearing which was closed to journalists, and defence lawyers were not immediately available for comment. Homosexuality is not expressly outlawed in Egypt, but gays have previously been charged with debauchery in the deeply conservative Muslim society. Security forces arrested at least six people after they held a rainbow flag representing lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people at a concert by Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila in Cairo on September 22. "The fact that Egypt's public prosecutor is prioritising hunting down people based on their perceived sexual orientation is utterly deplorable,"...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Six Egyptian men arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy” and “debauchery” on social media will be subjected to anal examinations ahead of their Oct. 1 trial, Amnesty International said on Saturday. Their arrest is part of a wider crackdown against homosexuality that started last week when a group of people were seen raising a rainbow flag at a concert, a rare public show of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the conservative Muslim country. At least 11 people have since been arrested, Amnesty said, and one man has been sentenced to six years in jail after local media launched a highly critical campaign against those who raised the rainbow flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt aims to raise its revenues from taxes imposed on tobacco by 7 billion Egyptian pounds ($397.50 million) in the 2017-18 fiscal year that began in July, a government document said. The country is targeting around 54.545 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.10 billion) in revenues from tobacco taxes, according to a document released by the finance ministry on Monday. Egypt has been increasing taxes and cutting subsidies to narrow its budget deficit as part of economic reforms tied to a $12 billion International Monetary Fund program aimed at boosting the economy. Egypt imposed a valued-added tax on non-essential goods last year in the months leading to its signing of the three-year IMF deal in November. ($1 = 17.6100 Egyptian pounds)
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
The Egyptian air force said on Thursday that it had destroyed a convoy of 10 all-terrain vehicles in the country's western desert suspected of smuggling weapons from Libya. The raid was carried out on the basis of information that "criminal elements were preparing to infiltrate" Egypt, said army spokesperson Colonel Tamer el-Refai in a statement. The officer said that the vehicles were attacked once they entered Egyptian territory, but he did not specify the fate of those in the convoy. Egypt, which has struck jihadist targets inside Libya, regularly warns of a spillover of instability from its lawless western neighbour, a haven of arms and people trafficking. The country has been battling an insurgency of its own since the military'...
(Middle East Monitor 09/29/17)
An Egyptian court sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide and 15 other defendants to life imprisonment on Thursday. They were found guilty of engaging in violence in 2013, although Mohamed Badei and the other defendants denied the charges. Life sentences in Egypt generally mean 25 years. Seventy-seven other defendants were sentenced to 15 years in prison. One of those found guilty by the court actually died last month. Abdel Azim Sharqawi, who died in the final stages of the three-year court case, was still rather bizarrely sentenced in absentia. The sentences can be appealed against within two months of the judgement. The violence relating to these cases unfolded following the bloody dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adawiyya protest camp by the...
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
The Egyptian military has foiled a smuggling operation by seizing 10 vehicles loaded with arms attempting to cross the border into Egypt from Libya, a military spokesman said Thursday. "The operation resulted in destroying 10 four-by-four vehicles loaded with weapons, ammunition and smuggled material," the military's spokesman Tamer al-Refaay said in a statement. Suffering from repeated terror attacks back home, Egypt is very concerned about its western border with eastern Libya which have been a point of infiltration by militants between the two countries. Since May, the Egyptian air force has destroyed at least 52 vehicles loaded with arms while attempting to cross the border into Egypt along the western border with Libya. Egypt's Western Desert witnessed a terrorist attack...

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