Saturday 19 August 2017
(Xinhuanet 08/10/17)
Egypt strongly condemned on Thursday the car attack in Paris that left six French soldiers injured. "Egypt fully supports the French government and people in its war against terrorism," the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a press statement. The statement further underlined the need for decisive measures against terrorism and take legal actions against those who support terror groups financially and logistically. On Wednesday, a man ploughed his car into a group of French soldiers in a Paris suburb, injuring six soldiers; two of them are in critical condition. A man suspected to be connected to the accident was shot and wounded before he was arrested on a highway north of Paris. Investigators are trying to verify whether the driver...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
Egypt debut in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) this weekend at home to formidable Morocco, ending an unexplained nine-year absence from the competition. Matches in the biennial competition carry full international status despite being restricted to footballers registered with clubs in their country of birth. It was introduced by CAF in 2008 amid concerns that home-based stars were getting few national team opportunities with compatriots playing in Europe dominating squads. The Nations Championship has grown quickly in popularity and crowd appeal and 49 of 54 CAF members entered the 2018 tournament, with Kenya hosting the finals next January. Egypt, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome e Principe make their first appearances this weekend, leaving Cape Verde as the only country never...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Tuesday that his country is proud of constructive cooperation relations with Cyprus. In a phone call with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Sisi highlighted the importance of promoting "distinguished relations" between the two countries in all fields, official MENA news agency reported. The Egyptian president also expressed his appreciation for Cyprus' supportive stances on Egypt's efforts to establish the pillars of security and stability in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Anastasiades also hailed the relations between Cairo and Nicosia, noting that his country is keen to promote such relations. They also discussed ways to strengthen the tripartite cooperation mechanism
(Bloomberg 08/09/17)
Egypt tightened access to a costly rations program on which the majority of the population relies, the latest in a series of painful and politically-sensitive measures seeking to repair public finances and restore investor confidence. The decree unveiled Tuesday restricts access to new ration cards to people earning 1,500 pounds ($84.50) a month or less for applicants in the public or private sector, the Supply Ministry said in a statement. Lower caps apply to other segments of the population, including pensioners, and the total number of family members covered under the same card was set at four -- with no option to add additional names after the card is issued. It’s the latest effort by the government to cut spending...
(Haaretz 08/09/17)
New law promises to put an end to years of uncertainty and could lead to big contracts for Tamar and Leviathan gas fields. After years of delays and uncertainty, Egypt could be on its way to becoming a major market for Israeli natural gas exports after President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi signed legislation on Tuesday forming a gas regulatory authority and permitting private sector companies to import gas. Egypt, along with Turkey, is one of two regional markets that could buy large quantities of gas from Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan reservoirs, but none of the deals reached in the past have panned out. In March 2015, the Tamar partners signed a seven-year deal with Dolphinus Holdings, a firm that represents nongovernmental,...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/09/17)
An Egyptian policeman was killed on Tuesday in a clash with suspected Islamist gunmen in the southern province of Qena, security sources said. Police had raided mountainous areas after receiving information that militants loyal to Islamic State were hiding there, the sources said. Two gunmen were killed before the exchange of fire that killed the policeman. The clash comes days after a policeman and civilian were killed in a clash in the city of Esna, south of Luxor. No group has claimed responsibility for either of the incidents. Attacks on the security forces have been frequent in Egypt since the army, led by general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his...
(Al-Monitor 08/09/17)
“A year ago, I never would have envisioned myself sharing my home with a complete stranger, but desperate situations demand desperate measures,” Sherine Moustafa, a 45-year-old hotel sales executive and divorcee, told Al-Monitor. Struggling to cope with the soaring prices of goods and services prompted by the November 2016 flotation of the Egyptian pound and successive cuts in fuel subsidies, Sherine has had to look for new and innovative ways to boost her income. Since April, she has been renting out her spare bedroom through the holiday rental website Airbnb. “Before the harsh austerity measures, I lived comfortably and could even put some money aside for an emergency. But I found it increasingly difficult to manage my budget; my paycheck...
(Al-Monitor 08/09/17)
CAIRO — While Egypt’s tourism industry faces troubled times, one lawmaker is thinking of innovative ways to bring in revenue to some of the country’s top destinations. Parliamentarian Mohamed al-Massoud announced July 26 that he had completed a monumental and wide-reaching study on the establishment of a free trade zone in Sharm el-Sheikh. The study, he said, was conducted in accordance with the new law on foreign and local investments, which was issued June 1. Massoud, a member of parliament's tourism committee, said he would submit his study to the government and Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr, who decides whether cities can become free trade zones. Sharm el-Sheikh is among the most beautiful tourist attractions in the world, located along...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(AFP (eng) 08/08/17)
Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is to invest more than $800 million in hotels in Egypt, the investment ministry in Cairo said on Monday. The announcement came after parliament in May adopted a new law aimed at attracting foreign investment as the authorities seek to reinvigorate the North African country's struggling economy. The ministry said in a statement that Bin Talal told Investment Minister Sahar Nasr in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that he would invest in hotels in several locations. Tourism in the Arab world's most populous nation has yet to bounce back from before the 2011 uprising
(Bloomberg 08/08/17)
In five decades of importing steel wires, Zahar Benmoussa’s company never worried about currency risks -- until Morocco announced plans to float the dirham. “For the first time in our history, we started to hedge” in the currency market, said Benmoussa, managing director at Casablanca-based Grillages Marocains. Across Morocco, fears of a weaker dirham triggered a rush for dollars and euros, causing a $3 billion drop in its reserves in just three months this year. Then in June, the government put its plans on hold again. It was at least the second time it stalled on a move supported by the International Monetary Fund and a centerpiece of Morocco’s ambitions to become North Africa’s dominant financial hub. By delaying, it...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Egypt's top national security prosecutor has ordered the transfer of an Egyptian man who stabbed three foreign tourists to death at a Red Sea resort in July to a mental hospital for psychiatric evaluation, state news agency MENA said on Monday. Security sources told Reuters that Abdel Rahman Shaban Abokorah had tried to join Islamic State and investigators had initially recommended he face charges of terrorism, in what was the first major attack on foreign tourists since a similar assault on the same resort more than a year ago. Abokorah was caught by hotel staff and arrested after he killed two German women and a Czech woman and wounded three other tourists. He will remain under psychiatric evaluation for 45...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(AFP (eng) 08/04/17)
From the Giza pyramids to the pharaonic tombs of Luxor, Egypt's ancient monuments are holding onto mysteries which researchers now aim to unravel with cutting edge technology. For more than 200 years since Napoleon Bonaparte landed in Egypt with a retinue of scholars who laid the groundwork for modern Egyptology, experts have used science to unlock the secrets of the country's ancient treasures. In the 21st century, the scientists have been using electronic devices and chemical testing to date artefacts. Chemical testing still requires small samples...
(AFP (eng) 08/04/17)
An Egyptian court has jailed 50 policemen for three years after convicting them on charges related to a strike earlier this year, state media reported. The low-ranking policemen were also fined 6,000 pounds (roughly $330) by the South Sinai court on Thursday, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website. The policemen had gone on strike in January to protest reduced holidays and allegedly "threatened violence" against superior officers, the newspaper said. Egyptian policemen held several demonstrations and strikes after the 2011 overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak. The authorities have shown little tolerance...
(Sudan Tribune 08/04/17)
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour has called the Egyptian government to cooperate on ways to stop the support provided by some Libyan parties to the rebel groups from Darfur region. Ghandour and his visiting counterpart Sameh Shoukry held Thursday the joint political consultations meeting where they discussed the implementation of outcomes of the joint presidential cooperation committee, held last June, including the strategic cooperation document, the consulate cooperation, border crossing committee, coordination at regional and international forums as well as regional developments. Speaking at a joint press conference after the end of the meeting, the two minister pointed to the progress achieved in different areas stressing that the hostile media campaign has been stopped. But they didn’t mention the dispute...
(AfricaNews 08/04/17)
Sudan and Egypt have reinstated their talks after a short-lived diplomatic row in May that resulted in the cancellation of a trip by the Sudanese foreign minister to Cairo. The age-old tension was sparked following accusations by President Omar al-Bashir that Egypt is arming rebel groups to topple his government. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also rejected the claim saying saying “Egypt does not conspire” against anyone. On Wednesday, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry visited Khartoum for the continuation of the bilateral talks with his Sudanese counterpart Ibrahim Ghandour which started four months ago. The talks between the two countries aim to boost bilateral ties in the areas of politics and trade, among others. The talks were agreed upon by...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/04/17)
A policeman and a civilian were killed and three people wounded in an attack late on Thursday on a patrol in Esna, south of Luxor, the Interior Ministry said. The police patrol had stopped a vehicle and when stopped, two gunmen fired on the patrol, the ministry said in a statement. One of the perpetrators were arrested while the other fled, the ministry said, adding that the wounded have been transferred to hospital. Attacks on security forces have been common in Egypt since the army, led by general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule. In recent months, attacks have expanded to target Egypt's Coptic Christians, the country's largest minority...
(Ahram Online 08/04/17)
Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy held talks with rival Libyan delegations to discuss reconciliation. Egypt’s army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy, held meetings with rival Libyan delegations in Cairo this week to discuss reconciliation, the official military spokesman announced on Thursday. Hegazy, the head of the committee assigned to mediate between the Libyan factions in Egypt, met Libyan delegations from the cities of Misurata and Barca, and held talks with them for three days this, according to military spokesman Tamer El-Refai. Hegazy held separate meetings with each delegation, then a joint meeting without pre-conditions with both delegations. The talks were focused on achieving reconciliation and the two delegations agreed on the need for a roadmap to end the current...

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