Tuesday 23 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Egypt reopened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip for three days starting on Saturday to allow hundreds of stranded Palestinians to return home, officials said. The move, described by Palestinian border officials as a "humanitarian" gesture, will allow Palestinians stranded in Egypt and elsewhere, including students and sick people, to return to Gaza. "Egyptian authorities reopened the Rafah crossing for three days only, from Saturday until Monday, and only in one direction to allow those stranded on the Egyptian side to return home," a statement said. The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade for a decade. Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars with Israel since 2008. The Rafah crossing is Gaza's only gateway to...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
No traces of explosives were found on the remains of French victims from an EgyptAir plane that crashed into the Mediterranean in May 2016, a source close to the French investigation told AFP on Friday. The revelation, the source said, "closes the door" on a theory advanced by Egypt that the Airbus A320 was blasted out of the sky as it made its way from Paris to Cairo, killing all 66 people on board. EgyptAir MS804 disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean on May 19, crashing into the water between Crete and the coast of northern Egypt. "There were no explosive charges" aboard the plane, the source said
(Reuters (Eng) 05/05/17)
Islamic State's leader in Egypt has warned Muslims to stay away from Christian gatherings as well as government, military and police facilities, suggesting that the militant group will keep up attacks on what he referred to as "legitimate targets". In April, two Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 45 people at churches in the cities of Alexandria and Tanta, one of the bloodiest attacks the country has experienced in years. "We are warning you to stay away from Christian gatherings, as well as the gatherings of the army and the police, and the areas that have political government facilities," the leader, who was not named, said in an interview in Islamic State's Al Naba weekly newspaper published on Telegram...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
An Egyptian appeals court overturned on Thursday death sentences for 25 people over deadly tribal clashes in the country's south and ordered a retrial, a judicial official said. The men had been convicted of taking part in 2014 clashes in the southern Aswan province that killed 28 people, in some of the deadliest tribal violence in years. The court of cassation which handles appeals also threw out 18 life sentences for defendants in custody, out of the 21 handed down in the first trial in 2016. The remaining three defendants sentenced to life would have to turn themselves in for their appeal to be considered.
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday for talks with top officials, state media said. Sisi's visit comes 24 hours after the UAE brokered a meeting between Fayez al-Sarraj, head of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord, and military strongman Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar who refuses to recognise the GNA. State-run news agency WAM said Sisi, who was accompanied by Egypt's foreign and investment ministers on his two-day visit, met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan for talks on cooperation and the crises in Yemen, Syria and Libya.
(The Associated Press 05/04/17)
Egypt's antiquities ministry says that a Spanish archaeological mission has discovered a nearly 4000-year old funerary garden in the southern city of Luxor. In a Wednesday statement, the ministry said the rectangular-shaped garden was found during excavations in an open courtyard of a rock-cut tomb belonging to the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt. The garden is divided into four squared sections. Each covers 30 square centimeters and is believed to have contained different kinds of plants and flowers. The head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, Mahmoud Afifi, says the discovery is the first of its kind in the area.
(The Independent 05/04/17)
Egyptian police and soldiers are now attacked daily and civilians are disappearing, either for fear of Isis or because they are seized by the army’s ‘collaborators’. Counter-insurgency wars – struggles against “terrorism” – always breed corruption and counter-murder. And now the Egyptian army is following the same contaminated path as many of its neighbours by using a killer-militia in its war against Isis in Sinai. Most armies have proxy allies who can act as informants and treat civilians with brutality. The Syrians, the Iraqis, the Turks – and the Israelis when they co-opted their own Lebanese militias between 1976 and 2000, and the Americans in Iraq – all ended up shamed by the cruelty of their supposed allies. But now...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(AFP (eng) 05/02/17)
Unidentified gunmen attacked an Egyptian police convoy near the main ring road around Cairo, killing three officers and wounding five others, the interior ministry said early on Tuesday. "Armed elements riding in two vehicles approached a moving security convoy" around 11:45 pm Monday, the ministry said in a statement. The convoy was crossing a roundabout that intersects with the main ring road that surrounds the capital, separating New Cairo and newer real estate projects from the city. Police returned fire at the attackers' vehicles, which police were pursuing "in an effort to apprehend the perpetrators," the ministry said. While no one claimed responsibility for the attack, Egypt has been fighting an insurgency by a local affiliate of the Islamic State...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/02/17)
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation will arrive in Cairo on Sunday to review Egypt's progress on economic reforms before it disburses the second installment of a $12-billion loan program, the Finance Ministry said. The IMF delegation will stay until May 11 and meet with officials from the ministry and the central bank, the ministry said in a statement. Egypt agreed the three-year program with the IMF in November, after floating its Egyptian pound currency in a dramatic move aimed at unlocking foreign inflows and boosting exports after a long-running dollar shortage threatened to paralyze the economy. It promised a raft of tough reforms, including narrowing its budget deficit, in return for the $12-billion loan package from the IMF and...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/02/17)
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said on Monday that heavy-handed security measures by Egypt were fostering the very radicalisation it was looking to curb. Egypt last month was shaken by one of the bloodiest attacks in years when Islamic State suicide bombers targeted two Christian churches, killing 45 people. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency hours later. Zeid condemned the church attacks at a news conference in Geneva but said that Egypt's approach to combating Islamist militants was exacerbating the problem. "...a state of emergency, the massive numbers of detentions, reports of torture, and continued arbitrary arrests
(The Observer 05/02/17)
Egyptian foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry is to meet Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni to discuss management of the R.Nile waters. According to a brief statement released by the Egyptian foreign ministry, Shoukry will deliver a letter to the president from his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, on dealing with water-security issues and the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI). The meeting is also aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation between Uganda and other countries within Nile Basin. In March, Mohammed Abdel-Atti, Egypt's minister of Water Resources and Irrigation attended the extraordinary Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-Com) where Egypt's demand for greater control of activities related to the flow of the river Nile were rejected. Sam Cheptoris, the Nile-Com chairman, also Uganda's minister of Water and...
(The Associated Press 05/02/17)
Gunmen armed with machineguns attacked a police patrol in Cairo, killing three policemen and wounding five before fleeing the scene of the late night drive-by shooting, Egypt's Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry said the attack took place in the neighborhood of Nasr City where gunmen in two cars approached the patrol and opened fire at the policemen. The statement said two of the three policemen killed had the rank of captain. The patrol exchanged fire with the attackers, the ministry said but did not specify how many assailants were involved or if any of them were wounded. An investigation is underway, it said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the brazen attack in the Egyptian capital. Apart from...
(AL Jazeera 05/02/17)
No responsibility claim for incident in busy Cairo district, the latest in a long line of attacks on security forces. Three Egyptian police officers have been killed in a drive-by-shooting in Cairo by men armed with machine guns, according to the country's interior ministry. Two cars approached a police patrol in the busy neighbourhood of Nasr City late on Monday before opening fire at the officers. Five others were wounded in the incident. The interior ministry did not specify how many assailants were involved and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Egypt is currently battling several armed groups mainly concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula following the 2013 military coup that toppled Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected...
(Xinhuanet 05/02/17)
Chinese companies operating in Egypt held an employment forum on Sunday at the Suez Canal University in Egypt's Ismailia Province, east of the capital Cairo. At least 15 Chinese companies, including Chinese large industrial developer TEDA, fiberglass giant Jushi, Hengshi Egypt Fiberglass Fabric Ltd, XD-EGEMAC High Voltage Co. Ltd and New Hope Group for agricultural industries, joined the recruitment forum, which was held in cooperation with the Chinese embassy in Cairo. Ismailia's Governor Yassin Taher hailed the forum and "the clear criteria set by the Chinese companies for their needs of the Egyptian labor market," noting that most of their needs will be met among the graduates of the Suez Canal University. "We hope for further cooperation with the Chinese...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/02/17)
As the militant group steps up attacks on Coptic Christians, it is also trying to assert hardline religious authority in the remote area near Egypt’s border with Gaza. One Monday in early April, Shaher Saeed was driving south of the city of Arish in Egypt’s North Sinai when he came upon a group of Islamic State militants who had stopped a truck carrying cigarettes. “I saw them forcing the driver from the vehicle and stripping the upper part of his clothing before tying him to the door of one of their cars,” said Saeed, who lives in the area. “They hit him on the back more than 10 times, then burned all the cartons of cigarettes … They let him...
(Xinhuanet 05/02/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hailed workers in all fields and urges more production in a statement on Sunday during a celebration organized by the Egyptian Trade Union Federation to mark the Labor Day. "It is the day of every honorable Egyptian who works hard and does their best to reconstruct their nation and benefit the people," said the Egyptian president during a speech aired on the state TV. "I remind you that our dear Egypt is expecting a lot from you to establish together the pillars of future for us and for the coming generations," he added. During the celebration, Sisi honored 12 veteran hardworking members of labor unions and ordered to provide 100 million Egyptian pounds (5.5 million...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...

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