Sunday 22 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
A major operation against jihadists in Egypt has killed 28 fighters in the Sinai Peninsula since it was launched by the military on Friday, the army said on Monday. Another 126 jihadists have been arrested since "Operation Sinai 2018" was launched in the Sinai across from Israel, the central Nile Delta and the Western Desert near the border with Libya, the army said. The security sweep comes as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seeking re-election in March, after a first term in office that has seen him crack down on an Islamist insurgency and other opponents. Egypt's security forces have been increasingly targeted by jihadists since the army in 2013 -- then headed by Sisi -- overthrew Islamist president Mohamed...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was expected to meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt on Monday, diplomatic sources said, as he started a tour of the Middle East. Tillerson landed in Cairo late Sunday and had dinner with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. The envoy was set to talk with Sisi in the early afternoon, after seeing staff of the US embassy in Cairo and a second meeting with Shoukry. A US State Department official said Tillerson's talks in Egypt would focus on "regional issues of mutual concern such as Libya and Syria, our shared commitment to fighting terrorism", and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "Concerns about human rights and civil society are a topic of continuing conversation with the...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
A Cairo court on Sunday handed 17 people life sentences over unrest that saw the deaths of three civilians, including a journalist and a teenager, during anti-government protests in 2014. The court sentenced 16 others to prison terms ranging from seven to 15 years. Fifteen others were acquitted in the verdicts, announced live on state television. Mayada Ashraf, who worked for privately owned newspaper Al-Dustour, was shot in the head while she was covering clashes in Cairo's northern Ein Shams neighbourhood on March 28, 2014. A Coptic Christian woman and a 13-year-old boy were also killed in the unrest. They were all killed as clashes broke out between security forces and supporters of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
Deep in Egypt's Nile Delta region, the children of Nagrig village have a clear goal in life: they want to become football stars like Mohamed Salah, Liverpool's top scorer and Africa's top player. Salah, who hails from their village, has been one of the sensations of the Premier League since joining Liverpool -- his goal in the victory against Southampton on Sunday was his 29th of the season. Further enhancing his status as a national hero, Salah played a key role in leading Egypt to the World Cup finals in Russia later this year. On Wednesday his talent will be on show in the Champions League as Liverpool tackle Porto. Mohamed Abdel-Gawad, 12, gazes in admiration at the three-storey house...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
Limited numbers of football fans are to be allowed into stadiums for league matches in Egypt for the first time since deadly riots in 2012, the country's football federation said Monday. Mostafa Tantawi, a spokesman for the federation, told AFP that up to 300 fans would from Monday be allowed to attend championship matches, while no restriction on numbers would apply to cup games. Clubs would be held responsible for their fans' behaviour, he said, following a partial lifting of the five-year ban decided at a meeting Sunday of the football federation. Egyptian authorities imposed the ban on fans at local matches after a February 2012 stadium riot in Port Said that left 74 people dead at a game between...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/18)
The Egyptian army announced the launch on Friday of a major operation against jihadists across swathes of territory including the Sinai Peninsula, heart of a persistent Islamic State group insurgency. The security sweep in the Sinai, Nile Delta and Western Desert near the border with Libya comes as the country prepares for polls next month in which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seeking re-election. Police and troops have been put on "maximum alert" for the duration of "Operation Sinai 2018", which also involves the air force and navy, the army said in a statement on Friday.
(AFP (eng) 02/09/18)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Thursday defended the legality of a 2003 maritime agreement with Cyprus to boost gas exploration after his Turkish counterpart called it "null and void". In 2003 Egypt and Cyprus signed an agreement to set up an exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean to increase exploration for gas in the area. Turkey, which has occupied the northern third of Cyprus since 1974, has repeatedly voiced opposition to drilling off Cyprus. And ties between Cairo and Ankara have been strained since Egypt's army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. In an interview with a Greek newspaper interview this week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu dismissed the 2003 agreement between Cairo and Nicosia as "null...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
Authorities in Egypt have arrested a Russian belly dancer for alleged "incitement to debauchery" after a video showing her scantily-dressed went viral, security sources said. The woman identified as Ekaterina Andreeva and known by her stage name "Gawhara" (jewel in Arabic) will be deported, the sources said. She is being held in a Cairo police station and should be sent back to Russia on Saturday, they added. The video, widely shared online, shows her performing a sensual dance in a Cairo club and wearing a revealing lace dress. Authorities also accused the dancer of not having the proper documents allowing her to work and live in Egypt. Her lawyer Mohammed Salah denied the accusations against Andreeva in a statement to...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the interest of China to spy," AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said during a visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss deepening cooperation on a variety of issues, as well as opening a...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Egyptian archaeologists on Saturday unveiled the tomb of an Old Kingdom priestess adorned with well-preserved and rare wall paintings. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told reporters that the tomb on the Giza plateau near Cairo was built for Hetpet, a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, who assisted women in childbirth. The tomb was found during excavation work in Giza's western cemetery by a team of Egyptian archaeologists led by Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. The antiquities ministry said the cemetery houses tombs of top officials from the Old Kingdom's Fifth Dynasty (2465-2323 BC), and that several have already been dug up since 1842. The newly discovered tomb "has the architectural style and the decorative...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP that officials began issuing migrants letters on Sunday advising them that they had 60 days in which to leave the country voluntarily. For now, the notices are being given only to men without families, officials said...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way to go, and this is a fight we are never going to stop fighting, until every boy and every girl has access to education," she told the crowd. At ease with the African heads of state gathered onstage, Rihanna put...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure specific funding levels. In her tweet to Macron, Rihanna -- who met with him in Paris in July -- thanked the French leader for leading the conference...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/18)
Qatar's BeIN Sports said Wednesday it was "shocked and appalled" by the decision of an Egyptian court to fine the broadcaster $22 million for violating anti-trust regulations. In a strongly worded statement, BeIN also denied any wrongdoing and said the judgement -- which included a fine of 400 million Egyptian pounds against its chief executive, Nasser Al-Khelaifi -- was politically motivated. "BeIN categorically rejects, and is shocked and appalled by, the judgement of the Cairo Economic Court in Egypt," read the statement. "The judgement is based on unfounded and politically motivated allegations...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/18)
Opposition parties and figures in Egypt called Tuesday for a boycott of the March presidential election in which incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi looks set to romp to victory. Branding the poll a "charade", the coalition of eight parties and 150 public figures announced a campaign under the slogan "Stay at home" ahead of voting on March 26-28. "No to participation in this charade," said Hamdeen Sabbahi, a presidential candidate in 2012 and 2014. At a news conference by the coalition, founded in December and describing itself as a democratic civic movement, Sabbahi asked: "How can we speak of an election when there is no guarantee of a free vote?"
(AFP (eng) 01/31/18)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday inaugurated the offshore Zohr gas field, aimed at making the Arab world's most populous country self-sufficient in natural gas by the end of 2018. "We are now entering into the self-sufficiency stage... and, God willing, by the end of the year we will have reached self-sufficiency," Petroleum Minister Tarek al-Molla said at a ceremony in the northern city of Port Said, broadcast live on state television. In December, the oil ministry said it was starting production from the field discovered in 2015 by Italian energy giant Eni with an initial 350 million cubic feet (10 million cubic metres) a day.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/30/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - A leading member of an opposition campaign which was until this week challenging Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in upcoming elections was attacked outside his home on Saturday in what his lawyer described as a failed kidnap attempt. Hisham Genena, a former anti-corruption watchdog chief, had been working to elect former military chief-of-staff Lieutenant General Sami Anan, the last challenger seen as a potential threat to the re-election of Sisi in polls slated for March. Anan’s campaign was abruptly halted after he was arrested this week and accused of running for office without military permission. Anan’s family said late on Saturday that he is being held at a military prison, without providing any details. His lawyer, Nasser...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/30/18)
(Reuters) - Egypt’s government plans to pour tens of thousands of new housing units onto the market in each of the next few years, but it’s not clear how easily the country can absorb them. The authorities say they want to reduce crowding in Egypt’s congested cities and provide homes for the poor but many analysts say the new residences are priced way beyond the means of most Egyptians and a good share of them will remain unsold. The government is undeterred, however, and is moving full steam ahead on a new capital city 50 km east of Cairo, a project that will designed to deliver 240,000 new housing units over the next five years. It is also in the...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/30/18)
An Egyptian court imposed a $22 million fine Tuesday on Qatari-owned sports broadcaster BeIN Sports and its chief executive for violating anti-trust regulations. The broadcaster and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who is also president of the Paris Saint-Germain football club, were fined 400 million Egyptian pounds by the Cairo Economic Court, the Egyptian Competition Authority said in a statement. The decision came with ties between Egypt and Qatar deeply strained. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Egypt broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting extremists and being too close to Iran. Qatar denies the allegations. The court said BeIN had violated competition rules through its package deal system, which forces viewers to pay...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/18)
A long-necked dinosaur unearthed in Egypt has yielded the first evidence of contact between African and European dinosaurs shortly before the creatures disappeared for good about 66 million years ago, scientists said Monday. Given a dearth of dinosaur skeletons from Africa, palaeontologists have battled to reconstruct a map of how the animals spread across the world after the "supercontinent" Pangaea broke up into different land masses some 200 million years ago. Many believed Africa's dinosaurs were completely isolated from cousins on other continents by the time their heyday was brought to an abrupt end...

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