Monday 20 November 2017
(BBC News Africa 06/06/13)
Egyptian doctors had to use the light generated by their mobile phones to perform surgery after a sudden power cut at a hospital, local media report. The patient was about to have a minor gall-bladder operation when the lights went out in the southern city of Qina. The provincial governor later ordered an urgent inquiry, saying there was no excuse that the hospital's back-up generator did not work. Blackouts have recently become part of daily life for many Egyptians. The doctors in Qina were lucky because their mobile phones were fully charged, the al-Masry al-Youm newspaper reported. The patient was 60 years old, it said.Several Egyptian cities experienced repeated blackouts over the past two months. Even upscale districts and key...
(The Associated Press 06/06/13)
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Egyptian officials tried to cool tensions with Ethiopia Wednesday over the new Nile River dam project by highlighting its "neighborliness" as the Ethiopian prime minister's spokesman insisted that nothing would stop the dam from being completed upstream from Egypt, which is wholly dependent on Nile River water. Egypt fears a diminished flow from Africa's largest dam and hydropower station but Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said Egypt respects Ethiopia and will not engage in any aggressive acts against the East African nation. Egyptian politicians had suggested the country should sabotage the project in a meeting with the president Monday. Getachew Reda, a spokesman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, said late Tuesday that Egyptian leaders in...
(The Guardian 06/06/13)
Sackings of high-level arts administrators prompt fears of government bid to impose conservative religious agenda on cultural life. As the curtain rose for the evening performance at Cairo Opera House, the cast did not assemble for the opening prelude of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida as they had on previous nights. Instead, more than 300 actors, dancers and theatre staff filled the stage, wearing full costume and clutching protest signs. Addressing the audience, conductor Nayer Nagi announced: "In a stand against a detailed plan to destroy culture and fine arts in Egypt we abstain from performing tonight's opera." Following a spate of sackings within Egypt's culture ministry, a new political battleground has emerged in the country's opera houses and theatres. The performers...
(Ahram Online 06/06/13)
Leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei under fire by Salafist Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakkar for not attending Nile dam meeting with president, issuing apology to Ethiopia. Salafist Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakkar expressed his discontent with opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei after the latter issued an apology to Ethiopia for controversial comments made by Egyptian politicians during a meeting with the president. The meeting with President Mohamed Morsi on Ethiopia's dam 'crisis' on Monday, which was aired live without notifying the attendees, witnessed suggestions of sabotaging the Ethiopian dam through bribing Ethiopian tribes or spreading false rumours of impending an Egyptian airstrike on the dam as solutions to end the issue. ElBaradei, who had refused to take part in the meeting,...
(Business Daily 06/06/13)
Japan hosted the fifth meeting of TICAD, the Tokyo International Cooperation on African Development this week. The meeting is a reminder that, while the rest of the world obsesses over Europe’s economic travails, America’s political paralysis and growth slowdown in China and other emerging markets, there remains a region — sub-Saharan Africa — where poverty is almost the rule, not the exception. From 1990 to 2010, the number of people living in poverty ($1.25 per day) across sub-Sahara Africa rose from less than 300 million to nearly 425 million, while the number living on less than $2 a day grew from about 390 million to almost 600 million. Still, the proportion of those living in poverty declined from 57 per...
(The Associated Press 06/06/13)
CAIRO (AP) — A senior aviation official says striking workers at the Cairo international airport's largest terminal are blocking airplanes on the tarmac and disrupting flights. Abdel-Aziz Fadel says the workers have occupied taxiing areas near runways, forcing passengers to board and disembark at the airport's other terminal. The strikers are demanding better pay. Wednesday's strike has delayed the departure of seven flights and diverted passengers from three incoming international flights to the other terminal. Fadel said security forces have refused to intervene to remove the striking workers, arguing that such a move would worsen the situation and recommended resolving the strike through negotiations. Egypt has been hit by a seemingly endless wave of strikes in the two years since...
(Ahram Online 06/05/13)
Presidential spokesperson denies reports that Ethiopia has complained to UN over controversial comments made at dam meeting. An Egyptian presidential spokesperson has denied reports that Ethiopia has filed a complaint with the UN Security Council over comments made at President Morsi's meeting on Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam. The meeting, which was broadcast live without the knowledge of some attendees, came under fire for featuring indiscreet, off-the-record statements. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said his country would file a complaint about the meeting with the UN. "No official move, however, has been taken," spokesperson Omar Amer said on Tuesday in televised comments. Among the controversial comments were that Egypt could indirectly threaten military action against Ethiopia, while another proposed "destroying" the dam...
(The Associated Press 06/05/13)
Ethiopia's official says Egyptian politicians suggestions of sabotaging Renaissance dam is 'day dreaming'. A spokesman for Ethiopia's prime minister is downplaying suggestions by Egyptian politicians that Egypt should sabotage Ethiopia's new Nile River dam. Political leaders in Egypt on Monday proposed carrying out hostile acts against Ethiopia. Egypt, which is dependent on the Nile, fears a diminished flow. Getachew Reda, a spokesman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, said late Tuesday that Egyptian leaders in the past have unsuccessfully tried to destabilize Ethiopia. He called the suggestions of attack or sabotage an "old failed concept." He also labeled it "day dreaming." Ethiopia last week ago began diverting the flow of the Nile toward its $4.2 billion hydroelectric plant that has...
(Ahram Online 06/05/13)
Increasingly frequent blackouts – which government blames on Egypt's overburdened electricity grid – lead to minor demonstrations in Gharbiya, Aswan. Ongoing power outages nationwide – which have coincided with sharply rising summertime temperatures – have prompted Egyptians in several governorates to hit the streets in protest. The electricity ministry has blamed the frequent blackouts on fuel shortages and an overloaded national electricity grid, as air-conditioning usage continues to increase amid ongoing heat waves. According to official figures, Egypt’s national electricity consumption this summer is expected to rise to 29,500 megawatts per day. The country's total daily electricity-production capacity, however, currently stands at some 27,000 megawatts. At a Tuesday meeting of the Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament), Electricity...
(Ahram Online 06/05/13)
Court hears appeal by PM Hisham Qandil against verdict in case related to privatisation of Tanta Flax and Oil Company. Egypt’s Misdemeanor Court will on Saturday announce its decision on an appeal filed by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil against a ruling that ordered his dismissal. On 17 April, Qandil was given a one-year suspended sentence with LE2,000 bail by Dokki Misdemeanor Court for failing to implement a verdict by the Administrative Court that had ordered the renationalisation of the Tanta Flax and Oil Company, and rendered invalid the company's sale to Saudi businessman Abdullah Al-Kaaki. The company was privatised in 2005 for less than its market value, forcing hundreds of workers into retirement, and depriving some workers of their annual...
(Voice of America 06/05/13)
WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday Egypt’s trial of representatives for non-government organizations was politically motivated and incompatible with its transition to democracy. Kerry issued the tough statement after a criminal court in Cairo convicted 43 NGO workers on charges of illegally using foreign funding to foment civil unrest. “The United States is deeply concerned by the guilty verdicts and sentences, including the suspended sentences, handed down by an Egyptian court against 43 NGO representatives in what was a politically-motivated trial,” Kerry said. “This decision runs contrary to the universal principle of freedom of association and is incompatible with the transition to democracy.” The Egyptian court ordered the closure of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in...
(Voice of America 06/05/13)
Global hunger, poor nutrition and obesity are costing the world trillions of dollars in health costs and lost productivity, according to a new report from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The FAO report says fighting hunger is not enough. Tackling the more complex problem of malnutrition calls for action across the entire food system, from farm to fork. About 870 million people worldwide are hungry, according to the FAO. But malnutrition is about more than just hunger. “Two billion people are deficient in essential vitamins and minerals," said FAO's Kostas Stamoulis. "One child in four under the age of five is stunted. And 1.4 billion people are overweight.” The FAO report says the combined effects of all these...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/05/13)
(Reuters) - An Egyptian court convicted 43 Americans, Europeans, Egyptians and other Arabs on Tuesday in a case against democracy promotion groups that plunged U.S.-Egyptian ties into their worst crisis in decades. Judge Makram Awad gave five-year sentences to 27 defendants tried in absentia including 15 U.S. citizens. Another American who stayed for trial was given a two-year sentence, but left Egypt on Tuesday on the advice of his lawyers. A German woman was also given a two-year sentence. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry harshly criticized the decision, calling it "incompatible with the transition to democracy" and a violation of the government's commitment to support civil society as it emerges from years of authoritarian rule by former President Hosni...
(Ahram Online 06/05/13)
'We denounce these cases that target freedom of opinion and expression', say human rights groups after Coptic Christian lawyer receives one-year sentence for comments made on Facebook. Egyptian human rights groups on Tuesday issued a statement denouncing a recent court verdict against Coptic Christian lawyer Romani Mourad. Mourad was sentenced in absentia by a misdemeanour court in Assiut on Saturday to one year in prison and a fine of LE10,000 ($1,430) for insulting and mocking God and the Quran. In July 2012, a number of the Islamist lawyers filed a complaint accusing Mourad of insulting the Islamic religion during a discussion that took place at Assiut’s lawyers syndicate. The statement claims that a dispute between Mourad and an Islamist lawyer...
(NBC News 06/05/13)
CAIRO - The son of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood was among 16 Americans sentenced to jail in absentia by a court in Egypt Tuesday, part of a diplomatic dispute over the activities and funding of U.S.-backed pro-democracy groups. Sam LaHood was given a five-year sentence and fined 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($143). He is among 43 U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to face trial over what Egypt called a crackdown on non-profit organizations working in Cairo without required licenses. However, opposition groups claim the cases were brought in order to harass activists involved in the country’s 2011 Arab Spring revolt – which led to the removal of former leader Hosni Mubarak – and the subsequent transfer of powers from...
(Ahram Online 06/04/13)
Lawyer says jail sentences imposed on NGO workers are aimed at pleasing public opinion; rights groups say they are intended to silence independent voices. Jail sentences passed against 43 NGO workers on Tuesday are principally aimed at "pleasing public opinion and endorsing anti-American and anti-Western sentiment," a lawyer for some of the defendants has claimed. arwat Abdel-Shahid, a lawyer for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a US NGO which had 15 employees on trial, said the verdict discriminated against foreigners because Egyptian defendants received one-year suspended sentences, while foreigners, who had joined the organisation on the same day as their Egyptian colleagues and had the same legal status, received two-year sentences. The verdict is far from serving Egyptian society, Abdel-Shahid...
(AFP (eng) 06/04/13)
CAIRO, June 04, 2013 (AFP) - A Cairo court on Tuesday sentenced 43 Egyptian and foreign employees of several non-governmental organisations to jail sentences ranging from one to five years for working illegally. The sentences follow trials which came in the wake of raids last year on the offices of foreign NGOs, many which had operated without licences under ousted president Hosni Mubarak but which the new authorities deemed were receiving illicit funds. The Cairo criminal court sentenced 27 defendants in absentia to five years. Five defendants who were present in the country, including one American, were sentenced to two years behind bars and ordered to pay a fine of 1,000 Egyptian pounds (around $143.) The remaining 11 defendants were...
(NBC News 06/04/13)
CAIRO — Egypt's highest court on Sunday ruled that the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament is unconstitutional — but allowed it to remain until future elections are held. The decision ends the legal uncertainty hanging over the country’s political transition, but does little diffuse tension between the ruling Muslim Brotherhood and mostly secular opposition groups. However, it illustrates the willingness of Egypt’s judiciary to challenge the Muslim Brotherhood on constitutional matters. The upper house of parliament, known as the the Shura council, was elected as a consultative assembly with just a 7 percent voter turnout according to Reuters, and has angered the opposition by stirring up various controversies since it assumed legislative powers in December. Read the story at: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/02/18698265-egypts-upper-parl...
(The Associated Press 06/04/13)
Politicians meeting with Egypt's president on Monday proposed hostile acts against Ethiopia, including backing rebels and carrying out sabotage, to stop it from building a massive dam on the Nile River upstream. Some of the politicians appeared unaware the meeting with President Mohammed Morsi was being carried live on TV. Morsi did not directly react to the suggestions, but said in concluding remarks that Egypt respects Ethiopia and its people and will not engage in any aggressive acts against the East African nation. Morsi called the meeting to review the impact of Ethiopia's $4.2 billion hydroelectric dam, which would be Africa's largest. Egypt in the past has threatened to go to war over its "historic rights" to Nile River water...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/04/13)
CAIRO, EGYPT — A high-profile Egyptian blogger and activist was sentenced to six months in jail on Monday for insulting President Mohamed Morsi, in what campaigners said was the first major conviction in a legal crackdown on critics. More than 100 of Ahmed Douma's supporters filled the courtroom in a Cairo suburb and chanted slogans against the Islamist president during the hearing. “It's clear that the government is trying to threaten activists with these cases,” said one of his lawyers, Ali Soliman. Douma, found guilty of calling the president a criminal and a murderer in media interviews, was allowed to pay 5,000 Egyptian pounds [$720] bail to stay out of prison pending an appeal, according to Soliman. Morsi, voted in...

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