Friday 20 April 2018
(Reuters (Eng) 01/30/18)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists have unearthed in a Sahara Desert oasis in Egypt fossils of a long-necked, four-legged, school bus-sized dinosaur that lived roughly 80 million years ago, a discovery that sheds light on a mysterious time period in the history of dinosaurs in Africa. Researchers said on Monday the plant-eating Cretaceous Period dinosaur, named Mansourasaurus shahinae, was nearly 33 feet (10 meters) long and weighed 5.5 tons (5,000 kg) and was a member of a group called titanosaurs that included Earth’s largest-ever land animals. Like many titanosaurs, Mansourasaurus boasted bony plates called osteoderms embedded in its skin. Mansourasaurus, which lived near the shore of the ancient ocean that preceded the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the very few dinosaurs...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sisi looks set to romp to victory in a March presidential election fast becoming a referendum on his first four-year term, despite a last-minute candidate entering the fray on Monday. The former army chief who toppled his Islamist predecessor in 2013 won 96.9 percent of the vote in an election the following year, and is setting the stage for a similar performance. Voting takes place from March 26-28, and the deadline for nominations was 2:00 pm (1200 GMT) on Monday. One last-minute surprise candidate did come forward -- the head of Egypt's liberal Ghad party, Mussa Mustapha Mussa. But given that he backs the president, his token candidacy would appear meant to ensure that Sisi will not...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Mussa Mustapha Mussa, who heads Egypt's liberal Al-Ghad party that backs President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, told AFP Monday before nominations closed that he will contest the presidential election. The last-minute surprise candidacy comes with Sisi, who has led an authoritarian regime since 2014, set to romp home to victory and another four-year term in the March 26-28 polls. The run-up to the close of nominations has seen any potential opposition sidelined, and many members of Al-Ghad who were once seen as opponents of ousted president Hosni Mubarak are now considered Sisi supporters. "I am finishing up with some remaining matters and will then...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/29/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian politician emerged just ahead of a deadline on Monday as the sole challenger to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in an election in March the incumbent is set to win after other candidates withdrew citing repression. Mousa Mostafa Mousa leads the Ghad party that has endorsed Sisi for a second term and even organized events to help nominate the former military commander as recently as last week. Sisi was elected in 2014, a year after leading the army to oust President Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist. It is the third election since protests in 2011 unseated long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak. Several leading opposition figures called on Sunday for an election boycott, blaming repression that has cleared the...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Five Egyptian public figures, including two former presidential hopefuls, called Sunday for voters to boycott the March presidential election after the withdrawal of all candidates but the incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Sisi, who has been in power since 2014, appears set to run unopposed after all other presidential hopefuls were either jailed or announced they would not take part in the election on March 26-28. Nominations for candidates remain open until Monday. The undersigned "condemn all security and administrative practices that the current regime took to prevent any fair competition against it in the upcoming elections," they said in the statement.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/29/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Several leading opposition figures called on Sunday for a boycott of Egypt’s March election, citing a wave of repression that has cleared the field of challengers to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. A string of candidates have withdrawn from the election on concerns over intimidation and the arrest of Sisi’s leading challenger, leaving the former general the sole contender only a day before the Jan. 29 nomination deadline. Former military commander Sisi was elected in 2014, a year after leading the army to the ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. The election will be the third since protests in 2011 unseated long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak. “We call on our great people to boycott these elections entirely, and to...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Egypt's ultra-conservative Islamist Al-Nour party has decided to support President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in his bid to be re-elected in March, the party said on Sunday. Sisi, who has been in power since 2014, appears set to run unopposed after all other presidential hopefuls announced they would not take part in the election on March 26-28. Nominations for candidates remain open until Monday. Al-Nour chief Yunes Makhion spoke at a news conference of his party's policies on the economy, corruption, human rights and fighting terrorism, among others. "The current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is the most capable to carry out these heavy responsibilities, and to bring cooperation between all the state's institutions of the armed forces, police, and parliament," said...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Two more potential presidential election candidates in Egypt withdrew on Saturday, leaving the way clear for incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stand unopposed. Only Sisi, in power since 2014, has so far officially announced his candidacy in the election for which voting is set for March 26. Nominations for candidates remain open until Monday. Zamalek football club boss Mortada Mansour announced on Facebook on Saturday that he will not be a candidate, despite previously saying that he would. The head of the old liberal El-Wafd party, Sayed El-Badawi, also withdrew on Saturday and announced his backing for Sisi. On Wednesday, rights lawyer Khaled Ali, seen as the last real challenger to Sisi, stepped aside. The National Election Authority announced on...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
With his trademark black sunglasses and blanket media presence, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi projects an air of benign paternalism. Whether the people love or loathe Sisi, seeing him as a bulwark of stability or as a domineering autocrat -- there is little doubt that he will remain Egypt's president for years to come. In 2014 he stormed to victory in the presidential election, having led the military a year before in ousting the North African country's first freely elected leader, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi. Morsi now languishes in jail, convicted on many and varied counts and sentenced to multiple terms including the death penalty. Sisi successfully silenced all forms of political opposition during his first four-year term. This has...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Assailants on Saturday stabbed and seriously wounded Egypt's former anti-corruption chief who was also a top aide to a barred candidate for a March presidential election, his lawyer said. Ali Taha said that Hisham Geneina was attacked by three men who "stabbed him in the face and beat him, breaking (one of) his legs", near his Cairo home. He was admitted to hospital for treatment. Geneina was sacked by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as head of the Central Auditing Authority in 2016 after he was accused of exaggerating the cost of corruption. On Saturday he was on his way to a court hearing to contest his dismissal. Zyad El Alaimy, a lawyer who was accompanied Geneina to a police station...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/29/18)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on Monday set a one-month deadline for laying out the ways to break a deadlock in talks over a mega dam Addis Ababa is building along its share of the Nile, an official said. Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam, a $4 billion-hydroelectric project that Cairo fears will reduce waters that run to its fields and reservoirs from Ethiopia’s highlands and via Sudan. Ethiopia, which is financing the project alone and hopes to become the continent’s biggest power generator and exporter, dismisses the claims.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/29/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s public prosecutor has ordered the detention of three men pending an investigation into an attack on a former anti-corruption watchdog chief, state news agency MENA said late on Sunday. The men were charged with thuggery, robbery and destruction of private property among other charges, MENA said. Hisham Genena had just left his home on Saturday morning in a suburb outside Cairo when two cars stopped him and a group of men attacked with knives and sticks, his family and lawyer said. His lawyer, Ali Taha and family described the attack as a failed kidnapping attempt. Genena is being treated at a hospital for a bleeding eye and several fractures. Genena had been working to elect former...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Egypt's Moataz Radi, or "Mizo", competes succesfully with China's top kung fu fighters in international championships, but yearns for recognition in his own country where football dominates. As Egyptians obsessively follow the preparations of the national football team for the World Cup in Russia and every move of star striker Mohamed Salah, Mizo is preparing for the next world championship in a sport that lacks sponsors and supporters. Despite his heavy build, 28-year-old Mizo, who is almost two metres tall, moves lightly during training at a modest gym in the October 6 district in western Cairo.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in Thursday's edition of the US journal Science. Until now, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa were estimated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 years old. "Misliya is an exciting discovery," said co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
A rights lawyer seen as the last real challenger to Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday quit the race to be president, the latest in a string of potential candidates to withdraw or be jailed. Sisi, who has ruled the North African country with an iron fist since being elected in 2014, earlier in the day became the only candidate so far to formally submit his bid to stand in the election. Since December, one by one, all of his other likely challengers have either ruled themselves out of the race or been sentenced to time in prison. On Wednesday it was the turn of Khaled Ali, a leftist human rights lawyer who was seen as the strongest candidate still...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/25/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s last main challenger for the presidency pulled out on Wednesday, saying any hope of a new start for Egypt had ended in a race that is all but certain to deliver the leader a second landslide. Former military commander Sisi was elected in 2014, a year after he led the army to oust Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. After rights lawyer Khaled Ali’s withdrawal on Wednesday and the arrest of the only serious challenger, former military chief of staff Sami Anan the day before, the March 26-28 vote now faces the prospect of featuring only one candidate. Ali announced he was withdrawing from the race just hours after Sisi launched his own bid. He said...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
Egypt on Thursday shifted a colossal statue of legendary Pharoah Ramses II into place at the entrance to a new museum in Cairo that officials hope can help win back tourists. The iconic 3,200-year-old monument will begin welcoming visitors to the Grand Egyptian Museum by the Giza pyramids when it is scheduled to open partially within the next 12 months, after years of delays. A military band played as the 83-tonne statue was slowly driven some 400 metres (yards) into position in a specially constructed metal frame on the back of two giant trailers. "The colossus of Ramses II stands at the atrium to guard the largest museum in the world, like it did in antiquity at the Great Ptah...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
Egyptian squash players are dominating the sport globally, with coaches and their opponents saying their tight-knit community and freer training techniques have given them a competitive edge. Six of the world's top 10 male players are Egyptian, while four Egyptian women are in the women's top 10. The current world No. 1 is France's Gregory Gaultier, but the four players after him in the rankings are all Egyptian. Alan Thatcher, editor and publisher of the website Squash Mad, said not only do they "hit winners", Egyptians had introduced a more dynamic style of squash that is "amazingly entertaining". "The old style of game was about the long attritional rallies, hundreds of shots, up and down the side wall, but now...

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