Friday 19 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 11/23/17)
The Egyptian army destroyed 10 sports utility vehicles loaded with weapons and ammunition on the Libyan border, it said in a statement on Wednesday. "The air force has dealt a new blow to smugglers and infiltrators across the border," preventing them from bringing weapons and ammunition into Egypt, army spokesman Tamer al-Refai said in a statement posted on Facebook. The Egyptian military has carried out regular strikes against such vehicles in recent months. Since the army in 2013 removed elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, extremist groups have stepped up attacks on the military and police. Security forces are fighting the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group, which has increased its attacks in the north of...
(The Associated Press 11/23/17)
Tensions between Egypt and upstream Nile basin countries Sudan and Ethiopia flared up again Thursday over the construction and the effects of a massive dam being built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile, the waterway’s main tributary. A mostly desert nation of some 100 million people, Egypt fears the dam would reduce its vital share of the Nile waters and accuses Addis Ababa of not sufficiently cooperating on containing the dam’s effects. Egypt and Sudan have historically been allies, but a dispute over ownership of a border strip has poisoned relations, with the Egyptian media now routinely accusing Khartoum of taking Ethiopia’s side in the dispute over the dam. Differences over the Ethiopian dam, which is 62 percent complete, is...
(Xinhuanet 11/23/17)
The Egyptian prosecution ordered on Wednesday the detention of 29 people over charges of spying for Turkey against the Egyptian national interests, official MENA news agency reported. Egypt's top prosecutor Nabil Sadeq ordered a 15-day detention of the 29 defendants, along with other fugitives, who are accused of espionage in favor of Turkey to harm Egypt's interests, joining a terrorist group, involved in money laundering and illegal currency trade and other charges. Egypt's ties with Turkey have been tense since the Egyptian military removed former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and later blacklisted his Muslim Brotherhood group as a terrorist organization, a move that has been officially rejected by Turkey that hosted fleeing Brotherhood members and supporters. The...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Egypt's public prosecutor ordered 29 people to be detained for 15 days pending an investigation into accusations they spied for Turkey and joined a "terrorist" group, his office said Wednesday. The 29 suspects -- and others who are still at large -- are accused of "spying in favour of Turkey and membership in an terrorist organisation", a statement said. The suspects were accused of offering Egyptian citizens an international phone service, which was set up to spy on Egyptians and offer the information to Turkish intelligence. They listened in on those calls to monitor the opinions of Egyptians on conditions in the country, and then leaked the information to Turkish intelligence services. The suspects acted in agreement with "elements from...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri briefly stopped Tuesday in Egypt for talks on his way back from France to his country, which is reeling from his surprise resignation amid an escalating regional crisis. Hariri's media office said he met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has sought to defuse the tensions between Hariri's sponsors in Saudi Arabia and the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah and its Iranian patrons. Hariri's visit to Cairo follows two weeks of deep uncertainty after he announced his resignation on November 4 in a speech from Saudi Arabia. In a terse televised news conference before he departed Cairo, Hariri thanked Sisi for his support and said he would not elaborate on his resignation until he reached Beirut for...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Egyptian prosecutors have detained a satirist known for his ribald humour on suspicion of joining an "illegal group", his lawyer told AFP on Tuesday. Islam al-Rifai, who has more than 70,000 followers on Twitter were he posts lewd jokes and pictures, was arrested last Thursday, his lawyer Gamal Eid said. Eid said Rifai, who also designs websites, had been lured into being arrested after receiving a phone call from someone who claimed he wanted his help with a website. Prosecutors then charged him with belonging to an "illegal group", the lawyer said. It was not immediately clear what group prosecutors suspected him of joining. Rifai's arrest led to supporters launching Twitter hashtags reading in Arabic "Freedom for Khorm" and "Khorm...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will on Tuesday meet Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Cairo confirmed, before the premier returns to Lebanon to face the political crisis over his resignation. Hariri, who is currently in Paris, had already announced on Twitter that he would be visiting Egypt for the meeting ahead of his planned return home for Lebanon's Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday. "President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will meet later in the day with Lebanon's Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri," the Egyptian presidency said in a statement. "The meeting is expected to focus on the latest developments in the region as well as developments in Lebanon.
(Reuters (Eng) 11/21/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will meet Saad al-Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanese prime minister on Nov. 4, on Tuesday evening, the presidency said on Monday. Sisi and Hariri’s meeting will address the “latest developments in the region and developments of the Lebanon situation,” a statement from Egypt’s presidency said. Hariri has since Saturday been in Paris, where he met French President Emmanuel Macron. He has said he will return to Lebanon by Wednesday for the country’s Independence Day celebrations. Lebanese President Michel Aoun has said he will not accept Hariri’s...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal acts of human trafficking. He calls for a swift action to be taken and identify all perpetrators and accomplices, with the view of bringing the criminals to justice. This comes following the release of shocking images showing the sale of...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
Leaders of various Palestinian factions headed for the Egyptian capital Cairo on Monday ahead of talks aimed at moving forward with a reconciliation agreement. Senior figures from 13 different political factions -- including Gaza's rulers Hamas and the West Bank-based Fatah -- are due to meet on Tuesday for three-day talks, with potential topics of discussion including the formation of a new unity government. Under an Egypt-brokered agreement reached last month, the Islamist Hamas is supposed to hand over civil control of Gaza to the Fatah-led national government on December 1. A source at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt told AFP that representatives from various factions including Hamas had crossed over on Monday morning. "The aim of...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
Egypt opened its largely sealed border with Gaza on Saturday for the first time since a reconciliation agreement saw the Palestinian Authority take control of the crossing from Hamas. A Palestinian official at the Rafah crossing said it had opened at 0700 GMT and was expected to stay open for three days. "Egypt will open the crossing for humanitarian cases registered with the interior ministry," the official said, adding that civilian and security personnel on the Palestinian side were all employees of the reconciliation government headed by Rami Hamdallah. Up to 20,000 people from Gaza have applied to enter Egypt.
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
The largely sealed border between Gaza and Egypt was set to open for three days for the first time since the Palestinian reconciliation deal, an official said on Friday. Interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bozum told AFP the Rafah crossing from the coastal Palestinian enclave into Egypt would be open from Saturday. However, only humanitarian cases registered with the ministry would be allowed to leave, with this including up to 20,000 people in the empoverished enclave of two million, he added. Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip had been totally sealed since August, and was largely closed for years beforehand. Under the terms of a Palestinian reconciliation agreement reached last month, Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas are supposed to cede power to...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Egypt's interior ministry confirmed on Thursday the death of one of the country's most wanted militants in air strikes late October against a group behind a deadly ambush on policemen. Former army officer turned jihadist Emad al-Din Abdel Hamid had commanded the group that killed at least 16 policemen in an October 20 Western Desert ambush and later died in military air strikes, the ministry said in a statement. The group had been organised in the Libyan militant stronghold of Derna, the ministry added. A previously unknown jihadist group calling itself Ansar al-Islam -- or "Supporters of Islam"-- had said one of its leaders, Abdel Hamid, was later killed in the air strikes. The ministry said police had captured Libyan...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
The Egyptian Chess Federation invites Chinese grandmasters to join a new international competition that will be held in February 2018 at the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, the federation chief told Xinhua in an interview in Cairo. "We will hold the first version of Sharm el-Sheikh international chess competition on Feb. 16-27, 2018, with total rewards up to 30,000 U.S. dollars," said Hesham al-Gendy, president of the federation. "We would like to invite Chinese chess grandmasters to join the competition and we will cover the flight tickets and accomodation for them," Gendy added. China is ranked second after Russia in the world chess ranking for countries. It has nine male and 12 female players among the world's top...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
An Egyptian court Wednesday upheld a life sentence passed in 2016 against Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie over deadly clashes following Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's ouster, judicial officials said. The court of cassation, whose rulings can not be appealed, upheld the verdict of life terms against Badie, the Brotherhood's spiritual guide, and eight others over clashes in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya that killed three people. The court also confirmed three-year jail sentences against 19 defendants and 10-year terms against 29 others. The authorities have arrested thousands of Brotherhood leaders and members, including Morsi, since his ouster by the army in 2013. Hundreds have been sentenced to death, although many have appealed and won retrials. The country was rocked...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said Wednesday that North Africa is under threat from foreign fighters escaping the Islamic State jihadist group's defeats in Iraq and Syria. Messahel spoke at a news conference in Cairo after a meeting with his Egyptian and Tunisian counterparts, Sameh Shoukry and Khemaies Jhinaoui, over Libya. The Islamic State rose to prominence in the chaos of Syria's conflict, which broke out in 2011 with protests against President Bashar al-Assad. After its explosive rise in 2014 and conquest of vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, IS established a "caliphate" that attracted thousands of foreign fighters.
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
A Russian archaeological team has discovered a well-preserved mummy from the Greco-Roman period in a wooden coffin south of Cairo, Egypt's antiquities ministry said Tuesday. The discovery was made near New Fayoum city, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the Egyptian capital, the ministry said in a statement. The team "found inside the coffin a well-preserved mummy, wrapped in linen, with its face covered by a human mask with drawings in blue and gold," it said. While mummification is mostly associated with ancient Egypt, the practice continued into the Greco-Roman era. The Russian team made its discovery near a monastery in the village of Qalamshah.

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