Tuesday 23 May 2017
(Washington Post 04/13/17)
After Palm Sunday bombings killed close to four dozen churchgoers in two Egyptian cities, President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi and the Egyptian cabinet declared a nationwide state of emergency, which was quickly approved by the parliament. Although it affords its rulers a broader set of powers, the measure is not primarily about law; authorities were already doing what they wished. Instead, the declaration of emergency is likely intended to communicate to Egyptian society — especially its sprawling state apparatus — to get on board with the new regime. Egypt’s courts, in particular, have been given a stern implicit message: Judges shouldn’t let strict legalism obstruct their more important role in the fight against terrorism. Egypt’s long history of emergency law When...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(AFP (eng) 04/12/17)
Egypt's Coptic Church announced on Wednesday that it would cut back Easter celebrations to a simple mass after twin bombings killed 45 worshippers last weekend. "Given the current circumstances and our solidarity with the families of the dead, we are going to limit our celebrations to Easter mass," a statement said. The traditional handing out of sweets to children by Coptic Pope Tawadros II before the start of Easter mass on Sunday will also be cancelled. "There will be no decorations in churches and the rooms normally reserved for the reception of worshippers wishing to exchange season's greetings will remain closed," an official at the Coptic patriarchate told AFP. The Islamic State jihadist group said it was behind the bombings...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
Egypt's parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved a three-month state of emergency declared by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after deadly church bombings, state-run Nile News television reported. The measure was published in Egypt's official gazette on Monday and said to have come into effect at 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) the same day, after 45 Coptic Christians were killed in Sunday's twin bombings. The Islamic State group said it was behind the bombings at churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria, and threatened further attacks against Egypt's Christian minority. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail told lawmakers before the vote in a televised speech that the measure was needed to empower the state to take
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
Egypt security forces have killed seven suspected Islamic State group sympathisers thought to be planning attacks against Coptic Christians, the interior ministry said Monday, a day after deadly twin church bombings. "A group of Daesh sympathisers were hiding in one of Assiut province's mountainous areas", the ministry said in a statement, using an Arabic acronym for IS. The group was hiding in the southern province "to prepare explosive devices in preparation for carrying out a series of terrorist attacks," the ministry said. They were killed after a shootout with the police, who found rifles, ammunition, and IS
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
Sudan said on Monday that its decision to make Egyptian men aged from 18 to 50 obtain entry visas was aimed at preventing "terrorists" from infiltrating the country. Since 2004 Egyptians have enjoyed visa-free access to Sudan, but on Friday Sudanese authorities made it mandatory for adult Egyptian men to obtain visas before entering the country. Egyptian women are still allowed to enter without visas. "The decision of imposing visas for Egyptians was taken after consultations between the two countries," Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour told reporters. "It aims to ensure organised entry of citizens in both countries and to prevent terrorist elements from entering."
(Reuters (Eng) 04/11/17)
Egyptian security forces killed seven suspected Islamic State militants in a shootout on Monday as they were meeting to plan attacks on minority Christians, the Interior Ministry said. The incident in the southern city of Assiut occurred a day after Egypt's cabinet approved a three-month state of emergency in the wake of Islamic State attacks on two Christian Coptic churches that killed at least 44 people. The seven militants were killed after they opened fire on security forces who approached them as they were meeting to plot further attacks on Christians, the ministry said in a statement. Assiut has a significant Christian population. Ammunition, weapons, a motorcycle and Islamic State books and publications were found at the scene, the statement...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
Hundreds gathered Monday to mourn 45 Egyptian Christians killed in jihadist bombings just a week before Easter, after Cairo declared a state of emergency following the attacks on two churches. The Islamic State group said it was behind the twin bombings that targeted Palm Sunday services at churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria, and threatened further attacks against Egypt's Christian minority. Sunday's first bombing at the Mar Girgis church in Tanta city north of Cairo killed 28 people, the health ministry said. The second struck outside Saint Mark's church in Alexandria, killing 17 people after a suicide bomber was prevented from entering the building. The violence comes ahead of Catholic Pope Francis's first trip to Egypt later this...
(Xinhuanet 04/11/17)
Egypt's cabinet has approved on Monday a countrywide state of emergency for three months, one day after two church bombings killed at least 44 people. The state of emergency will take effect from 1 p.m. local time (1100 GMT), the cabinet said in a statement. The decision must be approved by parliament in maximum seven days to remain in place. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared the measure in a televised address on Sunday following the attacks. "This is only to protect our country and prevent any targeting of its capabilities," Sisi said. "What is happening now is another attempt to destroy our country," he added. Earlier on Sunday, The president also ordered the deployment of army forces to secure state...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(AFP (eng) 04/10/17)
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency in Egypt following twin church bombings that killed dozens of people in two cities on Sunday. Sisi announced the "state of emergency for three months" in a defiant speech at the presidential palace after a meeting of the national defence council. The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the church bombings in the Nile Delta cities of Alexandria and Tanta in which at least 44 people were killed. The emergency law expands police powers of arrest, surveillance and seizures and can limit freedom of movement.
(AFP (eng) 04/10/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced a three-month state of emergency following twin church bombings by the Islamic State group that killed dozens on Palm Sunday, the deadliest attacks on the minority in recent memory. The attacks in the Nile Delta cities of Tanta and Alexandria followed a Cairo church bombing in December and came weeks before a planned visit by Catholic Pope Francis intended to show support for Egypt's Christian minority. Sisi declared the "three-month" state of emergency, which he must present to parliament within a week, during a defiant speech warning that the war against the jihadists "will be long and painful". The first bombing at the Mar Girgis church in Tanta city north of Cairo killed 27...
(AFP (eng) 04/09/17)
Bombings at two Egyptian churches killed more than 35 people as they gathered to mark Palm Sunday, officials said, in one of the deadliest recent attacks on the country's Coptic Christians. The attacks on the Mar Girgis church in the city of Tanta north of Cairo and Saint Mark's Church in the coastal city of Alexandria came just weeks ahead of a visit by Pope Francis to show support for Egypt's large Christian minority. Egyptian officials denounced the attack as an attempt to sow divisions in the country, while Francis sent his "deep condolences" to Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks but Egyptian Christians have repeatedly been targeted by jihadists including...
(AFP (eng) 04/07/17)
After fleeing to Egypt from the war devastating their country, more Syrians are abandoning migration to the West fearing racism and culture shock, and instead are settling in Cairo. Mohamed Amin, 43, had considered Egypt a gateway to Europe when he arrived five years ago. He has since changed his mind, put off by accounts from fellow refugees who made it to the Netherlands and Canada. "There is racism, and Western culture is very different from our Muslim and Arab culture even if the quality of life is better," said the father of four who owned two bakeries in the Syrian town of Muadamiyat al-Sham. He is now trying to supplement his income with a bakery he set up on...
(The Associated Press 04/07/17)
Hundreds of Egyptian women and girls have come out to denounce sexual harassment and share personal stories about it on social media, breaking a taboo and raising the ire of some in the country’s conservative majority. In posts on Facebook and Twitter from the weekend to Wednesday, rare, candid stories focused on women’s first experiences of harassment, almost all of which occurred in childhood and some involving family members and teachers. The campaign promoted by a recent university graduate laid bare a phenomenon endemic to the streets of Egypt’s crowded cities, where over the years women have faced sexual harassment by men or groups of men at a variety of public gatherings, protests or celebrations. “I didn’t know that there...
(Xinhuanet 04/07/17)
Egyptian Presidency announced Thursday that the meeting between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in the White House has heralded a new phase of relations between Egypt and the United States. "President Sisi held significant meetings during his U.S. visit with senior officials of the new administration," state-run MENA news agency quoted spokesman for Egyptian presidency Alaa Youssif as saying. Egypt's Sisi concluded on Thursday a six-day visit to the United States where he met with Trump and a number of U.S. military, economic and political officials. The visit came after years of rift in Egypt-U.S. relations following the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi by the army in 2013. The spokesman said it was clear...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(Bloomberg 04/06/17)
The International Monetary Fund said it is working with Egypt to help bring inflation under control, as the government moves ahead with an economic reform program that boosted investment but also sent prices soaring. The IMF recognizes “the sacrifices made and the difficulties faced by many Egyptian citizens,” Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement following a meeting on Wednesday with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Washington. “The IMF is working to help the government and the central bank bring inflation under control and supports the steps the Egyptian authorities are taking to protect its poorest and most vulnerable citizens.” Egypt lifted foreign exchange restrictions in November to curb a crippling foreign currency shortage, a move that drew overseas investors...
(Daily News Egypt 04/06/17)
The ministry will complete the repayment of its dues after receiving the third tranche of the World Bank and AFDB loans, sources said. The Egyptian government plans to repay a part of its dues—worth $500m—to a number of foreign companies operating in the local petroleum sector in the next month. Sources at the Ministry of Petroleum told Daily News Egypt that the government will repay a part of its dues—totaling $3.5bn—after obtaining the third tranche of the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AFDB) loans—estimated at $1bn and $500m, respectively. They added that the government is keen to repay its dues to the foreign partners, so as to enable them to continue their exploration activities in the country. During...
(Daily News Egypt 04/06/17)
Egypt implements an economic reform programme that aims to provide more job opportunities. The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, met with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during his current visit to Washington. “President Al-Sisi and I discussed the progress of Egypt’s economic reform programme, supported by the IMF’s $12bn extended fund facility arrangement,” Lagarde said in a statement released on Thursday. The statement added that “Egypt is implementing a strong economic reform programme to help the economy return to its full potential, achieve more growth, and create more jobs. We recognize the sacrifices made and the difficulties faced by many Egyptian citizens, especially due to high inflation.” Lagarde asserted that the IMF is working to...

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