Saturday 19 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
An attacker wounded six female tourists when he attacked them with a knife on a beach in Egypt's Red Sea resort town of Hurghada on Friday, the interior ministry said. The assailant has been arrested and is being questioned to determine his motives, the ministry said in a statement. Their nationalities were not immediately clear, but at least one of the tourists is a dual Ukrainian-Russian national, according to Russian media citing the consulate in Egypt. The ministry said the assailant swam to the beach before attacking the tourists. In January 2016, three tourists in Hurghada were wounded...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
The International Monetary Fund has approved a second tranche of a $12 billion loan to Egypt, praising the country's tough economic reforms that have fuelled inflation. In a statement on Thursday, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said the approval of the roughly $1.25 billion tranche showed "the IMF's strong support for Egypt in these efforts." The IMF and Egypt had agreed the loan last November, as the North African country devalued the pound and after it introduced a value-added tax in a bid to boost government finances and its foreign reserves. Egypt has also slashed fuel subsidies, most recently last month. "We believe that these efforts will yield results," Lagarde said in the statement. But concerns remained about inflation, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
Egypt's Coptic and Evangelical Churches have suspended some of their activities for security reasons after a spate of jihadist attacks, church officials said on Thursday. Conferences and church-organised trips will be suspended for three weeks after security services warned of more attempted attacks, said the Reverend Andrea Zaki, head of the Egyptian Evangelical Church. "We are talking about conferences and travel for religious events, for three weeks, because we have information in cooperation with the responsible agencies that attempts to attack have been detected," he told AFP. Church services will not be affected, he said. Coptic Church spokesman Bolus Halim confirmed the moratorium on some activities. Since December, Islamic State group suicide bombers have targeted three Coptic churches, killing dozens...
(AL Jazeera 07/14/17)
Three assailants on motorbike attack police checkpoint 30km outside Cairo before fleeing scene, interior ministry says. Gunmen ambushed an Egyptian security checkpoint, opening fire on a car and killing five policemen in an area just south of the capital, state-run MENA news agency and the interior ministry said. Three gunmen on a motorbike attacked police in al-Badrasheen area of Giza province, 30km south of Cairo, killing two officers and three conscripts, the agency said on Friday citing a security source. "A police officer who was near the site of the attack exchanged fire with the assailants forcing them to flee," the ministry statement said. Attackers stole the weapons and radios of the victims and tried to set fire to the...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/14/17)
Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians have been told by church leaders to cancel all events and activities outside churches in July because of a security threat, church and security sources said on Thursday. The warning followed an attack in May by Islamic State on Copts traveling to a monastery in central Egypt that killed 29 people. A month earlier, 44 people were killed in bomb attacks at a cathedral and another church on Palm Sunday. Sources said the warning was given to individual church leaders by a representative of the Coptic Orthodox Pope. Copts on trips or youth camps had been told to cut short their activities and return home early. The Egyptian Catholic church said it got the same instructions...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/14/17)
Gunmen ambushed an Egyptian security checkpoint on Friday, killing five policemen in an area just south of the capital, the state-run MENA news agency said. The attack in al-Badrasheen area of Giza province, 30 km (20 miles) south of Cairo, killed two officers and three conscripts, the agency said citing a security source. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Egyptian security forces have been battling the local affiliate of Islamic State in the northern Sinai area and attacks have extended to other parts of Egypt.
(Bloomberg 07/13/17)
Egypt’s overhaul of its bread subsidy program isn’t likely to lead to any significant change in how much wheat the country buys on the international market, according to traders and analysts. A fast growing population means that Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, will continue to need large amounts of foreign grain and the effect on prices will be minimal. On Wednesday, the Supply Ministry said from August it would only subsidize the final sale of bread, instead of production from grain bought locally or via international tenders. “Import demand will be the same as people still need to consume wheat and flour and Egypt’s bread consumption is one of the highest in the world,” said Haitham Nouh, chief executive...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
Al-Ahly coach Hossam El Badry has been suspended for one match by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after boycotting a press conference over the presence of the Qatari-owned BeIn Sports channel. Egypt and several of its allies cut diplomatic relations with Qatar last month, accusing it of supporting extremism. The Eygptian FA and its respective clubs then decided to boycott BeIn Sports as a result. On June 20, ahead of Al-Ahly's CAF Champions League match against Wydad Casablanca of Morocco, El Badry walked out of a press conference due to a BeIn Sports microphone being in the room. He eventually returned a few minutes later but covered up the microphone. El Badry and his players then refused to grant...
(Middle East Monitor 07/13/17)
Ethiopia has not yet started storing water from the Grand Renaissance Dam, the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced yesterday. Responding to several satellite images that have been circulated online showing the formation of a lake on one side of the dam, the ministry stressed that the lake was formed due to a flood. The Blue Nile flood starts in June and lasts until the end of September each year. The river receives the largest chunk of its water during the flood period with its water levels decreasing the remainder of the year. Concerns have risen in Cairo over the “possible” negative impact the Ethiopian dam will have on Egypt’s allocation of Nile water, which amounts to 55.5...
(AL Jazeera 07/13/17)
Mohamed Fawzi 'provided' Egypt's security agencies with details of Al Jazeera programmes while working for the network. Hacked emails obtained by the Turkish-based Anadolu news agency showed that a former Al Jazeera cameraman, who is suing the network, collaborated with Egyptian security agencies while working with the Doha-based television channel. In an article published on Wednesday, Anadolu reported that Mohamed Fawzy had been providing Egyptian security agencies details of Al Jazeera programmes. In one incident, he reportedly spoke about an event held by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party at Harvard University that would be aired on Al Jazeera television. Fawzy also reportedly coordinated with security agencies regarding his lawsuit against the network. Fawzy is suing Al Jazeera for...
(AFP (eng) 07/12/17)
Egypt and Morocco's airlines have said a ban against carry-on laptops on US-bound flights has been lifted, leaving only two Saudi airports under the restrictions put in place in March. Morocco's Royal Air Maroc said in a statement Wednesday that the ban, imposed amid fears the Islamic State group was developing a bomb concealed in electronics, would be lifted as of Thursday. EgyptAir said late Tuesday that the United States had also lifted the ban for the carrier's flights to New York from Wednesday. The ban remains in place for Saudi Arabia's two main international airports in Riyadh and Jeddah. The original ban affected airports in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, as well...
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
A U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition should not have member states that support terrorism, Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday in reference to Qatar. "It is unacceptable for the coalition to have amongst its members states that support terrorism or advocate for it in their media," said Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid, who is heading the Egyptian delegation that participated in a coalition meeting in Washington on Tuesday. He added the victory on the Islamic State in the field should be expanded to uproot all the terrorist and extremist organizations and the hands that support those organizations.
(Financial Times 07/12/17)
The black-clad Isis militants who massacred 29 Egyptian Christians travelling to a desert monastery in May, sprayed their bus with machine gun fire before boarding it to finish off any male passengers still alive. Mariam Adel, an injured young mother whose husband was killed along with nine other close relatives, described how the jihadis ordered the women on the bus to convert to Islam by pronouncing the shahada, or Islamic creed. When they refused, the attackers demanded the “spoils” of war and robbed them of their gold jewellery and mobile phones. “Renounce our faith? Of course not,” Ms Adel told a television interviewer from her hospital bed. “If we had, they might have let us off the bus and treated...
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
Egyptian aviation minister Sherif Fathy welcomed the decision taken by the U.S. by lifting a three-month-old ban on taking electronic devices into aircraft cabins on flights from Wednesday, local media reported on Tuesday. "There will be coordination between all the concerned bodies in Cairo International Airport and national airliner EgyptAir in this regard," said Fathy. The ban would be lifted for a year, after which its lifting would be subject to review, EgyptAir Chairman Safwat Musallam said in a statement. A similar ban on flights to London remains in effect, Musallam added. On March 21, the U.S. transport authorities instructed Egyptian airlines to limit specific electronic devices to be carried aboard flights heading to the United States. The instructions required...
(The Associated Press 07/12/17)
Egypt said Tuesday a member of a violent group suspected of links to the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood has been killed in a shootout with security forces, the latest in what appears to be a stepped-up crackdown on militants across the country. The Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police, said the shootout was in Fayoum, an oasis province southwest of Cairo and a traditional Brotherhood stronghold. It said two people who were with the man managed to escape, leaving their SUV behind. The ministry said the three belonged to the Brotherhood's breakaway faction Hasm, or "decisiveness." The Brotherhood won a series of elections in Egypt following the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, and Mohammed Morsi, a...
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
The exchange rate of the U.S. dollar was relatively stable during morning transactions at major Egyptian banks on Wednesday, the MENA news agency reported. The dollar exchange rate stood at EGP 17.82 for buying and EGP 17.92 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt. At the Commercial International Bank (CIB), the dollar price inched up EGP 17.86 for buying and EGP 17.96 for selling. At Banque du Caire it stood at EGP 17.80 for buying and EGP 17.90 for selling. At the Arab African International Bank and Bank of Alexandria, the dollar stood at EGP 17.85 for buying and EGP 17.95. The dollar rate reached EGP 17.84 for buying and EGP 17.94 for selling at Banque Misr.
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(The Associated Press 07/11/17)
Abbas-El-Sisi meeting comes after signs of a rapprochement between Cairo, Hamas and ex-Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan. Egyptian and Palestinian leaders have met amid signs of cooperation between Cairo and the Hamas group that could shake up Gaza's political landscape and sideline the Palestinian president. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met in Cairo on Sunday. Officials close to Abbas said the Palestinian leader wanted to seek clarifications on what appears to be an emerging power-sharing agreement between Gaza's Hamas rulers and an exiled Abbas rival, former Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan in the meeting.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/11/17)
Egypt’s core inflation rose to 31.95 percent year on year in June from 30.57 percent in May, the central bank said on Monday. Inflation in the north African country is expected to rise even more after the government’s recent decision to increase fuel and electricity prices. Over the same period, annual urban consumer price inflation rose slightly to 29.8 percent from 29.7 percent, official statistics agency CAPMAS said earlier on Monday. Based on our rough calculation, headline inflation should rise above 35 percent starting July/August.However, some of this could get offset. Egypt abandoned its currency peg to the U.S. dollar on November 3rd in a dramatic move that has since seen the currency depreciate roughly by half. Egypt hiked fuel...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/11/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi assured a delegation of Italian lawmakers on Tuesday that his government was committed to bringing to justice those responsible for the murder of an Italian student in Cairo last year. Giulio Regeni was found murdered in Cairo in February 2016 after the head of a Cairo street vendors' union reported him to police a few weeks before his death. The 28-year-old, who was conducting postgraduate research into Egyptian trade unions, was last seen by friends on Jan. 25, 2016. His body, showing signs of extensive torture, was found in a roadside ditch outside Cairo on Feb. 3. Egyptian officials have denied any involvement in Regeni's death. Security and intelligence sources told Reuters in April that...

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