Thursday 29 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
Egyptian warplanes struck a convoy of 12 vehicles about to be driven across the border from Libya carrying weapons and ammunition, the military said on Tuesday. The military said in a statement that it had acted on "intelligence indicating a number of criminal elements had gathered to cross the border into Egypt using a number of four-wheel-drive vehicles". An official in the armed forces told AFP the vehicles had been on the move from Libya. Air force units...
(Reuters 06/23/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has pardoned 502 prisoners before the Eid al-Fitr holiday, state media said on Friday, including prominent businessman Hesham Talaat Moustafa, according to security sources. No list of names was immediately available, but the prisoners to be released include 25 women and "a large number of youth jailed in cases involving protesting and gathering," state news agency MENA reported, without specifying how many. Since seizing power in mid-2013 from the Muslim Brotherhood, Sisi has presided over a crackdown on Islamist opponents that has seen hundreds killed and many thousands jailed. Activists and liberal opponents have also been imprisoned. A law requiring permission from the Interior Ministry for any public gathering of more than 10 people is...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/21/17)
Human rights groups urged Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to intervene by a Thursday deadline to commute the death sentences of six men convicted of killing a policeman, saying they had been kidnapped and tortured into confessing the crime. The six have been convicted of murdering Sergeant Abdallah al-Motweli, who guarded the house of a judge who helped to sentence Egypt's former president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood to 20 years in prison. Sisi, who in 2013 headed the...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(The Associated Press 06/17/17)
Egyptian security forces have quickly disbursed small protests against a disputed deal which gives control of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Anti-riot police were deployed on Friday after calls spread on social media to rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's agreement. It came two days after Egypt's parliament - packed by el-Sissi supporters- voted to ratify the deal. The vote fueled anger which has been largely suppressed under a heavy security campaign since last year...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/17/17)
A Cairo criminal court on Saturday recommended the death penalty for 30 people convicted of involvement in the 2015 assassination of Egypt's top prosecutor, the most senior state official killed by militants in recent years. The court set a verdict session for July 22, after referring its recommendation to the country's top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for a non-binding legally-required opinion. The July 22 verdict can be appealed against. Public prosecutor Hisham Barakat was killed in a car bomb...
(The Associated Press 06/16/17)
Egypt has lifted a $100,000 annual cap for foreign currency transfers abroad in a move that signals progress toward easing a dollar shortage and potentially strengthening investor confidence. The decision, announced Wednesday, applies to individual bank transactions. Egypt set the cap in early 2011, after a popular uprising forced longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak to step down. Years of unrest since then have crippled the local economy, including the vital tourism sector, and weakened the Egyptian pound.
(Bloomberg 06/01/17)
Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, sees two buying opportunities in Egypt this year after a commodity rout depressed prices in the region. The Washington, D.C.-based investor’s $700 million Sub-Saharan Africa Fund will spend between $30 million and $100 million on each, making the fund about 80 percent invested, managing director Eric Kump said in an interview. He declined to name industries or be more specific. “We are being more active in North Africa, specifically...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
Ancient Egyptians were an archaeologist's dream. They left behind intricate coffins, massive pyramids and gorgeous hieroglyphs, the pictorial writing code cracked in 1799. Egyptians recorded tales of royalty and gods. They jotted down life's miscellanies, too, as humdrum as beer recipes and doctor's notes. But there was one persistent hole in ancient Egyptian identity: their chromosomes. Cool, dry permafrost can preserve prehistoric DNA like a natural freezer, but Egypt is a gene incinerator. The region is hot. Within the mummies'...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...
(Bloomberg 05/29/17)
The Egyptian government approved a social spending plan to support lower and middle income families after inflation surged to the highest levels in decades following the flotation of the pound. The government plans to spend 45 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.48 billion) on income tax discounts, bonuses for public employees, and increased pension payments and cash subsidies during the fiscal year beginning July 1, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy told reporters in Cairo. The package, excluding the cash subsidy raise, requires parliament...
(AL Jazeera 05/29/17)
Access to prominent financial newspaper, Al-Boursa, denied days after 21 other sites were blocked by authorities. Egypt has blocked the website of one of its most prominent financial newspapers, the paper's owner said on Sunday, expanding a media blackout initiated last week to curb what authorities called support for "terrorism" and fake news. The censorship of Al-Boursa, a widely read financial newspaper that generally avoids politics and reflects the views of a largely pro-state business community, suggests a more expansive attempt to control private media coverage. The website of Al-Boursa's sister publication, the English-language Daily News Egypt
(Washington Post 05/26/17)
Aya Hijazi learned three years ago that being an American citizen can get you thrown in jail on trumped-up charges in Egypt — a country that claims to be a staunch American ally and accepts billions of dollars in U.S. aid. Then she learned that being an American unjustly imprisoned abroad won’t necessarily get you any help or attention from the world’s most powerful government, even if it has plenty of leverage. The State Department might just prefer to keep...
(AL Jazeera 05/24/17)
Detention follows complaint that Ali made an 'obscene hand gesture' outside a Cairo court in January, his lawyer says. A prominent Egyptian opposition leader was detained on Tuesday for "offending public decency" amid what rights lawyers say is a wave of arrests of potential presidential candidates one year before an election. Khaled Ali, a human rights lawyer who ran in Egypt's 2012 presidential vote, was questioned by the prosecution and ordered detained for 24 hours pending investigations, lawyer Gamal Eid told Ahram Online. Ali, who has suggested he might run against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in an election slated
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(Bloomberg 05/17/17)
Egypt expects inflation to remain above 20 percent next year, as authorities plan an aid package to help lower-income citizens cope with the price surge resulting from the steep weakening of the pound over the past seven months. The planned “social package” to be announced soon, will target public servants, low-income tax payers and recipients of food subsidies, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk said in an interview in the resort town of El Gouna on Tuesday. Kouchouk said inflation will...
(Bloomberg 05/17/17)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said his government will enact sweeping measures to help families struggling with rising prices as they brace for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with inflation already at the highest level in at least two decades. The measures include tax breaks and increasing subsidized food, El-Sisi said in an interview published in Wednesday’s edition of the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper. Food prices usually increase in Ramadan, which starts later this month, with Muslims typically breaking their fast...
(CNN 05/17/17)
The Egyptian government is considering radical new proposals to restrict citizens' access to social media. A draft bill circulated in Egyptian newspapers would require users to register with the government to access sites including Twitter and Facebook. Successful applicants would receive a login linked to their national ID. Unauthorized use could result in prison sentences and heavy fines. The draft was authored by MP Reyad Abdel Sattar of the liberal Free Egyptians Party, the largest party in parliament with 65...
(Bloomberg 05/17/17)
The U.S. is getting a chance of selling wheat to Egypt as the world’s biggest buyer tenders today. For France, the outlook isn’t so promising. U.S. wheat represented two of the five lowest offers to Egypt including freight, according to two traders involved who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to the media. While French wheat was offered, a change in the protein specifications and higher prices due to the stronger euro makes a sale...
(BBC News Africa 05/12/17)
Officials in Poland say a Polish tourist who died in an Egyptian resort last month may have been a victim of human trafficking and organised crime. The Polish tourist, named in media reports as Magdalena Zuk, travelled alone to the Red Sea resort of Marsa Alam at the end of April. Days later, she plunged to her death from a hospital window. Egyptian security sources and medical staff say the 27-year-old woman took her own life. There has been speculation...

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