| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A bipartisan panel of experts on Egypt-U.S. relations is urging Congress to rethink its annual $1.5 billion aid package to Cairo as the country fails to improve its human rights record. The experts argued Egypt, under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, is a military-run state, with no respect for human rights and rampant with government-sponsored anti-Americanism. The scholars made their comments at a recent hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Michele Dunne, director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, began her remarks by mentioning recently leaked footage that appears to show Egyptian soldiers executing terror suspects in the Sinai Peninsula. Rising repression "Egypt does face a serious threat from terrorism, but...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(BBC News Africa 04/27/17)
Egypt feels badly let down by its ally and partner Britain, according to officials who spoke to the BBC on condition of anonymity. The Egyptian government believes it has complied with every security improvement demanded in the wake of the 2015 bombing of a Russian passenger plane by so-called Islamic State (IS) that killed everyone onboard soon after take-off from Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh airport in the Sinai Peninsula. Yet 18 months on from the incident, as other European tourists have...
(Washington Post 04/27/17)
On a table in Paula Youssef’s apartment sits a framed collage of worshipers killed in Egypt’s latest church bombings, all people he knew. They included his best friend, Bishoy. Youssef, too, almost died in the blast nearly three weeks ago during Palm Sunday services that was claimed by Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate. So like many Christians in this sprawling northern city, Youssef thought Pope Francis would cancel a scheduled trip to Egypt. But despite concerns about his safety, the pontiff...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
Egyptian authorities are in talks with local and international investment banks to advise the government on selling stakes in state-run companies on the stock exchange, a senior official said. The plan focuses on initial public offerings that would “broaden the ownership” of the companies among Egyptians, bolster local capital markets and help the government raise revenue, Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said. Egypt has already hired HSBC and EFG-Hermes to advise on the planned IPO of state-owned lender...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
Egypt plans to promote religious, medical and luxury trips, and develop new markets in India and Eastern Europe, as it pushes to revive its vital tourism industry to pre-2011 revolution levels within two years. In addition to more diverse tourism offerings, the home of the pyramids will ease travel for residents of the Gulf Arab nations through an e-visa program as part of a broader plan to boost visitors and encourage longer stays and more spending, Tourism Minister Mohamed Rashed...
(Voice of America 04/20/17)
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Egypt Thursday, continuing Washington’s warming of relations with Cairo during the Trump administration’s first 100 days. Mattis met with Egyptian Defense Minister Sedki Sobhy and President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, whose White House visit earlier this month was the first by an Egyptian leader since former U.S. President Barack Obama hosted Hosni Mubarak in 2009. Political upheaval in 2011 ousted Mubarak and started years of turmoil that brought the authoritarian former general Sissi to...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
The International Monetary Fund lowered its 2017 growth forecast for Egypt, reflecting the economic toll from the government’s decision last year to float the pound and introduce a reform program. Egypt’s real gross domestic product will expand 3.5 percent this year, less than the IMF’s 4 percent projection in October, the lender said in its latest World Economic Outlook on Tuesday. Growth will rebound to 4.5 percent in 2018, the report said -- close to the government’s target in its...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
An influx of foreign cash into Egyptian debt securities isn’t denting yields that remain the highest in emerging markets amid a government borrowing binge. Offshore investors boosted holdings of government Treasury bills to 79 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) as of April 4, compared with less than 1 billion pounds before a currency devaluation in November, according to Finance Ministry data. Average yields on Egyptian debt have climbed 84 basis points this year to 17.5 percent, compared with a 13-point rise...
(The New York Times 04/19/17)
Gunmen attacked a checkpoint near the iconic St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world, killing one police officer and wounding four others on Tuesday evening, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting through its Amaq news agency, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist communications. Although comparatively small by the standards of the Sinai insurgency, the assault was a relatively rare instance of violence in the...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
The Islamic State’s Egyptian affiliate claimed responsibility for an attack on a police checkpoint near St. Catherine’s Monastery in south Sinai, the latest strike by the group against Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority and the country’s vital tourism industry. One policeman was killed and three others were wounded when militants opened fire at the checkpoint, the Interior Ministry said in a statement late Tuesday. Several militants were also injured in the shootout. The Islamic State claim was reported by SITE Intel...
(BBC News Africa 04/19/17)
One policeman has been killed by gunmen who opened fire on a checkpoint near St Catherine's monastery in Egypt's south Sinai, officials say. Another three police officers were injured in the attack several hundred metres from the church entrance. So-called Islamic State group said its fighters carried out the attack. Located at the foot of Mount Sinai, St Catherine's is one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world and a Unesco world heritage site. It is part of the...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
A flood of new issuance is offsetting foreign-investor demand for Egyptian debt, keeping yields among the highest in emerging markets. Offshore investors boosted holdings of government Treasury bills to 79 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) as of April 4, compared with less than 1 billion pounds before a currency devaluation in November, according to Finance Ministry data. Government borrowing is already 11 percent higher than the target this year, and 18 percent over budget since the beginning of March, according to...
(AL Jazeera 04/18/17)
The 'Rashid tragedy' last September claimed the lives of more than 200 people seeking to cross the Mediterranean. Muhammad Hassan, a Somali-born refugee, remembers the screams and final prayers of the drowning, voices that still keep him awake at night half a year later. "A lot of people were dying and dragging others down," he recalled. "I swam away from them and watched people dying, heard the sounds of people going down." Hassan was forced to flee his hometown in...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...
(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...
(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...
(CNN 04/05/17)
Leaders of repressive governments, like Egypt's and China's, have long braced themselves for bilateral visits with American presidents and Cabinet officials, because they know they will be hearing about human rights and freedom of speech. They have to worry about protests, about the response from civil society and the uncensored press. This fear has long given American leaders of both parties the leverage to send a strong message to foreign leaders in support of our values. Not anymore. This week...
(Fox News 04/05/17)
An excavation team in Egypt has found what appears to be the interior of a buried pyramid dating back 3,700 years to the 13th dynasty. The antiquities ministry says that both a corridor and a block engraved with 10 lines of hieroglyphics are in good condition, reports the BBC, and the team will continue digging in an attempt to estimate its size and glean whatever other details they can. So far they've unearthed not only the interior corridor that leads...

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