| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/29/17)
Thousands of Egyptian Catholics waving the colours of the Vatican flag gathered amid tight security Saturday in a Cairo stadium where Pope Francis was to lead mass. Crowds of pilgrims poured out of buses into the stadium in the early hours of the morning, eager to see the Argentine pontiff in the flesh for the first time. "I'm so happy to be seeing the pope in real life," said Siham Ghali shortly after daybreak. "It's a great honour for me and all Egyptians." Nearby, Jihan John said she was delighted to be attending a mass led by a Catholic pope for the second time after seeing former pope John Paul II when he visited Egypt...
(AFP (eng) 04/29/17)
Pope Francis is set to lead a mass for Egypt's small Catholic community on Saturday as he visits the country in support of its Christians following a series of deadly church bombings. The spiritual leader of the world's almost 1.3 billion Catholics will lead mass for some 30,000 believers in a stadium on the outskirts of Cairo. The event will bring together members of all Catholic rites in the country -- Coptic, Armenian, Maronite and Melkite. Egypt's Catholic community is estimated at about 272,000. The Argentine pontiff will give a homily during the mass, which is to be held in Arabic and Latin. After lunching with Egyptian bishops, the pope will meet seminarians before wrapping up his 27-hour visit in...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Pope Francis denounced "demagogic populism" on Friday and insisted that violence profanes God's name, in a wide-ranging speech as he visited Egypt to push for tolerance. "Peace alone... is holy and no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God, for it would profane his name," the Catholic pontiff told a Muslim-Christian conference in Cairo. Francis is in Egypt on a 27-hour visit to push for dialogue with Muslims and support the country's embattled Christian minority that...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Pope Francis landed in the Egyptian capital on Friday to promote "unity and fraternity" with Muslims and Christians, who have suffered a series of jihadist attacks. The visit is a "voyage of unity and fraternity," the pontiff told reporters before he disembarked in Cairo airport to be greeted by Catholic priests and Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail. It is "less than two days but very intense," he said. He was then taken by car to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Pope Francis flies to Egypt Friday for a visit aimed at fostering reconciliation with the Muslim world against the backdrop of recent jihadist attacks on the Middle East's biggest Christian community. The 80-year-old pontiff is due in Cairo around 1400 (1200 GMT) and his 27 hours on Egyptian soil will include a meeting with the grand imam of the Al-Azhar mosque, sealing a recent improvement in relations between Catholicism and the Sunni branch of Islam. Security will be extremely tight...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/28/17)
Karam Nassif fled his home in Egypt's North Sinai this year after his name appeared on a Christian hit-list circulated by Islamic State. Fearing for their safety after this month's twin church bombings, his family now wants to leave the country. "You've seen what happened in Tanta and Alexandria and Cairo," his wife Mervat said, referring to church attacks that have killed more than 70 people since December. "I feel that there is no hope for us at all, we...
(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...
(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...
(The Associated Press 04/27/17)
Pope Francis is facing a religious and diplomatic balancing act as he heads to Egypt this weekend, hoping to comfort its Christian community after a spate of Islamic attacks while seeking to improve relations with Egypt's Muslim leaders. Security has been tightened, with shops ordered closed and police conducting door-to-door checks in the upscale Cairo neighborhood where Francis will stay Friday night. His only public Mass is being held at a military-run stadium. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Francis wasn't...
(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...
(Middle East Monitor 04/26/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi yesterday signed a decree granting amnesty to 1,118 non- political prisoners on the anniversary of the liberation of Sinai, according to the country’s interior ministry. In a statement published yesterday, the ministry confirmed the release of 1,051 inmates eligible for release under the amnesty, in addition to 67 inmates who were granted conditional releases. The amnesty did not include political prisoners. Egypt celebrates Sinai Liberation Day on 25 April, the day when the last Israeli...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
Sudan's pro-government journalists' union on Tuesday urged Khartoum to expel Egyptian reporters from the country after Cairo refused entry to two Sudanese journalists who had travelled to Egypt. The call comes with Khartoum and Cairo trying to improve their ties, which deteriorated after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir accused Egyptian intelligence services of supporting opposition fighters. The Sudanese Journalists' Union said Cairo had denied entry to two Sudanese journalists and deported them back home, and in response it demanded the expulsion...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced 20 people to death for the killing of 13 policemen in the aftermath of the ouster nearly four years ago of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. On August 14, 2013, a month after Morsi was overthrown by the army, security forces forcibly dispersed two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo in an operation that killed more than 700 people. Hours later a furious crowd attacked a police station in the Cairo suburb of Kerdassa, where 13 policemen were killed. A year later a Cairo court sentenced to death 183 Islamists but a higher court scrapped the verdict last year, amid an international outcry
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help...
(AFP (eng) 04/21/17)
The "world's heaviest woman" has shed half her weight -- around a quarter of a tonne -- in the two months she's been in India for treatment, doctors said. Egyptian national Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty weighed 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds) when she arrived in Mumbai in February on a specially modified plane to undergo emergency weight-loss surgery. In videos provided this week by the Saifee Hospital, where the 37-year-old successfully had bariatric surgery last month, Abd El Aty can...
(AFP (eng) 04/20/17)
The Egyptian military said Thursday it killed a senior Islamic State group cleric and 18 jihadists in air strikes in the Sinai Peninsula where the extremists are waging an insurgency. The announcement came after the jihadists claimed a series of attacks, including a shooting near a monastery this week and twin church bombings on April 9 that killed dozens. Among the jihadists killed was "one of the prominent leaders of the so-called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the head of the religious...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/19/17)
Gunmen attacked security forces near St. Catherine's Monastery in Egypt's south Sinai on Tuesday, killing at least one police officer and injuring four others, the Health Ministry said, just a week after two deadly church bombings killed 45. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on a police checkpoint about 800 meters (yards) from the entrance to the monastery, one of the world's most important Christian sites. The attack comes just 10 days before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt and just over a week after two deadly suicide bombings on Christian churches, also claimed by Islamic State
(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...

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