<![CDATA[rss-All News]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[All News]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Hopes fade for soccer star Sala as rescuers scour seas]]>
Search teams were reviewing satellite imagery and mobile phone data as four aircraft scoured seas off the channel island of Alderney, where unidentified debris was earlier spotted.

But with Cardiff City-bound Sala and his pilot already missing for 40 hours, rescuers said chances of finding either of them alive were almost vanishingly slim.

"We're up there looking for stuff that we don't expect to find," John Fitzgerald, chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search told Reuters.

"If there was anything on the surface I think we would have found it on the first night because the weather conditions were really good."

The 28-year-old Argentina-born forward was en route from Nantes in western France to Cardiff for his debut with his Premier League club.

In a chilling voice message sent to friends, which Argentina's Clarin newspaper said was authenticated by Sala's father Horacio, the player expressed concerns about the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft he was flying in.

"I'm in the plane and it looks like it's going to fall apart," he said. "Dad, I'm really scared."

Britain's Air Accident Investigations Branch said it had opened an investigation into the disappearance of the U.S. registered aircraft.

Air traffic controllers had guided searchers along the path it took before it disappeared from radar screens at just over 2,000 feet (600 metres), Fitzgerald said.

"R.I.P. Bro"

Sala joined struggling Cardiff from FC Nantes last week for a club record fee of about 17 million euros ($19 million), having scored 12 goals for the French club this season.

Both clubs were fearing the worst.

Cardiff City fans laid tributes outside their stadium to a player they barely knew but had built high hopes around.

"Sala a Bluebird. R.I.P. Bro. Big Love," read one, in reference to the team's nickname.

In Nantes, supporters laid rows of yellow flowers and held club scarves aloft in the city centre late on Tuesday.

Police on Tuesday said the chance of finding survivors was slim and the prospect appeared bleaker a day later, with the water temperature in the Channel barely 10 degrees centigrade (50 degrees fahrenheit).

"There's no chance. You'd have to be really, really fit to survive even four or five hours in the water," Fitzgerald said.

He said the pilot had filed a 'VFR' flight plan, which requires aircraft to avoid bad weather, have sight of the ground, and stay out of certain air corridors.

The plane had been cruising at 5,000 feet (1,525 m) when the pilot requested to descend to a lower altitude on passing Guernsey. It lost radar contact at 2,300 feet, Guernsey police said.

British media on Wednesday cited Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman as saying the club had not organised Sala’s travel plans. "He declined and made his own arrangements."]]>
1/24/2019 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Guatemala recognizes Guaido as Venezuela president ]]>
GUATEMALA CITY – 24 January 2019: Guatemala recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel said on Wednesday.

The recognition by U.S. ally Guatemala, the first from a Central American nation, came within hours of Guaido swearing himself in as the South American country's president and followed recognition by the United States, Canada and several Latin American nations.
1/24/2019 12:17:05 AM
<![CDATA[France consulting with EU partners on Venezuela - president's office]]>
"We are closely following the situation and we are consulting our European partners," a presidency official told Reuters after several countries in the region and Washington recognised opposition head Juan Guaido as interim president.
1/24/2019 12:14:14 AM
<![CDATA[Venezuela's Maduro calls on the military to stay united]]>
"We will triumph over this as well, we will come out victorious," Maduro told supporters outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, as hundreds of thousands marched around the country demanding he step down and in support of opposition leader Juan Guaido's call for elections.
1/24/2019 12:11:27 AM
<![CDATA[Argentina's Macri recognizes Guaido at interim Venezuelan leader]]>
In the same context, Peru said on Wednesday that it recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido as the country's interim president, one of several countries in the region to back Guaido and his call for free elections to end the rule of socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Peru's Foreign Ministry added in a statement that it supports a peaceful and democratic transition of power in Venezuela as soon as possible. Guaido declared himself interim president earlier on
1/23/2019 10:35:30 PM
<![CDATA[Bolivia's Morales reaffirms backing for Venezuela's Maduro]]>
"Our solidarity with the Venezuelan people and our brother Nicolas Maduro, in these decisive hours in which the claws of imperialism seek again to mortally wound the democracy and self-determination of the peoples of South America," Morales said in the tweet.]]>
1/23/2019 10:33:10 PM
<![CDATA[Venezuela's Maduro says he is breaking diplomatic relations with U.S.]]>
Speaking to supporters outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, socialist leader Maduro said he would give U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela, which is suffering from a hyperinflationary economic collapse. ]]>
1/23/2019 10:29:47 PM
<![CDATA[Al Ahly announces their 2018/2019 new Kit by Umbro]]>

Al Ahly has issued a contract with Umbro this season till 2022 to be the provider of the club's all teams jerseys.



It's expected for Al Ahly to feature with the new jersey against Misr Al Makassah on Thursday evening in the Egypt league.

1/23/2019 8:21:09 PM
<![CDATA[Tax Authority allocate from 72%-to-75% of Egypt’s treasury]]>
This came during a conference entitled “Digitalization of Tax Reporting and 2019 Policy Development” held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.

According the development of the Authority, Hussein stated during his speech that development process includes five axes which are simplifying taxes, digitalizing the resources, taxes legislations, and developing the infrastructure, besides developing Human Resources.

He elaborated that the goal of digitalization of taxes’ declaration is to inclose the tax community and the informal economy whether related to the electronic bills or taxes reporting.

Regarding new tax law, Hussein said that the new tax law is about to be finalized, noting that this law simplifies the tax regulations.

“After that latest problems of the last trial of digitalization showed up during that last period, the coming season of tax declarations will be limited to Money companies and not for individual companies,” Chairman of Tax Authority said.

He noted that the previous faced problem was from the executed company or from the network itself.

Hussein clarified the value added taxes reporting will be presented during January.

For his part, Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Tax Authority Reda Abdel Kader said that the aim of the digitalization is to facilitate the service for the tax community.

Revenues of Egypt’s 2018/2019 budget are projected to reach a total of LE 989.2 billion, and taxes and tariff yields allocate to contribute LE 770.3 billion to the new budget’s revenues.]]>
1/23/2019 7:54:48 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt beats Tunisia 30-23 in the Handball World Cup]]>
Egypt's players shined in the first half to end it with a five-goals gap. Before deciding everything in the second half to extend the gap to seven goals.

Khaled Yahya won the Man of The Match award after the game.

Egypt raised its record of points to three; the pharaohs are waiting for the last game between Norway and Hungary to know their place.

If Norway defeated Hungary with +6 goals; Egypt will be in the fourth place and will play against the fourth from the other group to decide the seventh place.

The seventh place is important as it qualifies to the qualification stage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
1/23/2019 7:49:02 PM
<![CDATA[Min. of Antiquities cooperates with Agha Khan Foundation to restore monuments ]]>
The meeting was attended by Assistant Minister of Antiquities for Technical Affairs Mustafa Amin, and Sherif Arian, CEO of Agha Khan Cultural Services Company - Egypt.

Amin commented that the meeting focused on the latest works of the Aga Khan Foundation regarding the Egyptian antiquities and monuments, and on the restoration works of Altinbugha al-Mirdani Mosque in Al-Darb al-Ahmar, pointing out that the coming period will witness more projects and support from the foundation for the development and restoration of historical Cairo.

Anani welcomed the initiative because of its importance to the Islamic monuments in Egypt.

It is worth mentioning that the renovation project of Altinbugha al-Mirdani Mosque comes within the framework of the Ministry of Antiquities and the Aga Khan Foundation's efforts to develop the monuments of Al-Darb al-Ahmar and Bab El-Wazir areas and restore a group of archaeological buildings in the region.

1/23/2019 4:52:53 PM
<![CDATA[Salah deactivates official Twitter account ]]>
Salah tweeted, “2019 Resolution: Time to get in touch, for real.”

A source close to Salah told Filgoal that his tweet is not related to his club or the previous problems he had with the Egyptian Football Federation.

This season, Salah suffered a frustrating start with his team but he regained his form and scored 16 goals at the league, leading his team to Premier League leadership as they are four points ahead of defending champions, Manchester City.

Salah and his teammates are preparing for the clash against Leicester City at home on January 30.

Liverpool has achieved an amazing 4-3 victory at their last Premier League game against Crystal Palace which gave the team a massive motivation to achieve the Premier League title for the first time since 1990.

Salah was crowned African Player of the Year for the second time in a row and he is the first Egyptian player to do so. ]]>
1/23/2019 4:48:25 PM
<![CDATA[Under high security measures: The CIBE kicks off Jan. 23 ]]>
The exhibition is hosted by the Egyptian International Exhibition Center (EIEC) in the Fifth Settlement district.

The Arab League is the guest of honor of the CIBE's 50th edition. Former Minister of CultureTharwat Okasha and writer Suhayr al-Qalamawi were chosen as personalities of the year in the exhibition’s golden jubilee.

The General Egyptian Book Organization (GEBO) was keen to announce the different book sections in the fair. The sections include a wing specialized for Al-Azhar publications, children publications, and Ministry of Defense publications, among others.

The Cairo International Book Exhibition is hosted on a total area of 4,500 square meters. The number of participants from around the world is 169 publishers,representing 35 countries.The number of sections is 723 and the number of Egyptian publishers participating is 748 publishers. The total number of participating publishers is 1273 publishers.

The exhibition will run until Feb. 5, 2019.]]>
1/23/2019 4:46:24 PM
<![CDATA[After 358 days, Gomaa returns to Al-Ahly squad ]]>
The squad included the team's play maker, Salah Gomaa, who appeared in the team's squad for the first time in Jan. 10, 2018 when Al-Ahly defeated Ismaily 1-0.

Al-Ahly will miss their veteran winger, Walid Soliman, who suffered an injury during the CAF Champions League game against Algerian club, JS Saoura and will be sidelined for two months.

The team will also miss their defender, Ayman Ashraf, who is suspended for accumulation of yellow cards.

Lasarte’s chosen squad for the game consists of:

Sherif Ekramy, Aly Lotfi, Mohamed el-Shenawi,

Ali Maaloul, Ahmed Alaa, Saad Samir, Mohamed Hany, Karim Nedved, Yasser Ibrahim, Mahmoud Wahid

Ahmed Hamoudi, Hamdy Fathy, Amr el-Solia, Saleh Gomaa, Hussein el-Shahat, Ramadan Sobhy, Nasser Maher, Mohamed Sherif, Mido Gaber
Junior Ajayi

The game is scheduled to take place on Thursday at 5 p.m.]]>
1/23/2019 4:43:15 PM
<![CDATA[SODIC’s merger offer with MNHD is over ]]>
In a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), MNHD attributed the decline of negotiations to disagreement on the terms of the swap transaction.

SODIC announced in October 2018 that its mandatory tender offer to MNHD would be implemented through a stock swap deal. One share of SODIC would be exchanged for two shares of MNHD.

In April, MNHD said that its board was considering a possible merger or acquisition with SODIC.

Earlier, the board of directors of Nasr City Housing and Development Company decided to appoint Zaki Hashem & Partners as legal advisor to SODIC's deal, which intends to make a compulsory purchase offer through direct exchange of shares (share swap only).

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) agreed earlier this month to extend the deadline for the Sixth October Development and Investment Company (SODIC) to submit a compulsory purchase offer to Nasr City for Housing and Development, after SODIC offered an extending request on January 10.

Madinet Nasr Housing operates within the real estate sector focusing on diversified real estate Activities. It has four subsidiaries operating across Egypt, working on education services, construction and engineering, real estate development and multi-Utilities.

Meanwhile, SODIC operates within the real estate sector focusing on real estate Development. It has 27 subsidiaries operating across Egypt and Syria. SODIC is based in Giza, Egypt and was established in May 1996.

MNHD’s capital is LE 1.2 billion, distributed over 1.2 billion shares, with a nominal value of LE 1 per share, while SODIC’s capital is LE 1.37 billion, distributed over 342.3 million shares at a nominal value of LE 4 per share.
1/23/2019 4:40:09 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt affirms caring for Africa's humanitarian issues]]>
Shoukri expressed keenness to strengthen cooperation with the international community in this regard, during his meeting with Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Elhadj As Sy.

The Egyptian foreign minister affirmed the importance of cooperation in the issues of health and the combat of epidemics and diseases in Africa, referring to the assistance Egypt provides through the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development (EAPD), according to Hafez.

He also reviewed some initiatives to cooperate with African countries to combat infectious diseases, sponsored by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, including an initiative to treat African people infected with Hepatitis C, Hafez said.

For his part, Elhadj As Sy lauded Egypt's role in respecting the international humanitarian law, expressing appreciation of the country's efforts through its institutions including the Egyptian Red Crescent. He affirmed keenness to continue and sustain cooperation with Egypt in various fields.

In January 2018, Egypt has been elected as chair of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government for a one-year term in 2019.

Becoming a role model for the African nations, Egypt, under Sisi's rule, has launched the "100 Million Seha (Health)" campaign to detect and treat for free locals infected with chronic diseases including Hepatitis C and Diabetes.

Political leadership directs testing Africans for HCV: official

CAIRO - 16 January 2019: Health official Wahid Dous affirmed that the political leadership directed to carry out a plan to detect and treat hepatitis C, following Egypt's successful national medical model dubbed "100 Million Seha (health)."

Shoukri also met on Monday with Phil Hogan, the commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development in Cairo to discuss ways of enhancing the Egyptian ties with the European Union, a statement by the foreign ministry said.

During the meeting, a proposal on establishing a tripartite agricultural cooperation between, Egypt, the European Union and African countries has been discussed.]]>
1/23/2019 4:36:51 PM
<![CDATA['Le Progrès Egyptien’ celebrates its 125 anniversary at CIBF ]]>
‘’Le Progrès Egyptien’s’’ celebration will be attended by a notable group of Egyptian and international Francophone intellectuals.

The leading ‘’Le Progrès Egyptien’’ is the only French-language Egyptian daily newspaper. It was established on 1893 and owned by Al-Gomhuria governmental newspaper.

The Egyptian French pioneer newspaper played an important role in presenting an image about Egypt’s culture, political, economic, historical aspects to French people and Francophone intellectuals living in Egypt.

‘’Le Progrès Egyptien’’ minimized the gap between the Egyptian society and its French counterpart by bringing them together with its valuable articles and journalism coverage.

During this celebration the ancient French newspaper will review the vital role it played for 125 to promote the Francophone journalism in Egypt and the Middle East.

The attendees will explain how ‘’Le Progrès Egyptien’’ succeed since its launch to present innovative content that made it different from any other French newspaper in Egypt and the Middle East.

The editor in chief of ‘’Le Progrès Egyptien’’ is the acclaimed Egyptian journalist and writer Chaimaa Abdel Illah.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated the Cairo International Book Fair''s 50th edition on Jan. 22.

The book fair is held for the first time at the Egyptian International Exhibition Center (EIEC) at the Fifth Settlement district, coinciding with its 50th anniversary.

The Arab League was chosen as the guest of honor of the exhibition, while the Ministry of Culture chose late writer Tharwat Okasha and great writer Suhair al-Qalmawi as the festival’s personalities of the year.

Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem announced the participation of 35 countries, including 10 African countries, 16 Asian countries, seven European countries and two from the Americas.

The minister of culture stated that the number of Egyptian publishing houses reached 579, 62 of which are first-time publishers and 517 participated in previous sessions.

Abdel Dayem further revealed that the foreign publishing houses totaled up to 70 publishers, 24 of which are participating for the first time and 146 participated in previous editions, reaching a total number of 723 displays and sales outlets.

The minister of culture also confirmed that the total number of publishing houses participating in the current book fair is 749 publishing houses offering publications in different types of knowledge, with an increase of 53 houses compared to last year.

Abdel Dayem pointed out that the Ministry of Culture has allocated a stand for books with reduced prices, which start from LE 1 to LE 5.

For Egyptian publishers, the prices of the book start from LE 1 to LE 10, so that books are affordable to everyone.
1/23/2019 3:21:13 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi: 2011 revolution reflects aspiration for new future]]>
Attending the celebrations of the 67th anniversary of Egypt's National Police Day, Sisi highlighted the role the Egyptian police and army played to secure the country and face terrorist threats, praising the Egyptian police's stance in Ismailia in 1952, when they refused to surrender their weapons in the time of the British occupation, which led to the murder and injury of dozens of policemen.

"This stance transparently expresses the national character of the great Egyptian people; a character that seeks peace but is capable of fighting efficiently if required and when necessary, a character that is patient, but is overwhelmingly determined to [face] crises."

The reason January 25 is Police Day in Egypt dates back to 1952 when 50 policemen were killed and 80 were wounded in Ismailia by the British colonization. The massacre was the spark of the revolution that ended the monarchy in Egypt on July 23 of the same year.

Sisi said that the challenges Egypt faced in the last years will be memorized among the severest challenges the country witnessed in its modern history, adding that probably the biggest challenge is the attempts of "the dark and evil groups" to spread terrorism, which they imagine will help them achieve their "malicious" goals.

He added that these groups underestimate the Egyptian people and the country's armed forces and police.

Addressing terrorist groups, Sisi said that the Egyptian people have demonstrated wisdom over thousands of years, and "an unattainable insight that enables them to distinguish between right and wrong." He added that people, along with the army and police, and by God's will, are able to confront schemes and continue their "major battle of development and reform."

During the celebrations, the president honored families of police and army victims, and allowed many of the victims' relatives to give speeches.

Interior Minister Mahmoud Tawfik also highlighted the ministry's counter-terrorism efforts, saying that the attacks of terrorist groups, thanks to security efforts, have become limited to individual operations that police keeps on pursuing.

"The policy of the Interior Ministry is not limited to meeting traditional rigid requirements. It is in an accelerating consensus and a renewable interaction with all the requirements and tasks imposed by the [current situation]," Tawfik stated.

He added that the policy also requires combating all forms of crimes through a comprehensive security strategy, referring to the "decline in crime rate."]]>
1/23/2019 3:10:23 PM
<![CDATA['Children with no shelter' campaign rescues 1,115 children ]]>
According to a Wednesday statement, teams formed across Egypt’s governorates and cities succeeded to rescue a large number of street children and homeless old people.

During the campaign’s members' Tuesday tour, Cairo recorded the highest number of homeless children with about 85 children, followed by Gharbia Governorate with 29 homeless children.

Also, another 29 homeless children were found on Tuesday in Qalyubia Governorate, and 23 others were found in Assiut.

The campaign offers several ways to help homeless children and old people, whether through enrolling them into special centers and organizations or giving them blankets and food in case they refuse to join the special centers.
1/23/2019 2:43:07 PM
<![CDATA[Huawei MateBook X Pro and MateBook D, most intriguing laptops to reshape business and entertainment users’ experience ]]>

The MateBook series includes Matebook X Pro and Matebook D, which have achieved great international success since its global launch, according to third party reports, especially the MateBook X Pro, which considered a breakthrough in the PC industry with its high performance.

Huawei MateBook X Pro has a beautiful screen, excellent keyboard, great trackpad; Huawei did what it takes to build a great Laptop. It’s a beautiful and crisp 13.9 inches 3:2-ratio screen squeezed into the frame with very slim bezels all round. In addition to a 10-point touchscreen made with an anti-fingerprint coating and 3K LTPS display with a remarkable 3000 x 2000 resolution providing users with vivid details and bright colors when viewing high definition pictures or watching 4K videos.

Beneath the hood of the MateBook X Pro, you get the 8th generation Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. It’s a 1.33 kg ultra slim portable notebook with high performance allowing users to have a perfect experience while carrying out their business tasks. Huawei MateBook X Pro comes with a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card with 2GB of dedicated memory, which is fantastic for a laptop of this size.

The MateBook X Pro might be thin, but it still has a single full-sized USB 3.0 port alongside a USB-C port and a Thunderbolt 3 port. The keyboard also hides one of the most important tricks, the button on the keyboard is a pop-up webcam after pressing it a one-megapixel camera appears. It also has a Dolby Atmos sound system with four speakers built into it: two tweeters at the back and two bass speakers at the front.

Ambient light sensor, fingerprint sensor, and Hall sensor are also included. Huawei is well known for its smartphones battery life, MateBook X Pro packs a monstrous 57.4Wh/7565mAh@7.6V battery into its slim body that can stay up to 12 hours of video playback.


The Special Business Edition MateBook D is another laptop launched by Huawei .It sports a dynamic 14 inch display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, a 178 degrees viewing angle and 16:9 aspect ratio for a vital display for photos and videos. MateBook D is an ultra slim 1.47 kg portable notebook packed by an 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage its high performance Laptop that can help you finish your work easier. MateBook D comes also with a NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card and 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8550U processor.

HUAWEI MateBook Series, including MateBook X Pro and MateBook D are a perfect combination of entertainment and business usage as well. HUAWEI MateBook X Pro has accumulative earned over 35 recognitions from noteworthy media across the globe.

1/23/2019 2:36:01 PM
<![CDATA[Madbouli discusses cooperation with Huawei Group chairman ]]>
The meeting was attended by the ministers of investment and tourism.

Lida explained the company’s plans to diversify its investment in Egypt by cooperating with Egyptian companies.

He pointed out that the company offered opportunities to Egyptian youth to get training and be recruited in the company.

For her side, Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat referred that the ministry signed a protocol with Huawei to put pictures of a number of prominent tourist destinations in Egypt as backgrounds available on mobile devices produced by the company to promote Egyptian tourism.

The prime minister called on the ministries to communicate with Huawei officials and discuss the executive steps of the proposed cooperation programs.

The Davos World Economic Forum is held in Switzerland from Jan. 22 - 25. Held annually, the Davos World Economic Forum is one of the most important international economic events in Switzerland.

The forum is attended every year by heads of governments, finance ministers, representatives of central banks and boards of major international institutions.

1/23/2019 2:32:51 PM
<![CDATA[Talaat Moustafa “The Top Real Estate Developer in Egypt in 2018”]]>
Omar Abdel Rahman, Chief Marketing Officer, received the honoring award on behalf of TMG during the glamorous honoring ceremony “Egypt Summit for the Best”, announcing the “top 100” firms operating in the Egyptian market.


It worth mentioning that rating criteria were determined this year through analysis of the data and financial indicators for all the registered firms in the Egyptian stock exchange market, in which firms had been classified according to revenues, net profit, and their market value relative weights, over a specific period of time, to encourage investors and businessmen to increase their investments in the local market, and ensure the implementation of comprehensive development projects.

The “top 100” companies’ classification was a result of a poll conducted by Amwal Al Ghadeconomic institution in collaboration with Shuaa Securities, Egypt, a subsidiary of Shuaa Capital.
1/23/2019 2:29:31 PM
<![CDATA[ Lithuania’s FM invites Egypt to 2020 Science Summit]]>
Linkevičius invited Egypt to participate in Lithuania’s April 2020 Science Summit. He stressed in his meeting with the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee that his country is interested in boosting the economic relations with Egypt, according to Wednesday statements.

Linkevičius said that he considers himself a tourist and a Lithuanian official during this visit, revealing that his next visit will be in February to participate in the Arab League’s meetings in Sharm El-sheikh.

“We are not a very big country; however, we are interested in joining the Middle East discussions, as we appreciate Egypt’s key role in the region,” Linkevičius said.

1/23/2019 1:57:53 PM
<![CDATA[Huawei breaks in the PC Egyptian Market for the first time with MateBook X Pro and MateBook D]]>


The series includes MateBook X Pro and MateBook D in addition to launching the new tablet MediaPad M5 Lite and Watch GT. Huawei’s MateBook X Pro, the world’s first Laptop with a camera concealed in the keyboard. The laptop comes with one-mega pixel camera concealed in the keyboard for more privacy, users has to press the camera button on the keyboard and then it pops up. Ambient light sensor, fingerprint sensor, and Hall sensor are also included.


Huawei’s MateBook X Pro is described as the speediest, most luxurious and long-lasting laptop. The integration of the revolutionary Speedy Huawei share technology in Huawei MateBook X Pro allows users to exchange photos and files wirelessly across Huawei devices with a speed that can reach up to 20 Mbps (100x faster than Bluetooth) and ability of sharing 1000 photos the Laptop within 3 minutes and 1 GB of video in a minute.

The company introduced its wallet-friendly mainstream business laptop, MateBook D in the Egyptian market as well. The 15.6-inch MateBook D is more mainstream and more affordable. Huawei launched the MateBook D which is an ultra slim 1.47 kg notebook packed by a 8GB RAM of LPDDR3 type with 2133MHz frequency and 256GB SSD storage. A faster games and Movies performance is to be provided by NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card and 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8550U processor.

The MateBook D comes with no hard edges make for a much more pleasant handling experience in additional to a matte finish on all surfaces save for the slim chrome-colored chamfers around the touchpad and the power button.


Huawei as usual is giving the customers an exceptional experience with their devices, with Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite you’ll experience the 1080p display that captures every detail. MediaPad M5 lite features a brilliant 10.1-inch 1080p display, which will allow you to enjoy everything while watching your favorite movies. In addition, it will be your best friend if you are a gamer as it gives you the best experience in playing games. For a better viewing experience, Huawei ClariVu™ technology further enhances display brightness and clarity.


As we’re now in the technological era and the digital transformation is all what we care about, Huawei announced its smart watch “Huawei Watch GT”. The watch comes in a slim, beautiful, strong and attractive shape, its ceramic bezel design, stainless steel shell and DLC coating. You can travel wherever and whenever you want it will be your best company as it comes with first double chipset that provides 2-week battery life to keep up with wherever you go, along with its Huawei TruSeen™ 3.0 heartrate monitoring technology that provides an efficient and accurate real-time personal measurement of your heartrate.

As known, Huawei’s main goal is always to provide the users with latest high-end products in addition to its smartphones series, in order to help them in all vital life activities .MateBook X Pro, MateBook D, MediaPad M5 Lite Tablet and Huawei watch GT launch will allow Egyptian users to experience Huawei’s devices interconnection within the upcoming days.

1/23/2019 1:53:36 PM
<![CDATA[Search resumes for missing plane of Cardiff striker Sala]]>
The light aircraft carrying the Argentine striker, who signed for Cardiff City at the weekend, disappeared from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey on Monday night.

"We have resumed searching," the police said.

"Two planes are taking off and will search a targeted area we believe has the highest likelihood of finding anything, based on review of the tides and weather since it (the plane) went missing.

"Coastal areas around (the nearby island of) Alderney and off-lying rocks and islands will also be searched from the air."

Sala, who signed on Saturday from French club Nantes for a reported fee of 17 million euros ($19.3 million), was flying to Cardiff on a single-engine Piper PA-46 Malibu aircraft.

It has emerged he expressed concerns about the plane on the flight, according to an audio message sent to friends and relatives.

"I'm on a plane that looks like it's going to fall apart, and I'm leaving for Cardiff," Sala said in a WhatsApp audio message carried by Argentine media.

"If in an hour and a half you have no news from me, I don't know if they will send people to look for me, because they will not find me, you know. Dad, I'm so scared," he added.

A 15-hour search Tuesday covering a 1,155 square-mile (3,000 square-kilometre) area in the Channel spotted "a number of floating objects in the water", Guernsey police said on Tuesday.

"We have found no signs of those on board. If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim," they added.]]>
1/23/2019 1:12:39 PM
<![CDATA[Cyprus to increase cruise trips to Egypt]]>
This came during Pilides' visit to Egypt on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Pilides hailed the bilateral relations between Egypt and Cyprus in several fields, referring to the depth of historical relations between the two countries, the statement reported.

She discussed with Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat ways to promote cooperation between Egypt and Cyprus, especially in maritime transport.

Pilides also discussed with Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE) Chairman Mohab Mamesh investment opportunities in the Suez Canal Economic Zone for Cypriot companies.

“During the coming period, a Cypriot delegation will visit the Suez Canal,” She added.

In 2017, Cyprus and Egypt started discussing an agreement to build a gas pipe from a Cypriot natural gas field to Egypt, which was followed by signing an agreement between the Egyptian minister of petroleum and Cyprus' Minister of Energy Lakkotrypis to transport gas from Cyprus to Egypt via a maritime pipeline.

Furthermore, Egypt signed a deal with Cyprus in 2013, allowing both states to explore oil and gas in their economic zones.]]>
1/23/2019 1:10:11 PM
<![CDATA[Momentum gathers behind British lawmakers' bid to stop no-deal Brexit]]>
The United Kingdom, in the deepest political crisis since World War Two, is due according to law to leave the European Union at 2300 GMT on March 29 yet it has no approved deal on how the divorce will take place.

Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to break the deadlock after last week's crushing defeat of her two-year attempt to forge an orderly divorce with close post-Brexit ties with the EU has raised the prospect of an exit without a deal.

In a step that could overturn centuries of constitutional convention, some British lawmakers are trying to grab control of Brexit from the government in an attempt to prevent what they say would be an economically disastrous no-deal Brexit.

The opposition Labour Party is "highly likely" to back one such attempt, an amendment proposed by Labour lawmaker Yvette Cooper that could result in May being given until Feb. 26 to get a deal approved by parliament or face a parliamentary vote on delaying Brexit.

"Yvette Cooper has put an amendment down which I think is sensible," John McDonnell, the second most powerful man in the Labour Party, told the BBC.

When asked whether Labour would back the amendment, he said: "Highly likely."

Sterling rose to a two-month high of $1.3005.

As the United Kingdom's tortuous two-and-a-half year crisis over EU membership approaches its finale, the options for the world's fifth largest economy include a no-deal Brexit, a last-minute deal, a snap election or a delay to Brexit.

May has warned that thwarting Brexit will threaten social cohesion because it will undermine the belief in British democracy while police cautioned the "febrile" atmosphere could be exploited by far-right extremists.


Parliament will vote on Jan. 29 on different options put forward by lawmakers, potentially opening up a way out of the stalemate.

If the Cooper amendment is passed, it would effectively give parliament the power to set May a deadline of Feb. 26 to get a deal approved by parliament.

If she fails, parliament would be given a vote on asking the EU for a postponement of the Article 50 deadline to prevent Britain leaving without a deal on March 29. It proposes a nine-month extension, to Dec. 31.

Another alternative is that May gets enough concessions from the EU to win over rebels in her Conservative Party as well as the Northern Irish party which props up her minority government.

Some have indicated they could be won over if May manages to secure concessions on the so-called Northern Irish backstop, an insurance policy to keep the border open between the British province and Ireland if a future trade deal falls short.

More than 430 lawmakers voted against May's deal last week, the biggest defeat of a government in modern history. To get it passed this time, she needs more than 100 of those to change sides.

To win concessions from the EU, though, May will have to set out exactly how she hopes to solve the Brexit riddle.

EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said in Davos on Wednesday the risk of a no-deal Brexit had increased and it was up to the British to tell the EU how they proposed to break the impasse.

"The gravity of the situation lies in the fact that London is silent," an EU diplomat said.

"They are not asking for anything, making no specific demands, not even to extend Article 50, it’s silence on their end," the diplomat said. "Time is extremely tight." ]]>
1/23/2019 1:06:18 PM
<![CDATA[Australia's ex-captain says FIFA must help Bahraini footballer held in Thailand]]>
Thai authorities arrested Hakeem AlAraibi, who has refugee status in Australia, on arrival at Bangkok airport in November last year, on the basis of an Interpol notice issued at Bahrain's request.

AlAraibi was convicted of vandalizing a police station in Bahrain and sentenced to 10 years in prison in absentia.

He has denied any wrongdoing but now awaits a Thai court hearing and faces the possibility of being sent to Bahrain.

FIFA has issued a statement calling for the AlAraibi's release but Foster says it must do more.

"The FIFA president, or the general secretary ... should be here to tell the Thai government that you must respect football," Foster told Reuters in an interview in Bangkok.

"If you don't respect football players, you don't respect the game."

AlAraibi has been a vocal critic of the president of the Asia Football Confederation, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who is a cousin of the Bahraini king.

Human rights groups say Bahraini authorities tortured AlAraibi because of his brother's political activities during the Arab Spring uprising in 2011.

"He knows that by speaking out against the Bahrain government and Sheikh Salman, the AFC president, that has put him in a position of retribution and this really is what it's about," Foster said.

"Now his human rights have been breached and it is not OK. It is not acceptable. We want him back in Australia where we granted him protection," he said.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne traveled to Bangkok this month and told Thai authorities that Australia was concerned about AlAraibi's detention and the possibility he would be sent back to Bahrain.]]>
1/23/2019 1:06:10 PM
<![CDATA[Nasr: Egypt realized leap in infrastructure projects, legislative reforms]]>
Making the remarks during a high-level round table meeting held on the fringe of the Davos Forum, she referred to the issuance of the investment law in addition to amendments to legislation to encourage investment.

She noted that the ministry is keen on luring investments and encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises.

According to a press release by the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry, the round table discussion tackled a report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which was issued on Monday.

The report said that although the Global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows fell by 19 per cent, in 2018, to an estimated $1.2 trillion, African FDI flows were up 6%, though growth was concentrated only in a few countries such as Egypt and South Africa.

In 2018, Europe’s foreign investment inflows amounted to $100 billion – an unprecedented 73% decline – and a value last seen in the 1990s. The United States also saw its inflows dip to $226 billion, a decline of 18%.

UNCTAD report showed that FDI to developing economies increased by 3% to $694 billion in 2018. Developing nations accounted for half of the top 10 host economies for FDI inflows.

Of the developing economies, Asia and Africa benefited the most, with flows increasing to developing countries in Asia by 5%, the report said.

East and South-East Asia, where inflows were up 2% and 11% respectively, took the lion’s share of foreign investment, accounting for one-third of global FDI in 2018 and almost all growth in FDI to developed economies.

Greenfield announcements in developing economies rose by 47% reaching an estimated $539 billion and linked to Asian growth prospects. ]]>
1/23/2019 1:01:13 PM
<![CDATA['A Martyr’s life', new documentary to be released on Police Day ]]>
Produced by the Egyptian Media Group, the movie sheds light on the lives of police and army Martyrs and their sacrifices for the country.

The movie also tackles the lives of the victims of the Rawdah Mosque terrorist attack, which took place in November 2017, killing up to 311 Muslims during Friday prayers.

In the documentary, the Martyrs’ family members and friends will be talking about their lives, sacrifices and the difficult situations they witnessed with them.

Four privately-owned networks will be airing the documentary, including cbc, dmc, ontv and al-Hayat. Egypt’s national television will also be displaying the new documentary.

1/23/2019 1:00:41 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar near three-week high as central banks eyed]]>
With Tokyo sounding a cautious note on the outlook for global growth, attention shifted to the European Central Bank, which meets on Thursday. Markets expect it to acknowledge growing threats to the euro zone economy.

The caution from senior policymakers comes as economic data from China to Europe shown signs of a slowdown. Traders reacted by unwinding some of their bearish dollar bets, especially against the euro.

“The ECB will likely join its global peers in striking a cautious view on growth and that should keep the dollar supported, especially with bearish expectations on the greenback such a consensus trade,” said Lee Hardman, a currency analyst at MUFG in London.

Against a basket of other currencies, the dollar was trading at 96.32, near the 96.484 hit in the previous session.

As expected, the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged. But it lowered its inflation forecast, as a larger-than-expected drop in December exports underlined the need for support for the trade-reliant economy.

On Monday, the International Monetary Fund cut its 2019 and 2020 global growth forecasts, citing a bigger-than-expected slowdown in China and the euro zone. Failure to resolve trade tensions could further destabilise the global economy, the IMF said.

European shares stumble after weak Chinese GDP data
The euro was steady at $1.1367. Sterling edged up to $1.2961 after gaining 0.5 percent in the previous session.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed agreement on terms for leaving the European Union was rejected by parliament last week in the biggest defeat in modern British history. Since then, lawmakers have been trying to resolve the crisis. No option has the majority support of parliament.

“The market is now completely discounting the prospect of a hard Brexit, though the political risk still remains in play and volatility is sure to ratchet higher if no clear path is visible to the market,” said Kathy Lien, managing director of currency strategy at BK Asset Management.]]>
1/23/2019 12:56:51 PM
<![CDATA[Volvo recalls over 200,000 cars to fix fuel leak issue]]>
The group said its probe had identified that some vehicles may have small cracks inside one of the fuel lines in the engine compartment, which along with a pressurized fuel system may over time lead to fuel leakage in the engine compartment.

About 219,000 cars of 11 different models produced in 2015 and 2016 had been affected, the Swedish company said, with the highest number of impacted cars in Sweden, the UK and Germany. The Swedish recall was first reported by daily Aftonbladet.

Volvo sold 503,127 cars in 2015 and 534,332 cars in 2016.

“There are no reports alleging injuries or damages related to this issue. Volvo preventatively recalls the cars to avert any possible future problems,” Volvo said in its statement.

The company’s fortunes have been revived since Geely bought it in 2010 and its popular new premium models now compete with larger rivals Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE). It sold a record 642,253 cars in 2018.

However, a prolonged U.S.-China trade war has inflated raw materials costs and resulted in a slowdown in Chinese demand for cars. That has forced Volvo to spend to retool its global factories to limit the negative tariff impact and led it to postpone its plans to go public indefinitely.

British billionaire Dyson moves vacuum giant to Singapore
This month, Geely Automobile (0175.HK), the main listed unit of the Geely empire which owns Volvo, forecast flat sales this year, as China’s most successful carmaker struggles with slowing economic growth and more cautious consumers.

A Volvo spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday on the cost of the latest recall.

The company made its largest recall ever in 2004, when it called back 460,000 cars to fix wiring in an electronic control module for the cars’ main cooling fan.]]>
1/23/2019 12:55:29 PM
<![CDATA[Oil Minister: Establishing high-octane gasoline complex in Assiut at dlrs 450 mn]]>
The minister was accompanied by Assiut Governor Gamal Nour Eldin.

The fuel complex project, which also comprises a storage and shipping depot for various oil products, is being carried out by Assiut Oil Refining Company (ASORC), a subsidiary of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) which was established in October 1984 to meet upper Egypt's needs of petroleum products.

In a statement released by the Oil Ministry, the minister explained that the visit comes as part of a series of field tours he conducts to check on progress in the implementation of fuel production projects on the ground.

The minister's tour started by inspecting the complex's construction works which are carried out by Enppi and Petrojet companies at a total investment cost of dlrs 450 million and an estimated production capacity of 660,000 tons annually.

Meanwhile, Head of ASORC Mahmoud el Shabouri said the project aims at maximizing the use of petroleum naphtha to be turned into high-heating value gasoline of various types (80,92,95) as well as producing amounts of butane to meet the growing needs of Upper Egypt governorates and reduce the risks of transporting oil products from the northern parts of the country to the South.

Mulla also explained that the Oil Ministry is currently working on an integrated plan to renovate the infrastructure of storage and handling of oil products, adding that the storage facility's investments are to hit EGP 120 million and its units are to be operated electronically in accordance with the highest international safety standards.

The minister made it clear that the Oil Ministry's plans comply with the state's strategy of digital transformation.]]>
1/23/2019 12:51:35 PM
<![CDATA[Army deployed to help police secure Jan. 25 celebrations: statement]]>
In a statement published on the Defense Ministry's YouTube channel on Tuesday, the ministry said the field armies have been fully prepared to deploy and help secure citizens and vital institutions.

"Special Forces' elements have prepared a number of combat groups to assist the tactical formations in securing the celebrations; that is in addition to the rapid intervention units, which act as close reserves to back the protection elements in dealing with various hostile [acts]," the statement read.

Vigilance measures have been taken to secure the waterway of the Suez Canal and prevent infiltration and smuggling attempts "in all the strategic directions of the state," the statement continued.

The reason January 25 is Police Day in Egypt dates back to 1952 when 50 policemen were killed and 80 were wounded in Ismailia by the British colonization. The massacre was the spark of the revolution that ended the monarchy in Egypt on July 23 of the same year.

After the 1952 Revolution, January 25 has been celebrated as Police Day and has become an official holiday. In 2011, the day witnessed a revolution as well.

Millions of Egyptians took to the streets in the January 25 Revolution that lasted over 18 days in 2011. Their motto was “Bread, Freedom, and Social Justice”. Only patriotic slogans were chanted without mentioning any parties or ideological slogans.

The date marking the historic uprising, which protested police brutality, coincides with the Police Day. The protests were organized by the “We are all Khaled Said” Facebook page named after a torture victim in Alexandria. Said was beaten to death in the street by policemen on June 6, 2010 for allegedly possessing drugs.

On the Friday of Fury, January 28, 2011, the crowds started to chant “the people want to overthrow the regime” until former President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak resigned on February 11 of the same year. The protests resulted in clashes that broke out between security forces and protesters, leading to casualties in both sides.

Additional reporting by Noha El Tawil]]>
1/23/2019 12:45:11 PM
<![CDATA[Official expects Cairo Book Fair's guests to exceed 4.5M]]>
In an interview with Osama Kamal on DMC, Haj said that the fair is keen to reflect the activities that took place in the last 50 years and provide in its headquarters various logistics including transportation, restaurants, and entertaining facilities for kids.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated the Cairo International Book Fair's 50th edition on Jan. 22.

The book fair is held for the first time at the Egyptian International Exhibition Center (EIEC) at the Fifth Settlement district, coinciding with its 50th anniversary.

The Arab League was chosen as the guest of honor of the exhibition, while the Ministry of Culture chose late writer Tharwat Okasha and great writer Suhair al-Qalmawi as the festival’s personalities of the year.

Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem announced the participation of 35 countries, including 10 African countries, 16 Asian countries, seven European countries and two from the Americas.

The minister of culture stated that the number of Egyptian publishing houses reached 579, 62 of which are first-time publishers and 517 participated in previous sessions.

Abdel Dayem further revealed that the foreign publishing houses totaled up to 70 publishers, 24 of which are participating for the first time and 146 participated in previous editions, reaching a total number of 723 displays and sales outlets.

The minister of culture also confirmed that the total number of publishing houses participating in the current book fair is 749 publishing houses offering publications in different types of knowledge, with an increase of 53 houses compared to last year.

Abdel Dayem pointed out that the Ministry of Culture has allocated a stand for books with reduced prices, which start from LE 1 to LE 5.

For Egyptian publishers, book prices start from LE 1 to LE 10, so that books are affordable for everyone.

Additional reporting by Mustafa Marie ]]>
1/23/2019 12:43:19 PM
<![CDATA[Afghan spy agency says it kills Taliban mastermind of deadly attack]]>
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said the Taliban commander, identified only as Noman, was killed in an air strike on Tuesday night.

The agency said Noman as the mastermind of a Monday attack on an NDS base in Maidan Wardak province, west of Kabul, in which the NDS said 36 people were killed and 58 wounded. Other officials said the casualty toll was higher.

"Noman, along with seven others, was targeted after being identified by the NDS forces in an operative task," the security agency said in a statement.

"NDS will follow the terrorist group and kill them all."

The Taliban, in a statement, denied that the commander had been killed.

The insurgent attack in Maidan Wardak was the latest to inflict heavy casualties on government forces and underlined the heavy pressure they are facing as increasingly confident Taliban fighters step up violence, even as diplomatic efforts to end the conflict are underway.

It was not immediately clear if the air strike that killed the militants was supported by U.S. forces.

The violence this week came as leaders of the hardline Islamist group met U.S. officials for talks to try to agree on a way to end the 17-year war.

Officials from the two sides have met at least four times in recent months but the militants have refused to talk to the U.S.-backed Kabul government.

The Taliban say they are fighting to topple the Western-backed government and restore strict Islamic law after their ouster in 2001.

The United States and its allies say they want to stop Afghanistan from becoming a haven for international Islamist militants plotting attacks in the West.

Taliban officials who were privy to the peace talks said U.S. officials taking part were concerned about deteriorating security and feared that a U.S. troop withdrawal could lead to "terrorist groups" taking control in Afghanistan.

“Our delegation made it clear that they would never let Afghanistan to be used against any other country in future,” said a senior Taliban official on condition of anonymity.

In Monday's attack, the Taliban detonated a captured military Humvee packed with explosives.

Some government officials said the casualty toll was higher than the one given by the NDS.

A senior defence source had told Reuters 126 members of the Afghan security forces were killed. Two senior security officials in the capital, Kabul, said at least 72 men being trained by the NDS were killed with 38 severely wounded.

The Taliban said their attack killed 190 people.

Afghan forces backed by U.S. air strikes have been targeting Taliban commanders, but questions have been raised over the future of U.S. involvement by reports that President Donald Trump wants to bring home almost half of the 14,000 U.S. troops. ]]>
1/23/2019 12:19:26 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, EU discuss agricultural cooperation]]>
The talks took up the current improvement of the Egyptian national economy within the framework of the comprehensive economic and social reform program, said a statement by the Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday.

The two sides expressed keenness on boosting cooperation in the domain of agriculture and rural development for increasing trade and investments in the field of agricultural industries.

The visit of the EU official is an evidence that the European body is interested in enhancing relations with Egypt, added the statement.

The EU is supporting the agricultural sector and food crop production in Egypt with 40 million euros. In 2015 Egypt signed a grant agreement worth 22 million euros to implement an EU-funded project to support agricultural small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).]]>
1/23/2019 11:32:11 AM
<![CDATA[Hisham Kharma: a Fusion Musician with Humanitarian Mission ]]>
Kharma’s melodies cross all cultural barriers taking the listener to different worlds. His first official release by Virgin Megastore and Hybrid Records was First Voyage.

Kharma’s second album with Sony Music was the Arabesque series, which brought him together with Grammy Award winner Yanni and Cat Atilla. His third and latest album Al-Yaqeen (Faith) was released in 2016; and gained widespread success. “Sahla we Basita” (Simple and Easy), “Shouf be Albak” (See with your heart) and “Fel Malakout” (In the Kingdom) are among his most famous hits. Kharma has become an icon of electronic music in Egypt; he has recently released his latest joint single “Youmeen” (Two days) with Hany Adel; and is about to release a new album.
Kharma has also recently cooperated for the first time with awards winner Indian singer Tanvi Shah of the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”. This cooperation comes among a number of remarkable projects that gathered Kharma with internationally renowned artists.

Your music is very different… Who influenced you to make this new and creative mix and to start this line of music?

This is the first time I have been asked that question and what I am going to tell you now I have never said before to any media outlet, especially about what inspired me to start my music line. You are getting out of me something I never thought to analyse so I am analysing it with you now (He laughs).

First of all, I follow all types of music from all over the world but I love Asian music in general; from India, China and Malaysia. I love ethnic music of the Asian area in general, in addition to Armenia. I love all kinds of music that depend on ethnic instruments. I consider electronic music a common world language because it is not attributed to a specific country. I studied in Miami for two years, so I was also influenced by Latin music with its unique percussions like bongos and congas. I always try in my music to use acoustic instruments and ethnic, oriental [ones] from Asia, and bongos and congas. I tend every time to use different mix in my music but all of the previous formed my sentiment and inspiration. The deep inspiration started in 2006 when I travelled to US and Germany and performed my post graduate studies in art direction and worked there. I used to deal with people in creative context; so this created a strong bond between us. At that time, I lived in Miami and it is a Cosmopolitan city that houses people from different nationalities and religions; so dealing with them opened my mind. I started to realize and respect the humanity idea; that despite we are from different nationalities and religions there is common bond that brings us together, which is humanity. This principal inspired made me decide that when I will compose my own music, I will make it to serve as a common language to communicate with different people from all over the world, bearing in mind of course that it should contain that oriental taste as this is my roots. I want my music to be my communication language with the whole world. I knew that I succeeded in that after I received feedbacks from people abroad; so I realised that my music reached them because music has no language barrier, it is just one language that unites us together.

What are your most famous musical fusions?

My first album First Voyage and my second Arabesque with the great Yanni and Cat Atilla were stages for me to form my musical mind; that’s why I consider my first kick off to be my third album El Yakeen (Faith) because it included all my musical thinking… The electronic music is now trendy worldwide, people link it with the themes of clubs; on the other hand, we have acoustic instruments, string and orchestra of the classic music which some people view as old school. My target was to make a link between these two different schools: electronic and classic, I want to make a mix using something appealing to youth such as electronic music and other types of music that have special spirit like the classic music because I want the audience in my concerts to be from all generations. Thanks God my concerts are attended by children, youth, adults and elderly…

This blend was included in El Yakeen album, which took five years of preparation… I studied extensively all kinds of music before making this album to come out with something different from what was presented before. I decided to make that mix between classic and electronic music because if it is totally classic, then there is nothing new and if it is purely electronic, it will be somehow spiritless.

To what extent do you believe that music can cross cultural boundaries?

The blends and mixes I make in my music make me always feel that music has no specific country because all these different kinds of music could be mixed with each other. I always want to prove by these mixes that music is a common language that can cross all the cultural barriers. That’s why I named my first album First Voyage because I wanted this album to express my first voyage in the music world as if I travelled around the world gathering cultures and music and mixing them together. That’s why when the album was released we made an animation as if I was travelling around the world. I challenged myself before anyone else with my music. I was a computer science graduate, I worked in the advertising field for 14 years. I worked in Dubai as an executive creative director in the largest Japanese company in Egypt and Dubai and reached the peak of my career but at the end I couldn’t continue in this career because despite all that success I wasn’t happy as I realised that music is my passion.

Unfortunately, we were raised [to believe] that music is just a hobby or something for entertainment but I started to throw all this [away] and start my musical career. People at that time thought I was crazy to take such risk; I have three kids so I have responsibilities; despite this fact, I decided to quit my established career and to return back to Egypt and launch my music career after the 25th of January Revolution. People thought what I was doing was middle age crisis and they told me that ‘only songs succeed not music’. This decision wasn’t taken all of a sudden as people thought; it was the result of years of thinking. People close to me said that ‘it doesn’t make sense to start a musical career in Egypt especially after the revolution’. My convictions were totally opposite [to this]; first, I believed that chaos creates opportunities; second, I took that issue from a humanitarian side; most Egyptians were depressed at that time so if I could entertain them and make them happy, then I would have done something great.
Business wise, there was a big opportunity because the general mood was not good so the most guaranteed investments at that time were food and entertainment. My ultimate conviction was that good music will create its audience whatever the circumstances [are]; the example of this is the veteran Omar Khairat. I expressed this life challenge in “Youmeen” song with Hany Adel to encourage people who are afraid to leave their work and follow their passion to be bold and take the risk.

In general, in order to succeed you should take risks.

You cooperated with great global musicians, such as Tanvi shah, Cat Attila, Omar Khairat and Yanni; what did each of them add to you?

Cooperating with such giant names added a lot to me. First on the musical level, the idea of being a musical composer who has the right to choose each time the musical fusion gives me the space to deal with different people whether Yanni, Tanvi Shah, Omar Khairat, Hany Adel or Hisham el Gakh. Each cooperation represents a new experience for me, aside from the routine of doing the same thing each time because any musician gets bored if he repeats himself. Also, throughout the musical history we saw what happened to the musicians who presented the same music for long time; the audience got bored and they lost their success and glow. Every project with any of these big names was a new challenge that made me renew my blood and trigger my talent.
I worked in each of these projects with enthusiasm as if it is my first project, exerting my maximum effort to do my best. In these projects, I intended to surprise the audience; in other words, to do something that both of us didn’t perform before, to add to him/her a new taste and accept what they will add to me.

On the personal level, these big names added to me a lot. I was raised listening to the music of Khairat and Yanni; in school talents shows, I used to play their music and I was vey much influenced by it, so to have the chance to cooperate with them was a big honour for me. My cooperation with Yanni was important because it happened at the beginning of my career before I had even become a full time professional musician, so it gave me a strong push that I am on the right track and presenting new and different music. This cooperation came at the time I was wondering: Am I correct? Do I have a real talent? Should I continue in this career? the questions that usually jump to the mind of any artist at the beginning of his career.

Tell us more about your cooperation with Slumdog Millionaire’s famed Indian singer Tanvi shah?

The story started when I made some music tracks that were released in Buddha Bar and Café del Mar; from this experience I knew an Austrian music distributor and we became close friends. A year ago, this distributor introduced me to Shah on Facebook and said we can do amazing work together. I love Shah’s songs and voice and I was eager to cooperate with her. Since that time, we were looking for a suitable opportunity to cooperate till we found two suitable projects; the first is a song talking about human trafficking and body organ trade, the second is a song that she will sing in my upcoming album.

My album will be a musical one, with two bonus tracks; one will be performed by Shah and the other song I am not sure if I will release it in the upcoming album. This song will be performed by a group of vocals from around the world; and Shah will also participate in representing India.

To what extent do you see a harmony between the Indian music and the Arab one? Do you think they can be blended together?

The similarity is that they are affiliated with great cultures. I respect and admire any country which has its artistic culture, whether art, music, painting, poetry or cinema; and India has all of the previous. The Indian culture is very rich; that is why here in Egypt from a long period of time most of us follow Indian songs and movies. Egyptians were raised on the Indian films and songs, especially those of the legendary Amitabh Bachchan. Bollywood is now conquering the world and competing with Hollywood. Both Indian and Arab music are rich with talented vocals and musicians.
In general, I love mixing electronic music with ethnic instruments from all over the world. By this mix, I intended to build my own different identity. In my cooperation with Shah, I blended oriental with electronic and Indian music, I hope the audience will love this mix.

Tell us more about your cooperation with Omar Khairat?

My project with the one and only Omar Khairat was a dazzling one. It was something really big for me; cooperating with one of my favourite musicians. This project was designed by the great Egyptian designer Shosha Abou Elkheir. Abou Elkheir invented what we can call a fundraising design; how to fundraise through design to deliver hope instead of pain. Children Cancer Hospital 57357 wanted to make a memorial for the late great Emirati leader Sheikh Zayed because he contributed a lot to establishing this great hospital. So the hospital asked Shosha to design a memorial to be executed using latest technology and that has a philosophy.

She made a dazzling memorial using optical illusion and linked honoring Sheikh Zayed with ancient Egyptians who used to honor people during either sunrise or sunset. She wanted to use sunrise to symbolise the birth of a leader and sunset to reflect that even if he died the hope he gave us would keep him alive. So in order to add spirit to this magnificent memorial, she asked Khairat to make the sunrise music to represent Sheikh Zayed when he was alive with his wisdom and sobriety and asked me to make the sunset music to represent youth; but the two pieces must complete each other. It was one of the most important projects that I have done because it contained both humanitarian and creative sides. I love fusion in general not only in the field of music but in all the artistic fields; so this fusion between design, music and charity for me was the eternal creativity. Also, sharing the same project with the veteran Omar Khairat was great honor for me.

Omar Khairat is actually my third cousin; he used to advise and support me and was so happy with my success. The funny thing is that one of my concerts at Cairo Opera House was at the same time of his concert; my musicians in the break went to watch his concert and his musicians came to watch mine. Also, one of my great supporters is the veteran musician Hany Shenouda; I made a remix of his soundtrack for Shams el Zanaty movie in 1998 while I was in the university. I was influenced by Hany Shenouda because he was the first one to use electronic music in Egypt. He liked the remix; and now, he is one of my great supporters. He invited me to play with him on stage in one of his concerts and I did the same in one of my concerts.

Tell us about your three albums; each is very different from the others and they all achieved great success.

I released my first album First Voyage in 2010; at that time, music for me was just a hobby. This album was an experiment. After its release, First Voyage was number one on Virgin Megastores chart lists for two months, I was happy that the audience liked it. In 2014, Sony Music Middle East heard First Voyage and they contacted me to participate in Arabesque album. They told me we chose you from Egypt along with a musician from Turkey and another one from Greece. I thought that the other two musicians were beginners like me. After one month, they sent me via email the album poster design, I saw on the poster Yanni and Hisham Kharma. I asked them why are we copying a design of one of Yanni’s albums? (He laughs). They told me Yanni is with you in the album. I decided at that time not only to continue in this field but to be fully dedicated to music.

Before Arabesque, I was working in Dubai and was invited to one of Yanni’s concerts. At that time, I decided to resign from my work and to compose different music to communicate with youths from all over the world; Arabesque was like a second sign from God.

I consider El Yakeen my first album because First Voyage, as I said before, was an experiment. I just wanted to get out the music inside me, I wanted to test through First Voyage whether I was truly talented or I was deceiving myself and living in illusions… When I decided to make El Yakeen I had to compose music that could be heard, seen and played in live concerts with musicians and orchestra. The name of this album reflects my story with music. I wanted to present untraditional music. El Yakeen promo had a notable cast of celebrities: Asser Yassin, Omar Samra, Hazem emam, Heba el sweedy and Hana shiha .

I chose celebrities from different sectors, not only artists. At the beginning of the promo, I said faith differs from one person to the other, then each one of them talked about the meaning of faith from their point of view so it was a spiritual promo. At the end of the promo, I said faith for me is a voice that calls you and it is difficult to ignore; this voice is music and I translated it in a musical album named El Yakeen. This untraditional promo achieved a booming success, all these celebrities believed in the album’s message so the audience in return believed in the album and when they heard the it they felt all its details.

The hardest mission for me was choosing the musicians who participated with me in the live concerts; I preferred to choose young talented musicians who need someone to believe in them and give them the chance. These young musicians were compatible with me, they understood our humanity dimension; that we are playing music to entertain the audience and make them happy and be happy with them as well; we are not doing a profession; we believe in our music and we want to expand and deliver to the whole world; and that we should have a message. The audience felt all the previous and believed in us and started to follow us. I wanted to expand my fan base slowly and strongly. Thanks god what we did in a short period of time was delivered to our audience; this is the biggest proof that people believe in true art. The name of the album was a message that if you take any risk, only faith will make you continue your path; if you have strong faith, you will reach your goal even if all the circumstances show it is impossible.

Who is the musician who influenced you?

There are a lot of names; most of the current modern electronic music producers. I was influenced by Omar Khairat, Yanni Chinmaya Dunster, AR Rahman, Ivan Torrent, Kitaro, John Williams, James Horner and Hans Zimmer.

What is your daily routine?

I am keen to play music every day in the morning even if I am not working on a project, I always think of new ideas and document them to work on them later or they inspire me with new project, workout, studying new techniques in music, directing concerts, music distribution and orchestration. I take my children to their sports trainings and spend time with them and my wife, from day one I was keen to make balance between my personal life and musical life. I love to travel to take workshop or course, to know different cultures and get out of my comfort zone, I love food as well (He Laughs).

What is your favourite dish?

I love Asian food in general.

Who is your favourite singer, composer?

There are lots of names, I listen according to the mood. Nowadays, I listen to Nat King Cole.

What are your future plans?

I have three future plans; the first is my upcoming album which will be released in April 2019. This album will contain new flavours and will be very rich in terms of orchestration. The second plan is that I will add more musicians to my team. The third plan is that I want to increase my shows abroad in the coming period, I want to take my next album abroad
1/23/2019 11:29:56 AM
<![CDATA[LE 10 tax imposed on private universities' students for martyrs' fund]]>
The fund aims at "honoring martyrs; victims; missing persons;and the injured of military, terrorism and security operations and their families," according to a decree published in Egypt's official gazette.

The decree obliges private higher institutes and universities to collect the contribution from students who are currently enrolled in these universities, for one time only. However, new students will have to pay the money every year.

In March 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi signed a law bill to establish a fund honoring the victims of terrorist attacks.

The law, which was passed by the Parliament prior to Sisi's endorsement, is applied to the police and army personnel and civilians who were killed or wounded in terrorist acts.

The fund is meant to provide schooling and employment opportunities and appropriate health services for the victims' families, in addition to paying their subscription fees at various youth centers and any other sports activities.

It is tasked with facilitating the measures for the victims' families to go on a pilgrimage and with naming popular streets and squares after the names of police and army martyrs.

Upon enacting the law, a LE 5 tax is set to be imposed on the licenses of weapons and driving, police certificates, tickets for concerts and festivals, applications for enrolling in military and police colleges and institutes, foreigners’ residence visas, as well as work permits for Egyptians working for foreign bodies.

The tax will also be collected from those applying for a request of proposing public tenders, real estate contracts and government supplies, as well as the establishment of private or international schools.]]>
1/23/2019 11:29:28 AM
<![CDATA[Armani's glittering Art Deco fashion draws stars in Paris]]>
The designer’s gowns have long been red carpet favorites, and the catwalk show drew Hollywood actresses Uma Thurman and Dakota Fanning to the front row, along with Canadian singer Celine Dion.

Beaded caps sported by some models gave outfits a 1920s-era flapper twist, as swaying, fringed skirts succeeded slinkier numbers and intricately textured jackets which caught the light at certain angles.

Clunky earrings and patterned gowns recalled the geometry of Art Deco architecture, and models walked to the sultry soundtrack of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1970 film The Conformist.

Some outfits in the label’s high-end Armani Prive range had an oriental air, in the rounded necklines of some dresses, flowing silk styles, or a kimono-style cloak.

The brand said it had also drawn on Chinese lacquer as an inspiration and to enhance some looks.

Haute Couture Fashion Week, which runs until Jan. 24, celebrates an elite club of designers turning out elaborate, one-of-a-kind looks.]]>
1/23/2019 11:24:36 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi lays wreath at Memorial of Police Martyrs]]>
This comes on the 67th anniversary of the Egyptian Police Day.

Minister of Interior Mohamed Tawfik and members of the Supreme Council of the Police received president Sisi upon arrival at the academy. ]]>
1/23/2019 11:16:27 AM
<![CDATA[IMF hails progress in implementing Egyptian economic reform program]]>
During a meeting Wednesday with Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli and the ministers of investments and tourism on the fringe of the Davos Forum, Lipton said the IMF highly appreciates the efforts being exerted by Egypt to build a strong economy.

Madbouli said President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is keen on maintaining cooperation with the IMF in view of giving a stronger impetus to the progress realized in the Egyptian economy.

The premier stressed that the government is keen on proceeding with the economic reform program.]]>
1/23/2019 11:14:21 AM
<![CDATA[ACC chooses Hefzy to be Arab Cinema Personality of the Year]]>
The award is presented by the Hollywood reporter.

Born in 1975, Hefzy is an Egyptian film producer and screenwriter. He is the founder of the Film Clinic that is now considered one of the leading production companies in Egypt and the Arab world.

Hefzy is also a film activist who gives workshops and training programs conducted in cooperation with acclaimed international organizations and institutes.

In 2013, Hefzy was named by Screen International as the only Arab among 30 future leaders in film production. In 2016, he was chosen by Variety on top of a list of Ten Names You Need to Know in the Arab Film Industry.

His films have participated widely in numerous prominent film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, and Toronto, and have won more than 80 international awards. In 2016, one of his latest productions "Clash" was chosen as the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes Film Festival.

In 2011, Hefzy was a jury member at several local and Arab festivals such as the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival. Hefzy is a former director of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts, and has been a board member of the Egyptian Chamber of Cinema since 2013, and continues to represent and lobby for independent filmmakers in Egypt and throughout the Arab world.

In 2018, Hefzy was appointed president of the 40th edition of CIFF, becoming the youngest to ever be appointed for this post. He was also selected as a jury member of the Horizons section at the 75th Venice International Film Festival.

Hefzy produces films that receive critical and audience acclaim alike, such as "Yomeddine", which world premiered at Cannes International Film Festival and was Egypt's official submission to Oscars Award for Best Foreign-Language Film.

The film marked the third time in a row that a film produced by Hefzy gets submitted to the Academy Awards after "Clash" and "Sheikh Jackson".

Moreover, Hefzy was on The 100 Most Important Names in the #Arab Film Industry list at Cannes Festival.

1/23/2019 11:10:29 AM
<![CDATA[Cities to host 2019 AFCON revealed ]]>
“Port Said, Suez and Ismailia will host the tournament alongside Cairo and Alexandria,” Abo Rida said.

Abo Rida denied rumors saying that Ismailia will be excluded because of the fans’ riot during Ismaily's clash against Club African at the CAF Champions League when the match was abandoned.

The president commented, “We will not punish Ismailia and the passionate football fans there because of their actions in one single game.”

Ismailia was one of the cities that hosted the 2006 African Cup of Nations alongside Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said.

Abo Rida added, “We take into acount the high temperature we expect in June and the facilities around the stadium not only the pitch condition.”

The CAF Executive Committee announced on Tuesday, January 8, that Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches.

Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.

The 2019 African Cup of Nations was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. However, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the tournament for serious delays in preparations.
1/23/2019 11:08:12 AM
<![CDATA[Government’s efforts to fight early marriage ]]>
According to the Egyptian Child Act 2008, the minimum age for marriage is 18 years for females and males. In order to counter this phenomenon, the Egyptian government imposed more severe penalties on people who back the marriage of minors, who can be imprisoned for 7 years and pay a fine.

Recently, a statistical study revealed that Beheira governorate ranks first in terms of early marriages, followed by Fayoum and Dakahlia. Because of this phenomenon, about 21,400 students dropped out of education.

In June 2018, Egypt's government proposed a new draft law that includes amendments to the child law article 12 of 1996 which states cases in which parents could be deprived of the authority of guardianship over the girl or her property.

A father who participates in marrying his daughter or son who is under 18 years of age shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not less than 1 year and deprived of his guardianship over her or him. Any person who signs the marriage contract shall be punished by the same penalty.

A marriage registrar who witnesses a case of child marriage shall notify the Attorney General. A marriage registrar who doesn't notify the Attorney General shall be subjected to imprisonment for a period no less than a year.

A marriage contract may be authenticated for a child who is under 18 years old, but the contract may not be validated without the approval of the competent family court upon the relevant request of the Public Prosecution.

The Egyptian law stated that a father is the natural guardian of his minor legitimate children, both sons, and daughters. A father cannot be deprived of the natural guardianship of his minor children unless he has been found unfit.

The marriage registrar, who documents child marriages, will be prevented from officiating marriages or will pay a fine, and if it’s proved to be a repeated action, he might face a jail penalty of 1 year.

“Child marriage affects both boys and girls. So, the proposed bill is against it for the protection of both genders. We cannot specify one gender, as it contradicts with the constitutional equality principle,” Hawary said. The current law prohibits but does not criminalize the registration of child marriages.

The draft bill follows calls by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on September 30, 2017, to impose disciplinary measures on the customary marriage of underage girls. “I was surprised that the number of married 12-year-olds was not low,” Sisi said during a ceremony marking the population census that took place in April.

Sisi wondered how these young girls can assume the responsibility of marriage and a household. “This is something that pains me and pains anyone with a real conscience who cares for their sons and daughters,” he said.

According to the 2017 national census released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), the total number of women over the age of 18 who could legally get married has reached 27.7 million, with 23 million women married, including119,000 girls who have been married before reaching the age of 18.

Meanwhile, 18,000 women got married before the age of 16, representing 15 percent of girls who got married before the legal age of marriage. The Ministry of Health reported that 500,000 children are born every year to adolescent mothers.

Among Egypt’s efforts to control the phenomenon, a 5-year national strategy to prevent child marriage was launched in 2014. The process was led by the National Population Council, a governmental body that establishes national population policies and strategies in Egypt.

This strategy aims to recognize child marriage as a health and population issue to reduce the prevalence of early marriage by 50 percent within 5 years, and to fight the proposals to lower the minimum age of marriage.

On October 15, 2017, Egypt’s National Council for Women launched the “No to Underage Marriage” campaign in cooperation with the Ministry of Religious Endowments and Christian clerics. The campaign’s main objective is to curtail undocumented marriages of minors.
1/23/2019 11:05:42 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to receive fifth installment of IMF loan in January: Amer]]>
Egypt has received four installments ($8 billion) of its $12 billion IMF loan to adhere to an agreement signed in November 2016. “We’re agreed on everything, agreed with the mission on Egypt’s performance during this phase,” Amer told Bloomberg, adding that reforms had become part of the culture. “The reform program is on schedule and we are committed to completing it successfully.”
1/22/2019 10:23:58 PM
<![CDATA[Oscar nominees react with gratitude, pride and honor]]>22 January 2019: Actors, directors and producers were "flabbergasted," "honored" and "over the moon' to be nominated for the Academy Awards, which will be presented on Feb. 24 in Hollywood.

The following are some reactions - through statements, telephone calls and social media - to the Oscar nominations announced on Tuesday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Glenn Close, best actress nominee for "The Wife"

"Everything to do with this movie has been a total joy. Bjorn Runge is a great director! Jonathan Pryce is an inspired partner. I’m so proud to be in a little film that has such great resonance with so many people."

Bradley Cooper, best actor nominee for "A Star is Born"

“Everyone who worked on this film truly risked putting themselves out there — in the hope that in doing so people will connect and feel something deep and personal — the way films have made me feel since I was a kid. When I got this opportunity, I knew I had to risk it all because I may never get another chance — so to be here today in a place where people who have seen the film are talking about how it makes them feel, something deep — that simple human thing — that we need each other — and the Academy to recognize that this morning, I just am so grateful.”

Yalitza Aparicio, best actress nominee for "Roma"

“From the very first casting call to this morning, my 'Roma' journey has been extraordinary. As a daughter of a domestic worker and an indigenous woman myself, I am proud this movie will help those of us who feel invisible be seen. ... I am so humbled and honored. Thank You.”

Alfonso Cuaron, best director nominee "Roma"

“Thank you to the Academy for recognizing 'Roma' across these categories. Human experience is one in the same, and it’s so gratifying that a black and white film about life in Mexico is being celebrated around the world. We are living a great moment in cinema where diversity is embraced by audiences."

Willem Dafoe, best actor nominee for "At Eternity's Gate"

"I’m over the moon with this nomination. Playing Vincent Van Gogh in Julian Schnabel’s 'At Eternity’s Gate' was a gift. The making was so transforming and my working with Julian was so complete and close that sometimes it felt like we were the same person. I share this honor with him."

Amy Adams, best supporting actress nominee for "Vice"

“Thank you so much to the Academy for this recognition. It is an honor to be nominated for a film that I loved making. I am grateful to Adam (McKay) for writing such rich material and for creating such a wonderful work environment."

Emma Stone, best supporting actress nominee for "The Favourite"

“Working on 'The Favourite' alongside my brilliant friends Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and the whole cast was nothing short of incredible. I was grateful every day and am honored by this nomination."

Yorgos Lanthimos, best director nominee for "The Favourite"

"I would like to thank The Academy for honoring 'The Favourite' so generously today. Having felt a bit like an outsider looking in, I am truly humbled about this morning's nominations."

Richard E. Grant, best supporting actor nominee for "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"

"For a boy growing up in Swaziland, the smallest country in the southern hemisphere, becoming an actor seemed an impossible dream, let alone being nominated for an Oscar. Am literally levitating!!”

Sam Rockwell, best supporting actor nominee for "Vice"

“Hot damn! I am so truly honored to be recognized by the Academy again this year. 'Vice' is such a special and important film to be a part of and I’m thrilled for Adam (McKay), Christian (Bale), Amy (Adams) and Hank (Corwin), as well as all of the cast and crew.”

Mahershala Ali, best supporting actor nominee for "Green Book"

"I'd like to thank the Academy for recognizing my work along with the extraordinary performances of my fellow nominees... Through Dr. Donald Shirley, I had the gift of navigating circumstances as a profound, gifted, complicated genius. A man who had experiences and a combination of qualities that I had yet to see on film."

Adam McKay, best director, producer and writer nominee for "Vice"

"My sincere thanks to the Academy for recognizing our incredible cast and crew, who worked so tirelessly on this movie that spans five decades. I'm just thrilled, flabbergasted and excited"

Pawel Pawlikowski, best director nominee for "Cold War"

“It is an incredible honor to be included amid this group of filmmakers, and I’m so grateful to the Academy. Sharing this very personal film with the world over the last year has been an unforgettable journey."
1/22/2019 9:06:32 PM
<![CDATA[Arsenal's Bellerin out for season with knee injury]]>
Bellerin will have surgery to repair the injury to his left knee in the coming days and the Spain international's rehabilitation is expected to take between six and nine months.

The 23-year-old, who was making his first start after returning from a calf injury, went down clutching his knee while challenging for the ball in the second half and was carried off the pitch on a stretcher.

His injury is another blow to manager Unai Emery, who had already lost defender Rob Holding for the rest of the season to a similar knee problem last month.

The Spanish coach said he had players to fill in for Bellerin and was unlikely to dip into the transfer market to sign a replacement, having previously said he could only take players on loan in the January transfer window.

"We have Ainsley (Maitland-Niles). He can help us by playing like a right back or a right winger. And also, (Stephan) Lichtsteiner is another player," Emery said.

"I don't forget (Carl) Jenkinson... he played some matches and if we need (him), he is okay to help us."

Arsenal next host Manchester United in an FA Cup fourth round tie on Friday, before returning to Premier League action against Cardiff City at home on Jan. 29. ]]>
1/22/2019 7:10:00 PM
<![CDATA[Tarek al-Arian to start filming “Awlad Rizk PII” ]]> Arian official Instagram
Arian's post on his official Instagram

The first part of the movie was released in 2014 and achieved great success. The film revolves around a group of brothers who walk in the path of crime when one failed operation erupt the differences between them.
Welad Rizk P I Flyer

Each of the five brothers has special characteristics, but the mastermind on whom they mainly rely is Ahmed Ezz, who decided to abandon the gang, causing the other members major crises.

“Awlad Rizk P II” is starring Ahmed Ezz, Amr Youssef, Ahmed el-Fishawy and Ahmed Daoud, with Khaled el-Sawy and Bassem Samra joining the cast. The first scenes are scheduled to be filmed in the next few weeks.

Watch trailer below

Welad Rizk - ولاد رزق [TEASER 2]

فيلم ولاد رزق‬ للمخرج طارق العريان إبتداءً من يوم 17 يوليو | فيلم عيد الفطر بجميع دور العرض إخراج : طارق العريان تأليف : صلاح الجهيني بطولة : أحمد عز - عمرو يوسف - كريم قاسم - أحمد داود - أحمد الفيشاوي تمثيل : سيد رجب - محمد ممدوح -

1/22/2019 6:46:30 PM
<![CDATA[Ronaldo accepts fine for tax evasion, avoids jail]]>
Ronaldo, holding hands with his Spanish fiancee Georgina Rodriguez, came out of the court room smiling, pausing to sign autographs before leaving in a black van.

The 33-year-old Juventus forward, who played for Real Madrid from 2009-18, agreed to settle the case by paying an 18.8 million euro fine and accepting a suspended jail sentence.

Under Spanish law, a first offender can serve anything less than a two-year sentence under probation and Ronaldo will not have to go to prison.

His court appearance lasted about 15 minutes as the five-times world footballer of the year only needed to sign off on the previously settled agreement.

The trial of Ronaldo's former Real Madrid team mate Xabi Alonso, also in court on Tuesday over accusations of tax fraud, was suspended, a court magistrate said.

Prosecutors were seeking a five-year jail sentence and a fine of 4 million euros for Spaniard Alonso, who retired as a player in 2017, accusing him of defrauding the Spanish state of some 2 million euros between 2010 and 2012.

Alonso said he was confident he had not committed a crime and would have to wait while the magistrates evaluated his case.

"I'd be worried if I thought I had something to hide or something I didn't do right but as that isn't the case I am carrying on," Alonso told reporters outside the court.

Ronaldo had to enter the courtroom through the front door after his request for special security measures to avoid the spotlight was denied on Monday.

In 2017, Ronaldo denied the accusation that he knowingly used a business structure to hide income generated by his image rights in Spain between 2011 and 2014.

After reaching the deal, he paid a fine of 5.7 million euros, plus interest of about 1 million euros, in July 2018, the prosecutor's office said last week. ]]>
1/22/2019 6:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[ In pics: Shafiqa the cat safe thanks to civil protection forces]]>
Neighbors and blocks' residents tried to rescue the cat but in vain. Mokattam police station gave an order to civil society officers to rescue the cat.

courtesy of Rana Khankan’s official account on Facebook (cat owner)

Shafiqa is safe and sound now and has been handed to its owner.

Rana Khankan, the cat’s owner, called the police to rescue her cat after she made several fruitless trials to save the cat herself.

courtesy of Rana Khankan’s official account on Facebook (cat owner)

The cat’s owner expressed her thanks and gratitude to the Mokattam police station for rescuing her cat.

Khankan uploaded on Facebook photos of the different stages of rescuing Shafiqa, thanking the police forces for their great efforts.

Rescuing Shafiqa got massive attention on social media, where many admired the humanitarian act.

Shafiqa’s tale reminded us of the bizarre tale of Biso, the cat who got stuck underground at Mohamed Naguib Station. Biso was squeezed at a tiny hole at one of Mohamed Naguib station’s walls for 5 years.

courtesy of Rana Khankan’s official account on Facebook (cat owner)

The cat survived thanks to Uncle Abdo who used to feed it up scraps of food and water every day before it was rescued by the police forces to be freed finally, according to Cairo Post.

Moreover, animal rights activist Mounira Shehata told newspapers, “After removing the wall, the cat was completely scared and ran out the street. The smell was unbearable; it was like a tomb.”

courtesy of Rana Khankan’s official account on Facebook (cat owner)
1/22/2019 5:10:15 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptians share creative designs for 2019 African Cup of Nations]]>
Shortly after Egypt was handed the responsibility to host the tournament, as it was stripped from Cameroon for delays in preparations, young designers started to produce dozens of creative content, under the slogan "Come to Egypt," probably hoping that one of their designs will be picked.

Egypt Today displays a group of photos published by Mosameminala al-Nasya, a specialized Facebook page serving as a platform for creative designs.

Many designs that were made earlier for national campaigns have been widely criticized before the Egyptian state could modify them, including national team plane's design for the 2018 World Cup and the logo of Egypt's Grand Egyptian Museum.

In this regard, Egyptian designers also issued a number of alternative designs that were welcomed by Egyptian people, but failed to be officially considered.

Earlier in January, The CAF Executive Committee announced that Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches. Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.

Egypt Football Association president, Hany Abo Rida, said that the organization's committees and the tournament’s official mascot and logo will be revealed soon.

Egypt is believed to be the most successful nation in the history of the competition as it has won a record of seven titles including three in a row between 2006 and 2010. The country hosted four African Cup of Nations' tournaments in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006 and they failed to achieve the title only in 1974.]]>
1/22/2019 5:04:17 PM
<![CDATA[New poster of AIWFF's 3rd edition exposed]]>
The poster is colorful and eye-catchy, as it illustrates the distinctive colors of African nature.
The poster, designed by Alexandrian artist Hisham Ali, highlights a number of important elements, designing the logo of the festival in the form of a woman's face.

The basic element of this poster is derived from the face of a girl whose features resemble the faces of Egyptian women with distinctive features, and also portrays the environment in Aswan, most notably the color of the Nile.

Hisham Ali is a 26-year-old graphic designer and visual artist. He received a number of awards in the field of design, including the Best Design Award in Alexandria from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in 2010.

The Aswan International Film Festival for Women's Cinema announced that it will honor during the third edition's opening ceremony veteran artist Mohsena Tawfik and star Menna Shalabi.

In addition, five women who have many artistic contributions will also be honored during the festival’s opening ceremony.

Aswan International Film Festival for Women’s Cinema is the first Egyptian film festival specializing in offering workshops for youth in Aswan.

So far, 125 young males and females have been trained in film making workshops by Egyptian and international professional film makers.

These workshops produced five documentary films screened during the final ceremony.

The Aswan International Women Film Festival announced holding a number of workshops during the third round of the festival.

Manager of the festival's workshops, Sayed Abdel Khalek, said "The workshops will be held on February 13-19, 2019.

They aim at enhancing youth's role in the society via giving them the opportunity to express themselves and their visions through cinema as one of the modern means of expression.

Children and youths, who are living in Aswan and aging from 7 to 35 years old, are encouraged to apply for the workshops."

"The third round of the festival will present a workshop by screenwriter Wissam Soliman," Abdel Khalek added.

Soliman wrote a number of films including "In Heliopolis Flat", "The Best of Times" and "Factory Girl". The workshop aims at training youths to write a screenplay from scratch until the final draft.

The projects will be discussed during the concluding session of the workshop.

"The festival will also organize a documentary workshop by director Mahmoud Soliman who directed and produced a number of short films and documentaries that were awarded more than 65 prizes in various film festivals around the world.

His films include "We Have Never Been Kids" that was awarded 16 prizes. His workshop will aim at training youths on documentary film making from scratch until producing a short or long documentary," Abdel Khalek continued.

Also, the festival will hold an animation workshop by Professor Ashraf Mahdy. The workshop aims at training youths, from 16-35 years old, to implement a number of techniques on the paintings of a pioneer Egyptian female painter, According to Abdel Khalek.

Additionally, the festival will hold another animation workshop, organized in cooperation with Jesuit Animation School of Cairo and held by producer, director and founder of Jesuit Animation School Ibrahim Saad. The workshop aims at training children, from 7 to 16 years old, to make animation films through special and simple techniques.

The workshops also include another documentary workshop to be held by young director Aida el-Kashef. The workshop aims at resuming projects that started during the previous round of the festival.

The festival is organized under the auspices of the ministries of culture and tourism as well as the National Council for Women and the Cinema Syndicate.

1/22/2019 5:00:36 PM
<![CDATA[President Sisi inaugurates Cairo International Book Fair Jan. 22]]>
The book fair is held for the first time at the Egyptian International Exhibition Center (EIEC) at the Fifth Settlement district, coinciding with its 50th anniversary.

The Arab League was chosen as the guest of honor of the exhibition, while the Ministry of Culture chose late writer Tharwat Okasha and great writer Suhair al-Qalmawi as the festival’s personalities of the year.

Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem announced the participation of 35 countries, including 10 African countries, 16 Asian countries, seven European countries and two from the Americas.

The minister of culture stated that the number of Egyptian publishing houses reached 579, 62 of which are first-time publishers and 517 participated in previous sessions.

Abdel Dayem further revealed that the foreign publishing houses totaled up to 70 publishers, 24 of which are participating for the first time and 146 participated in previous editions, reaching a total number of 723 displays and sales outlets.

The minister of culture also confirmed that the total number of publishing houses participating in the current book fair is 749 publishing houses offering publications in different types of knowledge, with an increase of 53 houses compared to last year.

Abdel Dayem pointed out that the Ministry of Culture has allocated a stand for books with reduced prices, which start from LE 1 to LE 5.

For Egyptian publishers, the prices of the book start from LE 1 to LE 10, so that books are affordable to everyone.

1/22/2019 4:28:40 PM
<![CDATA[Website covering events of book fair’s 50th edition to be launched ]]>
Haj further stated that the website will provide all the press outlets with access to information regarding the book fair, such as special coverage and events
In addition, Haj referred that the website is designed and gifted to the book fair’s golden jubilee by a young volunteer who refused to get paid. The designer named the website “Exhibition 50”.

Moreover, Haj pointed out that the site will be managed by a group of young volunteers, under the supervision of the media committee and with the support of the youth and initiatives committee.

Haj further confirmed the eligibility of all newspapers and websites to use and republish the press content of the website to serve the readers and support the press and media institutions, who are keen to participate in the success of this major cultural event.

To visit the site click on the url below:

الرئيسية | المعرض 50

الموقع الرسمي لفعاليات معرض القاهرة الدولي للكتاب في يوبيله الذهبي..

1/22/2019 4:09:38 PM
<![CDATA[Firmino hails Salah’s gesture ]]>
The winning spirit helps Liverpool players to get closer on and off the pitch and the great relation between the players appeared during Liverpool’s 5-1 victory over Arsenal at the Premier League.

Liverpool were 1-0 down after only 9 minutes but they returned in the game and defeated Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield thanks to a hat-trick from Firmino and two goals from Salah and Sadio Mane.

Salah, Liverpool’s first penalty taker, let Firmino take a penalty to complete his hat-trick despite the fierce race Salah is facing with Harry Kane and Pierre Aubameyang to win the golden boot for the second consecutive year.

“I was really happy with his unselfish act of giving me the ball and once again I thank him for it,”Firmino said.

Salah has formed a great partnership with his teammates, Mane and Firmino, since he joined the club in summer 2017 from AS Roma. The trio is considered the best attacking line in the league. ]]>
1/22/2019 4:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Muslim Brotherhood defect discusses doctrine rethinking ]]>
The move was led by a former young brotherhood member called Emad Ali Abdel Hafez who sat for an interview with Egypt Today to reveal how the doctrine rethinking began, and if it is similar to the state’s initiative that targeted members of the Islamic Jamaa and Al Takfir wa al-Hijra by the end of the 1990s.

At the time, many books were issued to explain the wrongness of the Jihadist ideology in addition to discussions with prisoners affiliated with those groups. The outcome was that a considerable number of them renounced the extremist ideology and got integrated into the society.

Abdel Hafez also disclosed how the group was planning to deter peaceful circulation of power, and remain in power for a limitless number of years.

How did you join the brotherhood?

I got to know them in 2002 while I was an undergrad. Their strategy prior to January 25 (uprising) differs from that they adopted later. Beforehand, the group was outlawed and its focus was harnessing followers in charity associations, educational institutions, and youth centers. The brotherhood used to organize sport, cultural, educational and charity events with the aim of propagating its own values and principles, and attract potential members. I was one of those as I knew some persons I didn’t know they were affiliated with the brotherhood. After a year of participating in their activities, I realized that I was considered a member in a preliminary stage and in an informal way. Later on, I was gradually indoctrinated and became a full-fledged member until 2017.

What were the directives you were receiving from the brotherhood’s leaders after Morsi became President in 2012?

The attempts of getting deep-rooted in the society grew stronger and turned to be public as all restraints on the group disappeared. The brotherhood leaders sent questionnaires to senior members in the governorates to nominate candidates who can be appointed in key positions in the state institutions and municipalities. That led to a congruence that individuals who are either members in the group or following its doctrine must be selected for those positions. That was the plan to “Islamize the state.”

It seems that the Muslim Brotherhood could stay for 500 years, if the June 30 uprising did not occur.

When you perceive thoroughly the group’s main ideas and philosophy, you will understand that their goal is not just to be in power. That’s just a means to impose Sharia law which would not be enforced by regular governments like the incumbent one. Brotherhood members consider themselves the most capable of implementing Sharia law and ruling the country in accordance with it. They think that Islam is not currently being enforced.

Did you detect any negative points about the brotherhood in 2012?

Yes, I did. They made irrational decisions such as dismantling the protests surrounding the Presidential Palace of Itihadeya using their own elements and not the security forces. When we were called to be present there, I questioned why Morsi behaves as the brotherhood’s leader rather than the country’s president. Even after he reached the rule, the group was refusing to retreat from the streets and squares in the presence of other protesters so they would always seem victorious.

In the aftermath of June 30 uprising, churches and police departments were set on fire. Were you receiving clear orders by the brotherhood’s leaders to commit arson?

Prior to the June 30 uprising, the group was watching out for protests and preparing to deal with them since June 2012. There were directives to protect the brotherhood’s headquarters as patrols had to be present in those locations 24/7.

Were these patrols armed?

I witnessed clashes and heard shooting sounds. Firearms were used. The brotherhood adopted a terror strategy. They sent threats indirectly to Christians through messengers to inhibit them from protesting against Morsi.

You did not mention arson of churches and police departments. Did you get orders to do that?

None of the brotherhood’s members acts on his own. The personality of each member is canceled within the group whose core discipline is about obedience, and trust in the leaders. Those acts were upon directives. The group at that time was confused. If you consider the group’s founding concepts, you will find that the use of violence to make change is acceptable.

As members in the brotherhood, did you all have a conviction that June 30 uprising was against Islam?

Definitely. We simply used to perceive the incidents at the time in the context of our desire to implement Sharia so anyone who would oppose us was considered an opponent to Sharia enforcement.

Did the brotherhood implement Sharia?

The brotherhood has no idea what Sharia it wants to implement. I will tell you about a situation I went through. I was once walking with a colleague in Tahrir Square as we were taking part in a protest titled “Legitimacy and Sharia.” Chants were calls to implement Sharia. I asked my colleague what is the Sharia that we want, and what is the brotherhood’s program to achieve that? The program of the Freedom and Justice Party tackled Sharia in a broad and superficial way. When Hassan al-Bana himself was sending messages to different governments, he used to demand implementing Sharia by just banning prostitution and alcohol.

How long did you stay in prison? And, how did you make the decision of assuming doctrine rethinking and defecting out the brotherhood?

I spent 16 months in prison as I was charged of joining an outlawed group, and attacking public institutions. Prisoners belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Jamaa, the Islamic State, and others who are not affiliated with any groups. There used to be disagreements among the brotherhood’s members so I got the conviction that the group’s goals are unrealistic. How a group that wants to rule the world cannot unite under one leadership in prison.

amr moustafa-22

How did the brotherhood’s leaders treat you in prison?

They were making huge efforts to maintain rules. I called that “distraction and drugging” in the book I am about to publish. They kept saying that we would achieve victory.

Still, you did not say how you came up with the doctrine rethinking idea?

The brotherhood’s leaders rejected talks about the existence of any divisions within the group until one of the members in prison prepared a report on the crisis. However, the leaders used to present political analysis and insisted that the brotherhood will get back to rule. Heated debates took place as some supported the idea of doctrine rethinking while others rejected it. Some adopted the doctrine of the Islamic State as a way to make change.

Are there brotherhood’s members who joined the Islamic State?

Yes. And, there are others who admire the Islamic State’s model.

How did you perceive the brotherhood’s leaders in prison?

They used to read Sharia books and the group’s own books. They are very ignorant and superficial. They are not intellects. They reject all non-Islamic books. They read books written by Ibn Taymeya and Qaradawy. There were frictions between us and them.

Were you treated differently after defection?

Immoral acts occurred such as image tarnishing, insults, and physical assaults. That is in addition to groundless allegations and wishing us bad things in their prayers.

What were you doing after announcing the doctrine rethinking?

We did activities away from the brotherhood, and then, we started to criticize the group overtly until the media knew about it after the document had been published. At this point, the brotherhood’s leaders realized the danger so violence against us ascended. We were warned, and threatened that financial aids provided by the group would stop.

What are the financial aids you are talking about?

The Muslim Brotherhood allocate part of their budget to donations. However, their budget would not cover all that expenditure. I think the rich among its members cover such donations in addition to the group’s investments. The financial file of the brotherhood has a lot of secrets that I wasn’t able to figure out, and is managed by a small number of leaders.

While we were in prison, we were being served expensive food, and allowances ranging between LE500-2,000 were paid to our families depending on the member’s position within the brotherhood, and his family’s financial status.

What is the conclusion of the doctrine rethinking?

There are two aspects to this matter. One aspect is about our evaluation of the brotherhood’s experience, and why it failed. We concluded that it was mistaken in certain situations. The other aspect is about our analysis of its fundamental ideas. They can be classified into four main categories. The first is the psychological characteristics of the group embodied in an inflated ego, obedience and denouncement of critical thinking, and the perception of its members as the sole representatives of religion.

The second is about the group’s goal which is establishing an Islamic Caliphate that rules the world. That is considered a hostile project. The third is the change mechanism to achieve that goal. The last category is the brotherhood’s structure that is a totalitarian system that intervenes in everything without knowledge. As a result, we realized that attempts to mend differences would not work.

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Have doctrine rethinking taken place in other prisons?

A number of individuals in other prisons learnt about the doctrine rethinking and contacted us through their relatives, and announced they would join the initiative.

Is the Islamic State’s doctrine different from that of the Muslim Brotherhood?

No, it is not. Violence is rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood’s doctrine which constitutes the basis of the Islamic State’s doctrine. The group’s founder Hassan al-Banna established the idea of the use of physical strength and violence to attain certain goals, if there are no other options. The Muslim Brotherhood adopts the concept of resorting to Jihad to promote their ideology. Those beliefs are similar to the beliefs of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The concept of those groups is the same but it differs in its intensity.

When you think the brotherhood will end?

It has ended already because it lost its ability to persuade and attract individuals to join it unlike how it used to do. The brotherhood has aged. The issue is with the ideas of Hassan al-Banna.

Additional contribution by Noha El Tawil]]>
1/22/2019 3:33:20 PM
<![CDATA[Moldova hosts 10 km race in world's largest wine cellar]]>
Dancers, musicians and singers wearing folk costumes performed in the darkness of the caves, cheering on the runners, who included tourists from the United States, Canada and Europe as well as locals.

The state-owned Milestii Mici winery entered the Guinness World Records in 2005 for storing the largest number of bottles of wine in the world. It now holds around 2 million.

Part of the race took place on slippery paths outside in the snow, but most of it was below ground, with runners galloping past giant oak barrels of wine. After crossing the finish line, they were greeted — with a glass of wine, of course.

“It’s unlike any race I’ve ever done, a once in a lifetime experience. Running through a wine cellar is unlike anything else and there were just people cheering everywhere. They were so excited, so incredibly happy to have us here, you never get that in a 10km,” said Amy MacDonald from Canada.

“I know I’m from Canada but still when you’re going up a hill full of ice it’s a bit slippery, and sometimes when inside the footing was a bit uneven and you just had a really hard time, you had to focus with your headlamp on each place you were putting your foot.”

The huge, centuries-old limestone quarry has been used to store wine for decades. To keep the runners from getting lost, they were issued with maps showing its underground “streets” named after different wine varieties.

Moldova, a nation of 3.5 million people wedged between EU member Romania and Ukraine, is one of the few winemaking areas of the ex-Soviet Union. Its wines and brandies remain popular in fellow former Soviet states but are less well known elsewhere.

The wine sector employs more than a tenth of Moldova’s workforce, although as of 2017 it accounted for just 2.8 percent of economic output of the country, one of the poorest in Europe. Moldova hopes to find markets in the West for its wine, and bringing in tourists to see the giant cellar could help.

But organizers of the race say the main purpose is just to have a good time.

“The goal is not to show some unreal speed result. People come here to have fun,” said Dmitry Voloshin, President of the Sporter sports organization which set up the race. “Instead of drinking wine at a table, why not run and then drink a glass of wine?”]]>
1/22/2019 2:50:10 PM
<![CDATA[ACC chooses Hefzy to be 'Arab Cinema Personality of the Year’]]>
The award will be given to Hefzy by Arab Cinema Center ,presented by the hollywood reporter ; this year Berlin International Film Festival where ACC celebrates its five year anniversary since its first launch in Berlin.

Who is Mohamed Hefzy?

Hefzy is an Egyptian film producer and screenwriter who was born in 1975. He is the founder of the Film Clinic that is now considered as one of the leading production companies in Egypt and the Arab world.

Hefzy is also a film activist who gives workshops and training programs conducted in cooperation with acclaimed international organizations and institutes.

In 2013, Hefzy was named by Screen International as the only Arab among 30 future leaders in film production. In 2016, he was chosen by Variety on top of a list of Ten Names You Need to Know in the Arab Film Industry.

His films have participated widely in numerous prominent film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, and Toronto, and have won more than 80 international awards. In 2016, one of his latest productions (Clash) was chosen as the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes Film Festival.

In 2011, Hefzy was a jury member at several local and Arab festivals such as the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival. He is familiar with Cairo International Film Festival as he was on the Advisory Board of CIFF, an advisor for the Cairo Film Connection (CFC), and a jury member of the CIFF in 2010.

Hefzy is a former director of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts, and is currently a board member of the Egyptian Chamber of Cinema since 2013, and continues to represent and lobby for independent filmmakers in Egypt and throughout the Arab world.

In 2018 Hefzy was appointed as the President of the 40th edition of CIFF becoming the youngest to ever be appointed for this post. He was also selected as a jury member of the Horizons section at the 75th of Venice International Film Festival.

Hefzy produces films that receive critical and audience acclaim alike, such as yomeddine , which world premiered at Cannes International Film Festival and was Egypt's official submission to Oscars Award for Best Foreign-Language Film.

The film marked the third time in a row that a film produced by Hefzy gets submitted to the Academy Awards after Clash and sheikh Jackson films .
Moreover, Hefzy was on The 100 Most Important Names in the #Arab Film Industry list at Cannes Festival.

1/22/2019 2:49:48 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt participates in "Fiture" int'l tourism fair in Spain]]>
Egypt's Ambassador to Spain Omar Selim will participate in the inauguration of the Egyptian pavilion at the five-day international event along with a delegation from the Egyptian governmental and private tourism sector.

Youssef underlined the importance of Egypt's participation in the Fiture which is the third-largest international tourist exhibition after the Berlin and London bourses.

The fair represents a good chance to meet partners and decision makers in the tourism sector from all over the world as well as tour operators and travel agencies operating in the Spanish market, Youssef said.

Youssef added that the event also provides an opportunity to meet with representatives of the international media outlets.

Twenty-six exhibitors representing tourism companies, hotels and airline companies along with EgyptAir are taking part in the Egyptian pavilion.

During the visit, Youssef will also attend the meetings of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which will be held at the organization's headquarters in Madrid. The meetings will include the Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR).]]>
1/22/2019 2:46:51 PM
<![CDATA[South Africa's Ramaphosa calls for lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe]]>
He said Zimbabwe’s situation was a challenge for the whole of Africa and he planned to meet its President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a later stage.]]>
1/22/2019 2:42:44 PM
<![CDATA[Ruthless Nadal beats Tiafoe to cruise into last four]]>
Nadal's match against Tiafoe, who turned 21 on Sunday, was billed as an intriguing clash of generations after the loss of Roger Federer to Tsitsipas earlier, but the second seed was ruthless as he reached the last four without dropping a set.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion broke Tiafoe's first service game in each set and with a second break in the third set wrapped up the victory in an hour and 47 minutes.

For a place in the final, Nadal will meet 20-year-old Greek sensation Tsitsipas, who earlier on Tuesday became his country's first player to reach the last four at a major with a 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6(2) triumph over Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. ]]>
1/22/2019 2:27:59 PM
<![CDATA[Jordan reiterates objection to new Israeli airport's location]]>
Jordan “reserves all options to ensure defending and protecting the kingdom’s interests," Jordan’s Civil Aviation Regulatory Commissioner, Haitham Misto, said, according to Jordan's Ammon News.

Misto said that Jordan rejects opening the airport in its current location, asserting that it violates international standards concerning the obligation to respect the airspace of other states.

Jordan has affirmed objecting to the $500 million Ramon airport since Israel began constructing it in 2013. The Kingdom said that aircraft landing at the Israeli airport can invade its airspace.

The new airport will replace Eilat’s current airport and the basic airport at Ovda, Times of Israel reported, adding that Ramon airport will initially receive 2 million passengers annually.

Relations between Israel and Jordan have been strained as no significant progress can be witnessed so far in the Palestinian cause.

Jordan has been also one of the countries that strongly denounced the US decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s new capital and move its embassy there, a move which Amman believes jeopardizes the two-state solution for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. ]]>
1/22/2019 2:18:42 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo court sets March 30 session for issuing verdict against 30 Daesh defendants]]>
Prosecutor General Nabil Sadeq ordered the referral of 30 terror suspects to the Higher Emergency State Security Court over charges of forming a takfiri terrorist group, receiving foreign funds and possession of arms and explosives with the aim of attacking churches, Christians and various state facilities. The defendants also face charges of receiving training at Daesh camps in Syria and Libya.

Investigations conducted by the National Security Sector at the Ministry of Interior uncovered the moves of the terrorist elements ahead of planning an attack against a Church in El Asafra district in Alexandria.

Confessions of the defendants along with video data revealed that a member of Daesh group familiar with the name of "Nour" received directions from the group's leaders to establish terrorist cells in Egypt with the aim of assaulting police and army troops as well as state facilities and citizens.

The investigations also asserted that Nour formed two cells comprising 30 elements who received training in launching terrorist attacks. Directions to the terrorist cells were received via the internet through secured communication applications.]]>
1/22/2019 1:59:21 PM
<![CDATA[Bringing Together the 50 Plus Community]]>
“The majority of people that I know in my age group feel very sad and lonely, and I personally share the same feeling. When my only daughter grew up and got married, she became very busy with her own life, and my life has become very empty since,” explains Huda Mustafa, the founder. At an event in Cairo on World Diabetes Day to raise awareness about the disease and highlight prevention methods, Mustafa tells Egypt Today how helping other people was her primary motivation for creating The 50 plus community; she believes it will facilitate a greater connection among members so that they can fill their free time without creating a burden for their children. “I want to help all the people who feel that their lives ended once they grew older. I want them to know that it is never too late to enjoy and live the life that they desire at any age,” Mustafa affirms. “Our age group lacks attention and support. . . . Instead of feeling that our lives ended after we raised children, we want to feel like active members in the community who have the right to enjoy life.”

Mustafa herself faced the same problem when her daughter grew up. “Like most members of this group, I was busy all the time raising my daughter. I used to work as an Arabic teacher, but I quit my job because I wanted to be fully dedicated to her and take care of her needs. When our children grew up and got busy with their lives, we ended up having a lot of free time and we did not know what to do with it. We cannot go back to work, as most of us have reached retirement age and throughout the years we grew apart from our old friends,” says Mustafa.

Mustafa, who is a regular Facebook user, discussed with her daughter the idea of creating a group for older people on the social networking site to try to reach people of her age that she knows would like to occupy their free time and to meet new people. “I thought to myself, why don’t we all come together and start a new life. I am sure that there are many people out there thinking the same and want to live their lives happily, because we all still have the energy to do so. I wanted to help myself and help other people like me.” Mustafa’s daughter, Nada, was supportive of the initiative and encouraged her mother to start the group, offering to help her with the technicalities. “I have a friend who is in his thirties and works in advertising in the UAE. When I told him about the idea, he got very excited and after two days, he sent me some designs for the group’s logo, and I chose one of them. At that moment, I felt that it was becoming more serious and that I should be up to the responsibility,” adds Mustafa.

While she initially had modest expectations of the group’s reach, it has now achieved an impressive 1,200 in number, and is successfully providing a space for sharing ideas, discussion and interaction among seniors. “On the day we launched the group, I was hoping that we would reach 50 members. But we received so many requests to join the group. I was very happy that people saw the importance of such an initiative and that they are interested in the idea,” she says. She also reveals that many of the members are actually quite young, in their 20s or 30s, and join on behalf of their parents who do not have Facebook accounts. “Although the number [50] helps us clarify our goal, the group is open to any person who is interested in the idea for a personal reason or to help someone they know or because they are interested in volunteering and being in contact with other people. All people who share our values and believe that this group has the right to live in dignity are welcomed,” says Mustafa, who adds that some of the younger members joined because they are feeling lonely and want to make friends.
“The younger members are very enthusiastic, they send us messages to encourage us and to tell us that we helped them by creating a space for them to volunteer and support the older people. Through the group, they learned that they need to take better care of their parents and the elders in their family,” Mustafa elaborates.

A growing community

“My daughter was the one who found the group on Facebook. She was so excited about it, so she encouraged me to join,” says member Fatma Ali Gharaba who recalls how she really enjoyed the first event. “I met new people and made new friends. I was so happy and relaxed with them,” says Gharaba. The group’s first activity was held in Glim, Alexandria, where members met for a walk on the beach with their sons and daughters before heading to a café for breakfast. They later posted their photographs together on the group page.

“When they then announced the educational seminar to raise awareness on diabetes, I was very keen to join and attend,” Gharaba adds. “I felt a sense of familiarity with the other members, like we had known each other for a long time, because we share the same experiences and circumstances. We all need support to overcome the boredom that we were living in.”

Since that day, the group began to walk on the beach together every morning for one hour, goes swimming every week and practices water aerobics. They also plan to hold social interventions such as raising money for and visiting elderly homes. “I want the group to thrive, and for more people to join. This online connection is a first step and Facebook allowed us to be organized and connected; when I am away for a couple of days, the members ask about me and they feel my absence. Yet, the more important element is the activities we organize. For example, we want to start a book club to exchange and discuss books among us,” says Amina Mohammed Soliman, a member from Alexandria.

On the group, members post information about activities and social events. They also have a space to anonymously send a problem for discussion in the group, “When we receive the problem, we post it on the group page anonymously and the members comment or advise based on their personal experience. None of us are specialized, but we are here for each other,” says Mustafa. The group also includes a space for members to suggest activities or social events, “Any group member can suggest a place to visit or an event that we can attend together as a group,” she continues, noting a suggestion by one member that they celebrate birthdays together at the end of every month.

“I was so excited to find a space where people can understand the daily struggles that we face. . . . We are not sick, it is not about our physical health, but we are bored and we want to be happy. Our children are busy, but with this group we are also busy taking care of ourselves and finding ways to change the routine in our lives,” says Fawzia Khaled, another member from Alexandria. “The group impacted our psychological wellbeing, when we think together and plan for any activity, whether it is a walk on the beach or to visit an orphanage, we just feel that our life has a meaning,” she adds.

Suzy Dabour agrees. “When I joined the group, I just felt that the spirit of the group is very similar to my own. The members look for ways to enjoy their life and to live happily. The activities are very beneficial as they provide us with the opportunity to make new friends after we spent the majority of our lives taking care of our kids and their needs,” she says. “Through the group, I want to experience everything that I was not able to do when I was younger. I want to walk on the beach, laugh and visit the places that I did not visit before and I want to ride a bicycle.”

“Our happiness will reflect on our psychology and on our families. Being together in this group will help us get over the fear of being alone and the fear of growing older, especially when we see lonely people around us,” Dabour continues. “The group showed us that we need to take better care of our parents, who definitely are feeling the same, and it has helped our kids to feel there is no need to worry about us.” In the near future the group will be expanding outside Alexandria, with members from Ismailia and Cairo planning to organize weekly activities similar to the activities organized in Alexandria. “They are very excited about the idea,’ says Mustafa. “I am very glad that many are responsive and that more people will get connected to support each other.”
1/22/2019 1:50:59 PM
<![CDATA[Exclusive: Abo Rida expects Egypt to reach 2019 AFCON Final ]]>
“We have an experienced team led by Javier Aguirre. We will give the team everything they need to perform at the tournament and I believe that they will reach the final,” Abo Rida told Egypt Today on Monday.

The CAF Executive Committee announced on Tuesday, January 8, that Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches.

Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.

The 2019 African Cup of Nations was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. However, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the tournament for serious delays in preparations.

Abo Rida added, " We will reveal the organization committees and the tournament’s official mascot and logo soon."

Egyptian Football Federation boardhad appointed former Egypt International, Mohamed Fadl, as 2019 African Cup of Nations tournament director.

Abo Rida commented on Fadl’s choice, saying “We need to give the qualified people the chance to gain experience. Fadl speaks English and French fluently and he is qualified for the position.”

Egypt is the most successful nation in the history of the competition as Egypt has won a record of seven titles including three in a row between 2006 and 2010.

Egypt hosted four African Cup of Nations' tournaments in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006 and they failed to achieve the title only in 1974. ]]>
1/22/2019 1:46:29 PM
<![CDATA[Moroccan prosecutor issues arrest warrant against Ahmad Mansour]]>
The Moroccan media reported that the woman filed a lawsuit against Mansour because he did not document their marriage.

The media also clarified that the Moroccan prosecutor's decision came as Mansour was not present for the hearing sessions.

A Moroccan woman said that she had secretly married Mansour in 2015, but she then discovered that he had married more than once in the same way.

In 2015, Mansour was detained in Germany while attempting to board a flight to Doha upon an Egyptian arrest warrant.

In 2014, Mansour was convicted in absentia of torturing a lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011. He denied all charges.

Egypt accuses Qatar and Al Jazeera of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been classified as a terrorist organization after ousting President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
1/22/2019 1:44:34 PM
<![CDATA[Numerous cultural, artistic events held on Jan. 21]]>
Head of the Supreme Council of Culture Shaker Abdel Hamid held a seminar entitled "Childhood: The Future of civilization”, with the participation of veteran journalist Sakineh Fouad.

In addition, the literary narration section of Egypt’s Writer Union held a cultural evening to discuss the novel "Exile and the Kingdom" by novelist Bahij Ismail, at 6 p.m.

Furthermore, the Workshop Olive Library hosted Egyptian journalist and novelist Mounir Mutawa at 7 p.m. to discuss the novel "I am not Hany el-Halawany", published recently by the General Egyptian Book Authority.

Novelist Amro Salah, novelist and critic Osama Haddad, and novelist Jamal Zaki attended the discussion]]>
1/22/2019 1:14:33 PM
<![CDATA[ProSieben sees pressure easing as Netflix raises prices]]>
Conze took the helm at the Munich-based broadcaster last June but has had a rough welcome from investors who have sent its shares to seven-year lows on doubts that he can revive its ailing free-to-air TV business.

The former CEO of UK appliances company Dyson told Reuters that plans to relaunch a German streaming venture in cooperation with Discovery Inc, public broadcaster ZDF, publisher Axel Springer and possibly others were on track for late summer.

“We think there is very meaningful space next to Amazon and Netflix to create a German Hulu that aggregates all the German content that people love,” he said, referring to the Disney-backed U.S. platform.

Asked about the recent price increase by Netflix, as well as the cash burn reported in its latest results, Conze expressed hope that the U.S. streaming giants would move towards a model that seeks to target profit as well as growth. [nL3N1ZH4VU]

“Part of the challenge has, of course, been that the streaming direct-to-consumer models – both Netflix and Amazon – are fundamentally subsidized. They are not really money-making models,” said Conze.

“They are great for you and me as consumers, but hard to compete against. If these companies get a little bit more focused in the future on how to turn this into a profitable business model, that actually creates an environment that makes it somewhat easier for us to compete.”

European shares stumble after weak Chinese GDP data
Speaking on the sidelines of the DLD Munich technology conference on Sunday, Conze also forecast that ProSieben’s e-commerce arm NuCom would this year achieve revenue growth, including acquisitions, in excess of 20 percent.

“That business is developing, growing rapidly and very synergistic with entertainment,” he said.

NuCom’s match-making property Parship Elite bought U.S. dating site eharmony late last year and recently secured direct control over home services company Aroundhome. [nL8N1X91SY][nL8N1ZE23R]

The e-commerce unit, which owns 10 properties, has “another couple of things that are cooking”, said Conze, declining to elaborate.

1/22/2019 12:59:18 PM
<![CDATA[In pics: Heavy fog hits Egypt, ports]]>
The General Directorate of Traffic appealed to citizens to exercise caution while driving especially highways and desert, also stressed the citizens following some general guidelines before moving by car and following traffic rules.

In this regards, the Red Sea Ports Authority closed the ports of Suez and Zeitiyat due to bad weather.

Ahmed Abdelaal, chairman of the General Meteorological Authority reiterated citizens to wear warm clothing and keep themselves warm at night.

Although will last until the last week, the heavy fog is expected to remarkably relent on Wednesday and Thursday, while on rainfall is forecast, according to Mahmoud Shaheen, director of analysis department of the Meteorological Authority.

Regarding the temperature degree on Tuesday, Cairo will see a moderate weather during the day, while at night the the temperature will decrease significantly.

Egyptian cities and some of its port were hit by a heavy fog on Tuesday which led to block traffic in many areas

Egyptian cities and some of its port were hit by a heavy fog on Tuesday which led to block traffic in many areas.

Egyptian cities and some of its port were hit by a heavy fog on Tuesday which led to block traffic in many areas. ]]>
1/22/2019 12:53:56 PM
<![CDATA[Travolta's 'Gotti,' Trump get Razzie 'worst film' nods]]>
The new Sherlock Holmes comedy “Holmes & Watson” garnered six mentions, including for its stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, who were cited for “trashing two of literature’s most beloved characters.”

The tongue-in-cheek Razzies, created in 1980, serve as an antidote to Hollywood’s Oscars ceremony. Nominees were announced a day before Tuesday’s Academy Awards nominations - the highest honors in the movie industry.

“With a stumbling stock market, a possible impending Presidential impeachment, raging wild fires, devastating floods, mass shootings and a litany of plagues that reached near Biblical proportions, 2018 was a year overfull with disasters,” Razzie founder John Wilson said in a statement.

“And then there were last year’s movies,” he quipped.

Trump got two worst actor nominations for appearing as himself in the 2018 documentaries “Death of a Nation,” from conservative film maker Dinesh D’Souza, and liberal Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9.”

Trump previously won a Razzie for his cameo role as a businessman in the 1989 crime comedy “Ghosts Can’t Do It,” starring Bo Derek.

On Monday, Trump’s wife, Melania, and White House aide Kellyanne Conway both got nods in the worst supporting actress field for their archival footage in “Fahrenheit 11/9.”

“Gotti,” about late New York Mafia boss John Gotti, took in just $4.3 million at the box office last summer and notched six nods, including worst picture, screenplay, actor and “worst screen combo” for stars Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston.

Nominees and winners of the Razzies are voted for online by around 1,000 Razzie members from 24 countries, who sign up online and pay a $40 membership fee.

Winners of the year’s worst films — if they turn up — will be given a gold, spray-painted trophy at a ceremony held on the eve of the Feb. 24 Academy Awards.

1/22/2019 12:47:11 PM
<![CDATA[Chinese stars hit with $1.62 billion in 'cold winter' tax crackdown]]>
Xinhua, citing the national tax bureau and content watchdog, said the campaign, which began in October, had ended and companies and workers had been ordered to correct their tax records.

The most famous star to get caught up in the campaign was actress Fan Bingbing who has 62 million online followers.

She was ordered to pay about $129 million in overdue taxes and fines in October, after a four-month disappearance from the public eye, Xihua reported earlier.

Fan issued an apology after being ordered to pay up, saying she accepted the decision, would overcome “all difficulties” to pay the penalties and would step up supervision of her companies.

Industry insiders have lamented that a “cold winter” has descended on the business since authorities launched the checks, with film projects stalling and investors selling off related company shares.

Huayi Brothers Media Corp (300027.SZ), a company linked to Fan Bingbing, has seen its share price halved since last year, while movie box office revenue growth in the world’s second-largest movie market after the United States, slowed last year.

Authorities said the industry should set its mind at rest and focus on work, but added that it would continue to target companies and individuals deemed highly exposed to tax-related risks.

Industry workers should “practise socialist core values ... and strive to be entertainment workers with belief, empathy and sense of responsibility in the new era”, authorities said, according to Xinhua.]]>
1/22/2019 12:43:22 PM
<![CDATA[Plane carrying Cardiff City's Sala goes missing over English Channel]]>
British and French coastguards scoured the seas off the island of Guernsey on Tuesday for the single-engine plane after it lost radar contact on its way from Nantes in western France to the Welsh capital.

The 28-year-old Argentine forward joined Premier League strugglers Cardiff City from FC Nantes last week for a club record fee of around 17 million euros ($19 million). He had played in France since 2012.

Local coastguards were alerted by air traffic control at 20:23 GMT that an aircraft with two people on board had gone missing. Lifeboats and helicopters were sent out but the search was suspended four hours later as weather conditions worsened.

Search teams resumed work on Tuesday morning.

"At this time no trace of the missing aircraft had been found," Guernsey police said.

A statement from Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman released on Tuesday morning read: "We are very concerned by the latest news that a light aircraft lost contact over the Channel last night."

FC Nantes officials did not immediately comment.

Sala had scored 12 league goals in 19 appearances for Nantes in France's Ligue 1 this season before agreeing to join Cardiff.

French media reported that the French federation has postponed Nantes's French Cup last-32 game against Entente Sannois-Saint Gratien from Wednesday to Sunday. ($1 = 0.8801 euros) ]]>
1/22/2019 12:37:38 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's forces kill 59 takfiris, lose 7 personnel in counter-terrorism efforts ]]>
The statement said the operation comes within the framework of the security forces' efforts to combat terrorism in all "strategic directions" of the state, without giving further information about the locations where the 59 elements were killed.

The statement also revealed that an officer and six soldiers lost their lives during raids.

The army announced seizing, improvised explosive devices, and an explosive belt, which were possessed by 44 of the takfiri elements killed, according to the statement. The forces also arrested a number of 142 wanted criminals, the statement read, adding that legal measures have been taken in this regard.

The Air Forces managed to destroy a number of 56 four-wheel drive vehicles the takfiri elements used, and demolish many hideouts that were used to harbor terrorists in central and northern Sinai, the statement revealed. Inside these hideouts, weapons, ammunition and car parts were found and seized.

The military engineers detonated as many as 242 explosive devices that were implanted to target the forces in the areas of operations, the statement read.

Concerning efforts exerted by army's border guards, the statement revealed that they managed to seize 104 riffles, 250 bullets, 2,666 kilograms of cannabis (hashish) essence, 6,826 kilograms of marijuana, 43 kilograms of heroin and opium, and 2.5 million drug tablets.

The border guards also could prevent a number of 2,189 people of different nationalities from illegally immigrate, in all the strategic directions of the country, according to the statement.

In February 2018, and under the title "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018," Egyptian army in cooperation with police forces launched a comprehensive military operation targeting the hotbeds of terrorists nationwide especially in Northern and Central Sinai.

Sinai, in particular, has been a staging ground for militants operating in Egypt for decades. It is also believed to be home to the Islamic State’s Egyptian branch, which has been primarily targeting civilians and security forces.
1/22/2019 12:22:03 PM
<![CDATA[34 antiquities warehouses nationwide inventoried - ministry]]>
The committee was formed in 2017, under the chairmanship of the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Its inventory work at the 34 warehouses lasted a whole year, Secretary General Moustafa Waziri said.

According to the committee's compiled report, none of the precious pieces in storage was missed from any of the warehouses, he also said.

Waziri added that now that the work in these main storage facilities is done the committee will start inventorying sub-warehouses nationwide.]]>
1/22/2019 12:09:33 PM
<![CDATA[African leaders back Congo president-elect after contested poll]]>
Regional support is crucial for Tshisekedi after a disorganised election on Dec. 30 that runner-up candidate Martin Fayulu says was rigged and that Congo’s Catholic Church contested. Many worry that outgoing president Joseph Kabila will continue to hold sway, limiting Tshisekedi’s power.

The new president will be the first to take power through an election since Congo’s independence in 1960, when Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was toppled in a coup after less than three months in office. Congolese and their neighbours are anxious that the process remain peaceful in a country that has drawn regional armies into its civil wars over the decades.

International allies and neighbours had struggled to come to a consensus after the poll that observers said was marred by a series of irregularities including malfunctioning voting machines and polling stations that opened late or closed early.

In a surprise statement last week, the African Union asked for the final results to be postponed because of “serious doubts” over the conduct of the election, raising fears that a protracted dispute could fan unrest in the volatile country of 80 million people.

But since the Constitutional Court early on Sunday rejected Fayulu’s complaint and backed Tshisekedi’s victory, opposition to the vote appears to have softened. Tshisekedi is expected to be sworn in on Jan. 24.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa congratulated Tshisekedi on Monday and in a statement “called on all parties and all stakeholders in the DRC to respect the decision of the Constitutional Court”.

The presidents of Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi congratulated Tshisekedi in a series of Tweets on Sunday, echoing the Southern African Development Community (SADC) - a bloc that includes South Africa and Angola - which also called for the transition of power to remain peaceful, backing off from earlier calls for a recount.

The AU has yet to comment since it noted the court’s decision. It postponed a visit by a high-level delegation to Kinshasa that had been scheduled for Monday.

Fayulu says Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila made a deal to cheat him out of a more than 60-percent win - an accusation they both deny.

On Monday he asked African leaders to “respect the sovereign decision of the Congolese people who elected me president”.

“Last week we had seen a risk of foreign intervention, if the heads of neighbouring states backed Mr Fayulu in a protracted dispute. Now that most of them have accepted Mr Tshisekedi’s win, the risk looks somewhat lower,” said research firm NKC African Economics in a statement on Monday.

Police in the capital Kinshasa blocked access to the headquarters of a party in Fayulu’s Lamuka coalition, where he had intended to gather supporters and protest against the confirmation of Tshisekedi’s victory.

Lamuka spokeswoman Eve Bazaiba told Reuters the building had been besieged and protesters dispersed, forcing Fayulu to abandon his plans.

Some Congolese hoped Fayulu would accept defeat in the interest of peace.

“He (Fayulu) needs to let it go. Going to the Constitutional Court and all that is just creating problems and for me it’s a waste of time,” said Kinshasa resident Patricia Mokabi.

“We are all Congolese, we are together whether it is Felix or Fayulu, they can work together.”

Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders told local media he would have preferred the process to be more transparent, and the verification of results to be more open.

Western countries also initially expressed doubt about the preliminary vote count. Since Tshisekedi’s victory was confirmed, their responses have been more muted than those of countries in the region.

France said on Monday it had “taken note” of Tshisekedi’s victory and that it would be sending its ambassador to the swearing in ceremony. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said at a press conference that the EU would take a position after meeting with the AU on Monday.

Russia’s foreign ministry noted the historical importance of the electoral transfer of power: “We consider these elections a milestone in the political life of the DRC.”]]>
1/22/2019 12:07:08 PM
<![CDATA[Nasr says Egypt daring economic reforms start to bear fruit]]>
Speaking in an interview with CNN Tuesday, the Egyptian minister said she is in Davos to send a message that Egypt is ready to receive more investments and act with effective parties of the private sector, as well as international partners.

The comprehensive reforms are meant to encourage the private sector to play a bigger role in the economy, Nasr said.

She touched upon reforms that aimed to improve the business climate and push the private sector to contribute to strategic projects, particularly in the field of energy and renewable energy.

The Egyptian economy is now among the world's top 10 in terms of attraction of foreign direct investments and achieving growth, Nasr told CNN.

It is number one in Africa, added a proud Nasr. Many investors see Egypt as a gate to Africa, the minister said, believing that's why multi-national and major companies seek to do business in Egypt.

Asked about challenges facing the tourism sector in Egypt, Nasr assured that the security situation has tangibly improved in the country. ]]>
1/22/2019 12:04:20 PM
<![CDATA[Domestic Demand Recovery to sustain Egypt's economic growth at 5.2%: UN report]]>
Below is the statement:

For 2019, the monetary policy stances are expected to be neutral to tightening in North Africa, including Egypt, following the trend of the United States and the euro area, the 224-page report estimates.

While the report notes that external demand that drove the Egypt economy's growth rate to 5.8 per cent in 2018, is forecast to stay mostly favorable, it also warns that structural vulnerabilities, including weak fiscal and balance of payment positions, are projected to weigh on growth prospects.

Beyond Egypt, the North Africa region is estimated to have grown by 3.7 per cent per cent in 2018. The recent economic expansion reflects improving external conditions with higher commodity prices and strong growth in European economies, the largest export destination. The economic growth of North Africa is forecast to moderate slightly to 3.4 per cent in 2019 and 3.5 per cent in 2020.

While noting that in 2018, balance of payment constraints on Egypt and Libya eased, which resulted in declining inflation rates and policy space to support domestic demand, the report sends alarm bills across the region, that political instability and social unrest also remain a downside risk factor in North Africa.

Meanwhile, the global economy will continue to grow at a steady pace of around 3 percent in 2019 and 2020 amid signs that global growth has peaked. However, a worrisome combination of development challenges could further undermine growth, according to the report.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres cautioned “While global economic indicators remain largely favourable, they do not tell the whole story.” He said the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019 “raises concerns over the sustainability of global economic growth in the face of rising financial, social and environmental challenges.”
1/22/2019 11:33:48 AM
<![CDATA[Balanced draw for Zamalek at CAF Confederation Cup ]]>
Zamalek reached the group stage after they knocked out Morocco’s Ittihad Tanger at the play-off round.

Zamalek will open the group stage in Kenya against Gor Mahia before hosting NA Hussein Dey and Petro de Luanda respectively.

Zamalek will travel to Angola to face Petro de Luanda and they will host Gor Mahia
at the fifth game of the group.

Zamalek will end their group stage games against NA Hussein Dey in Algeria.

Moroccan teams, Hassania Agadir and RS Berkane and Raja, were drawn in Group A alongside AS Otôho of Congo Republic.

The draw also resulted in a Tunisian Clásico between Etoile du Sahel and CS Sfaxien in Group B which also includes Nigeria’s Enugu Rangers and Salitas of Burkina Faso.

Sudan’s Al-Hilal plays in Group C alongside Ghana’s Asante Kotoko and Zambian teams, ZESCO United and Nkana.

1/22/2019 11:19:42 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt talks tripartite agro-cooperation with Europe, Africa ]]>
Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met with Phil Hogan, the commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, on Monday in Cairo to discuss ways of enhancing the Egyptian ties with the European Union, the statement added.

“The European commissioner for agriculture was keen to listen to Egypt’s vision and priorities, as it chairs the African Union in 2019 [...] both sides tackled the possibility of establishing a tripartite cooperation with African countries in the agricultural field,” the statement read.

On December 22, 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated the 100,000-feddan
greenhouses project in El-Lahun village, Beni Suef via video conference.

In August 2019, Egypt and Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) will host activities of the eighth Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW), Agriculture Minister Ezzeldin Abu Stait told state-owned news agency MENA in September 2018.

1/22/2019 11:17:39 AM
<![CDATA[Fayoum records highest HCV rate among Egyptian students]]>
The council affirmed that they will all be treated at the expense of the state's Health Insurance General Authority.

In an interview with Egypt Today, council's member Manal al-Sayed said that 50 percent of students in the first phase of the country's national campaign to detect and treat chronic diseases were checked. She added that a large number of the patients already received treatment without facing any problems.

Egypt's General Authority for Health Insurance will bear the cost of treatment of children infected with HCV, who underwent medical examination nationwide as part of "Egypt's 100 Million Seha" national health initiative.

Sayed said that nearly 600,000 high school students have been examined so far, including 2,000 students whose bodies proved to be containing antibodies to HCV. She added that around 1,000 students have received free treatment so far.

The health official said that the cure rate records 100 percent, adding that cases who do not respond to treatment undergo further procedures.

Sayed said that medical examination of students is strictly confidential. She added that students who test positive for HCV are not directly informed. Instead, school administration later contacts their parents.

Wahid Dous, chairman of the council, said that 6 million students are included in the medical checkup to detect patients with HCV, adding that the first of the three examination phases targeted nearly 1.2 million students.

The duration of treatment of infected cases does not exceed 12 weeks, Dous said, adding that new drugs will be relied on in the coming period.

Becoming a role model for the African nations, Egypt, under President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's rule, has launched the "100 Million Seha" campaign to detect and treat for free locals infected with chronic diseases, including Hepatitis C and Diabetes.

The national campaign's check-ups include Hepatitis C test, body mass index, and random glucose and blood pressure tests. In January 2019, an official source in the Health Ministry told Egypt Today that citizens will also get the hemoglobin A1c test to help early detection of diabetes, and provide immediate free treatment for diabetic people.
1/22/2019 11:15:39 AM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir to participate in Cairo International Book Fair ]]>
The statement reported that the ministry will offer different kinds of services to guests and participants representing countries from around the World.

Also, General Directorate of Air Culture at the Ministry of Aviation will set up an aircraft-shaped pavilion to get youths and children updated on the culture of travel and aviation.

The ministry will offer gifts and great discounts to visitors of the fair.
1/22/2019 11:11:42 AM
<![CDATA[Fisheries Authority bans fishing in Red Sea for 7 months]]>
Ammar added that this decision aims to allow fish production to increase, noting that the Egyptian government exports 60,000 tons of fish.

He stressed that the decision does not affect fish prices in the markets, pointing out that catches from the Red Sea make up only 3 percent of domestic production.

Ammar also said that total fish production from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean amount to 120,000 tons.

In November 2017, Egypt celebrated the inauguration of the largest fish farm in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), located in Berket Ghalioun in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate.

The project was first announced in 2014 with a three-phase plan. The idea of the project is to build a huge fish farm on 12,000 feddans using the latest advanced techniques in the field of fish farming.

The project will help reduce fish imports by about 27 percent and will provide at least 5,000 jobs for the residents of Kafr El-Sheikh as well as the neighboring governorates.

1/22/2019 11:08:38 AM
<![CDATA[Min. of antiquities denies rumors about inappropriate transfer of antiquities]]>
The center is cooperating with the Ministry of Antiquities to transfer the antiquities to the Grand Egyptian Museum, pointing out that the process of transferring the antiquities is carried out in accordance with specific procedures and standards that take into account all safety measures necessary to preserve the Egyptian antiquities.

The ministry stressed that the procedures also take into account the preliminary repair and documentation of the pieces, which are performed by a professional team affiliated with the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The Ministry of Antiquities affirmed that the cars used to transport the antiquities are prepared with the latest equipment for temperature and humidity control.

The transportation process comes in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities Stores and the Restoration and Packaging Department and the Monument Restoration Center; it is occurring under tight security measures by the Tourism and Antiquities Police Forces.

1/21/2019 6:18:26 PM
<![CDATA[Finance min: LE 20.8 billion initial surplus in Egypt's FY 2018/19 budget]]>
The minister described this as good results, saying in a press statement that this initial surplus represents 0.4 percent of GDP, compared with an initial deficit standing at 0.3 percent of GDP in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Ma'it explained that Egypt currently adopts a policy based on encouraging investments in infrastructure to attract the private sector in all vital economic sectors, which have remarkably improved.

The 2018/19 budget is planned to reduce the debt rate of bodies covered by the budget to 93 percent of GDP and achieve a real growth rate of 5.8 percent, he added.]]>
1/21/2019 5:39:15 PM
<![CDATA[Exceptional visit for Egypt's prisoners on Jan. 25 anniversary]]>
The visit can be paid any day starting from January 27 to February 28, 2019. The visit will not be deducted from the number of legalized visits granted to prisoners throughout their jail term, according to a Monday statement.

It was stated that the exceptional visit comes as part of the ministry’s keenness to uphold the values of human rights alongside the application of its penal policy and modern correctional system.

In December 2018, the Cabinet approved a presidential decree pardoning some prisoners on the occasion of the Police Day and January Revolution.

According to the constitution, the president has the right to issue pardons for convicted prisoners after consulting with the Cabinet.

1/21/2019 5:26:53 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Monday on mixed note, market cap. gains LE 2.2B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.97 percent, or 130.78 points, to close at 13,574.99 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.03 percent, or 0.66 points, to reach 2,177.24 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.02 percent, or 0.27 points, to close at 1,701.76 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 dipped 0.01 percent, or 0.08 points, reaching 674.79 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 2.23 billion, recording LE 766.89 billion, compared to LE 764.66 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 116.55 million shares, traded through 20,229 transactions, with a turnover of LE 742.09 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 66.46 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 32.67 million and LE 33.79 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 2.7 million and LE 173,756, respectively, while Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 25.2 million.

Egyptian and Arab organizations bought at LE 35.4 million and LE 8.59 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold LE 66.28 million.

Egyptian International Tourism Projects, Sues Canal Company for Technology Settling, and Universal for Paper and Packaging Materials (Unipack) were top gainers of the session by 12.47 percent, 9.99 percent and 7.77 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Torah Cement, Kafr El Zayat Pesticides, and Egypt Aluminum were top losers of the session by 8.06 percent, 7.29 percent, and 4.52 percent, respectively.

EGX announced on Sunday that the bourse will be off on January 24, on the occasion of the January 25th revolution and Police Day. The trading will dues resumed on January 27.
1/21/2019 3:22:49 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet denies decline in Egypt's exports of citrus fruit]]>
The center said in a press release that it contacted the Agriculture Ministry, which described these reports as baseless.

Also, the ministry clarified that Egypt's exports of citrus fruit had surged in 2018, as Egypt currently holds the world's second place in citrus export.

In addition, there was a real rebound of Egypt's agricultural exports in 2018 with 5,200,000 tons, the highest figures achieved by Egypt.

The ministry decried such rumors which are only meant to harm the country's reputation and question the quality and safety of its agricultural crops.

The ministry urged all media outlets to seek accuracy and objectivity before publishing news, advising them to contact bodies concerned so as to avoid sparking panic among citizens.]]>
1/21/2019 3:02:59 PM
<![CDATA[Assar says Egypt's partnership with Germany is important]]>
He lauded Berlin's support of Cairo's integrated waste management mechanism.

Assar made the remarks during his meeting with the German State Secretary for Economy and Energy Ulrich Nußbaum in the presence of the chairman of the Arab Industrialization Organization (AIO) and the Egyptian ministers of local development and environment.

Egypt's Ambassador to Germany Badr Abdel Aati and other top officials were also present at the meeting.

Assar is leading a ministerial delegation to Germany to stand on the up-to-date technology in the field of waste recycling.

Assar said the visit comes as part of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's directives to develop an all-out waste management mechanism similar to the one adopted in Germany.

The visit aims at finding a radical solution to the waste problem in Egypt and making waste-based fossil fuel.

Local Development Minister Mahmoud Ashrawi talked about challenges facing the waste mechanism in Egypt, including poor infrastructure and insufficient number of waste recycling plants.

He expressed hope of benefiting from the German expertise in this domain.

Environment Minister Yassmin Fouad said the current solid waste management system will help set up partnership with Germany to guarantee the best management of waste.

The German minister said overpopulation aggravates the waste problem and pollution rates.

Landfills should be managed in a professional way to avoid the mistakes Germany faced in the past, he added.

He said collecting garbage is a public service in Germany that is carried out by the government and private sector companies as part of partnership contracts.

German citizens pay for this service, he added.

Talks covered the possibility that some representatives of German waste management companies would accompany the German energy minister during his expected visit to Egypt in February.]]>
1/21/2019 2:57:19 PM
<![CDATA[El-Borouj Theater: A cultural citadel shining in East Cairo]]>CAIRO – 21 January 2019: Capital Group Properties (CGP) succeeded in attracting attention to East Cairo through a strong and pleasant view of El-Borouj Theater, which launched in 2018 and can host up to 7,000 individuals.

Al-Borouj Theater was constructed at a cost of LE 17 million.

El-Sawy Culturewheel has been chosen to run and manage the new theater; the theater which Capital Group Properties aims to transform into a cultural destination for East Cairo and the surrounding areas, making it a forum hosting creators and intellectuals.

The launching of El-Borouj Theater in October 2018 was attended by almost 3,000 individuals, who enjoyed classical piano extracts of world class musician Ramzi Yussi.

During the opening ceremony, prominent musician Omar Khairat and his band also performed some of his most popular musical compositions , in addition to a special performance by famed singer Angham.

Capital Group Properties aims to make El-Borouj Theater a platform to support local and international talents and has already begun to organize various educational, cultural and entertainment events.

The CGP project is being built on an area of 5 million square meters and is the company’s first project in Egypt aiming to make a real positive transformation in Egypt’s real estate sector.

Moreover, El-Borouj Theater hosted a number of distinguished concerts which included a concert for contemporary Egyptian poet Hisham al-Gakh, and the first progressive rock band in Egypt AndrOedA. The theater also hosted a concert for famed Syrian performer George Wassouf.

In celebration of the sales of 2,500 residential units in Al-Borouj Compound, Capital Group Properties held a concert for famed Lebanese star Elissa on the new theater. The event was attended by a number of media professionals, artists and public figures.

Furthermore, CGP organized several family and child entertainment programs. El-Sawy Culturewheel held the Chocolate Festival (Chocofest) in December 2018, presenting several entertainment shows for children.

Capital Group Properties was established in 2015 and aims to meet the needs of the Egyptian real estate market to create integrated and sustainable communities in Egypt. CGP is one of the largest companies offering new standards for real estate development in Egypt in line with global developments in this field.

1/21/2019 2:44:36 PM
<![CDATA[CFCM breaks out the universal language of gaming in the Middle East in Egypt]]>

With the increasing revenues internationally, trending creative games and government initiatives starting to adopt the direction for youth, it is clear that this industry is here to stay- and it has become increasingly essential for entities as important as CFCM to host these events. This also comes as part of CFCM’s awareness of the country’s direction to support the gaming industry and innovation. Lately, Egypt has been turning into a hub for the gaming and programming industries as it hosted a number of conferences and forums where Egyptian programmers and gaming makers gathered to showcase their work and exchange their knowledge with their peers from around the world.

To make this tournament more original with international standards, CFCM partnered with Epic Games, publisher of Fortnite, and Sony PlayStation. CFCM welcomes 4,000 gamers and around 17,000 attendees to watch and participate in this 17-day event started Thursday 17th of January, featuring celebrity gamers such as Baraa from Bahrain who will be hosting the event on the 17th and 18th of January and Nour El Din X from Egypt who is making a special appearance during the event.

CFCM announced there will be a surprise on the last day of the event where more international gamers will be revealed. Throughout the tournament, 64 players will be announced winners, while 3 final winning teams will be selected to receive 2 PS4s per team along with the tournament cup in the presence of their friends and families at the end. Aside from the variety of game-themed gifts granted to the winning teams, participants and visitors could take memorable pictures with their favourite Fortnite character costumes to remember the unique experience they can share with their family, friends, and Cairo Festival City Mall.

1/21/2019 2:33:43 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to face IHF World Cup hosts, Denmark ]]>
The Egyptian team lost their first game at the second round 32-28 to Norway, the 2017 IHF World Cup runners-up.

The Egyptian team was the better side at the start of the game but the experienced players of Norway managed to return to the game and dominated the play until the end.

Egyptian manager, David Davis, hopes to help his players defeat contenders, Denmark, in front of their fans who are expected to pack Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning.

Denmark achieved six consecutive victories since the start of the tournament and their last victory was on Sunday over Hungary.

Egypt managed to reach the second round for the first time since their best ever achievement when they won the fourth place in 2001.

The World Cup draw put Egypt in Group D alongside Sweden, Hungary, Qatar, Argentina and Angola.

The Egyptian team lost their first two games to Sweden and Qatar but they bounced back with two victories over Argentina and Angola; they ended their game against Hungary with a draw to finish third and reach the second round.
1/21/2019 2:28:28 PM
<![CDATA[French finance min. lauds Egypt's economic reform program]]>
Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly received on Sunday French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire and his accompanying delegation in preparation for the upcoming visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Egypt.

Egypt's PM received Bruno Le Maire in preparation for the upcoming visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Egypt – Egypt Today

The meeting was attended by Egypt's ministers of electricity, finance, trade and industry, and the French ambassador to Cairo.

The French minister said that Macron's visit will witness the signing of a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding in various fields. The visit will also discuss ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in several areas, including electricity, health, air, and transport, the minister added.

Le Maire said that Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi asked him to discuss cooperation with Egypt in the field of automobile industry, especially electric cars, adding that he promised the president to review the issue with the French automotive manufacturer, Peugeot, after returning to France.

Le Maire met with President Sisi on Sunday. During the meeting, the minister praised the huge national projects that have been established in Egypt recently including the New Administrative Capital, east of Cairo.

Concerning fields of cooperation, Madbouly said that Egypt is also looking forward to cooperating with France in the manufacture of plasma and other blood products due to France's huge experience in this regard.

For his part, the French minister welcomed transferring the French expertise in the field of blood derivatives, so that Egypt can establish its own specialized factory.

France is one of the largest investors in Egypt, as about 160 French companies operate in the country with total investment of around $5 billion. These companies operate in the fields of infrastructure, industry, energy, telecommunications and information technology, banking and insurance.

Moreover, the trade volume between Egypt and France amounts to $2.5 billion.

The Egyptian prime minister, who also acts as the housing minister, stressed that Macron's upcoming visit will strongly boost bilateral relations between the two sides.

Madbouli stressed the need to strengthen ties between the two countries through two axes, Egypt's Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said, adding that the first axis concerns pumping French investments in Egypt.

The minister pointed out that the French side shows great willingness to pump huge investments in the Egyptian market in the coming period in the fields of automobile industry and health care, in light of the French high technical expertise, as well as France's use of advanced technology in these fields.

Egypt's PM received Bruno Le Maire in preparation for the upcoming visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Egypt – Egypt Today

The second axis, which was highlighted during the government's discussions with the French side, is the existing agreements between Egypt and France, Nasr said, adding that there are agreements between the two countries in a number of sectors including transportation. She noted that the French side is keen to support the economic reform program implemented by the Egyptian government.

French Ambassador in Cairo Stephane Roumtier announced earlier that intensive preparations are underway with all French bodies in Egypt ahead of Marcon's looming visit.

Issues to be raised during Marcon's visit to Egypt include the economic file, regional and international issues of common interest as well as means of pumping new French investments to Egypt, according to the ambassador.

Egypt's PM received Bruno Le Maire in preparation for the upcoming visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Egypt – Egypt Today
1/21/2019 2:09:49 PM
<![CDATA[1st clothing franchise fair to be held in Cairo in March]]>
The event will be held on the fringe of the Cairo Fashion & Tex exhibition, said Mohamed Abdel Salam, the head of the ready-to-wear clothes sector of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, in statements to MENA Monday.

Thirty Egyptian trade marks have joined the clothing franchise with the aim to promote local products, Abdel Salam made it clear.

The exhibition will also help promote the culture of franchise in the local market, he added. ]]>
1/21/2019 2:08:53 PM
<![CDATA[Salah reveals Half Time team talk against Palace ]]>
“We talked to each other [at half-time] that we had to be strong mentally because this is a tough time. We talked together and the manager also gave us information and we played well and we deserved the game,” Salah told press on Sunday.

Andros Townsend opened the score for Palace 10 minutes before half time but two goals from Mohamed Salah and another two goals from Robert Firmino and Sadio Mane secured the victory for Liverpool despite James Tomkins and Max Mayer's goals for Palace.

Salah added, “We expected before the game that the game was going to be very difficult. We conceded three goals; it’s hard a little bit but we have to accept it. This is football and we have to live with that.”

Liverpool is leading the Premier League table with 60 points, four points ahead of the second placed and the defending champions, Manchester City.

1/21/2019 2:06:55 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet spokesman says Egypt reform program wins int'l acclaim]]>
Speaking to Extra news channel, Saad said the prime minister is set to meet with CEOs of big international companies interested in investing in Egypt soon. He cited Apple, Volvo and Bata.

Saad added that some Arab investors, including Majid Al Futtaim Group, will also be meeting with the premier.

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli is leading an Egyptian delegation to the World Economic Forum in Davos, which, according to Saad, reflects how important the gathering is to Egypt.

Davos is a good chance for Egypt to review its economic, financial and monetary reforms, as well as investment opportunities in the country, he told Extra News.

The premier is also there for talks to boost Egypt's political relations with the different world countries, the spokesman made it clear.

Madbouli is set to attend a session on the future of Africa in a global context, Saad said.

He will focus on Egypt's vision regarding the future of the continent, as well as plans it intends to carry out during its one-year presidency of the African Union, which will start next month, Saad added.

A meeting will also be held with IMF officials to further probe Egypt's economic reform program, the spokesman noted. ]]>
1/21/2019 2:06:51 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi, Macron discuss bilateral relations in phone call]]>
Sisi highlighted the increasing growth of cooperation between the two countries in various fields especially in the recent years which contributed to the common interests.

Macron also stressed that his country is keen on enhancing cooperation with Egypt, whose role is important for security and stability in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region, the statement reported.

On Sunday, French Minister of Economic and Finance Bruno Le Mair arrived in Cairo to prepare for the visit of Macron to Egypt later this month.

French Ambassador in Cairo Stephane Roumtier announced earlier that intensive preparations are underway with all French bodies in Egypt ahead of Marcon's looming visit.

On October 2017, Sisi visited Paris for three days, discussed different levels of bilateral relations and regional issues with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. Both leaders witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements between both countries.
1/21/2019 2:03:22 PM
<![CDATA[Investment Ministry to support private sector more within coming period]]>
The ministry's support will come either in the form of finding radical solutions to many problems facing investors or amending any regulations or laws that obstruct investments.

The minister gave the remarks during a meeting with investors representing 16 companies.

The ministry and the General Authority of Investments and Free Zones (GAFI) are working hard to iron out hurdles facing investors, she said.

Some of the investors talked about their future plans which include having a joint stock company for investing in renewable energy, building a seawater desalination plant and pumping more investments in the educational, industrial, agricultural and food security domains.]]>
1/21/2019 2:03:17 PM
<![CDATA[WhatsApp limits text forwards to five recipients to fight rumors]]>WhatsApp is limiting the number of times users can forward a message to five, in an attempt to limit the spread of misinformation and rumors.

Facebook executives announced on Monday that the messaging app will impose a limit of five messages all over the world as of today.

Previously, a WhatsApp user could forward a message to 20 individuals or groups. The five-recipient limit expands globally a measure WhatsApp put into place in India in July after the spread of rumours on social media led to killings and lynching attempts.

Moreover, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated trolls and bots have been misusing the service to spread rumors and incite violence across the Middle East, especially in Egypt, Iraq and Libya.

WhatsApp, which has around 1.5 billion users, has been trying to find ways to stop misuse of the app, following global concern that the platform was being used to spread fake news, manipulated photos, videos without context, and audio hoaxes, with no way to monitor their origin or full reach.

The app's end-to-end encryption allows groups of hundreds of users to exchange texts, photos and video beyond the purview of independent fact checkers or even the platform itself.

WhatsApp will roll out an update to activate the new forward limit, starting Monday, WhatsApp's head of communications Carl Woog told Reuters.

Android users will receive the update first, followed by users of Apple's iOS.

1/21/2019 1:01:06 PM
<![CDATA[Investments in oil refinery, petrochemicals complex in New Alamein hit $8.5B]]>
The minister's remarks were made during his presidency of the General Assembly meeting of the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM) to approve its draft budget for the fiscal year 2019/2020.

A statement released by the Ministry of Petroleum on Monday said that the minister explained during the meeting the expansion program of the petrochemicals project to cope up with the increasing needs of the market.

He added that the oil sector is currently working on carrying out an integrated plan for the development of the petrochemicals industry and creating an appropriate atmosphere for luring more investments to this vital sector.

Meanwhile, Chairman of ECHEM Saad Helal said the New Alamein Complex project aims at producing around 1.5 million tons of specialized petrochemicals and around 1.9 million tons of petrochemical products such as (butane gas, Kerosene, Mazot and diesel).

He added that other expansion projects include Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Company (Sedpec) with total investments that hit $1.25 billion and a production capacity of 450,000 tons annually.

Other planned projects include Suez Company, the development of the naval quay, facilitation of shipping and storage of Mopco company with investments of dlrs 190 million, Helal added.

Helal also asserted that ECHEM was committed to applying industrial security standards and environment protection plans along with maintaining its strategy to developing the petrochemicals sector and raise its productivity rates.

1/21/2019 12:56:32 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to invest $9B refineries' upgrade over four years- minister]]>
“We are trying to secure crude oil supplies for Egyptian refineries to increase local production of refined products,” the minister, Tarek El Molla, said during a conference in Cairo late on Sunday night, without giving further details.

Egypt currently has eight refineries with a capacity of 38 million tonnes, of which only 25 million tonnes are utilised.]]>
1/21/2019 12:48:53 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 1.7B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 750 million with a five-year term and the second worth LE 1 billion with a three-year term.

The Ministry of Finance announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 181.5 billion during January.

Finance Ministry to auction EGP 181.5 bln T-bills, bonds in January

CAIRO - 2 January 2019: The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of EGP 181.5 billion during January. In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said 91-day and 182-day T-bills worth EGP 42.5 and 43.75 billion, respectively, will be auctioned in January.

During December's meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time this year.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.

Egypt has lately conducted modifications on the bonds market started by modifying the treasury bills and bonds treatments, and followed by allowing companies to offer short-term bonds.

During December, The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) issued a decree allowing companies to offer and issue short-term bonds.

According to the decree, these companies included joint stock companies and shareholding companies, as well as companies authorized to engage in a non-bank financial activity after getting the authority's approval, with banks subject to the Central Bank's approval.

FRA determines rules, procedures for short-term bonds' issuance

CAIRO - 18 December 2018: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) issued decree No. 172 of 2018 concerning the rules and procedures for issuing and offering short-term bonds. The authority determined, through the decision, which companies are entitled to issue and offer short-term bonds.

Meanwhile, Egypt conducted financial treatments of treasury bills and bonds' taxes. Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed that the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills’ taxes is that it is one of the rights of the treasury.

Financial modifications on T-bills save treasury rights: Min.

CAIRO-2 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury. Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.

Earlier in 2018, Egypt canceled bids for treasury bills four times, each worth LE 3.5 billion, amid calls to raise its interest rates.

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates unchanged for the fifth time this year during November meeting, setting the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively.

For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 438.59 billion, or 8.4 percent, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Egypt targets an average interest rate on the government debt instrument of 14.7 percent in the current budget, compared to an expected average of 18.5 percent in 2017/2018 budget.

Foreign investors’ investments in the Egyptian government debt instruments recorded $23.1 billion by the end of March 2018, up from about $20 billion in December.

Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided from domestic debt instrument and the rest will come from foreign financing through the issuance of bonds and the IMF loan.

In November 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $12 billion loan as a financial assistance for Egypt to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

1/21/2019 12:46:08 PM
<![CDATA[Eve-of-Davos survey shows people place trust in companies over governments]]>
The annual Edelman Trust Barometer shows only one in five people believe the economic, political and social system is working for them, while nearly 60 percent think trade conflicts are hurting their companies and putting their jobs at risk.

The sense of gloom is strongest in developed markets led by Japan, where 84 percent of the general public - excluding the ‘informed public’ who are college-educated, earn above-average incomes and consume news regularly - do not believe they will be better off in five years’ time, followed by France at 79 percent, Germany at 74 percent and Britain at 72 percent. That is far above the average 49 percent of the 27 countries examined in the research.

Amid low confidence that politicians will fix the problems, these people are turning to companies, with 75 percent saying they trust “my employer”, compared to 48 percent for government and 47 percent for the media.

“CEOs now have to be visible, show personal commitment, absolutely step into the void, because we’ve got a leadership void in the world,” Richard Edelman, head of the communications marketing firm that commissioned the research, told Reuters.

Optimism was higher in the United States, where nearly half of the general public believed they would be better off in the next five years. The corresponding figure there was 62 percent for the better-educated, higher-earning “informed public”.

“The stock market was very good, the deregulation and lower taxes for the wealthy - it’s pretty good if you are an elite,” Edelman said of the U.S. findings.

The survey, based on the opinions of over 33,000 people and conducted between Oct. 19 and Nov. 16, is published on the eve of the Davos gathering in the Swiss Alps, which this year brings together some 3,000 business and world leaders amid anxiety over the U.S.-China trade war, Brexit and a slowdown in global growth.


The pessimism in Japan, France, Germany and Britain reflects a variety of factors.

“I think Japan’s never really recovered from Fukushima, there was such a violation of trust when that happened,” said Edelman, referring to the authorities’ botched response to a massive nuclear accident in 2011.

Signs of slowing global demand and a sharp rise in the yen have clouded the outlook for Japan’s export-reliant economy, and the government plans tax hikes to pay for ballooning healthcare costs for its rapidly ageing population.

“The problem for the three (European) countries.... is that given the reality of the potentially diminished economic future, there is deep anger in advance,” Edelman said.

In France, what started as a grassroots rebellion by low-paid workers to protest taxes on diesel fuel and a squeeze on household incomes has morphed into an assault on President Emmanuel Macron and his reforms, seen by the protesters as favoring the wealthy.

And in Britain, the Brexit crisis intensified last week after Prime Minister Theresa May’s two-year attempt to forge an amicable divorce from the European Union was crushed by parliament in the biggest defeat for a British leader in modern history.

The survey found that while only 49 percent of the wider population trusted institutions such as governments, this figure rose to 65 percent among high-income, college-educated and well-informed people - the biggest gap since the research began 19 years ago.

Despite widespread distrust of the media, uncertainty about the future has led to a sharp jump in people’s consumption and sharing of news and information, up 22 percentage points in a year to 72 percent.

But more than 70 percent said they worry about false information or fake news being used as a weapon.

In the United States, where President Donald Trump has repeatedly denounced the media as purveyors of fake news, trust in media varied widely depending on political affiliations.

Those who identified themselves as Republican voters showed only 33 percent trust in media, while 69 percent of Democrats did so.]]>
1/21/2019 12:37:54 PM
<![CDATA[European power firms aim to harness electric car batteries]]>
E.ON (EONGn.DE) and EDF (EDF.PA) are already working with Nissan (7201.T) to develop services that allow power stored in electric vehicle batteries to be sold back to the grid - and now they’re trying to persuade European carmakers to follow suit.

With millions of electric cars expected on European roads over the next decade, utility firms see both an opportunity to sell drivers more electricity and a risk that surges in charging at peak times could destabilize stressed power grids.

That’s why E.ON is working with Nissan to develop so-called vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services, including software for aggregating and marketing charging data so the German power company can predict peaks and troughs in electricity demand.

Nissan’s idea is that if you charge your electric vehicle (EV) at off-peak times and are prepared to sell power back to the grid when it’s under strain, you could effectively charge for free.

French utility EDF has teamed up with San Diego-based V2G technology specialist Nuvve nuvve.com to build the first commercial-scale V2G charging network in Europe for vehicles made by Japan's Nissan and Mitsubishi (7211.T).

Europe’s biggest utility by market value, Italy’s Enel (ENEI.MI), has also worked with Nissan and Nuvve on V2G pilots in Denmark and the Netherlands, as well as in Rome and Genoa.

The problem for the utilities is that unlike Nissan, the French and German firms that will make most of the electric cars expected on Europe’s road in coming years are not playing ball - at least for now.


E.ON and EDF are talking to European carmakers about taking V2G seriously, according to two industry sources, but they are more focused on EV charging technology that the sources say is less suited to two-way flows than Japanese standards.

IONITY ionity.eu, a joint venture of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), Daimler (DAIGn.DE), BMW (BMWG.DE) and Ford (F.N), said it did not see an initial case for V2G in its drive to install high-speed charging stations across Europe to facilitate long-distance journeys.

“Our clients want to charge fast and not feed back in,” a spokesman for IONITY said. “Only in combination with an external storage system would a use case possibly be interesting.”

The other big V2G holdout is EV pioneer Tesla (TSLA.O), which also sells large stationary batteries for home power storage. Tesla declined to comment on V2G.

The idea of using millions of EV batteries as large virtual power plants to put power back into the grid has been around for years though the concept is still mostly at the pilot phase, mainly because there are very few EVs on the roads now.

But its appeal to the power industry is obvious.

With a typical car driving less than 10 percent of the day, the rest of the time car batteries could be used to balance out demand and supply swings in energy networks that increasingly need to juggle intermittent solar and wind power.

That’s the case in Germany in particular as it is phasing out baseload nuclear and coal-fired plants, unlike France and Japan which are sticking with nuclear to ensure a secure supply.

Jonathan Tudor, director of technology strategy at the innovation division of Britain’s biggest utility, Centrica (CNA.L), said V2G will be part of the mix of technologies stabilizing networks - once more EVs hit the road.

“Winding the clock forward 10-12 years, if consumer behavior stays the same we will see thousands of people arriving home and wanting to charge up their cars at the time that is already peak demand for most countries,” he said.

Alberto Piglia, global head of e-mobility at Enel, said as the EV market grows exponentially, there will be a tipping point at which there will be an explosion of related energy services. “We are preparing the world for this.”


One major hurdle for the roll-out of V2G in Europe is that for now it only works well with the EV charging standard developed in Japan known as CHAdeMO.

The IONITY e-mobility joint venture, meanwhile, is focused on establishing the Combined Charging System (CCS) plug as the industry standard reut.rs/2DHIL2B.

But experts say the communication protocol between CCS chargers and EV batteries is not being set up currently in way that allows rapid changes in two-way information flows to charge and discharge electricity.

Rather, CCS is being developed so EV owners can charge vehicles as fast as possible, to encourage the acceptance of electric cars by drivers reluctant to give up the convenience of quickly filling up vehicles with gas.

“We are missing a V2G charging standard,” said Gregory Poilasne, chief executive of Nuvve.

The network of 4,000 V2G charging stations it is developing with EDF in Britain and France will only be used for now with corporate fleets of Nissan Leaf E-NV200 utility vans and Mitsubishi Outlanders running on the CHAdeMO standard.

That’s why Nuvve is also in talks with French and other carmakers about making CCS compatible with V2G.

China, the world’s biggest market for EVs, also has V2G in mind. China’s own GB/T standard is not well suited to V2G but the China Electricity Council struck an agreement with the Japan’s CHAdeMo Association last year to develop a common fast-charging plug that should handle rapid two-way flows.

But at a time when global infrastructure standards for EVs have yet to be established, German carmakers are reluctant to give up on the technology they have invested in, nor cede too much control over their vehicle components to utility firms - something V2G effectively requires them to do.


Still, despite making little headway so far, E.ON hopes that the CCS standard will become part of the V2G mix.

“The technology for aggregation and marketing that we’re developing at E.ON based on the CHAdeMO standard will also be applicable to the CCS standard,” said Johannes Werhahn, E.ON’s head of flexibility, renewables marketing and storage solutions.

OVO Energy www.ovoenergy.com, a challenger to Britain's "Big Six" power retailers, is also eyeing CCS as a market for the V2G charger it launched last year in a deal with Nissan.

“We are very close partners with Nissan but we do expect to work with other car manufacturers in future, including those that use CCS,” said Tom Pakenham, OVO’s head of EVs.

Centrica invested in Israeli EV software charging firm Driivz driivz.com last year and said part of the deal would involve developing V2G technology.

“Once the software is integrated and we understand what needs to be done we will look to start trials, likely sometime in the next 18 months,” Tudor said.

One catch for V2G proponents is that constantly charging and discharging is widely perceived to be the fastest way to shorten the life span of a battery - the most expensive component in an EV usually accounting for about a third of its cost.

Analysts say persuading consumers that V2G makes economic sense and doesn’t disrupt their daily lives will be crucial.

Nissan, though, is convinced V2G will “change the rules of the game” once consumers can be offered a service that will effectively mean they can charge vehicles for free.

Japan’s Honda (7267.T) also plans to incorporate V2G capability when it launches its first EV in Europe this year.

Nuvve’s Poilasne said V2G could reduce the total cost of EV ownership by about 25 percent without ruining the battery, though earnings from grid-balancing services would be greater in countries with a larger share of intermittent renewable energy.]]>
1/21/2019 12:32:57 PM
<![CDATA[China data met with relief by stock markets, Brexit Plan B in focus]]>
European stock markets opened broadly lower as a note of caution set in with British Prime Minister Theresa May set to present her ‘Plan B’ for Brexit to parliament later in the day. Trade in general was subdued with U.S. markets closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

World markets appeared to experience some relief thanks to data showing that the Chinese economy, the world’s second biggest, grew 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, matching levels last seen in early 2009 during the global financial crisis.

But the data was in line with forecasts and there were some bright spots, with factory output picking up stronger-than-expected in December and a stronger services sector.

“On balance, the data is relatively positive and does not point to a hard landing,” said Timothy Graf, head of macro strategy at State Street Global Advisors in London.

“The consumption data being better than expected is the positive takeaway in that China is trying to engineer a move towards a consumer-led economy.”

Growing signs of weakness in China — which has generated nearly a third of global growth in recent years — has fueled anxiety about risks to the world economy in recent weeks and are weighing on profits for firms such as Apple (AAPL.O).

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.2 percent, touching its highest since early December. Stock markets in China .CSI300 and Japan .N225 added 0.25-0.6 percent.

MSCI's emerging market stock index .MSCIEF briefly touched its highest level since October, while the Australian dollar AUD=D, often used a liquid proxy for China investments, nudged up to $0.7185.

Chinese stocks had rallied on Friday on reports U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports, a story later denied.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday there has been progress toward a trade deal with China, but denied that he was considering lifting tariffs.


In currency markets, the British pound pulled further away from last week’s two-month highs against the euro as investors awaited the next steps to break the deadlock over Brexit.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal was rejected by lawmakers last week and May will return to parliament on Monday to outline her so-called Plan B.

“May’s latest statement on her Brexit intentions is likely to suggest that her Plan B is simply to carry on with her Plan A,” said Chris Scicluna, head of economic research at Daiwa Capital Markets. He said discussions would be held in the hope of avoiding “the major economic self-harm of a no deal.”

The uncertainty kept sterling pressured at $1.2852 GBP=, having briefly been as high as $1.3000 last week.

Against the euro, the pound slipped a quarter of a percent to 88.46 pence EURGBP=D3.

Weakness in sterling helped lift London's blue-chip stock index .FTSE, while stock markets in Paris and Frankfurt weakened 0.2-0.4 percent .GDAXI .FCHI.

The dollar softened against the yen at 109.58 JPY=, and was about a fifth of a percent weaker versus the euro EUR=. Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar was a shade softer at 96.229. .DXY.

Elsewhere, crude prices briefly rose to their highest so far in 2019 after data showed refinery processing in China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, climbed to a record last year despite a slowing economy. [O/R]

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 briefly rose above $63 for the first time in 2019. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 were steady at $53.78 a barrel, having earlier pushed above $54 a barrel for the first time this year.]]>
1/21/2019 12:25:35 PM
<![CDATA[Pacquiao batters Broner in lopsided welterweight bout]]>
Pacquiao easily won with an impressive display of superior hand speed and destructive power that landed him a unanimous decision victory over the much younger American at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

The Filipino star almost knocked Broner down twice in the seventh and ninth rounds and showed that he can still be a force in the highly-competitive division despite turning 40 last month.

"I really don't believe my career is over. I proved it in my last fight against (Lucas) Matthysee," Pacquiao said. "And now I prove it again at the age of 40."

In his 70th fight as a professional, Pacquiao retains the lesser version of the WBA's two welterweight belts and possibly sets the stage for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, who watched the bout from ringside.

Pacquiao improved to 61-7-2 with 39 knockouts, winning on all three judges' scorecards, including by one tally of 117-111. The other two judges also had it one-sided at 116-112.

Pacquiao started the onslaught in the seventh round by hitting the 29-year-old Broner with a left hook then immediately doubling it up.

Broner went into a shell mode, absorbing more blows but managed to hold on to the end of the round.

Pacquiao landed his best punch in the ninth with a blistering left on the chin that sent Broner back peddling towards the ropes. But Broner showed he can take a punch as he stayed on his feet and survived another punishing round.

Pacquiao is now hoping to avenge his 2015 loss to Mayweather which became the richest one-day sporting event in history.

Immediately after the fight Pacquiao called out Mayweather.

"Tell him to come back to the ring and we will fight," Pacquiao said. "I am willing to fight again Floyd Mayweather. If he is willing to come back in boxing."

Mayweather, who helped promote Saturday's boxing card, was non-committal when asked if he would get back in the ring with Pacquiao.

"Right now I am living the happy life," he said.

Mayweather also visited Pacquiao in his dressing room before the fight. "He just said hello. Wished me luck," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao went to work from the opening bell on executing the fight plan he put together after reuniting with his long-time trainer Freddie Roach.

He was the more active of the two boxers and it didn't take long for Broner to get frustrated with Pacquiao's speed as Broner delivered a right forearm shiver to his opponent's jaw at the end of the second round.

- Damaging left hook -

Pacquiao did a good job of setting up solid head and body shots with well-timed head fakes and jabs. His most effective punch in the early rounds was a body shot and then a left hook to the face as Broner ducked down to protect his midsection.

Pacquiao had a good sixth round but got caught at the end with an uppercut and left hook on the chin -- though even that wasn't enough for Broner to win the round.

Pacquiao's best rounds were seven through nine but the only blemish on his night was he couldn't get his second knockout in a row.

"I can still be a greasy fighter and give my best at the age of 40," he said.

"I wanted to be more aggressive but (co-trainer Buboy Fernandez) told me to counter and wait for opportunities."

Broner seemed content to simply flail away for most of the fight with a slapping jab that hardly connected.

Broner said after the fight he was pleased with his performance and disagreed with the scoring.

"You all know I beat that boy," Broner said. "They trying to get that money again with Pacquiao and Floyd but it's cool. I ain't worrying about that."

Mayweather won the 2015 bout with Pacquiao in a contest that generated $600 million in revenue and a record 4.6 million pay per view buys but failed to live up to its "Fight of the Century" hype.

Pacquiao was hampered after suffering a torn right rotator cuff while training for Mayweather.

Mayweather, who turns 42 next month, recently earned $9 million for knocking down a Japanese kick boxer three times in the first round of a New Years Eve spectacle in Japan.

Pacquiao last fought in July, 2018, when he scored his first knockout in six years with a seventh-round stoppage of Argentina's Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur.

It is his first bout in the US since a unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas in November 2016.

Since then, Pacquiao's career had followed an uncertain trajectory, with a shock defeat to Australia's Jeff Horn in Brisbane in 2017 followed by a year-long absence from the ring.]]>
1/21/2019 12:21:00 PM
<![CDATA[Eyes on Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area]]>
Last week, the government approved an agreement signed in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018 constituting the legal basis of the African Continental Free trade Area (AfCFTA) and its relevant protocols.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement outlined this planned free trade area, known as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), among 49 of the 55 African Union nations. In a major event held in Cairo, discussing intra-Africa trade, Egypt and several African states strongly ensured the importance for this deal going off without a hitch.

The AfCFTA, if the agreement is ratified, is believed to be the largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization. Signed by only 44 of the AU state members in Rowanda on March 21, 2018, the agreement aims to create a single, continental free-tariff market for goods and services.

According to the African Union, which brokered the agreement, the AfCFTA is meant to guarantee “free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African customs union.”

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi seated next to African leaders during the Africa Trade Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh - Egypt Today

The AU also said that the agreement will enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better re-allocation of resources.

Mohamed Hegazy, an advisor to the minister of local development for international cooperation, told Business Today Egypt that besides combating terrorism, economic development is a pillar for Africa’s well-being.

Hegazy further reiterates President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s description of Africa as a young continent, seeing it as home to the largest youth population worldwide.

He also notes the importance of launching the AfCFTA, saying it is “one of Africa’s main goals in the upcoming decades.”

Referring to the importance of intra-Africa trade, Hegazy refers the recent example of Tanzania picking Egyptian firms El Sewedy Electric Company and Arab Contractors to build a $2.9 billion hydroelectric dam in a renowned nature reserve. “This reflects that the level of inter-cooperation between African countries is the key to development, and that time has come to depend on each other’s resources to maintain our future,” Hegazy states.

Enhancing Africa trade in Kenya house

Attending the continental meeting in Cairo was the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Ministry of Trade Hon. Peter G. Munya, who said that his country is participating in the pan-African movement, “encouraging that African people must walk together, must trade together, and must support each other in solidarity.”

Kenyan Trade Minister Hon. Peter G. Munya visiting Egypt - Egypt Today

His statements coincided with the celebration of Kenya’s Jamhuri day, marking the day it became republic in 1964. December 12 of each year is observed as a national holiday across the East African country.

Kenyan Ambassador to Cairo Joff Otieno emphasized Kenya’s efforts to boost intra-African trade and political unity, adding that Nairobi is one of 44 states that signed the African continental free trade agreement in March.

He further stated that Kenya is engaged in promoting regional integration and security, as it maintains a commitment to resolving regional conflict.

In comments on Egypt’s leadership of the African Union in 2019, Otieno told Business Today Egypt, “Egypt is a leader within the region championing integration in Africa; it is at the forefront of Africa’s connectivity.”

Kenyan Ambassador to Egypt Joff Otieno - Egypt Today

Besides from Egypt being the second largest importer of Kenyan tea, Otieno also highlighted the bilateral ties both countries share as members of the COMESA. Additionally, an Egyptian-led project of a 4,000-kilometer navigational shipping line will connect both countries with eight other states in 2024; the waterway stretches between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean Sea.

In December, Egypt's newly assigned ambassador to Nairobi Khaled Al-Abyad presented his credentials to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and gave a speech on the historical ties the two countries share.

In his speech, the ambassador hailed the deep relations binding the two countries, pledging to spare no effort to boost them in the current period, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

In turn, Kenyatta greeted President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and the Egyptian people, expressing his intention to meet an invitation to visit Egypt soon.

Last month, Egypt hosted two important pan-African events: the Africa 2018 Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh and Africa Intra-trade conference in Cairo. Both gathered African companies and investors from all around the continent, where Egypt represented the role it plays to overcome regional challenges.

In March, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry paid a visit to Nairobi, where he met with his Kenyan counterpart to discuss boosting bilateral relations and enhancing joint counter-terrorism efforts. Both sides also discussed developments to the GERD negotiations and relations between Nile Basin countries.

Bounded by the Nile River, the heads of both states met last year in Nairobi to celebrate historic ties and ensure continued trade improvement. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi promised to guarantee fair use of the river’s waters. Both leaders agreed to increase the magnitude of bilateral trade to $1 billion over two years, and further tackled concluding agreements on avoiding double taxation to protect investment opportunities.

In October 2017, Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil said that the trade volume between Egypt and Kenya increased by 30%, hitting $170 million during the first 6 months this year, up from $130 million during the same period in 2016. On the other hand, Egyptian imports from Kenya decreased to $79 million this year from $109 million in the first half of 2016.

“The efforts made by the ministry, including opening the first logistics office in Kenya, led to a 239% increase in trade surplus between both countries, from $79 million in the first half of 2016 to $90 million in 2017,” Kabil said.

Kenya’s major export to Egypt is tea, which comprises 96% of goods sold to the North African country. Egypt sells manufactured goods to Kenya, including sugar and sanitary products, according to the news website the Daily Nation.]]>
1/21/2019 12:04:37 PM
<![CDATA[A Voice of the Diaspora]]>
Ethiopian-American singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero’s music is a product of a life marrying two distinct cultures, varying interests and multiple genres. The result transcends familiarity in a modern-day world where coming across unique tunes, the rare sounds that aren’t marked by groupings of similitude, becomes a challenge. An artist who is also a social activist of sorts, Hadero has participated in cultural projects such as co-founding cross-cultural initiative The Nile Project and developing a forthcoming podcast celebrating global migration in music. When she briefly visited Cairo to deliver a TED Fellows talk she gave on October 7 as part of an exclusive event at the Marriott Mena House, Egypt Today sat down with the Ethio-jazz musician to discuss her passions, influences, and impact.

Growing up as an African woman in the diaspora, Hadero describes herself as an “intersectional person.” Born to parents who were both doctors, yet arriving to the United States as refugees when Hadero was just two years old, her upbringing was characterized by the seemingly unlikely “full access to claim [herself] as an American, but also as an Ethiopian.” Their lifestyle was also nomadic; by the time she began a bachelors’ in political science at Yale University, her family had already lived in Germany, Washington D.C., Iowa, Brooklyn, Florida, among other places. “I changed middle schools three times because we moved around so much,” she says with a laugh, “and middle school is only three years!” In retrospect, she describes adapting and readapting to different cities so often while living between cultures as informing her craft many years later, as her Ivy League education did.

“The way that I bring together those cultures is not very common. My work is very different than what you typically find in music. I understand how to talk about the issues [my music tackles] in an academically engaging context. This is also something [asides from the uniqueness of the ‘Ethio-jazz’ genre] you don’t typically get from a musician in the music industry,” she recalls.

Living in San Francisco, where she has been based for over a decade while often traveling and touring for as long as six months a years, is the longest Hadero has spent in one city. She settled down there at the age of 24 to work for the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, a philanthropic organization affiliated with the Levi’s jeans brand, and began making the transition to a musical career in the evenings, after working hours.

“My parents wanted me to have guarantees in life, because they came from a time in Ethiopian culture that was very uncertain [Ethiopia’s democratic transition in the early 1990s]…But I also felt I would never be happy unless music was my north star,” she says fondly of her career shift. Her family remains encouraging, and Hadero’s work as an artist arguably has an significant societal impact, a demonstration of her early academic and professional becoming that reflects in her music and cultural projects.

At 25, she earned a scholarship at the Blue Bear School of Music in her last year of eligibility for the institution’s young musicians program, covering yearlong lessons in guitar, voice, and music theory. She recounts the experience as a time of immersion; alongside her fulltime job at the foundation, she was practicing the guitar for 3 hours every night. Within merely a month, she wrote her first song on the guitar and was performing it a week later. “When you’re 25, it feels like you have no time to waste—which is crazy, because it’s really not the case. Yet it’s important to feel this urgency, because it propels you forward,” she recalls, with a rare, burning enthusiasm. “Right after my first voice lesson [when I began taking music seriously, a year before the scholarship program] I learned, with a little bit of technique, to find the voice that I hadn’t found before. I thought to myself, maybe there’s an infinity here that I’m just beginning to tap into, and I was addicted to it.”

Soon thereafter, she became co-director of The Red Poppy Arthouse, a center for the arts serving as a San Francisco hub for all things cultural, musical, and creative, where she helped create a family arts program for young kids, a residency program for visual artists, and programmed an international concert and performance series. The business and leadership savvy behind managing her work as an artist she largely picked up there, as she balanced myriad behind-the-scenes toils from building collaborations to editing videos and building relationships with the press.

Simultaneously, she put together her first eight-song EP entitled Eight Songs, which she independently released in 2007, with an unconventional, progressive concept for the album covers. Seventeen artists from the Red Poppy Arthouse uniquely hand painted each of the first 300 art covers; instead of printing the same visual graphic on each cover multiple times, every cover was a painting, thick-paper sleeves used as canvases inspiring a sense of beauty and wonder.

“It was a time when a lot of CDs were plastic, and I didn’t want to invest in plastic—it’s something that’s very disposable, and also toxic. I wanted to instead create objects that reminded people of a handcrafted sense of care and observation about the world; it was a process of creating covers to match the feelings I made the album with,” she explains with an air of understated cool often characteristic of Bay Area inhabitants.
A couple of years after she completed the scholarship program, local indie record label Porto France Records’ Peter Varshavsky, who knew Hadero from the Red Poppy Arthouse, enthusiastically conveyed an interest helping her record her first album.

Consisting of her first 10 songs, the album, dubbed “On a Day Like This,” was released in 2010. Not long after, a booking agent came across the album on social media, and got in contact with Hadero to arrange national tours promoting the album. Within a couple of years, she had gone from selling copies of a short EP herself to gaining widespread publicity. “It was all going so fast…it was a very expansive time,” she says of what might be an almost overwhelming couple of years as she developed from an emerging artist to gaining enough audience rapport and turning heads as part of the inaugural class of TED global fellows. An arm of the independently run nonprofit TED running short, powerful talks, the TED Fellows Program highlights voices of speakers who are younger and in an earlier phase of their careers than that of speakers at the organization’s usual talks. A commitment to diversity and boosting ideas of “rising stars,” the program was a fit for the budding artist, who was also turning heads as a cultural “instigator.”

In the meantime, Hadero also started the Arba Minch Collective, a group of Ethiopian artists, filmmakers, poets, writers, theatre makers and musicians from the North American diaspora dedicated to making annual cultural trips to Ethiopia to meet and connect with contemporary and traditional artists from their native land. The project’s name, which means “Forty Springs,” is derived from the many springs that emerge from the base of a cliff on a ridge below a town in southern Ethiopia. “We all had stories about Ethiopia that were very much our parents’ stories, and it was almost a veil over our experiences and our understanding what the country was…The country was changing so fast [in the 2000s], and we needed to go there together as artists to truly understand it and connect with the very exciting arts and culture world there—it was an amazing experience,” she recounts of the collaboration. The group organized a series of events there in 2009, in an aim to create performances that resonate with Ethiopians, and returned in 2011 to hold a festival which included shows at Gonder, a city of impressive medieval castles nestled between the hills of northern Ethiopia.

Hadero led the project through three years of programming, and it was during one of these events in her homeland that she met Ethio-jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke, who is known as the first to blend jazz and Latin music with traditional Ethiopian elements, a style that Hadero’s work echoes. She refers to Astatake as a “major influence” and narrates of him, “He came to one of our shows, and when we spoke, he looked at me right in the eye, very respectfully…he said, ‘Meklit, what are you doing to bring Ethiopian jazz forward? Don’t ever play it how we played it 50 years ago. Find your voice, experiment, and take this further. I made my contribution, now you go make yours.’ He’s a legendary musician, and I have so much respect for him.” She pauses almost in reflection, and adds, “[Astatke] encouraged me to find my voice and take this music forward; it was a moment of expansion and opening, and it was extremely powerful to have his permission to be experimental while still standing for who I was as an artist.

He really inspired me to make my own mark.” The transformation in Hadero’s music over the years is clear; while her first album may sound closer to classical soul and jazz, with tracks that include a cover of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, her more recent work sounds more like a quirky, distinctive brand of danceable soul, reflecting the variety of her histories and influences. She has also collaborated with hip hop artists Gabriel Teodros and Burntface to form Copperwire and produce the 2012 fusion album Earthbound, dubbed a “southful space opera.”

She later co-founded The Nile Project with Egyptian-born ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis in an aim to celebrate music from the Nile basic and create a platform for dialogue between citizens from those countries. After an African music concert they attended together in the United States, they found themselves thinking, “Wait, why do we have to go to the diaspora to hear each other’s music [as Africans],” Hadero says. “Coming up with The Nile Project was a moment that struck like lightening. When we thought of it, it seemed like such an obvious idea that I thought someone else must have done it. But we looked it up and that wasn’t the case, although the Nile is so important and the music of the Nile is incredible.” What followed was a scouting trip in 2012 to find musicians who might be interested, where the pair travelled to Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. According to Hadero, musicians from countries on the East African coastline—a term she uses more loosely than its conventional political context—often have less of a platform internationally, an issue The Nile Project sought to resolve. Another goal was to focus on inclusivity of female musicians, who are often underrepresented, which the project has managed to achieve in recent years. Kasiva Mutua, the only female percussionist in Kenya, Rwanda’s Sophie Nzayisenga, the first female player of the ancient instrument Inanga, and Egypt’s homegrown Dina el-Wedidi have been among the Nile Project’s longtime collaborators. The musicians have since toured Europe, the U.S., and Africa in an aim to promote dialogue on Nile sustainability challenges and showcase musical talent from the Nile basin.

Hadero has not been as closely involved in The Nile Project since 2015, when she left to focus on other endeavors such as launching her latest album entitled When The People Move The Music Moves Too. “I tend to go in a pendulum between times when I am really focused on my own music, and other times where I am more immersed in arts and culture projects. I have to swing between them, and if I don’t, then I feel that something in me is missing. I grew so much with The Nile Project as a musician, but after four years I just felt that there were so many songs inside me waiting to be born,” says Hadero. “I like the energy of being involved in the beginning of a project, making something out of nothing, and then dreaming it into the world. That’s where my focus is, and where I tend to enjoy being involved in projects the most.” Her upcoming cultural project is the Global Migration Through Music podcast, which highlights “stories of global migration” through music and the lives of musicians, slated for release in Fall 2019.

Another one of Hadero’s influences is her mother, who she describes as “one of the most musical people in my life…everything she says is melody.” She recounts how her mother’s everyday, singsong phrases and the music she sang to while washing the dishes after a long working as a physician, were part of her “sonic lineage.” In a 2015 TED talk, she argued that birds and the natural world are crucial as a teacher of music.

As for her current family in the studio, her band, she says Grammy award-nominated drummer and percussionist Colin Douglas is “the best drummer [she has] ever been live with. What he has taught me in terms of rhythm has really been like an infinity!” She refers to her other band members similarly, and optimistically hopes for an impact promoting an understanding of “how badly we need voices from all parts of the world leading the way we think of as a global world.” She adds, “[Through my music] I hope to inspire cultural curiosity and empathy in others, and to bring people joy and relief from the hardships of life through songs and celebration.”

1/21/2019 11:55:30 AM
<![CDATA[European power firms aim to harness electric car batteries]]>
E.ON (EONGn.DE) and EDF (EDF.PA) are already working with Nissan (7201.T) to develop services that allow power stored in electric vehicle batteries to be sold back to the grid - and now they’re trying to persuade European carmakers to follow suit.

With millions of electric cars expected on European roads over the next decade, utility firms see both an opportunity to sell drivers more electricity and a risk that surges in charging at peak times could destabilize stressed power grids.

That’s why E.ON is working with Nissan to develop so-called vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services, including software for aggregating and marketing charging data so the German power company can predict peaks and troughs in electricity demand.

Nissan’s idea is that if you charge your electric vehicle (EV) at off-peak times and are prepared to sell power back to the grid when it’s under strain, you could effectively charge for free.

French utility EDF has teamed up with San Diego-based V2G technology specialist Nuvve nuvve.com to build the first commercial-scale V2G charging network in Europe for vehicles made by Japan's Nissan and Mitsubishi (7211.T).

Europe’s biggest utility by market value, Italy’s Enel (ENEI.MI), has also worked with Nissan and Nuvve on V2G pilots in Denmark and the Netherlands, as well as in Rome and Genoa.

The problem for the utilities is that unlike Nissan, the French and German firms that will make most of the electric cars expected on Europe’s road in coming years are not playing ball - at least for now.


E.ON and EDF are talking to European carmakers about taking V2G seriously, according to two industry sources, but they are more focused on EV charging technology that the sources say is less suited to two-way flows than Japanese standards.

IONITY ionity.eu, a joint venture of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), Daimler (DAIGn.DE), BMW (BMWG.DE) and Ford (F.N), said it did not see an initial case for V2G in its drive to install high-speed charging stations across Europe to facilitate long-distance journeys.

“Our clients want to charge fast and not feed back in,” a spokesman for IONITY said. “Only in combination with an external storage system would a use case possibly be interesting.”

The other big V2G holdout is EV pioneer Tesla (TSLA.O), which also sells large stationary batteries for home power storage. Tesla declined to comment on V2G.

The idea of using millions of EV batteries as large virtual power plants to put power back into the grid has been around for years though the concept is still mostly at the pilot phase, mainly because there are very few EVs on the roads now.

But its appeal to the power industry is obvious.

With a typical car driving less than 10 percent of the day, the rest of the time car batteries could be used to balance out demand and supply swings in energy networks that increasingly need to juggle intermittent solar and wind power.

That’s the case in Germany in particular as it is phasing out baseload nuclear and coal-fired plants, unlike France and Japan which are sticking with nuclear to ensure a secure supply.

Jonathan Tudor, director of technology strategy at the innovation division of Britain’s biggest utility, Centrica (CNA.L), said V2G will be part of the mix of technologies stabilizing networks - once more EVs hit the road.

“Winding the clock forward 10-12 years, if consumer behavior stays the same we will see thousands of people arriving home and wanting to charge up their cars at the time that is already peak demand for most countries,” he said.

Alberto Piglia, global head of e-mobility at Enel, said as the EV market grows exponentially, there will be a tipping point at which there will be an explosion of related energy services. “We are preparing the world for this.”


One major hurdle for the roll-out of V2G in Europe is that for now it only works well with the EV charging standard developed in Japan known as CHAdeMO.

The IONITY e-mobility joint venture, meanwhile, is focused on establishing the Combined Charging System (CCS) plug as the industry standard reut.rs/2DHIL2B.

But experts say the communication protocol between CCS chargers and EV batteries is not being set up currently in way that allows rapid changes in two-way information flows to charge and discharge electricity.

Rather, CCS is being developed so EV owners can charge vehicles as fast as possible, to encourage the acceptance of electric cars by drivers reluctant to give up the convenience of quickly filling up vehicles with gas.

“We are missing a V2G charging standard,” said Gregory Poilasne, chief executive of Nuvve.

The network of 4,000 V2G charging stations it is developing with EDF in Britain and France will only be used for now with corporate fleets of Nissan Leaf E-NV200 utility vans and Mitsubishi Outlanders running on the CHAdeMO standard.

That’s why Nuvve is also in talks with French and other carmakers about making CCS compatible with V2G.

China, the world’s biggest market for EVs, also has V2G in mind. China’s own GB/T standard is not well suited to V2G but the China Electricity Council struck an agreement with the Japan’s CHAdeMo Association last year to develop a common fast-charging plug that should handle rapid two-way flows.

But at a time when global infrastructure standards for EVs have yet to be established, German carmakers are reluctant to give up on the technology they have invested in, nor cede too much control over their vehicle components to utility firms - something V2G effectively requires them to do.


Still, despite making little headway so far, E.ON hopes that the CCS standard will become part of the V2G mix.

“The technology for aggregation and marketing that we’re developing at E.ON based on the CHAdeMO standard will also be applicable to the CCS standard,” said Johannes Werhahn, E.ON’s head of flexibility, renewables marketing and storage solutions.

OVO Energy www.ovoenergy.com, a challenger to Britain's "Big Six" power retailers, is also eyeing CCS as a market for the V2G charger it launched last year in a deal with Nissan.

“We are very close partners with Nissan but we do expect to work with other car manufacturers in future, including those that use CCS,” said Tom Pakenham, OVO’s head of EVs.

Centrica invested in Israeli EV software charging firm Driivz driivz.com last year and said part of the deal would involve developing V2G technology.

“Once the software is integrated and we understand what needs to be done we will look to start trials, likely sometime in the next 18 months,” Tudor said.

One catch for V2G proponents is that constantly charging and discharging is widely perceived to be the fastest way to shorten the life span of a battery - the most expensive component in an EV usually accounting for about a third of its cost.

Analysts say persuading consumers that V2G makes economic sense and doesn’t disrupt their daily lives will be crucial.

Nissan, though, is convinced V2G will “change the rules of the game” once consumers can be offered a service that will effectively mean they can charge vehicles for free.

Japan’s Honda (7267.T) also plans to incorporate V2G capability when it launches its first EV in Europe this year.

Nuvve’s Poilasne said V2G could reduce the total cost of EV ownership by about 25 percent without ruining the battery, though earnings from grid-balancing services would be greater in countries with a larger share of intermittent renewable energy.]]>
1/21/2019 11:47:12 AM
<![CDATA[From London's Brick Lane to Davos, veganism on the menu]]>
Working with his father, the owner of City Spice restaurant, and Michelin star chef Rupert Rowley, they created 14 vegan dishes paired with vegan wines. The result was a 170 percent increase in sales at their establishment on Brick Lane, a bustling east London street known for its curry houses.

“I realized, from an innovation sense, that there was no vegan Indian cuisine so I thought this is a feasible concept,” said 19-year-old Muhaimen, a student at Birmingham University.

From restaurants in Cape Town and Los Angeles to London-based hair salons using vegan products and leather-free clothing shops, veganism is gaining steam.

Veganism and broader food issues are on the agenda at this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, an annual event that draws more than 1,000 political and business leaders to the Swiss mountain resort, with several panels dedicated to related topics.

Founded five years ago, British-based charity Veganuary has rallied more than 225,000 people worldwide to follow a plant-based diet and avoid dairy, eggs and honey - usually eaten by vegetarians - during the month of January.

“It’s no longer a counter-culture movement. It’s a movement that has entered the mainstream,” Richard Hardy, head of Campaigns at British-based Veganuary, said.

The demand for plant-based foods is increasing with the global meat substitute market expected to reach $7.5 billion by 2025, a jump of 83 percent, from $4.1 billion in 2017, according to a study by Allied Market Research.

A report by U.S.-based Grand View Research said the global vegan cosmetics market is estimated at $12.9 billion.

According to the Veganuary website, the main reason people sign up to go vegan is animal welfare, followed by health benefits and environmental impact. For restaurants, it is a movement to capitalize on, according to Hardy.

“People are being driven onto the high street and into the supermarkets because of the exciting new (vegan) foods that are there,” he said.

“If you’re not keeping up, you’re going to miss the boat.”

At Davos, the “A New Dialogue for Food” panel will focus on innovating for nutritious, sustainable food and alternative proteins while the “Alternative Diet, Healthier Planet” session will look at meat consumption and its role in reducing carbon emissions.

The challenges surrounding the surging pressure on crop production to feed a global population expected to surpass 9 billion by 2050 will be also be addressed.]]>
1/21/2019 11:44:23 AM
<![CDATA[Parliament committee calls for removing impediments to restore Korean tourism to Egypt]]>
In a press statement released on Monday, Kholy called on parliamentarians of both countries to exert more efforts to remove any impediments standing in the way of restoring Korean tourism to Egypt, calling for resuming direct flights between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Karim Darwish asserted, during a meeting held late Sunday with the South Korean Parliamentary Society, the depth of Egyptian-Korean relations that date back to the 1940s. He noted that relations and visits between the two countries have been on the rise over the past period.

The meeting was attended by the Korean ambassador in Cairo.

Darwish also reiterated that Egypt welcomes Korean investments and praised the existing coordination between Egypt and Korea in all international fora.

Meanwhile, the Korean parliamentary delegation stressed that Egypt is a great country which has a mighty weight in the region, praising the economic reforms that have been recently introduced by the Egyptian government.]]>
1/21/2019 11:37:50 AM
<![CDATA[In pics: Egypt, Bahrain conduct Hamad-3 drills]]>
The joint military drill aims to further consolidate strong relations binding the two countries and peoples.

FILE - Egypt, Bahrain conduct Hamad-3 drills

The exercise will take place at the Issa Air Base located on the shore of the Arab Gulf in southern Bahrain.

It is meant to enhance military cooperation between the armed forces of the two Arab countries.

FILE - Egypt, Bahrain conduct Hamad-3 drills
1/21/2019 11:28:59 AM
<![CDATA['Nadi el-Regal el-Seri' director exposes time of screening]]>
The cast is betting on the film, especially after the great effort they exerted during the shooting period, which lasted for four months, director Khaled el-Halafawi stated to Youm7.

The film is starring Karim Abdel Aziz, Ghada Adel, and Maged el-Kedwany, among others. It is written by Ayman Wattar.

In the movie, Karim Abdel Aziz plays the role of a dentist named “Adham” who has been married to actress Ghada Adel for ten years. However, a huge gap develops in their marriage which forces Adel to watch her husband all the time in a comic way.

Abdel Aziz returns to cinema after a hiatus of 4 years, since the screening of "The Blue Elephant" in 2014. "The Blue Elephant" was written by Ahmed Murad, directed by Marwan Hamed and achieved unprecedented success.

Karim Abdel Aziz was born on August 17, 1975 in Giza. The star is the son of great director Mohamed Abdel Aziz.

This artistic upbringing influenced the star as he was already familiar with the nature of the business.

Abdel Aziz joined the high institute of cinema in 1994 and graduated from the directing department in 1997. He then worked as an assistant director for a short period where he was tempted by the sensation of being in front of the camera instead of behind it.

This is when he decided to switch to acting instead of directing, until he got his chance to act with director Sherif Arafa who introduced him for the first time.

Samira Ahmed chose Abdel Aziz for his role in the TV drama "Emraa mn zaman el-hob" which was his real kick off as a true artist with a real talent and great sense of humor.

Abdel Aziz started receiving several offers until he got his leading role in front of Mona Zaki and Hala Sheha in "Leeh Khalletny Ahebbak" (Why did you make me love you?”).

1/21/2019 11:16:27 AM
<![CDATA[Bashir: ‘saboteurs’ from Darfur killed protesters in Sudan]]>
Bashir added that the Sudanese arrested the rebels who then confessed their crimes in Sudan, stressing that saboteurs exploited the ongoing protests and attacked demonstrators in Sudan to cause chaos like what had happened in Arab countries.

“We are chosen by the Sudanese people and we respect their choice of the president and the House of Representatives through free elections. Next year election is not so far. We will respect the people’s will,” he said.

Sudan has plunged into chaos since December 19 when hundreds of Sudanese citizens protested against the deteriorating economic situation, calling for the end of Bashir’s rule.

1/21/2019 11:14:23 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s largest exhibition for handicrafts to kick off Monday]]>
On a 5,000 meter squared-land, a total of 500 exhibitors will display their products, said Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali in remarks to reporters last week. The exhibition will be held at Egypt International Exhibition Center (EIEC) in Nasr City, eastern Cairo.

“The exhibition is the largest one ever launched in Egypt,” the minister added, expecting that it will bring in considerable revenues.

On October 31, 2017, the 10th festival for handcrafts was held by the Ministry of Culture, featuring a unique selection of oriental heritage handcrafts and products.

In case you missed it…

10th Handcrafts Fest. encourages oriental cultural exchange

CAIRO - 31 October 2017: The 10th festival for handcrafts was inaugurated on Sunday, featuring a unique selection of oriental heritage handcrafts and products. Culture Minister Helmy al-Namnam stated in a press release on Monday that the annual festival is meant to emphasize the Egyptian society's identity and revive the heritage of the country, preserving and incorporating it in daily lives.

1/21/2019 10:59:33 AM
<![CDATA[Madbouli to participate in Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland ]]>
Held annually, the Davos World Economic Forum is one of the most important international economic events in Switzerland.

The forum is attended every year by heads of governments, finance ministers, representatives of central banks and boards of major international institutions.

1/21/2019 10:52:57 AM
<![CDATA[ Six tombs dating back to the Old Kingdom uncovered in Aswan]]>
Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziry explained that the discovered tombs range in dimensions between 190 x285 cm and 352 x 635 cm.

Two of the tombs have entrances carved into the rock, while the third one has a complete entrance that is closed with stones; the entrance to its burial chamber is carefully closed by a brick wall. Despite all of the previous, it has been looted in ancient times by thieves who broke into the tomb through the back wall.

FILE - Six tombs dating back to the Old Kingdom uncovered in Aswan

Head of Hawa Dome project, professor Marten Bomas, announced that a fragment of a funerary mask and a small metal amulet depicting god Khnum were found inside a tomb.

The Archaeological Mission of Alexandria Antiquities, which works at the site of Tuba Metwah in Al-Amriyah, uncovered a collection of artifacts dating back to the Greek and Roman eras on Thursday, January 17.

Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Waziry, confirmed that this is a unique discovery, as the site is an industrial and commercial area.

Waziry clarified that one of the most important elements of the archaeological finds is a set of interconnected walls with clear construction and designing methods. Some walls were built with non symmetrical stones, while others were built with carefully cut stones.

Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector Ayman Ashmawy stated that a large number of ovens were also discovered as separate units inside the walls, which have been rebuilt and renovated more than once. Most of these ovens were used to prepare food, as bird and fish bones were found inside.

Ashmawi pointed out that the existence of such a large number of ovens indicates that this place was used as a service unit for militants or camps.

In the same context, Head of the Central Department of the Effects of the Sea, Nadia Khedr, stated that cooking utensils of different sizes, as well as large quantities of pottery vessels were also uncovered.

Director General of Alexandria Antiquities and Head of the mission, Khaled Abul Hamd, referred to the discovery of two corpses, one of which was for a middle-aged woman wearing a copper ring.

The bodies were found next to a wall and close to a used oven. The place might have been used by the poor to bury their dead after it had been abandoned.

FILE - Six tombs dating back to the Old Kingdom uncovered in Aswan
1/21/2019 10:49:22 AM
<![CDATA[Infanticide: Court sentences to death children killers in Giza]]>
According to the Egyptian law, capital sentences must be referred to the Grand Mufti, the country's highest Islamic legal official, for consultation before they can take place. The Mufti's decision is non-binding though.

The defendants kidnapped the child, called his father asking him for a LE 200,000 ($11,000) ransom, the father said, adding that they, however, did not contact him again.

Police investigations managed to disclose the circumstances of the crime, and arrested the perpetrators. The two women admitted planning with the other defendants to kidnap the victim in retaliation against his father.

According to their confessions, one of the women, with the help of other defendants, chocked the child to death, put him in a plastic crate, wrapped him in a blanket, and threw him into an agricultural land in another village and fled.

They said that they subsequently contacted the victim's father for a ransom, but were not able to continue negotiations as the child was already killed, so they did not call again.

In the same village in Giza, another criminal court sentenced a 25-year old man to death over killing a four-year old girl inside a mosque after failing to rape her.

The convict's lawyer earlier called for carrying out a mental status examination on his client, claiming that his client suffers from paranoia.

Moreover, the attorney denied accusations his client faces, asserting that detectives were unable to reveal the circumstances of the case and find the real murderer. He also accused them of holding his client accountable with no evidence.

Police investigations found that the defendant accompanied the girl to the bathroom of the mosque, and tried to remove her clothes, but she resisted him and cried for help, which caused him to slaughter the victim and flee.

Surveillance cameras around the mosque showed the defendant leaving the mosque at the time of the crime, according to investigations. Eyewitnesses also spotted the culprit around the mosque at the time of the crime.

Kids with diapers

Cairo Criminal Court sentenced earlier in January a man to death on charges of killing a 3-year-old boy in Cairo's al-Matariya after failing to rape him, MENA news agency reported.

Another man, the killer's partner, was sentenced to 15 years in jail over the same charges.

Investigations showed that the child, who was found dead and wearing only his diaper, was thrown from the fourth floor of an apartment building by two men after they failed to sexually assault him.

Moreover, in May 2018, General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered referring five of the killer's relatives to the criminal court over charges of killing the toddler's father. The defendants stabbed the father in the heart after failing to persuade him to withdraw the rape case.

In November 2018, the Cassation Court upheld death sentence to a man who admitted raping a then 20-month old girl.

In 2017, the General Prosecution referred Ibrahim Mahmoud, 35, to the criminal court. Following numerous sessions, the court referred the defendant to the Grand Mufti.

Activists argue that sexual abuse against children is always under-reported, and the statistics can widely vary as children victims are harder to speak out. A study carried out in 2009, found that 7.9 percent of men and 19.7 percent of women suffered sexual abuse before the age of 18.

The study could conclude the statistics after it had analyzed 65 articles covering 22 countries, according to the study’s results. The study was carried out by Noemi Pereda, Georgina Guilera, Maria Forns, and Juana Gomez-Benito.

1/21/2019 10:44:15 AM
<![CDATA[Trial of Pharmacists Syndicate's head adjourned to January 27]]>
Head of Pharmacists' Syndicate Mohi Ebeid was handed another 15-day detention pending investigations, state's MENA reported

Ebeid was dismissed by the administrative judiciary over accusations of beating a pharmacist in a dispute over the union's board in October. He is also accused of causing a neck injury to the pharmacist.

In October, a number of anonymous people with bladed weapons attacked the headquarters of the Pharmacists Syndicate, causing injuries to many pharmacists including Islam Abdel Fadel, who almost died.

The syndicate's board affirmed that this assault is the third of its kind in the recent period. The board also blamed Ebeid for removing seven elected members of the board, which is considered illegal.

In December, State Council Administrative Court ordered the suspension of Ebeid from exercising his duties.

The decision comes as a consequence of the incident that took place inside the headquarters of the press syndicate on Monday, Dec. 17 when security personnel at the Egyptian Pharmacists Syndicate assaulted four journalists and took their phones, including Mohamed el-Garnoussi and Atef Badr from Al-Masry al-Yom, Esraa Soliman from Al-Watan and Aya De'bes from Youm7.
1/21/2019 10:41:26 AM
<![CDATA[Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to close gap on Liverpool]]>
Danilo's deflected shot gave City the lead in an opening half in which they were not at their sharpest.

That goal took City's goal tally to 100 in all competitions this season -- making them the only club in Europe's top five leagues to reach that total.

Pep Guardiola's side upped the tempo early in the second half and Raheem Sterling headed in their second goal in the 54th minute before Leroy Sane made it 3-0 two minutes later.

It was a poor advert for the Premier League with Huddersfield, who look almost certain to get relegated and who parted company with manager David Wagner this week, offering next to nothing as an attacking force.

City's fourth consecutive win since back-to-back losses over Christmas took them to 56 points from 23 games with Liverpool on 60 after they beat Crystal Palace on Saturday 4-3.

Toothless Huddersfield, who had caretaker boss Mark Hudson in charge for the first time, have only 11 points and are 10 points behind Newcastle United who are 17th.

City had scored 19 goals in their previous three games without reply -- including two Cup romps against lower league opponents -- but they were subdued in Sunday's first half.

"The way we played we didn't deserve more than three goals," Guardiola said. "We will improve in the future. We have to demand more from ourselves in every game and do our best, but sometimes it's difficult. They defended deep and man-to-man."

Huddersfield set out their stall from the start, retreating back behind the ball to try to frustrate City.

It worked but City did get ahead in the 18th minute when Danilo let fly from range and the ball flew off the head of defender Christopher Schindler past keeper Jonas Lossl.

Despite their clear superiority, City did not add to their total before halftime and it was not until after the break that they rediscovered the slick passing for which they are known.

An intricate spell of passing ended with the ball being played to Sane inside the area and his cross was met with a diving header from Sterling.

Two minutes later Danilo intercepted a wayward pass and his first-time ball forward was cushioned by the head of Sergio Aguero to Sane who neatly side-footed inside the post.

"This game can teach us and show what we have to do to improve," Guardiola said. "We've scored a lot of goals. So far, so good. One team has been better but we're in January and there's many more games to play.

"You don't win or lose the Premier League in January. We have to focus on what we have to do. If Liverpool win, we have to win. And if Liverpool lose then we also have to win." ]]>
1/21/2019 9:28:00 AM
<![CDATA[Henry furious after VAR 'stops working' in latest Monaco loss]]>
Henry told reporters, "I have a scoop for you" as he entered his post-match press conference after a humiliating defeat which left the principality club second-bottom in the Ligue 1 table and three points from safety.

"There was a foul on (winger) Rony Lopes in the box when it was 2-1," said the 41-year-old. "The fourth official told me: 'I'm really sorry Mr Henry, but VAR isn't working'."

Monaco had been on the wrong end of a controversial VAR decision in midweek, when Nice's Youcef Atal won a penalty despite appearing to take a dive in their 1-1 draw.

"If it was a penalty for Atal, then it was 10,000 times a penalty for Rony Lopes," said Henry.

"So I would like to know why VAR wasn't working for Monaco, and then started working again just after. Bizarre.

"We created a penalty where he (Strasbourg midfielder Jonas Martin) is late. He takes his leg... I need to be told why it wasn't working on a blatant penalty."

Monaco were made to pay for their own mistakes by Strasbourg, with Brazilian defender Naldo sent off in the seventh minute and his fellow new signing Cesc Fabregas gifting the visitors their third goal by losing possession inside his own area.

But Henry insisted that the result was down to the brief lack of VAR.

"Yes (you can put the result down to a refereeing error). At that time, we came back with 10 men against a team that was starting to doubt," the former Arsenal great said.

His Strasbourg counterpart Thierry Laurey confirmed that the officials told the coaches that VAR was briefly not functioning.

"I put myself in Thierry's place, but there are times when technology doesn't work," he said.

"It's already happened in Ligue 1 in one or two matches... That's not why you'll win a match."

It was perhaps the worst day of his short managerial career so far for Henry, with his team, French champions in 2017 and runners-up last term, still winless at home in the league this season.

Several players, led by goalkeeper Diego Benaglio and captain Radamel Falcao, were seen arguing with fans at the Stade Louis II long after the final whistle.]]>
1/21/2019 6:26:00 AM
<![CDATA[Bryan doctor urges Murray to consider 'miraculous' surgery]]>
Former world number one Murray bowed out of the Australian Open on Monday for potentially the last time after saying his longstanding hip pain was too much to bear.

Earlier Murray, 31, had declared he would like to end his career at Wimbledon, where he has won two of his three Grand Slam singles titles, if possible.

Dr Edwin Su operated on Bryan, who then took part at the Australian Open in under six months since his surgery.

Bryan has recommended Su to Murray, although the greater physical demands of singles compared to doubles, mean there is no guarantee the same operation could help the British tennis great to regain a place among the world's top players.

Su, though, told Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper: "I think it would absolutely be able to help him. Ideally, it is with no pain. Most of the time, right away from the time they wake up from the surgery, patients say that the pain is gone.

"It is really miraculous. There is then healing and soft-tissue pain but, once they start feeling better, they are able to do the things they used to do. They can regain their normal life."

- 'Uncharted territory' -

Su, however, added: "What is unknown in elite athletes is whether they can return to sport. There is no guarantee in any medical procedure but, given he has been able to continue his performance at such a high level with a bad hip, I would guess the new hip would function better."

Su forecast that if Murray, also a double Olympic champion, had surgery soon, he could yet return in time for Wimbledon.

"Singles is much more strenuous than doubles," he accepted. "It's uncharted territory.

"No one has done it and returned in singles tennis and it would require more endurance in the muscle to cover the court but, based on the previous operations of sportsmen in basketball and hockey, who also have to move quickly, I think he could do it.

"Murray means a lot to the sport and I think he has got a lot of great tennis left in him.

"We just have to give him a great hip."

Earlier, the 40-year-old Bryan reached out to Murray by saying: "I just represent an option for him. That guy does everything you can possibly do as far as training and rehab.

"He's talked to a million specialists. But I'm really the only guy to be playing on tour with a metal hip."

Meanwhile Leon Smith, the captain of Britain's Davis Cup team, said he would give up the post "instantly" if Murray wanted it.

"He's earned the right for that and he could help British players or he could be involved in training camps," Smith also told BBC Radio on Sunday.

"Whatever it is, we want to use him."]]>
1/21/2019 5:22:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ten U.N. peacekeepers killed in attack in northern Mali]]>
The identity of the attackers was not immediately clear. U.N. peacekeeping and French forces are stationed in northern Mali to combat well-armed jihadist groups seen as threatening security across Africa's Sahel region.

The clash near Aguelhok occurred early on Sunday following an attack by assailants in many armed vehicles, the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said in a statement.

The United Nations said peacekeepers had thwarted the attack, but 10 died and at least 25 were wounded.

"The Secretary-General reaffirms that such acts will not diminish the resolve of the United Nations to continue supporting the people and Government of Mali in their efforts to build peace and stability in the country," it said.

A 2015 peace deal signed by Mali’s government and separatist groups has failed to end the violence. Islamists have also staged assaults on high-profile targets in the capital, Bamako, and in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

French forces intervened in Mali in 2013 to drive back fighters who had hijacked a Tuareg uprising a year earlier, and some 4,000 French troops remain there. The U.N. Security Council then deployed peacekeepers, which have been targets of a concerted guerrilla campaign. ]]>
1/21/2019 4:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Federer, Kerber stunned as Nadal powers into Open quarters]]>
The Swiss master caved in under the energy and pressure of a man 17 years his junior to tumble out 6-7 (11/13), 7-6 (7/3), 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) in the last 16 on Rod Laver Arena.

World number two Kerber was also sensationally bundled out by a woman playing the event for the first time, with American Danielle Collins humiliating the Wimbledon champion 6-0, 6-2 in under an hour.

The man Federer beat in last year's final, sixth seed Marin Cilic, was also sent packing by Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, who now plays Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals.

Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Shaparova was another to fall, but there was no such drama for a rampant Rafael Nadal who powered into the last eight with a straight sets win over Tomas Berdych.

Federer was gunning for a 21st Grand Slam title but had a battle on his hands from off against the 20-year-old, touted among the new generation of young stars as a future champion.

"I'm the happiest man on Earth right now, I cannot describe it," said the 14th seed, who is the first Greek in history to reach the quarter-finals of a Slam.

"I've been idolising him (Federer) since the age of six. It was a dream come true for me just being on Rod Laver facing him. Winning at the end, I can't describe it."

The Swiss great was gracious in defeat, saying "I lost to a better player who was playing very well, who hung in there and stayed calm".

Wimbledon winner and 2016 champion Kerber, the bookies' favourite along with Serena Williams after defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was ousted early, was no match for Collins, ranked 35 in the world.

Collins is little known after playing much of her tennis in the US college system and was making her debut in the main draw at Melbourne Park. She had never won a Grand Slam match before this year.

"I may not have won a Grand Slam match before this but I tell you, it's going to keep happening," said the 25-year-old. "I better have many more of these."

- Chipping away -

Men's second seed Nadal, returning from foot surgery, barrelled past former world number four Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) as he stays on track for an 18th Grand Slam title.

"I always say the same when I am back for injury," said the Spaniard. "I don't expect negative or positive things. I just try to do my work every day and just be with (the) right attitude every single day."

He will play world number 39 Frances Tiafoe for a place in the semi-finals after the young American celebrated his 21st birthday by grinding his way past Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (1/7), 7-5.

Hometown hero Ashleigh Barty also made the last eight after muscling past Sharapova and will next meet Petra Kvitova.

Sharapova claimed her biggest scalp since completing a drugs ban in 2017 when she rolled Wozniacki in round three and looked on track to carry the momentum forward.

The 30th seed won the first set but then fell to pieces, eventually succumbing 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

"I knew I had to keep chipping away -- in a sense, trust the work we've done. I know that I can match it with the best," said Barty, seeded 15.

Next up for the diminutive 22-year-old is Kvitova, who beat Barty in the final of the warm-up Sydney International this month.

The two-time Wimbledon champion beat 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-1 to match her best performance at a major since being slashed in a terrifying attack at her home in late 2016 that left her with lasting nerve damage in her fingers.]]>
1/21/2019 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Vietnam beat Jordan on penalties to reach Asian Cup quarters]]>
Jordan's Baha Seif hit the bar and Vietnam goalkeeper Dang Van Lam saved Ahmad Saleh's effort in the shootout to leave substitute Bui Tien Dung to convert his spot kick and send his side through to a meeting with Japan or Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

The match had finished deadlocked after 120 minutes with Jordan's Baha Abdelrahman opening the scoring from an indirect free kick in the first half and Nguyen Cong Phuong equalising with a volley six minutes after the break.

Southeast Asian champions Vietnam poured forward in search of a winner but, for all their possession, neat interplay and stylish touches, they could not quite carve out a goal.

Jordan had beaten reigning champions Australia and Syria to win their group, while Park Hang-seo's youthful Vietnam team had squeaked through to the last 16 by virtue of having a superior disciplinary record to Lebanon.

While there was little to separate the teams over an entertaining contest, Jordan's muscular game ensured they had the best of the first half and they went in front in the 39th minute.

Vietnam had some grounds for grievance, first in that an indirect free kick was awarded inside the box for a high boot and secondly over whether Yousef Al-Rawashdeh actually moved the ball to tee up Abdelrahman.

There could be no complaints about the midfielder's strike, though, as he celebrated his 120th cap by crashing the ball into the roof of the net from the left-hand edge of the area.

Going behind galvanised Vietnam and they peppered Amer Shafi's goal before the break, the Jordan goalkeeper doing particularly well to tip Do Hung Dung's drive over the bar.

The Jordan goal was finally breached for the first time at the tournament in the 51st minute when Nguyen Trong Hoang sent an inviting cross into the area and Phuong got between the central defenders to flick the ball into the net.]]>
1/21/2019 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Russian senator says U.S. warship in Black Sea should keep its distance]]>
The U.S. guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook began moving towards the Black Sea on Saturday, "to conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness and naval capability", a U.S. navy statement said. https://www.navy.mil/index.asp

The Russian Black Sea fleet began monitoring the warship once it entered the region, RIA news agency cited Russia's National Defence Control Centre as saying on Saturday.

"U.S. warships are becoming frequent visitors to the Black Sea. These visits have nothing to do with U.S. security," Pushkov, a member of Russia's Upper House Commission on Information Policy, wrote on his Twitter page.

"They flaunt their flag, send us a signal, and appease their own senators, who are demanding they send a whole military fleet to the Black Sea. They should keep away from our coastline," he wrote.

This week a court in Russia extended by three months the arrest of 24 Ukrainian sailors captured along with their ships in November in the Kerch Strait, which links the Black Sea with the Azov Sea. They stand accused of illegally crossing into Russian territory.

The United States and European Union have called on Russia to release the men, but the Kremlin has said they must be put on trial. No trial date has been set.

According to the Montreux international convention, the U.S. warship can stay in the Black Sea for no more than 21 days, RIA cited the Russian defence control centre as saying.

"Our arrival into the Black Sea will showcase the navy's interoperability in pursuit of common security objectives, enabling us to respond effectively to future crises or deterring aggression," Matthew J. Powel, commanding officer of the Donald Cook, said in a statement. ]]>
1/21/2019 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Two more arrested over Northern Ireland car bomb]]>
Earlier on Sunday, two men in their twenties were arrested as police investigated whether the New IRA militant group was responsible for Saturday's attack. The two other men aged 34 and 42 were arrested in the city later on Sunday. ]]>
1/20/2019 11:26:30 PM
<![CDATA[Erdogan: Turkey is ready to take over Syria's Manbij]]>
Erdogan said an attack that left four U.S. personnel dead last week in Manbij was an act of provocation aimed at affecting Trump's decision last month to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

Manbij is controlled by a militia allied to the U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG, who last month invited Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into the area around the town to forestall a potential Turkish assault. ]]>
1/20/2019 11:07:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Media Group signs protocol to promote State’s TV]]>

According to the terms of the signed protocol, the NMA in cooperation with Egyptian Media Group would launch a new Satellite channel that targets the families in the Arab region, as a prelude to a satellite network aired by nilesat that covers all topics important in the region.

The Egyptian Media Group is tasked as well to develop the content aired by the Egyptian satellite channels. The protocol includes a partnership in the Ad rights of the channels- existed and expected- updated to maximize their profits.
1/20/2019 10:20:20 PM
<![CDATA[ Ibrahim Eissa’s 'El Deif' exceeds LE 2.5M in profit in 2 weeks]]>
The film achieved a total profit of LE 2.5 million in only two weeks since its release in cinemas. “Dr. Yahya Tijani, portrayed in the film by Khaled el-sawy, is facing charges of contempt of religions and is expected to be handed a one year sentence. What is the story behind this man?” Eissa tweeted on his official twitter account upon the release of the film’s promo in December 2018.

The film is the second cinematic experience for the veteran writer after the great success he achieved in his previous controversial film “Mawlana” (The Sheikh).“El-Deif” (The guest) is starring Khaled el-Sawi, Sherine Reda, Ahmed Malek and Jamila Awad and is directed by Hadi el-Bagouri.

The film revolves around a man who visits a family for dinner as a guest, and then strange incidents follow. “El-Deif” was granted the Public Award in Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia early December 2018, as it was competing in the official contest of the festival representing the African content. Eissa, a controversial writer and thinker, presents a film that explores his ideas and tackles thorny issues that are expected to spark controversy.

Yahia Tijani is the writer and thinker the film revolves around. Tijani has opinions that make him face the charge of contempt for religions. Perhaps the most prominent among his opinions is that hijab is not obligatory. Tijani has a small family consisting of his wife Mimi and his daughter Farida, who Osama proposes to marry. Osama is "the guest" that changes the course of events in the film.

1/20/2019 6:08:47 PM
<![CDATA[Google celebrates late artist Louay Kayali’s birth anniversary ]]>
Kayali graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome in 1961 and returned to Syria where he started his career as a fine arts professor at Damascus University, where prominent artist Fateh Moudarres also taught. One of the most famous exhibitions of Kayali was his first solo exhibition in 1959 at the La Fontenelle Gallery in Italy.

The fine artist represented Syria alongside Moudarress in an exhibition in Venice in 1960 and held his second gallery at the exhibition hall in Rome. Kayali held his third exhibition, which contained 28 oil paintings and 30 drawings, at the World Modern Art Gallery in Damascus. His fourth exhibition was held at the World Modern Art Gallery in Damascus in 1962, his fifth exhibition was held in Milan in 1964 and his sixth exhibition was held in Rome.

In 1967, Kayali held his seventh exhibition under the title "For the Cause" at the Arab Cultural Center in Damascus and presented 30 coal paintings. The late artist travelled across Syria to exhibit his works, which were subjected to attacks by art critics and Syrian press.The fierce criticism caused the artist to go into severe depression; he stopped teaching and painting and retreated to his home in Damascus to eventually leave Syria in 1968.

Despite his illness, Kayali was able to hold his eighth exhibition in Beirut in 1972 at the house of Alaa el-Din el-Droubi and in 1974 his ninth exhibition was hosted in Damascus. Kayali held his 10th exhibition in Gallery One in Beirut in 1975. Kayali was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1934 and studied art in the Accademia di Belle Arti after having studied at the Al-Tajhiz School where his work was first exhibited in 1952.

He met Syrian artist Wahbi al-Hariri there and the two were friends for the rest of Kayali's life. Hariri, who was Moudarres' mentor, also became Kayali's mentor. Hariri introduced Kayali and Moudarres in 1955, who together represented the Syrian modern art at the Venice Biennial Fair. Kayali suffered from depression and died in 1978 from burns incurred from his bed catching fire, reportedly from a cigarette.]]>
1/20/2019 6:02:28 PM
<![CDATA[Min. of culture: Human development is the ministry’s main focus]]>
The first International Conference on Sustainable Cultural Development and Human Building is organized by the Supreme Council for Culture within the framework of Egypt's vision 2030.The minister’s statements came during the international conference titled "Sustainable Cultural Development and Human Development". The conference was attended by up to 100 academics and researchers representing Arab and African nations.

“This conference comes at a time when we all strive to work hard to achieve the strategic goal set by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi towards building individuals, which is the ultimate goal in building a civilized and progressive nation,” stated Abdel Dayem. The minister also pointed out that she is working with an integrated team from the ministry, where all efforts and potentials are mobilized towards creating a system of positive values that reflect the government’s goal to achieve progress and social solidarity.

Moreover, Abdel Dayem pointed out that building strongly cultured human beings requires opening up to other cultures and making every effort to discover and nurture talented and creative citizens to enable them to play a pioneering role in promoting cultural leadership.

“In order to make culture an added value in the economy and sustainable development, we are sparing no effort to develop and strengthen the cultural industries to enhance the movement of publishing, music, cinema, theater, plastic arts and heritage industries. In addition, we are constantly developing and modernizing our cultural institutions to be able to reach our goal of building creative human beings and achieving sustainable cultural development,” stated Abdel Dayem.
1/20/2019 5:57:36 PM
<![CDATA[Six tombs dating back to the Old Kingdom uncovered in Aswan]]>
aswan 2

The Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziry explained that the discovered tombs ranging in dimensions between 190 x285 cm, 352 x 635 cm.

Two of them with an entrance carved into the rock, while the third one with a complete entrance that is closed with stones, also the entrance to its burial chamber is carefully enclosed by a brick wall, despite all of the previous it has been looted in ancient times by thieves who broke its back wall.

aswan 3
The head of Hawa Dome project professor Marten Bomas announced that a fragment of a funerary mask and a small metal amulet showing god Khnum were also found inside a tomb.

The Archaeological Mission of Alexandria Antiquities, which works at the site of Tuba Metwah in Al-Amriyah, uncovered a collection of artifacts dating back to the Greek and Roman eras on Thursday, January 17.

Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, confirmed that this is a unique discovery, as the site is an industrial and commercial area.

Waziri clarified that one of the most important elements of the archaeological findings is a set of interconnected walls with clear construction and designing methods.

Some walls were built with non symmetrical stones, while others were built with carefully cut stones.

Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector Ayman Ashmawy stated that a large number of ovens were also discovered as separate units inside the walls, which have been rebuilt and renovated more than once.

Most of these ovens were used to prepare food, as bird and fish bones were found inside.

Ashmawi pointed out that the existence of such a large number of ovens indicates that this place was used as a service unit for militants or camps.

In the same context, Head of the Central Department of the Effects of the Sea, Nadia Khedr, stated that cooking utensils of different sizes, as well as large quantities of pottery vessels were also uncovered.

Director General of Alexandria Antiquities and Head of the mission, Khaled Abul Hamd, referred to the discovery of two corpses, one of which was for a middle-aged woman wearing a copper ring.

The bodies were found next to a wall and close to a used oven. The place might have been used by the poor to bury their dead, after it had been abandoned.

1/20/2019 5:49:53 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt seeks emulating Germany in waste management technology]]>
The visit comes within the framework of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's directives to carry out a strategy to implement an integrated system to eliminate waste issue, benefiting from the German expertise in this regard.

The strategy includes developing plans to increase the efficiency of the waste recycling plants located in the governorates, to supply some plants with new lines and equipment with latest technology, by taking advantage of the German expertise applied in this field.

During the visit, the ministerial committee is also set to learn about technologies used to set up waste recycling plants and ways to use recycling extraction in industry, agriculture, fuel production, and electricity generation.

Egypt has launched several initiatives to recycle wastes and to solve the garbage problem.

An estimated 44.8 percent of Egyptian households dispose their garbage by dumping it onto the street, while 55.2 percent dispose it through private companies and garbage collectors, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Egypt has a festering waste management problem, with more than 80 million tons of garbage being disposed every year, according to Egypt’s former Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy.

Egyptian-Italian relationship witnesses fruitful breakthrough

CAIRO – 22 October 2018: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly met with Minister of Environment Yasmin Fouad to review the programs set to develop the municipal solid waste management system.

1/20/2019 5:23:19 PM
<![CDATA[First Solar Power Station at JW Marriot Cairo]]>
The project is contributed in cooperation with H.E. Dr. Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, H.E. Eng. Amr Nassar, Minister of Trade and Industry, H.E. Dr. Rania Al Mashat, Minister of Tourism, H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment and Mrs. Randa Aboul-Hosn, Country Director of United Nations Development Program.

The first project in Egypt to use a grant made available by the United Nations Development program with support from the Industrial Modernization Center and the Ministry of Trade & Investment. Worth mentioning that the first solar power station ever to be placed on the rooftop in Cairo hotels has been installed at the JW Marriott Cairo.

Mr. Mounir Ghabbour, Chairman of Mirage City Hotels Co. declared the implementation of this plant comes in the context of the hotel's support for the efforts of the State to diversify energy sources and expand the use of clean renewable energy technologies in the hotel sector in Egypt, in accordance with the concepts of green hotels and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause changes in climatic conditions. The JW Marriot Cairo was the first hotel in Egypt to convert its lighting systems to LED energy-saving systems in 2014, which saved about 25% of the total electricity consumption of the hotel.

It is worth mentioning that the solar cell system project aims to support the spread of the use of small solar cells installed in residential and commercial buildings, public buildings, hotels and industrial facilities, which is a catalyst for the spread of the use of small solar plants connected to the network and develop the market for the production of solar cell systems and facilitate installation. In addition to establishing technical support and advisory centers, increasing the percentage of the local manufacturing component, preparing technical cadres and supporting the emerging markets of this technology in Egypt. This implementation will assist with new employment opportunities for youth, and remove barriers to increase energy generation by small solar cells, decentralized networks.

In the photo: H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, Mrs. Randa Aboul-Hosn, Country Director of United Nations Development Program, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, H.E. Dr. Rania Al Mashat, Minister of Tourism, and Mr. Mounir Ghabbour, Chairman Mirage City Hotels Company, Mr. Nabil Abo Kalam Director of Engineering and associates at the JW Marriott Cairo.
1/20/2019 5:06:44 PM
<![CDATA[IR Tanger thanks Zamalek after qualifying ]]>
Zamalek defeated IR Tanger 3-1 at Borg el-Arab stadium in the second leg of the 32nd round of CAF Confederation Cup on Saturday night.

“We thank everyone in Zamalek for their efforts, hospitality and good treatment for our club during our stay in Egypt,” IR Tanger’s director, Khaddor Abdelkader said.

“The most sincere words of congratulations for your qualification to the group stage; we hope you succeed in your journey in the tournament,”

Zamalek wait for the CAF Confederation Cup draw which will be held on Monday.

Zamalek faces Pyramids FC on Thursday in a critical match; the White club hopes to increase the gap of points with Pyramids in the match which was postponed from the 9th round of the Egyptian league.

Zamalek is on the top of the standings with 41 points, three points above Pyramids but three games less.
1/20/2019 3:53:24 PM
<![CDATA[CBE: Bourse, banks to close Thursday for Jan. 25 Revolution]]>
The stock market will also be off, the CBE added.

The EGX and banks are due to resume work as of Sunday, January 27, 2019. ]]>
1/20/2019 3:36:21 PM
<![CDATA[Mercedes to re-invest in Egypt, says official]]>
It is a great opportunity that should be perfectly used, said Samir Allam of the Chamber of Engineering Industries (CEI) in statements to MENA Sunday.

The return of Mercedes will sure revive the whole industrial market in Egypt, especially where auto feeding and complementary industries are concerned, Allam said.

Mercedes is not the only company to make the return decision, he said, noting that other firms had made a prior comeback.

This, he believes, reflects how strong the Egyptian national economy is.]]>
1/20/2019 3:26:21 PM
<![CDATA[Handball World Cup: Egypt faces Norway in the second stage]]>
Egypt qualified for the second stage after being third in their group after Sweden and Hungary. Egypt will face also in this group Denmark and Tunisia.

The second stage divided into two groups; the first two positions in each group qualify for the semi-final. The third and fourth places of each group play a match to decide the World Cup's Fifth and Sixth places respectively.

Egypt and Norway have faced three times in the World Cup; although the Norwegian team wasn’t among the top teams in Europe, but all the confrontations ended by a victory for Norway.

The first match was in 2005 in Tunisia; Egypt lost the game 24-19. In 2007, Egypt lost 27-18. In the last match in 2009, Norway defeated Egypt 30-20.
1/20/2019 3:23:43 PM
<![CDATA[Sudan police tear gas protesters ahead of parliament march: witnesses]]>
Demonstrators chanting "freedom, peace and justice" began gathering in some areas of Omdurman but were quickly confronted by riot police with tear gas, the witnesses said.

Deadly protests which erupted on December 19 after a government decision to raise the price of bread have turned into nationwide rallies against President Omar al-Bashir's three decade rule.

Officials say at least 26 people, including two security personnel, have died during a month of protests, while rights group Amnesty International last week put the death toll at more than 40.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella group of trade unions that is leading the ongoing protest movement, called for fresh demonstrations on Sunday and several days over the coming week.

"We are calling for a march to parliament in Omdurman on Sunday," it said in a statement.

"The protesters will submit to parliament a memorandum calling on President Bashir to step down," added the association, which represents the unions of doctors, teachers and engineers.

Over the past month, protesters have staged several demonstrations in Omdurman.

The SPA said there will also be rallies in Khartoum on Sunday, to be followed by night-time demonstrations on Tuesday in the capital and in Omdurman.

"And on Thursday there will be rallies across all towns and cities of Sudan," the statement added.]]>
1/20/2019 3:12:47 PM
<![CDATA[Salah becomes the fastest African & Arab player to reach 50 goals in the PL]]>
Salah scored a brace against Crystal Palace which helped Liverpool to keep their position on the top of the standings above Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - January 19, 2019 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah before the match Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Salah’s double made him the fastest African and Arabian player to reach this milestone in only 72 games; the fourth one worldwide.

Only legends are above Salah in the list; Alan Sherar, Andy Cole and Rud van Nistelrooy as they scored 50 goals in less number of matches.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - January 19, 2019 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores their third goal REUTERS/Phil Noble EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Salah scored two goals with Chelsea when he featured in only 13 games, most of them was as a substitution, and 48 goals with the Reds.

The Egyptian King became on the top of goalscorers’ list with 16 goals this season above Arsenal’s Aubameyang and Tottenham’s Harry Kane.

1/20/2019 3:10:17 PM
<![CDATA[Arsenal manager fuels Denis Suarez signing hopes]]>
The club has been widely reported in the British media to be keen to sign the 25-year-old Spaniard, whom Emery worked with previously at Sevilla.

Yet the Gunners are thought to have little money to play with, partly due to their high wage bill, meaning a loan deal could be on the cards.

At a news conference after Arsenal's 2-0 victory over London rivals Chelsea, Emery was asked whether the club was any closer to securing Suarez's services. He declined to name the player but added:

"I know the club is working with different possibilities if (it) can help us for these four months for our competition."

Asked directly whether Suarez might even be with the side in time for their FA Cup fourth-round match against old foes Manchester United on Jan. 25, Emery said only that he would be glad if a player could reinforce the squad.

"I know it's a difficult window for the transfer market and if a player is coming to help us I am happy. But the club is doing that and I am going to wait," he said.

For his part, Suarez will only have fuelled speculation about a move to London by giving a "like" on Instagram to a post about Arsenal's win over Chelsea. Barcelona have left the player out of their 24-man squad ahead of Sunday's La Liga match against Leganes.

Suarez may help resolve a conundrum Emery seems to have been struggling with in the midfield, where he has been reluctant to fit in Mesut Ozil, handing the German midfield playmaker only 12 starts in the Premier League this season.

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey has also been widely reported to be moving to Juventus in the close season after contract-extension talks with Arsenal broke down last September.

The main aim for Arsenal remains qualifying for the Champions League, which they have now missed out on for two seasons.

A week ago Emery said the side's inconsistency had dealt a blow to their hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League which would qualify them for Europe's top club competition, following a 1-0 defeat at West Ham United.]]>
1/20/2019 2:49:12 PM
<![CDATA[Furious Sarri says Chelsea players lack motivation]]>
When he eventually emerged from the dressing room the Italian insisted on delivering his post-match comments in his native language in order to fully express his bitter disappointment with his team.

"I prefer to speak Italian today because I want to send a message to my players and I want it to be very clear," the 60-year-old former Napoli coach began before switching to Italian.

The translation would not have made pleasant listening for his players who despite bags of possession at the Emirates were blunt in attack and casual in defence and could have conceded more in a first half dominated by Arsenal.

"I have to say that I'm extremely angry because this defeat was due to our mentality," he said through a translator.

"We played against a team that mentally was far more determined than we were and this is something I can't accept.

"We had the same issue as this at Tottenham and we spoke frankly about that particular loss. I thought we had managed to overcome this issue. But it seems we have an issue of having the right amount of determination and being mentally strong.

"The fact of the matter is I'm finding that this group of players is extremely difficult to motivate."

Chelsea remain in fourth place but are only three points above Arsenal and Manchester United after goals by Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny condemned his side to defeat.


With Liverpool and Manchester City battling for the title, it leaves Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and United scrapping for third and fourth places. Sarri appeared to question whether his side have the stomach for the dogfight.

"Today I could see that one team was quite obviously more determined than the other," he said. "It was not about tactics. From a technical point of view the two teams were pretty much on the same level today. But their higher level of determination was pretty obvious, particularly in both penalty areas.

"(Arsenal) were clinical and we weren't strong enough in defence. Don't get me wrong we could have lost this game anyway but I feel we lost it because of a lack of determination."

Asked if he could change the mentality of his team, Sarri did not sound convinced.

"That's a difficult question," he said. "It seems that as a group of players they are not particularly aggressive from a mental point of view and they don't have the kind of ferocity and that's to do with their characteristics.

"That could take a long time to change. By the same token it could be changed by a new player coming in or one of the old heads assuming responsibility and driving them forward."

With a 1-0 deficit to overturn against Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup semi-final second leg on Thursday, Sarri hopes some hard truths can be expressed this week.

"They cannot be afraid to face up to their own responsibilities," he said. "They should be able to come and talk to the coach about mistakes that have been made or issues that have arisen. If any player is afraid of that then they should not be playing at this level.

"I'm very aware that this team will never be known for its battling and fighting qualities, but what we need to be is a team that can adapt and suffer, then play our football."]]>
1/20/2019 2:47:22 PM
<![CDATA[Mourinho says already turned down three job offers]]>
Speaking in his role as a pundit for broadcaster beIN Sports during the Asian Cup on Saturday, the Portuguese also said rival Premier League managers Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Liverpool's Juergen Klopp were supported more by their clubs.

"I am happy with these three weeks, I am happy with this experience and I am going to have other experiences that normally I cannot have," Mourinho said.

"But I know me, and I know by the end of March I will be struggling with my happiness.

"I will analyse things, I don't like to speak about it. But I've refused already three options because I didn't feel that it is what I want, so I'm going to be calm in this aspect.

"The more time I have, the better I can prepare. The next must be something that makes me happy with a challenge."

At United, Mourinho was left frustrated in the close season transfer window when Liverpool, in particular, strengthened markedly and City added to a squad already deep in quality.

"In Liverpool, I think how many players were in Liverpool before Juergen arrived? No Alisson (Becker), no (Virgil) Van Dijk, no (Andrew) Robertson, no (Mohamed) Salah, no (Roberto) Firmino, no (Sadio) Mane, no Fabinho, no (Georginio) Wijnaldum, no (Naby) Keita, so this is work in depth," he said.

"In the case of Manchester City. In the first season, Guardiola was not a champion, it was really difficult and people were expecting a winning Manchester City.

"They were coming already from winning period, champions with (Roberto) Mancini and (Manuel) Pellegrini. Some of the players were already champions twice, (Sergio) Aguero and (Vincent) Kompany, and in the first to the second season Pep made great decisions, but great decisions that were supported.

"For example, he didn't want (Pablo) Zabaleta or (Bacary) Sagna, two right backs, and he didn't want (Aleksander) Kolarov or (Gael) Clichy. In the same summer he sold four full backs and got four full backs. He got (Kyle) Walker, Danilo, (Benjamin) Mendy and another. He was supported."

Mourinho said he did not know if he would work again in England but said wherever he goes next he wants to prepare thoroughly, as he did when he went to Inter Milan following his first stint with Chelsea.

"My arrival at Inter was perfect," he said. "I left Chelsea in November and at the end of February I signed my contact at Inter. From February until June I was preparing myself for that job. In that four months I learned the language, studied the club and the opponents and the league.

"The time I'm without a job in football I prepare for the next one." ]]>
1/20/2019 2:45:21 PM
<![CDATA[Ibrahimovic taking it one year at a time with Galaxy]]>
Ibrahimovic, who joined Galaxy in March after leaving Premier League side Manchester United, enjoyed an impressive debut in North America and was named MLS Newcomer of the Year.

The 37-year-old was mentioned in transfer speculation involving his former team AC Milan last year but ultimately decided to return to the Galaxy in the hopes of taking them to the playoffs.

"I probably could sign two years, three years, four years -- that is how much the Galaxy believe in me. But I said one year at a time," he told reporters at MLS Media Day in Los Angeles.

"For the moment, I feel I can give back. I don't want to put the club in a situation where I cannot perform and they have me, especially under these strict rules.

"I said, let's do one year at a time. If I feel good, I'll stay and perform, so you don't need to have me running around and I'm not performing and the budget is what it is."

Ibrahimovic finished the 2018 campaign with 22 goals and 10 assists in 27 regular season appearances, making him only the third player in MLS history to record a 20-goal, 10-assist season.

Despite his stellar play the Galaxy missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Ibrahimovic, who has won league titles in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and France, said that outcome was bitterly disappointing.

"We didn't even make the playoffs. For me, that is something new. It's catastrophic not to make the playoffs," he said.

"But, for me, to make the playoff as the sixth position is also catastrophic because either you're number one or you're nothing."]]>
1/20/2019 2:39:43 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi issues decree to establish Sphinx University in New Assiut]]>
"Sphinx", a non-profit university, should be established in New Assiut city in line with the presidential decree.

The university should provide full scholarships for 10 percent of students who will be enrolled annually.

The decree was published in the official gazette Sunday. ]]>
1/20/2019 2:25:11 PM
<![CDATA[Parliament cannot hijack Brexit, says British minister Fox]]>
“Parliament has not got the right to hijack the Brexit process because parliament said to the people of this country: ‘we make a contract with you, you will make the decision and we will honor it’,” Fox told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

“What we are now getting are some of those who were always absolutely opposed to the result of the referendum trying to hijack Brexit and in effect steal the result from the people.”]]>
1/20/2019 2:21:10 PM
<![CDATA[Royal Romantic BBQ Dinner at the Garden by Sofitel Luxor Winter Palace]]>
Enjoy the breeze and dulcet oriental music and taste meat delicacies on the barbecue, served with an array of delicious creations, authentic Egyptian tagines, oriental dips and appetizers. An ultimate romantic experience to cherish and impress your beloved one. Starting from EGP 700 per person.]]>
1/20/2019 1:48:12 PM
<![CDATA[Romantic Dinner in Aswan by King’s Fouad Corner at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract]]>
Dine under the stars and soak the shimmering Nile views. Sit down at a candlelit table for two in a secluded dream location, where our butler will meet your every romantic desire for a seamless fine dining affair. Starting from EGP 1,200 dinner for a mouthwatering three - course dinner menu.]]>
1/20/2019 1:45:38 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi's directives to standardize buildings' facades come into effect]]>
The step comes in efforts to restore and preserve cultural appearance of the country's governorates and avoid visual distortion.

Mohamed Abu Saada, head of the National Organization for Urban Harmony, said that the decision has come into effect in the Khedival Cairo area. Painting licenses will be issued and violators will be punished, Abu Saada added.

The governorates were divided into groups, Abu Saada said, adding that each group will have its own common color. The buildings of Cairo and Upper Egypt governorates will be painted with dusty colors, while the coastal governorates will be painted in blue, he continued.


Mahmoud Shaarawi, minister of local development, said that the president's directives to standardize the color of the facades of houses and buildings come within the framework of law no. 119 of 2008.

The law requires real estate owners to paint the facades of their buildings before they receive facilities, Shaarawi explained.

Adel al-Ghadban, governor of Port Said in north east Egypt, said that huge economic projects have been implemented in the governorate, adding that authorities work on beautifying the city's squares and streets to be ready to receive economic entities.

In an interview with Kol Youm on ON E, Ghadban said the governorate has offered landlords a time limit to paint their buildings, which ends at the end of March, adding that services will be cut off from the buildings that do not comply with the strategy.
1/20/2019 1:38:20 PM
<![CDATA[20 defendants sentenced to life in Giza Terrorist Cell case]]>
During the hearing considering the defendants’ appeal to their initial sentences, the judge upheld the life sentence punishment (25 years in prison) to 14 defendants, and replaced the capital punishment to six others with life over same charges.

The Giza cell is reportedly one of the most dangerous terrorist cells formed recently. The Court of Cassation upheld in April placing the cell suspects on the list of terrorist entities.

In October, a Giza criminal court upheld death sentences against 11 convicts of the Giza cell over charges of attempted murder and inciting violence. Other 14 convicts were sentenced to 25 years in prison in absentia, while another defendant was handed down a sentence of 10 years in prison.

According to the prosecution’s investigations, the defendants faced charges of violating personal freedom, providing terrorist groups with material and financial aid, vandalizing public properties, attempting to kill an officer in the General Directorate of the Giza Security Forces, vandalizing a police car, stealing weapons and manufacturing explosive devices in 2015. ]]>
1/20/2019 12:54:01 PM
<![CDATA[French economy minister arrives Cairo to prepare for Macron's visit]]>
French Ambassador in Cairo Stephane Roumtier announced earlier that intensive preparations are underway with all French bodies in Egypt ahead of Marcon's looming visit.

Issues to be raised during Marcon's visit to Egypt include the economic file, regional and international issues of common interest as well as means of pumping new French investments to Egypt, according to the ambassador.

According to a press release by the French Embassy in Cairo, Le Maire will meet during his stay with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli and the government’s ministerial group and other senior state officials for talks on fostering and diversifying bilateral economic cooperation.]]>
1/20/2019 12:33:22 PM
<![CDATA[Justice minister asserts Egypt's ability to defeat terrorism]]>
"The state is also taking firm steps toward progress and development while undergoing a counter-terrorism war", Abdel-Rahim told a symposium organized by his ministry.

He cited the success achieved by the army and police against terrorism and extremism.

Presidential adviser for religious affairs Osama el-Azhari attended the event, which is part of a series of symposiums on topics including the concept of state in Islam.

El Azhar lauded the endeavor of the army and police in the anti-terror war and against extremism.

He also appreciated the role of judges over the history in defense of the homeland and the people's rights.

He lashed out at the thought of the terrorist group of Daesh and the Muslim Brotherhood, asserting that Sharia supports citizenship, equality and modern state, as adopted in Egypt's various constitutions.

He cited the establishment of
the first state in Islam in Madina after the advent of Prophet Muhammad.]]>
1/20/2019 12:16:16 PM
<![CDATA[The Search for Different Voices]]>
The US has a lot of preconceived notions about the Arab world that are completely wrong, and combating this comes through films, the language we all understand,” explains mentor Effie Brown, a film and TV producer who says the Egyptian films they mentored “were special for their universality and region-specifics that enable them to travel.”

Described by GMM management as “inspiring and unique,” projects by 12 Egyptian filmmakers have been mentored through the US cultural exchange program since its launch in 2016. GMM is owned by the Film Independent nonprofit organization in the US, which supports filmmakers by offering them education and workshops that help them develop their projects and techniques to build audience for the types of films they are creating.

“My first exposure to Egyptian filmmaking was through Global Media Makers, and I was struck by how similar it is to the United States in many ways, given the struggle of independent filmmakers in financing, and figuring out ways to do a movie with little industry support,” says Josh Welsh, president of Film Independent. “Some of the Egyptian filmmakers we got to see in the GMM program are very tenacious, familiar and inspiring.”

Supported by the US State Department, the GMM program has served 46 filmmakers from Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, UAE and Saudi Arabia. “We are serving in nine countries, but the competition in Egypt is quite strong because there are great filmmakers, so we end up taking many filmmakers coming from Egypt,” says Maria Raquel Bozzi, senior director of education programs for Film Independent.

Bozzi says the program is looking for new voices offering fresh perspectives. “There have to be stories that we haven’t heard about before, also filmmakers should tell me something about the environment they live in that we have not heard about, and the project has to be in good shape so that it can be shared with mentors.”

To date, seven GMM projects have been produced, including Amr Salama’s Sheikh Jackson, which was Egypt’s official submission for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

“It is more important for us to hear different voices,” agrees Laura Kim, one of the mentors who worked on the Sheikh Jackson project. “It’s really imperative for us to communicate more through arts in a language that we all can understand.”

At the time Bozzi found that the struggle and tension were the main elements that drew the company to Sheikh Jackson, and described it as a successful experience.

“Someone having to navigate all of these elements creates great drama, the featuring of Michael Jackson was even better; however, it was not the element that made the film successful, but rather the tension featured in the film,” she recalls.

Over the years US filmmakers working with GMM have found common drama lines in Egyptian films, among them the “sense oaf urgency” and the “love-hate relationship with Cairo’s beauty and chaos.” For Len Amato, the president of HBO films and who is also part of the GMM program, what makes a film successful and gain international reach are the storytelling and the execution. “Breaking rules helps penetrate the global market.”
1/20/2019 12:12:51 PM
<![CDATA[France pushes Japan to accept Renault-Nissan merger: reports]]>
Ghosn headed a powerful alliance between Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault before his arrest in November on charges of financial misconduct.

A delegation including Martin Vial -- a Renault director designated by the French government -- made the merger request at talks with Japanese officials in Tokyo, Kyodo News reported, citing sources close to the matter.

The French government is the biggest shareholder in Renault with a stake of more than 15 percent, while Renault owns 43.4 percent of the Japanese carmaker Nissan with voting rights.

A merger between the two is favoured by French President Emmanuel Macron, Kyodo said.

Japanese business daily Nikkei also reported the merger request by the French delegation, saying Nissan had been opposed to giving Paris greater sway over the Japanese carmaker.

According to Nikkei, the delegation also said Renault wants to name Nissan's next chairman -- a post that has remained vacant since ouster of Ghosn on his arrest in November.

Macron last month held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina, in which they only agreed to ensure a stable relationship within the three-way alliance, which also includes Japan's Mitsubishi Motors.

Abe reportedly stressed the importance of all three companies "maintaining their stable relationship" at the summit talk.

But the Japanese premier reportedly also said the fate of the group should be decided by "private businesses" and "governments should not commit to how the alliance should operate going forward", according to a senior government official quoted by Kyodo.

Last week, Renault said it had launched the search for a successor to Ghosn, after a Tokyo court quashed his appeal for bail as he faces three charges of financial misconduct.

The French government has called for a board meeting to pick Ghosn's successor.

Nissan, which holds a 15 percent stake in Renault, is widely seen as hoping to reduce the influence of the French partner on its management and review the alliance to make it more equitable.]]>
1/20/2019 11:55:02 AM
<![CDATA['Not my day': cranky Kerber can't explain Open shock]]>
The normally unflappable German lost her cool on court as Collins dismantled her 6-0, 6-2 in less than an hour and bristled afterwards when questioned about the loss.

"I can say it again, that she played really one of her best matches," Kerber snapped.

"To be honest... I think she played good today. I think everything was good and she served good, she returns my serves good. So, yeah."

Three-time Grand Slam champion Kerber, 31, arrived in Melbourne Park as one of the favourites for the title.

She won the tournament in 2016 and many pundits were tipping her to lift the trophy again as she blazed through the opening rounds without dropping a set.

World number 35 Collins was regarded as little more than a speedbump on Kerber's path to the final stages of the tournament, particularly since the German trounced her 6-1, 6-1 in their only previous meeting.

The 31-year-old said she felt good after her warm up and had no inkling she was about to be ambushed in the biggest upset yet at this year's season-opening Grand Slam.

"I was feeling good but you have sometimes days like this," she said.

"She hit every ball on the line, in the court. I was just trying (but) I couldn't find my rhythm. The whole match I was trying everything.

"I wasn't able to play my tennis, my solid game. I wasn't moving good. My serve wasn't as good as it has been in the last few days."]]>
1/20/2019 11:53:38 AM
<![CDATA['Green Book' wins PGA best film, boosting Oscar chances]]>
The civil rights drama-comedy starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen beat "Roma," "A Star Is Born," "The Favourite," "Black Panther," "BlacKkKlansman," "Crazy Rich Asians," "A Quiet Place," "Vice" and "Bohemian Rhapsody," which won the top award at the Globes.

"Green Book" recounts the unlikely friendship between Don Shirley, a black piano virtuoso, and his driver, Tony Lip, during a concert tour through the segregated Deep South in 1962.

"I don't need awards," producer-director Peter Farrelly said, according to industry magazine Variety. "This is like Warren Buffett winning the lottery. I'm damn thankful."

The win came despite recent controversies around the film including the re-emergence of an anti-Muslim tweet from 2015 by screenwriter Nick Vallelonga (the late Tony Lip's son), for which he profusely apologized last week.

Farrelly himself was in hot water earlier this month because of stories in several media outlets from 1998 recounting his habit of flashing his genitals as a prank.

Among other notable categories, the best animated film went to "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," "The Americans" won top TV drama and "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" won the comedy series award.

The PGA is a more low-key affair than the Golden Globes, but it is seen as a more accurate bellwether for the Oscars, with their top awards aligning in 20 of its 29 years.

That includes "The Shape of Water" last year, though in 2017 the PGA's best film went the "La La Land" while "Moonlight" won the Oscars.

The Academy Awards nominations will be announced on January 22, with the ceremony itself on February 24.]]>
1/20/2019 11:51:16 AM
<![CDATA[From pariah to demi-god: transgender leader a star at massive Indian festival]]>
Tripathi, a tattooed transgender leader and a former reality TV star, has become an unlikely icon at India’s Kumbh Mela, a huge religious festival being held on the banks of the Ganges river in the city of Prayagraj. Up to 150 million people are expected to attend by the time the festival ends in March.

On Tuesday, her religious movement, called the Kinnar Akhada, became the first transgender group to bathe at the confluence of the holy Ganges and the Yamuna rivers on the first day of the ancient festival, traditionally reserved for reclusive Hindu priests, almost all of whom are men.

“After centuries down the line, it was when the community finally got its due,” Tripathi told Reuters, seated on a pedestal next to her Michael Kors bag, juggling calls on an iPhone.

Many at the festival cheer Tripathi for reclaiming the lost place in Hinduism for India’s “third gender”, known as the hijras, worshipped as demi-gods for thousands of years, but ridiculed and sidelined during British colonial rule.

A law passed in 1871 classed the hijras as “criminals”.

Little changed after independence and hijras were pariahs, living in tribes, begging or soliciting for sustenance and harassed by police.

It was only in 2014 that the Supreme Court officially recognized transgender people as a third gender.

Tripathi is one of the best known. But her support for building a controversial Hindu temple on the site of a demolished mosque has angered some in the LGBT community, who allege she is courting support from India’s powerful religious right to further her own influence.


The place of hijras in Indian culture dates back to the Ramayana, a more-than 2,000 year-old Hindu epic poem venerated and performed across India.

In the text, the god-king Ram is exiled from the holy city of Ayodhya, with the entire kingdom following him into the forest. He orders them to turn back, but returning after 14 years, finds the hijras waiting for him in the same spot. Impressed by their devotion, he grants them the power to invoke blessings and curses on people.

For centuries, though their lives were far from easy, hijras held a special role in India’s royal courts, tasked with guarding harems and rising to influential positions.

Today, despite their legal recognition, many still face prejudice in what is a conservative country, forced into sex work or seeking alms at weddings and births, a long-held practice among hijras. Hate crimes against them are common and HIV prevalence within the community is many times higher than the general population.

“The ritual seeking of alms is now seen as begging,” said Anindya Hajra, a transgender activist at the Pratyay Gender Trust. “It criminalizes and pushes an already vulnerable community to its very brink.”


Born in 1979 in Thane, a suburb of India’s financial capital Mumbai, Tripathi says she had a difficult childhood scarred with abuse by a close relative. A sickly child who was bullied at school for being feminine, she grew in confidence after learning Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance.

“I chose not to remember the prejudice,” she said. “Rather I think (about) the good things that have happened to me, and be a flamboyant rainbow.”

Long recognized as one of the most influential figures in the LGBT community in India, she become famous across the country when she appeared on reality TV show “Bigg Boss” in 2011. She was a petitioner in the landmark court ruling that recognized transgender people.

In 2015, she founded her Akhara and began a campaign to have hijras represented at the at the first “Shahi Snan”, or royal bath, of the Kumbh Mela.

“It all started to reclaim the lost position in the dharma,” Tripathi said, referring to the Hindu cosmic law underlying correct behavior and social order. “I was not very religious until 2015 – life changed.”


Devout Hindus believe bathing in the waters of the Ganges absolves people of sins and doing so at the time of the Kumbh Mela, or the “festival of the pot”, brings salvation from the cycle of life and death.

At the festival, 13 religious orders, or Akhara, set up camp on the banks of the Ganges.

The umbrella body overseeing the Akharas initially refused to recognize the Kinnar Akhara as the 14th order.

But Tripathi has forged close bonds with the largest of the other holy orders at the Kumbh Mela, the Juna Akhara. They agreed to bathe together.

Britain searches for a Brexit 'Plan B'
On the first royal bathing day on Tuesday, Tripathi rose at 4 a.m., dressed in a saffron sari and applied her makeup. She and her dozens of disciples then began the long procession to the river on a fleet of elaborately decorated trucks.

At the banks of the Ganges, they waited for their turn to bathe. Tripathi met with Hari Giri, the leader of Juna Akhara.

Her Kinnar Akhara “was there, is there, and will always be there”, Giri told Tripathi.

Shortly after sunrise, she plunged into the waters, to the cheers of the crowds who gathered to watch.


Tripathi has courted controversy with support for the building of a temple dedicated to Ram on the site of a former mosque in Ayodhya which was demolished by hardline Hindus in 1992, leading to riots in which thousands died.

Many Hindus claim the mosque was built over an ancient temple that marked the birthplace of Ram, and the row is expected to be a major issue in a general election due to be held in the country by May. Many activists of India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party have been agitating for the construction of a temple at the site, alarming the country’s sizeable Muslim minority.

“There has been an attempt by the right to co-opt trans voices to suit a certain version of history,” said Hajra, the activist. “Our apprehension is also that some are trying to further (their) own personal career moves.”

A letter signed in November by hundreds of transgender people and rights groups accused Tripathi of fuelling “the right-wing politics of communal hatred”.

She is unrepentant.

“Where my Lord Ram was born, there the temple has to come,” she said. The Mughals “brought (the temple) down and then they enslaved us all”, she said, referring to the Muslim emperors who ruled India in the 16th and 17th century.

Tripathi plans to spend the rest of the Kumbh festival at her Akhara, receiving visitors among her colorful band of followers, who have little in common with the holy men living monastic lives in the other camps.

“We are not celibate,” she said. “We are demi-gods, not saints. We have our own rules.”]]>
1/20/2019 11:47:17 AM
<![CDATA[4th Arab Economic Summit kicks off in Beirut]]>
Egypt's delegation to the summit is chaired by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

During the summit, Arab leaders are scheduled to discuss the agenda of the preparatory ministerial meetings held ahead of the summit. The agenda included 29 draft projects and items of mutual concern among the Arab countries.

The raised issues are relevant to economic and social activities, strategies of food safety, energy, eradicating poverty, women protection, digitial economy as well as Arab strategies of sustainable development of energy.

The first session of the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit was held in Kuwait in 2009, the second in Sharm El-Sheikh in 2011 and the third in Riyadh in 2013.]]>
1/20/2019 11:42:25 AM
<![CDATA[Agriculture minister hails cooperation with Germany]]>
This is part of the growing relations and the Egyptian-Germany rapprochement, thanks to President Abdel Fatah El Sisi's efforts and that of the Egyptian diplomacy, Agriculture Minister Dr. Ezz Eddine Abu Steit in Berlin, where he is participating in a food and agriculture forum.

Among the topics on the event's agenda is the application of smart solutions in agriculture.

Abu Steit said Egypt has achieved progress in using digital agriculture including better consumption of water and fertilizers.

The new science is the use of new and advanced technologies, integrated into one system, to enable farmers and other stakeholders within the agriculture value chain to improve food production.]]>
1/20/2019 11:24:29 AM
<![CDATA[French Development Agency keen on backing new development projects in Egypt]]>
The agency is keen on supporting the economic development program in Egypt in the coming stage, he said during a meeting with Egyptian Investment Minister Sahar Nasr during her visit to Paris.

Bauduin said the agency pumped about two billion euros into projects in Egypt, topped by stage II and III of the third Cairo Metro Line.

The two sides discussed future development plans between Egypt and France.

Nasr agreed with the French Development Agency on engaging in a new strategic partnership in view of the Egyptian people's needs and the priorities of the government program.

Nasr stressed her country's keenness on furthering cooperation with France. ]]>
1/20/2019 11:20:04 AM
<![CDATA[Power Purchase Makeover ]]>
Expected to be effective as of the year 2021, when energy subsidies entirely phase out, private companies will become more strongly involved in the process.

According to the government’s ambitious plan, investors can either demand buying a certain amount of power generated by the national grid or generate electricity from their own power plants before selling it to citizens.

With more investors and individuals tapping into the process, citizens are expected to benefit from the contest in terms of service quality; they will have the right to choose which company to purchase electricity from.

Diversifying energy resources is a pillar in Egypt’s future energy map, as it seeks to increase the share of renewables to 42% by the year 2035.

Egypt’s electricity cycle goes through the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), which buys all types of electricity generated from different sources before selling it to distribution companies, which in turn sell the generated power to citizens, investors, factories…etc.

Egypt has nine distribution companies across the country. The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) is an Egyptian joint-stock company, and is responsible for all power plants, transmission and distribution networks nationwide.

Liberalizing power prices

Egypt started gradually removing energy subsidies in 2016, a process set to be finalized in 2021. The move will lessen the burden on the ailing budget and direct expenditure to restructuring the electricity sector. These factors and the flotation of the Egyptian pound have burdened consumers in terms of the pricing of services, food and energy bills.

The makeover in selling electricity will be achieved by “liberalizing power prices and opening the door for competition between investors, which will eventually benefit citizens,” Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker said, according to press statements.

Investors will be permitted to trade in electricity as of 2022, according to Shaker, who explained that liberalizing the price of power will allow citizens the right to choose the lower price and better quality offered by different investors.

Shaker said that the ministry will continue to provide electricity to citizens through a unified price per kilowatt after subsidies are lifted.

The ministry’s plan to provide a fixed price of kilowatt/hour is linked to its plan to expand renewable energy projects, besides raising the efficiency of power plants to decrease fuel consumption.

Modern technologies generating electricity for Siemens’ megaprojects in Beni Suef, Burulus and the New Administrative Capital with a capacity of 14,400 MW save fuel worth more than $1billion annually. Refurbishing the old power stations and using more modern turbines are moves on the ministry’s radar to avoid price hikes and guarantee a better-quality service.

Boosting private investment

The current law already allows companies to sell electricity to people while the price is monitored by the Customer Protection Authority.

Accordingly, a number of private companies have already distributed electricity to citizens, mainly in new urban compounds like Madinaty, where a company carrying the same name feeds the entire residential area, the former head of North Cairo Company for Electricity Distribution El-Hosseiny el-Far tells Business Today Egypt.

The government reportedly only has authority to transfer electricity, through the official Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), while the private sector is incorporated in the other two phases of production and distribution.

“The system has not been generalized on a wide scale; only private companies now distribute electricity to different areas based on proximity. But when applied efficiently, even citizens will be able to sell excess power to the government,” a member of the parliamentary committee for energy and environment, Hamada Ghallab, tells Business Today Egypt.

The new selling process will benefit the state as it recovers from power shortage, where the big future plan is “to turn Egypt to an energy hub and a strong exporter of electricity, not only on the regional level but internationally as well,” according to Ghallab.

Supporting his statements, Ghallab referred to an L.E. 750 million Kuwaiti loan approved by parliament more than one year ago, allowing the financing a power network linking Egypt to Saudi Arabia. Morre Gulf countries are expected to join the network as the linkage progresses.

“It will be a long time before the new system is put into action,” the parliamentary secretary of the energy committee El-Sayed Hegazy says, referring to failed attempts by electricity companies to sell shares in the stock market “because it is very expensive.”

However, Hegazy lauded the new system in providing a variety of offers with different prices. He argues, “When there is a competition between companies, the price normally falls, and then the consumer has the right to choose good quality and affordable service.”

According to Hegazy, investors who have distribution networks will be able to sell directly to citizens; otherwise, they sell to the EETC. ]]>
1/20/2019 11:03:40 AM
<![CDATA[Super blood moon eclipse to occur Monday ]]>
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the entire moon passes through the Earth's shadow when it is between the moon and the sun.

Expert at the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics Mohamed Gharib told Egypt Today that the super moon phenomenon happens when the moon is at its orbit’s closest point to the earth.

Expert at the same entity Ashraf Tadros says that a super moon is seen as bigger by 14 percent, and brighter by 30 percent approximately.

A blood moon is a moon that takes on a red or orange tint as it moves into the Earth's shadow.

“The red component of sunlight passing through Earth's atmosphere is preferentially filtered and diverted into the Earth's shadow where it illuminates the eclipsed moon, making it appear red or 'blood' color,” said Director of astrobiology at Columbia University Caleb Scharf told AccuWeather..

The stage at which the edge of the moon starts to enter the outer shadow of the Earth is called the penumbra.

Gharib stated that the duration of the eclipse will be five hours and 15 minutes, while the total eclipse will take one hour and three minutes. In Cairo, the penumbral lunar eclipse will occur at 18:51 after the beginning of total eclipse by 10 minutes, the expert added.

The National Research Institute Of Astronomy & Geophysics will observe the phenomenon in Mudawara Mountain in Fayoum governorate.

Two lunar eclipses took place last year in January and July.
1/20/2019 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Syrian opposition sees window for political solution in Syria]]>
"I think now that we have an opportunity, because nearly in Syria we have a ceasefire now, in the northeast of Syria and the north of Syria, and the efforts of fighting terrorism has achieved good results," Nasr Hariri told Reuters in an interview in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, where he is based.

Hariri, the opposition's chief negotiator in U.N. peace talks, met with the newly appointed United Nations Special Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen on Friday.

"Now it is time to invest all of these developments: the ceasefire, fighting terrorism, the belief of the majority of the Syrian people that the only solution to the Syrian crisis is the political solution," Hariri added.

In December, Russia, Iran and Turkey - supporters of the main sides in Syria's complex civil war - failed to agree on the makeup of a U.N.-sponsored Syrian Constitutional Committee but called for it to convene early next year to kick off a viable peace process.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces have reclaimed most of Syria with Russian and Iranian support apart from the northern province of Idlib, has clung to power throughout the conflict and is widely seen as being loath to yield power after it ends.

Arab states, including some that once backed rebels against Assad, are seeking to reconcile with him after decisive gains by his forces in the war, aiming to expand their influence in Syria at the expense of non-Arab Turkey and Iran.

"All the countries... Turkey, to some extent Russia and the Arab countries believe ... that without a political solution, the normalization with the (Assad) regime would be impossible," Hariri said.]]>
1/20/2019 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trump says a deal 'could very well happen' with China]]>
"Things are going very well with China and with trade," he told reporters, adding that he had seen some "false reports" indicating that U.S. tariffs on Chinese products would be lifted.

"If we make a deal certainly we would not have sanctions and if we don't make a deal we will," Trump said. "We’ve really had a very extraordinary number of meetings and a deal could very well happen with China. It’s going well. I would say about as well as it could possibly go."]]>
1/20/2019 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[News photographer killed in Tripoli clashes]]>
Mohamed Ben Khalifa died of a random shell in the Libyan capital while covering the clashes.

The fighting broke out this week, breaching a shaky ceasefire brokered by the United Nations in September.]]>
1/20/2019 5:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[US military says 52 militants killed in Somalia air strike]]>
The strike was carried out in response to an attack on Somali government forces by a large group of al Shabaab militants, the statement said.
1/20/2019 2:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Death toll from Mexico fuel pipeline blast rises to 66]]>
Dozens of burned bodies lay in the charred field where the blast occurred on Friday evening by the town of Tlahuelilpan in the central state of Hidalgo in what was one of the worst incidents to hit Mexico's troubled oil infrastructure in years.

Forensic experts inspected and photographed the remains while soldiers and other military personnel guarded the cordoned-off area that was littered with half-burned shoes, clothes and containers used by people to collect fuel.

At a news conference with Lopez Obrador, Hidalgo State Governor Omar Fayad said 66 people were killed and 76 people injured in Friday evening's explosion, which happened as local residents tried to fill buckets and drums with fuel.

Veteran leftist Lopez Obrador launched a crackdown on fuel theft on Dec. 27 and ordered pipelines to be closed temporarily to stop illegal taps draining billions of dollars from the heavily-indebted state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

Video on social media of people filling buckets from the pipeline during daylight hours in the presence of the armed forces. But Lopez Obrador, who vowed to continue the crackdown on fuel theft, defended the army against questions about why soldiers failed to prevent the tragedy.

"We're not going to fight fire with fire," he said. "We think that people are good, honest, and if we've reached these extremes ... it's because they were abandoned."

Backing comments made earlier by his minister for public security, Lopez Obrador said the army had been right to avoid a confrontation due to the number of people seeking to benefit from free fuel at the pipeline site.

The priority, he said, was to eradicate the social problems and lack of opportunities that had prompted people to put their lives at risk to get at the fuel - a few liters of which are worth more than the daily minimum wage in Mexico.

Relatives of victims stood huddled together, some of them crying, after the massive blast. Much of the rush to siphon off fuel and the chaos of the explosion was captured on mobile phones and began quickly circulating on social media.

Construction worker David Lozada, 35, was looking for his missing brother, 34-year-old Jesus Manuel on Saturday morning.

"I came looking for him when the fire was still going," he said. "But we had stay on this side we couldn't get to here. Because of the heat of the blaze and the soldiers wouldn't let us. His friends confirmed that he was around here."

Mexico's top federal prosecutor Alejandro Gertz said the pipeline was tapped deliberately, but that the investigation was complicated because everyone right at the blast site died.

Soon after the government said Friday's blaze had been put out, TV footage showed tense exchanges between authorities guarding the site and residents over the death toll.

Lopez Obrador says his decision to shut down pipelines to combat crime has greatly reduced theft. However, it sparked fears for the economy, as well as triggering fuel shortfalls in central Mexico, including Hidalgo.
1/20/2019 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Terrorist involved in beheading of Egyptian Copts killed in Libya]]>
Deqno was on the most wanted terrorists involved in several attacks and crimes including beheading the Egyptian Copts in Sirte, according to a statement issued by Fortified Structure Forces in July 2017. In February 2015, IS released a bloody and barbaric video showing execution of 21 Egyptian Copts in Sirte, which was one of the strongest strongholds for the terrorist group in Libya. In December 2016, Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) announced defeating IS in Sirte.

As a part of the on-going wide-scale military operations against terrorists in southern Libya, the LNA forces killed the three terrorists, who are affiliated to the Islamic state militant group (IS) in Libya, said LNA spokesperson Ahmed Al-Mesmari in a statement.

Deqno, who was born in Sirte City in 1981, established a militant group known as "Desert Army" in southern Libya, said Libya's attorney general Sadek al- Sour in previous remarks in 2018. The Desert Army is a terrorist group for non-Libyan terrorists, who moved from Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan and Egypt to join the IS affiliate in Libya, Sour added.

The two other killed militants include Libyan Qaeda leader known as "Abu Talha al-Libi" and Egyptian fugitive Abdalah al-Desoky.

Al-Libi was one of the most dangerous wanted terrorists in Libya. He was accused of having links with al Qaeda group and its affiliates in sub-Saharan African countries.
In 2013, Al-Libi moved from Libya to Syria, where he joined IS and carried out several terrorist attacks. A year later, he and his wife returned to Libya, according to the statement.

The LNA announced launched a wide-scale military operation on Tuesday to liberate southern Libya from terrorists and to protect the country's oil fields from extremists’ takeover.

Since the outbreak of the 2011 uprising in Libya, that thwarted late Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, Libya has suffered chaos and security vacuum.

1/19/2019 6:15:43 PM
<![CDATA[Looney Tunes Show first time in Egypt by Mall of Arabia ]]>
The Looney Tunes show saw a huge turnout of mall visitors and was attended by more than 6,000 spectators during the period of January 3rd to January 12th. The show is one of a series of unique and exclusive events held at The Expansion catering to the various needs of all members of the family.

Looney Tunes 1

Looney Tunes 4

Looney Tunes
1/19/2019 6:14:44 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Ahly's Nedved earns a valuable point from Algeria]]>
Al-Ahly ended their second game with a 1-1 draw against JS Saoura at Bashar, Algeria.

JS Saoura took the lead in the 59th minute through Yahya Sherif's bullet-header. But in the 86th minute, Karim Nedved leveled the score to give Al-Ahly the 4th point in the group.

Nedved continued his amazing performance in the recent matches as he helped Al-Ahly to get a penalty in the first match against Vita Club.

Al-Ahly's trip to Algeria was like sweet and sour; Junior Ajayee played his first match after a long injury but the Reds had another strike as Walid Soliman got injured in the same match.

Ramadan Sobhy and Hussein el-Shahat also participated in the match.]]>
1/19/2019 5:16:25 PM
<![CDATA[It's possible to exclude Ismailia stadium: EFA source]]>
Ismaily hosted Tunisia's Club African in the CAF Champions League group stages but the game wasn't completed after riots from Ismaily's fans. Club African was leading the score 2-1 but the game stopped in the 83rd minute for 30 minutes; the referee ended the game and wrote the incidents in his report.

CAF is set to issue penalties against Ismaily which may be excluding the Egyptian club from the tournament.

"We may exclude Ismailia stadium to avoid any events may occur during the African tournament," EFA source told Filgoal website.

The CAF Executive Committee announced on Tuesday, January 8 that Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches. Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.

"Egypt won't find any problem to prepare another stadium; the Egyptian file includes five alternatives," EFA source added.]]>
1/19/2019 5:14:30 PM
<![CDATA[Libya kills 3 highly dangerous terrorists, including Egyptian ]]>
The LNA launched a military operation against militants in southwestern city of Sebha, 640 kilometers south of Tripoli, killing the three militants (one Egyptian and two Libyans), said LNA spokesperson Ahmed Al-Mesmari in the statement.

“It would be a great military achievement, if the Libyan army managed to liberate southern areas from terrorists and armed groups…The killed terrorists [are] prominent Libyan Qaeda leader known as Abu Talha al-Libi, al-Mahdy Deqno and Egyptian fugitive Abdalah al-Desoky,” Mesmari said.

Al-Libi was one of the most dangerous wanted terrorists in Libya. He was accused of having links with al Qaeda group and its affiliates in sub-Saharan African countries.
In 2013, Al-Libi moved from Libya to Syria, where he joined IS and carried out several terrorist attacks. A year later, he and his wife returned to Libya, according to the statement.

The LNA announced launched a wide-scale military operation on Tuesday to liberate southern Libya from terrorists and to protect the country's oil fields from extremists’ takeover.

Since the outbreak of the 2011 uprising in Libya, that thwarted late Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, Libya has suffered chaos and security vacuum.

1/19/2019 5:07:49 PM
<![CDATA['Amin and Partners' theatrical project to start on Jan.31 ]]>
The live show will be staged twice a week, at MUST Opera House starting January 31, and will screen on DMC.

Amin 3
Mohamed Amin - Press Photo

A workshop of writers spent about three months to create a sketch-based theater that brings back Amin’s satirical social observations to the screens, in a newly innovated form that fulfills his vision and passion for Egyptian theater.

The theatrical show will feature Amin along with newly introduced talents, as well as talents who were previously introduced in Amin's famous TV program 'Al Plateau'.

Amin 4

Amin aims at creating a talent hub through this project, that gives the space to young writers and actors.

Produced by Mohamed Gebeily and directed by Alaa Ismail, the show will be brought by the same crew of Al Plateau.

Amin’s first gig was “30 sanya.” videos on YouTube The low-production content was relate-able to his loyal fan base, then Etisalat sponsored his following show “El Break”.

Amin’s first TV show “Al Plateau” became one of the most popular local comedy shows, with 131,330,187 views. In Ramadan 2017, Amin participated with the famed comedian Akram Hosny in the popular comic series “Al Wassiya” ( The Legacy) . The series achieved a huge success.
1/19/2019 4:29:15 PM
<![CDATA[MP calls to unify Tok Toks color, step to legalize]]>
Tok Tok drivers have experienced quite rejection from the officials, with several financial penalties were imposed on driving unlicensed tricycles in Cairo.

The parliament urged to realize that driving tok toks "have become a source of income for many citizens," trying to reverse the chaotic theme attached to the tricycles' drivers, who are blamed for traffic mess in several districts in the capital.

The first move was to assign a color for tok toks similar to taxis; for example: black and white in Cairo; yellow and black in Alexandria and blue and white in Marsa Matrouh. The parliament issued amendments determining tricycle routes, allowing them to move in sub-streets and slums rather than main streets. This is believe to be a bid to ensure traffic liquidity.

Meanwhile, the secretary of the parliament's transport and communications committee Khalid Abdul Azem, said that the regulation of the toktok contributes to maintaining the livelihood of a large segment of Egyptians, while at the same time preserving the rights of the state and protecting citizens from violations committed by toktok drivers.

"Toktok has become a source of livelihood for nearly two million citizens, but it is causing a very serious security crisis as the crime has spread in the past period," Azem added.

Hamdy Arafa, a professor of local administration and consultant for the development of slums, said during an interview with Wael al-Ebrashi on ON E TV that there are a total of 2.9 million toktoks in the North African country, adding that only 111,000 toktoks are licensed.

Commenting on the growing number of toktok drivers, Arafa said that there are 730,000 diploma graduates of commerce, industry and agriculture schools annually, adding that he thinks their university curricula were not linked to the labor market, so most of them go for other jobs.

Tok Tok, has drawn controversy in the country since it appeared across the cities in 2005. However, satisfying alternatives have not yet been given.

Tok Toks have been seen as double-edged swords. People inhabiting slums, humble regions and even some classy districts think they are comparatively cheap, fast, widespread and available. Although this can all be real, others still believe they are dangerous as the majority of toktoks have been so far unlicensed.

MP Mamdouh al-Husseini, a member of the Parliament's Local Administration Committee, said that some of the Tok Toks' drivers have resorted to such unlicensed vehicles for kidnapping, theft, bullying and terrorism.

He appealed to officials to reduce the costs of licensing toktoks, affirming that the cost of a tok tok's license exceeds LE 7,000 ($394). The price of new tok-toks can range between LE 29,000 ($1,632) to LE 32,000 ($1,801), according to 2018 vehicles' prices, which means that a toktok driver has to pay about 21 percent of his vehicle's price to license it.

Secretary of the Parliament’s Transportation Committee, Khaled Abdel Azeem, criticized the government in February for not taking actual steps to stop toktoks from plaguing Egyptian communities and turning them into slums.

The government could not set up an integrated plan to face the unjustified spread of toktoks, according to Abdel Azeem, although the government has warned repeatedly of the dangers toktoks pose to society.

Abdel Azeem wondered why the government has not applied the Industry Ministry’s 2014 decision to stop importing Tok Toks so as to take the first step towards ending the phenomenon. The ministry had decided in 2014 to ban Tok Tok for a year as it had been used in crimes and terrorist attacks, according to the government.

In November, 2017, a Tok Tok caused the death of seven students when it plunged off a road into a conduit in Beheira governorate, Delta.

In September of the same year, while a police force was patrolling a town in Assiut, it suspected three people on a Tok Tok, the ministry said in a statement. The three men opened fire at the force when it stopped them, according to the ministry. The force returned fire, killing one and wounding another. The third fled.

In the same month, a girl was killed and two others were severely injured after a Tok Tok collided with a passenger train in Dishna, Qena, while trying to pass a railway crossing.

Additional Report with Amr Kandil]]>
1/19/2019 3:49:38 PM
<![CDATA['Yellow Vests' march through Paris in 10th weekend of protests]]>
Protesters assembled by the Invalides esplanade near the Assemblee Nationale parliament and marched through the city’s Left Bank. The demonstrations were peaceful, although many shops had nevertheless shut in case of trouble.

A police source said there were around 5,000 protesters in Paris, some of whom gathered near the Champs Elysees, while there were similar demonstrations in major cities across France.

“Macron, resign!” some of the protesters shouted.

Some had also made coffin-type objects to denote the deaths of 10 people so far during the protests, mainly due to accidents when demonstrators blocked roads.

The “yellow vest” protests - named after the fluorescent jackets French motorists must have in their cars - began in November over higher fuel taxes.

Those fuel taxes were subsequently scrapped, yet the movement has morphed into a broader anti-Macron protest.

December’s demonstrations wreaked some of the worst violence seen in decades in Paris, as rioters burned cars and damaged shops and businesses.

Protests so far this month have not witnessed the same level of trouble, although video of a former French boxing champion punching and kicking police in Paris shocked many.

Macron has launched a series of national debates to help quell public discontent and restore his standing.]]>
1/19/2019 3:47:38 PM
<![CDATA[French economy minister to visit Egypt Sunday]]>
According to a press release by the French Embassy in Cairo, Le Maire will meet during his stay with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli and the government’s ministerial group and other senior state officials for talks on fostering and diversifying bilateral economic cooperation.]]>
1/19/2019 3:38:21 PM
<![CDATA[We work on achieving sustainable tourism development - minister]]>
The plan to advance this vital sector is based on five axes which include institutional and legislative reforms besides paying attention to tourism promotion, developing the national tourism infrastructure and encouraging investments, she noted.

During a press conference held on the occasion of inaugurating the first solar energy station in JW Marriott Hotel Cairo, the minister said that the structural reform program targets achieving sustainable tourism development via formulating and implementing structural reforms which aim at enhancing the competitive ability of the tourist sector to cope with the global trends.

Inaugurating this solar station embodies one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to energy, Mashat asserted, pointing out to the growing interest in the sustainable tourism business to make positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage.]]>
1/19/2019 3:18:27 PM
<![CDATA[No increase in Cairo metro tickets prices: official]]>
Raslan added that any decision to increase the tickets' prices in the future, will be subject to study by the Railway authority in prior, and approved by the government.

On May 2018, the Ministry of Transportation increased the price of metro tickets to become LE 3 ($ 0.16) for the first nine stops and an additional LE 2 (total LE 5) for seven more stations. The highest ticket price has been fixed at LE 7 if the commuter travels more than 16 stations.

Egypt had doubled the price of metro tickets in July 2017 from LE 1 to LE 2, a move that came four months after Egypt floated the pound under its economic reform program.

The previous price of a ticket was LE 2, without any determinations for the number of stations.

Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat said the increase to LE 2 followed losses of LE 500 million, which put the network at risk, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

The metro, which works everyday from 5:15 a.m. until 12:30 a.m., was first launched in 1987 and has since become the most important means of transportation in Greater Cairo, helping commuters avoid traffic jams or negotiate fares with unmetered taxis.

Female commuters can either choose to take the non-segregated cars or use the women-only carriages. For many years the metro tickets cost LE 1, no matter how many stations were used, which was very convenient for everyone.]]>
1/19/2019 3:18:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Saudi Arabia strongly deplore Colombia terrorist attack]]>
Cairo offered its deepest condolences to the victims’ families and wished the injured a speedy recovery, the statement reported.

Egypt stressed that its government and people stand by Colombia in its efforts to combat terrorism.

The statement also added that Cairo rejects all forms of violence, extremism and terrorism, reiterating its call for pooling international anti-terrorism efforts to eliminate this phenomenon wherever it exists.

Saudi Arabia also has condemned a terrorist attack, Saudi Arabia stands by Colombia in the face of violence, extremism and terrorism, the Saudi Press Agency reported, quoting a source at the kingdom's Foreign Ministry as saying.

Authorities said the car broke through checkpoints into the grounds of the General Santander School and exploded, shattering windows of apartments nearby. It was the deadliest attack in Bogota since the government struck a 2016 peace deal with the Marxist FARC rebel group.

President Ivan Duque called the explosion a “crazy terrorist act” against unarmed cadets and said he had ordered police and the military to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

“Colombians have never yielded to terrorism, we have always defeated it. This will not be an exception,” he told a news conference at the school in the south of the city.

Investigators had identified the car’s driver as Jose Aldemar Rojas Rodriguez, who was among the dead, said Colombian Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez.

He said the vehicle, a gray Nissan Patrol SUV, was carrying 80 kilograms (176 lb) of the high explosive pentolite, which has been used in the past by Colombian guerrillas.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack and Humberto Martinez said investigators were searching for its “intellectual authors.”

The Defence Ministry said in a statement that 10 people were killed and 54 wounded. Nine of the deceased were cadets at the academy, police said.

A police helicopter hovered over the area and family members gathered, many crying as they sought information. Images on social media showed the remains of a vehicle in flames in the parking area, and emergency responders at the scene.

Car bombs were frequent in Colombia during decades of civil war between the state and various leftist rebel groups, as well as in violence involving the Medellin drug cartel led by dead drug lord Pablo Escobar.

The worst of the war, which killed some 260,000 and left millions displaced, ended when the government reached a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016.

The last major attack was in January 2018 when the biggest rebel group that remains active, the National Liberation Army (ELN), detonated a bomb in the northern port city of Barranquilla, killing five police officers and injuring dozens.

The ELN, made up of some 2,000 fighters and considered a terrorist organization by the United States, has been in talks with the government since February 2017 to end the conflict. Duque, who took office in August, has conditioned peace talks on the ELN suspending hostilities and releasing all hostages.

On Wednesday, the ELN said in a statement it had kidnapped three crewmen of a civil helicopter it “neutralized” last week. In response, Colombia’s High Peace Commissioner, Miguel Ceballos, said the ELN “was moving further and further away from the possibility of dialogue.”

There was no indication the ELN was behind the attack in Bogota or that the kidnapping was linked.

As violence has receded in recent years, Colombia has taken off as a tourist destination, with more than three million foreign visitors in 2017, up from one million in 2006.

Additional Report with MENA and Reuters
1/19/2019 2:56:00 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi minister lauds Cairo's efforts to eliminate terrorism]]>
Addressing the opening session of the 29th international conference of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, the Saudi minister also commended Cairo’s efforts to eliminate terrorism and extremism.

Meanwhile, Al-Sheikh underscored the importance of building personalities and nations to combat challenges facing the Muslim world.

He also called for introducing national programs and projects to avoid the danger of destroying the national identity.]]>
1/19/2019 1:50:41 PM
<![CDATA[Lebanese FM: Egypt plays great role in Arab region]]>
Lebanon always wants Egypt to have a leading role in the Arab nation, Bassil told reporters who are set to cover the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, slated for Sunday.

The minister stressed that tomorrow’s summit will be held as scheduled and its resolutions will be issued whatever the level of heads of state’s participation is.

Bassil also called on the Arab states to share the burden of hosting the Syrian refugees.]]>
1/19/2019 1:46:53 PM
<![CDATA[An hour with Shahad Al Rawi ]]>
CAIRO - 19 January 2019: Shahad Al Rawi a runner up in the Arab Booker award for her debut novel, The Baghdad Clock and winner of the First Book Award at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, is a young Iraqi author who has been the focus of the international press and Egypt Today caught up with her for an exclusive interview.

Q1: Much has been written about Shahd Al Rawi, how would you describe her?

I am not sure that much has been written about me, perhaps about my novel there has been many opinions and reviews. Shahd is a human being who found herself in this life, and strives to give this existence a meaning, at the age of thirty she discovered that the novel is the closest way to that sense. I do not wish to be anything more than to be myself and to express it in writing.

Q2: At what stage of your life did you think that you want to be a writer

From my first year of studies, I loved writing, and it took me countless attempts to search for the writer within me. I tried writing in many literary genres, and whenever I failed at each one, I kept looking for another genre, one that can give me the freedom to fit my expressive ability. I wrote in spoken and phonetic language and I have attempts in poetry but it is not worthy of publishing. I did not fear failure and I did not hesitate to try various form of literature.

Q3: When did you start jotting the first lines of The Baghdad Clock? Describe to us the journey of its completion and who/what inspired you to write it?

In the spring of 2015 I had finished reading a collection of novels written in English, most of them were by women from different countries and cultures. I was struck by their direct approach that is devoid of literary exaggerations. I told myself then, that I had an important story and I had to tell it, I sat down in front of the computer and discovered that the first sentence just did not want to come together. I left the table in an almost defeated state. I asked myself 'how would I write a novel and I do not even know how to begin? After several attempts, the opening sentence came as follows: ("Before she finished her story, I cut her off and got up from my seat, I went over to my mother and asked... ) After this sentence by a year and a half , the novel was completed and ready to be sent to the publisher. These were the best days of my life, the process of writing is a beautiful time, in fact it is extremely beautiful.. During this period there were short interruptions as I was travelling back and forth to see my parents in Iraq's Kurdistan but the book's events were living with me more than 24 hours a day.

Q4: How did you get nominated for the Edinburgh book award?

After the translation of the novel into English, it got published by the British publishing house 'One World' and I received an invitation to attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival but I did not know that my novel entered the first novel contest this year, I only found out through my presence at the exhibition. I then went on to the festival website and found that 'The Baghdad Clock' was competing with 49 English novels, some of which were nominated for the long list of the well-known Man Booker Awards. I did not expect to win yet at the same time I had a slight hope of doing so. When I received the letter from the festival' president I could not believe myself and kept reading it over and over again. It really was a phenomenal happiness.

Q5: The Baghdad Clock won The Edinburgh Book award but came as a runner up in the Arab booker prize, in your opinion what are the reasons and could western audience be more receptive to the novel?

This is my first novel and competed with 124 Arabic novels, and the novel has reached its eighth edition in Arabic as so many readers fell in love with it. The Westerners loved it equally, because it is a story written from the heart, 'a local' novel written with real human feelings. We love books from different cultures not because they tell real stories about their culture, but because they belong to our planet who share the same feelings with us; Sadness, joy, love..etc are things that belong to human beings wherever they are. This novel belongs to everyone living in our world,

Q6: What did the award mean to you or what did it represent? And what impact will it have on your future work and personal life?

It is a representation of success, and I do not think there is a single writer in the world who does not seek success. The Edinburgh Festival Award will remain an important milestone in my journey. I will now have an additional responsibility for my upcoming novel. I know that my freedom has become restricted to certain extent. There is more pressure on me as I am directly under the spotlight. I do not want to be known or restricted by my first novel. I will try to take a few steps at least. Talking about this is easy, but when you sit at a table to write things are different.

Q7: As an Iraqi author do you think that long years of wars have shaped the subject matter of Iraqi literature as it is an integral part of Iraq's reality, and has this limited the scope of Iraqi writers or opened new horizons for them?

Certainly, wars and sanctions that have spanned almost 40 years will not leave the Iraqi writers free to overcome these things. We have lived through different kinds of wars and our personalities were formed from within them. I have tried to escape from the language of war, I had only one sentence (the fall of Baghdad) but it is beyond me that the war goes in line with stories of love, songs and mass exodus. This is not something that belongs to the Iraqi writers alone. The literature of war is well known in the experiences of world literature.
The state of war is supposed to be an exception to a peaceful life, but in my country the opposite is true. Peace was achieved only in the form of a short stroll waiting for a new war. I do not think that the Iraqi novel or the Iraqi literature in general will get rid of the sound of explosions in the foreseeable future even if God bless us with the peace we wish. War has unfortunately become an 'obnoxious friend' that we have to live with.

Q8: what does Shahad like to do on a daily basis? Hobbies, interests, activities? Favourite Iraqi food, writer, type of music that you listen to etc

I live a normal life, read it a lot, go to the gym sporadically, I love the kitchen but I'm not a good cook, I listen to old Iraq songs; the ones that I loved in the nineties when I was a teenager, sometimes I hear some classical music and I like Wagner and Vivaldi. I have a very limited number of friends, rarely meet them. In the past two years I have been busy preparing my doctoral thesis. I am always searching for resources that help me in this field and I have difficulty in doing so. Apart from these things, I go to the cinema at irregular times.

Q9: Can you envisage The Baghdad Clock being made into a film or TV series and if so who would play the two friends?

I'm not so enthusiastic about it, and I have not been offered such a thing. Writing novels is the most important thing that drives my passion.

Q 10: Has The Baghdad Clock success affected your next book release.

I started months ago with my new novel, but The Arab Booker and participating in world festivals in Edinburgh, Berlin and soon in India kept me out of the fold. I really feel guilty about the characters because I left them hanging at the beginning of the events. As I said earlier, I want to return to my solitude with the laptop outside of the ''prison'' that "The Baghdad Clock" has entrapped me within, I need to be liberated as soon as possible so then I can build a real relationship with the new novel.
1/19/2019 1:37:02 PM
<![CDATA[Badreya releases 'El Masry Haya' promo]]>CAIRO – 19 January 2019: Egyptian/American actor Sayed Badreya released the promo of his upcoming short movie ‘’El Masry Haya’’ ( The Egyptian..Life).

Miko Saeed who is an Egyptian filmmaker living in US will participate with Badreya in making this movie.

Badreya told Egypt Today that he will participate in a number of international festivals with ‘’El Masry Haya’’.

The short movie will tackle the experience of an Egyptian immigrant who travelled to the United States and managed to achieve success in Hollywood.

Badreya will take part in the American series “Outlier”, as he will perform the role of Dr. Scarab, a chemist who manages to save humanity from a fatal disease.

Badreya said that the new character he is playing holds numerous surprises for the audience. In the meantime, Badreya is filming the second part of the series “Apple and Onion” that boasts a high viewership in America.

Badreya is an Egyptian American actor. He was born in 1957 in Port Said, Egypt. Badreya participated in many roles in movies and series; he appeared in “American East”, “Iron Man”, “Cargo”, and “The Dictator”. Badreya also provided motion capture and voice work for Pirate Ramses in "Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception".

He previously won the Best Actor award from the 13th edition of ‘Action on Film Festival’ in Las Vegas for his role in the American movie ‘Aileron.’

Badreya has had only one dream since he was young; to travel to Hollywood and work in the cinema there. He fulfilled his dream by performing roles in great Hollywood films like ‘The Insider,’ ‘Three Kings,’ and ‘Independence Day.’ Before heading to Hollywood, Badreya studied acting in New York University Film School.
1/19/2019 1:28:20 PM
<![CDATA[Poet quits Swedish Academy after being found to leak Nobel winner names]]>
The poet Katarina Frostenson and her photographer husband Jean-Claude Arnault, who was jailed last year for rape, have been at the center of turmoil at the Swedish Academy, which led to it awarding no Nobel Prize in literature last year. Two prize winners will be picked this year.

The Academy said it would pay Frostenson, who denied breaching secrecy rules, a monthly pension worth around $1,400 and rent subsidies in a settlement.

“Katarina Frostenson now chooses to leave the Swedish Academy,” it said in a statement.

The Academy, founded in the 18th century to safeguard the Swedish language, picks the winner of the Nobel Prize only in the field of literature. Prizes in science, medicine and economics are awarded by other Swedish bodies and the peace prize winner is selected by a Norwegian committee.

Last year, Frostenson’s husband Arnault was convicted of two counts of rape and sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison.

Arnault, who ran a culture institute that had dealings with the Academy, was also accused of having leaked the names of the winners of the Nobel prize on several occasions after learning of them from his wife. He denied the accusation.

Several members of the Academy left in the wake of the scandal. The Academy has since appointed several new members and set up a new prize committee, aiming to restore public confidence and retain the right to pick the winners of the world’s most prestigious literary award.

1/19/2019 1:12:33 PM
<![CDATA[Banksy 'snow' pollution mural sold for over $130,000]]>
From one side, the “Season’s Greetings” mural on a concrete block garage in Wales shows a small boy with his tongue out to catch snow that, when viewed from another side, turns out to be ash from an industrial bin.

“I bought it and it cost me a six-figure sum,” John Brandler of Brandler Galleries, told Reuters by telephone.

“I am lending it to Port Talbot for a minimum of two or three years. I want to use it as a center for an art hub that would bring in internationally famous artists to Port Talbot.”

The mural appeared last month in the town on the edge of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world.

Brandler, 63, said the entire mural - on the corner of a garage - had to be moved in one piece. He declined to give a specific price for the piece.

When asked how he could afford such luxuries, he said: “I am an art dealer. I own several Banksies, I also own (John) Constable, (Thomas) Gainsborough, (Joseph Mallord William) Turner, I’ve got (urban artist) Pure Evil - I’ve got all sorts of art.”

“My hobby is my business. The last time I went to work was when I was 18,” Brandler said.

Banksy, who keeps his real name private, has become the most famous street artist in the world by poking fun at the excesses of modern capitalism and lampooning hollow icons, slogans and opinions.

Previous works include “Mobile Lovers” which shows an embrace between lovers who stare over each other’s shoulders at their mobile phones and an abrupt warning near Canary Wharf in London that reads “Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock.”]]>
1/19/2019 1:10:22 PM
<![CDATA[Gladys Knight defends decision to sing U.S. anthem at Super Bowl]]>
Knight, a 74-year-old native of Atlanta, where the game will be played, agreed to sing “the Star Spangled Banner.” Her decision was blasted on social media by supporters of the “take a knee” stance championed by NFL players who kneel during the anthem to protest racial injustice. U.S. President Donald Trump and other conservatives have called the players unpatriotic.

Knight, known as “the empress of soul” for a career that stretches back five decades, said she wanted to “give the anthem back its voice” to include Americans struggling for racial justice. She said she did not need to prove her commitment to civil rights.

“I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good,” the “Midnight Train to Georgia” singer said in a statement.

“I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl,” Knight added.

Kaepernick started the “take a knee” movement in 2016 to protest police shootings of unarmed black men. His decision to kneel during the anthem sparked a heated national debate, and he has not found an NFL team to play for in recent years.

Many entertainers who back Kaepernick have been reluctant to perform at the Feb. 3 Super Bowl, the biggest sporting and television event in the United States.

Knight said it was “unfortunate that the national anthem had been dragged into this debate.”

Rihanna and Pink are among musicians who are reported to have declined to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show in support of Kaepernick, who has sued the NFL, accusing owners of colluding to blackball him.

Pop band Maroon 5 and rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi were confirmed last week as the halftime entertainment at the Feb. 3 game.]]>
1/19/2019 1:06:59 PM
<![CDATA[Sony's RCA parts ways with R. Kelly after abuse uproar - media reports]]>
The reported split follows decades of allegations of sexual and physical abuse by the Grammy-winning singer, which were the subject of a new six-hour television documentary aired earlier this month. Kelly’s attorney has denied the allegations.

RCA and Kelly’s representatives did not return calls for comment on Friday.

Variety, quoting an unidentified source, said Sony Music had decided to “dissolve its working relationship” with Kelly, but that no external announcement would be made.

Billboard reported that the musician and the record company had agreed to part ways, citing unidentified sources. It said Kelly’s catalogue would remain with RCA. His music is still available on digital retailers and streaming services.

RCA came under renewed pressure this month to drop Kelly, best-known for the hit “I Believe I Can Fly,” in the wake of a Lifetime documentary in which multiple women, including his ex-wife, made on-camera allegations of emotional, sexual and physical abuse.

Campaigners from the #MuteRKelly pressure group delivered a petition signed by some 217,000 people to Sony headquarters in New York City earlier this week asking the record company to drop the musician.

Lady Gaga was among a number of artists who said they would no longer work with him and asked for previous collaborations to be removed from streaming services.

“Thank you @Sony and @RCARecords for your leadership in refusing to profit off the trauma of Black girls and women,” tweeted Times Up, a group campaigning against sexual harassment.

Kelly, 52, released his last album in 2016. He tweeted earlier this month that a new album was on the way.

The latest accusations in the Lifetime documentary are similar to ones made against the singer over the past 25 years. In 2008, the singer was tried and acquitted on child pornography charges in Chicago.

Separately on Friday, a former manager for the singer turned himself into authorities in Georgia, where he was wanted on a charge of making threats against one of the families that took part in the Lifetime documentary.

Henry Mason was released on bond after surrendering to an arrest warrant issued in July 2018, according to a Sheriff’s Department spokesman in Henry County, Georgia.

According to local news website the Henry Herald, Mason is accused of threatening to kill Timothy Savage, the father of one of the young women featured in the documentary.

1/19/2019 1:03:54 PM
<![CDATA[OECD praises Egypt's economic reforms]]>
The OECD secretary general cited Egypt's promising economic program which is aimed at achieving inclusive growth with effective and sustainable participation of all parties.

The OECD chief made the remarks during the inaugural session of the "Private Investment for Sustainable Development" conference which is currently held in Paris as part of the week on the role of responsibilities of the private sector in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The legislative reforms that have been carried out by Egypt recently created a suitable business climate that is capable of luring more investments to the country, Gurría said.

In her speech, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr underlined the major role played by the private sector in achieving the SDGs at both national and international levels, said a statement released by the ministry.

Nasr said that Egypt is committed to work on achieving fair economic and social development through engaging all parties concerned with the development file.

Nasr highlighted Egypt's reforms which created an environment that encourages the private sector to participate in the development process, citing the investment law which offers tax incentives ranging between 30 and 50% for investing in the national projects and small and medium-sized enterprises. ]]>
1/19/2019 12:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[In Pics: Mexican pipeline blast during fuel raid kills at least 21]]>
Mexican television footage showed flames leaping into the night sky in the municipality of Tlahuelilpan, in Hidalgo state north of Mexico City, as people screamed and cried for help.

Hidalgo's governor Omar Fayad told Mexican television that emergency services had registered the charred bodies of 21 people, and that at least 71 others had been injured.

Fayad said the number of victims could still rise depending on what emergency services discovered where the blaze had been hottest, which had been difficult to access.

Shortly before midnight, Public Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said the fire had been put out, and that the government would need time to establish the final death toll.

Images published on broadcaster Televisa showed people with severe burns from the blast as the government sent in ambulances and doctors to treat the victims.


Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has launched a major crackdown on rampant fuel theft, which the government said cost the country more than $3 billion last year.

The explosion was one of the worst in recent history in a country that has suffered hundreds of illegal ruptures to its network of oil and gas pipelines.

"I urge the entire population not to be complicit in fuel theft," Fayad said on Twitter. "Apart from being illegal, it puts your life and those of your families at risk."


The ruptured pipeline was near the Tula refinery of state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), which in a statement blamed the incident on an illegal tap.

Separate television footage showed the pipeline gushing a fountain of fuel earlier in the day and dozens of people at the site trying to fill buckets and plastic containers.

Lopez Obrador expressed his concern on Twitter, and said he wanted "the entire government" to help people at the scene.

Separately, Pemex said on Friday evening it was also dealing with a separate pipeline rupture by suspected fuel thieves in San Juan del Rio in the neighboring state of Queretaro. There was no danger to the population, the firm added.

The president's crackdown on theft has significant public backing, though his decision to turn off pipelines to thwart the thieves disrupted fuel supply in central Mexico and raised concern that the shortages could damage the economy.

Some users of social media responded to the explosion with anger, saying the fuel thieves only had themselves to blame.

1/19/2019 11:20:48 AM
<![CDATA[Hundreds of Central American migrants enter Mexico with few checks]]>
The cohort crossed the Guatemalan border into Chiapas state before dawn without needing the wrist bands that Mexican officials on Thursday gave migrants to wear until they could register with authorities, several migrants and an official told Reuters.

“The road today was open,” said Marco Antonio Cortez, 37, a baker from Honduras traveling with his wife and children, ages 2 and 9. “They didn’t give us bracelets or anything, they just let us pass through Mexico migration.”

A migration official at the entry point, who asked not to be named because she was not authorized to speak to media, said that at least 1,000 people crossed from Guatemala into Mexico before dawn, without putting on wrist bands.

Asked why migrants did not receive wrist bands, David Leon, the director of civil protection, said authorities faced a caravan of hundreds of people early in the morning and let them pass rather than risk a confrontation.

The migrant group proceeded on foot alongside cars on a highway, accompanied by federal police officers, arriving at a shelter in the city of Tapachula around midday.

Sitting by the side of the road rubbing cream onto his children’s feet, 40-year-old Honduran migrant Santos Pineda said he and his family entered Mexico easily, and without having to provide documents or wear any wrist bands. The family’s plan was to press on to the United States, he said.

A migration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said those who entered without wrist bands ran the risk of being detained for crossing illegally.

Around 300 mostly Honduran migrants with wrist bands were still waiting to cross into Mexico on Friday afternoon.

Mexico’s migration institute said the migrants can stay in temporary shelters in Mexico until they receive humanitarian visas allowing them to remain in the country, or they can wait in Guatemala for their document to be ready.

Thailand deports sex 'trainer' who claimed proof of Russia-U.S. election links
Groups of migrants left El Salvador and Honduras earlier in the week, the latest in a string of caravans of people largely fleeing poverty and violence.

The caravans have inflamed the debate over U.S. immigration policy, with President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is pursuing a “humanitarian” approach to the problem, vowing to stem the flow of people by finding jobs for the migrants. In exchange, he wants Trump to help spur economic development in the region.]]>
1/19/2019 11:03:53 AM
<![CDATA[May makes no change to demands in talks with EU leaders: report]]>
May’s demands continued to focus around either a legally binding time-limit for the Irish ‘backstop’; a right for Britain to unilaterally withdraw, or a commitment to a trade deal finalisation before 2021 to prevent the backstop from coming into force, the report said, citing unnamed senior EU diplomatic sources.

The backstop is an insurance policy designed to prevent the return of border checks on the frontier between EU-member Ireland and Northern Ireland.

May repeated her demands in talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Irish leader Leo Varadkar, the paper reported.

On Friday night, May was also going to meet Arlene Foster, leader of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which has 10 seats in parliament and supports May’s government but not her Brexit deal, a Telegraph reporter said on Twitter. The meeting would also be attended by Nigel Dodds, deputy leader of the DUP.

May’s deal for Britain to leave the EU was defeated earlier this week by 230 votes. She has appealed to MPs to come together to try to break the impasse.]]>
1/19/2019 11:02:02 AM
<![CDATA[As elections near, Spain's Podemos on verge of split]]>
Once inseparable, the two young political scientists who co-founded the party in 2014 -- Pablo Iglesias and Inigo Errejon -- have gradually grown apart over what strategy to take, and matters came to a head on Thursday.

Errejon, Podemos's high-profile candidate for Madrid in upcoming regional elections, announced that rather than run solo, he was joining a left-wing platform led by the Spanish capital's mayor Manuela Carmena.

Carmena will be candidate for the mayorship in municipal elections on May 26 and Errejon will run for the Madrid region in regional polls on the same day.

He hopes this alliance will attract more votes.

Errejon's controversial move comes after Podemos suffered a drubbing in December regional elections in Andalusia, a traditional left-wing stronghold where the far-right have made inroads and are now backing a new conservative administration.

That poor showing prompted him to unite with Carmena, who is popular in Madrid.

"This is an initiative that extends a hand to many more people," he told Spanish radio.

- 'Low point' -

Short of calling his move a betrayal, Iglesias accused Errejon and Carmena of working behind his back.

"I wish Inigo luck in building his new party with Manuela," he wrote on his Facebook page.

All eyes are now on whether he will ditch Errejon altogether and propose another Podemos candidate.

Either way, the party comes out weakened.

"We're witnessing a low point," says Paloma Roman, politics professor at Madrid's Complutense University.

In-fighting has left the party born in 2014 out of anger over austerity politics fighting for air as it crashes down from its dizzying victory in 2016 elections.

In those general polls -- its first -- it won 67 parliamentary seats along with other left-wing associates.

Tensions are also running high with some of its regional or local left-wing partners with whom it has stood for election in the past.

That worked well at first, with coalitions that included Podemos taking over major cities like Barcelona.

But cracks are starting to emerge.

- 'Lack of cohesive strategy' -

Caroline Gray, lecturer in Spanish politics at Britain's Aston University, says "the party has been suffering from its lack of a cohesive strategy".

"There have been levels of infighting between Podemos and those other affiliates over the way to go forward," says Gray.

Some regional affiliates, she adds, would rather Podemos left them to run alone and work with them once they're elected.

"But that then creates problems for Podemos because if they haven't got a strong base at local or regional level, are people going to vote for them in state-wide elections?"

All this is coming to a head before the May elections and could potentially affect the ruling Socialist party too, Roman says.

If more and more of Podemos's partners decide to go it alone in regional elections, that would add on one more left-wing candidate to those already standing for the Socialists and Podemos.

"That will scatter the votes," says Roman.

Not necessarily, counters Astrid Barrio, politics professor at the University of Valencia.

"Faced with the division of the left and Podemos failing to meet expectations, the Socialists could recover some of the votes they lost (to Podemos) in the last electoral period."

And for political analyst Pablo Simon, the left might actually come out winning in Madrid if they join forces post-election.

"Paradoxically, with more on the menu, more left-wing voters could turn out as each will have their own option and will know that if they all come together, they will govern," he says.]]>
1/19/2019 10:57:12 AM
<![CDATA[Brexit bullion: Fear of no-deal triggers Irish gold rush]]>
"They're worried about a significant devaluation in sterling if there's a hard Brexit," said Seamus Fahy.

Fahy is co-founder of Merrion Vaults, a gold brokerage and safe deposit facility in the centre of the Irish capital.

Over 2018 -- as the prospect of Britain crashing out of the EU turned from a scare story into a very real prospect -- he has seen a 70 percent rise in clients from the British province of Northern Ireland.

"Customers are taking money -- physical money -- out of the bank and they're buying gold bullion with us to store it, and it's a hedge," Fahy explained.

There is no equivalent facility in Northern Ireland.

With the border only an hour away it is no long trip to secure peace of mind as Britain risks a split with the EU critics are branding a "cliff-edge Brexit".

- A hidden investment -

Set in the basement of an unassuming grey office block, Merrion Vaults does not advertise its presence to passersby, marked only with a coy plaque reading "Merrion Private".

Down an elevator, past a manned security booth and a fingerprint scanner -- as well as a hefty metal safe door -- is a caged vault, ranked with 3,000 double-locked deposit boxes.

Their full contents are known only to clients. But Fahy knows that inside many are glimmering stashes of gold.

Numerous customers have spent over £500,000 (560,000 euros) on their precious nest eggs.

The most popular items are one ounce (30 gram) gold bars and coins: handsomely polished South African Krugerrands, Canadian Maple Leafs and British Britannias worth in the region of £1,100 (1,200 euros) each.

They have increased in value by around 10 per cent in the past six months, according to Fahy's ledger.

When news of the 2016 Brexit vote broke, gold surged as sterling plunged to levels not seen since 1985.

The result was an historic 22 per cent jump in gold valued in British currency terms.

In December, when British Prime Minister Theresa May pulled the parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal, Fahy also saw a "big uptick" in demand.

Pundits saw that as the most foreboding indication yet of a no-deal Brexit on March 29.

- 'Flight to safety' -

The prospect of the fallout sinking sterling seems to be making investors skittish.

"In times of crisis you always see what's called this 'flight to safety' -- so people go into US government bonds, gold bullion, Swiss francs etc.," said Fahy.

The future status of Northern Ireland -- the so-called "Irish backstop" -- is at the crux of the Brexit conundrum and has added particular concerns on the island.

"You often see local events driving local demand," said Alistair Hewitt, head of market intelligence at the World Gold Council.

But Hewitt said that the Brexit gold rush may have already peaked in the rest of Britain, with "an upsurge of activity" around the vote itself.

"Over the course of the past two years that's probably petered out a little bit. I think lots of investors have probably suffered a bit of Brexit fatigue."]]>
1/19/2019 10:55:38 AM
<![CDATA[Trump and N. Korea's Kim Jong-un to hold second summit next month]]>
"The president looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at a place to be announced at a later date," Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said, revealing that the summit would take place "near the end of February."

The White House also said that conversations were ongoing with North Korea, and that sanctions would remain in place.

The latest flurry of diplomacy comes little more than a year after Trump was threatening to wipe North Korea off the map, with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests rattling nerves in East Asia.

Kim Jong-un and Trump held a landmark first meeting in June in Singapore, where they signed a vaguely worded document, with Kim pledging to work towards the "denuclearization of the Korean peninsula." Trump triumphantly announced after that meeting that North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat.

But progress stalled soon afterward as Pyongyang and Washington disagree over what denuclearization actually means.

Kim Yong Chol is the first North Korean dignitary in nearly two decades to spend the night in Washington, staying at a fashionable hotel a short drive from the White House.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed Kim at the hotel before a morning meeting.

Pompeo, who traveled to North Korea four times last year to seek progress, later invited the visitors to lunch at their hotel after they returned from the White House.

Trump has repeatedly voiced eagerness to see Kim Jong-un again -- even saying that the two are "in love" after their Singapore summit, the first meeting ever between sitting leaders from the two countries, which never formally ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

Tensions began to abate a year ago with the encouragement of South Korea's dovish president, Moon Jae-in.

Trump has repeatedly hailed his own diplomacy as a triumph, recently saying there would have been "a nice big fat war in Asia" if it were not for his efforts.

Vietnam ready to host

Vietnam, which has good relations with both the United States and North Korea, is preparing to host the next summit. A government source told AFP that "logistical preparations" were under way, and that the summit would most likely take place in the capital Hanoi or coastal city of Danang, but that no decision had been made.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that Vietnam was ready to welcome the two leaders, noting that Hanoi has a growing relationship with the United States despite lingering memories of war.

"We don't know the final decision. However, if it happens here, we will do our best to facilitate the meeting," he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

For Trump, the made-for-television summitry with the young and elusive North Korean leader would also offer a welcome respite from a steady barrage of negative headlines at home.

An explosive report late Thursday in BuzzFeed said that Trump ordered his lawyer to lie to Congress about a project in Russia, and Trump's insistence that Congress fund a wall on the Mexican border has shuttered the US government for nearly a month.

For Kim, the stakes are more existential as he seeks guarantees of the survival of his regime.

Kim, backed by ally China as well as South Korea, is also hoping for an easing of international sanctions, but the United States insists on maintaining maximum pressure until Pyongyang moves forward on giving up its nuclear weapons.]]>
1/19/2019 10:54:19 AM
<![CDATA[Burkina Faso's prime minister and government resign]]>
Canadian Edith Blais, 34, and her Italian partner Luca Tacchetto, 30, have been missing since mid-December, and late Wednesday a Canadian geologist kidnapped by suspected jihadists was found dead at a remote gold mine in the northeast.

“Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba submitted this afternoon his resignation as well as that of his government,” the statement said.

“The president of Faso accepted the resignation” and expressed “all his gratitude to Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba and all its ministers for their commitment to the service of the nation,” the statement added.

President Kabore chose experienced economist Thieba as prime minister in January 2016. However, in recent months several political opponents have been calling for his resignation and that of ministers in charge of security and defence.

Burkina Faso lies in the heart of the vast Sahel region, which is struggling with a bloody Islamist insurgency.

The region turned into a hotbed of violent extremism and lawlessness after chaos engulfed Libya in 2011.

An Islamist insurgency began in northern Mali, while Boko Haram rose in northern Nigeria.

Jihadist raids began in northern Burkina Faso in 2015 before spreading to the east, near the border with Togo and Benin.]]>
1/19/2019 10:51:31 AM
<![CDATA[Awqaf Minister inaugurates Islamic conference]]>
A lot of scholars from Sudan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Arab and Islamic countries attending the conference.

Up to 150 participants from 40 countries are attending the conference, including 13 ministers of Islamic affairs.

The participants are taking up during the two-day meetings 50 research papers on the principles of religious and nationalist discourse, education and its effect on building the personality, the role of family and media in building the personality, a strategic vision for upgrading the religious discourse and how it helps enhance protection against terrorism and extremism, an Islamic vision for building the nationalist personality in a changing world and the potentials of renewing religious discourse and its effect for protection against terrorism and extremism.

Workshops and seminars will be held on the sidelines of the conference on Egypt's relations with African countries and the role of the family in the stability of societies along with means of protecting young people against extremism.

Tourist and cultural tours will be organized for delegations participating in the conference.]]>
1/19/2019 10:48:23 AM
<![CDATA[Catherine Deneuve to part with Saint Laurent gowns at auction]]>
Close to 130 one-of-a-kind styles crafted by the late designer for Deneuve, a close friend, will go on sale at Christie’s on Jan. 24. They include red carpet looks like a shimmering gold number worn by Deneuve to the Oscars, which is expected to fetch between 2,000 to 3,000 euros ($3,400).

The ‘Belle de Jour’ actress, a fashion fan often spotted among guests at Parisian catwalk shows, is selling the designs after parting with a house in Normandy, northern France, where she had stored them for decades.

“When she found herself in possession of all these clothes, she didn’t have cupboards in Paris big enough to hold them all,” said Francois de Ricqles, president of Christie’s France.

Deneuve, 75, has not said what the funds raised would be for.

Saint Laurent - one of the 20th centuries’ most influential designers, who popularized tuxedos for women, or “Le Smoking” - died in 2008. He and Deneuve met when the actress was only 22, and remained close.

“She was there during all the important moments of his career, in the first row of the audience at fashion shows – he would kiss her right after he’d taken his bow,” said Camille de Foresta, a sales coordinator at Christie’s.

“He gave her strength and confidence, because she said that wearing Yves Saint Laurent clothing was like wearing a light armor.”

Aside from the lot of 130 ‘Haute Couture’ looks, a further 170 items will be on sale in an online auction between Jan. 23 and 30.]]>
1/19/2019 10:44:21 AM
<![CDATA[Easy Chicken Kebabs]]>

1 kilogram chicken breasts, cut into thick strips
1 tbs onion powder, 1 tbs garlic powder
½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp thyme
2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbs barbecue sauce, 2 tbs honey
Salt & pepper, to taste

1. Mix onion and garlic powders, cumin, thyme, salt, and pepper.
2. Add olive oil, soy sauce, barbecue sauce and honey, and stir together until combined. Set the marinade aside.
3. Meanwhile on a wooden chopping board, lay chicken strips directly under each other in a row. Take a wooden skewer, and drive it through the row of chicken strips directly in the middle. Add another skewer through the row on the left, and then the right.
4. Generously brush the marinade over the chicken strips. Flip the strips over, and brush the other side.
5. Slice the strips with a sharp knife between each skewer, so you have a 3 individual kebab sticks. Place them on a paper-lined sheet pan under the broiler for 10 minutes.
6.After 10 minutes, flip the skewers over, and brush once more with marinade.
7. Repeat until all sides are cooked through.
8. Serve hot on a bed of lettuce, or alongside salad.

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1/19/2019 10:41:12 AM
<![CDATA[Two monks shot dead as violence flares in Thailand's deep south]]>
Black-clad assailants carrying rifles crept into Rattanaupap temple in Narathiwat province near Malaysia's border on Friday evening and started firing, local superintendent Pakdi Preechachon said.

"The attack took place around 7:30 pm (1230 GMT) when an unknown number of gunmen dressed in black entered the temple through a rear area via a creek," Pakdi said.

"Two monks were shot dead at the temple while two others were wounded."

Since 2004 clashes between ethnic Malay-Muslim rebels and the Buddhist-majority Thai state that annexed the region a century ago have killed nearly 7,000 people, mostly civilians of both faiths. ]]>
1/19/2019 10:33:34 AM