<![CDATA[rss-News]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[News]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Shoukry delivers message from president Sisi to Saudi king]]>
The message took up boosting bilateral relations and the importance of continuing strategic coordination between both countries in the face of regional challenges, the statement reported.

The foreign minister conveyed the greetings and appreciation of the Egyptian president. In return the Saudi monarch expressed greetings and appreciation to president Sisi, Hafez's statement noted.]]>
10/23/2018 2:50:21 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia to hold to account those involved in Khashoggi killing]]>
Khashoggi went missing on Oct. 2 when he entered the consulate in Istanbul. After weeks of denying knowledge of his fate, Saudi officials said the prominent journalist was killed in a "rogue operation".]]>
10/23/2018 2:35:31 PM
<![CDATA[4 railway employees referred to trial on gross negligence charges]]>
Another 236 persons were injured in the collision in Alexandria that also caused damage to railway property worth LE 80.603 million.

Drivers of the two trains that collided in 2017 are among the defendants in the case sent to the court by the administrative prosecution.

The two Alexandria-bound trains coming from Port Said and Cairo had collided in 2017 and a joint committee of military engineers and the Administrative Control Authority examined the circumstances behind the accident and submitted a report indicating who's responsible for it.

One of the drivers had ignored semaphore signals for him to stop or even slow down before he hit the other train, which was stopping only 300 meters away.

The driver of the first train had also intentionally disabled the braking system using a stick that he had placed on top of the Automatic Train Control (ATC) apparatus, which automatically stops the train if it exceeds speed limits.

The driver of the first train had also started the trip without making sure that the walkie-talkie was effectively working.

The driver of the second train also had not checked his walkie-talkie and had not contacted the central control to get permission to move. He had also failed to inform the control office to stop the other train, while his train was stopping for quite some time.

Two observers of the semaphore had not also taken any action to adjust colors of the signals, which could have prevented the collision.

All four defendants face charges of gross negligence.]]>
10/23/2018 2:30:23 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt elected chair of Council of Arab Transport Ministers 2019-2020 executive bureau]]>
Saudi Arabia has been elected as vice chair of the executive bureau.

Members of the council's executive bureau were elected for the council for 2019-2020.

The participants praised the active and positive role played by Egypt in the transport sector in the Arab world during its previous chairmanship of the executive bureau.]]>
10/23/2018 12:07:22 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi meets representatives for heavyweight US companies]]>
Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi mentioned this statement without giving further details.]]>
10/23/2018 12:04:42 PM
<![CDATA[Hungarian amb. asserts strength of Egyptian-Hungarian ties after historic summit]]>
Speaking on the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the diplomat said that Egyptian-Hungarian cooperation reached an unprecedented level, particularly after the signing of a trilateral deal, involving Russia, Hungary and Egypt to supply 1,300 wagons to Egypt.

For the third year in a row, the Hungarian government granted 100 scholarships to Egyptians in 2018 to earn their masters and PhD degrees, said ambassador Kveck.

There is a distinguished partnership between Hungary's Huez city and South Sinai, he said.

He added that the tourism flows between the two countries increased.]]>
10/23/2018 12:00:02 PM
<![CDATA[Representatives of Agriculture Ministry to visit Brazil to discuss joint cooperation]]>
He pointed out that the delegation will include the representative of the Agriculture Ministry, and talks will be held with Brazil's agricultural quarantine authorities to open a new market for exports of grapes, garlic and citrus to their markets for the first time.

El Attar told Egypt Today that the opening of new markets with many countries during the past period is a new success that includes the achievements of Egyptian agrarian stone.

El Attar stated that a full file will be presented to the Brazilian agricultural quarantine authorities through private transactions to clarify the laboratory procedures recently taken by Egypt in order to preserve the quality of Egyptian agricultural exports. Egyptian agricultural exports have a good reputation in various countries around the world, El Attar added.

He stressed that the agricultural stone is still continuing its efforts in coordination with various countries to review new measures taken by Egypt in order to open more international markets and create a gateway for exports of various agricultural crops.


]]>
10/23/2018 11:24:14 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi receives Bulgarian Prime Minister Tuesday]]>
In May 2017, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his Bulgarian counterpart Ekaterina Zaharieva on the sidelines of the Rhodes Conference for Security and Stability, taking place between May 22 and 24 at the Greek island of Rhodes. Both sides emphasized the necessity of bolstering relations between Egypt and Bulgaria.

Zaharieva expressed her understanding of the challenges Egypt has encountered during its democratic transition, pointing out that her country experienced the same difficulties when joining the European Union, according to a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

Shoukry presented Egypt's stance toward the crises in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Iraq and its efforts to revive peace talks between Palestine and Israel.

He emphasized a necessity to enhance relations between Egypt and Bulgaria, especially in the fields of tourism and culture.

The Bulgarian foreign minister praised President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi’s keynote speech on Sunday, during the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, especially questions regarding the international efforts addressing counterterrorism, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid said. ]]>
10/23/2018 10:24:16 AM
<![CDATA[CEO of French utility EDF pulls out of Saudi conference]]>
"Jean-Bernard Levy will not be going to Riyadh as he has to attend a meeting of energy industry executives with the (French) president on Wednesday," an EDF spokesman said.
]]>
10/23/2018 5:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trump says he believes Khashoggi's death was 'a plot gone awry' -USA Today]]>10/23/2018 1:40:58 AM<![CDATA[CIA director Haspel travels to Turkey for Khashoggi case -source]]>
U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier on Monday that he has "top intelligence people in Turkey," but did not provide any details.
]]>
10/23/2018 1:33:56 AM
<![CDATA[Canada says it is prepared to freeze Saudi arms deal if necessary]]>
Trudeau's comments signaled Ottawa might halt a 2014 contract that the Canadian unit of U.S. weapons maker General Dynamics Corp won to supply light-armored vehicles. The deal is worth up to $13 billion.

"We strongly demand and expect that Canadian exports are used in a way that fully respects human rights," Trudeau said in Parliament. "We have frozen export permits before when we had concerns about their potential misuse and we will not hesitate to do so again."

The opposition left-leaning New Democrats, who will be competing for the same voters as Trudeau in 2019 elections, say Canada should not be arming the Saudis when they are attacking civilian targets in Yemen.

Trudeau condemned the death of Khashoggi and said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland had been talking to allies to discuss the next steps.

On Monday, Trudeau convened a special meeting of government ministers and officials to discuss the matter, his office said in a statement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called the killing a "monstrosity" and vowed to halt German arms exports to Saudi Arabia until the case is cleared up.

Freeland said on Saturday that the kingdom's explanations on the death of Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul lacked credibility.

"There are very important questions about the entire relationship with Saudi Arabia that need to be asked," she told reporters on Monday.

Asked why Ottawa would go ahead with the arms deal given recent events, Freeland replied: "That is a very good question" but declined to be more specific.

Relations between Canada and Riyadh have been tense since a diplomatic dispute over human rights earlier this year.

In August, Saudi Arabia froze ties with Ottawa after Canada urged the release of jailed civil rights activists in the kingdom. A Canadian foreign affairs tweet was translated into Arabic and sent out by its embassy in Riyadh, angering Saudi authorities.

Interfering in the arms deal could hurt the Liberals politically, since the General Dynamics plant in question is in London, Ontario, an economically depressed town. The Liberals hold two of London's three seats in Parliament.
]]>
10/23/2018 1:29:38 AM
<![CDATA[Arab Transport ministers meet in Cairo ]]>
The ministers will attend the Council of Arab Transport Ministers’ meeting headed by Egypt’s Transport Minister Hisham Arafat in Alexandria.

Several proposed projects are slated to be discussed during the meetings, including establishing two companies for maritime transport and logistics between Arab and South American countries. During the meeting, the ministers also will discuss mechanisms of providing logistical support to the Palestinian people.

In an official statement, Hisham said that Egypt is keen to develop relations with all Arab countries on all levels. He affirmed that his country is committed to strengthening bilateral ties with other countries.

Egypt has been eager to develop its transport services, and expanding it nationally and internationally.

Last August, Arafat announced that a total of seven new major axes will be established on the Nile River in Upper Egypt, aiming to link main roads located on the Nile’s western and eastern banks.

The main idea of having these new bridges is to save time, fuel consumption and transport cost, according to Arafat, who ensured that the move is part of the ministry’s plan to develop Upper Egypt.

In the statement, Arafat noted that the ministry’s developmental plan includes building new road networks to link new industrial and urban communities.

This comes within the government's keenness to develop the Upper Egyptian governorates.

The new axes project will be implemented in several Upper Egypt governorates, including Sohag, Aswan, Qena, Minya, Assiut and Beni Suef.
]]>
10/23/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Germany must halt all arms deliveries to Saudi - Merkel ally]]>
Norbert Roettgen, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, said all such arms sales should be halted until the case was cleared up.

"Even those deals that were already approved cannot happen now, as long as the case has not been resolved, and as long as there have been no substantial consequences in Riyadh," Roettgen told broadcaster ZDF. "We would completely lose our credibility."
]]>
10/22/2018 10:57:43 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi crown prince meets US's Mnuchin, Saudi state TV says]]>
Mnuchin said on Sunday Saudi Arabia's explanation of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a "good first step but not enough", adding that it was premature to discuss sanctions against Riyadh over the incident.

The Saudi crown prince and Mnuchin "stressed the importance of strategic partnership and the future role of this partnership through Vision 2030", the Saudi TV tweet said, referring to the kingdom's long term development plan.

The U.S. official said on Sunday he would not attend a major investment conference to be hosted in Riyadh this week, and that his visit was to hold talks on joint efforts toward countering terrorist financing and curbing Iran’s military and political influence.
]]>
10/22/2018 10:52:52 PM
<![CDATA[Gov't denies database of Egyptians abroad will result in taxes]]>
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli decreed Saturday that a national committee will compile the information. The committee will be headed by Minister of Emigration Nabila Makram and with members from the Foreign Ministry, Manpower Ministry, Planning Ministry and the Ministry of Communications, as well as representatives of the Central Bank of Egypt and the Administrative Control Authority.

The database will in fact be created per the request of many Egyptians abroad, according to the Emigration Ministry, which condemned rumors that claim otherwise on social media.

The committee is tasked with determining the capabilities and expertise of Egyptians abroad who would like to support the country’s sustainable development plan “Egypt Vision 2030.”

]]>
10/22/2018 8:14:56 PM
<![CDATA[FM visits Riyadh to deliver message from Sisi to King Salman]]>
The message tackles Egyptian-Saudi relations and means to enhance joint consultation and coordination in regional matters of mutual concern, according to a statement by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry.

On Saturday, Egypt applauded the results of investigations announced by Saudi top prosecutor into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"Egypt finds that the brave and decisive decisions and actions taken by the Saudi King in this matter align with his majesty's approach that respects the principles of law and application of effective justice," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The legal measures taken by Saudi Arabia will uncover the truth and prevent “all attempts to politicize the issue,” the statement added.
]]>
10/22/2018 7:57:53 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt adopts strategy of using modern methods in agriculture: FAO official]]>
Addressing a celebration held by Bibliotheca Alexandrina to mark the World Food Day, under the theme “Ending World Hunger by 2030, is Possible”, Gadin said Egypt is still facing huge challenges in light of the increasing demand for natural resources, particularly water, due to the growing needs of its large population.

Agriculture still consumes 85% of Egypt's water resources due to using traditional irrigation methods, he said, noting that Egypt largely depends on import to meet its local needs of basic food crops such as wheat and corn.

The organization is jointly operating with the Ministry of Agriculture to support sustainable agricultural development in Egypt within the development plan 2030. Efforts focus on diverse strategies to meet the target, he said, calling on officials and citizens to be aware of the need to pump in more investments and give attention to scientific research in the agriculture domain.

This event rings alarm bells about the recent increase in hunger figures, and calls upon the concerned parties to get back on the right track through showing serious commitment to one of the main sustainable development goals, and shedding light on the significance of collective work to put an end to famines.]]>
10/22/2018 3:10:20 PM
<![CDATA[Two Koreas, U.N. forces agree to remove weapons at border]]>
The three sides held their second round of talks at Panmunjom to discuss ways to demilitarize the border in line with a recent inter-Korean pact reached at last month’s summit in Pyongyang.

The U.S.-led UNC, which has overseen affairs in the DMZ since the end of hostilities in the 1950-53 Korean War, was not immediately available for comment, but it said on Friday it supports the two Koreas’ efforts to implement their military deal.

The announcement comes amid U.S. concerns that the inter-Korean military initiative could undermine defense readiness and comes without substantial progress on North Korea’s promised denuclearization.

The neighbors are looking to withdraw 11 guard posts within a 1-km (0.6-mile) radius of the Military Demarcation Line on their border by the end of the year.

They also plan to pull out all firearms from a Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom and cut to 35 each the numbers of personnel stationed there and share information on surveillance equipment.

At Monday’s meeting, the three sides agreed to remove firearms and guard posts from the JSA by Thursday, and carry out a joint inspection over the following two days, the ministry said.

The two Koreas have been removing landmines around the area as part of the agreement and they confirmed the completion of the demining operation at the talks with the UNC.

“We discussed the timeline of the pullout of firearms and guard posts, as well as ways to adjust the number of guard personnel and conduct joint inspections,” the ministry said in a statement.

The agreement also includes a halt in “all hostile acts” and a no-fly zone around the border.

North and South Korea are technically still at war because the 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, but relations have improved considerably in the last year.

After his third summit in Pyongyang, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the North was ready to invite international experts to watch the dismantling of a key missile site and would close the main Yongbyon nuclear complex if Washington took reciprocal actions.

Those actions could include putting a formal end to the 1950-53 war, opening of a U.S. liaison office in North Korea, humanitarian aid and an exchange of economic experts, Moon said.

But Washington demands North Korea takes irreversible steps to scrap its arsenal, such as a full disclosure of nuclear facilities and material.]]>
10/22/2018 2:50:31 PM
<![CDATA[Lebanon’s FM invites Sisi to Arab Economic Summit]]>
According to a statement issued by the ministry, Bassil will be delivering a number of invitations to other presidents and leaders during this tour.

Bassil will be meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, SamehShoukry, in Cairo to discuss several issues of mutual interest, including the political and economic relations.

According to Lebanese media outlets, AESD was formed as an exclusively economic and developmental conference that tends to involve the private sector, including banks, chambers of commerce, industry and agriculture.

Earlier in October, Bassil invited King Abduallah of Jordan to attend the summit during a meeting in Amman. According toan official statement, the meeting underlined “the brotherly relations” between the two countries, and emphasized the need to further sustain coordination and consultation on various issues of commoninterest.
]]>
10/22/2018 2:48:04 PM
<![CDATA[Lebanon's Hariri still working to form government]]>
Last week President Michel Aoun said a government would be formed “very soon” and a government source said it would be agreed during the weekend, but press reports on Monday cited senior politicians saying problems persisted.

Parties have been jostling since May’s parliament election over ministerial positions in a new national unity government, but the political uncertainty has contributed to fears that Lebanon faces a looming economic crisis.

“Contacts continue to form a government and the issue is not impossible, as some are trying to suggest,” Hariri said in televised comments to reporters.

Lebanon has one of the world’s most indebted governments, owing about 150 percent of gross domestic product, and the International Monetary Fund warned early this year that Beirut must urgently undertake fiscal reforms.

President Aoun said in a Twitter post on Monday that circumstances required a rapid formation of the government.]]>
10/22/2018 2:45:41 PM
<![CDATA[Arab Women Organization organizes 1st training course for female supervisors of elections]]>
The three-day course aims to enhance the proficiency of Arab women in supervising elections and to form a skillful team of Arab women election supervisors in the Arab states.

The training is part of the potential-building program 2018 of the Arab Women Organization, the organization's Director General Dr Fadia Kiwan said during the opening session of the course.

She expounded the organization's programs related to women so far, noting that the organization is a source of knowledge and expertise in the field of serving Arab women through the studies and researches it conducts in numerous women-related fields.

Head of the National Election Authority Lashin Ibrahim expressed his appreciation of the invitation he received to take part in the training course directed to women who have shown great interest in participation in the elections.

The NEA is the first independent body to run the presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections in all stages.]]>
10/22/2018 2:32:18 PM
<![CDATA[U.N. climate fund gets 'back on rails' ahead of December talks]]>
Progress at the latest meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) board, which wrapped up on Saturday evening in Bahrain, was viewed as key to smooth the way for U.N. climate talks in December tasked with agreeing rules to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb global warming.

GCF board co-chair Lennart Båge of Sweden said the results from last week's meeting had "exceeded expectations", while U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa said in a tweet it had sent an "important signal" ahead of the upcoming climate conference.

Researchers with the U.S.-based World Resources Institute (WRI) who attended the board meeting told the Thomson Reuters Foundation the GCF was "back on the rails" after a previous meeting in July broke down amid political squabbling.

"We are in a much better place going into these crunch climate talks in December," said Joe Thwaites, an associate in WRI's Sustainable Finance Center.

"Continued GCF support for developing countries is a key component of success in the international negotiations."

The GCF was set up under the U.N. climate talks, and donor countries initially promised more than $10 billion in 2014 to fund projects to help poorer nations reduce planet-warming emissions and adapt to wilder weather and rising seas.

But it has not been plain sailing.

The South Korea-based fund has struggled with arguments over how it should be run among its 24-member board, which has an equal balance of developed and developing-country representatives. Some of those issues have yet to be resolved.

It also faces a $2-billion shortfall after U.S. President Donald Trump last year decided his country should quit the Paris Agreement, and signalled he would not deliver the remaining two-thirds of a $3-billion pledge to the GCF.

That has made a replenishment of the fund even more important, as it has now allocated more than $4.6 billion to 93 projects, with more proposals seeking funding approval.

"With a rapidly growing portfolio, accelerating implementation on the ground, and a pipeline of $17 billion showing huge demand, GCF is now entering its first replenishment ready to step up its support of developing countries' climate action," Javier Manzanares, the fund's interim executive director, said in a statement after the board meeting.

A process for approaching donors for fresh contributions was agreed at the Bahrain meeting. Observers said a pledging conference could take place next autumn.

In Manama, the fund's board also approved 16 new partner organisations to implement GCF projects, including banks and government agencies, bringing the total to 75.

It agreed on a process to select a new executive director after its previous head quit in July, and it decided to start a performance review of the fund by an independent unit.

In addition, the board discussed how it should take decisions if it cannot reach consensus - an issue that has hampered progress on occasions. An alternative process has yet to be agreed.

There was controversy over a project submitted by the meeting's host government, oil- and gas-rich Bahrain, which sparked concern that GCF money could be used to help clean up wastewater from the fossil fuel industry.

Only part of the original proposal, however, relating to reducing national demand for water, was eventually approved.

Other projects that won GCF backing included work to boost the climate resilience of Indian coastal communities, a water supply project for the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, a programme to help 50,000 family farmers deal with weather extremes in El Salvador's "dry corridor", and a bus rapid transit system for the Pakistani city of Karachi.

"Climate finance and climate project formulation are the two greatest bottlenecks to climate action in the developing countries," Paul Oquist, Nicaraguan co-chair of the board, said in a statement. "GCF has a critical role to play in both." ]]>
10/22/2018 2:22:38 PM
<![CDATA[Assar, Brazilian amb. discuss bilateral cooperation]]>
The meeting took up preparations for a visit by a Brazilian delegation to be led by Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira Filho in November.

Assar reviewed technological and technical potentials of military production companies and welcomed the exchange of expertise between the two countries.

The talks also focused on the possibility of establishing joint companies to manufacture high-quality products at suitable prices and export them to neighboring states, Assar said.

The minister invited Brazilian companies to invest in Egypt and make use of the favorable business environment in the Arab country.

He touched upon a new investment law and national and infrastructure projects that all serve investors, particularly in the fields of roads, energy and transport.

Brazil can very well benefit from trade agreements to which Egypt is signatory, Assar said, noting this should facilitate marketing of products on local, regional and international markets.]]>
10/22/2018 1:40:44 PM
<![CDATA[Tayyeb: Azhar's openness behind close links between East, West]]>
Tayyeb made the remarks during an international seminar held in Cairo under the theme of Islam and the West.

Tayyeb - the head of the Muslim Elders Council - said the Azhar University embraces teaching Islamic heritage in a way that contributes to graduating moderate religious scholars capable of coping with modern age.

He criticized linking Islam to terrorism, expounding the reasons behind terrorism.

Grand Imam also said East and West came to share many cultural and civilizational perspectives.

He rejected linking Islam to terrorism, wondering if any Islamic people were owning a mass destruction factory so that they would terrify anyone, adding that the problem is with the global weapons' manufacturers, the neo-colonialism and the abhorrent racial policies.]]>
10/22/2018 1:27:37 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian, Russia paratroopers continue joint drills]]>
The paratroopers carried out more than 200 parachute jumps.

The joint drills aim at exchanging training experiences as regards counter-terrorism tactics, freeing hostages and storming facilities based on the latest modern training systems.

The training comes as part of the cooperation between the Russian and Egyptian armed forces.]]>
10/22/2018 12:28:50 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptians in Jordan should hold valid work permits: Foreign Ministry]]>
The move comes as part of the ministry's efforts to settle the legal status of Egyptians working in the kingdom.

The statement also reported that Egyptians in Jordan should be keen to have medical insurance and an insurance against accidents. ]]>
10/22/2018 12:23:30 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi receives credentials of newly-appointed diplomats]]>
The statement reported that Sisi reiterated Egypt's keenness on bolstering bilateral relations with their countries in the various domains.]]>
10/22/2018 12:20:57 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi to visit Khartoum, attend 24th summit to sign several agreements]]>
A matrix to implement joint projects is expected to be approved during the summit, according to Sudanese Ambassador to Cairo Abdel Halim Mahmoud.

During Sisi’s visit to Sudan in August, the two leaders agreed to coordinate security efforts in the Red Sea and to enhance economic and trade cooperation.

The visit will be Sisi’s sixth to Sudan since he assumed power in 2014.

A supreme committee formed to promote Egyptian-Sudanese relations will convene Oct. 22-25, and its meetings will include top officials from the two African nations, as well as the irrigations ministers.

The committee also has political, security, consular, military, economic, transport, educational, health, agricultural, water and services components, all headed with the concerned ministers.

Most importantly, creating a positive investment environment, intermodal passenger and goods transport, including railways, river, sea, and land transportation will be discussed by the committee.

Furthermore, the enhancement and guidance of the Egyptian-Sudanese Company for Agricultural Integration will be given a major priority during the busy week.

]]>
10/22/2018 11:13:59 AM
<![CDATA[More than 120,000 prisoners released in four years ]]>
The figures were announced by Deputy Minister of Interior for Prisons Sector Zakaria El Ghamry in the 2nd Egyptian Prisons Forum on Oct.21. The official said that the release of that number of former prisoners contributed in improving the capacity of prisons, and the healthcare provided for prisoners.

al-Ghamry said that the rehabilitation of prisoners is embodied in training them to work in farms, factories, and various projects which are expanded by the ministry to accommodate all prisoners. He added that the ministry has also established two new hospitals in prisons, and introduced new cells designed for disabled prisoners.

The Ministry of Health and Population have been conducting Hepatitis C census among prisoners. In addition, the Ministry of Interior is working on signing a protocol with Anti-drug and Addiction Treatment Fund to treat those who got jailed for drug use.

On October 2016, President Sisi announced the formation of a presidential pardon committee, headed by political thinker, Osama al-Ghazaly Harb, for pardoning detainees with charges pending further investigation.

In November 2016, Sisi declared the first presidential pardon list, pardoning 82 detainees, including TV presenter and religious thinker Islam al-Behery, who was charged with “contempt of Islam”.

A second pardon list was declared in March 2017, pardoning 203 detainees. The list included five journalists, according to Masrawy news outlet. In June 2017, Sisi announced pardoning 502 detainees.
]]>
10/22/2018 11:07:58 AM
<![CDATA[Poland's local vote result a good sign for PiS - party chief Kaczynski]]>
"We have won ... and this bodes well when it comes to the future, especially for the parliamentary election," Kaczynski said on Sunday after exit poll showed PiS had scored 32.3 percent in the vote for provincial assembly members.
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10/22/2018 6:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi king and crown prince call Khashoggi's son to express condolences ]]>
Saudi Arabia has said that Khashoggi, a prominent journalist, died in a fight inside its Istanbul consulate - after two weeks of denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance.
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10/22/2018 1:45:07 AM
<![CDATA[Commemoration the 76th anniversary of El Alamein Battle ]]>

The official ceremony for this year's festivities was held in the German cemeteries, where they commemorated the yearly anniversary of the war victims alternately among the major countries that participated in the World War.


The Secretary General of Matruh, Chief of the Northern Command staff, Head of Matrouh Security Director and ambassadors of the participating countries laid wreaths on the memorial to the war victims.


The ceremony included playing military funeral music and urged the world to renounce violence and spread peace on the ground.


On the other hand, the Commonwealth and Italian tombs witnessed the arrival of the victims’ relatives, ambassadors and consuls of the countries to commemorate them.


El Alamein Battle was a major cause of ending the World War II after the defeat of the Axis Powers.


During El Alamein Battle more than 20,000 soldiers were killed and more than twice this number of wounded from both sides of the war.


The war victims were buried in three main graves in El Alamein city as the Commonwealth tombs supervised by England, the Italian and German tombs.


The Commonwealth graves in El Alamein has 7,367 Britain soldiers and officers, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, France, Malaysia and India, the names of 11,945 missing persons were written on the cemetery walls.


The Italian tombs were located in the west of El Alamein city about 5 kilometers, one of the most beautiful buildings in terms of luxury and art architecture includes a small museum, church and mosque.


4,800 soldiers and officers were buried in the Italian tombs, more than 38,000 lost in the desert and close to the graves of Libyan soldiers who fought alongside Italy.


The German cemeteries located in the west of the El Alamein city about 3 kilometers and built in 1959, where about 4231 soldiers and officers were buried including 31 unidentified soldiers.


There is also a Greek memorial for 320 Greek warriors who were killed during El Alamein Battle.

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10/22/2018 1:40:27 AM
<![CDATA[Ethiopia signs peace deal with rebels from gas-rich region]]>
The ONLF launched its bid for secession of the Somali Region, also known as Ogaden, in eastern Ethiopia in 1984. In 2007, Ethiopian forces launched a large-scale offensive against the group after the rebels killed 74 people in an attack on a Chinese-run oil facility.

Earlier this year, parliament removed the ONLF from a list of banned movements as part of a reform drive being led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has extended an olive branch to opponents. The ONLF declared a ceasefire in August.

The agreement, seen by Reuters, stipulates that both sides would end hostilities and that the ONLF would "pursue its political obligations through peaceful means".

The two sides will now form a joint committee to discuss the root causes of the conflict, the agreement said.

The Ogaden region contains four trillion cubic feet of gas and oil deposits, the government says. China's POLY-GCL Petroleum has been developing two gas fields there since 2013.

Abiy, who took office in April, is presiding over a push to shake the Horn of Africa nation of 100 million people from decades of security-obsessed rule.

He has acknowledged and condemned widespread abuses by the security forces, likening the situation to state terrorism, and he has worked to forge peace with Eritrea, with which Addis Ababa has been locked in a military standoff since a 1998-2000 border war in which 80,000 people are thought to have died.
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10/21/2018 11:54:48 PM
<![CDATA[Israel arrests Palestinian officials suspected of abduction - lawyers]]>
The two men taken into custody by Israel were Adnan Gheith, who holds the largely ceremonial post of Palestinian-appointed governor of Jerusalem, and Jihad Al-Faqeeh, the head of Palestinian intelligence in the city.

They are suspected of having assisted in abducting a resident of Jerusalem two weeks ago, who has since been held by the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, their lawyers said. Both men deny the charges, they said.

Israeli police said only that the two have been remanded until Tuesday.

The Palestinian Authority condemned what it said was an "abduction" of the two Palestinian officials, but it did not comment on the specifics of the charges.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat called in a statement for the release of the two officials.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem after its capture in the 1967 war and regards the entire city as its capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

According to a report on Israel's Reshet 13 television, the Palestinian resident of Jerusalem abducted two weeks ago has both an Israeli identity card and U.S. citizenship.

He was wanted by the Palestinian Authority, the report said, for helping sell property in Jerusalem's old city to Jewish buyers.

Asked about the report, a U.S. embassy spokesperson said: "We are aware of reports that a U.S. citizen has been detained by the Palestinian Authority. When a U.S. citizen is incarcerated or detained overseas, the Department of State works to provide all appropriate consular assistance."

The spokesperson declined to elaborate, citing privacy issues.
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10/21/2018 11:08:57 PM
<![CDATA[PM forms the Egyptian expats database]]>
The committee includes members of the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Manpower, Planning, Follow- Communications and information technology, as well as representatives of the Central Bank of Egypt and the Administrative Control Authority.

The Prime Minister spokesperson Nader Saad stressed that the committee is responsible for preparing an integrated database on Egyptians abroad in coordination with all ministries and concerned authorities in implementation of the presidential mandates in this regard.

Saad said that the committee represents the use of the capabilities and expertise of Egyptians abroad in support of the country's sustainable development plan "Egypt Vision 2030", as well as within the framework of the State Information Infrastructure.

Saad stressed that the committee has the right to obtain all available data on Egyptians abroad from all ministries and agencies without being blocked, as well as preparing a unified digital form for the Egyptians data abroad through the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

Saad pointed out that all data obtained from the various ministries and entities, ensure that the information required by the unified model is met to achieve the desired objectives of the Committee, as well as coordination and direct communication with all ministries and parties concerned and those who use them to carry out their work to facilitate the work of the Committee.

The resolution stipulates that the committee should take the necessary procedures to audit the data and put mechanisms for updating the integrated database in an institutional framework in accordance with the latest information security systems through the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Saad added.

Saad stated that the resolution also stipulates that the Committee shall prepare periodic reports on the results of its work, recommendations and mechanisms for implementation presented by the head of the Committee to the Prime Minister.
]]>
10/21/2018 9:55:55 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi foreign minister says Khashoggi killing was 'huge and grave mistake': Fox]]>
“This is a terrible mistake. This is a terrible tragedy. Our condolences go out to them. We feel their pain,” Jubeir said in an interview with Fox News. “Unfortunately, a huge and grave mistake was made and I assure them that those responsible will be held accountable for this.”]]>
10/21/2018 6:45:31 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's Parliament approves state of emergency extension]]>
According to the Parliament’s decision, the Armed Forces and police shall maintain security throughout the country, protect public and private property and take the necessary measures to counter terrorism.

The Parliament also discussed several issues, including President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s decision to approve a loan between Egypt, the African Development Bank and the sustainable development project of Abu Rawash sewage treatment.

This is the fifth time the state of emergency is extended, which was first declared in April after twin church bombings in Tanta and Alexandria killed 40 people.
]]>
10/21/2018 4:11:25 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to construct Tanzanian dam that will 'make Africa proud' ]]>
In a phone call initiated by Magufuli, Sisi said the construction of the dam will be performed in a way that will make Tanzania, Egypt and the African continent proud, exemplifying African cooperation.

The dam will be built on the Basin of Rufiji River as an important national project to generate power.

Magufuli expressed his appreciation of the historic relations between the two nations, and applauded economic cooperation and trade exchange, as well as Egyptian investments in Tanzania.

Sisi was the first Egyptian president to visit Tanzania in August 2017 since 1968.
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10/21/2018 4:04:34 PM
<![CDATA[24th Regional Coordination Mechanism meeting to kick off in Cairo Monday]]>
In this year’s discussions, participants will focus on Financing for Development (FfD) and chart the way forward for essential initiatives in the Arab region.

UN agencies, together with the World Bank are working to define appropriate strategies and approaches for the Arab region on the principle of shared responsibility in mobilizing and effectively using all sources of finance for development.

The 24th RCM meeting special sessions on FfD aim to enhance these efforts by establishing concrete recommendations that respond to the demands of the 2030 Agenda and the on-going changes as a result of the United Nations Development System reform.

In the attempt to further deepen the collaboration with the Regional UNDG, and following up on last year’s successful experience, the 24th RCM meeting is held back-to-back with the Regional UNDG meeting. ]]>
10/21/2018 2:43:43 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to take part in IEC conference in Korea]]>
The Egyptian delegation will include the head and some members of the National
Electronically Committee of the Electricity Ministry.

The participation comes as part of the ministry's efforts to turn the current national grid to a smart one. ]]>
10/21/2018 2:40:19 PM
<![CDATA[Around 1 mln tested for hepatitis C in Qalyoubia]]>
Shubra and Banha have topped cities and townships of the governorate with the largest number of the tested citizens, Abdel-Halim said in a statement.

He estimated the total number of the checked persons at 938,609.

He called on people to get themselves checked as soon as possible to achieve the initiative's goal of getting Egypt free of hepatitis C.

Late diagnosis and treatment make the disease more fatal, he warned.

The initiative targets 2.9 million people in Qalyoubia, noted the governor.
]]>
10/21/2018 2:33:18 PM
<![CDATA[PM says exceptional measures included in state of emergency law to be applied when necessary]]>
Addressing a parliamentary session earlier Sunday, Madbouli said that heinous terrorist acts against police and the army will not undermine troops' will to complete Operation Sinai 2018.

The people are united behind the Egyptian leadership in the face of terrorism, the premier stressed.

Egypt, he added, is keen on uprooting terrorism and the government has approved the state of emergency decree to help achieve that.]]>
10/21/2018 2:31:22 PM
<![CDATA[PM discusses cooperation with African Space Agency delegation]]>
The statement reported that the delegation includes a number of experts from various African countries.

Madbouli stressed that the establishment of the African Space Agency is a very important step toward implementing the agenda of Africa 2036. He referred to Egypt's keenness to host the permanent headquarters of the agency, especially after the delegation was briefed during the visit about Egypt's distinguished human capabilities in this field.

Madbouli pointed out that Egypt is eager to promote joint African work to develop space science and to fully support Africa's countries at the political and technological levels in this field, the statement reported.

The prime minister added that Egypt has taken some executive steps to allocate land for the establishment of the agency's headquarters in New Cairo, while providing the necessary funding for the construction of the building, saying "We are ready to start construction once the decision is made."

The prime minister concluded by saying that Africa has a special place in the heart of every Egyptian.

The delegation thanked the prime minister and expressed their appreciation for Egypt's keenness to host the headquarters of the African Space Agency, stressing that Africa will surely witness progress during Egypt's presidency of the African Union.

]]>
10/21/2018 2:22:17 PM
<![CDATA[Min. of Agriculture launches vaccination campaign against FMD, RVF]]>
General Manager of the Preventive Veterinary Medicine Department Khaled Morsi told Egypt Today that the numbering will help taking census of the cattle population in Egypt, and thus, securing the necessary amount of vaccine.

Morsi called on breeders to benefit from the campaign and vaccinate their cattle immediately as those diseases become active in winter. He added that all veterinary units are operating in full capacity as all holidays have been cancelled for vets.

Ministry of Agriculture ordered on Oct.14 to stop tomato seed imports after the infection of thousands of acres with yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) was confirmed.

Samples taken from the fields for analysis tested positive for the virus, according to the investigation committee tasked to probe into the issue, the ministry added in a statement.

Earlier in October, the Egyptian authorities launched investigations after a group of farmers suffered losses in their 2018 tomato crops which resulted from planting seeds of class 023, infected with tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV).

Committees of the state-owned Agricultural Research Center (ARC) analyzed samples of the infected tomatoes from several planted areas.

The infected crops were planted on around 10,000 acres across many rural areas, mainly in Nobaria and Wadi al-Natroun cities in Beheira governorate.

The cost of cultivating one acre of tomato was estimated at LE 50,000 (US$ 2,795). Tomato is considered one of Egypt’s major exported crops.

Egypt cultivates a total of 500,000 acres of tomatoes annually in different areas nationwide. Around 20 tons of tomatoes are produced in one acre, Head of Vegetables Department at the state-owned Central Administration of Horticulture, Alaa al-Bahrawy, told Infrad website.

Egypt’s tomato exports in the first quarter of 2018 amounted to $13.5 million, compared to $6.6 million in the same period of 2017, according to Egypt’s Foreign Trade’s annual bulletin.

Furthermore, it has been reported that Egypt will export tomatoes to the Canadian markets as part of its plan to increase vegetable export outlets.
]]>
10/21/2018 2:13:06 PM
<![CDATA[Decree urges private healthcare providers to indicate fees ]]>
The ministry granted the private medical institutions a 15 day deadline.

That comes in light of a decree issued by Minister Hala Zayed on Oct 15 to regulate the work system in the private healthcare sector. Health directorates in all 27 governorates will ensure that private medical institutions are abiding by the decree.

In December 2018, the House of Representatives passed the New Health Insurance Bill which is set to take effect over six stages. Each includes a number of governorates. The first stage, which was launched in July, comprises Port Said, Suez, Ismailia, North Sinai, and South Sinai; the second includes Aswan, Matrouh, Qena, Luxor and Red Sea; the third contains Beheira, Alexandria, Sohag, Kafr El-Sheik, Damietta; the fourth consists of Asyut, New Valley, Menya, Beni Sueif, and fayoum; the fifth embraces Daqahleya, Gharbeya, Sharkeya, and Menoufeya; and the sixth includes Cairo, Giza, and Qalyoubeya.

The sources of funding include subscription fees paid by citizens (main source), donations, taxes on cigarettes, and fees paid when issuing different licenses whether by citizens or businesses. The subscription fees will be as follows: subscribers will pay 5 percent of their income per month, with a maximum of 7 percent when including family members.

Egyptians working abroad and self-employed citizens must pay additional 3 percent per month for a non-working wife, and 1 percent per month for each child. In case of having more than two children, subscribers will pay 1.5 percent per month for every additional child.

Pensioners will pay only 2 percent of their monthly pension, and fees for included family members will be subject to the previous terms. Children seize to be subscribed as family members when they get employed, and in case of marriage for females.

Employers will pay 4 percent of the value of each employee's monthly salary with a minimum of LE 50. That fee covers treatment of work accidents. The state will pay 5 percent of the minimum income on behalf of the unprivileged. The numeric value of subscription fees will increase by 7 percent annually.

The following are the percentages of medical expenses paid by insurers when receiving different medical services. Insurers will pay 10 percent for all types of body scans, 20 percent for laboratory tests with a maximum of LE 1,000, and 7 percent for a hospital stay with a maximum of LE 1,500. Insurers wil pay 10 percent of the value of medicine, rising to 15 percent after 10 years of the law's enactment.

These numbers do not apply to medical services pertinent to chronic diseases and cancer. In other countries, the treatment of such diseases is totally covered by the insurance. That is not indicated in the bill but it will be in the executive regulations. A doctor's visit will cost the insurer LE 100. Insurers are reimbursed for charges paid in emergency services.

The current health insurance system covers 58 million citizens, including children, registered in the General Authority for the Health Insurance. However, actual beneficiaries who seek the service amount to 12.5 million only.

Beneficiaries can go to the 38 hospitals directly affiliated to the authority as well as 676 public, private, university, police and military hospitals contracting with the authority. The authority's annual budget is LE 6 billion ($337 million) and owns 61 ambulances serving citizens in all 27 governorates.

Free public health care will be repealed gradually in each stage the new system is introduced so that its budget, representing 3 percent, of the state's budget per the constitution will be directed to health insurance.
]]>
10/21/2018 1:30:34 PM
<![CDATA[Father applauded for reporting wife over FGM turns out to be perpetrator]]>
Nour el-Din H., a laborer, filed a report against his wife in a police station of Qena governorate, claiming that his daughters, 12 and 10 years old, went through female genital mutilation (FGM) after their mother took them to a practitioner.

The penalty for anyone who performs FGM varies between five to seven years of imprisonment. The law, enacted in 2016, also entails that whoever presents the female to have FGM performed on her is to be imprisoned for no less than one year and no more than three years.

The prosecution summoned the wife, who arrived with her daughters. The daughters testified that it was the father who took them to an outpatient clinic where FGM was performed on them, with the mother’s knowledge.

It was revealed that the couple has been going through domestic problems for four years, and each one lives separately.

A court ordered Nour el-Din to pay LE 30,000 to his wife and children for not paying any of their expenses for prolonged periods, and sentenced him to jail for a month in case he fails to pay. His false report seems to be in retaliation for his wife’s success to win her case.

Earlier on Saturday after news of his report circulated on social media, many Egyptians, especially women, celebrated the man for his seemingly anti-FGM step. Being from Upper Egypt, where FGM is rampant and is considered part of a woman’s honor and, by extension, of her male relatives’ honor, the news was given extra attention.

Several studies reported that more than 90 percent of Egyptian women are circumcised, a figure that prompted legislative and religious authorities to ban the act.

]]>
10/21/2018 1:20:57 PM
<![CDATA[Russia: U.S. exit from nuclear treaty would be a dangerous step - TASS]]>
President Donald Trump said on Saturday the United States would exit the Cold-War era treaty that eliminated a class of nuclear weapons. He cited Russian violations of the agreement as the reason behind the withdrawal.

Ryabkov said the step would draw criticism by the global community, TASS reported.]]>
10/21/2018 12:55:59 PM
<![CDATA[Health min. confers with Ethiopian delegation on means to boost health cooperation]]>
During the meeting, Zayed approved establishing a specialized medical unit in Ethiopia, Spokesman of Health Ministry Khaled Megahed said.

The ministry will send the designs of the unit to Ethiopia and will provide the Egyptian team who will establish it, Megahed said.

The meeting took up Zayed's approval to send Egyptian medical convoys to meet the urgent surgical needs in a number of the Ethiopian cities, he said.

Zayed approved training Ethiopian medical teams in Nasser Institute Hospital to promote their medical efficiency, he added. ]]>
10/21/2018 11:11:44 AM
<![CDATA[Health minister follows up hepatitis C check initiative]]>
The Assuit visit is part of a national trip by Zayed to follow up the program's implementation, said her ministry's spokesman Khaled Megahed.

Among the inspected facilities are hospitals in cities and medical units in villages, added Megahed.

Earlier, the minister visited South Sinai, Alexandria and Port Said.]]>
10/21/2018 11:07:31 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to host EU-Arab summit on Migration in late Feb, 2019]]>
The 28 EU Members States and the League of Arab States will meet on 24-25 Feb, 2019 in Egypt, stated the council of EU leaders after concluding a two-day summit in Brussels.

In last September, European leaders first mentioned the summit in Austria as they vowed to intensify talks with Egypt and other North African countries to curb illegal migration.

EU officials affirmed that the forthcoming summit is "about more than just migration, but part of a broader push to build closer ties with Africa", previously manifested European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

On Sept 20, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman declared that Egypt will host the EU-Arab summit to review several Arab-European cooperation issues, not just immigration issues.

Ahmed Abu Zeid, former Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, said the venue of the summit has been set in advance in line with Resolutions no 147 and 148 of the Arab League Council and Resolution 691 of the 2017 Arab summit which was held in Jordan's Dead Sea.

During his historic speech before world leaders at the 73th UNGA in New York, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi tackled the problem of illegal migration. "The disintegration of nations as a result of civil strife or regression to sectarian loyalties is responsible for the most dangerous phenomena in our contemporary world, including armed conflicts, human trafficking, irregular migration, organized crime and illicit trade in arms and drug trafficking," Sisi said.

In October, 2017, the Egyptian Parliament approved the illegal-immigration and smuggling law that entails tough penalties on whoever assists and/or facilitates a process of illegal immigration. The law was drafted by the Cabinet in 2015 and was sent in June 2016 to the Parliament for discussion.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced that over 3,200 migrants died while trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2016.
]]>
10/21/2018 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[In Pics: Thousands take to streets in London demanding second Brexit vote]]>
The protesters waved the blue and gold flag of the EU and held up “Bollocks to Brexit” banners under sunny skies to call for another referendum on the eventual deal on how Britain will leave the world’s biggest trading bloc.

The march comes as pressure builds on Prime Minister Theresa May over her negotiating strategy with just over five months until Britain is due to leave. There is, so far, no divorce deal and some rebels in May’s Conservative Party have threatened to vote down a deal if she clinches one.

James McGrory, one of the organisers of the march, said the public should have the chance to change their minds because the decision will impact their lives for generations.

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“People think the Brexit negotiations are a total mess, they have no faith in the government to deliver the promises that were made, partly because they cannot be delivered,” he said.

At the march, demonstrators carried placards saying “Brexit is pants” and “time for an EU turn.” Members of parliament from all the main political parties are set to join the demonstration.

Organisers estimate that more than 100,000 people will take part. Crowds will gather near Hyde Park and pass Downing Street and finish outside of parliament.

The 2016 referendum saw 52 percent vote in favour of leaving the European Union. But the past two years have been politically fraught as the government has struggled to agree on a plan and there are fears that Britain leave the bloc without a deal.

Some opinion polls have shown a slight shift in favour of remaining in the European Union, but there has yet to be a decisive change in attitudes and many in Britain say they have become increasingly bored by Brexit.

The prime minister has repeatedly ruled out holding a second referendum. The opposition Labour party said last month they open to a second referendum with the option of staying in the bloc in certain circumstances.

Brexit supporters say a second referendum would trigger a major constitutional crisis.

“We had a vote, we voted to leave, the idea to have a second referendum would be incredibly damaging,” said Richard Tice, Vice-Chairman of Leave Means Leave, which wants a clean break with the EU.

“People need to be under no illusions as to how people feel about what is a significant potential for a total betrayal of democracy in this country.”

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10/20/2018 3:28:25 PM
<![CDATA[In Pics: Migrants camp on bridge between Guatemala and Mexico as U.S. pressure mounts]]>
U.S. President Donald Trump has warned the Central American caravan must be stopped before it reaches the United States, and Honduras and Guatemala said late on Friday they were mobilizing to return Honduran migrants to their homeland.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of migrants at the head of the caravan had poured through Guatemalan border posts and onto the bridge, but were repelled by dozens of shield-bearing Mexican police. Several complained they had been teargassed.

Drained from days of walking and frustrated, many prepared to spend the night in the open. Some stretched towels and garbage bags along the bridge walls, others lay down on backpacks, while a man applied lotion to his tired feet.

Mexico’s government, which says it will process migrants’ claims for asylum individually, vowed to tackle the caravan as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met top officials in Mexico City. Pompeo urged Mexico to ensure the procession did not reach the United States.

Meanwhile, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was due to meet his Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales in Guatemala on Saturday to implement a strategy for returning the Honduran migrants, their two governments said.

Most of the migrants that Reuters spoke to said they had no idea how to get the documentation needed for Mexico. But many were determined to try.

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“No, I’ll fight. I’ll try again,” said Honduran Hilda Rosa as her four teenage children sat upright, beaming as she pumped the air with her fist.

The native of Tegucigalpa told a familiar tale when asked why she had left Honduras: “You know why: no work, violence.”

Most of the people now caught trying to enter the United States illegally hail from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, among the poorest and most violent countries in the Americas.

A few of the caravan members, who ranged from farmers and bakers to housewives and students, and included a whole block of friends and family from the Honduran city of El Progreso, said they would start going back to where they came from on Saturday.

Jose Ramon Rodriguez, 45, a construction worker from El Progreso, sat on the Guatemalan end of the bridge with his head hanging low, his 9-year-old son tucked against him.

“Tomorrow we go home,” he said. His companions nodded.

Among them was Osman Melgar, who nursed a bleeding gash on his shin, suffered when he fell as dozens of people packed on the bridge began fleeing when police, according to several eyewitnesses, used tear gas.

Some, including 40-year-old Adriana Consuelo, went under the bridge, paying raftsmen 25 pesos ($1.30) to ferry them across the Suchiate River on vessels made of giant rubber tires.

After making it to the muddy banks of Mexico, she said “No one checked my documents,” as she headed to a taco restaurant.

But Mexico had stepped up its efforts to stop the flow of people, migration experts said.

“Every time there’s a (migrant) caravan there are police sent to the southern border ... but we’ve never seen anything as dramatic as we’re seeing today,” said Eunice Rendon, coordinator of migrant advocacy group Agenda Migrante.

“This has everything to do with Trump,” she added.

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10/20/2018 2:53:27 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt hails Saudi decisions on Khashoggi's murder]]>
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that the legal measures taken by Saudi Arabia will uncover the truth and prevent all attempts for politicizing the issue.

The Saudi stance proves keenness of the kingdom to uncover the truth and take all required measures against anybody who would be involved, added the statement.

"Egypt sees that the brave and decisive decisions and actions taken by the Saudi King in this matter align with his majesty's approach that respects the principles of law and applications of effective justice," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Egypt also offered its condolences to Khashoggi's family and said it was confident the investigation would reveal the truth.

Late on Friday, Saudi Arabia said the journalist Jamal Khashoggi - who went missing after visiting the country's consulate in Istanbul earlier this month - is dead. This is the first time the kingdom has admitted Khashoggi is dead.

Washington Post writer and veteran Saudi reporter Jamal Khashoggi, 59, disappeared in Istanbul, Turkey after entering the consulate of Saudi Arabia on October 2.

After completing its own investigation into what happened to the Post's Global Opinions section columnist at the Saudi consulate in Turkey, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia asserted on Friday that Khashoggi died following an altercation on the day he entered the facility.]]>
10/20/2018 2:36:27 PM
<![CDATA[Muslim World League: Saudi Arabia's stability, security 'red line']]>
The supreme council asserted that the stability and security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a red line, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Saturday.

The move came during the council's meeting at its 43rd session in Mecca, under the chairmanship of Mufti of the Kingdom Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh, in the presence of senior scholars and ministers from Muslim countries.

The council also discussed a number of issues, topped by the Palestinian cause, the situation in Syria and Yemen, the tragedy of Rohingya Muslims and combating the ideology of extremist groups. ]]>
10/20/2018 2:28:30 PM
<![CDATA[2.595 million acres allocated for non-traditional crops ]]>
Land levelling and well drilling have already started. The abovementioned crops will enter in the manufacturing of jet engine oils and beauty products.

Deputy Minister in New Valley Magd al-Morsi told Egypt Today that the irrigation will be with wastewater and underground water. Crops irrigated with the former will be used for jet engine oils production while crops irrigated with the latter will be used for beauty products such as jojoba oil.

The official added that the governorate is eager to facilitate all paperwork for non-traditional projects yielding high revenues for investors.

In August, the Ministry of Irrigation announced a plan to switch the operation of underground wells from diesel to solar energy. The first phase consists of 161 wells. Forty-eight percent of which finished including 25 wells in New Valley.

The New Valley Governor Mohamed el-Zamalout approved in October, 2018 the establishing of an industrial zone on a space of 100 feddans (one feddan = 1,038 acres) in the area between the Farafra and Bahariya oasis.

The lands within the zone will be given to beneficiaries for a symbolic fee, but they will have to pay for the establishment of the needed facilities.

Meanwhile, the Western Egypt Development project is being executed in Matrouh Governorate and was launched by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in July 2017.

The project’s plan includes an investment zone at Gergoub area, a commercial port, passengers quay, economic and tourist centers, urban agglomerations, logistics center, an industrial zone and a big fisheries complex.

The project will take place over 250,000 feddans, with 50 kilometers on the Mediterranean coast into Matrouh Governorate, costing $10 billion.

It will be executed on three phases and completed after 10 years. The first phase will be finished within two years with a cost of $2 billion.
]]>
10/20/2018 12:01:07 PM
<![CDATA[Transport minister witnesses successful trial run between Haroun and Heliopolis metro stations]]>
During the trial operation, the starting point was El Ahram station in Cairo's Heliopolis district.

Arafat said that the tests cover the operation systems, the tracks, the electric power supply system, the signals and pathways in these stations. The experimental operation will begin between Heliopolis and El Shams Club stations on October 27 and between El Shams Club and Alf Maskan stations on Novemer 7, he also said, noting that it will continue for two months. The starting speed of trains will be 15 km/h and then it will be increased until reaching 80 km/h, he elaborated.

He pointed out that phase I of the fourth stage of Cairo Metro Line 3 extends over an area of 5.15 km and includes 4 tunnel stations and one elevated station which is El Nozha station. Three of the tunnel stations (Haroun, Alf Maskan and El Shams Club) have already been completed, he said.

Work on this phase of the project began on July 2, 2015 and the cost of its implementation (without counting that of trains) is 257 million euros plus EGP 1,842 million, the minister said.

He added that the ministry is currently working on the implementation of the second part of the fourth phase of the third line while also building the third phase of the same line, which is scheduled to be fully completed in 2022 to serve three million commuters daily.

The Cairo metro, which operates throughout the capital city and surrounding areas and runs both above and below ground at a top speed of 80 km/h, is one of the city’s fastest means of transportation.]]>
10/20/2018 11:42:32 AM
<![CDATA[Macedonian parliament approves country's name change]]>
A total of 80 deputies in the 120-seat parliament voted in favor of renaming the Balkan country Republic of North Macedonia - just reaching the two-thirds majority needed to enact constitutional changes.

The move could unblock its bids to join NATO and the European Union, long blocked by Greece, which argues that “Macedonia” implied territorial claims to a Greek province of the same name.

The two countries reached agreement on the name change in June.

But hurdles remain before the change can be formalized.

A referendum on the agreement failed to pass the turnout threshold of 50 percent, leaving it up to the Skopje parliament to settle the issue.

The procedure to complete constitutional changes is lengthy and requires several rounds of voting, with Friday’s being just the first stage. The procedure should be completed by January at the latest.

“Today is a historic day for the country,” Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said.

“Macedonia will be part of the European family our dreams and visions for better life in a better country will be fulfilled.”

Once Macedonia formally changes the constitution, the Greek parliament will also have to vote on the deal.

Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, who heads a small right-wing party that props up the government in the legislature, has threatened to quit the coalition if the Greek vote goes ahead.

“A great day for democracy in Skopje,” Johannes Hahn, the EU’s commissioner in charge of enlargement, wrote on his Twitter account.

I congratulate all those who decided to walk on along the EU path.”
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10/20/2018 11:34:37 AM
<![CDATA[Next summit for Trump, North Korea's Kim likely after first of year: senior U.S. official]]>
The two sides have been engaged in talks on the leaders’ second meeting after the first, unprecedented, one in Singapore in June.

“A meeting is likely sometime after the first of the year,” the U.S. official told a small group of reporters.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday he hopes to meet his North Korean counterpart soon to lay the groundwork for a “big step forward” on denuclearization during the next summit.

Pompeo, in an interview with Voice of America on a trip to Mexico City, said Kim told him two weeks ago he was committed to the promises he had made to Trump during their first summit.

“I’m very hopeful we’ll have senior leader meetings here in the next week and a half or so between myself and my counterpart to continue this discussion so that when the two of them get together there is real opportunity to make another big step forward on denuclearization,” he told VOA.

Pompeo met North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.

A State Department spokeswoman declined to clarify if Pompeo meant he would meet his counterpart in Washington, saying she had no meetings to announce.

The United States and South Korea on Friday said they had suspended upcoming joint air defense drills in a bid to ensure diplomatic efforts with North Korea continue.

The two Koreas have held three summits this year.]]>
10/20/2018 11:32:43 AM
<![CDATA[Crimea mourns school massacre victims at tearful funeral]]>
Eighteen-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov opened fire on Wednesday at the technical college in the city of Kerch before killing himself. More than 40 others were injured in the attack.

"We don't want to talk, we want to weep," the leader of the Moscow-annexed peninsula Sergei Aksyonov told a crowd of hundreds at Kerch's central square, where mourners laid flowers on the coffins.

"The history of Crimea will be divided in two -- before and after October 17," he said.

"We need to be strong, we need to be brave."

On the city's Lenin Square, tables covered in red cloth had been set up opposite a statue of the Soviet leader, each one bearing a photograph of a victim.

Aksyonov placed a red rose in front of each coffin at the ceremony, which then continued in a procession to the city's new cemetery.

Hundreds of students from the technical college where the attack took place were at the square, including an injured young woman in a wheelchair.

Security had been stepped up in the city of 150,000 in the far east of Crimea, where a recently-opened bridge links the Russian mainland to the annexed territory. All central roads have been closed.

Of those injured in the attack, a number remained in a "very serious condition", Russian health minister Veronika Skvortsova said.

Nine have been transferred to Moscow for further treatment, Crimean health minister Alexander Golenko said.

Many of those hospitalised were injured by an explosion that blasted metal ball bearings and other items into their bodies.

Photographs published online showed carnage inside the school following the attack, with glass doors and windows shattered, desks scattered and debris strewn across the floor.

"Kerch will not remain what it was before, that's for sure. There's still fear, all the children feel it," Oleg Zhmaka, the director of a sports school, told AFP in the centre of the city following the ceremony.

Along with many other local residents, he questioned whether Roslyakov, also a student at the college, could have acted alone.

"I think they're hiding something from us: it's hard to believe that this boy could have organised it all alone."

But another resident, Natalya Odegova, said she doubted there were any outside forces involved.

"This is because something happened in the head of a young man," she said.

- Claim shooter was bullied -

On Thursday, a girl claiming to be Roslyakov's ex-girlfriend told Russian media he had spoken of taking revenge for bullying.

"He would say that he lost trust in people when his classmates began humiliating him for not being like everyone else," a 15-year-old named as Zlata told the Kremlin-funded RT television outlet.

"Vladislav was always telling me about his frequent fights with people around him," she said, adding that he "didn't want to live" because of it.

President Vladimir Putin said the killing was the "result of globalisation" and the continuation of a trend that had begun in the US.

Several media outlets made a comparison with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in the US, which left 13 people dead.

They described photographs circulating on the internet showing Roslyakov wearing a similar T-shirt to Eric Harris, one of the Columbine killers.

Investigators are working to establish the teenager's exact motive and whether he was working alone.

According to the Russian Kommersant newspaper, the teenager "grew up in a rather poor family" with a disabled father.

The paper said Roslyakov's mother is a Jehovah's Witness -- a Christian organisation considered "extremist" and banned in Russia.

Russian television reported that she works as an orderly at one of the hospitals that treated victims.

According to the RIA Novosti agency, security forces raided Roslyakov's family home following the killings.]]>
10/20/2018 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia terminating Services of A Number of General Intelligence's Officers]]>
First: Termination of services of the officers whose names are as follows:
1. Assistant Chief of General Intelligence for Intelligence Affairs, Pilot Brigade/ Mohammad bin Saleh Al-Rumaih.

2 Assistant Chief of General Intelligence for Human Resources, Major General/ Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Shaya.

3 - Director of the General Directorate of Security and Protection at General Intelligence Presidency/ Rashad bin Hamed Al-Muhamadi.]]>
10/20/2018 1:46:17 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia relieves Ahmad bin Hassan Asiri of his post]]>


]]>
10/20/2018 1:23:53 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia relieves Saud bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani of his post]]>


]]>
10/20/2018 1:20:34 AM
<![CDATA[Norway frees Russian spying suspect but probe continues]]>
Mikhail Bochkaryov was detained on Sept. 21 at Oslo airport as he was about to leave the country after attending an international seminar on digitalisation in Norway's parliament.

He had denied wrongdoing and the Russian Foreign Ministry had demanded that Norway drop the charges and release Bochkaryov, who it identified as a member of staff in the Russian parliament's upper house.

Norway's Police Security Service (PST) had sought to extend his detention, but the Oslo District Court on Thursday rejected the request. The PST appealed, but withdrew the appeal on Friday.

"We continue to investigate the case. No decision has been made on whether to file any charges," PST prosecutor Kathrine Tonstad told Norway's TV2 news channel. "He is free to go home."

The case prompted authorities to briefly take several printers out of service near the seminar venue in parliament, and to seal off the foreign affairs and defence committee's meeting room, one floor below.

Bochkaryov told reporters he was "feeling better now than before his release" when he left Oslo prison on Friday.

The Russian embassy in Oslo said he was staying there and planning to fly to Moscow on Saturday. It expected "an official apology" from Norway for detaining him, it said on its Facebook page. ]]>
10/20/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi Arabia says missing journalist dead]]>




Saudi King Salman has also reportedly ordered the formation of a ministerial committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed, to restructure the intelligence services.

An official source stated the following:
The case of the disappearance of the citizen / Jamal bin Ahmed Khashoggi drew the attention of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the highest levels, and due to the circumstances surrounding his disappearance, the Kingdom took the necessary procedures to clarify the truth and began by dispatching a security team to Turkey on 6 October 2018 to investigate and cooperate with counterparts in Turkey.

That was followed by the formation of a joint security team between the Kingdom and the Republic of Turkey, with a permission given to the Turkish security authorities to enter the Consulate of the Kingdom in Istanbul and the residence of the Consul, for the Kingdom's keenness to clarify all the facts, as the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has issued an order to the Public Prosecutor of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, No. 5709 dated 3/2/1440 H to conduct investigations into the case The Public Prosecutor has already investigated a number of suspects on the basis of information provided by the Turkish authorities to the Joint Security Team to determine whether any of them had any information or relation to what has been happened related where the information that transferred to the security authorities indicated that the citizen Jamal Khashoggi had left the consulate.

In implementation to the directives of the leadership of the need to clearly know the truth and declare it transparently whatever, the preliminary investigations conducted by the Public Prosecution showed that the suspect had travelled to Istanbul to meet with the citizen Jamal Khashoggi as there were indications of the possibility of his returning back to the country.

The results of the preliminary investigations also revealed that the discussions that took place with the citizen / Jamal Khashoggi during his presence in the Consulate of the Kingdom in Istanbul by the suspects did not go as required and developed in a negative way led to a fight and a quarrel between some of them and the citizen / Jamal Khashoggi, yet the brawl aggravated to lead to his death and their attempt to conceal and cover what happened.

The source added that while the investigations are still ongoing into the case with the 18 Saudi detainees, the Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public opinion, to hold all those involved accountable and bring them to justice by referring them to the competent courts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.]]>
10/20/2018 12:53:16 AM
<![CDATA[More than 50 dead in India train disaster: police]]>
A crowd had gathered on railway tracks in the city of Amritsar in Punjab state to watch a fireworks show marking the Dussehra festival when the train barrelled down the line at speed.

"There are more than 50 dead. The priority now is to take the injured to the hospital," Amritsar city police commissioner S. S. Srivastava told reporters.

More than 60 people who were injured were being given emergency treatment at various hospitals across the city, he added.

"There was a lot of noise as firecrackers were being let off and it appears they (victims) were unable to hear the approaching train," another police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

An eyewitness told a local TV channel there was "utter commotion" when the crowds noticed the train "coming very fast" towards them.

"Everyone was running helter-skelter and suddenly the train crashed into the crowds of people," he said.

Another eyewitness said people were taking pictures on their mobile phones and "they were not given any warning that they should not stand on the tracks."

TV footage showed crowds gathered around the venue where an effigy of demon king Ravana was set alight, exploding into a huge fireball.

Many who had climbed on rooftops for a glimpse of the action clapped and cheered as the fireworks exploded.

But the festive scenes soon turned tragic.

"I have lost my child, I want him back," an inconsolable mother said, wailing and beating her chest.

Some relatives of the deceased blamed the authorities for allowing a "big function" to be held next to the railway track.

An AFP photographer at the scene said some victims had lost limbs in the accident while others suffered head wounds.

- 'Heart-wrenching tragedy' -

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered an investigation into the accident and announced a monetary compensation of 500,000 rupees ($6800) each to the family of the victims.

"We have asked all hospitals to remain open through the night so that the injured can be treated," Singh told reporters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was extremely saddened by the "heart-wrenching tragedy" and asked officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

India's railway network is the world's fourth largest and remains the main form of travel in the vast country, but it is poorly funded and deadly accidents often occur.

The country is home to hundreds of railway crossings that are unmanned and particularly accident prone, with people often ignoring oncoming train warnings.

A 2012 government report described the loss of 15,000 passengers to rail accidents every year in India as a "massacre".

Premier Modi has pledged $137 billion over five years to modernise the crumbling network.

Railway minister Piyush Goyal said Friday he was cancelling his trip to the US and returning to India immediately.

"May God give strength to the bereaved and injured," Goyal tweeted.

"Railways is providing all possible assistance at the site."

Millions of Hindus celebrate the Dussehra festival by burning giant effigies in a move symbolising the triumph of good over evil.

Disasters at religious festivals are not uncommon in India with police and volunteers often overwhelmed by the sheer size of the crowds.

Im 2016, 24 people died after a stampede broke out in the Hindu holy town of Varanasi.]]>
10/20/2018 12:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[UK PM May tells businesses EU is committed to autumn Brexit deal]]>
London and Brussels are racing to strike a deal by the end of the year and firms are worried that without one, there could be widespread disruption of everything from supply chains to flights and the movement of food and livestock.

May briefed around 120 business leaders to update them on the progress of the talks after discussions in Brussels earlier this week.

"The Prime Minister spoke for about 10 minutes and the tone of her message was quite optimistic," a source familiar with the content of the call told Reuters.

May's office said the prime minister had acknowledged that there were "a few significant issues" still outstanding but that progress was being made.

"The very real sense she had from leaders around the table at the Council was that they wanted to reach a deal as soon as possible this autumn," May's office said.

"She said that her aim was to wrap this up in November," one of the business people listening to the call said.

May was told by some that time is pressing and heard concerns over contingency measures which may be irreversible, the source added.

She was also asked what business could do to help on Brexit, to which she suggested firms write to lawmakers in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, to make sure leaders were aware that business needed a resolution.

Separately, Bloomberg reported that May was ready to give ground on one of the key sticking areas of the talks concerning the land border between the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Sterling gained on the report that Britain would allow the Northern Ireland backstop, or fallback arrangement in case of failure to agree a broader deal, to have no fixed time limit.

May's office said in response that the government's position had not changed, and pointed to the remarks the prime minister had made to businesses, where she said she expected any backstop arrangement to be temporary.

Britain's Brexit minister, Dominic Raab, said a week ago that the so-called backstop designed to prevent a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, must be finite, short and time-limited.

Brexit supporters in May's government are concerned any temporary arrangements with the EU that lack a clear time limit may become permanent solutions over time.]]>
10/20/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trump threatens to send military against immigrant 'onslaught']]>
As several thousand Hondurans made their way through Central America toward the US border, Trump blamed Democrats for an "assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador" with a caravan "INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS."

"I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!"

Trump has made his call for a wall on the southern border a signature issue of his two-year presidency, but Thursday's tweet storm was especially fierce.

Trump suggested he was even prepared to put at risk the recently renegotiated North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, the United States and Canada, redubbed as USMCA.

"The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA," he said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, is embarking on a tour of the region that will take him to Panama on Thursday and to Mexico Friday.

The Mexican visit is important for future relations because it comes just ahead of the inauguration in December of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico's foreign minister designate, downplayed Trump's comments as aimed at his domestic political base.

"The position of President Trump is the one he has always raised," Ebrard told local radio station Radio Centro.

"It was predictable and also the election process is very close, so he is making a political calculation," he added.

- Controversial caravan -

The president's message was part of a broad strategy to crack down on illegal immigrants and tighten rules for legal migrants.

Barely a week goes by without Trump warning about the danger posed by ultra-violent Central American gangs like MS-13, while chants of "build the wall" are a staple of his pre-midterms campaign rallies.

The latest focus is on some 2,000 Hondurans who departed Saturday from the city of San Pedro Sula in a caravan headed for the US border.

A first group of several hundred Honduran migrants arrived late Wednesday on the Guatemalan-Mexican border, where they overflowed a shelter in the town of Tecun Uman, leaving many to sleep in the town square or on the street, an AFP correspondent said.

Many were traveling with a single change of clothes and little money. Others were carrying young children in their arms.

Several migrants told AFP the group plans to wait for the rest of the caravan to arrive, then cross the border en masse in hopes of overwhelming the Mexican immigration authorities, who have vowed to detain anyone without papers.

The migrants say they organized for the long and difficult journey on social media, but Washington suspects the group has been organized as a deliberate provocation.

"This caravan did not appear organically," a senior Trump administration official told journalists.

"There's a political aspect and an organizational aspect which frankly seeks to sow chaos and dissent and that needs to be dealt with," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

- Border forces -

In Mexico, hundreds of riot police deployed at a bridge on the border with Guatemala. Guatemala also sent police reinforcements.

However, at the Honduras-Guatemala border earlier, the migrants were able to overwhelm guards by crossing en masse.

As for the US border, it remained unclear whether Trump's threat would result in any military deployment.

The president announced plans in April to send thousands of National Guard troops to the border, where they could remain until his promised wall is constructed.

But at least five US states later refused to send the troops amid an outcry over a since-abandoned White House policy to separate migrant children from their parents at the border.]]>
10/19/2018 10:29:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, UAE to build logistics village at Cairo Airport]]>
The deal comes as part of the Civil Aviation Ministry's development strategy led by Minister Younis el Masry.

As per the deal, the Emirati KMK Investment will be responsible for funding, building and running the village, in addition to supervising EgyptAir projects for freighting goods and exports, in collaboration with the American Safe Ports Holdings.

The partnership was inked by Chairman of EgyptAir Holding Company Ahmed Adel, KMK Investment Executive Director Omar Ibrahim Khader and the Safe Port Holdings Regional Director.

The project is expected to contribute to enhancing the efficiency of Cairo airport and increasing its capacity, as well as facilitating the movement of commodities from and to the airport, Adel said.

For his part, Khader said the new partnership comes as a culmination of the fruitful cooperation between Egypt and the UAE in the different fields
]]>
10/19/2018 8:04:08 PM
<![CDATA[New Egyptian amb. submits credentials to Ethiopian FM]]>
Abdel Khaleq pledged to spare no effort to boost ties between Cairo and Addis Ababa.

The new diplomat conveyed the greetings of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Gebeyehu, as the later was reinstated to the post after the recent cabinet reshuffle.
]]>
10/19/2018 8:01:46 PM
<![CDATA[Pilot phase of Cairo Metro Line 3 to start Saturday]]>
During its trial operation, the train's starting point will be Al-Ahram station in Cairo's Heliopolis district.

The Cairo metro, which operates throughout the capital city and surrounding areas and runs both above and below ground at a top speed of 80 kilometers an hour, is one of the area's fastest means of transportation.
]]>
10/19/2018 7:58:33 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian-Saudi "Tabuk 4" military drills wind up]]>
The drills were monitored by representatives of Oman, Bahrain and the UAE.

At the end of the exercises, the assistant defense minister conveyed greetings from Minister of Defense and Military Production Lieutenant General Mohamed Zaki to the forces.

He also stressed the depth of Egyptian-Saudi military relations, lauding the level of coordination and cooperation reached between the two forces with the aim of achieving the drills’ planned targets.

The drills were attended by several commanders of the Egyptian and Saudi armed forces, a number of military attaches as well as military cadets.
]]>
10/19/2018 7:56:47 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo sees hot weather Saturday; records highs of 32°C]]>
Residents of Upper Egypt will feel a warm weather during the day, but the temperature will decline during the late hours of the night.

In Northern Egypt, visibility is low during the early hours of the day due to the mist.

Rainfall is expected on the western coasts, and in the cities of Halayeb and Shalateen in the south.

The wind is mostly northwesterly moderate and active on the west of the country.
Below are the expected temperature degrees in different governorates:

Cairo 32°C, 21°C
Alexandria 30°C, 19°C
Matrouh 29°C, 19°C
Sohag 33°C, 19°C
Qena 34°C, 20°C
Aswan 35°C, 22°C]]>
10/19/2018 4:23:06 PM
<![CDATA[EU amb. pledges support to Egypt in water issues ]]>
Surkus asserted EU support to Egypt, especially in water-related issues. He also stressed that the EU had been supporting this event from the onset and throughout the preparation stage that kicked off in May.

“By improving the quality of water management, we secure the rights of this generation and next generations”, Surkus said during his speech at the CWW closing ceremony.

He stated that the EU's contribution to this event is based on the union's responsibility towards supporting the Egyptian government in any initiatives that could ensure a more effective management of water resources and an investment-friendly environment.
The first EU-Egypt Water cooperation, including an event titled "Water Business Forum", kicked off on Wednesday as part of the proceedings of the Cairo Water Week conference.

The two-day forum includes representatives from the Egyptian and European private sectors, Egyptian government officials and key figures from the water sector with the aim to determine the water’s key role in achieving sustainable economic growth and to how to best meet increasing demands and scarce resources.

The EU-EGYPT Water Dialogue, including representatives from European and international development partners and government of Egypt, aims at creating a policy dialogue platform to discuss key strategic issues in the water sector and how to best tackle them; reflecting transparency and mutual accountability, and drawing lessons from past and ongoing experiences for the betterment of the effectiveness of both investment portfolio, and overall sector development.

Egypt’s first Cairo Water Week (CWW) kicked off on Sunday under the auspices of President Sisi, aiming at increasing the public awareness of water rationalization for the sustainable development amid state of water shortage.

The four-day CWW is being held in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to tackle water issues, amid climate change that impacts the world’s freshwater. In March 2016, the United Nations Environment Program warned that 50 percent of the world’s population would face “severe water stress” by 2030.

The 2018 CWW is launched under the title “Water Conservation for Sustainable Development”. It aims at fostering awareness of water issues for sustainable development, facing water challenges via non-traditional methods and modern technology, and supporting implementation of integrated water management.

On the sidelines of the CWW, the African Young Water Professionals Forum was held, gathering 24 young people from 12 African countries of Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Ghana , and Morocco.

Meanwhile, the fourth session of the Islamic Conference of OIC for Water Ministers, held on Sunday, Oct. 14 on the sidelines of the CWW.]]>
10/19/2018 4:02:38 PM
<![CDATA[Putin arrives in Uzbekistan for state visit]]>
The Russian leader is scheduled to hold talks on Friday with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Tashkent.

The two presidents plan to sign a number of bilateral documents and also attend the Russian-Uzbek forum on inter-regional cooperation.

Besides, the leaders will jumpstart the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan by Russia’s state-run corporation Rosatom in a video conference mode. According to Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov, the ceremony would be one of key elements of the Russian leader’s visit to Tashkent.]]>
10/19/2018 1:21:53 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi inspects airbase, Egypt's Future mega project ]]>
Sisi returned home late on Wednesday following a three-day official visit to Russia.

During his stay in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, President Sisi held talks with his Russian counterpart Valdimir Putin on several regional issues and signed a comprehensive partnership agreement between the two countries.

The two leaders told a joint press conference held at the end of their talks that they shared identical views on regional files, asserting the importance of reaching peaceful solutions to the current crises sweeping across the Arab region and the Middle East.

Additional reporting by MENA ]]>
10/19/2018 12:01:00 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi to meet with American business delegation in Cairo ]]>
According to official statement, the delegation will be in Cairo on October 23 until October 25. A lot of issues will be discussed during the visit regarding the economic challenges in Egypt.

Sisi returned to Cairo on Wednesday night after fruitful three-day visit to Russia.

Sisi headed to Moscow on Monday to hold talks with President Putin. On the same day, Putin issued a decree approving to sign a comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation agreement with Egypt to include all levels.

The decree consists of endorsing proposals on the agreement by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that are set in collaboration with executive authority institutions. The decree was published on the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI).

The president laid a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier in Red Square in Moscow on Tuesday before he was received by Russia's Federal Council's Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko.

Sisi delivered a speech before the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the Federation Council, becoming the first foreign leader to do so. The speech highlighted former and future joint achievements in the history of Egyptian-Russian relations.
]]>
10/19/2018 11:14:01 AM
<![CDATA[Demand to omit names of MB leaders off streets in Egypt raised]]>
Journalist Abdel Rahim Ali called on Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawy to review the names of Egypt's streets, and swiftly get rid of the names of members of the terrorist-designated organization, replacing them by martyrs’ names.

Editor-in-chief of Al-Bawaba News, Ali, said in his press statement on Oct. 18 that his demand is meant “to raise public awareness about major sacrifices of our heroes in the army and police to fight terrorism, and to erase a black era when terrorists took control of the Egyptian decision and named the streets after their leaders.”

The move is not the first of its kind as a number of streets in Delta’s Beheira governorate had their names changed. According to Beheira governor Hisham Amna, a street that used to be called Sayyid Qutb (former MB leader) in Damanhur is now named after former Defense Minister Abdel Halim Abu Ghazala, and another street now carries the name of former interim President Adly Mansour after it used to carry the name of Hassan el-Banna (the founder of MB).

It is believed that many streets are named after members of the Brotherhood in different governorates across Egypt, including a street also called Hassan el-Banna in Abu Hilal district west Minya city, Upper Egypt.

Ali, who is also a parliamentarian, pledged to follow up on his demand at the House of Representatives and in media platforms, stressing that it is a duty to fulfill “to establish a future that honors heroes and holds terrorists accountable for their crimes."

The Muslim Brotherhood has been designated as a terrorist organization since December 2013, after it was accused of being involved in terrorist attacks and riots that followed the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. Many leaders and members of the group are either held in prison, facing trial over terror-related charges or at-large.

In February, Egyptian authorities omitted the name of Sultan Selim I from a Cairo street after an official request submitted by Mohamed Sabry al-Daly, professor of contemporary history at Helwan University. Daly argued that the Ottoman ruler was not a patriotic symbol, but rather an invader who controlled Egypt and capitalized its resources.

Selim invaded Cairo 500 years ago, marking the end of the Mamluk era in the country. The street was named after him in the second half of the 19th century, under the reign of Mohamed Ali.

Sultan Selim I was born on October 10, 1470, in Amasya, Turkey. He was the youngest son of Sultan Bayezid II.

Additional Reporting by Hend Safwat
]]>
10/19/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. asks for WTO panel over metals tariff retaliation]]>
The requests, filed on Thursday, cover tariffs by China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico, which followed the United States imposing a 25 percent duty on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminium imports, which it justified on national security grounds.

Canada, Mexico and China had also planned to ask for a WTO panel examining those tariffs, according to another government official familiar with the matter. Earlier on Thursday, Norway said that it, the EU and other countries would seek the WTO dispute group's help.

Officials representing the countries' trade delegations could not immediately be reached after normal business hours. The WTO did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The dispute marks a new dimension to the ongoing skirmish between the United States and a number of its trading partners as well as the WTO itself, where it has blocked appointments of new judges. The WTO is presiding over a record number of disputes, many of them triggered by Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium and his trade war with China.

Norway earlier said initial consultations with the United States had not led to an agreeable solution, and therefore the Nordic country had joined others in asking the WTO to set up the panel to obtain an independent assessment of the matter.

"We believe that additional U.S. duty on steel and aluminium is contrary to WTO rules," Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said in a statement.

"Therefore, together with the EU and several others, we asked today the WTO to establish a dispute resolution panel on the U.S. additional duty," she said.

In Brussels, meanwhile, the EU, Norway and Switzerland sought Asian support for free trade, the Iran nuclear deal and fighting global warming at a regional summit that included China, Japan and Russia as a counterbalance to a more protectionist United States.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC on Wednesday that trade negotiations with China appear to have taken a brief pause, and he tamped down expectations that the countries would make substantial progress toward an agreement at an upcoming G20 meeting.

Despite striking a deal with Washington to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico and Canada remain subject to the metals tariffs.

On Tuesday, EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom held talks with Ross in Brussels on improving trade relations, though Washington accused the bloc of moving too slowly in negotiations.]]>
10/19/2018 2:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[3 Tri-Ocean Energy officials refereed to criminal court for $1B embezzlement ]]>
Deputy board director Mohamed Mahfouz al-Ansari wired $9.5 million to accounts at Bank Audi in Switzerland and Qatar National Bank (QNB) in Doha.

The second defendants transferred $4.272 million to a company he owns, named MH Ltd for trade and imports, at bank accounts with QNB in Cairo and Doha, as well as Bank Audi in Cairo and Doha. He also wired $4.453 million to his personal account at QNB in Doha.

The two defendants engaged in money laundry to hide the embezzlement from the shareholding company whose capital is shared by public funds.

From February 2012 until September 2012, the two defendants transferred $18 million from the accounts of the company at QNB in Doha, Mashreq Bank in Dubai, the Arab African Bank in Dubai, and Misr Bank in Dubai to three other accounts, according to investigations.

The wiring occurred from the accounts of Tri-Ocean Energy and OCS and another company owned by Tri-Ocean Energy to the personal account of Ansari, the personal account of M.F.H Labibompa, the financial director of Tri-Ocean and the general director of OCS, as well as MN Ltd for trade and antennas, owned by the latter.

The Commercial International Bank, which owns 15 percent of Tri-Ocean, revealed that the defendants embezzled $950 from May 25, 2011 to October 29, 2015 by omitting deposits from the company’s bank accounts and transferring them to their own. They also eliminated the company’s investments in other companies.

]]>
10/18/2018 4:03:33 PM
<![CDATA[Red Sea governor's visit to Belgrade crowned with tourism cooperation deals - envoy]]>
During a reception held at the end of Abdallah's visit to Belgrade on Thursday, Ambassador Amr el Goweili said Abdallah reached agreements with Serbia on operating new flights from Nis Airport in addition to establishing joint tourism projects, including floating hotels.

The governor - who led a large tourism delegation to Serbia - had official talks with the Serbian ministers of tourism, foreign affairs, trade and communications, Goweili noted.

He expounded that Egypt is keen on promoting coordination with Arab and African countries as it will chair the African Union in 2019.

Meanwhile, Red Sea Governor Ahmed Abdallah said meeting with the Egyptian community in Serbia would push forward development efforts in the governorates.

He reviewed economic and social development in the tourism-attractive governorate.

He said the Red Sea governorate's story of success is an example to be followed at the Arab and African levels.
]]>
10/18/2018 1:27:17 PM
<![CDATA[Armed Forces open 4 schools in North, Central Sinai in tandem with CSOs]]>
The schools were established in tandem with a number of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

The move coincides with celebrations by the Egyptian people and Armed Forces to mark the 45th anniversary of the October War victory.

It also embodies the ongoing efforts exerted by the Armed Forces to upgrade the educational system in Sinai in cooperation with the civil sector.

Two primary schools were also inaugurated in Nakhl city in Central Sinai.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by commander of the Third Field Army and tribe chieftains in North Sinai.
]]>
10/18/2018 1:15:44 PM
<![CDATA[4K divorce questions sent to Dar al-Iftaa every month]]>
Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam said at a panel discussion on the role of fatwas in resolving domestic problems and reducing divorce rates that “official statistics indicate that divorce rates increase on daily basis, especially in the past five years. This makes us all truly responsible.”

He added that some people “lurk” in the society to push it into chaos and instability and “disrupt the very concept of family,” calling this a “red line.”

A total of 198,269 registered divorces occurred in 2017, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). However, only 1.7 percent of Egyptian women and 0.9 percent of men are divorced.

Although the divorce rate has increased in Egypt in the past years, it does not amount to be one of the highest in the world.

The increase, however, has alarmed officials, including President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
The president called for for invalidating oral divorce in January 2017, where a man can say to his wife “anti taleq” (you are divorced), and she becomes one. They later do the paperwork to make the divorce official.

A few days after Sisi’s proposal, Al-Azhar issued a statement perpetuating oral divorce as a general rule, providing religious and historical evidence. Both Al-Azhar and Dar al-Iftaa, however, have intensified their efforts to counter divorce, issue fatwas that facilitate reunion and, in some cases, to invalidate oral divorce.
]]>
10/18/2018 1:08:50 PM
<![CDATA[2 Dutchmen sentenced to life for smuggling drugs in their intestines]]>
The two foreigners, named Marvin and Kevin, were accused of drug smuggling and trafficking. The trial and investigations have been ongoing for a year.

In June 2013, five foreigners were sentenced to death for smuggling drugs, according to Reuters.

British citizen Charles Raymond Ferndale, 74, and three other citizens of the Seychelles were detained; however, the fifth defendant, a Pakistani, escaped during the arrest and was sentenced in absentia.

The convicted men were arrested in 2011 with three tons of hashish in their possession on board a ship off Egypt’s eastern coast, according to the court official. The British Foreign Office said it was “extremely concerned” with the sentence.

The court also fined the defendants a total of LE 94 million ($13.46 million).

Additional reporting by Reuters
]]>
10/18/2018 11:22:06 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi back home from Russia]]>
During his stay in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, President Sisi held talks with his Russian counterpart Valdimir Putin on several regional issues and signed a comprehensive partnership agreement between the two countries.

The two leaders told a joint press conference held at the end of their talks that they shared identical views on regional files, asserting the importance of reaching peaceful solutions to the current crises sweeping across the Arab region and the Middle East.

They also voiced their determination to boost bilateral cooperation in the economic, industrial, investment, educational and cultural fields with the aim of elevating bilateral relations to new heights.

During his visit president Sisi met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and discussed with him ways of boosting bilateral economic ties.

He addressed Russia’s Federation Council ( the upper house of parliament) reviewing Egypt's efforts to fight terrorism and bring an end to regional crises and shed light on the numerous investment opportunities in Egypt especially in the Suez Canal area.
]]>
10/18/2018 1:30:06 AM
<![CDATA[Despite Trump criticism, Fed sees need for more rate hikes]]>
Every Fed policymaker backed the central bank's September decision to raise the target policy rate to between 2 percent and 2.25 percent, according to minutes of the Sept. 25-26 meeting, published Wednesday.

Participants in the Fed's rate-setting committee also "generally anticipated that further gradual increases" in short-term borrowing costs "would most likely be consistent" with the kind of continued economic expansion, labor market strength, and firm inflation that most of them are anticipating, the minutes showed.

"This gradual approach would balance the risk of tightening monetary policy too quickly, which could lead to an abrupt slowing in the economy and inflation moving below the Committee’s objective, against the risk of moving too slowly, which could engender inflation persistently above the objective and possibly contribute to a buildup of financial imbalances," the minutes said.

U.S. stocks closed slightly lower and U.S. Treasury yields gained a bit as traders continued to bet on further rate hikes ahead. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield ticked up 3 basis points to 3.184 percent. The dollar also rose.

Trump told Reuters in August he was "not thrilled" with Fed Chair Jerome Powell for raising interest rates, and has since escalated his criticism, this week saying the central bank is his "biggest threat," and last week calling the Fed "crazy," "loco," "ridiculous," and "too cute."

Though the minutes did not refer to any of Trump's criticism, its message of further rate increases suggests that policymakers are not fazed by it.

"For now, the Fed has made it clear that they are focused on their agenda despite rising presidential pressure on their rate decisions," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*Trade.

The broadly united front could bolster expectations the central bank will raise rates a fourth time this year in December, but the minutes also show the committee remains split on how much further to raise rates next year.

A few participants expected rates would need to rise enough to modestly restrain economic growth, even as two others "indicated that they would not favor adopting a restrictive policy stance in the absence of clear signs of an overheating economy and rising inflation."

Fed officials overall expect rates to rise to 3.1 percent next year and 3.4 percent in 2020, just above their 3 percent estimate for the long-run "neutral" rate at which borrowing costs are neither braking nor stimulating economic growth. Traders of futures contracts tied to the Fed's policy rate see rates topping out at about 3 percent.

In the minutes, policymakers said estimates of the neutral rate would only be "one among many" factors going into monetary policy decisions.

The U.S. economy has been growing more quickly this year than many economists believe is possible without generating higher inflation, with the jobless rate at its lowest level in decades.

The Fed has been raising interest rates since 2015 and after the rate hike last month it stopped describing the stance of monetary policy as "accommodative," meaning that it no longer thought the level of interest rates was stimulating the economy.

The minutes showed that "almost all" policymakers agreed it was time to remove that language.]]>
10/18/2018 1:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Despite Trump criticism, Fed sees need for more rate hikes]]>
Every Fed policymaker backed the central bank's September decision to raise the target policy rate to between 2 percent and 2.25 percent, according to minutes of the Sept. 25-26 meeting, published Wednesday.

Participants in the Fed's rate-setting committee also "generally anticipated that further gradual increases" in short-term borrowing costs "would most likely be consistent" with the kind of continued economic expansion, labor market strength, and firm inflation that most of them are anticipating, the minutes showed.

"This gradual approach would balance the risk of tightening monetary policy too quickly, which could lead to an abrupt slowing in the economy and inflation moving below the Committee’s objective, against the risk of moving too slowly, which could engender inflation persistently above the objective and possibly contribute to a buildup of financial imbalances," the minutes said.

U.S. stocks closed slightly lower and U.S. Treasury yields gained a bit as traders continued to bet on further rate hikes ahead. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield ticked up 3 basis points to 3.184 percent. The dollar also rose.

Trump told Reuters in August he was "not thrilled" with Fed Chair Jerome Powell for raising interest rates, and has since escalated his criticism, this week saying the central bank is his "biggest threat," and last week calling the Fed "crazy," "loco," "ridiculous," and "too cute."

Though the minutes did not refer to any of Trump's criticism, its message of further rate increases suggests that policymakers are not fazed by it.

"For now, the Fed has made it clear that they are focused on their agenda despite rising presidential pressure on their rate decisions," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*Trade.

The broadly united front could bolster expectations the central bank will raise rates a fourth time this year in December, but the minutes also show the committee remains split on how much further to raise rates next year.

A few participants expected rates would need to rise enough to modestly restrain economic growth, even as two others "indicated that they would not favor adopting a restrictive policy stance in the absence of clear signs of an overheating economy and rising inflation."

Fed officials overall expect rates to rise to 3.1 percent next year and 3.4 percent in 2020, just above their 3 percent estimate for the long-run "neutral" rate at which borrowing costs are neither braking nor stimulating economic growth. Traders of futures contracts tied to the Fed's policy rate see rates topping out at about 3 percent.

In the minutes, policymakers said estimates of the neutral rate would only be "one among many" factors going into monetary policy decisions.

The U.S. economy has been growing more quickly this year than many economists believe is possible without generating higher inflation, with the jobless rate at its lowest level in decades.

The Fed has been raising interest rates since 2015 and after the rate hike last month it stopped describing the stance of monetary policy as "accommodative," meaning that it no longer thought the level of interest rates was stimulating the economy.

The minutes showed that "almost all" policymakers agreed it was time to remove that language.]]>
10/18/2018 1:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[May seeks to reassure EU leaders on Brexit deal]]>
EU diplomats spoke of a much more positive mood, with May appearing to show greater understanding for some of the EU's concerns, including Ireland's need for an insurance clause to ensure its British land border could never be closed.

May was given a half-hour slot to speak to the bloc's other leaders before they sat down to dinner without her and discussed preparations for a possible no-deal Brexit under which Britain leaves the European Union without a treaty to cushion the disruption to businesses across the continent.

But three days after talks stalled over the Irish border "backstop", thwarting hopes of a deal at the summit, May arrived determined to stress that a deal was still on the cards.

"What we've seen is that we've solved most of the issues in the withdrawal agreement. There is still the question of the Northern Irish backstop," she told reporters on arrival.

"By working intensively and closely, we can achieve that deal," May added. "Now is the time to make it happen."

A month after May's last meeting in Austria, when her rejection of EU proposals designed to avoid a revival of border tensions in Northern Ireland provoked angry reactions, her tone was much calmer, said EU officials who were present.

"The tone was more relaxed than in Salzburg, undoubtedly. There is a message of goodwill," said Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament.

"But I did not perceive anything substantially new in terms of content," he said. "The tone was of someone who wants to reach an agreement."

An aide to French President Emmanuel Macron said May had shown she was open and interested in clinching a deal. Earlier, Macron said he wanted May to explain what kind of deal she could get through her government and parliament.

TRANSITION PROPOSAL

Tajani said he raised with May the possibility that the post-Brexit transition period, during which Britain would retain EU rules and avoid border problems with Ireland, could be extended by a year to 2021 -- something EU negotiators proposed to soften a demand for special rules for Northern Ireland.

Such an extension, keeping Britain under EU governance with no say in it, would be highly unpopular with hardline supporters of Brexit. Tajani said May told him she would consider it but gave no indication of whether she favoured such an extension.

May has repeatedly ruled out extending what she calls an implementation period, but at least one of her ministers has indicated he may support such a step.

One EU diplomat closely involved in the negotiations said May's intervention had revived spirits after the disappointments of the weekend: The atmosphere has improved. There is more trust and willingness to move forward together."

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the difficult final phase of the talks did not necessarily mean they would be unsuccessful.

"It is always the case in negotiations that they are tense and difficult and challenging at the end. That doesn't mean they will fail. No one wants these negotiations to fail, neither the EU nor Theresa May want a hard Brexit," Kurz said.

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had cautioned that Europe must prepare for all outcomes: "That includes the possibility that Britain leaves the European Union without a deal."

May will rejoin her EU counterparts on Thursday as the focus shifts to a summit with Asian leaders, including China's Premier Li Keqiang and the prime ministers of Japan and Russia. ]]>
10/18/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trump pulling out of pact that discounted foreign postal deliveries]]>
White House officials said on Wednesday the United States would start the process of leaving the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a Switzerland-based organization that connects postal services worldwide.

The White House said the UPU enables foreign postal services to take advantage of cheap shipments to the United States, creating an unfair cost advantage over U.S. companies that ship goods, and hurting the U.S. Postal Service.

Shares of internet-based mailing and shipping provider Stamps.com fell nearly 9 percent after the announcement. Online shoppers in the United States have often benefited from the arrangement, gaining access to foreign goods at little cost.

U.S. President Donald Trump is distancing the United States from international multilateral organizations and accompanying policies that he says hurt U.S. interests. Trump has announced U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement to mitigate climate change and an international deal with Iran to curb Tehran's nuclear program.

The White House will seek to renegotiate the terms of the UPU rules during the year-long withdrawal process, officials said.

"If negotiations are successful, the administration is prepared to rescind the notice of withdrawal and remain in the UPU," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

UPU Director General Bishar Hussein said he would seek meetings with U.S. officials to discuss the matter.

"The UPU remains committed to attainment of the noble aims of international collaboration by working with all its 192 member countries to ensure that the treaty best serves everyone," he said in a statement.

One senior White House said the treaty's "subsidy" had facilitated the transfer of a high level of counterfeit goods and the narcotic and fentanyl trade.

Another official said the system allowed for a 40 to 70 percent discount on small packages arriving in the United States from China compared to what it would cost to send them domestically, costing $300 million. The official described it as an economic distortion that the administration wanted to correct.

A change could benefit U.S. merchants and shippers, including Amazon.com Inc, which have called on U.S. officials for years to address foreign postal services’ access to low rates. Amazon declined to comment.

The National Association of Manufacturers called the agreement "outdated" and said it "contributes significantly to the flood of counterfeit goods and dangerous drugs that enter the country from China."]]>
10/18/2018 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Video: Sisi uses Russian Presidential car]]>
Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, presented other brands of Aurus cars, including Aurus Sedan car which Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi used in his movements in Moscow after being invited to by Putin.



Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived on Monday in Russia in a three days visit to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Sisi delivered a speech before the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly. This is the first time for a foreign leader to deliver a speech at the council.

On December 11, 2017, Putin visited Egypt for the second time since Sisi was sworn into office in May 2014; the visit came upon President Sisi's invitation in September 2017.

In February 2015, the Russian president visited Egypt and attended the signature of a number of deals between Cairo and Moscow.
]]>
10/17/2018 11:11:13 PM
<![CDATA[120 churches, affiliated buildings nationwide licensed by gov't]]>
Lawyers of the churches requested licenses for the 120 religious buildings after the law was approved. The approval may be withdrawn if the buildings did not finish civil protection facilities in four months.

That some of the said churches had been operating outside of the legal framework was used by extremists as a premise to attack those outlets, or incite such attacks in rural areas.

Many churches, regardless of their legal status, were sabotaged by Muslim Brotherhood supporters after the dispersal of a major sit-in that demanded the reinstatement of President Mohamed Morsi in August 2013. Many of the affected churches were renovated by the government in the following years.
]]>
10/17/2018 4:10:11 PM
<![CDATA[More than 3M people tested for hepatitis C since Oct.1: Min.]]>
On October 1, Zayed said in a press conference held at the Cabinet headquarters that the campaign was launched upon President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s directives and it aims at eliminating hepatitis C and reducing fatalities from chronic diseases.



Zayed added that the campaign runs from October 1 to the end of April 2019, stressing that patients will receive treatment for one to one and a half year, to announce Egypt free from the blood-borne disease by 2020 or 2021.

Citizens above 18 years of age of both sexes will be targeted during the first phase, she pointed out, explaining that they will test for hepatitis C, diabetes and hypertension. Height and weight of citizens will also be measured for obesity as part of the campaign which will provide free treatment, Zayed reiterated.

As part of the president’s initiative, Manal al-Sayed, a member of Egypt’s National Committee for the Control of Viral Hepatitis, said that school children between 12 and 18 years old will undergo the early detection tests starting March 2019.

In the same context, Director of the national campaign, Riham Allam, said that the campaign will take place in nine governorates.

Allam added that the second stage of the campaign will kick off in December and the third will start in March and end in April. The director pointed out in a phone call with the TV show “Ra’ei A’aam” (Public Opinion), aired by TEN satellite channel, that the campaign's schedule will be published on a special website to inform citizens of the medical centers performing the medical tests.

“The majority of the Egyptian families suffer from hepatitis C, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. All of the aforementioned diseases will be tested and patients will receive free medical treatment,” said Allam.
]]>
10/17/2018 4:02:18 PM
<![CDATA[Death toll in French flooding hits 14]]>
The equivalent of three months rainfall was dumped overnight Sunday to Monday in the region of the fortress city of Carcassonne, bursting the banks of rivers, including the Aude, which reached levels not seen in 100 years.

The worst flooding took place in the medieval town of Trebes, where six people were killed by flash floods which overturned cars, gutted streets and swamped hundreds of homes, officials said.

Trebes had already made headlines in March when a jihadist went on the rampage, killing four people during a shooting spree and hostage-taking at a supermarket.

Five people were arrested after attempting to steal from a food truck abandoned near the town, authorities also said.

Water levels have since started falling along the Aude river and its tributaries, according to Vigicrues, the government agency responsible for monitoring flooding.

Some 700 firemen and civil defence personnel are involved in clean-up operations, and extra police and army personnel have been drafted to the area.

The storms were triggered when a front of warm and humid air from the Mediterranean Sea slammed into colder air around the Massif Central mountain range.]]>
10/17/2018 3:59:25 PM
<![CDATA[Russia says Crimean college attack mass murder not terrorism, names suspect]]>
Roslyakov had gone on a shooting spree in the college before committing suicide, the committee said, and could be seen beforehand on CCTV entering the school with a rifle.]]>
10/17/2018 3:33:23 PM
<![CDATA[Parliamentarian demands ending ‘trees massacres’ in Egypt]]>
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Oct. 17, Hasouna condemned cutting trees, especially trees that are hundreds of years old. “Greenery has disappeared from our lives. These trees have been here for a long time. Cutting them this way cannot be anything but a massacre.”

Santalum and Ficus benghalensis trees were cut, according to Hasouna, for financial reasons. She explained in her statement that most people, who commit such a crime, do it on purpose without any respect for the laws and regulations.

“It has become extremely humiliating and harmful,” Hasouna stated, wondering about the monitoring role of the government, especially the Ministry of Environment.

“We have been told as students that these trees help with eliminating pollution by producing oxygen; however, it seems that the government doesn’t like fresh air,” Hasouna said in her statement.

Also, MP Mustafa al-Gendy issued a memo to the parliament speaker demanding replacing Ficus trees with palm, olives and fruits trees. “These trees will have far better benefits for Egyptians,” Gendy said.

He argued that these trees, Ficus, consume lots of water and threaten buildings with their long roots, which can grow to 500 meters searching for water.


]]>
10/17/2018 3:20:46 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's amb. to Netherlands inaugurates 'Egypt's Gods' exhibition Oct. 17]]>
Abdel Ghafar was accompanied by director general of the Education, Culture and Science Ministry and the director of the museum. Some 400 persons, including officials and guests, attended the reception ceremony, according to a statement issued by Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

The exhibition is expected to run until March 31, 2019.

The inauguration coincides with the 200th anniversary of the museum’s establishment. According to the statement, the exhibition includes 500 artifacts collected in cooperation with the Louvre, Hannover, Allard Pierson and Vienna museums.

Several officials gave short speeches about the Egyptian history and civilization. Egypt’s ambassador thanked the government and museum officials for hosting the exhibition, which is considered the largest in Rijksmuseum van Oudheden Museum’s history.



In September, “The Gold of the Pharaohs” exhibition that ran at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco from July 7 to September 9, was announced to hit 80,000 visitors, which is the Grimaldi Forum's highest record since 2008.

Grimaldi Forum referred that this exhibition was the most visited since holding the “Grace Kelly Princess of Monaco” exhibition in 2007 and “Queens of Pharaohs” in 2008.

“The Gold of the Pharaohs” showcased 149 ancient masterpieces from the Egyptian Museum. The huge, unique event was hosted under the auspices of Prince Albert II and the Egyptian government.

This is not the first exhibition to be hosted by the Grimaldi Forum to showcase Egyptian Antiquities. According to Grimaldi Forum’s General Director, Sylvie Biancheri, a somewhat similar exhibition was hosted in Monaco ten years ago.

Biancheri told Egypt Today on July 6 that the “Queens of Egypt” exhibition, which was hosted ten years ago, was one of the most successful and well-received exhibitions organized by the Grimaldi Forum. “At the time, the government allowed moving several pieces of the ancient antiquities to be displayed inside the exhibition.


]]>
10/17/2018 2:10:41 PM
<![CDATA[All issues will be negotiated by Sisi, Putin: Bassam Rady]]>
He said during an interview with Russian-owned channel RT that this volume reflects the strong relations between the two countries.

During the interview, Rady highlighted the Egyptian-Russian cooperation, affirming that the two countries are currently working on several joint projects, including Dabaa nuclear power plant and the Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal axis.

Rady also stated that the number of Russian tourists in Egypt did not decline during the past period and that the Egyptian- Russian negotiations on tourism are constant.

“All issues will be on the negation table between Sisi and Putin during their ninth meeting in Sochi on October 17,” Rady said.

He affirmed that Egypt has its well-known political stances regarding conflicts in the region’s countries. “In Syria, Egypt is against any solution that would cause the division of the country. We stand with the government and army to reach a political solution suitable for all of the political factions,” Rady added.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi headed to Moscow on Monday, Oct. 15 on a three-day visit to hold talks with President Putin.

During the visit, Putin issued a decree approving to sign a comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation agreement with Egypt including all levels.

The decree includes endorsing proposals on the agreement by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that are set in collaboration with executive authority institutions. The decree was published on the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI).

On December 11, 2017, Putin visited Egypt for the second time since Sisi was sworn into office in May 2014; the visit came upon President Sisi's invitation in September 2017.

In February 2015, the Russian president visited Egypt and attended the signature of a number of deals between Cairo and Moscow.



]]>
10/17/2018 1:24:55 PM
<![CDATA[Afghan election candidate killed by bomb under office chair]]>
The MP, Abdul Jabar Qahraman, was killed as he prepared for Saturday’s election, a senior government official said, becoming the 10th candidate killed in the past two months, with two more abducted and four wounded by hardline Islamist militants.

“Such brutal acts of the terrorists and their supporters cannot weaken people’s trust in the peaceful and democratic processes,” President Abdul Ghani said in a statement condemning the attack.

The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast in the southern province of Helmand, saying in a statement, “We have killed Qahraman, a renowned communist.”

The Taliban have ordered Afghans to boycott the much-delayed parliamentary polls in their battle to overthrow the Western-backed government and establish their own Islamist regime.

Three men sitting in Qahraman’s office at the time were also killed, said interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi, adding that police had arrested three suspects in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.

The blast wounded seven people, said Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

“A bomb was placed below Qahraman’s chair in his campaign office,” he added. “We are investigating the incident.”

Wednesday’s blast follows the deaths of 22 people last week in an explosion at an election rally for a woman candidate in the northeastern province of Takhar.]]>
10/17/2018 12:22:31 PM
<![CDATA[Life has become normal in North Sinai: Armed Forces spokesman]]>
In an interview with Saudi-owned channel Al-Arabiya, Rifai said that the Comprehensive Military Operation Sinai 2018 has fulfilled most of its targets in North Sinai. “Terrorist leaders were killed and groups and facilities were destroyed,” Rifai stated.

He added that Sinai 2018 military operation killed more than 450 terrorists and destroyed up to 1200 explosive devices and 900 vehicles. Tons of drugs and narcotic plant farms were ruined, according to Rifai.

He affirmed that preserving the civilians' lives is the main purpose of the military operation. “The Armed Forces are highly committed to providing full protection for civilians and to maintaining their rights,” Rifai said during the interview.

Rifai referred to the strong Egyptian – Saudi relations during the interview, especially regarding the military cooperation.

On October 8, the General Command of the Egyptian Armed Forces issued the 28th statement of the Comprehensive Military Operation Sinai 2018 on the newly-achieved progress in the forces’ ongoing battle against terrorist and extremist groups active in Northern Sinai.

It was stated that seven terrorist hideouts were targeted by the Egyptian Air Forces, and 26 takfiris were killed. Two four-wheel cars were destroyed and 26 cars as well as 52 motorcycles were seized by the forces.

The operation foiled a terrorist plan to target a number of military check points in North Sinai, according to the statement.

On August 29, the Armed Forces released the 27th statement of the military operation. It was stated that the forces managed to eliminate seven terrorists, considered extremely dangerous, and seized large amounts of sophisticated arms and weapons of different kinds that were found in the terrorists' possession.

Last February, and under the title "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018," Egypt's Armed Forces launched a comprehensive military operation targeting the hotbeds of terrorists 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.


]]>
10/17/2018 12:07:15 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi pleased over meeting Putin]]>
In a tweet on his personal Twitter account, he added that they exchanged viewpoints on the most important regional and international issues.

President Sisi confirmed his gladness over his meeting with the Russian leader.]]>
10/17/2018 11:32:59 AM
<![CDATA[Safaan: Electronic linkage between Egyptian, Kuwaiti ministries progressing]]>
In a statement to MENA on the fringe of his participation in the 89th session of the Arab Labor Organization (ALO) board, Safaan said the electronic linkage system would guarantee the quality of needed laborers, decreasing the number of random laborers as well as hiring the qualified laborers for the Kuwaiti market.

He also underlined the importance of ALO board meeting to address financial and strategic plans of the organization in addition to current and future challenges of the labor market.

The Egyptian minister is scheduled to meet with a number of officials during his visit to Kuwait including the Kuwaiti social affairs and economic affairs ministers along with his counterparts from Sudan and Algeria.]]>
10/17/2018 11:22:43 AM
<![CDATA[FM organizes visit for foreign diplomats to new capital ]]>
Assistant Foreign Minister for Financial and Administrative Affairs Ismail Khairat stressed that the visit comes within the framework of the ministry's keenness to illustrate the efforts exerted in establishing the new capital, shedding light on the diplomatic missions’ opportunities to get their own headquarters in the capital.

Khairat added that Chairman of the New Administrative Capital Company Ahmed Zaki Abdeen welcomed the delegation at the beginning of the visit.

Abdeen highlighted the efforts exerted by the company to complete the New Administrative Capital on time and according to the highest quality standards.

Abdeen also responded to all inquiries of the members of the delegation.

Khairat pointed out that the delegation will have a field visit to inspect the governmental and diplomatic district in the New Administrative Capital to review the company's efforts on the ground.

The delegation included 42 ambassadors and 111 diplomatic members.

]]>
10/17/2018 11:05:03 AM
<![CDATA[Russian PM: Cairo is main partner of Moscow ]]>
During his meeting with President Abdel Fatah al-Sis, Medvede referred to the deep relations between the two countries and pointed out that the volume of trade between the two countries increased by one-third from last year.

The two countries are partners in large projects, the PM said, expressing hope that Sisi's visit will lead to more projects between Egypt and Russia.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived on Monday in Russia to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The summit will tackle boosting bilateral relations and other issues of mutual interest.

The talks come as part of a strategic partnership between the two countries.

Sisi also held talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and other senior officials on boosting economic cooperation.

Sisi delivered a speech before the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly. This is the first time for a foreign leader to deliver a speech at the council.

On December 11, 2017, Putin visited Egypt for the second time since Sisi was sworn into office in May 2014; the visit came upon President Sisi's invitation in September 2017.

In February 2015, the Russian president visited Egypt and attended the signature of a number of deals between Cairo and Moscow.
]]>
10/17/2018 10:53:02 AM
<![CDATA[450 terrorists killed since launch of 2018 Sinai Operation: Military Spox]]>
Last February, and under the title "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018", Egypt's Armed Forces launched a comprehensive military operation targeting the hotbeds of terrorists 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.

Egypt has been struggling for years to contain terrorist activities in Sinai. Many military operations have been carried out by the army and police forces, killing hundreds of militants and building a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, so that Egyptian authorities can curb the flow of militants and weapons infiltrating through underground tunnels.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi authorized the army chief of staff to use “brutal force” against terrorism. In February, the Egyptian Armed Forces launched a full-scale military operation titled "Sinai 2018" to confront terrorist elements in Sinai and other areas across the country. Military spokesman Tamer al-Rifai announced a major military operation to purge the country from terrorism.

]]>
10/16/2018 7:44:34 PM
<![CDATA[Libyan army warns against rumors on Hesham Ashmawi’s case]]>
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Libyan army added that Ashmawi’s investigations are highly classified, and that nothing of the published or circulated information about the case is correct.

Some media outlets reported earlier that Ashmawi tried to commit suicide inside jail, which was denied by the Libyan authorities.

On October 14, The Egyptian Dar al-Ifta (Fatwa House) accused in a press statement the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood of carrying out a media campaign to mislead the public opinion and spread false information about the arrest of Ashmawi.

Dar al-Ifta pointed out that the brotherhood's media outlets published false information and systematic lies about Ashmawi in order to downplay the his successful arrest. Dar al-Ifra’s statement highlighted Muslim Brotherhood media’s claim that the terrorist arrested is not Ashmawi, but a person that looks like him.

The former Egyptian Commandos officer, who was terminated after being involved in several terrorist attacks, was arrested on Monday, October 8 in Derna, Libya. A statement released by Libyan security forces affirmed that Ashmawy was arrested alive.

Ashmawi or Abu Omar al-Muhajir is a former officer in the Egyptian Commandos; he received advanced training on special operation tasks in the United States' main training institutes.

Ashmawi turned militant and became the operations engineer of the country’s most active jihadist group, AnsarBeit Al-Maqdis(ABM), and in charge of the most important qualitative operations carried out in Sinai, Cairo and Al-Farafra oasis to deserve the title of the most dangerous wanted person in Egypt.

Ashmawy was born in 1978, and graduated in 2000 from the military academy, where he was a distinguished officer and joined the Special Forces Unit. He served in Sinai for 10 years and witnessed the bombings of Taba, Sharm El-Sheikh and Dahab.

The turning point in Ashmawy’s life was in 2005 when his father, Ali Ashmawy, passed away, which affected Ashmawy’s physiological health.

During this period terrorist groups started to attract and recruit young people in mosques, and Ashmawy started to attend their sessions. The Armed Forces warned Ashmawy for the first time in 2006 and he was interrogated, but he confirmed his commitment to the military principles.

However, Ashmawy continued to promote for political Islam through spreading banned books.

In 2007, a military court transferred Ashmawy to an administrative post and then referred him to retirement in 2009. He was completely expelled from the army in 2012 as he travelled to Syria twice through Turkey.

In 2013, Ashmawy moved to Sinai where he became in charge of the military wing of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. He started to develop the performance of the group and improve their militancy skills.




]]>
10/16/2018 7:27:09 PM
<![CDATA[Port Said to become first slums-free city]]>
Madbouly inspected several projects established in Port Said including schools, hospitals, and industrial zone.

Madbouly’s government seeks to replace all slums with 80,000 housing units during the 2018/2019 fiscal year as part of the “Development of Slums” program.

The government is determined to develop 1,100 market slums across Egypt in the upcoming four years, besides the 130 areas that have been developed in the past two years.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has sought to tackle housing problems in Egypt, and a plan was set to develop many unsafe areas in Cairo, which has the majority of Egypt’s slums, and to re-house residents of Egypt’s most dangerous slums. The government divided the slums into two categories. The first is the dangerous slums; the government pledged to eliminate dangerous slums by the end of 2018.

In this regard, Madbouly witnessed on July 9 the signing ceremony of two cooperation protocols between Cairo governorate and the new Urban Communities Authority.
The protocols were signed by Cairo Governor Atef Abdel Hamid and Deputy Chairman of the NUCA Mazen Hassan, in the presence of Deputy Housing Minister Assemel-Gazzar and other officials to develop El-Mawardi area, Al-Sayeda Zeinab.

Gazzar said that the two parties agreed on developing the unsafe area of El-Mawardi, Al-Sayeda Zeinab, which stretches over an area of 3.35 feddans, explaining that the protocol comes within the framework of the development project of Tal Al-Aqareb area in Al-Sayeda Zeinab.

Gazzar explained that Cairo governorate’s vision aims to restore the city's vital role as Egypt’s capital, and focuses on evacuating some areas in Cairo to be able to develop and use these areas in cultural and urban activities.

In May 2016, President Sisi promised to move all those living in slums to new flats over three years as part of an ambitious project expected to cost about LE 14 billion ($790 million).

In the same context, the Tahya Misr (Long Live Egypt) Fund, launched by Sisi in 2014, has been working on a three-phase strategy to eliminate Egypt’s shantytowns and re-house slum residents, including those living in Doueyka, Establ Antar and Ezbet Khair Allah. The project includes 15,000 housing units to re-house 60,000 slum residents. The first two phases of Tahya Misr are comprised of 12,000 flats. The third phase opened in 2017 and is comprised of 20,000 flats.

Tal Al Aqareb area in Sayeda Zeinab

The residents of Tal Al-Aqareb were evacuated in 2016, after several unsafe buildings had been demolished and were transferred temporarily to a new housing area until the development of Tal Al-Aqareb is completed.

Khalil Shaath, head of Cairo governorate's informal-area-upgrading unit, said that in coordination with the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development, 815 housing units, which would house 3,500 people, have been built at Tal Al-Aqareb, along with 324 shops.

He added that 85 percent of the project was implemented.

Al-Mahrousa 1 and 2 projects

In the same context, Shaath remarked that the government has completed the construction of 90 percent of Al-Mahrousa 1 and 2 projects, which include 4,900 housing units. Al-Mahrousa 1 is comprised of 3,175 units, while Al-Mahrousa 2 boasts 1,594 units.

Al-Asmarat 3 project

At the beginning of 2017, the third district of the housing project in Al-Asmarat, Moqattam, was built, comprising 7,440 housing units. The project is constructed by the Tahya Misr Fund, in collaboration with the Armed Forces Engineering Authority.

Together to develop slums in Al -Salam 2 project

The project includes 3,312 housing units, which are built in collaboration between the Slum Development Fund and Together to develop slums.

Maspero Triangle project

Major General Mohammed Ayman Abdel Tawab, deputy governor of Cairo, said the government has been demolishing houses and shops in the Maspero Triangle in attempts to redevelop and modernize the three streets of the Bulaq Abul Ela district.
]]>
10/16/2018 6:09:45 PM
<![CDATA[Kremlin to discuss resumption of flights from Russia to Egypt's Red Sea resorts]]>
Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday that the two presidents would discuss the resumption of flights to the resort towns Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada. Russian flag carrier Aeroflot restarted flights to Egypt's capital Cairo in April.]]>
10/16/2018 3:36:19 PM
<![CDATA[At least six people killed in train derailment in Morocco]]>
The train derailed near Sidi Bouknadel, a town near Rabat, on the busy coastal line connecting the capital to the commercial hub of Casablanca.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear.

A Reuters reporters at the site saw a train derailed near some industrial and residential buildings.]]>
10/16/2018 3:29:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian found dead in ocean off San Diego]]>
The authorities announced the man's name is Abdel Kader el-Shayeb and that he is 37 years old. They are currently trying to identify the circumstances of his death and the homicide detectives were called in to investigate.

The authorities declared there was no obvious sign of injury on the man's body but the cause of death remains under investigation.

Fishermen spotted the body of the man floating off last Wednesday, October 10, about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) off of Mission Beach.

Police referred that Shayeb was wearing surfer-style swim trunks and had a chain of less than half of an inch thick, wrapped around his waist.

In the same context, the Italian national who killed an Egyptian engineer in Hurghada in August 2017 was sentenced to three years in prison in absentia by the Red Sea Criminal Court.

Leonardis Ivan, as named in the case file, killed Tarek al-Hennawy in a famous resort in Marsa Alam, by striking him fatally in the face after the engineer refused to let him access an under-construction marina. Hennawy, who was responsible for the development, had a heart condition.

The Italian tourist, identified in 2017 press reports as Ivan Pascal Moro, was detained for four days at the time, but was released on bail of LE 100,000 ($5,580). ]]>
10/16/2018 2:59:36 PM
<![CDATA[Spokesman: Sisi, Putin have talks over banquet]]>
In press statements, he added that the Egyptian president will head this evening to Sochi for the banquet that will be held in a restaurant.

The two leaders will discuss bilateral relations and other regional and international issues of common concern, added the spokesman.]]>
10/16/2018 2:44:35 PM
<![CDATA[Speaker of Ethiopia's House Muferiat Kamil resigns]]>
The move comes as the Ethiopian HPR approved the appointment of the new cabinet unanimously which was proposed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) reported on Tuesday.

The new cabinet has a record number of female ministers composed of 10 out of the 20 ministers.

The cabinet is downsized from 28 to 20, to speed up the ongoing sweeping reform of the country.]]>
10/16/2018 2:35:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Singapore discuss water cooperation]]>
The meeting took up the Singaporean experience in the domain of water recycling and maximizing the benefit from water resources.

Also, Abdel Aaty received an expert from the US NASA agency and discussed the Egyptian experience in the domain of predicting floods and measuring water levels.]]>
10/16/2018 2:22:40 PM
<![CDATA[Delta Coalition discusses climate change adaptation programs]]>
Representatives of the 13 member states exchanged their experiences to find solutions or mitigation strategies to save low-lying areas and coastal cities vulnerable to the effects of climate change like sea level rise.

The Egyptian government adopted coastal cities along the Mediterranean Sea. It inked a $31.5 million grant agreement with the Green Climate Fund and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The funds will be allocated for an eco-friendly dike system, a sheet of rock formed in a fracture of a pre-existing rock body to create a 69km-long wall in front of the shores of Delta governorates.

During the conference, which was chaired by Egypt, Bangladesh highlighted the most significant challenges it faces such as drought, floods and water shortage. The Dutch delegation also gave a presentation on Netherlands’ efforts to protect its low-lying areas from the sea level rise.

The Japanese delegation highlighted how Tokyo tries to face the sever disasters of cyclones and monsoons.

It is expected that the coalition will adopt a declaration on facing climate change threats on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

The Delta Coalition was officially launched in 2016, aiming at sharing an integrated management of deltas. The member states are Egypt, Argentina, Bangladesh, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Mozambique, Myanmar, the Netherlands, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam.

Egypt's first Cairo Water Week (CWW) kicked off on Oct. 14 under the auspices of President Sisi. It aims to increase public awareness of water rationalization for sustainable development amid a state of water shortage.

The four-day CWW is being held in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to tackle water issues, amid climate change that impacts the world’s freshwater.

In March 2016, the United Nations Environment Program warned that 50 percent of the world’s population would face “severe water stress” by 2030.

The 2018 CWW is launched under the title “Water Conservation for Sustainable Development”. It aims at fostering awareness of water issues for sustainable development, facing water challenges via non-traditional methods and modern technology, and supporting the implementation of an integrated water management.

]]>
10/16/2018 2:17:23 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt announces 1 week fellowship on water issues for OIC countries]]>
The grant was announced by Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation on Monday, Oct. 15 at the fourth session of the Islamic Conference of OIC for Water Ministers, on the sidelines of the 2018 Cairo Water Week.

Water specialists will be chosen from every member state to have a fully funded fellowship at the state-owned National Water Research Center in Cairo for a week, the minister added.

During his speech at the two-day conference, Abdel Atti said that the Islamic world faces many water challenges that will affect food security, environment, and public health; besides the natural disasters of floods, desertification, and famines, which resulted from climate change.

He said that some Islamic countries could face the same fate as some African countries, adding that a lake in Cape Town, South Africa, is about to dry up. “Lake Chad -the sixth largest lake in the world- deteriorated due to drought that hit the African coast,” he said.

The minister affirmed that Egypt’s water share per capita declined to 570 cubic meters per year in 2018, below the international standards of 1000 cubic meters per year, amid the increasing rate of population.

He continued that 1 million Egyptian farmers are vulnerable to lose their source of livelihood if the rate of renewable water decreases by 2 percent.

Meanwhile, Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb said in his speech at the conference that the real problem boils down to the unfair distribution of water.

In the opening session of the conference on Oct. 14, First Deputy of Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Ragab Abdel-Azim announced Egypt’s four-way strategy to mitigate water scarcity that resulted from climate change.

Egypt’s 2050 strategy aims to improve water quality, develop water resources, rationalize consumption and create a good environment to implement this strategy, he said in the speech that was given on behalf of the minister of water resources and irrigation.

Egypt's first Cairo Water Week (CWW) kicked off on Oct. 14 under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, aiming at increasing the public awareness of water rationalization for sustainable development amid a state of water shortage.

The four-day CWW is being held in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to tackle water issues, amid climate change that impacts the world’s freshwater.

In March 2016, the United Nations Environment Program warned that 50 percent of the world’s population would face “severe water stress” by 2030.

The 2018 CWW is launched under the title “Water Conservation for Sustainable Development”. It aims at fostering awareness of water issues for sustainable development, facing water challenges via non-traditional methods and modern technology, and supporting implementation of integrated water management.
]]>
10/16/2018 2:14:48 PM
<![CDATA[Awqaf min. asserts importance of renewing fatwas to cope with time, place changes]]>
This came in speech Gomaa delivered on behalf of the prime minister during the inauguration of the 4th international conference on fatwa renewal on Tuesday.

It is important to keep up with civilization without changing the basics of religion, Gomaa said.

Gomaa necessitated the importance of taking the living conditions into consideration when giving fatwa especially in relation to economic, social and humanitarian issues.

Gomaa announced that the Awqaf Ministry is ready to train imams from different countries of the world for free as part of Egypt's pioneering role to serve humanity.]]>
10/16/2018 12:57:01 PM
<![CDATA[Mufti: Terrorists still pose threat to whole world]]>
Addressing an international conference that is organized by Darul Iftaa, he added that the gathering is being held at a crucial time given the threat of the terrorist groups.

He underlined the necessity of uprooting the alien thoughts of terrorists through cooperation for overcoming black terrorism.

He highlighted on this score the necessity of drying up the funding sources of terrorist organizations along with rectifying wrong religious concepts.]]>
10/16/2018 12:50:58 PM
<![CDATA[New facilitation in cargo travels announced]]>
As part of the TRA's plan to maximize the role of rail transport during the upcoming stage to develop the authority's revenues through the optimal utilization of the cargo fleets, the first container-loaded train today began complementing the recent increased railway transport activity.

Raslan added that the target during the upcoming phase is to expand the opening of new exchange stations for the transfer of containers between seaports to serve industrial areas not connected to the railway.

Raslan pointed out on 13 October 2018 that the Authority will begin to carry out container transportation through cargo trains from the Dekheila port in Alexandria to the Aswan High Dam.

The Commission has already transferred from the ports to Helwan, 6th of October city and Aswan respectively, Raslan added.
]]>
10/16/2018 12:34:56 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, UNODC sign MoU to boost cooperation in criminal justice]]>
The MoU is also meant to enhance cooperation in collecting evidence and tracking perpetrators of terrorist and human trafficking crimes, as well as drug dealers and smugglers of cultural property, a statement by the public prosecutor's office here said Tuesday.

Under the deal, Egypt and the UNODC should also work together to fight violence against women and children, the statement added.

UNODC was established in 1997 to assist the UN in better addressing a coordinated, comprehensive response to the interrelated issues of illicit trafficking in and abuse of drugs, crime prevention and criminal justice, international terrorism, and corruption. ]]>
10/16/2018 11:53:17 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's Prime Minister resumes tour of Port Said governorate]]>
The premier started his tour with a visit to El Qanaa Preparatory School and was briefed on the academic process in the school.

After the premier finished his tour in the school, he made a surprise visit to a neighboring school to check on the regularity of the school day.

Madbouli also toured Port Said Public Hospital where he inspected the various departments of the hospital, outpatient clinics and listened to an explanation by the health minister on future expansions of the facility.

The premier also made a visit to the new popular market of the city which was recently set up on the location of El Arab slum area.

Madbouli embarked on a visit to Port Said governorate late Monday and met with executive leaders of the governorate and a number of parliamentarians to follow up the implementation of a number of development projects in the governorate.]]>
10/16/2018 11:46:28 AM
<![CDATA[Red Sea governor meets with head of Serbian parliamentary friendship association]]>
They were accompanied by a delegation of Egyptian businessmen investing in Serbia.

During the meeting, Filipovski asserted the depth of political ties between Egypt an Serbia, the Red Sea Governorate said in a statement on Monday.

It added that the visit of the Egyptian delegation pushes forward the economic relations between both countries.

In the meantime, Abdullah lauded the historic ties between Egypt and Serbia, adding that Egypt is looking forward to more cooperation in the economic fields.

Abdullah added that his meetings with Serbian ministers of trade and tourism were positive and fruitful.

Meanwhile, Guwaili said that the Egyptian-Serbian ties witness swift progress in the different domains.]]>
10/16/2018 11:34:20 AM
<![CDATA[122K youth from 195 countries register online in WYF in Sharm el-Sheikh]]>
The forum's managers decided to close registration for the 2018 forum, which is held under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

They announced that 122,000 youth aged from 18 to 40 registered online in the forum. Out of 122,000, 68,000 persons registered to participate in the forum and 13,000 others to take the chance to speak up loud.

Also, 5,000 artists registered to participate in the forum's theater.

The forum also decided to host 5,000 youth from 145 countries to participate in this year's forum, compared to 3,000 participants last year.

The second annual edition of the WYF will tackle two main axes: peace and development. The forum will bring together more than 3,000 youths represented by 60 delegations from across the world to explore key issues facing their generation, and determine their role in implementing the global development goals and in facing terrorism.

The first axis will discuss reconstructing post-conflict countries and societies, the role of world leaders in achieving peace, the duty of the international community to provide humanitarian assistance and counter-terrorism, and the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.

The axis of development will include topics related to energy and water security, empowerment of people with disabilities, the role of voluntary work in building societies, the agenda of 2063 African Sustainable Development, digital citizenship, the role of art and cinema in shaping communities, ways to build future leaders, and means of shrinking the gender gap in the work force.

An Arab-African Summit Simulation Model will be held on the sidelines of the forum, as was recommended during the African Union Simulation Model held in May 2018 as part of the activation of the 2017 World Youth Forum's recommendations.

The first edition of the World Youth Forum was launched from Nov. 4-10, 2017 in Sharm El-Sheikh. It was attended by 3,200 participants from 113 countries. The forum was a platform for 222 speakers from 64 countries with expertise in various fields, gathered in 46 sessions.

In the 2017 edition, the participating leaders and experts discussed various international and regional issues, including crises of migration and refugees, democracy and human rights, African stability and development, and globalization and cultural identity, as well as technology and social media and their impact on the population.

In July 2017, the president announced organizing, for the first time, the WYF in Sharm El-Sheikh during the fourth National Youth Conference in Alexandria.

Nawal el-Sayed and MENA contributed to this report ]]>
10/16/2018 11:25:05 AM
<![CDATA[4th int'l conf. on fatwa renewal starts with participation of 73 countries]]>
Awqaf Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa witnessed the event on behalf of the prime minister.

Egypt's Mufti Shawqi Allam and Justice Minister Hossam Abdel Rahim attended the inauguration of the event attended by scholars and religious institutions from 73 countries.

Muftis from Palestine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad and Lebanon participated in the inaugural session of the conference.

The three-day conference is to discuss a number of economic, political and social issues along with the importance of fatwas in contemporary time.]]>
10/16/2018 11:20:26 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi lays wreath on tomb of unknown soldier in Moscow]]>
The national anthems of both Egypt and Russia were played upon Sisi's arrival at the tomb site.

Sisi is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Russian Federation Council later today. ]]>
10/16/2018 10:43:32 AM
<![CDATA[Italian sentenced in absentia for killing Egyptian engineer in Hurghada]]>
Leonardis Ivan, as named in the case file, killed Tarek al-Hennawy in the famous resort of Hurghada, Marsa Alam, by striking him fatally in the face after the engineer refused giving him access to an under-construction marina. Hennawy, who was responsible for the development, had a heart condition.

The Italian tourist, identified in 2017 press reports as Ivan Pascal Moro, was detained for four days at the time, but was released on bail of LE 100,000 ($5,580).
]]>
10/15/2018 9:03:30 PM
<![CDATA[Defense Minister meets Cypriot counterpart to discuss cooperation]]>
Zaki held an official reception ceremony for Angelides and his accompanying delegation at the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Defense while the national anthem of both countries played.

The meeting tackled the latest developments in regional and international arenas, coordination of efforts to meet common challenges, as well as establishing security and stability in the region.

Discussions on military cooperation, joint exercises and exchange of experiences in many fields were also on the agenda.

Zaki stressed the depth of established ties between Egypt and Cyprus, expressing his hope that the next phase will see more joint cooperation.

Angelides praised the continuous development of Egyptian-Cypriot military relations and the bilateral cooperation between the two countries on various front.

The meeting was attended by a number of leaders from the armed forces and the Ambassador of Cyprus in Cairo.
]]>
10/15/2018 8:43:34 PM
<![CDATA[First Internal Flight arrives Sphinx International Airport]]>
Sphinx International Airport serves 6th of October City, Sheikh Zayed, Fayoum, Beni Suef and Menia governorates.

It is located near the Grand Egyptian Museum and the Haram area.

It serves tourist areas in Cairo and receives one flight every day.

The airport is designed to ease the pressure on Cairo International Airport, located east of the Egyptian capital.

It consists of the main terminal building, the air control tower and 24 service offices.

The airport has two main corridors for landing and takeoff, as well as emergency corridors. It accommodates 300 passengers per hour, and its main gate is located on the Alexandria desert road.

The total area of the Sphinx International Airport is estimated at 26 thousand meters, at a construction cost of around LE 300 million.
]]>
10/15/2018 8:38:30 PM
<![CDATA[UK to provide £12 million fund to support education reform in Egypt]]>
The UK fund will support the teacher training and children’s education across Egypt through the Ministry of Education's program.

“I am proud that once again the UK is at the forefront to support Egypt’s development and growth. This fund sends a global message of support to future generations of this country and will help the Egyptian government turn its education reform vision into a reality,” Middle East Minister Hon Alistair Burt said.

In the same context, British Ambassador to Egypt Sir Geoffrey Adams referred that the UK seeks to support Egypt’s educational reform for Egyptian youth to be equipped with knowledge and skills.

“An investment in Egyptian youth is an investment in Egypt’s future. Education is central to this,” Adams remarked.

The Ministry of Education has taken several steps to enhance education in Egypt, which is part of Egypt’s 2030 vision to cultivate economic and social justice and revive the role of Egypt in the region.

In a press conference held on October 4, Minister of Education Tarek Shawki stated the reforms carried out in the educational system had "exceeded all expectations".
The new educational system aims to hone students' skills of understanding and knowledge.

Under the new educational system, secondary students have access to the internet and are linked to the Egyptian Knowledge Bank, an electronic educational encyclopedia. In addition, separate science and arts sections no longer exist.

“Five million parents are satisfied with the new educational system,” said Shawki. He added that the latest shipment of 100,000 Samsung tablets had been received. The Education Ministry has set a target of 1 million tablets, worth LE 1.4 billion, to be distributed among secondary students.
]]>
10/15/2018 7:48:32 PM
<![CDATA[Court rejects appeal by Morsi, 18 others in “contempt of court” case]]>
In December 2017, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Saad el-Katatni and 18 others to three years in prison in the case “insulting judiciary” by making statements on TV, social media and radio that incite hatred against the court.

The case involves 24 defendants, five of whom were fined LE 30,000.

The investigations stated that Morsi, during his televised presidential speech on June 23, 2013, insulted Judge Ali Mohamed Ahmed al-Nemr, describing him as “an impartial judge.” Nemr was the presiding judge of a Cairo criminal court which acquitted Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, sons of former President Hosni Mubarak, along with former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, over charges of corruption in December 2013. He was also one of the supervisory judges during the 2005 Presidential elections.

Several Muslim Brotherhood defendants have received sentences ranging from 24 hours to three years in prison, over charges for court contempt.

The most recent penalty of contempt for the court was imposed on Mohammed El-Beltagy, who was sentenced for a year in prison while the court considered his charges in the case dubbed “breaking into the eastern border.”

The court usually uses Article 244 of the criminal law measures to file a suit against El-Beltagy, stipulating that if any violations or discourteousness are committed in the court hearing, the court shall immediately file a lawsuit against the defendant and sentence it after hearing his lawyer and the prosecution.

Under the law, the defendant charged of court contempt shall face sentences ranging from 24 hours in prison to three years, and the head of court uses Article 184 of the Penal Code to identify which penalty to impose on the defendants if any actions were committed to insult or undermine the court, Parliament, army and any other authorities. Under Article 184, he shall be punished with prison time or fines.
]]>
10/15/2018 4:37:52 PM
<![CDATA[No tsunami expected to hit Egypt: EMA]]>
In a statement issued by the government on Monday morning, Abdel Aal said it’s not logic that Egypt will be hit by a tsunami wave because it is not one of the Atlantic countries. He added that Egypt might only be facing a strong wave of rains during the coming period.

He said that all the details about expected rains or floods will be announced by EMA.

Egypt’s weather has fallen noticeably, according to Abdel Aal, during the past days.

On Saturday, EMA warned from a cold wave and a huge fall in temperatures. It was stated that there is a chance Egypt will witness rains and floods especially in the mountainous areas.

EMA also advised drivers to be careful and look out for the heavy fog.

10K cubic meters of water collected from Saint Catherine floods

CAIRO - 2 September 2018: The floods, which hit Egypt's Saint Catherine over the past two days, resulted in the accumulation of around 10,000 cubic meters of floodwater, said the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.



]]>
10/15/2018 4:22:25 PM
<![CDATA[Meeting Eurasian Economic Commission’s chairman is the first Sisi’s activity in Russia]]>
The Eurasian Customs Union is a customs union which consists of all the Member states of the Eurasian Economic Union including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived on Monday to Russia for talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Sisi will also hold talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and other senior officials on boosting economic cooperation.

Sisi is scheduled to deliver a speech before the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly. This is the first time for a foreign leader to deliver a speech at the council.

]]>
10/15/2018 3:32:58 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to host 'Defenders of Friendship 3' military drills with Russia]]>
The two countries’ paratroopers will exchange training experiences on a number of combat activities, including Special Forces' training, counter-terrorism tactics, freeing hostages and storming facilities based on the latest modern training systems.

The training comes as part of the cooperation between Russian and Egyptian Armed Forces.

Egypt's joint military exercises for 2016-2017 included 30 trainings with 20 Arab and African countries. The Egyptian Army participated in joint military drills and exercises with some of the top armies in the world.

In September 2017, The Egypt-U.S. military maneuvers known as the “Bright Star 2017” was launched, and took place at the combat training complex at the Mohamed Najib Military Base in the northern military zone.

At the same time, the Egyptian paratroopers arrived in Russia to participate in the first joint exercises, "Defenders of Friendship 2017", hosted by the Russian Federation during the period from September 9 to 22, 2017. The "Defenders of Friendship" training was carried out for the first time in Egypt in 2016.

These military trainings come in light of the joint training plan of the Egyptian Armed Forces, which aims to exchange training experiences and establish military cooperation with friendly countries.

Egypt’s Special Forces headed to Bahrain in April to participate in the Khaled Bin Al-Waleed 2018 joint military drill with Bahraini forces.

“The training comes in light of the military partnership and cooperation and the coordination of efforts between the Armed Forces of the two brotherly countries to reach the highest levels of efficiency and combat readiness,” the Armed Forces statement said.

]]>
10/15/2018 3:19:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt seeks to utilize treated wastewater in agriculture ]]>
Egyptian Water and Wastewater Regulatory Agency's Chief Executive, Mohamed Hassan Mustafa, said that the agency works on monitoring the drinking water quality through collecting samples from discharge stations, and raising the efficiency of wastewater treatment stations.

In the same context, Sayed Ismail, deputy head of Project Management Unit (PMU), remarked that the national program for sustainable sanitation services aims to provide sanitation services to citizens, raise the efficiency of wastewater and sanitation companies, and nationally promote institutional mechanisms to provide efficient and sustainable drinking water and sanitation services.

In the past few days, some farmers voiced their concerns over water shortage in the irrigation canals in Delta and Upper Egypt as it can damage their crops, amid the water scarcity crisis the country is suffering from.

Farmers complained about water shortage in their new agricultural startups. In Wadi al-Noqra village, in Aswan's Nasr al-Nuba city, a group of youth demanded getting the water needed for cultivating their lands, reported "Al-Gedaan talk" show on Al-Kahera wal Nas TV channel. They get water only every two weeks.

Egypt suffers from an annual 21 billion cubic meters gap between water consumption and production. The consumption reached 110 billion cubic meters, while Egypt currently has 60 million cubic meters annually.

The country imports a total of 34 billion cubic meters of water annually in food products to achieve food security.

It is expected that the water share per capita would drop to 500 cubic meters annually by 2025 amid the rapid deterioration of water and underground water quality.
Egypt’s water share per capita declined by 60 percent since 1970, reaching 663 cubic meters, in accordance with the 2014 report issued by the state-owned Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Hence, Egypt will build the largest sewage water treatment plant to face water shortage that could affect around 0.5 million people in Sinai.

The plant, which will treat sewage and agricultural wastewater of the longest drain (Bahr al-Baqar 1 drain), will be inaugurated after two years in the east of Suez Canal, said Minister of Water resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Atti in a round-table held with Egypt Today in July.
Additional Report by Samar Samir
]]>
10/15/2018 2:55:21 PM
<![CDATA[Climate change not environmental but development challenge: Min.]]>
Climate change has been the focus of many conferences for years but no real progress was realized so far because we are dealing with this issue as an environmental challenge and not as a development one, Fouad said during the second-day sessions of Cairo Water Week.

Ways of addressing this issue should be linked to development goals, she said.

In Egypt, for example, facing this serious problem should be linked to water resources in Nile Delta and coastal areas, she said referring to the signed agreement with Green Climate Fund to provide an appropriate infrastructure in Nile Delta to face climate change.

Providing suitable infrastructure in governorates is the main challenge facing Egypt when attempting to address climate change challenge, she said.]]>
10/15/2018 1:47:53 PM
<![CDATA[At least six people killed in flashfloods in southern France, waters rising]]>
Six helicopters were scrambled to help rescue people from the roofs of their homes, but bad weather was making operations difficult, the prefect of Aude, Alain Thirion, told BFM TV. Around 250 firemen and 100 police were involved in the effort.

“We have people stranded on rooftops. We’re going to have to use aircraft to evacuate them because we cannot reach them by boat given the force of the water. It’s too dangerous,” he said.

Among the worst hit areas were the villages of Conques-sur-Orbiel and Villardonnel, where waters rose as high as the first-floor windows of some houses. The Aude region is best known for its Medieval fort city of Carcassonne.

The flash floods struck without warning. At least one victim was swept away by raging waters while sleeping, Thirion said. Television pictures showed rivers flowing furiously, having torn down trees and concrete power pylons, and swept away cars.

Water levels were expected to continue to rise in the area on Monday, with rain forecast until late in the morning. Schools in the area were closed and residents were told to stay at home.

Torrential rains are not uncommon in France at this time of year, but meteorologists have said exceptionally warm sea water along the Mediterranean coast may be intensifying the rains.

The year so far is France’s hottest since 1900, according to the state meteorological service.]]>
10/15/2018 1:08:50 PM
<![CDATA[Kuwait says it rejects 'campaign against Saudi Arabia': newspaper]]>
Anas al-Saleh said Kuwait regretted the “unfair campaign” and supported Saudi Arabia “in facing all those who wish to harm its sovereignty”.

Kuwait’s cabinet urged people to wait for the results of the ongoing investigations by the relevant authorities, al-Saleh said.]]>
10/15/2018 12:56:36 PM
<![CDATA[9 terrorists killed in Upper Egypt]]>
Ten terrorists were killed in a fire exchange with security forces North Sinai’s Arish city. They possessed three explosive devices, three machine guns, and three rubber bullets guns, Ministry of Interior announced on Oct.9.

The National Security Department at the ministry was informed that ten terrorists took refuge in an abandoned farm in Arish to prepare for attacks. Security forces stormed into the place where a fire exchange occurred resulting in the death of all terrorists.

On Oct.8, the Egyptian Air Forces targeted seven hideouts of terrorist groups in North Sinai killing 26 'takfiris' (religious extremist terrorists). Two four-wheel cars were destroyed while 26 cars and 52 motorcycles were seized by the forces.

The operation foiled a terrorist plot to target a number of military checkpoints in North Sinai, according to the 28th statement issued by the General Command of the Egyptian Armed Forces on the "Comprehensive Military Operation Sinai 2018."

The operation was initiated in February following a terror attack that targeted a mosque in North Sinai during Friday prayers in December killing more than 300 civilians. ]]>
10/15/2018 12:35:22 PM
<![CDATA[Transport minister to open 1st part of 3rd stage of Cairo Metro Line 3 in 2021]]>
The section includes four stations; Gamal Abdel Nasser, Maspero, Zamalek and Kit Kat, the minister said during a meeting with the company in charge of setting up this section.

The third stage, which stretches from Attaba till Cairo University, is 17.7 kilometers long and includes 15 tunnel and at grade stations.

It will be carried out over three stages.

The first phase will connect Attaba Station with the already existing Gamal Abdel Nasser Station through 26th of July Street then it will continue on its way onto northern of Maspero and run under both branches of the Nile passing through Zamalek island at Zamalek Station and ending at Kit Kat Station under the Kit Kat Square. ]]>
10/15/2018 12:14:58 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi arrives in Moscow for official visit]]>
The summit will tackle boosting bilateral relations and other issues of mutual interest.

The talks come as part of strategic partnership between the two countries.

Sisi will also hold talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and other senior officials on boosting economic cooperation.

Sisi is scheduled to deliver a speech before the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly. This is the first time for a foreign leader to deliver a speech at the council.]]>
10/15/2018 12:01:14 PM
<![CDATA[Madbouli inspects number of projects in Daqahlia governorate]]>
The premier was accompanied by ministers of local development, higher education, health, technical education minister and Daqahlia Governor Kamal Gad Sharobeem.

The premier started the tour with a visit to Meet Ghamr Industrial Secondary School and was briefed on the development project of Meet Ghamr School Complex.

Madbouli is scheduled to inspect a number of projects including Meet Ghamr Oncology Center as well as other service facilities in Aga City.

He will also tour housing projects in New Masnoura and Gamasaa cities]]>
10/15/2018 11:06:11 AM
<![CDATA[Syrian army raises flag on Quneitra crossing]]>
This falls within the framework of the Russian-Turkish agreement reached in July.

Under the agreement, armed groups refusing the settlement in Quneitra and its countryside will move to Idlib. ]]>
10/15/2018 11:00:30 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt Partakes in 38th GITEX Technology Week with 32 local ICT companies Supported by ITIDA]]>
The event defines the latest trends, showcasing products and innovations from across the world. GITEX is bringing together the most innovative, exciting and ambitious tech giants and start-ups to showcase products, innovative solutions and ideas to an audience of thousands of visitors and hand-picked international investors.

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ITIDA supports the participation of 32 ICT local companies in two different pavilions around GITEX venue aiming to create new opportunities of partnerships, boost investments, expand presence in the Gulf market and promoting for Egypt’s potential.

The governmental entity has an ambition of building and championing a world-class IT industry that will play an increasingly important role in Egypt’s economic growth and increasing the volume of its digital and IT services exports to $ 4 billion by the end of this fiscal year with a growth rate of 13.4%, compared with 3.25 billion in 2017.

The Egyptian government capitalizes on the vibrant ICT sector and aspires to increase its contribution to the country’s GDP from 3.1% to 5% within three years particularly with the nationwide plan that drives all sectors of the State and ministries to achieve digital transformation.

According to ITIDA’s Export IT program of year 2017, a state fund and cash rebate on ICT exports, the UAE comes on top the gulf countries in terms of importing and buying services of the Egyptian ICT companies, with 56% followed by Saudi Arabia with 22%.

Commenting on the findings, Maha Rasha, ITIDA Acting CEO said that the decision makers in the UAE and the MENA region in general show confidence in Egypt as a destination of choice for IT outsourcing services and technology innovations. She added that the Egyptian talent is very well recognized for its unique technical capabilities where it also provides a highly qualified and multi-lingual skilled labor pool of workers at a competitive cost.

For the past years, GITEX has been offering a unique opportunity for Egypt and Egyptian Companies to showcase their cutting-edge solutions and technologies and penetrate one of the world’s fastest growing regions. Launched in 1981, GITEX is the ICT business gateway to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia Region. GITEX continually identifies the hottest global IT trends and incubates them into the event either as new sectors or conference programs. It is the foremost technology exposition in the Middle East and one of the top three ICT events worldwide, drawing over 147,000 ICT professionals from around the world.
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10/15/2018 10:42:22 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi heads for Russia on state visit]]>
The summit will tackle boosting bilateral relations and other issues of mutual interest.

The talks come as part of strategic partnership between the two countries.

Sisi will also hold talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and other senior officials on boosting economic cooperation. ]]>
10/15/2018 10:01:31 AM
<![CDATA[S.Arabia says will retaliate against any sanctions over Khashoggi case]]>
Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist critical of Riyadh's policies, disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkey believes he was murdered and his body removed. Saudi Arabia has denied that.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened "severe punishment" if it turns out Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, though he said Washington would be "punishing" itself if it halted military sales to Riyadh.

"The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations," the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted an unnamed official as saying.

"The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the Kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy," the official added, without elaborating.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington later tweeted what it called a clarification, thanking countries including the United States "for refraining from jumping to conclusions" over the case.

In a sign Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud may seek a diplomatic solution to the incident, he stressed the strength of Saudi-Turkish ties in a telephone call with President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, the Saudi press agency said late on Sunday.

The king thanked Erdogan for welcoming a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance and said no one could undermine their relationship.

EUROPE SEEKS CREDIBLE INVESTIGATION

Europe's largest economies -- Britain, France and Germany -- said on Sunday they were treating the case with "the utmost seriousness".

"There needs to be a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened, and - if relevant - to identify those bearing responsibility for the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and ensure that they are held to account," the countries said in a joint statement.

"We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi Government to provide a complete and detailed response. We have conveyed this message directly to the Saudi authorities."

The statement, by Britain's Jeremy Hunt, France's Jean-Yves Le Drian and Germany's Heiko Maas, made no mention of potential actions the countries might take. Hunt later said that if Saudi Arabia were proven to be guilty, "we would have to think about the appropriate way to react in that situation."

OIL PRICE WARNING

In a column published just after the SPA statement, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya channel's General Manager Turki Aldakhil warned that imposing sanctions on the world's largest oil exporter could spark global economic disaster.

"It would lead to Saudi Arabia's failure to commit to producing 7.5 million barrels. If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure," he wrote.

Investor concern is growing that Khashoggi's disappearance could add to a sense that Saudi policy has become more unpredictable under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is pushing social and economic reforms but has also presided over a rise in tensions between with several countries.

A Gulf banker said the Khashoggi case, combined with other events, had become a significant factor for some potential investors.

"It's cumulative – the Yemen war, the dispute with Qatar, the tensions with Canada and Germany, the arrests of women activists. They add up to an impression of impulsive policy-making, and that worries investors," the banker said.

Foreign capital is key to Saudi plans for economic diversification and job creation.

But in response to Khashoggi's disappearance, media organisations and a growing number of executives have pulled out of a Riyadh investment conference scheduled for next week, dubbed "Davos in the Desert."

On Sunday, JP Morgan Chase & Co said Chief Executive Jamie Dimon has canceled plans to attend the Saudi Arabian investor conference later this month. Ford Motor Co said Chairman Bill Ford has canceled his trip to the Middle East, which included an appearance at the Saudi investment conference.

JP Morgan Chase and Ford did not comment on whether the decision was related to concerns about the disappearance of Khashoggi.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin still plans to attend the conference, but that could change, Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, said on ABC's "This Week".

WASHINGTON REACTS

U.S. senators called for reactions ranging from boycotting an upcoming economic summit in Riyadh to ending support for Saudi military operations in Yemen.

"If they lured this man into that consulate, they went medieval on him, and he was killed and he was chopped up and they sent a death crew down there to kill him and do all of this, that would be an outrage," Florida Senator Marco Rubio told CNN's State of the Union.

"Just because they are an ally in an important mission, which is containing Iranian expansion in the region, cannot allow us to overlook or walk away from that."

Fellow Republican, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, appearing on "This Week", called for “severe action” which he said would affect arms sales and involvement in Yemen.

The Saudi stock market fell as much as 7 percent in early trade on Sunday, one of the first signs of economic pain Riyadh could suffer over the affair. By close, it had recovered some losses, ending down 3.5 percent and losing $16.5 billion of market value.

Senators have triggered a provision of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act requiring the president to determine whether a foreign person is responsible for a gross human rights violation. The act has in the past imposed visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials.

Anti-Saudi sentiment in the U.S. Congress could conceivably raise pressure to pass the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, which would end sovereign immunity shielding OPEC members from U.S. legal action.

ACCESSING CONSULATE

The crisis has polarised Saudis, with some blaming the nation's enemies and others concerned about the direction the country is heading under Prince Mohammed.

Prince Khaled al-Faisal, a senior member of Saudi Arabia's ruling family and senior advisor to King Salman, has met Erdogan to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters without providing details.

A Turkish official told Reuters on Sunday that the Saudis had said they would allow the consulate to be searched, and that this would happen by the end of the weekend, though he conceded to "flexibility on this date."

"But Turkey is determined on the subject of entering the consulate and carrying out a criminal inspection. There is no alternative to carrying out this inspection. Time is important in terms of evidence," the official said.
]]>
10/15/2018 6:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Erdogan, Saudi king stress importance of Khashoggi working group]]>
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud stressed the strength of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the Saudi press agency said late on Sunday.


They said the leaders stressed the importance of their two countries creating a joint working group as part of the investigation.


The king thanked the Erdogan for welcoming the Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to discuss the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and said no one could undermine their relationship.
]]>
10/15/2018 2:00:20 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s per capita share of water declines to 570 cm3/year in 2018, Min.]]>
He attributed the decline to the limited quantity of available water resources, adding that Egypt’s water resources come from outside its borders.

“Amid the growing water shortage, the state is trying to reduce the gap between water resources and the mounting consumption through [using] treated water, which represents 25 percent of current use,” Abdel Atti said, reaffirming that million Egyptian farmers would lose their source of livelihood if the rate of renewable water decreases by 2 percent.

WhatsApp Image 2018-10-14 at 7.49.11 PM
African participants at the first Cairo Water Week- Press photo


The Minister added that Egypt’s delta faces a serious challenge as it is being eroded due to sea level rise, noting that this challenge will affect agriculture in the North Delta.

“Increasing water poverty rate in Egypt is one of the most significant impacts of climate change, with an expectation of increasing water demand by 20 percent by 2020,” the minister continued.

The government has adopted a national strategy, at a cost of $50 billion, to mitigate the climate change impacts on the water sector.

Egypt's first Cairo Water Week (CWW) kicked off on Sunday under the auspices of President Sisi, aiming at increasing the public awareness of water rationalization for the sustainable development amid state of water shortage.

The four-day CWW is being held in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to tackle water issues, amid climate change that impacts the world’s freshwater. In March 2016, the United Nations Environment Program warned that 50 percent of the world’s population would face “severe water stress” by 2030.

The 2018 CWW is launched under the title “Water Conservation for Sustainable Development”. It aims at fostering awareness of water issues for sustainable development, facing water challenges via non-traditional methods and modern technology, and supporting implementation of integrated water management.

On the sidelines of the CWW, the African Young Water Professionals Forum was held, gathering 24 young people from 12 African countries of Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Ghana , and Morocco.

Meanwhile, the fourth session of the Islamic Conference of OIC for Water Ministers, held on Sunday, Oct. 14 on the sidelines of the CWW.

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli also inaugurated the opening ceremony, praising the conference as it sheds lights on the significance of water rationalization worldwide. He also welcomed the participants.
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10/14/2018 8:30:28 PM
<![CDATA[African Young Water Professionals Forum kicks off in Cairo]]>
The forum was organized by the African working group of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, which is currently chaired by Egypt, in cooperation with several international bodies, notably the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA); the Global Water Partnership (GWP) - International Water Management Institute (IWMI); National Italian, Moroccan and South African Committees for Irrigation and Drainage; the Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA); and the Regional Network for Youth Capacity Building in the Nile Basin Countries.

In his speech at the forum that was held on the sidelines of the 2018 Cairo Water Week, Head of the state-owned National Water Research Center (NWRC) Khaled Abdel Hai voiced Egypt’s support to the African youth, praising the efforts exerted in that field.

The opening session of the two-day forum tackled African youth’s water-related activities over the period between 2018 and 2020, said Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in a statement on Sunday.

A total of 24 young people from 12 African countries including Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Morocco participated in the forum.

The activities of the forum included four workshops on linkage between water, energy and food; future needs in technologies; and irrigation and drainage-related researches, the statement continued.

The first Cairo Water Week (CWW) kicked off on Sunday under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, aiming at increasing the public awareness of water rationalization for sustainable development amid a state of water shortage.

The four-day CWW is being held in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to tackle water issues, amid climate change that impacts the world’s freshwater.

In March 2016, the United Nations Environment Program warned that 50 percent of the world’s population would face “severe water stress” by 2030.

In case you missed it

Egypt adopts four-way strategy to mitigate water scarcity: Deputy min.

CAIRO - 14 October 2018: Egypt adopted a four-way strategy to mitigate water scarcity that resulted from climate change and the increased consumption, said First Deputy Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Ragab Abdel-Azim. This came during Abdel Azim's speech at the fourth session of the Islamic Conference of OIC for Water Ministers, held on Sunday, Oct.




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10/14/2018 7:00:09 PM
<![CDATA[GCC chief denounces media campaign against Saudi Arabia]]>
In a statement, Zayani described what some Arab and international media circulate as false and groundless accusations that aim to defame the kingdom.

He pointed out that some media outlets violated principles of the code of ethics in the media.

Saudi Arabia does not hesitate to form a joint investigation committee with the Turkish side to uncover the truth, he added.]]>
10/14/2018 4:00:57 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt adopts four-way strategy to mitigate water scarcity: Deputy min.]]>
This came during Abdel Azim's speech at the fourth session of the Islamic Conference of OIC for Water Ministers, held on Sunday, Oct. 14 on the sidelines of the First Cairo Water Week.

Egypt’s 2050 strategy boils down to improving water quality, developing water resources, rationalizing consumption and creating a good environment to implement this strategy, he added in the speech that was given on behalf of Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel-Atti.

Egypt suffers a water shortage crisis amid an increasing consumption rate, he added, noting that 79 percent of Egypt’s resources come from outside its borders.

Abdel Azim said that the country has taken several steps to start implementing this strategy via reducing rice cultivation areas by more than 30 percent.

On May 21, Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ratified new amendments to Agriculture Law No. 53 of 1966, per which the government will determine the areas to cultivate certain water-intensive crops, such as rice and sugarcane, amid the water shortage crisis in order to rationalize water usage.

The deputy minister said that Egypt also focused on using solar energy in irrigation systems, adding that the Egyptian government signed an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on using solar-powered irrigation systems in sites depending on underground water.

Egypt’s first Cairo Water Week (CWW) kicked off on Sunday, Oct 14 under the auspices of President Sisi, aiming at increasing public awareness of water rationalization for sustainable development amid a state of water shortage.

The four-day CWW is being held in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to tackle water issues, amid climate change that impacts the world’s freshwater.

In March 2016, the United Nations Environment Program warned that 50 percent of the world’s population would face “severe water stress” by 2030.

]]>
10/14/2018 3:48:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian diplomat hails historic ties with Sudan]]>
He made the remarks during a meeting of the Parliament's African Affairs Committee chaired by MP Tareq Radwan to discuss means of fostering Egyptian-Sudanese relations.

In his speech, Shaltot pointed out that the Egyptian Embassy in Khartoum comprises a galaxy of diplomats, who play a key role in developing relations between the two countries.

For his part, head of the African affairs committee underlined the importance of reinstating the “Nile Valley” parliament between Egypt and Sudan, as part of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's directives to bolster relations among African states and activate full cooperation with Sudan.

Preparations are underway for sending a parliamentary delegation to Sudan, Radwan said.

The move comes within the framework of President Sisi's instructions to develop relations with Khartoum in the different fields, he added. ]]>
10/14/2018 3:48:09 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt stops importing tomato seed due to yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV)]]>
Samples taken from the fields for analysis tested positive for the virus, according to the investigation committee tasked to probe into the issue, the ministry added in a statement.

Earlier in October, the Egyptian authorities launched investigations after a group of farmers suffered losses in their 2018 tomato crops which resulted from planting seeds of class 023, infected with tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV).

Committees of the state-owned Agricultural Research Center (ARC) analyzed samples of the infected tomatoes from several planted areas.

The infected crops were planted on around 10,000 acres across many rural areas, mainly in Nobaria and Wadi al-Natroun cities in Beheira governorate.

The cost of cultivating one acre of tomato was estimated at LE 50,000 (US$ 2,795). Tomato is considered one of Egypt’s major exported crops.

In September, a number of farmers filed a complaint to Minister of Agriculture Ezz el-Din Abu Steit, calling to launch a probe pertaining to the infected seeds, bought from a private company.

They stated in the complaint that the company claimed that the sowed seeds are resistant to the TYLCV virus. However, it was proved the opposite, according to a copy of the letter published by youm7 newspaper.

Abu Steit affirmed that the Agriculture Ministry is a part the problem as the company previously obtained a license from the Plant Research Institute, which is affiliated to the ARC, to import the tomato seeds of class 023.

Egypt cultivates a total of 500,000 acres of tomatoes annually in different areas nationwide. Around 20 tons of tomatoes are produced in one acre, Head of Vegetables Department at the state-owned Central Administration of Horticulture, Alaa al-Bahrawy, told Infrad website.

Egypt’s tomato exports in the first quarter of 2018 amounted to $13.5 million, compared to $6.6 million in the same period of 2017, according to Egypt’s Foreign Trade’s annual bulletin.

Furthermore, it has been reported that Egypt will export tomatoes to the Canadian markets as part of its plan to increase vegetable export outlets.

Additional reporting by Samar Samir
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10/14/2018 2:52:35 PM
<![CDATA[3 defendants sentenced to death in Ansar Al-Sharia case]]>
The court sentenced four to life, seven to 15 years of rigorous imprisonment and acquitted nine others.

Previously, late Public Prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, referred 23 defendants to the Criminal Court for establishing the terrorist group “Ansar Al-Sharia” that embraces extremist ideas, aiming to change the regime by force and carry out attacks against citizens, police and the Armed Forces.

On August 12, the Criminal Court sentenced the three defendants to death and transferred the verdicts to the country's grand mufti for a legally required but non-binding consultation. The court set October 14 for issuing its final verdict.
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10/14/2018 2:52:00 PM
<![CDATA[In pics: Shoukry meets with British secretary of state for MENA]]>
Shoukry will also hold a meeting with UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame to shed light on the latest developments in Libya and efforts exerted by Egypt to restore Libya’s stability.

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On August 25, 2017, Burt met with Egypt’s Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar.

Burt stressed the importance of boosting cooperation between the two countries to tackle security challenges, curtail increasing terrorist operations and eliminate the danger of terrorism in the region where it may arise.

“It’s very necessary to strengthen and broaden the information exchange system tracking their movements, as continuous pressures on terrorist organizations will nag them to seek new homes in other countries,” Burt added.

“I appreciate the Egyptian security efforts to combat terrorism and secure tourist attractions and resorts,” said Burt. He also expressed Britain’s desire to increase the rate of British people visiting Egypt.

Highlighting the most significant security developments and local efforts to secure tourist attractions, seaports and airports, Abdel Ghaffar welcomed cooperating with Britain to exchange technical and training expertise. ]]>
10/14/2018 1:52:35 PM
<![CDATA[State Information Service denounces Human Rights Watch’s report]]>
Human Rights Watch published a report on October 11 on the alleged torture of an Egyptian-American citizen named Khalid Hassan, in which allegations of torture and enforced disappearance were made, the SIS said in response to the HRW report.

In addition to the inaccuracies in the report, it also deliberately fails to mention the facts in full, and even ignores the full presentation of the bilateral dialogue process on the case of the defendant, Khalid Hasan, between SIS and HRW, either via email or lengthy telephone calls that witnessed long and detailed discussions. Despite the fact that SIS dealt in a professional manner with previous HRW reports on allegations of torture inside Egyptian prisons, and its replies to HRW's inquiries in an effort to build confidence; HRW continued to misrepresent the facts by publishing its almost one sided reports, without fully taking into account the input the other side provides, along with the lack of documents to support their allegations, and we consider this a violation of professional basics of the preparation and publishing of reports, the SIS said.

This places our confidence in HRW in deep doubt.

The main points of the sequence of events regarding the correspondence over this topic are as follows:

1) The Correspondence

• HRW sent an e-mail to SIS on 23/9/2018 regarding the case of the defendant "Khaled Hassan" inquiring upon what allegations of enforced disappearance and torture, and added what seemed to be an ultimatum that stipulated that we should send a reply within 2 days.

• On the same day, a telephone call was made by a member of the Egypt team at HRW to SIS, to discuss some issues related to the situation.

• Based on this, HRW sent a second email on 25/9/2018 containing some details that contradict their first letter, and the same apparent warning was repeated that a reply should be sent on the same day.

• In a telephone conversation on the same day with HRW, SIS inquired about some of the content of the letters, including the circumstances of the informal questioning of the defendant, "Khalid Hassan" by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and asked the organization to obtain information available on "Hassan" in this regard, but this was ignored completely by HRW. The HRW official of the organization was informed of the Egyptian authorities’ rejection of ultimatums and short periods to answer any queries, which led to the extension of the given time frame to another week.

• Despite the fact that SIS sent a detailed written response , HRW published its report on the case of "Khalid Hassan" completely ignoring it, and even extracted some words from out of their actual context from our response , suggesting that SIS did not fully cooperate, in a clear indication of the lack of credibility and professionalism in presenting facts.

• The organization sent an e-mail hours after publishing its report which included the following: "We published our report on the situation of citizen Khalid Hassan yesterday and we have extended the space to review your response within the same report. We also posted your full response on a separate page for those who wish to see it." This is completely contrary to the truth, and even has prejudiced aims, as will be seen later.

• The report claimed that "The State Information Service, which oversees foreign correspondents in its written response to Human Rights Watch, denied Hassan was forcibly disappeared or tortured,". This is contrary to the full text of SIS's response.

2) The Text of SIS’s written response

Dear Sir/Madame

I hope this letter finds you well.
You have brought to our attention the case of Egyptian American Citizen Khalid Ibrahim Ismail Hassan. We write you this letter to clarify some facts regarding the situation of the defendant.

1. Those who provided you with allegations that Khalid Ibrahim Ismail Hassan was detained by the National Security Agency between January 8th and May 3rd did not provide any tangible evidence to validate their claims. It’s a well-established norm that those who make such grand accusations should support them with well-founded evidence.

2. In your first letter( 23/9/2018),you stated that Khalid spent the period from 8 January to the 3rd of May between the two headquarters of the National Security Agency: in Al Mamoura in Alexandria and then in Lazoughly. In your second letter (25/9/2018), it was reported that Khaled spent eight days at the National Security headquarters in Smouha, then about a month or more at the National Security headquarters in Abbasia in Cairo and then returned to Smouha.

3. Khalid Ibrahim Ismail Hassan has been held under preventive custody under legal orders from the competent authorities namely the Military prosecution. He is being investigated for his suspected connection to Wilayet Sina’a an affiliate organization of the Islamic State terrorist group. This terrorist group has systematically targeted civilians, state officials, foreign tourists and places of worship on multiple occasions leading to the death of hundreds of civilians that’s in addition to repeated deadly terrorist attacks against Military and Security installations, members of the Armed Forces and the Police which left hundreds of Soldiers and Policemen dead and wounded and this subjects members of such an illegal organization to the military judiciary in accordance with article 204 of the Egyptian constitution..

4. The military prosecution ordered to place Khalid under preventive custody on 03/05/2018 after indicting him with terrorism related charges under case No. 137 in accordance with Egyptian laws and the Constitution.

5. Khalid was visited by Mrs. Sophia O'Donnell the US deputy Consul General and Mr. Khaled Ibrahim Darwish one of the US embassy personnel on the 3rd of September, 2018. This was one of 3 visits made by US embassy officials to the defendant.
6. Three lawyers attended investigation sessions with the defendant over the past few months, their names are Ahmed Nasr Ali Al Malah, Hanaa Abdel Latif and Engy Hassan. Three other lawyers defending Khalid attended his interrogation in accordance with the law on September 23rd and they were Sameh Al Nimr, Ahmed Hassaneen and Sayed Abul Ma’ati; during this session the military prosecution extended the preventive detention of the defendant in accordance with the law.

7. Regarding allegations of the torture of the defendant you are inquiring upon we would like to point out that Khalid was visited by a number of lawyers and US embassy officials none of whom made any such claims publicly and they have not conveyed any such information to the competent Egyptian authorities. Moreover, neither Khalid nor his lawyers have requested that he be examined by the Forensic Medicine Authority which is the natural legal measure that should be taken in such situations.

8. With regard to the status of the wife and her deportation from Egypt, the letters never clarified the reasons behind her deportation, even though her residency permit was valid until 2020. She did not address the authorities regarding her deportation even though Egyptian law guarantees individuals the right to resort to the judiciary in case of a decision that harms their interests and this applies to foreigners residing on Egyptian territory, which means Egyptians and foreigners have equal rights to appeal arbitrary administrative measures to the competent authorities within the country. It's clear that the wife did not use this right, which means she voluntarily gave it up, and did not even take into account international laws that allow foreigners to exhaust all local procedures of litigation within any given state in the event of harm.

9. According to your first letter, the wife left Egypt after the alleged disappearance of "Khalid" hours after the storming of their house, while the second letter said that she was deported on 24 January. There is an ambiguous and seemingly unexplained time difference of about 16 days between the two letters.

10. The first letter did not specify the identity of the limousine driver (who travelled to Syria) inquired upon by the FBI in December 2017 from “Khalid”, and the nature of the relationship between them, The SIS human rights unit said on Oct 1.

3) Refutation of the Allegations

HRW’s report published on Thursday Oct 11 is full of inaccuracies and violations of the universal standards on which such reports are drafted and based, foremost of which is not relying on completely unknown sources, presenting the facts as they are without modification, distortion or derogation, mentioning all details, as well as abiding by objectivity which necessitates addressing the subject by mentioning all opinions and facts from various sources, including the official version, and to avoid excessive interpretation.

These elements mentioned above hardly apply to the report published by HRW under the title "Egypt: Testimony on alleged torture in secret detention", in which it addressed the alleged disappearance of the Egyptian citizen, "Khalid Hassan," for the following considerations:

1. Depending on weak sources and presenting them in an unrealistic way. For example, Mohammed Sultan was mentioned as a human rights defender and a former prisoner in Egypt, which at first appears to shed some credibility on the report. But the truth is not so, since the other aspects of the source were ignored. Sultan belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist organization and he happens to be the son of an MB leader (Salah Sultan), who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the case of "Raba’a operations room." He is in a state of enmity with the Egyptian state, which makes us consider relying upon him as a source a mixing of political elements with legal and human rights issues. Moreover relying on unnamed "independent forensic experts," to validate allegations of torture without specifying their identity, their professional affiliation, and their political background. We demand that the identity of these individuals be revealed, when they examined Khaled , whether they were affiliated with HRW and their nationalities.

2. With regard to the photographs and film material of the alleged torture of the defendant Khalid Hassan, which HRW said it has reviewed, several questions arise: What are the sources of the material in the report? Its validity? And how we can verify its credibility without presenting it formally to the national competent investigative bodies.

3. HRW’s report ignored to publish the full response sent by SIS to its previously mentioned letters they September 23rd and 25th, and selectively published excerpts to support of its alleged version of event in contrast to professional standards that require the full presentation of all facts. Especially that SIS’s 10 point reply responded to all the inquiries about the defendant Khalid Hassan.

4. Khalid Hassan faces legal charges of belonging to the ISIS affiliated terrorist organization Wilayet Sina’a, and terrorism constitutes a real threat not only to peace, security and development, but also to the basic pillars of human rights because it violates a number of its principles. The first of these is the right to life enshrined by article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its worth mentioning that this terrorist group has targeted civilians, state officials and foreign tourists on multiple occasions leading to the death of hundreds of civilians since 2013; among the group’s most infamous crimes were the Al Rawda mosque massacre in Northern Sinai which left 311 worshipers dead, the abduction and execution of civilian inhabitants of Northern Sinai after accusing them of collaborating with the authorities, Church bombings in Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta that left hundreds dead and wounded in 2016 and 2017, the killing and intimidation of Christian civilians and sabotage of Christian property in Northern Sinai in an attempt to forcefully displace them from the peninsula, the assassination of 3 judges in May 2015 and the downing of the Russian airliner Metrojet Flight 9268 leaving 224 mostly Russian tourists dead in October 2015. Wilayet Sina’a also routinely carries out deadly terrorist attacks against the Egyptian Armed Forces and military installations leaving hundreds of Soldiers and Policemen dead and wounded.

5. With regard to the issue of military trials of civilians, according to Article 204 of the Egyptian Constitution, the military judiciary is exclusively competent to adjudicate all crimes related to the armed forces, its officers and personnel and what falls in the military’s jurisdiction. It should be noted here that this is the exception, not the rule, and it has constitutional and legal controls. Article 204 of the Constitution specifically defines cases that allow the prosecution of civilians before military courts, and the case of Khalid Hassan falls within their scope. In Egypt, as in all other countries in the world, the people are the primary source of legitimacy. The current constitution was approved by nearly 20 million voters by a free and fair referendum in January 2014 observed by several independent international, Arab and Egyptian human rights organizations so it is futile to question the legitimacy of the constitutional article. To say that international law has categorically prohibited the trial of civilians before military courts is merely a reading of international human rights law and not a given. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) did not categorically prohibit the trail of civilian before military courts, and the 2014 report of the UN Working Group on the Protection of Human Rights while Combating Terrorism stated that the ICCPR did not prohibit the prosecution of civilians before military courts in cases of terrorism. Moreover, the Egyptian military judiciary is constitutionally bound to provide all the guarantees of justice to the accused in the same way as the civil judiciary does, including the right to appeal the sentences issued by it.

6. There is a paradox in the report on the alleged torture of the defendant Khalid Hassan, since it is the norm that when there is a suspicion of torture a defendant resorts to the specified legal procedure on the matter which entails an examination by the Egyptian Forensic Medicine Authority through a request by his lawyer to the competent prosecutor, which never happened, and the reason mentioned in the report is illogical and unconvincing. How can the defendant and his lawyers listen to the advice of other prisoners not to take legal action against an alleged torute even though it could nullify the entire charges brought against him if proven. The defendant's choice not to utilize his legal right to request an examination by forensic medicine authority is his responsibility and not the responsibility of the Egyptian authorities. Egyptian courts have witnessed similar cases, most notably the instance when MB leaders: Essam El-Erian and Mohamed El-Beltagy, made allegations of sexual abuses committed against them the court referred them to the forensic authorities which led to them retracting their false accusations.

7. The report deliberately mentions certain terms that are no longer in use in the Egyptian legal system, such as the term "(administrative) detention", which is incorrect and no longer exists in Egyptian law, as it was prohibited by the Supreme Constitutional Court since 2011. This carries multiple meanings, among them lack of knowledge of constitutional developments taking place in Egypt, , as well as a process of exaggeration in the usage of terms in order to try to create a degree of public sympathy with such cases, and unjustly condemn the Egyptian authorities.

8. The report lacked accuracy in its presentation of certain events. It claims that the Egyptian officials were the ones who asked Khalid's wife to leave the country, while the first letter sent to SIS on 23/9/2018 stated that those who stormed the house were the ones who demanded her departure. The report also did not specify the identity of the officials, if HRW knows the identity of why not publicly identify them, or was the use of term officials for the purpose of generalization and misinformation. HRW has again committed the same mistakes they did in the vast majority of its previous reports on Egypt, relying on the oral testimony of that woman without providing evidence of the validity of her accusations to Egyptian security agencies. In any case, the Egyptian authorities have the right to evict any foreigner on Egyptian territory in accordance with international law and the local laws governing this matter. Egypt is a sovereign state and regulates the affairs of foreigners residing in its territory in accordance with the requirements of its national security within the legal framework allowed by the law. This woman could have delegated a lawyer to file a petition on her behalf to the Administrative Judiciary in Egypt, which she did not do without explaining the reasons for this.

9. HRW's report alleges that it has "very strong" evidence that Khalid Hassan was forcibly disappeared for four months by publishing a picture of a handwritten paper of a supposed request from his family to the authorities on February 15 the same year inquiring upon his whereabouts. This raises the question of whether such evidence exists? why it has not been submitted to the competent authorities for investigation? How legitimate and credible is this evidence? Who determines their alleged credibility in such matters? Or are these merely claims similar to that of the alleged request referred to earlier.

10. In order to resolve this matter once and for all through the competent legal channels, SIS calls on HRW to submit an official report to the Egyptian Prosecutor General to take legal action against these allegations in accordance with the evidence provided. The Public Prosecution in accordance with Egyptian law will not act on its own without the filing of an official report containing the necessary evidence. It must be emphasized here that the Public Prosecution, in accordance with its legal mandate, conducts periodic inspections of incarceration centers and prisons. The alleged existence of detention centers under the National Security Agency’s jurisdiction is incorrect according to the official information we possess because it is simply against the law, and those who claim otherwise must submit to the public prosecution their evidence to assess the credibility of their allegations.

11. The report did not address the relationship between defendant Khalid Hassan and the driver he knew in New York who is said to have went to Syria. Khalid was unofficially questioned by the FBI regarding this driver in December 2017 before traveling to Egypt.

We ask HRW to disclose the identity of this person, how closely was he related to Khalid, the possibility that this person may have links to terrorist groups in Syria, and whether this has anything to do with the case in which Khalid Hassan is indicted in in Egypt. Obtaining this information from US security agencies might clarify the true picture of the defendant, the SIS said.]]>
10/14/2018 1:45:14 PM
<![CDATA[5th int'l conference on ER medicine wraps up in Cairo]]>
The two-day event included a number of scientific sessions, lectures and workshops, in which surgeons, young doctors, nurses and paramedics participated.

A number of experts and foreign doctors also took part in the conference, which was held under the auspices of Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki.

A documentary on the development of the therapeutic system in Egypt and a perfectly equipped ER hospital of the Medical Complex of the Armed Forces was shown at the beginning of the conference. ]]>
10/14/2018 1:01:41 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to contribute to building int'l lab for arid zones, environmental affairs in China's Ningxia]]>
In statements on Sunday, Ningxia University President He Jianguo said the lab will be specialized in studying resources in arid areas in China and Arab states in addition to developing crops of arid areas and developing water-saving technologies.

The agreement was signed during an international symposium which was held on Thursday on sustainable water resources and environment protection.]]>
10/14/2018 12:03:57 PM
<![CDATA[Planning min., UN official review SDGs startegy]]>
During the meeting, Saeed underlined the government's outstanding efforts to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).

She noted that reform programs carried out by the government serve sustainable development goals.

She expounded that many challenges - topped by overpopulation - were obstructing these goals.

The UN official - who was visiting Egypt to attend Cairo water week - lauded Egypt Vision 2030.

He stressed the UN's preparedness to support Egypt to achieve sustainable development goals.

Egypt represents an example for linking SDGs to the government programs and investment plans, he added.]]>
10/14/2018 11:19:35 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi to receive Tatarstan president Sunday ]]>
The statement reported that talks are expected to tackle means of bolstering joint cooperation, especially in the industrial and trade domains.]]>
10/14/2018 11:12:49 AM
<![CDATA[Honduran migrant group treks north as U.S. calls for tighter borders]]>
Recent attempts at group crossings from Central America to the United States have tested U.S. President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" stance on illegal immigration, as people fleeing violence and poverty defy threats of deportation.

"I believe we'll get to the United States. There's no work in Honduras, and you live in fear that they're going to kill you or your children," said Fanny Barahona, 35, an unemployed teacher who walked with her nine-year-old son and carried a two-year-old daughter.

Some 1,300 people joined the so-called "March of the Migrant," planning to walk from San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras through Guatemala and into Mexico, organizer Bartolo Fuentes said. Once in Mexico, they plan to request refugee status to remain in the country or a visa to pass through to the U.S. border, he said.

In April, media attention on a similar group of migrants, dubbed a "caravan," prompted Trump to press for tougher border security and demand such groups be refused entry. Most in the caravan said they were fleeing death threats, extortion and violence from powerful street gangs.

More than 64 percent of Honduran households live in poverty, and San Pedro Sula has one of the world's highest murder rates.

"There is no work and so much violence that you can get killed walking down the street," said Javier Solis, 25, who said he has not found work in a year and wants to enter the United States. On a previous attempt, he was deported to Honduras upon reaching Mexico.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met with the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in Washington on Thursday and told them the United States would be willing to help with economic development and investment if they did more to tackle migration, corruption and gang violence.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said U.S. funding was declining, and he called on the United States to reunite migrant children with their parents after Washington's policy of separating families trying to cross the U.S.-Mexican border put Honduras under "huge pressure."]]>
10/14/2018 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trump thanks Turkey for pastor's release, denies cutting deal]]>
"The only deal, if you could call it a deal, is a psychological one. We feel much differently about Turkey today than we did yesterday, and I think we have a chance of really becoming much closer to Turkey," Trump told reporters during an Oval Office meeting with Brunson.

A Turkish court on Friday sentenced Brunson, who had been charged with links to Kurdish militants and supporters of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric, to more than three years in prison but said he would not serve any further time because he had already been detained since October 2016.

The pastor's release could signal a thaw in relations between the two NATO allies, which worsened in August after a deal to free Brunson fell apart and Trump authorized a doubling of duties on aluminum and steel imported from Turkey, helping drive the lira currency down against the dollar.

Trump, who met with Brunson at the White House on Saturday, did not pledge to lift the sanctions but said he welcomed an end to the "harsh relationship" the countries had over the past two months.

In front of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump's national security adviser John Bolton, U.S. lawmakers and Brunson's family, the pastor knelt beside Trump on the floor of the Oval Office, placed a hand on his shoulder, and prayed for God to give him "supernatural wisdom."

Trump also thanked President Tayyip Erdogan at Saturday's meeting for helping secure Brunson's release, despite a curt Twitter post from the Turkish leader earlier on Saturday repeating that Brunson's release was a court's decision to make, not his.

"Dear Mr. President, as I always pointed out, the Turkish judiciary reached its decision independently," Erdogan wrote on his Twitter account. "I hope that the United States and Turkey will continue their cooperation as the allies that they are, and fight together against terrorist groups." ]]>
10/14/2018 12:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Afghan Taliban say will continue talks with U.S. peace envoy]]>
Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-born U.S. diplomat, met Taliban leaders in Qatar on Friday in an effort to find a way to end the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan.

"Both sides spoke (about) an end to the occupation and a peaceful solution to the Afghan issue ... Both sides agreed to continue meeting in the future," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement.

Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Saturday and briefed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani about his 10-day tour of four countries, which ended with the meeting with leaders of the hardline Islamist militant group.

According to Taliban sources, the two sides arrived with tough conditions.

"It was an introductory meeting in which an eight-member U.S. delegation held a detailed meeting with members of our political office," said a senior Taliban member. Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, who is the head of Taliban's Qatar office, led the discussions, he said.

Another senior member of the Taliban said Khalilzad had asked the Taliban leadership, based in the Qatari capital Doha, to declare a ceasefire in Afghanistan for six months, starting before the Oct.20 parliamentary polls.

"Both sides discussed prospects for peace, and the U.S presence in Afghanistan," said another Taliban official, requesting anonymity.

In exchange, the Taliban want the Afghan government to release fighters from jails across the country and the swift removal of foreign forces fighting alongside Afghan troops.

A Taliban source said the U.S. delegation proposed forming different committees to handle the release of prisoners.

"Neither side agreed to accept the other's demands immediately, but they agreed to meet again and find a solution to the conflict," he said.

KEY ROLE

Khalilzad was appointed last month, as President Donald Trump's administration launched fresh efforts to hold peace talks with the Taliban.

A senior official working with the Afghan president said Khalilzad had briefed Ghani about his meetings with senior ministers and top diplomats in four countries who could play a key role.

Khalilzad's trip started in Afghanistan and he travelled to Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar before returning to Kabul.

A statement about Khalilzad's diplomatic tour released by the U.S. embassy in Kabul did not confirm his meeting with the Taliban.

"The United States shares the aspirations of all Afghans for a peaceful Afghanistan where all Afghans see themselves included. All citizens of Afghanistan must be a part of this reconciliation process," said Khalilzad, according to the embassy statement at the end of his four-nation tour.

Continued fighting has raised questions about the viability of the U.S. strategy to end the war, which for the past year has focused on forcing the militants to the negotiating table, largely via more air strikes.

Last week the Taliban demanded a complete withdrawal of foreign forces as the only solution to end the war that began with the 2001 ousting of the former Taliban government by U.S.-led forces after it refused to hand over Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

They have ramped up attacks in strategic provinces and have also directed Afghans to boycott the parliamentary elections.

At least 8,050 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of 2018, almost half of them targeted by suicide bomb attacks and other improvised devices that may amount to war crimes, the United Nations said last week. ]]>
10/14/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Suicide bombers kill at least three in southern Somali city]]>
Al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab militants, who want to topple Somalia's Western-backed central government and impose their own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islam's sharia law, claimed responsibility for the twin attacks.

"What seems to be two suicide bombers blew themselves up in two restaurants in Baidoa. So far we know three civilians have died," Ali Aden, a police officer in the city, told Reuters.

Residents of Baidoa told Reuters they heard two loud blasts in the early evening, followed by huge plumes of the smoke that were visible from far.

The al Shabaab militants had targeted the two restaurants because they were frequented by government troops, Abdiasis abu Musab, the group's spokesman for military operations, told Reuters.

The attacks follow a U.S. airstrike against al Shabaab militants in Haradere, a district in Galmudug region.

The U.S. military's Africa Command said on Saturday it was still assessing the impact of the strike, which was carried out on Friday together with the Somali military.

Somalia has been engulfed by violence and lawlessness since the early 1990s after the toppling of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.]]>
10/13/2018 6:58:04 PM
<![CDATA[9 fishermen rescued after boat breaks in Red Sea]]>
The society received a distress signal from a fishing boat called “Lolo’a” carrying nine fishermen after a technical failure while sailing in Zaafrana area in northern Red Sea.

Upon the signal, the society sent a rescue team to drag the boat out of the water toward the shore. The fishermen were reported safe after the rescue operation.]]>
10/13/2018 4:13:20 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi follows up measures to develop healthcare system]]>
In a press release, presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said the president followed up during the meeting the outcome of a campaign to detect the Hepatitis C virus and put an end to patient waiting lists.]]>
10/13/2018 4:05:04 PM
<![CDATA[EU delegation head reveals his favorite spots in Egypt]]>
In statements to Egypt Today on Wednesday, Oct. 10, Surkoš added that he admires swimming near to coral reefs in the Red Sea, describing it as "wonderful".

He said that the European Union will participate in several developing projects in Siwa, including financing Shali Castle restoration after being ruined by rains, offering jobs for locals and building museums for tourists.

Also, a new medical center financed by the EU is expected to be built for Siwa residents, according to the Surkoš’ statements.

Previously, Surkoš and 14 other ambassadors visited Siwa with Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat and Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany. The officials visited several historical places in Siwa including Shali Castle, Amun Temple and the mount of the dead.

Siwa is an urban oasis in Egypt's Western Desert, nearly 50 km east of the Libyan border, and 560 km away from Cairo. It is one of the most beautiful places in Egypt and a natural healing spot.

4 places you cannot miss while in Siwa

CAIRO - 1 March 2018: The Siwa oasis is a long way from Cairo which usually dissuades people from going there on vacation. However, people who don't go miss out on a lot; relaxation, nature, beauty, clean air and the sunny weather are well worth the 12 hours of travel.





]]>
10/13/2018 11:45:33 AM
<![CDATA[Tourism Ministry hires Preverisk to assess Hurghada hotels ]]>
The same check-ups will take place in the rest of Egypt's touristic cities with the aim of improving the quality of services offered for tourists, and developing Egyptian hotels evaluation systems.

The company will cooperate with inspectors from the ministries of health and tourism to scrutinize hotels and resorts in Hurghada and identify the mechanism necessary to enhance the criteria of health and safety. Workers dealing with food and beverage will receive training, and follow-ups will be conducted.

The Hotels Chamber will send Hurghada hotels a list of technical aspects to be addressed. Those include food safety systems, water management systems, personal hygiene training programs, swimming pool hygiene, workers' dorms and facilities, and pesticide application instructions.

Preverisk is an international consultancy group servicing the tourism sector and specializing in health and safety solutions. It operates in 40 cities and 18 countries and works consistently according to the criteria and guidelines set by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO).

In August, a British couple died in Hurghada’s Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel because of an E.Coli bacteria infection, according to the autopsy report issued by the Egyptian Forensic Medicine Authority in September. ]]>
10/13/2018 11:42:14 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. First Lady thanks Egypt after her trip with amazing video]]>



This video has already been viewed over a million times and went viral on social media sites.




Trump also shared photos of his visit to Egypt on Friday on his Twitter Account saying, “ An unbelievable experience visiting the Great Pyramid and Sphinx in #Egypt last week. Thank you President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi & First Lady Entissar Amer for welcoming me with such warm hospitality”




Trump visited on Saturday the Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza during her one-day trip to Egypt, the last leg of her four-nation tour in Africa.

She was accompanied by Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anani and Egyptian Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat.

In Pics: US First Lady visits Giza Pyramids

CAIRO - 6 October 2018: U.S. First Lady Melania Trump visited on Saturday the Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza during her one-day trip to Egypt, the last leg of her four-nation tour in Africa. She was accompanied by Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anani and Egyptian Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat.




At the panorama of the pyramids plateau, Melania was welcomed by a band performed an pharaonic show.
]]>
10/13/2018 11:11:10 AM
<![CDATA[Pope Tawadros returns from US]]>
The pontiff launched 14 churches, ordained several priests, laid the foundation stone of four new churches and opened several service facilities.

He also met with bishops of the US and Canada, said the Coptic Orthodox Church's spokesman Boulos Halim in a statement.

This was his second visit to the US. The pope's first visit to the US was in 2015.

In statements on Thursday, Spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church Father Boulos Halim said the Pope expressed happiness over meeting the congregation of Virgin Mary church in Concord.

He also ordained two priests on his last stop in the US namely Father Joseph for the Virgin Mary and St John Church in Pleasanton, California and Father Mina to the St George Church in Kirland, Seattle, Washington State, the spokesman said.

In earlier statements, Father Boulos said the pontiff has during his month-long visit to the US, consecrated altars and icons in 14 churches and led 18 masses.

The pope held 14 meetings with church members in the US and baptized 36 persons.

He also laid down the foundation stone of four services buildings and ordained 11 clergymen to the rank of archpriest, said the spokesman, adding that the pope also ordained two men as priests and one arch deacon.

]]>
10/13/2018 10:23:49 AM
<![CDATA[Russia’s Rosatom to train 2K Egyptian technicians for Dabaa NPP]]>told Ria Novosti news agency on Friday.

The negotiations are being held in Egypt in the framework of a joint Egyptian-Russian group working on organizing the process of trainings, he added.

The company will announce the first tender to the Egyptian companies for the construction at the end of this year, Gregory said, adding that the company plans to sign first contracts with the winning subcontractors in the first quarter of 2019.

Gregory’s remarks came five days before a scheduled meeting between President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of Sochi, where they will discuss the bilateral ties and the international and regional issues of mutual concern.

Dabaa station is the first nuclear plant in Egypt that will be built by Russia within seven years in Matrouh governorate, northwest of Cairo, with a capacity of 4,800 megawatts.

In July, Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said during the inauguration of the national megaprojects in the electricity sector that the cost of Dabaa station reached LE 1 trillion.

Egypt will establish the first nuclear plant in the next two to two-and-a-half years, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Electricity told Reuters on July 1.

On November 19, 2015, an agreement was finally signed between Cairo and Moscow that allows Russia to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, with Russia extending a $25 billion loan to Egypt to cover the cost of construction. The loan will cover 85 percent of the plant, with Egypt funding the remaining 15 percent.

According to the deal, Russian nuclear firm Rosatom will finance and construct four third-generation reactors, with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts (MW) each, for a total of 4,800 MW. The plant will be built on approximately 12,000 feddans and is expected to create over 50,000 job opportunities.

On November 27 of the same year, Egypt’s Parliament approved three laws, which allow for the creation of three regulatory bodies on nuclear power. The laws are believed to help revive Egypt’s program for the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes, which began in the mid-1980s but came to a halt after the tragic explosion of the Chernobyl reactor in Ukraine in 1986.

Nuclear energy is part of the government’s plan to diversify its energy sources to prevent any future crisis resulting from shortages in electricity.
]]>
10/13/2018 9:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Hundreds attend funeral of murdered Bulgarian journalist]]>
The body of the 30-year-old Marinova, a host of a regional current affairs show at a local TV station, was found in a park near the Danube port of Ruse, her hometown, on Saturday. Police said she had been raped, beaten and strangled.

A Bulgarian man, Severin Krasimirov, 20, was arrested in Germany over the killing, and German authorities said he would be extradited to stand trial in Bulgaria soon.

Bulgarian prosecutors said no evidence indicated Marinova's death was related to her work. A random attack and sexual assault were the most likely motive, they said, although they were still investigating all possibilities.

In her last aired show, Marinova featured investigative journalists and pledged to engage in similar work, which stoked fears about retribution against journalists exposing corruption.

She is the third journalist to be killed in the European Union within a year.

More than 500 grieving Ruse citizens, carrying red and white carnations and funeral wreaths, flocked to her funeral service at the Sveta Troitsa (Holy Trinity) Cathedral.

People who knew her talked about her determination, responsibility and kindness, her charitable work and commitment to social causes such as support for disabled and disadvantaged children, about which she also reported.

"Viktoria's death is a great loss for the whole city," Zornitsa Koleva, 48, said. "She was so kind and ambitious at the same time. We all need to be united and show that we will do our best to prevent this from happening again in Ruse."

RAMPANT GRAFT

The murder heightened emotions among Bulgarians frustrated by a lack of clear progress in fighting rampant graft.

On Friday, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said the company at the heart of the investigation into alleged high-level corruption and misuse of EU funds that was featured on Marinova's show, should be taken out of all projects with EU aid and public financing.

"My political will extends to that: to take out of the tenders anyone suspected in wrongdoing and is under investigation...I will not allow my name to be stained," he told reporters.

Earlier on Friday, German authorities approved Krasimirov's extradition, which should happen within 10 days..

The suspect told German magistrates he had hit a woman he did not know while drunk and on drugs but denied intending to kill her, rape her or rob her. His mother, however, said he had told he had killed the journalist.

Bulgaria's Justice Ministry said the transfer of the suspect to Bulgaria is expected to take place next week at the earliest.

Marinova's murder revived debate over the extent of press freedom in the Black Sea state, ranked 111 out of 180 countries this year in a world press freedom index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.

Bulgaria also ranks worst in the EU for violence against women, according to the European Institute for Gender Equality. ]]>
10/13/2018 3:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Brazil presidential candidates seek to soften images ahead of run-off]]>
Rejigged campaigns were launched on Friday with new TV ads from the two -- Jair Bolsonaro, 63, and Fernando Haddad, 55 -- attacking the other and each claiming they stood for all Brazilians.

Frontrunner Bolsonaro, a populist former paratrooper vowing a robust law-and-order regime, eased gun laws and tougher immigration restrictions if he wins, rejected the extreme-right label in a media conference Thursday.

"I'm not far-right," he insisted. "Point out to me an act of mine that is far-right."

He declared himself an "admirer" of US President Donald Trump and said: "He wants a great United States -- I want a great Brazil."

In his ads, he put emphasis on his family, and hinted at his anti-crime stance as being "firm."

Haddad for his part distanced himself from former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whom he replaced last month as the Workers Party candidate. His ads portrayed him as defending democracy and social inclusion.

He has removed pictures of Lula from his campaign flyers, and dropped the party's signature red color for Brazil's green-and-gold motif.

Lula, though still broadly popular among the poor, is seen by better-off Bolsonaro voters as emblematic of a graft-ridden Workers Party that ruled between 2003 and 2016, the tail end of which saw Brazil's worst recession on record.

The October 28 run-off is Bolsonaro's to lose, polls suggest.

In the first round of the elections, held last Sunday, Bolsonaro easily trounced a dozen rivals, grabbing 46 percent of the vote. Haddad came second with 29 percent.

According to a Datafolha voter survey, Bolsonaro has 58 percent support going into the run-off, against 42 percent for Haddad.

The rivals have separately called for calm after a series of violent incidents linked to the febrile atmosphere around the elections.

In one instance a man was killed in a bar after reportedly voicing support for the Workers Party. In another, a transgender woman said she was beaten by street vendors calling for a Bolsonaro victory.

One of Haddad's campaign ads highlighted the reported case of a 19-year-old women who claimed pro-Bolsonaro supporters had carved a swastika onto her stomach.

- 'Peace and love' -

The right-wing candidate, a deputy in Brazil's congress since 1991 who recently joined the ultraconservative Social Liberal Party, has made deft use of social media to woo voters.

Part of that was the result of him convalescing for weeks after being stabbed by a lone assailant on the campaign trail last month. But he said Thursday there was a "strategic" choice to minimize sharing the stage with Haddad in televised debates.

Six debates were scheduled to take place before the run-off, but half of them were canceled after Bolsonaro's doctors said he still wasn't sufficiently recovered, and only the last two, set for October 21 and 26, were seen as possibly taking place.

Haddad, keen to close the polling gap, criticized Bolsonaro's absence.

"My adversary has spent 28 years in the Chamber of Deputies exuding hate the whole time, against the (poorer) northeast, against women, against the Workers Party. He is a man unsuited to democratic debate," he said.

On Friday he took part in a mass in the biggest city of Sao Paulo as part of his efforts to rally Catholics to his campaign to counter an evangelical surge behind Bolsonaro. "We are going to welcome people with a message of peace and love," he told journalists afterward.

Bolsonaro dismissed Haddad as Lula's "puppet" and said he felt "ashamed" to hear his rival speak of families and God.

A political commentator on Brazil's premier TV network Globo, Otavio Guedes, slammed the fact that campaigning up to now had focused more on personal attacks than on the candidates' platforms.

The new television campaigns being rolled out would be more important than in the first round, he said, "because they will finally let them talk about their programs."]]>
10/13/2018 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA['We are fine': Melania Trump dismisses gossip about marriage]]>
In an interview with ABC News, excerpts of which were broadcast early Friday, the US first lady did not deny her husband's alleged history of philandering.

But Melania Trump insisted she doesn't dwell on it.

"It is not a concern and focus of mine," she said in the interview. "I'm a mother and a first lady, and I have much more important things to think about and to do."

"I know people like to speculate and media like to speculate about our marriage," she added.

"It's not always pleasant, of course, but I know what is right and what is wrong and what is true and not true."

Asked whether she loved her husband, she answered: "Yes, we are fine. It's what media speculate, and it's gossip. It's not always correct stuff."

- 'Most bullied person' -

ABC conducted the rare interview of the Slovenia-born 48-year-old former model and the president's third wife while she was in Africa last week.

After living in the White House for nearly two years in the shadow of one of the most controversial and scandal-tarred presidents of modern times, she appeared confident but also controlled, keeping her answers to difficult questions short.

The interview came just over three weeks before the midterm congressional elections, in which Trump's record is expected to play a big part in how voters cast their ballots.

Sitting in stretch jodhpurs with a safari pith helmet at her side, Trump gave a wry smile when asked about comments about her marriage from the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani had said in June that the first believes her husband's denials about an affair a decade ago with stripper and porn movie star Stormy Daniels, and "knows it's untrue."

"I never talked to Mr Giuliani," the first lady said.

ABC said the full interview will air later Friday, with Trump discussing her trip to Africa, her campaign against bullying and the controversies swirling around the president.

She gave a surprise answer to why she chose to fight against cyber-bullying with her "Be Best" campaign.

"I could say I'm the most bullied person in the world," she said, or "one of them, if you really see what people are saying about me."

- Frist lady tribulations -

Trump has predecessor who as American first ladies suffered gossip about their husbands' alleged affairs.

Hillary Clinton endured husband Bill Clinton being impeached in 1998 for lying about his extramarital sex.

John F. Kennedy, president from 1961-63, was another serial cheater on wife Jackie, though his affairs were kept out of the news by a compliant media.

But talk of President Trump's alleged history of sleeping with and then paying hush money to models and porn stars has been non-stop since he took office.

Mysterious and impenetrable, Melania is constantly scrutinized for her reaction: Is she holding his hand? Why aren't they together much? Will she move back to New York with their son Barron?

She scoffed at such talk in the ABC interview. "I am enjoying it. I really love to live in Washington and the White House," she said.

Trump has not given such a long interview since arriving in the US capital.

Katherine Jellison, an Ohio University historian, noted the timing of the interview coincides with intense scrutiny of men amid the #Metoo movement.

"The Trump administration has been under a lot of scrutiny on gender issues," Jellison told AFP.

"So maybe she thought the timing was right to assert herself as a strong, independent woman, at a time when there was much negative press about the treatment of women in Trump's America."

Like past first ladies, Melania also faces criticism of her fashion choices, which lean toward well-cut, refined but not flashy clothes from Ralph Lauren and French-American designer Herve Pierre.

She took heavy flack in June when she wore a $39 Zara jacket that had "I really don't care, do u?" written on the back, as she embarked on a trip to the Mexican border to see immigrant children who had been separated from their parents under her husband's much criticized policy.

It was unclear who was the target of that message.

Donning a pith helmet during her Nairobi stop last week, and then an "Indiana Jones"-style Panama hat while in Egypt, Melania Trump also drew fashion maven reprimands as "insensitive" to the continent's colonial history.

Reporters should "talk about my trip and not what I wear," she scolded during the journey.]]>
10/13/2018 2:10:00 AM
<![CDATA['We are fine': Melania Trump dismisses gossip about marriage]]>
In an interview with ABC News, excerpts of which were broadcast early Friday, the US first lady did not deny her husband's alleged history of philandering.

But Melania Trump insisted she doesn't dwell on it.

"It is not a concern and focus of mine," she said in the interview. "I'm a mother and a first lady, and I have much more important things to think about and to do."

"I know people like to speculate and media like to speculate about our marriage," she added.

"It's not always pleasant, of course, but I know what is right and what is wrong and what is true and not true."

Asked whether she loved her husband, she answered: "Yes, we are fine. It's what media speculate, and it's gossip. It's not always correct stuff."

- 'Most bullied person' -

ABC conducted the rare interview of the Slovenia-born 48-year-old former model and the president's third wife while she was in Africa last week.

After living in the White House for nearly two years in the shadow of one of the most controversial and scandal-tarred presidents of modern times, she appeared confident but also controlled, keeping her answers to difficult questions short.

The interview came just over three weeks before the midterm congressional elections, in which Trump's record is expected to play a big part in how voters cast their ballots.

Sitting in stretch jodhpurs with a safari pith helmet at her side, Trump gave a wry smile when asked about comments about her marriage from the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani had said in June that the first believes her husband's denials about an affair a decade ago with stripper and porn movie star Stormy Daniels, and "knows it's untrue."

"I never talked to Mr Giuliani," the first lady said.

ABC said the full interview will air later Friday, with Trump discussing her trip to Africa, her campaign against bullying and the controversies swirling around the president.

She gave a surprise answer to why she chose to fight against cyber-bullying with her "Be Best" campaign.

"I could say I'm the most bullied person in the world," she said, or "one of them, if you really see what people are saying about me."

- Frist lady tribulations -

Trump has predecessor who as American first ladies suffered gossip about their husbands' alleged affairs.

Hillary Clinton endured husband Bill Clinton being impeached in 1998 for lying about his extramarital sex.

John F. Kennedy, president from 1961-63, was another serial cheater on wife Jackie, though his affairs were kept out of the news by a compliant media.

But talk of President Trump's alleged history of sleeping with and then paying hush money to models and porn stars has been non-stop since he took office.

Mysterious and impenetrable, Melania is constantly scrutinized for her reaction: Is she holding his hand? Why aren't they together much? Will she move back to New York with their son Barron?

She scoffed at such talk in the ABC interview. "I am enjoying it. I really love to live in Washington and the White House," she said.

Trump has not given such a long interview since arriving in the US capital.

Katherine Jellison, an Ohio University historian, noted the timing of the interview coincides with intense scrutiny of men amid the #Metoo movement.

"The Trump administration has been under a lot of scrutiny on gender issues," Jellison told AFP.

"So maybe she thought the timing was right to assert herself as a strong, independent woman, at a time when there was much negative press about the treatment of women in Trump's America."

Like past first ladies, Melania also faces criticism of her fashion choices, which lean toward well-cut, refined but not flashy clothes from Ralph Lauren and French-American designer Herve Pierre.

She took heavy flack in June when she wore a $39 Zara jacket that had "I really don't care, do u?" written on the back, as she embarked on a trip to the Mexican border to see immigrant children who had been separated from their parents under her husband's much criticized policy.

It was unclear who was the target of that message.

Donning a pith helmet during her Nairobi stop last week, and then an "Indiana Jones"-style Panama hat while in Egypt, Melania Trump also drew fashion maven reprimands as "insensitive" to the continent's colonial history.

Reporters should "talk about my trip and not what I wear," she scolded during the journey.]]>
10/13/2018 2:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Turkey court frees pastor after crisis with US]]>
The court in the western town of Aliaga convicted Andrew Brunson on terror-related charges and sentenced him to three years, one month and 15 days in jail, an AFP correspondent said.

However, he was freed taking into account time served and his good conduct during the trial, with the court lifting his house arrest and overseas travel ban, the correspondent said.

"This is the day our family has been praying for -- I am delighted to be on my way home to the United States," Brunson said in a statement released by the American Center for Law and Justice, a group that works on Christian legal cases and which represented Brunson.

US President Donald Trump, who has publicly pressed for Brunson's released, tweeted that he "will be home soon".

The pastor was swiftly driven to his home in the nearby city of Izmir once the hearing was concluded. But it was unclear when he would head to an airport for an eventual flight back to the United States.

Brunson, who was first detained in October 2016 faced up to 35 years in jail on charges of aiding terror groups and espionage. Prosecutors then demanded a sentence of up to 10 years.

He was convicted on charges of aiding terror groups while not being a member of them. Brunson and US officials insisted he is innocent of all charges.

"I am an innocent man. I love Jesus. I love Turkey," he said in his final defence.

When the verdict was read out, Brunson wept and hugged his wife Norine.

- 'Navigate a minefield' -

Brunson's detention since 2016 caused not just one of the worst diplomatic rows of recent times between NATO allies Turkey and the US, but also led to a crash in the Turkish lira which exposed the country's economic fragility.

Turkish judicial authorities repeatedly denied requests for the release of Brunson, who was moved from prison to house arrest in Izmir in July.

But analysts warned that Brunson's release alone would not resolve the troubles between Turkey and the United States.

"The clamp has now been removed, which opens the way for bilateral negotiations to address other sources of disagreement, but Washington and Ankara still have to navigate through a minefield," Anthony Skinner, director of Middle East and North Africa at the Verisk Maplecroft consultancy, told AFP.

He pointed to the order by Turkey of Russian S-400 missile defence systems which has riled its Western allies and Ankara's determination to do business with Iran in defiance of US sanctions.

The new hearing also came as Turkey braces for potential fines from US authorities over Iran sanctions busting by Turkish lender Halkbank, which has already seen the jailing of its deputy director general in the United States.

The US is also watching the case of NASA scientist Serkan Golge, a dual US-Turkish national, who was jailed for seven-and-a-half years in February on terror charges, a term reduced to a five years last month.

And Turkey is still holding two Turkish employees of US diplomatic missions in jail. One of the suspects, former Adana consulate staffer Hamza Ulucay, was Friday denied release in a separate court hearing.

- Secret deal? -

The release of Brunson came at a sensitive time for the Turkish leadership, which is under global scrutiny over how it handles the case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared at Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul last week.

Both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Trump have pressed Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi.

If the Brunson issue is resolved to Washington's satisfaction, it could help the two sides coordinate their Saudi policy more closely.

Erdogan, who has in the past taken aim at Brunson, appeared to distance himself from the case in his latest comments earlier this week, saying he could not interfere in judicial affairs.

US broadcaster NBC said Turkey and the United States had reached a secret deal for Brunson to be released on Friday and some charges against him dropped, in exchange for the US easing "economic pressure" that included sanctions which have hammered the lira.

"The key question.. is what Turkey got in return for freeing Brunson. Most probably something, but definitely not everything Turkey wants. The US hand is stronger," said Skinner.]]>
10/13/2018 1:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Al-Azhar University, Imam Al-Bukhari Research Center sign MoU in Uzbekistan]]>
The MoU was signed by Al-Azhar University President Mohamed Hussein el Mahrsawi and the director of the research center.

Under the MoU, the two sides will boost cooperation in several fields, including exchanging professors and researchers, conducting joint scientific researches and organizing symposiums and conferences with a view to boosting the center's academic capabilities.

This is the second MoU signed during the grand imam's visit to Uzbekistan. ]]>
10/12/2018 7:19:34 PM
<![CDATA[Parl't speaker participates in IPU Executive Committee meetings]]>
The meetings discussed a number of topics, topped by draft amendments to the IPU statute and rules, as well as issues related to membership of some parliaments.

Abdel Aal headed for Geneva from Paris to take part in the 139th meetings of the IPU Assembly, set for October 14-18. All IPU statutory bodies, including the Governing Council, Standing Committees, Committees on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and on Middle East Questions, as well as the Forum of Women Parliamentarians and the Forum of Young MPs meet on this occasion.

The speaker is set to deliver a speech on the role played by the parliaments in promoting peace and development]]>
10/12/2018 7:12:36 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt extends deep condolences to Nigeria on flood victims]]>
Cairo expressed its full support for the Nigerian government and people over the natural disaster, the statement added.

The floods had also left thousands of people displaced and caused damage to large swathes of the country's farmlands. ]]>
10/12/2018 6:48:38 PM
<![CDATA[Pakistan keen on boosting ties with Egypt: Arif Alvi]]>Pakistan Today
reported on Thursday.

Ambassador Yakoub sent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s congratulations to the newly elected Pakistani President on assuming the office.

Arif Alvi assumed the office on September 9, four days after he was elected the new President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

On September 24, the Pakistani Embassy in Cairo celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations between Egypt and Pakistan. A summit was held by South Asian Strategic Stability Institute University (SASSI) in collaboration with the Embassy.

The summit reviewed the importance of the Suez Canal and the new Suez Canal as well as future cooperation with the Pakistani Gwadar in a meeting titled “The Suez Canal and Gwadar the Gateway”.

Additional reorting by Hanan Mohamed
]]>10/12/2018 5:00:45 PM<![CDATA[Turkish court rules to release U.S. pastor Brunson]]>
The court's decision to lift judicial controls meant that evangelical pastor Brunson, at the heart of a diplomatic spat between the two countries, could leave Turkey and return to the United States.]]>
10/12/2018 3:40:36 PM
<![CDATA[Tourism Ministry hires Preverisk to assess Hurghada hotels ]]>
The same check-ups will take place in the rest of Egypt's touristic cities with the aim of improving the quality of services offered for tourists, and developing Egyptian hotels evaluation systems.

The company will cooperate with inspectors from the ministries of health and tourism to scrutinize hotels and resorts in Hurghada and identify the mechanism necessary to enhance the criteria of health and safety. Workers dealing with food and beverage will receive training, and follow-ups will be conducted.

The Hotels Chamber will send Hurghada hotels a list of technical aspects to be addressed. Those include food safety systems, water management systems, personal hygiene training programs, swimming pool hygiene, workers' dorms and facilities, and pesticide application instructions.

Preverisk is an international consultancy group servicing the tourism sector and specializing in health and safety solutions. It operates in 40 cities and 18 countries and works consistently according to the criteria and guidelines set by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO).

In August, a British couple died in Hurghada’s Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel because of an E.Coli bacteria infection, according to the autopsy report issued by the Egyptian Forensic Medicine Authority in September.
]]>
10/12/2018 1:08:33 PM
<![CDATA[Islamic Research Center holds 51k awareness sessions on harassment dangers]]>
Secretary-General of the Islamic Research Center Mohieddin Afifi said that these sessions, organized by Al-Azhar sheikhs, spread widely in a short period, the statement reported.

Afifi added that the sessions aim to raise the awareness of Egyptians and urge them to shoulder the responsibility of building a better country for future generations, warning them against the dangers of indulging in rumors and misconceptions.

In the same context, the world and Egypt’s top Sunni Muslim authority, Al-Azhar, issued in August a statement expressing full rejection to sexual harassment and denouncing all attempts to blame women for the dreadful phenomenon.

The statement followed a series of sexual harassment incidents that took place in Egypt where some claimed that women's attire was the reason behind sexual assault.

"Criminalizing sexual harassment should be absolute with no condition that justifies it. Sexual harassment is an attack on women's privacy, freedom, and dignity," the leading institution asserted.

Al-Azhar used verses from the Holy Quran and Prophet Mohamed's teachings to stress that women should feel safe in their country and during travelling.

Al-Azhar also called on media “to stop broadcasting any material that promotes harassment or encourage people to imitate harassers.”

Al-Azhar demanded the implementation of all laws that punish sexual abuse and called for efforts to raise social awareness and warn against the phenomenon.

Some 60 percent of women in Egypt said they had been victims of some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime, according to a 2017 report from UN Women and Promundo.]]>
10/12/2018 1:06:05 PM
<![CDATA[Gov't should receive cotton yields from farmers: Min. of agriculture]]>
The minister of agriculture and land reclamation stated that the cotton yield in 2018 surpassed 2017's yield. The minister exposed that 2017's cotton prices exceeded LE 3,000 because of the hike in the global prices.

This came during a meeting held between the minister and the Committee of Agriculture and Irrigation in the House of Representatives to discuss matters regarding the refusal of the current government to receive the cotton yield for the price of LE 2,700 per kantar.

The minister explained that Egyptian farmers have always been the backbone of the Egyptian economy and that they support the country in difficult periods, referring to the hard economic conditions that Egypt witnessed in 1967.

Abo Steit reiterated that the Egyptian peasants were the primary supporters of the country’s economy while the nation suffered due to the stoppage of the Suez Canal ship movement.

In the same context, MP Mustafa el-Gedny pointed out that the government should receive the yields from the famers as soon as possible to avoid a big loss for the cotton farmers.]]>
10/12/2018 1:02:50 PM
<![CDATA[US Department of State says unaware of American pastor's release deal]]>
NBC News reported on Thursday that the United States and Turkey had reached a deal in which Brunson was supposed to be released and certain charges against him dropped at the court hearing.

In addition to the U.S. State Department saying that it was unaware of such a deal, Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at a briefing, declined to confirm any deal. But he voiced hopes for Brunson's release.

"We remain hopeful that with the court proceeding tomorrow that Turkey will see its way clear and free this good man who is guilty of nothing and who has been incarcerated for several years in Turkey unjustly," Pence said.]]>
10/12/2018 11:20:55 AM
<![CDATA[Moscow rages as Ukrainian Church's independence recognised]]>
Russia had warned against allowing the Ukraine Church to sever its ties with Moscow, with the powerful head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, travelling to Istanbul earlier this year in a bid to dissuade the patriarchate.

The issue is set to play a key role in Ukraine's March 2019 presidential elections, with incumbent President Petro Poroshenko making independence from the Russian Orthodox Church -- known as autocephaly -- a key issue as he plans a re-election bid.

Poroshenko quickly hailed the decision of the Patriarchate, which is based in its historic home of Istanbul, the former Constantinople and once the capital of the Byzantine Empire before the Ottoman Muslim conquest of 1453.

"This is a victory of good over evil, light over darkness," Poroshenko said in televised remarks, adding that Ukraine has been waiting for this "historic event" for more than 330 years.

But the Russian Orthodox Church said that the Patriarchate had taken "catastrophic" decisions both for itself and global Orthodoxy.

"The Patriarchate of Constantinople has crossed a red line," a spokesman for Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, Alexander Volkov, said in televised remarks.

- 'Canonically reinstated' -

The Patriarchate of Moscow, which is strongly backed by the Kremlin, argues it technically oversees most of Ukraine's Orthodox parishes and has warned that independence would provoke a rift in global Orthodoxy.

The Ukrainian Church is currently split into three bodies, one technically overseen by the Patriarch of Moscow, a fact the Kiev government considers unacceptable given its ongoing war with Russia-backed rebels in the east.

An Istanbul synod meeting chaired by Patriarch Bartholomew, seen as the first among equals of Orthodox Church leaders, "decreed to proceed to the granting of autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine," said an official statement read in Istanbul, formerly Constantinople.

In another key move, the synod also agreed to reinstate the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Patriarch Filaret and Kiev Metropolitan Makariy to their canonical ranks following their excommunication in the dispute with Moscow.

"Thus, the above-mentioned have been canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank," said the statement after a meeting that began on Tuesday.

- 'Serve Ukrainian people' -

Ukraine's Orthodox church split from Moscow in the 1990s, with the charismatic Filaret a foremost proponent of a new independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

In his first reaction, Filaret said Thursday's decision would allow his country to finally establish a united church in Ukraine and vowed to soon convene a meeting to address the issue of unification and elect a new patriarch.

"We want the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to be united not only in appearance but also in spirit so that it could serve the Ukrainian people," Filaret told reporters outside St Volodymyr Cathedral in Kiev.

The Moscow Patriarchate has already downgraded its ties with Bartholomew I over the affair, which it considers an unjust encroachment on its spiritual territory.

On Wednesday, an influential Moscow Patriarch cleric went so far as to warn that parishioners will not hand over churches to a new Orthodox institution willingly.

"Of course, people will take to streets and protect their sacred sites," Hilarion, a bishop in charge of diplomacy at the patriarchate, was quoted by Russian agencies as saying at a religious congress in Kazakhstan.

Bartholomew I, a Turkish citizen of Greek origin who commands huge international respect for promoting inter-faith dialogue, will also not want to antagonise the Turkish authorities who are pressing a policy of a strong alliance with Russia.

Ukraine and Russia have been at loggerheads since 2014 when Kiev street protests urging Ukrainian integration with Europe prompted the ousting of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych.

Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea later that year and backed rebels who carved out two unrecognised breakaway regions in Ukraine's mineral-rich east in a conflict that continues to this day.

Ukrainian authorities and many worshippers are wary of the influence of Kirill, a strong ally of President Vladimir Putin who has supported the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and the separatists in the east of the country.]]>
10/12/2018 4:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Kanye West loves - and hugs - Trump]]>
"I love this guy," Kanye declared in the Oval Office.

The rapper had been invited to lunch to discuss prison reform but turned what was would ordinarily have been a staid White House photo-op into what must have been one of the most unusual encounters in the Oval Office's storied history.

Talking at speed on everything from Trump's protectionist trade polices to black gun crime and "infinite amounts of universe," Kanye left the normally talkative president almost speechless with his performance.

"That was quite something," Trump said at the end Kanye's freewheeling soliloquy.

"It was from the soul. I just channeled it," the musician said, adding -- to gasps from presidential staff -- that Trump "might not have expected to have a crazy motherfucker like Kanye West supporting him."

The rapper, who has broken ranks with much of the left-leaning entertainment industry to come out in support of Trump, even said he could be president himself -- but "only after" Trump in 2024.]]>
10/12/2018 3:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Hurricane Michael leaves trail of devastation in Florida]]>
Hurricane Michael left a trail of devastation along a huge swathe of the Florida Panhandle.

The extent of the damage was becoming clear on Thursday as AFP reporters and photographers toured affected areas and US television networks flew helicopters along the coast.

At least two deaths have been reported from Michael, which made landfall on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm and has since been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves into the Carolinas.

"There is unbelievable devastation," Florida Governor Rick Scott said on CNN. "We know many people have been injured. I don't know the numbers yet."

Scott said search-and-rescue teams had worked throughout the night looking for survivors of the most powerful storm to hit the Panhandle in more than a century.

"We have a massive flow of search and rescue, Highway Patrol, National Guard, utility workers, pushing their way down to these impacted areas," the governor said.

The Florida State Emergency Response Team meanwhile said 400,000 homes and businesses were without power.

The resort town of Mexico Beach, where the hurricane made landfall, suffered massive destruction from the 155 miles per hour (250 kph) winds.

Home after home was razed from its foundations in the town of around 1,000 people. Others were missing roofs or walls. Roads were impassable and canals were choked with debris.

A Mexico Beach resident who rode out the hurricane described the impact of the storm surge to CNN.

"When the water came in houses started floating," said the man identified as Scott. "We had furniture in our house that wasn't even our furniture. The surge had brought stuff in.

"There's nothing left here anymore," he said of the town. "Our lives are gone here. All the stores, all the restaurants, everything.

"It's hard to grasp," he said. "This was never in our imagination."

- 'Tremendous destruction' -

Nearby Panama City Beach experienced similar damage along with other communities along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

A storage facility in Panama City Beach housing hundreds of boats was ripped apart by the strong winds with the roof shredding into strips of twisted metal.

At 11:00 am Eastern time (1500 GMT), Michael was dumping heavy rainfall on South and North Carolina, where cities and towns are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned of possible flash flooding Thursday in parts of Georgia, the Carolinas and southeastern Virginia because of heavy rains from Michael.

President Donald Trump promised to provide speedy assistance to help recovery efforts.

"It is going to go fast," Trump said in an interview with "Fox and Friends." "We'll make it go fast."

Speaking later to reporters, Trump said the hurricane was "incredibly powerful."

"It's tremendous destruction," he added. "We've not seen destruction like that in a long time."

At an election rally in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night, Trump offered his "thoughts and prayers" to those in the path of the storm and said he would visit Florida soon.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chief Brock Long said Michael was the most intense hurricane to strike the Florida Panhandle since record keeping began in 1851.

Long said many Florida buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

As it came ashore, Michael was just shy of a Category 5 -- defined as a storm packing top sustained wind speeds of 157 mph or above.

Last year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic -- including Irma, Maria and Harvey, which caused a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.

Scientists have long warned that global warming will make storms more destructive, and some say the evidence for this may already be visible.]]>
10/12/2018 2:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Spaniards, Germans, Britons, Dutch among 12 killed by Mallorca floods]]>
The bodies of a man and a woman were recovered near the eastern town of Arta, close to the place where a car belonging to a missing German couple was found earlier.

A British couple, a Dutch woman and another German man were also among the dead, emergency services said. Six Spaniards - two women and four men - died and a boy was still missing, they added.

Heavy rain hit the island on Tuesday, sending torrents of brown water along narrow streets in the eastern town of Sant Llorenc late. Rivers burst their banks and swamped homes, leaving roadsides strewn with wrecked vehicles and beaches covered in debris.

Mallorca-born tennis star Rafael Nadal joined the clean-up efforts on Wednesday, sweeping away mud and water from a building in Sant Llorenc. ]]>
10/12/2018 12:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[German growth limited by trade disputes and labour shortages]]>
Presenting the government's downwardly revised growth forecasts, Altmaier said the economy would expand by 1.8 percent in both 2018 and 2019.

This compared with earlier projections of 2.3 percent and 2.1 percent respectively. In 2017, the economy grew by a calendar-adjusted 2.5 percent.

Germany's vibrant domestic economy will continue to propel growth this year and next, with imports rising at a faster pace than exports and net trade expected to hold back an upswing that is seen entering its tenth year in 2019, Altmaier said.

"This is the longest upswing since 1966, the second longest ever," he added, pointing to record-high employment, rising real wages and planned tax relief for workers.

Germany's strong domestic demand means that rising imports will help to lower the country's large current account surplus to 7.1 percent of GDP in 2019 and 6.7 percent in 2020.

The growth outlook is clouded, however, by protectionist tendencies and U.S. trade disputes with Europe and China, Altmaier said. The economy would also expand at a faster rate if companies were able to find skilled workers more quickly.

The centre-right minister called for swift implementation of an EU-U.S. tariffs deal reached earlier this year to solve the transatlantic trade conflict.

Germany and its European allies will also support efforts to safeguard the rules-based free trade order by reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO), Altmaier said.

Turning to the problem of labour shortages, Altmaier said a planned immigration law should help to attract skilled workers from countries outside the European Union. He urged cabinet to pass the legislation before the end of the year.

A poll conducted for ARD broadcaster showed on Thursday that 71 percent backed the planned immigration law while 26 percent were against it, suggesting that the move could turn out to be less risky for Merkel's coalition government than expected.

Altmaier estimated that trade-related uncertainty so far had clipped off 0.1 percentage points of overall growth while labour shortages are costing the economy roughly 0.2 percentage points.

The government's growth forecasts confirmed a Reuters report on Wednesday that showed Berlin views an escalation in the global trade dispute as the main risk for the future.

The ministry also blamed revisions to previously reported output data and slower production in the auto sector due to difficulties adjusting to a new pollution standard - the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

The Bild newspaper said a 10-point tax plan prepared by ministry called for "complete elimination" of the 'solidarity' tax imposed after German unification to support poorer states in eastern Germany. The coalition agreement had called for the tax to be phased out from 2021 for 90 percent of Germans.

Altmaier also demanded tax relief for companies, but he stopped short of confirming a report by daily Handelsblatt that said he was in favour of lowering corporate taxes by around 20 billion euros ($23.15 billion) per year.

Centre-left Finance Minister Olaf Scholz from the co-governing Social Democrats (SPD) has rejected such a step, arguing that the government should better use the money to increase public investments in education and infrastructure.]]>
10/12/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi to meet Putin in Sochi on Oct. 17]]>
According to statement issued by the Kremlin on Thursday, the two leaders will be discussing several issues of mutual interests and exchange views on current international affairs.

Earlier this month, Egypt's Presidency announced that Sisi is expected to pay a visit to Russia in October to meet with the Russian president; however, no official dates were mentioned.

Russian President's aide Yuri Ushakov said to media outlets that Moscow is making active contacts in preparation for a visit to be made by Sisi later this month. “Active preparations for the visit are underway. I can confirm that”, Ushakov told reporters.

Last March, Putin sent a cable congratulating President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on his victory in Egypt’s presidential election. “The results of the election clearly showed your value among your people [Egyptians], your approach to resolve urgent social and economic tasks, and also to enhance stability in your country,” read the cable.

Putin added, “I hope through our joint efforts, we will continue bilateral beneficial cooperation in all fields, coordination in regional and global issues, and confrontation of international security threats and challenges, which undoubtedly serve the interests of the two friendly people of our both countries.”

In November, Russia’s government published a draft agreement between Russia and Egypt allowing both countries to use each other’s air bases for military purposes.

On December 11, Putin visited Egypt for the second time since Sisi was sworn into office in May 2014. The visit showed increasing interest from the Kremlin to boost cooperation with Egypt after bilateral relations were knocked by the plane crash.

]]>
10/11/2018 7:32:39 PM
<![CDATA[Higher education min. meets Japanese counterpart, vice president of JICA]]>
During the meeting, Abdel Ghaffar praised the Egyptian-Japanese relations in various fields especially in education, research and culture, pointing out Egypt’s keenness to boost cooperation with Japanese universities to benefit from the Japanese experience.

For her side, Koike stressed Japan's keenness to maintain constant communication and strengthen relations with Egypt, especially in the education field, because of its significance in human development.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Abdel Ghaffar signed a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt and the University of Tokyo which aims to train the cadres of universities.

Also, Abdel Ghaffar met with vice president of JICA (International Cooperation for Middle East Affairs) to discuss the mechanisms of cooperation between Egypt and Japan in the field of education and to tackle ways of cooperation in the field of technological universities.

The vice president of JICA praised the efforts of the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and lauded the achievements of the Egyptian-Japanese University.

Furthermore, Minister of Higher Education Abdel Ghaffar met with President of the Universities of Tokyo Makoto Gonokami during his visit to Japan in October to discuss mechanisms of cooperation in the field of education.

]]>
10/11/2018 3:58:55 PM
<![CDATA[Military court sentences 17 to death in churches attack case]]>
Two more defendants were also handed down 15 and 10-year jail sentences for being implicated in attacking Boutrosia church in Abbasiya where 29 worshippers were killed, Mar Gerges church in Tanta where 27 people were killed and St Mark in Alexandria where 18 people died.

The convicts were charged with possessing automatic guns and explosives in the terrorist attacks which left 82 people dead.
]]>
10/11/2018 3:50:42 PM
<![CDATA[UN rapporteur: Egypt took big strides to solve urgent humanitarian problems]]>
In a press release on Thursday, she said Egypt is working seriously to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goal no 11, referring to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's commitment to the one million housing units project as well as the development of slum areas.

Farha was recently on an official visit to Egypt. At the end of her visit, she highlighted the government's achievements in the social housing file.

Farha's final report on her visit to Egypt will be handed over to the Human Rights Council in Geneva in March 2019.]]>
10/11/2018 2:02:57 PM
<![CDATA[Pope Tawadros visits Coptic Church in California]]>
The pope wrapped up his visit to the US East Coast on Tuesday and arrived to the West Coast.

In statements on Thursday, Spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church Father Boulos Halim said the Pope expressed happiness over meeting the congregation of Virgin Mary church in Concord.

He also ordained two priests on his last stop in the US namely Father Joseph for the Virgin Mary and St John Church in Pleasanton, California and Father Mina to the St George Church in Kirland, Seattle, Washington State, the spokesman said.

In earlier statements, Father Boulos said the pontiff has during his month-long visit to the US, consecrated altars and icons in 14 churches and led 18 masses.

The pope held 14 meetings with church members in the US and baptized 36 persons.

He also laid down the foundation stone of four services buildings and ordained 11 clergymen to the rank of archpriest, said the spokesman, adding that the pope also ordained two men as priests and one arch deacon.

The pope also gave 41 lectures and sermons.]]>
10/11/2018 1:49:12 PM
<![CDATA[Luxor to host ACI conference in March]]>
The event, held under the auspices of the minister of aviation, will be attended by 400 representatives from African airports, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Also attending the conference will be representatives from the Airports Council International.

Issues tabled on the agenda are the exchange of latest technologies and expertise and services offered for the security of airports and safety regulations.]]>
10/11/2018 1:46:31 PM
<![CDATA[China has no intention of interfering in U.S. politics: commerce ministry]]>
Last week, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence accused China of “malign” efforts to undermine President Donald Trump ahead of next month’s congressional elections. Pence also accused China of using its economic might to bully smaller countries.

China has not engaged in, and will not engage in, “economic invasion”, Gao Feng, the commerce ministry’s spokesman, said at a weekly briefing.

The United States and China have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods over the past few months in an escalating trade conflict that could knock global trade and investment.

China is open to restarting trade talks with the United States, but regrettably the U.S. side has shown no sincerity still, Gao said.
]]>
10/11/2018 11:21:40 AM
<![CDATA[Presidential decree approves Japanese grant to E-JUST]]>
The 993-million-Japanese-Yen grant will contribute to implementing the educational and research apparatuses project for the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST) (the second stage).

The grant was inked in December 18, 2017 in the Japanese capital Tokyo.

The decree was published in the official gazette on Thursday.]]>
10/11/2018 11:13:05 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi attends the 29th Educational Seminar of Armed forces ]]>CAIRO – 11 October 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi attended on Thursday the 29th Educational Seminar of Armed forces, which is titled "October..Continuity of Generations.”

The seminar coincides with the 45th anniversary of the 6th of October war victory celebrations، Presidency Spokesman Ambassador, Bassam Radi announced.




Defense and Military Production Minister Mohamed Zaki and Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli are present at the event which is also attended by a number of senior statesmen and prominent public figures, as well as police and army top brass

The attendees paid tribute to late president and Nobel Peace Laureate Anwar el Sadat, who is the "hero of war and peace" as the inscription on his grave reads.

Sisi arrived Cairo on Wednesday's evening coming from the Greek Island of Crete.

During his several-hour visit to Greece, President Sisi took part in a tripartite summit along with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The summit took up means of fostering ties among the three countries in the different political, economic, trade and tourism areas, in addition to discussing key regional issues.

At the end of the summit, the three leaders expressed their solid determination to render joint cooperation in various domains successful, in addition to stepping up cooperation among the three states to consolidate peace in the region.

Earlier today, President Sisi held talks with Tsipras and Anastasiades on means of cementing bilateral ties and cooperation in the different fields.

]]>
10/11/2018 11:07:54 AM
<![CDATA[Leaders need to fix broken economic models: IMF chief]]>
Her comments come as a trade spat between China and the United States threatens economic growth around the world, with IMF experts warning of "new vulnerabilities" in the global system.

"We need to work together to de-escalate and resolve the current trade disputes," Lagarde said at an IMF and World Bank gathering in Bali.

"We need to join hands to fix the current trade system, not destroy it," she added.

Around 32,000 members of the global financial elite are on the Indonesian holiday island for a week of discussions that have been clouded by US President Donald Trump's America First trade policy.

Trump has levied or threatened tariffs on goods from economies around the world, notably China, but also on traditional allies such as the European Union.

The head of the World Trade Organization warned that a "full-blown commercial war" could shrink global trade by nearly 18 percent and also knock worldwide GDP.

"The US and China would suffer considerably," added Roberto Azevedo, director general of the global trade body.

Higher US interest rates has also helped send emerging market currencies into a tail spin, as countries that borrowed heavily in dollars race to pay back their debt.

The IMF's latest report on world financial stability, released Wednesday, said global growth could be at risk if emerging markets deteriorate further or trade tensions escalate.

"New vulnerabilities have emerged and the resilience of the global financial system has yet to be tested," it said in the twice-yearly Global Financial Stability Report.

Market participants "appear complacent" about the potential risks from a "sudden, sharp tightening of conditions" -- like rising interest rates or declining access to capital.

More tariffs and their countermeasures "could lead to a broader tightening of financial conditions, with negative implications for the global economy and financial stability," the fund warned.

- 'Bit depressed' -

Lagarde told her audience Wednesday that she did not feel overly gloomy about global conditions.

"It's tempting to be a bit depressed about this perspective but I'm actually hopeful because there is a clear appetite to improve and expand trade," she said.

Prominent US academic Jeffrey Sachs was less diplomatic in his assessment of Trump's shepherding of American trade relationships, slamming the president's repeated claims that deficits with China and other nations meant Americans were being taken advantage of.

"Trade deficits don't (necessarily) mean cheating by the other side... This is the United States trying stop China's growth -- it's a terrible idea," Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, told a seminar.

"All the accusations against China are completely trumped up... Grossly exaggerated."

- Fund exodus -

As interest rates rise in advanced economies, prompting investors to take their money in search of higher returns, the IMF said emerging economies should take steps to insulate themselves from an exodus of funds.

That would include boosting foreign currency reserves that could be used in a crisis, as well as working with local bond markets to build a local investor base, rather than relying on financing from abroad.

The fund also pointed to risks from high corporate debt and too much government borrowing, a hangover from fiscal stimulus measures and government rescue spending in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.

Since the last stability report in April, global economic conditions have become less balanced, with a more pronounced divergence between advanced and emerging economies.

Despite the Federal Reserve's interest rate increases, financial conditions "have eased further" in the US as equity valuations have stayed lofty.

Conditions in Europe and other major advanced economies have also remained "relatively easy," although investors have pushed back their expectations for the European Central Bank to lift interest rates, the report said.

In China, the situation remains "broadly stable," although corporate debt is above historical levels and household borrowing is at the high end among emerging countries.

"China is well aware and is taking steps to slow down the debt buildup," said Vitor Gaspar, director of the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department.]]>
10/11/2018 4:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Britons among 10 dead in Majorca flash floods]]>
Muddy waters rushed down roads, houses were flooded and vehicles piled up on top of each other after the Mediterranean island was pounded with rain in just a few hours, video footage showed.

One witness told a local newspaper he had to swim out of his car through a window to safety.

"I swam 500 metres (1,650 feet) through the torrent until I got to a house," Manuel Torrescusa told the Diario de Mallorca.

"I hardly had any clothes on me as they all got caught on a metal fence when I was swimming."

- Tourism magnet -

Emergency services in the Balearic archipelago tweeted that the death toll had risen to 10 and a little boy remained missing.

Britain's foreign office said two British nationals had died.

"We are supporting the family of two British people following their deaths in Spain, and will do all we can to assist them at this deeply difficult time," it said in a statement.

Emergency services sent out tweets in Spanish, Catalan, English and German in an indication of the prevalence of tourists and foreign residents on the island.

Last year, 13.8 million foreign tourists visited the Balearic Islands, according to official statistics. The biggest numbers came from Germany and Britain.

Many more foreigners live in the archipelago.

- More rain in islands -

Spain's meteorological office warned that rainfall and storms were set to get worse in the archipelago "in the coming hours."

In Majorca, the worst affected area lay 60 kilometres (37 miles) east of the capital Palma de Majorca.

Sergio Mantas, a local policeman, told the Diario de Mallorca that the situation in Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, one of the worst-hit villages, had been "devastating."

"The village was a torrent."

Javier Martinez told the daily he had to leave his flooded home.

"I don't have anything with me, just my pyjamas," he was quoted as saying.

"My house filled up completely and when it (the water level) dropped we left and went through the mud that the flood left."

Local television showed footage of beach umbrellas floating in the sea near S'Illot, one of the affected coastal villages.

Around 500 emergency workers were searching for people and helping those affected, the regional government said.

Helicopters and search dogs were also sent to the scene, the country's emergency military unit added.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited the disaster zone and described the situation as "absolutely extraordinary".

He promised financial help for affected zones.

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who is from the affected area in Majorca, said on Instagram he was offering to open up his sports centre and tennis academy to people made homeless by the floods.

"Our most sincere condolences to the loved ones of the victims of the serious floods in San Llorenc," he wrote.

Many people spent the night in sports centres.

Maria Magdalena Ferrer, spokeswoman for the Manacor Hospital in the affected area, told AFP that people "who were in the hospital yesterday and weren't able to go home" stayed the night.]]>
10/11/2018 4:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Monstrous Hurricane Michael hits Florida as Category 4 storm]]>
Michael made landfall as a monstrous Category 4 storm near Mexico Beach, a town about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of Panama City, around 1:00 pm Eastern time (1700 GMT), the National Hurricane Center said.

As the eye of the hurricane came ashore, winds of up to 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) and driving rain pounded beachfront communities on the Florida Panhandle, the finger-shaped strip of land along the Gulf of Mexico.

"Hurricane Michael is forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in a century," Governor Rick Scott said.

Briefing President Donald Trump at the White House, top emergency management official Brock Long said Michael was the most intense hurricane to strike the area since 1851.

"Along our coast, communities are going to see unimaginable devastation," Governor Scott said.

"The National Hurricane Center is expecting storm surge to be between nine and 13 feet (2.7-3.6 meters)," he added. "Water will come miles in shore and could easily rise over the roofs of houses."

Hundreds of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate their homes and the governor told residents that if they have not already done so it was now too late.

"The time to evacuate the coastal areas has come and gone... Hunker down, and be careful," he said. "Don't go out in the middle of this. You are not going to survive it. It's deadly."

"This is, unfortunately, a historical and incredibly dangerous and life-threatening situation," said Ken Graham, director of the Miami-based NHC. "It's going to be incredibly catastrophic."

- Deadly storm surge -

Long, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said many Florida buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

As it came ashore, Michael was just shy of a Category 5 -- defined as a storm packing wind speeds of 157 mph or above.

"We're going to see a lot of wind damage," Long said, and some residents could expect not to have power restored for weeks.

Speaking before the hurricane made landfall, Long said "this is the final call for anybody that needs to get out.

"Those who stick around to experience storm surge don't typically live to tell about it unfortunately," he said.

Residents of the neighboring state of Georgia should also expect to be heavily impacted by the storm, the FEMA head said. "Citizens in Georgia need to wake up and pay attention," Long said.

ike Thomas, the mayor of Panama City Beach, a resort west of Panama City, said he expected there would be casualties and that emergency personnel would not go out when winds get over 50 miles per hour (80 kph).

"It's going to be horrible," Thomas told CNN. "We're going to get some people hurt."

An estimated 375,000 people in more than 20 counties were ordered or advised to evacuate.

The National Weather Service office in the state capital Tallahassee issued a dramatic appeal for people to comply with evacuation orders.

- 'Leave NOW' -

"Hurricane Michael is an unprecedented event and cannot be compared to any of our previous events. Do not risk your life, leave NOW if you were told to do so," it said.

The NWS said it had found no record of any previous Category 4 hurricanes that made landfall in the Panhandle or the "Big Bend" coastal region.

"This situation has NEVER happened before," it said on Twitter.

Trump issued an emergency declaration for Florida, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of FEMA, which has more than 3,000 people on the ground.

State officials issued disaster declarations in Alabama and Georgia and the storm is also expected to bring heavy rainfall to North and South Carolina.

The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damage last month.

It made landfall on the coast as a Category 1 hurricane on September 14 and drenched some parts of the state with 40 inches (101 centimeters) of rain.

Last year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic -- including Irma, Maria and Harvey, which caused a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.

Scientists have long warned that global warming will make storms more destructive, and some say the evidence for this may already be visible.]]>
10/11/2018 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[More than 300,000 evacuated as cyclone intensifies off eastern India]]>
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) rated Titli as a "very severe cyclonic storm" that could pack gusts of up to 165 kph by the time it makes landfall early on Thursday.

The IMD warned the cyclone is likely to uproot trees, power and communication poles, destroy coastal houses with thatched roofs, and damage roads, crops and plantations. It also issued a storm surge warning and said it expects low-lying areas in Odisha and the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh to be inundated.

At least 300,000 people have been evacuated from the low lying areas of five coastal districts in Odisha state.

"We have shifted them to shelters for safety as a one-meter-high storm surge is likely to inundate low lying areas," Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi told Reuters.

The Odisha Chief Minister's office in a tweet said schools and colleges across the state would remain closed for the next two days.

"Operations at Paradip port have been suspended and all ships have been shifted to deep sea," the Deputy Conservator of Paradip Port Captain A.K. Mohapatra told Reuters.

"All ships have been removed from the harbour," he said.

Indian Railways in a statement said it had cancelled several trains and a senior official at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in the state capital Bhubaneswar said several flights had also been cancelled.

The Bay of Bengal often witnesses cyclones at this time of year, and some have led to widespread death and destruction. The state of Odisha was last month hit by the low-intensity cyclone Daye. ]]>
10/11/2018 12:10:00 AM