<![CDATA[rss-News]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[News]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[4 Egyptian NGOs to be granted excellence award Tuesday]]>
The Excellence Award Competition takes place for the third year in a row under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Solidarity to highlight the importance of improving NGOs and engaging them in building and developing the Egyptian society.

The competition aims at honoring successful models and helping NGOs maintain excellency in the efficient implementation of projects to achieve sustainable development.

The best four civil society organizations will be awarded a financial award and certificates of excellence. The organizations that passed the evaluation stages will also be awarded in-kind prizes and certificates of appreciation.

The assessment criteria of the Professional Development Foundation include the NGO's rate of innovation, the impact of its projects or services on the community, the number of beneficiaries of its programs, the planning and implementation stages.

Mohamed Farouk Hafeez, CEO of the PDF,said that the main objective of the award is to honor associations with successful businesses and nurture them as a main component of development in the Egyptian society.

"NGOs are the driving force behind a comprehensive development. They are the strong foundation that makes societies and economies thrive," Hafeez stated.

The PDF was established as a non-governmental and non-profit association in November 1998 with the aim of activating the work in the field of human resources development. The PDF launched the Excellence Award for Civil Society Organizations in 2016. The winning societies are announced at a special ceremony under the patronage of Ghada Wali, minister of social solidarity.

The value of foreign grants to NGOs in Egypt recorded more than LE 376 million ($21 million) in October, Wali announced in November saying they were approved by Egyptian authorities in accordance with law and that spending will be observed.

Wali explained that 55 foreign entities provided 151 grants to 112 NGOs in Egypt working in the fields of development, charity, and micro-finance.

The grants were directed to programs targeting childcare; elimination of homeless children phenomenon and violence against children; healthcare; rural development; poverty and unemployment reduction; environment preservation; recycling; and, ending violence against women.

Furthermore, some funds were channeled into providing care for the disabled, education, and building schools. ]]>
12/18/2018 2:16:10 PM
<![CDATA[Gender equality at work more than 200 years off: WEF]]>
The World Economic Forum (WEF) report said there had been some improvements in wage equality this year compared to 2017, when the global gender gap widened for the first time in a decade.

But it warned that these were offset by declining representation of women in politics, coupled with greater inequality in their access to health and education.

At current rates, the global gender gap across a range of areas will not close for another 108 years, while it is expected to take 202 years to close the workplace gap, WEF found.

The Geneva-based organisation's annual report tracked disparities between the sexes in 149 countries across four areas: education, health, economic opportunity and political empowerment.

After years of advances in education, health and political representation, women registered setbacks in all three areas this year, WEF said.

Only in the area of economic opportunity did the gender gap narrow somewhat, although there is not much to celebrate, with the global wage gap narrowing to nearly 51 percent.

And the number of women in leadership roles has risen to 34 percent globally, WEF said.

But at the same time, the report showed that there are now proportionately fewer women than men participating in the workforce, suggesting that automation is having a disproportionate impact on jobs traditionally performed by women.

And women are significantly under-represented in growing areas of employment that require science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills, WEF said.

It decried the particularly low participation of women within the artificial intelligence field, where they make up just 22 percent of the workforce.

- Big regional differences -

"This gap is three times larger than in other industry talent pools," the WEF statement pointed out.

"In addition to being outnumbered three to one, women in AI are less likely to be positioned in senior roles," it said, stressing the "clear need for proactive measures to prevent a deepening of the gender gap in other industries where AI skills are in increasing demand."

The situation varies greatly in different countries and regions.

For instance, while Western European countries could close their gender gaps within 61 years, countries in the Middle East and North Africa will take 153 years, the report estimated.

Overall, the Nordic countries once again dominated the top of the table: men and women were most equal in Iceland, followed by Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and finally Yemen showed the biggest overall gender gaps of the countries surveyed.

Among the world's 20 leading economies, France fared the best, taking 12th place overall, followed by Germany in 14th place, Britain in 15th, Canada in 16th and South Africa in 19th.

The United States continued its decline, slipping two places to 51st, with the report in particular blaming "a decrease in gender parity in ministerial-level positions."]]>
12/18/2018 2:10:00 PM
<![CDATA[Draft law controlling population growth to be submitted soon: MP]]>
The committee's effort comes in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Population to control Egypt's growing population. Amer said that the draft law will be issued in the current Parliamentary session.

In an interview with Egypt Today, Amer said that the bill which includes positive incentives for the ideal family that consists of parents and only two children.

He stressed that the law does not oblige or impose anything on the Egyptian family, adding that it is based on selection and motivation, and therefore does not conflict with the Sharia (Islamic law) and the fundamentals of religion. He explained that the forms of motivation introduced by the law will include benefits in housing and health services and so on.

It is estimated that Egypt's population will hit 150 million in 2050 with an increase of 70 percent compared to 2015, Minister of Planning, Follow-Up, and Administrative Reform Hala al-Said said in a public lecture in Cairo University earlier in December.

Said stated that the birth rate has been on the rise since 2005 reaching 2 million per annum in 2008, and growing to become 2.5 - 2.7 million. The whole population of some countries is around 2 - 3 million. “That means the annual birth rate equals other states' population,” the minister said.

Within the 2030 vision, “we are renovating the long-term visions in light of regional and international developments, economic reforms, and their impact on targets, so we review every long-term plan every four years,” the minister stated.

Egypt's Annual birth rate equals other states' population: Min.

CAIRO - 6 December 2018: It is estimated that Egypt's population will hit 150 million in 2050 with an increase of 70 percent compared to 2015, Minister of Planning, Follow-Up, and Administrative Reform Hala al-Said said in a public lecture in Cairo University on Wednesday.

12/18/2018 1:43:15 PM
<![CDATA[TAKE A LOOK-Arrest of Carlos Ghosn rocks Renault-Nissan alliance]]>
> Nissan CEO plans one-on-one meeting with Renault boss - sources
> Renault-Nissan board meets amid deepening leadership crisis
> Nissan CEO calls on Renault to listen to Ghosn allegations
> EXCLUSIVE-Nissan probe into Ghosn focuses on 'CEO Reserve' fund
> Nissan board aims to boost governance post-Ghosn - sources
> Renault seeks Nissan shareholder meeting as Ghosn crisis deepens
> Ousted Nissan boss' daughter takes documents, cash from apartment
> EXCLUSIVE-France plans Renault CEO hunt - sources
> Renault board did not consider replacing Ghosn - interim chairman
> Nissan files claim against Ghosn's sister in Brazil court
> Lawyers of ex-Nissan boss: Carmaker could have planted evidence
> EXCLUSIVE-Don't contact our board members, Renault tells Nissan
> Court rejects Nissan ex-chairman Ghosn's appeal to end detention
> Art and Rio apartment new battleground for Nissan, Ghosn - filing
> Nissan ex-chairman Ghosn files complaint over detention
> Ghosn, Nissan formally charged in financial misconduct scandal
> Macron and Abe seek to avert Renault-Nissan row
> INSIGHT-Seeds of Renault-Nissan crisis sown in Macron's 'raid'
> Auditor had questioned Nissan on payments to Ghosn - source
> Mitsubishi Motors ousts Ghosn as chairman, after Nissan firing
> Nissan: CEO did not mention review of alliance equity structure
> Nissan ends Ghosn's reign with last-minute Renault backing
> Nissan wants less Renault clout, as France-Japan back alliance
> Ghosn exit not the time to alter Renault-Nissan alliance - France
> Renault names Ghosn stand-ins amid tension over Nissan probe
> EXCLUSIVE-Nissan expands Ghosn probe to include alliance -sources
> Mitsubishi Motors CEO: Tough to manage car alliance without Ghosn
> Nissan shares slump as autos alliance rocked by Ghosn arrest
> Nissan to oust Ghosn after arrest for alleged misconduct

> Ghosn affair raises issues beyond one man, one company

> FACTBOX-Financial wrongdoing allegations against Carlos Ghosn
> EXPLAINER-The Ghosn affair and Renault-Nissan's uneasy relations
> EXPLAINER-What is Ghosn accused of, and how did it come to light?
> NEWSMAKER-Nissan's Saikawa takes centre stage after Ghosn ouster
> NEWSMAKER-Carlos Ghosn, the cost cutter with a big price tag

> BREAKINGVIEWS-Didi seizes the wheel of a Chinese carmaker
> BREAKINGVIEWS-Ghosn cloud has thin silver lining for Japan Inc
> BREAKINGVIEWS-France can best help Renault by cutting it free
> BREAKINGVIEWS-Nissan puts Japan's governance drive into reverse ]]>
12/18/2018 1:02:41 PM
<![CDATA[British Airways to resume Pakistan flights after a decade]]>
BA halted flights following one of the most high-profile attacks in Pakistan's history, the 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing in the capital, Islamabad, which took place during a period of devastating Islamist militant violence that swept the country.

But security has since improved, with militant attacks sharply down in the mainly Muslim country of 208 million people. In Islamabad, a web of road checkpoints dotted across the city for more than a decade has mostly been dismantled.

Richard Crowder, the Deputy British High Commissioner to Pakistan, told reporters in Islamabad BA's return was in large part due to "an improvement in the security environment in this country".

Pakistani officials hailed BA's move, saying it will offer confidence to other foreign investors and make the country less isolated.

"Once it gets around the world that British Airways has put its stamp of approval on Pakistan, it will put us one or two notches up as a country to do business with," said Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood.

BA, which is owned by Spanish-registered IAG, is due to begin the London Heathrow-Islamabad service on June 15, with three weekly flights by the airline's newest long-haul aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

At present, only loss-making national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flies directly from Pakistan to Britain, but its aging fleet of planes is a frequent source of complaints by passengers.

Middle Eastern carriers Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates have a strong presence in Pakistan and have been eating into PIA's dwindling market share. Turkish Airlines also lays on a regular service to Pakistan.

Islamabad has been running international advertising campaigns to rejuvenate its tourism sector that was wiped out by Islamist violence that destabilised the country following the 9/11 attacks in the United States in 2001 and the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

Pakistan was formed at partition at the end of British rule in India in 1947 and more than a million people of Pakistani origin live in Britain.

Robert Williams, Head of Sales for Asia Pacific and the Middle East for British Airways, said the carrier believes the route "will be particularly popular with the British Pakistani community who want to visit, or be visited by, their relatives".

Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, a special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan, said "British Airways coming back after a decade shows you where we were and how far we have come".

"Pakistan is becoming less isolated and more connected to the world, and that's the Pakistan we want to see." ]]>
12/18/2018 12:56:15 PM
<![CDATA[Abul Gheit, Somali min. review boosting Arab support for Somalia]]>
The two sides discussed the progress realized so far in a two-day plenary meeting on means of supporting Somali development plans.

Abul Gheit stressed the AL's commitment to supporting Somalia in order to establish security and stability, Abdul Gheit's spokesman Mahmoud Afifi said on Tuesday.

The plenary meeting - which the AL hosts - is meant to stand on the Somali government's needs and priorities in the coming years in order to realize development.

The meeting will rally Arab efforts to support the Somali development plans.

The Somali minister expressed deep appreciation for the efforts being exerted by the AL to support Somalia, especially Abul-Gheit's initiative to hold the plenary meeting.]]>
12/18/2018 12:50:10 PM
<![CDATA[ECFA annual conf. to underline Egypt's stand on regional issues]]>
In statements to MENA on Tuesday, Ambassador Hussein Hassouna underscored Egypt's firm stand to promote Egyptian and Arab security, settle conflicts by peaceful means, maintain unity of regional states and combat terrorism.

A cluster of diplomats, ECFA members, university professors, intellectuals and public figures will attend the two-day conference which is due to kick off later Tuesday.

The get-together will review the developments in the Middle East and the role of Egypt and other Arab countries in realizing regional stability. ]]>
12/18/2018 11:50:42 AM
<![CDATA[Austrian papers highlights Sisi's talks with top Austrian officials]]>
The papers also highlighted Sisi's participation in the High-Level Africa-Europe Forum which is due to open in Vienna on Tuesday.

About 24 African states and 25 European countries will take part in the event, according to Österreich - a national Austrian daily newspaper.

The paper noted that the Egyptian-Austrian talks focused on the situation in the Middle East as well as the official dinner banquet which will be attended by European and African leaders. ]]>
12/18/2018 11:25:43 AM
<![CDATA[Awqaf min. 608 mosques renovated in 2018]]>
In statements to MENA on Tuesday, Awqaf Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said that the year of 2018 witnessed the launch of many initiatives and programs in the various religious domains, along with activation of efforts to renew the religious discourse.

In 2018, new Quran memorization and recitation centers were opened, in addition to the training of imams and preachers to promote their crucial role in protecting youth against extremist ideology, Gomaa added.

Also, 300 million pounds were allocated towards humanitarian assistance during the current year, compared to 150 million pounds in 2017, he added.]]>
12/18/2018 10:36:33 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi arrives at venue of Africa-Europe Forum]]>
President Sisi held important talks with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van Der Bellen, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Parliament Speaker Wolfgang Sobotka on the first day of his visit.

Talks covered a set of issues of common interest including the Middle East issue, illegal migration and parliamentary cooperation. Talks also covered means of enhancing bilateral relations in all domains.]]>
12/18/2018 10:33:50 AM
<![CDATA[German police raid mosque over suspected financing of Syria fighter]]>
Officers searched the As-Sahaba mosque in Berlin's northern district of Wedding where 45-year-old Ahmad A. - known to his followers as Abul Baraa - preaches, the General Prosecutor's Office said.

There was no immediate comment from the cleric or any lawyer representing him.]]>
12/18/2018 10:06:41 AM
<![CDATA[Al-Ahram Weekly dismisses reports one of its journalists invited to Israeli Knesset]]>
In a statement, Al-Ahram Weekly said that none of its journalists, whether at home or abroad, have received invitations to visit the Israeli parliament as reported by Israeli media outlets.

"We are currently investigating whether a journalist has unduly claimed affiliation with the paper for a visit that contravenes the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate decision against normalisation with Israel before a comprehensive peace solution is achieved between Palestinians and Israelis," the statement concluded.

On Monday, several local Israeli media outlets said that the Israeli Knesset is prepping to host seven Arab ‎journalists living in Europe in an effort to open communication lines as part of an initiative promoted by the Israeli embassy in Paris.

The outlets reported that the delegation would include Egyptian, Lebanese, Algerian and ‎Moroccan nationals employed by the i24 news ‎network, Egypt’s Al-Ahram Weekly and other Arab ‎media outlets in France and Belgium.]]>
12/18/2018 9:51:47 AM
<![CDATA[China's Xi urges implementation of reform but offers no new measures]]>
In remarks lasting nearly an hour-and-a-half, Xi called for support for the state economy and development of the private sector, and said China would expand efforts at opening up and ensure the implementation of major reforms.

China's substantial support of its sprawling state sector is a point of contention with the United States.

"We must, unswervingly, reinforce the development of the state economy while, unswervingly, encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the non-state economy," he said at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Xi was speaking on the day China has marked as the 40th anniversary of the start of late leader Deng Xiaoping's campaign of "reform and opening up," which led to explosive industrial growth that made China's economy the world's second-largest.

Xi reaffirmed the ruling Communist Party's leadership in all aspects of society and said reforms should be in line with the overall goal of improving the socialist system with Chinese characteristics.

"Opening brings progress while closure leads to backwardness," Xi said.

"Every step of reform and opening up is not easy. In future, we will be inevitably faced with all sorts of risks and challenges, and even unimaginable tempestuous storms," said Xi, stressing the role of the Communist Party.

Xi was speaking amid mounting pressure to accelerate reforms and improve market access for foreign companies as a trade war with the United States weighs on the economy.

His remarks failed to excite investors, with Chinese stock indexes down more than 1 percent, tracking broadly lower Asian shares.

"Despite promises of the importance of the speech, very little new was announced, particularly given its similarity to parts of Xi's speech at the Politburo meeting a few days prior," said Jonas Short, head of the Beijing office of brokerage Everbright Sun Hung Kai.

Short said attention would now be focused on the Central Economic Work Conference expected later this week for clues on policy direction.


The trade war has spurred some Chinese entrepreneurs, government advisers and think-tanks to call for faster reforms and the freeing up of a private sector stifled by state controls and struggling to gain access to credit.

Xi said China had to make its own decisions.

"There is no text book that can provide a golden rule, and there is no instructor who can boss around the Chinese people."

Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed early this month to a 90-day truce in the trade dispute, which halted the threatened escalation of punitive tariffs while the two sides negotiate.

In his speech, Xi enumerated the accomplishments of China's development since it moved away from a planned economy, when basic goods were rationed and often scarce.

"Grain coupons, cloth coupons, meat coupons, fish coupons, oil coupons, tofu coupons, food ticket books, product coupons and other documents people once could not be without have now been consigned to the museum of history," he said.

"The torments of hunger, lack of food and clothing, and the hardships which have plagued our people for thousands of years have generally gone and won't come back."

Numerous luminaries in attendance were cited for their contributions to economic reforms including the heads of online giants Alibaba, Tencent Holdings and Baidu and carmaker Geely Automobile Holdings, a nod to the role of the private sector.

Xi's emphasis on the need for "top-level design" suggested he is not willing to significantly reduce the state's role in the economy, Beijing-based political commentator Zhang Lifan said, noting that the trade war had already hurt the economy.

"He is talking about the need for a strong government, big and powerful state-owned enterprises and large-scale investment. It seems his thinking on this has not changed," Zhang said.]]>
12/18/2018 9:25:45 AM
<![CDATA[Twitter warns of suspicious traffic coming from China, Saudi Arabia]]>
The company does not know the reason for the activity, but notified users earlier on Monday out of an abundance of caution, the spokesman said.
12/18/2018 6:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[General Dynamics warns Canada of huge liability if it cancels Saudi deal]]>
The firm made the comment in a statement issued shortly after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said for the first time that his Liberal government was looking for a way out of the deal.
12/18/2018 2:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Clicks Egypt launches “Zagel”, distinguished news application]]>
“Zagel” application targets utilizing updated technologies to offer a distinguished news service, which covers and update all the news of the day. The application alerts its users with top news once they are published on news websites.

WhatsApp Image 2018-12-18 at 01.59.46
Zagel news application

The application is easily downloaded by Android and IOS smartphones, it covers the updates of Economy, Politics, Sports, Entertainment, and Technology news, locally and Internationally.

Zagel obtains the news from different news sources, the user is able to check the received news without having the smartphone connected to the Internet.

The tastefully designed application can be easily connected to the users’ personal social media and Email accounts.

The application boosts users’ news searchability, it enables the users to control their news feed and pick their preferred news topics.

The application allows users to pick their news from all fields, Economy, Politics, Sports, Entertainment, Arts and Culture.


12/18/2018 2:06:54 AM
<![CDATA[Heavy rains in Alexandria, ports close due to bad weather ]]>
In a Monday statement, Alexandria Harbor Authority said closing all ports was necessary due to the wind velocity and high waves.The two harbors were closed to ensure safety of vessels and navigation movement, Spokesman for Alexandria Port Authority Reda Ghandour explained.

Loading and unloading movement of commodities was regular at the two harbors, the spokesman added.

On Dec 11, Meteorological experts warned that Egypt will be facing a new cold wave. West coasts were expected to witness stable weather during day, but extremely cold weather at night. Low and medium clouds were reported to appear accompanied by heavy rainfall on the northwestern coasts, according to experts.

Earlier in December, Egypt witnessed heavy rains and stormy winds. The government has announced that it is fully prepared for the upcoming winter season, heightening necessary measures to combat expected floods and prevent any relevant problems of accumulated rainwater in the streets.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation has worked on finishing the preparations for winter rains and downpours by carrying out a plan to check the pumping stations, clear canals, water banks and storm drains. Mohamed Abdel Aati, an official in the ministry, said in October that the preparation plan included maintenance of all pumping stations nationwide to be ready for sudden rains.

The ministry installed more than 25 emergency units in West Delta near the critical areas to avoid the recurrence of the 2015 floods.
12/17/2018 5:53:22 PM
<![CDATA[Court adjourns 'Giza Cell' defendants' plea to January 20]]>
The Giza cell is reportedly one of the most dangerous terrorist cells formed recently. The Court of Cassation upheld in April placing the cell suspects on the list of terrorist entities.

In October, a Giza criminal court upheld death sentences against 11 convicts of the Giza cell over charges of attempted murder and inciting violence. Other 14 convicts were sentenced to 25 years in prison in absentia, while another defendant was handed down a sentence of 10 years in prison.

According to the prosecution’s investigations, the defendants faced charges of violating personal freedom, providing terrorist groups with material and financial aid, vandalizing public properties, attempting to kill an officer in the General Directorate of the Giza Security Forces, vandalizing a police car, stealing weapons and manufacturing explosive devices in 2015.
12/17/2018 3:39:32 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi receives red-carpet reception at Vienna imperial palace]]>
Sisi was given a red-carped reception and the national anthems of both countries were played. The two presidents reviewed the guards of honor.

Sisi was accompanied by the Austrian president inside the palace where they held a session of talks on means of expanding bilateral relations and issues of common interest.

The Egyptian president arrived here on Sunday on a four-day official visit to Austria where he will take part in the High-Level Africa-Europe forum called for by President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, as the current Chairperson of the African Union, and the Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria Sebastian Kurz.
12/17/2018 1:04:08 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi arrives at Hofburg presidential palace, hold talks with Austrian counterpart]]>
Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived at Hofburg presidential palace in Vienna on Monday morning - Pres Photo

During Sisi’s four day visit to the Austrian capital, he is expected to head to the Federal Chancellery of Austria to be received by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, where both diplomats are set to witness the signing of cooperation memorandums between the two countries.

The Egyptian President is also scheduled to hold a press conference with the Kurz, followed by a meeting with the Spegyaker of Austria's National Council Wolfgang Sobotka, to discuss strengthening relations between the peoples of the two countries.

Dozens of Egyptians living in Austria gathered on Sunday in front of the Sisi’s residence in Vienna.

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived at Hofburg presidential palace in Vienna on Monday morning - Pres Photo

The purpose of the visit is the participation in the Africa-Europe Forum summit, co-hosted by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

President Sisi will deliver a speech on Egypt's vision to push forward development efforts in Africa since the country will chair the African Union (AU) in 2019.

Regarding bilateral relations between Egypt and Austria, the president's visit will include meetings with a number of politicians, senior officials and investors on furthering cooperation in trade, educational and scientific research, transport and investment domains.

A host of African and European leaders are to take part in the event aiming at enhancing African-European partnership.

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived at Hofburg presidential palace in Vienna on Monday morning - Pres Photo
12/17/2018 12:17:30 PM
<![CDATA[Newly assigned committee takes on role of protecting Egypt's heritage sites]]>
On December 14, Sisi issued decree no.550 for 2018 to form a supreme committee, led by the president's assistant for national and strategic projects, to manage the World Heritage Sites in Egypt.

"The president's decision to form the committee is critically important as Egypt has the world's most important antiquities; hence, efforts should be exerted to protect them," Mohammad Abdo, a member of the Parliament's tourism committee, said.

The committee consists of 14 individuals, most prominently Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani, Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat, Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawi, Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad, President of Urban Planning Fayza Abul-Naga, and Head of the National Organization for Urban Harmony Mohamed Abu Seada.

The committee also includes representatives from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Housing and Utilities, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, Ministry of Transport, and the General Intelligence Service.

According to Article 2, the committee is assigned to set a strategic vision to manage and protect, develop, and restore the World Heritage Sites in Egypt in coordination with all the national and international stakeholders.

To be able to fulfill its duties, the committee may, if necessary, ask the assistance of Egyptian and foreign technical officials and experts, and may ask the stakeholders for the necessary information and documents, as Article 3 reads.

The committee should form subcommittees and technical secretaries to assist it in carrying out its duties.

Furthermore, Article 4 stipulates that the committee shall submit its final report to the president.

The problem of illicit excavation of archaeological sites in the hope of finding antiquities that can then be sold abroad has been growing in Egypt since the January 25 Revolution. The government has exerted extensive efforts to combat antiquities smuggling.

Minister of Antiquities Anani said in a statement in December 2017 that 329 ancient coins were seized with an Egyptian passenger at Cairo International Airport while trying to smuggle them to France.

World Heritage Sites in Egypt

Egypt is rich in antiquities and cultural heritages sites, including Abu Mena, Saint Catherine Area, Whale Valley, and Islamic Cairo.

Named after the Egyptian Saint Menas of Alexandria, who was martyred in the third century, Abu Mena site now consists of only remains of a monastery.

It has been considered to be “in danger” since 2001, after being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Additionally, ancient Thebes with its Necropolis is one of Egypt's treasures. Used as the capital of ancient Egypt, the city is home to the world famous Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens alongside numerous vast temples and necropolises.

On mentioning Egyptian Heritage Sites, the three Giza Pyramids are the first thing that comes to the mind with the smaller pyramids surrounding them.

Nubian monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae are the most iconic and mysterious World Heritage in Egypt.

Actions taken to protect Egyptian heritage sites

The government has already launched several restoration works in many historic places across Egypt to protectthem from erosion and preserve their features.

On December 12, the Ministry of Antiquities announced starting the first phase of the restoration works in Madi village, south-west of Fayoum, after being abandoned by foreign restoration missions.

The ancient statues located in the village lost some cohesive parts of limestone due to their constant exposure to erosion factors such as direct sunlight, rain water and wind.

Gharib Sonbol, head of the Repairing and Restoration Section at the Ministry of Antiquities, affirmed that restoration of the brick walls of the ancient houses that were once homes for the priests is currently taking place. Sonbol also pointed out that the ancient city is currently being mechanically and chemically cleaned.

According to Sonbol, the second stage of the city's restoration and development into a distinctive tourist attraction is being planned; the ancient site witnessed numerous significant events in both the old and modern eras.

It is worth mentioning that the city of Madi hosts the temples of King Amenemhat III and IV in the Middle Kingdom era (the 12th Dynasty). During the Roman era, a collection of black statues were built there.

The layout of the temples is simple and consistent with the character of the temples of the central state. The Ptolemaic Temple and the Roman Temple are also located in the ancient village.

Furthermore, the Egyptian Archaeological mission restored in April the façade of Luxor Temple. It has been restored after the destruction of the Statues of Ramses ll about 1,600 years ago by the colonists. Made of black granite, the statue is about 12 meters high and weighs almost 70 tons.

The restoration works were carried out under the patronage of the minister of antiquities.
Director General of Luxor Antiquities and the Head of the Egyptian Archaeological Mission, Waziri, said that two statues of King Ramses were restored, the first was restored on April 18, 2017 and the second on April 20, 2018.

Meanwhile, on stepping out from one of the buildings in the newly-renovated Shereifein Street situated in Al Borsa district, one finds themselves before a nineteenth-century-style street.

Speaking to Egypt Today, Omar Mostafa, the engineer in charge of the renovation, said that the renovation of Shereifen Street is part of the major Khedival Cairo Development project, which started in 2012 to revitalize Khedival Cairo, extending through Downtown from Qasr Al-Nil Street to Attaba.

The project aims to preserve Downtown’s historic character, restore its ornamental facades, and rescue the area from degeneration after it had been neglected and damaged due to climate factors. The revitalization has been undertaken under the auspices of Cairo governorate and the National Organization for Urban Harmony.

12/17/2018 11:34:33 AM
<![CDATA[Thousands march in Brussels against U.N. migration pact]]>
Police said some 5,500 people marched in the bigger protest, organised by Flemish right wing parties in the part of the capital where main European Union institutions are located.

A separate counter-demonstration of around 1,000 people, organised by left-wing groups and non-governmental organisations, took place in the city centre.

Belgian right-wing N-VA, which is the biggest party in parliament, pulled its ministers from the ruling coalition last week after Prime Minister Charles Michel refused its demand that he not sign the U.N. migration compact in Marrakesh.

Michel had secured a large parliamentary majority in favour of maintaining Belgium’s support of the U.N. text, with support from the opposition socialists and greens. Critics said the N-VA's move was the opening shot in a campaign before federal elections in May.

The U.N. pact was agreed in July by all 193 U.N. members except the United States, but only 164 formally signed it at the meeting last Monday.

It has run into criticism from European politicians who say it could increase immigration to Europe as the bloc has turned increasingly restrictive on accepting refugees and migrants alike since a 2015 spike in arrivals.

Ten countries, mostly in formerly Communist Eastern Europe, have pulled out of the non-binding pact.

With a record 21.3 million refugees globally, the United Nations began work on the pact after more than one million people arrived in Europe in 2015, many fleeing civil war in Syria and poverty in Africa.
12/17/2018 6:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[At least 12 Nigerian soldiers killed in fighting with Islamists ]]>
The army said it repelled the attack in which it said one soldier was killed and another injured.

The fighting followed an attack on Friday by insurgents in Gudumbali local government area - a part of Borno where Boko Haram breakaway group Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) is influential. The sources said the poor communication network in the remote area delayed details of the attack being relayed.

The attack, which the sources say was carried out on a military base and a nearby community in the Gudumbali local government area, comes as President Muhammadu Buhari's security record has become a campaign issue two months ahead of an election in which he is seeking a second term.

The three military sources, all of whom are soldiers and did not want to be named, said at least 12 troops were killed and dozens were missing after the fighting.

The army, in an emailed statement, said the insurgents opened fire on troops while aid materials were being distributed in Gudumbali.

"The troops, however, fought gallantly and outmanoeuvred the attackers inflicting heavy casualties on them. Unfortunately, a soldier paid the supreme price during the encounter, while another was wounded in action," said the army in the statement.

The biggest loss of military life in the last few months occurred in late November when around 100 soldiers were killed by ISWA militants who attacked an army base in Metele, Borno state.

One of the sources said 28 militants were killed.

Nigeria's northeast is home to two Islamist insurgencies: Boko Haram and ISWA which broke away in 2016 and is now considered by security experts to be the stronger of the two.

The Nigerian government in June ordered thousands of people who fled the conflict with Boko Haram to return to Gudumbali, one of the most dangerous areas of northeast Nigeria. Officials cut off food and other aid to those who refused.
12/17/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sudan's president is first Arab leader to visit Syria since crisis]]>
President Bashar al Assad welcomed him at the airport, official photos showed. Many Arab countries have shunned Assad since the conflict that began early in 2011 after protests calling for his downfall swept Syria.]]>
12/16/2018 10:25:13 PM
<![CDATA[Fifth victim of Strasbourg market attack dies -prosecutor]]>
An official with the prosecutor's office said the victim was a Polish national and gave no other details.

The gunman, Cherif Chekatt, was killed on Thursday night after firing on police, ending a two-day manhunt that involved more than 700 members of the security forces.
12/16/2018 10:02:07 PM
<![CDATA[Orascom Investment Holding to provide Giza Pyramids' visitors with services]]>
The Ministry of Antiquities announced that this contract comes within the framework of the government's willingness to improve the quality of services provided to Egyptian, Arab and foreign visitors of the Giza Pyramids area, which is considered one of the most important touristic destinations in the world.

Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziry said that Orascom Investment Holding will also provide marketing and promotional services to the touristic spot.

According to Waziry, Orascom will operate the transportation services outside the Pyramids area, in front of the new entrance located on the Fayoum road, as cars and buses will not be allowed to enter the archaeological area.

According to the contract, Orascom will provide, operate and maintain means of transportation for visitors.

Waziry added that Orascom Investment Holding will establish a new center at the new entrance. The center will include a range of shops, cafeterias and a cinema.

The chosen movies to screen in the cinema will be under the supervision of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

According to the contract, Orascom Investment Holding will also establish 20 mobile toilets and a mobile medical center for visitors.

Additionally, Orascom Investment Holding will launch a number of entertainment activities in front of the new Fayoum entrance.

Waziry added that Orascom will organize and promote events in the area, in coordination with the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and will provide high-tech services for visitors such as Wi-Fi, a digital guide for visitors and telephone applications.

The massive Investment company will establish as well photography and painting booths to entertain the visitors. ]]>
12/16/2018 7:31:20 PM
<![CDATA[Expats greet President Sisi upon arrival in Vienna ]]>

The purpose of the visit is the participation in the Africa-Europe Forum summit, co-hosted by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

President Sisi will deliver a speech on Egypt's vision to push forward development efforts in Africa since the country will chair the African Union (AU) in 2019.

Regarding bilateral relations between Egypt and Austria, the president's visit will include meetings with a number of politicians, senior officials and investors on furthering cooperation in trade, educational and scientific research, transport and investment domains.

A host of African and European leaders are to take part in the event aiming at enhancing African-European partnership.

Additional contribution by MENA
12/16/2018 2:37:17 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt issues 'White Cards' to guarantee rights of disabled]]>
The White Card will, according to Mohsen, grant people with special needs a number of benefits, including reduction of or exemption from study expenses, reduction of transportation fare, and free treatment in governmental hospitals.

The person carrying the White Card will also be allowed to enter some beaches, gardens and parks for free, including the Giza Zoo, Alexandria's Montaza gardens, the Graeco-Roman Museum and Maamoura, Mohsen said, adding that they will also be granted pension.

During the first Arab forum for special education schools held in Sharm El-Sheikh on October 1, Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced allocating LE 500 million ($27.8 million) from Tahya Masr (Long Live Egypt) fund for supporting people with special needs.

Sisi said that the amount will be at the disposal of Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawqi to serve the ministry's project for people with special needs.

Sisi said disability is a social issue that requires collaborative efforts from the government, civil society organizations and the private sector.
12/16/2018 1:54:24 PM
<![CDATA[New system aims to make students enjoy education: Min.]]>
In an interview with "Al-Hekaya" program on MBC Masr, Shawki said that the goal is to make students learn, while enjoying the learning process, and make them solve the exams without being scared of the exam results.

Concerning implementing technology within the new educational system, Shawki revealed that 11,000 interactive screens will be provided for high schools in all governorates.

He explained that all aspects related to the infrastructure will be completed on January 31, stressing that classes will be comparable to international schools' classes.

He added that the students' tablet devices are ready to be distributed once the internet connection is set in schools.

Governmental-International schools

International schools, with very high tuition, are helping the government to create a governmental-international system that will offer students an American diploma or IGCSE, for those who are willing to get these international degrees, Shawki said.

He said that the government already established six schools to introduce this service with annual fees of LE 15,000 ($835). He also revealed that 10 other schools will be established to offer the Arab World's International Arab Baccalaureate degree also for LE 15, 000 per year. Shawki affirmed that the ordinary governmental education service is still introduced for free.

Exclusive Interview: Education minister details new system

CAIRO – 3 December 2018: Egypt Today has sat with Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawky, his deputies and assistants to get a full picture of the New Education System being introduced in the current academic year, and that has been subject to debate.

12/16/2018 1:52:58 PM
<![CDATA[Initiative of students' health care kick off at Egyptian schools nationwide]]>
The initiative is organized through cooperation between the ministries of education, health and population as well as the General Authority for Health Insurance.

The first phase of the initiative started in the governorates of the New Valley, Menufiya, Qalubiya, Beni Suef and others.

Directors of targeted schools have been instructed to declare the inspection day a sports day to encourage students to undergo the checkups.]]>
12/16/2018 1:01:22 PM
<![CDATA[No immediate health coverage changes from Obamacare ruling -gov't]]>
U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday sided with a coalition of 20 states that argued requiring people to pay for insurance coverage is illegal because a change in tax law last year eliminated a penalty for not having health insurance.

Republicans have opposed the 2010 law - the signature domestic policy achievement of Republican President Donald Trump's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama - since its inception and have repeatedly tried and failed to repeal it.

O'Connor's decision was issued the day before the end of a 45-day sign-up period for 2019 health coverage under the law.

The Trump administration's head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS), which oversees the Affordable Care Act, said there were no changes and exchanges were open for business.

"We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court," Seema Verma, CMS administrator, said on Twitter on Saturday. "Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place.”

"There is no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan,” she said late on Friday.

The ruling underscored the high political stakes involved in America’s partisan divide over healthcare policy, especially for Trump and fellow Republicans in the 2020 presidential election. Dismantling Obamacare would be a political victory for the Republicans, but it would also likely strip millions of Americans’ of their health insurance coverage, a policy problem for which Republicans have no clear solution.

About 11.8 million consumers nationwide enrolled in 2018 Obamacare exchange plans.

The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in 2012.

On Friday, O'Connor ruled that after Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill passed by Congress last year, the individual mandate requiring that most Americans obtain health insurance or pay a tax could no longer be considered constitutional.

He said because the individual mandate was an "essential" part of Obamacare, the entire law, rather than just the individual mandate, was unconstitutional.

Timothy Jost, a health law expert and emeritus professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Virginia, said it was “silly” and “irresponsible” for O’Connor to find that the individual mandate could not be separated from the rest of the ACA. He said judges who find that portions of laws are invalid are required “to do as little damage as possible” to the rest of the law, and O’Connor had ignored that principle.

Jost noted that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which will hear any appeal in the case, is considered the most conservative federal appeals court in the country. But, “O’Connor is so far off the reservation here that virtually any (appeals) panel will reverse him,” Jost said.

Jost noted that in the 2012 case in which the Supreme Court upheld the ACA, a lower appeals court had found the individual mandate unlawful but also ruled that it could be severed from the rest of the law. That ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals “is at least as persuasive and probably more persuasive than a decision by a single judge in Wichita Falls, Texas,” Jost said.

He said the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative wing has been skeptical in the past of striking down entire laws because of a single problematic provision, and at least a bare majority of five justices would likely agree that O’Connor was wrong.

Congressional Republicans were quick to offer praise. House of Representatives Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement: “Obamacare is a broken law … Yesterday’s court decision also underscores what we have believed – it is an unconstitutional law.”

Democrats including Senate leader Chuck Schumer said the decision should not stand.

“This outrageous ruling threatens health coverage for millions of Americans … This ruling must be overturned,” said Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan in a statement.]]>
12/16/2018 2:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Dead Guatemalan girl part of 'endless' migrant exodus from poor village]]>
Described as inseparable by the girl's grandfather, Nery Caal, 29, and his daughter Jakelin were in a group of more than 160 migrants who handed themselves in to U.S. border agents in New Mexico on Dec. 6. Jakelin developed a high fever and died hours later while in the care of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

"My husband went because of the extreme poverty that we live in," said Claudia Maquin, who has three remaining children. Corn was growing behind their palm-thatched wooden house as a few chickens and pigs scrabbled in the yard.

Deforestation to make way for African palm-oil plantations has made subsistence farming ever more precarious for the 40,000 inhabitants of Raxruha municipality, where the family's hamlet of San Antonio de Cortez lies in central Guatemala, the mayor said. This has spurred an exodus of migrants.

"He went because of necessity," she added, dressed in a traditional blouse and speaking the Mayan language Q'eqchi', her 6-month-old baby in her arms.

A family photograph at the house showed Jakelin smiling and looking up at the camera, wearing a pink T-shirt with characters from the cartoon series "Masha and the Bear."

Setting out on Dec. 1, Caal and his daughter traveled more than 2,000 miles (3,220 km) from their farming hamlet of San Antonio de Cortez so Jakelin's father could look for work in the United States, her mother said.

Almost 80 percent of Guatemala's indigenous population are poor, with half of those living in extreme poverty. The mayor of San Antonio de Cortez described the Caal family as among the worst off in the village.

Mayor Cesar Castro said in recent months more and more families were uprooting to try to reach the United States, often selling what little land they owned to pay people traffickers thousands of dollars for the trip.

"It's not just the Caal family. There are endless people who are leaving," Castro said. "I see them drive past in pickups, cars and buses." He said most of them came back in the end, often penniless after being dropped off by traffickers, caught by authorities and deported.


Jakelin's grandfather, a 61-year-old farmer called Domingo, said Nery had taken her on the journey because the two of them had an extremely close bond.

"The girl really stuck to him. It was very difficult to separate them," said Domingo, wearing muddy boots and a faded and torn blue shirt.

He hoped his son would be able to find work in the United States and stay there. A Guatemalan consular official told Reuters on Friday that Caal told him he had crossed the border planning to turn himself in to U.S. authorities and will try to stay in the United States

Record numbers of parents traveling with children are being apprehended while trying to cross the U.S. border with Mexico. In November, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers detained 25,172 members of "family units," the highest monthly number ever recorded, the agency said.

Parents with children are more likely to be released by U.S. authorities while their cases are processed because of legal restrictions on keeping children in detention.

Caal remains in the El Paso, Texas area, where his daughter died after being flown by helicopter to a hospital there for emergency treatment when she stopped breathing.

A brain scan revealed swelling and the girl was diagnosed with liver failure. She died early in the morning on Dec. 8, with her father at the hospital, a CBP official said.

The child's death has added to criticism of President Donald Trump's hardline immigration policies from immigrant advocates and Democrats in Congress.

The Trump administration defended the treatment of Jakelin and said there was no indication that she had any medical problems until several hours after she and her father were taken into U.S. custody.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog will investigate the death. ]]>
12/16/2018 12:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi directs government to build a church at housing projects]]>
Sisi urged the officials to have a church built at Ahalina housing project as a direct order. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated on Saturday six housing projects and three water plants. The president visited Mahrousa 1 social housing project in Al Jabal Al Asfar in Daqahliyah governorate, which is part of Greater Cairo, while inaugurated the rest via video conference.

The other social housing projects are located in Al Asher Min Ramadan City, New October City, and 3,348 residential units in Cairo’s Badr City, and South Sinai. That is in addition to Ahalina 1 social housing project in Salam city in Cairo.

As for water projects, the president inaugurated a wastewater treatment plant in Al Jabal Al Asfar, and water purification plants in Mahmoudiya near Alexandria, and New Sohag City.

12/15/2018 9:11:44 PM
<![CDATA[Details of housing projects, water plants inaugurated by Sisi]]>
The other social housing projects are located in Al Asher Min Ramadan City, New October City, and 3,348 residential units in Cairo’s Badr City, and South Sinai. That is in addition to Ahalina 1 social housing project in Salam city in Cairo.

As for water projects, the president inaugurated a wastewater treatment plant in Al Jabal Al Asfar, and water purification plants in Mahmoudiya near Alexandria, and New Sohag City.

Mahrousa 1

The project consists of 4,900 residential units as well as shops, and administrative units. It is constructed over 60 feddans. The breakdown is 34.7 feddans for buildings, 14.2 for facilities, 8.4 for roads, and 2.7 for greenery.

Ahalina 1

The project is executed by the Higher Command of the Central Military Region, Cairo governorate, the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), and Ain Shams University. The value of the project is LE365 million. Forty-six percent of the cost is covered by donations, while the rest is funded by NBE.

The project includes schools having a total of 120 classrooms, a medical center, and a mosque.
Basements will be used as fashion workshops to create jobs for women.

The residential units delivered to former slum dwellers are furnished. The president stated that the cost of furnishing social housing apartments is LE6 billion.

Wastewater Treatment Plant in Al Jabal al-Asfar

The plant is built on 78 feddans and will serve the neighborhoods of Maadi, Dar al-salam, Ain Al Seira, Al Amireya, and Hadayek al-Qoba. The water treated can irrigate 150,000 feddans minimum. The plant treats 2.5 million cubic meters of wastewater daily and the capacity will increase to 3.5 million cubic meters per day.

The cost of the first and second phases is LE3 billion. Construction of the first phase started in 1990, and started operation in 1998 treating 1.2 million cubic meters daily. The plant has a farm stretching over 300 feddans where lemon, olives, citrus fruits, and pecan are cultivated.

Prospective Projects

Water Projects

Head of Water Department at the Armed Forces Engineering Authority Assem Abdallah Shokr revealed that Bahr al Bakar wastewater treatment plant will finish on June 30, 2020. The wastewater to be treated used to pour into Manzala Lake and pollute it.

The cost is LE18 billion and 4,000 feddans will be granted for fisheries that will be displaced as they will no longer be allowed to stay around Manzala Lake located near Port Said governorate.

President Sisi said that some steal baby fish from the lake and put them in fisheries, and if they do not survive, they just use them as forage fish. The president criticized such behavior.

Shokr stated that 54 desalination plants are planned in Egypt. Twenty-three are finished, and 13 are under construction. Four of those are in South Sinai.

Filters and other components of the plants are manufactured locally as the president is eager to increase the share of local manufacturers in infrastructure projects taking place. The Arab Organization for Industrialization will start producing membranes necessary for desalination plants.

Housing Projects

Head of Mega Projects Department Essam al-Khouly said that 63 residential projects are being executed including 108,000 units as part of social housing, middle class housing, bedouin and rural houses. The projects consist of five-storey buildings, and each floor has four apartments.

Commander of Central Military Region Emad al-Ghazaly promised that Ahalina 2 will have a church after the president questioned why Ahalina 1 does not have one. The commander added that an axis road nearby will be built at a cost of LE2 billion.

Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel Aal stated that five social housing projects are being executed. Those encompass 23,000 residential units.

Social housing mainly targets slum dwellers, and Greater Cairo used to have 46 slums. Fifteen of those are dangerous. A number of housing projects have been finished and delivered to citizens such as Asmarat.
12/15/2018 5:48:41 PM
<![CDATA[President Sisi urges obesity, birth rate reduction ]]>
“That means that the majority of those who got screened have a problem. Why are we doing that to ourselves? How can you walk or go up the stairs?” President Sisi said highlighting the link between the spread of chronic diseases to obesity.

The president commented on the obesity figures addressing citizens and saying, “Move more, and reduce your weight to live a healthy life” criticizing the widespread use of three-wheel vehicles (known in Egypt as Tutktuk) for its negative impact on health.

The president suggested that sports becomes a core course in schools and universities, and encouraged to hold more sport competitions and marathons.

President Sisi stated that the cost of treatment of hepatitis C patients on waiting lists is LE18 billion for the upcoming three years.

“When we first launched the initiative to provide immediate treatment for patients on waiting lists, the number was 17,000 a year ago. The ministry treated 5,000. Four months later, we included more than 50,000 patients in the waiting lists,” the president added.

When we first started, we planned that the ministry would provide funds worth LE300 million, and and Thaya Misr Fund would provide LE300 million from the. The treatment targets on average 10,000 patients per month. Since the costs would surpass the allocated budget, we would seek alternative ways of funding.

On a side note, the president stressed the importance of decreasing birth rates to reach the replacement rate.

The results of screening for chronic diseases identified 5,3 million diabetes patients, and 3.6 million hypertension patients. It is estimated that 21 percent of the population suffer from hypertension.

Moreover, the screening revealed that 877,000 citizens are at risk of becoming diabetes patients. Only 25 percent of screened citizens have normal weight as 36 percent are overweight, while 39 percent are obese summing up to 6.8 million.

The total number of citizens screened is 17,537, 323 with women composing the bigger portion of the turnout. The total number of citizens diagnosed with hepatitis C is 732, 732 and they started to receive treatment. Citizens aged between 26 and 35 compose 60 percent of citizens who did the check-ups.

On the sidelines of the inauguration of housing projects and water plants by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed displayed the results of screening for hepatitis C and chronic diseases.
12/15/2018 3:35:06 PM
<![CDATA[Screening reveals 732, 732 hepatitis C patients in Egypt]]>
The minister added that citizens aged between 26 and 35 compose 60 percent of citizens who did the check-ups. The total number of citizens screened is 17,537, 323 with women composing the bigger portion of the turnout. The total number of citizens diagnosed with hepatitis C is 732, 732 and they started to receive treatment.

“Hepatitis C can spread from one patient to four or five people in his sphere. The direct cost per patient is LE50,000 and the same for the one who gets the contagion,” the minister highlighted adding that the direct cost is $700 million and can reach $3.5 billion.

Zayed stated that only 50 percent of citizens have health insurance.The minister added that local manufacturers have been supplying necessary equipment to the ministry which has reduced the cost.

The minister said that 84 percent of deaths are caused by chronic diseases. “When the household’s breadwinner gets ill, the children drop out of education. The productivity of the patient decreases,” Zayed explained.

The results of screening for chronic diseases identified 5,3 million diabetes patients, and 3.6 million hypertension patients. It is estimated that 21 percent of the population suffer from hypertension.

Moreover, the screening revealed that 877,000 citizens are at risk of becoming diabetes patients. Only 25 percent of screened citizens have normal weight as 36 percent are overweight, while 39 percent are obese summing up to 6.8 million.

The number of citizens screened in the first phase is 12.4 million, and in the second phase, the number is 5.1 million. The screening teams went to industrial complexes, public and private schools among others. Citizens can resort to call centers and social media to know the nearest screening points.

“In each phase, we ensure than there is fair geographic distribution among border, urban, and rural governorates,” the minister said.

The second phase that kicked off recently consists of 11 governorates including Red Sea, Sohag, Aswan, Cairo, South Sinai. In parallel, the third phase will kick off in January covering seven governorates to end in April. In each phase, there are permanent and mobile screening units distributed over 2,000 locations.

The minister said that the screening helped citizens to understand some basics regarding their health. “Some citizens got to understand the concept of ratio between height and weight,” Zayed clarified.

Zayed praised health workers involved in the screening campaign saying that “most of the campaign members are young and refuse to take holidays.” The screening teams include a physician or pharmacist, a nurse, and an employee that enters data. “Health workers affiliated with the WHO observe, follow-up with patents, and check results and data,” the minister stated.

Zayed stated that the average number of days a patient on a list waits for before receiving treatment dropped to 18 from 40. Most of those patients suffer from cardiovascular diseases caused by diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, she clarified.
12/15/2018 3:07:59 PM
<![CDATA[Nasr City cell defendant sentenced to 10 yrs in prison]]>
The court gave life sentence to six criminals, sentenced four others to 15 years of rigorous imprisonment, while two perpetrators were handed down a five-year jail term.

The group is believed to have targeted police recruits in the past. The defendants face a number of charges include: joining an outlawed group, attempted murder of police conscripts, disrupting State institutions and endangering the lives of citizens.

Since the ouster of the former Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi, the country has been witnessing growing waves of extremism that have washed over society and spawned numerous deadly attacks. Most recently, a terrorist attack hit Martyr Mina church in Helwan on Friday, leaving ten dead and nine injured. ]]>
12/15/2018 1:09:53 PM
<![CDATA[Madbouly: 8,278 projects finalized over past 4 years]]>
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of a sewage treatment plant in Qalyoubia’s el Khanka district in the presence of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Madbouli said a total of 8,278 projects have been finalized during this period with total investments of EGP 1.56 trillion.

These projects have provided millions of job opportunities, he said, noting that national projects have made a real breakthrough in Egyptian economy, thanks to President Sisi’s almost daily follow-up.

Madbouli also expressed thanks to former prime ministers Ibrahim Mahlab and Sherif Ismail for their contributions to these projects.

Commenting on the sewage treatment plant inaugurated today, the premier said it is one of the world’s three largest projects in this field, describing it as a city.

Meanwhile, Madbouli said economic indicators show that unemployment rates in Egypt declined to less than 10 percent for the first time in years, adding that the government program aims to reduce it to 8 percent or less.

He also indicated that November 2018 saw a negative inflation rate in the country, the best level ever achieved since 2015.]]>
12/15/2018 12:45:43 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi inaugurates development projects via video-conference]]>
The projects include social housing in the 10th of Ramadan and 6th of October cities, a water station in Mahmoudia and another water station in New Sohag.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli announced during the inauguration ceremony held on Saturday that Egypt has finalized more than 8,000 projects in various fields over the past four years; between July 2014 and December 2018.

Below is a live streaming of the inauguration ceremony

12/15/2018 12:43:57 PM
<![CDATA[Digging process in Maspiro Triangle kicks off ]]>
The Maspiro triangle project, which will also include recreational areas and commercial zones, is set to be finalized within three years. More companies are expected to be involved in the execution of the project to speed up the implementation and shorten the due period.

The 30-storey residential towers will be executed as a mini-image of Dubai towers. Maspiro Triangle will have hotels, touristic places facing the Nile River, in addition to a recreational area worth 10 billion ($556.9 million).

Prime Minister and Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, Mostafa Madbouly, witnessed on July 9 the signing ceremony of two cooperation protocols between Cairo governorate and the new Urban Communities Authority.

The agreements aim to transfer the ownership of a 5.5-feddan area in Maspero Triangle to the authority to build new housing units and provide the necessary services for the residents.

Maspero triangle’s residents were asked to choose between financial compensation, relocation to Asmarat or to remain in their homes until development finished. Ten percent chose to more to Asmarat and another 10 percent to remain in their place until development works are finished. Eighty percent chose to receive financial compensation.

Tenants of non-residential areas had four options. The first option was to receive 30 percent of the value of the land. The second is to move to another area in addition to getting a residential unit for rent in Badr city. The third option offered a new unit when the project is over. The fourth option is ownership of a residential unit in Asmarat.

The project is a part of an initiative launched in 2014 to develop slum areas all over Egypt.]]>
12/15/2018 12:25:46 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi in Austria Sunday to discuss bilateral economic relations ]]>
On Tuesday, Sisi ensured in a phone call with Kruz Egypt's keenness to boosting relations with Austria. He also urged businessmen and major companies in Austria to invest in Egypt, highlighting positive developments achieved in Egypt's economic reform plan.

The two sides discussed a number of issues of common concern, notably ongoing efforts to counter illegal migration, terrorism and extremist thought.

In July, foreign minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in Austria and met with his counterpart Karin Kneissl. The two ministers discussed the Egyptian- Austrian relations and ways to boost the two countries economic and trade relations. Shoukry also meet with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

12/15/2018 11:20:13 AM
<![CDATA[Australia recognises West Jerusalem as Israel's capital]]>
He added that his country will not move its embassy from Tel Aviv until a peace settlement is reached, according to the channel.

He expressed hope that his country would move its embassy to West Jerusalem after reaching a final status agreement. ]]>
12/15/2018 10:58:06 AM
<![CDATA[Pope Tawadros II mourns Minya incident victims]]>
In a statement, spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church Polis Haleem said the Pope offered condolences to their family.

Their funeral Mass was held Thursday at Minya's St. Bishoy and St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church, the statement added.

12/15/2018 10:56:33 AM
<![CDATA[Schools in Ramallah, Beira suspended on Saturday over Israeli attack]]>
In a statement on Saturday, the ministry said it decided to suspend schools of the two cities, while work at schools in other villages will continue.

The decision was made in order to maintain safety of students and teachers due to the ongoing Israeli attack on Ramallah and El Beira cities, the statement added. ]]>
12/15/2018 10:50:34 AM
<![CDATA[Watch the ‘Egypt Can’ conference promotional video]]>

The Ministry of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs will shed light on ways to improve education during this year’s edition of the conference “Egypt Can…with Education” set to take place on December 17 and 18 in Hurghada.

Held under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the fourth edition of the conference is held in cooperation with Ministry of Immigration, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education alongside 11 concerned entities.

The conference aims to benefit from the knowledge of Egyptian scientists working abroad through sharing their vision on ways to develop the educational system in Egypt.
During the conference, six workshops will be held to tackle ways to promote the educational system and engage Egyptian students in this system.

In this regard, Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram announded said on Sunday that around 30 Egyptian experts and scientists working abroad in the field of education will take part in the fourth edition of the conference.

Makram added that the conference aims to support the government’s efforts to develop the Egyptian education to meet the basic needs of the labor market and benefit from Egyptian scientists living abroad.

She referred that this year’s edition comes in line with President Sisi’s announcement that 2019 is the “Year of Education”.

The immigration minister said the previous editions of the conference were very successful as they linked Egyptian scientists abroad with their homeland and got them more involved in their country's development.

In July, Sisi declared 2019 the year of education during the second day of the youth conference held at Cairo University.

He pointed out that human development is a key pillar of the government’s vision; hence, his administration’s human development strategy will not only focus on education, but will also include health, culture and sports.

In September, the Ministry of Education announced its plan to develop the educational system in Egypt to the committee in charge at the Parliament.

The new system includes changing the Thanaweya Amma system which in turn requires the Supreme Council of Universities to change the admission requirements for each college.

Thanaweya Amma is the third and final year of high school which qualifies students for college. Students’ grades have been determined upon their final exams' results only, making their total score the only determinant for their admission in different colleges without any admission tests or personal interviews.

The ministry plans to make students take multiple exams, while preserving the booklet format implemented in the academic year 2016-2017, which had almost eradicated cheating common in the former format.

The former format required memorization rather than comprehension of the curriculum, which had created a huge informal sector of private lessons taught by school teachers who often purposefully neglected their role in class to push students to take such lessons.

The booklet format contains only MCQs and short answer questions to be answered in one exam sheet, unlike the former format comprising an answer sheet and a question sheet.

Teachers of Thanaweya Amma will receive different trainings; also, the contracts and administrative affairs of teachers will be restructured to improve their living and professional conditions.
12/14/2018 4:39:19 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi forms supreme committee to manage World Heritage Sites in Egypt]]>
Engineer Sherif Ismail, Assistant to the President on national and strategic projects, will head the committee; the headquarters of the committee will be at the Ministry of Antiquities.

The official newspaper published in its Friday evening issue the decision to form the committee, which is number 550 for 2018.

As per the Presidential Decree, the committee consists of 14 individuals, most prominently Khaled al-Anani, Minister of Antiquities, Rania al-Mashat, Minister of Tourism, Major General Mahmoud Shaarawi, Minister of Local Development, Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, Fayza Abul-Naga, President for Urban Planning, and Mohamed Abu Seada, the Head of the National Organization for Urban Harmony.

The committee also includes representatives from the Ministry of Defense, Housing and Utilities, Foreign Affairs, Interior Affairs, Investment and International Cooperation, and Transport, as well as the General Intelligence Service.

The Committee will be responsible for the development of a strategic vision for the management, protection and development of the Egyptian World Heritage Sites, maximizing their potential and benefiting from sustainable development plans, and coordinating with all local and international stakeholders inside and outside Egypt in the management, protection and preservation of these sites and their surrounding areas.
12/14/2018 3:47:22 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi gifts female minibus driver with new vehicle]]>
Saeed illustrated to him that she was a driver on the Administrative Capital to Shorouk route, and asked the President if he could provide a down payment on a microbus so that she could pay the monthly installments. He accepted, gifting her the new vehicle.

The woman then appeared in “Yahdoth fi Masr” (Happening in Egypt) program in MBC Masr in which they received a call from Sisi.

In his call, Sisi stated that Egyptian women have a very high degree of pride and modesty, and are very family-oriented.

“All greetings and appreciation to Ms. Nehmedo. I salute every similar woman who works hard for her children. I always appreciate Egyptian women,” Sisi was quoted.

“Sometimes, the media presents picture contrary to reality, sometimes. I meet a lot of employees, and they do not complain about their difficult conditions and are satisfied with the economic conditions,” he continued. “Our meetings are rather a form of appreciation.”

Sisi received on Thursday, Nov. 29 the Upper Egyptian tricycle rider, Marwa el-Abd, at the Ittihadiya Palace.

Sisi hailed Abd as a model for perseverance and diligence who sets an example for young people in persistence and firmness, presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said.

On October 21, Abd, 27, called on those with compassionate hearts to help her buy a tricycle to work as she has no money to pay the rent of her home. Abed helps her sick father in raising her brothers.
12/14/2018 3:28:37 PM
<![CDATA[Officials foil an attempt to smuggle 5M Captagon tablets into Egypt]]>
After receiving information on the arrival of a container of drugs from an Arab country to a company based in 6th of October in Giza Governorate, the directorate monitored the container and arrested the gang.

Recently, customs officials at Cairo International Airport foiled numerous smuggling attempts carried out in cooperation with airport staff.

Bribery and corruption have been rife in Egypt for long decades and were among the main causes for the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi always stressed on applying strict measures within the government institutions to crack down any violation. He hailed the role played by the ACA in different occasions.

The ACA’s efforts were very fruitful in the last years and prosecuted several high-profile cases which led to a noticeable decline in corruption incidents.

In April 2016, the Cairo Criminal Court sent former Agriculture Minister, Salah el-Din Mahmoud Helal, and his office manager to 10 years in prison each on corruption charges.

The prosecution said in a court session that Helal and his office manager had accepted bribes, including a luxury home, membership of an exclusive sports club, clothing from high-end fashion stores, and mobile phones.

In January 2017, former Secretary-General of Egypt's State Council Wael Shalaby committed suicide while in custody after his arrest for alleged corruption.

This incident came days after a procurement manager at the State Council, Gamal al-Laban, was arrested and charged with receiving bribes worth millions of Egyptian pounds.

Egypt ranked 108th out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index, scoring 34 points, down two points compared to 2015. A score of zero is highly corrupt while 100 is very clean.
12/14/2018 2:44:22 PM
<![CDATA[676 freed from prison as per presidential pardon]]>
The Prisons Authority selected the prisoners who were qualified for conditional release, and those who served half of their sentences and were not involved in criminal cases.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi pardoned thousands in the past few years. A total of 2,110 prisoners were released on June 15 per a presidential pardon, while 677 others were out on conditional release, marking the first day of EidEl-Fitr (a religious feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.)

The batch of released prisoners included also 690 debtors, as part of a presidential initiative called “Prisons without Debtors” aiming to release all debtors landing behind bars by paying off their debts.

In May, the Interior Ministry's prison department pardoned 447 prisoners on the occasion of Sinai Liberation Day.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the prison department also found that 473 inmates are qualified for release on parole. The Egyptian government frequently pardons prisoners during national celebrations.

Also in May, President Sisi pardoned About 332 prisoners. The pardon list included youths and prisoners with health problems.

In October 2016, President Sisi announced the formation of a presidential pardon committee, headed by political thinker, Osama al-GhazalyHarb, 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.

On the anniversary of October 6 War, 244 Egyptian prisoners regained their freedom after receiving a pardon by a presidential decree.
12/14/2018 1:22:05 PM
<![CDATA[Water to be cut in 4 neighborhoods in Cairo, Saturday]]>
These areas are: Triumph square, Heliopolis square and the surrounding streets, Hegaz street, and the Al-Nasr Sporting club area.

The company attributed the cut off to maintenance works and urged residents to store enough water and make suitable arrangements.
12/14/2018 12:56:32 PM
<![CDATA[Trump signs law honoring Anwar Sadat]]>
In August, the U.S. Senate had passed a bill to honour former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, according to a Thursday statement by the Egyptian Embassy in Washington.

“The Anwar Sadat Centennial Celebration Act S266 awards the Congressional Gold Medal to Sadat “in recognition of his historic achievements and courageous contributions to peace in the Middle East,” it added.

Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981. As President, he led Egypt in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to regain Egypt's Sinai Peninsula – Credit: AP

The following is a copy of the congressional record:

“A bill (S. 266) to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Anwar Sadat in recognition of his heroic achievements and courageous contributions to peace in the Middle East,” The bill stated.

In September 2017, the senate hosted a ceremony to rally for the bill on the 100th anniversary of Sadat’s birth and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Camp David Accords.

12/14/2018 12:53:34 PM
<![CDATA[Family planning program launched in 6 governorates: Ministry]]>
The program will take off from December 16 and will last for 10 days.

The program aims to improve citizens’ health behavior and support the quality of family planning services and reproductive health.

In May, the ministry had run a similar program in cooperation with USAID.

USAID provided technical assistance and training to the Ministry of Health and Population to strengthen its Family Planning and Reproductive Health Program. Activities will help increase demand for family planning services and enhance the quality of services, aiming to improve contraceptive use and reduce fertility over time. The 5-year, $19 million program will be implemented in nine governorates in Upper Egypt and areas of Cairo and Alexandria, the U.S. embassy in Cairo stated on Saturday.

“We know that USAID family planning programs have made tremendous impact in the past. We stand poised again to be a part of the solution to the rapid growth in Egypt’s fertility rate,” USAID Egypt Mission Director Sherry Carlin said at the program launch.

Egypt’s Family Planning Program (SEFPP),a five-year, USAID-funded activity, in cooperation with the U.S. John Snow Research and Training Institute, aims to create sustainable solutions that will help address Egypt’s growing population by increasing the use of family planning methods and promoting healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies. Project implementation is focused on the nine governorates of Upper Egypt and the slums of Cairo and Alexandria.

For nearly 40 years, USAID has worked with Egypt on projects related to healthy behaviors, family planning, nutrition, immunization and disease prevention activities.

Egyptian Population hits 104.2M

The Egyptian population hit 104.27 million both domestically and abroad, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics’ (CAPMAS) latest census in 2017. Those living inside the country amount to 94.8 million, while expats are estimated to at 9 million, according to statistics from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The statistics spotlighted the government’s concerns on issues of economic growth, unemployment rates and family planning programs.

Egyptian Population hits 104.2M

CAIRO - 30 September 2017: A conference was held on Saturday to announce the population growth in Egypt for the year 2017. The event was attended by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, members of parliament, representatives of civil society, businessmen, media personnel, and officials in charge of population count processes.

Additional Reporting Noha el-Tawil and Rehab Ismail
12/14/2018 12:24:39 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s armed forces provide 6,000 school seats, complete maintenance work]]>
In a Thursday statement, the Northern Military Region announced that 6,000 school seats were provided for students of the most intensive schools.

The statement went on to explain that the forces have contributed well to the development of the educational process in Egypt. Officials in Alexandria stated that the armed forces have been helpful during the past period, as they contributed to ease the education challenges in Egypt.

Students and citizens thanked the armed forces for the vital role they played to enhance education.

In July, Sisi declared 2019 the year of education during the second day of the youth conference held at Cairo University.

He pointed out that human development is a key pillar of the government’s vision; hence, his administration’s human development strategy will not only focus on education, but will also include health, culture and sports.

In September, the Ministry of Education announced its plan to develop the educational system in Egypt to the committee in charge at the Parliament.

The new system includes changing the Thanaweya Amma system that also requires the Supreme Council of Universities to change the admission requirements for each college.

Thanaweya Amma is the third and final year of high school; it qualifies students for college. Students’ grades have been determined upon their final exams' results only, making their total score the only determinant for their admission in different colleges without any admission tests or personal interviews.

The ministry plans to make students take multiple exams, while preserving the booklet format implemented in the academic year 2016-2017, which had almost eradicated cheating common in the former format.

The former format required memorization rather than comprehension of the curriculum, which had created a huge informal sector of private lessons taught by schoolteachers who often purposefully neglected their role in class to push students to take such lessons.

The booklet format contains only multiple choice questions (MCQs) and short answer questions to be answered in one exam sheet, unlike the former format comprising an answer sheet and a question sheet.

Teachers of Thanaweya Amma will receive different trainings; also, the contracts and administrative affairs of teachers will be restructured to improve their living and professional conditions.
12/14/2018 12:11:56 PM
<![CDATA[Metro's 3rd line from Haroun to Shams Club to open in days]]>
He added that testing the operation of the line as well as signal and control systems is being carried out to assure safety of the line's operation.

The first station of the phase runs from Haroun station to Heliopolis Square. According to Gamal el-Din, the fourth phase is set to be inaugurated in July 2019, after which commuters will be able to use it to reach Cairo International Airport. It comprises 10 stations with a total length of 15.8 km.

Commuters used to stop at Attaba station in the second line and then take another means of transportation, like microbuses, to go to Heliopolis. The air-conditioned metro cars of the third line, running from Attaba to Korba, are believed to have made the ride to Heliopolis cheaper, faster and more convenient.

Around 3.5 million Cairenes use the metro every day. Launched in 1987, the metro has since become the most important means of transportation, helping passengers to avoid getting stuck in Cairo's traffic or having to negotiate fares with unmetered taxis.

Female commuters can either choose to take the non-segregated cars or use the women-only carriages.

The third line with its four phases will save nearly 2million daily commutes above the ground, reducing Cairo’s traffic congestion, shortening the duration of commutes and saving LE 250 million ($14.2 million) in the cost of public transportation buses. The project will save up to LE 2.72 billion a year overall.

The third phase of the third metro line will connect the working-class districts of Attaba, Bulaq and Imbaba with Cairo University in Giza. The phase will also pass through well-off neighborhoods like Zamalek, Mohandiseen and Agouza. The construction work on the 18-kilometer phase officially started in 2017; it includes 15 stops, including Zamalek.
12/14/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Possibility of Finnish higher education in Egypt discussed with amb.]]>
During their meeting, Abdel Ghaffar praised the relations between Egypt and Finland in different scientific and research fields, stressing the ministry's keenness to benefit from the pioneering educational experience of Finland.

Meanwhile, the ambassador expressed her country's keenness to cooperate with Egypt in the educational and scientific fields.

They both discussed the possibility to sign an agreement between Egyptian and Finnish universities to promote the cooperation between the two countries, increase the scientific scholarships provided by the Finnish government to Egyptian students and researchers and linkthe faculties of education in Finland with those in Egypt.

In July, Parliament enacted the law regulating the establishment of foreign universities in Egypt.

The law aims to benefit from the educational and scientific research experiences of international universities to achieve significant progress in the higher education system and strengthen the ties between Egypt’s higher education and that of developed countries.

Under the law, the international branch of a university shall be committed to Egyptian provisions and shall notify the specialized ministry with the university's curricula; criteria to accept students in a university branch will be the same as those of the main university.

Branch campuses will be required to enroll a percentage of Egyptian students and employ a percentage of Egyptian staff in administrative and teaching positions.
All certificates awarded by the branch shall be recognized by the country of the main university; additionally, there will be an annual allocation of grants to students, allowing Egyptians to study or train at the main foreign university.

Each branch campus is required to submit a five-year plan with the expected number of students and costs; the branch will be supervised by a council set up by the Ministry of Higher Education to monitor quality.
12/14/2018 8:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Yemen's warring parties agree ceasefire for key port at UN talks]]>
If implemented, the deal on the Hodeida port, a key gateway for aid and food imports, could bring relief to a country where 14 million people stand on the brink of famine.

In a highly symbolic gesture on the seventh and final day of the peace talks in Sweden, Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani and rebel negotiator Mohammed Abdelsalam shook hands to loud applause -- although both later voiced scepticism.

The two leaders gave contradictory readings of the Hodeida deal shortly after the announcement by UN chief Antonio Guterres.

The week-long talks left a number of key issues unresolved. A new round of talks is scheduled for the end of January, with analysts predicting the US will continue to up the pressure on ally Saudi Arabia, a key backer of the Yemeni government, to end the conflict.

Impoverished Yemen has been mired in fighting between Iran-backed Huthi rebels and troops loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi since 2014. But the war escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition stepped in on the government's side.

- Withdrawal 'within days' -

Under the Hodeida agreement, released on Thursday evening, an "immediate ceasefire" should come into effect in Hodeida and its three ports upon signing, followed by a "mutual redeployment of forces... to agreed upon locations outside the city and the ports".

The UN will play a "leading role" in management and inspections at the ports, for four years under rebel control. The port will eventually be under the control of "local security forces" -- a term the rival parties disagree on.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani, who agreed to the deal in Sweden, declined to specify whether the forces would be solely state security forces but told AFP they would report to the "central authority" -- the government.

But the head rebel negotiator told AFP the phrase referred to the "security forces currently present in Hodeida" -- the rebels.

Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse the rebels of arms smuggling from Iran through Hodeida and the capital Sanaa, charges Iran has denied. The Saudi led-military coalition currently controls Yemen's maritime borders and airspace.

UN chief Guterres said the rivals had also reached a "mutual understanding" on Yemen's third city of Taiz, the scene of some of the most intense battles in the conflict, to facilitate the delivery of aid. No further details were given.

- 'More than expected' -

No deal has been reached on the future of the airport in the capital Sanaa or on economic measures needed to spare the population from further hunger.

Sanaa airport has been closed to commercial flights for nearly three years. The airport will be discussed at the next round of talks, UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths said.

Foreign Minister Yamani said the deal was the biggest step forward since the outbreak of the war but remained "hypothetical". "We will wait and see," he told AFP.

The rebels' Abdelsalam told AFP his group was "bound by an agreement".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was upbeat, saying "peace is possible".

"The work ahead will not be easy, but we have seen what many considered improbable begin to take shape," he said in a statement.

"The end of these consultations can be the beginning of a new chapter for Yemen."

Analysts said the Rimbo talks progressed better than anticipated, two years after the last negotiations hosted by Kuwait in 2016 collapsed with no breakthrough after three months.

"The Sweden talks have achieved more than anyone expected," the International Crisis Group told AFP.

"We have heard a different tone from the government of Yemen in these talks, and US pressure has clearly focused minds in the Gulf."

- US Senate vote -

The case of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, along with the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, were the turning point for the US.

The US, Britain and France are still the biggest arms suppliers to Saudi Arabia.

Both the rebels and government alliance are accused of failing to protect civilians. The UN last year blacklisted the Saudi-led coalition for the killing and maiming of children in air raids.

The US Senate on Thursday approved a resolution to end American backing for the Saudi-led intervention.

The largely symbolic resolution cannot be debated in the House of Representatives before January, and would likely be vetoed in any case by US President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly signalled his backing for the Saudi regime.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab coalition partners "strongly support" the agreement, Riyadh's US ambassador Khalid bin Salman said, while Iran hailed the breakthroughs as "promising".]]>
12/14/2018 7:10:02 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. Green Beret charged with murder of man in Afghanistan]]>
Major Matthew Golsteyn has admitted to shooting and killing a man in Afghanistan because he suspected he was a bombmaker for the Taliban militant group, NBC News reported.

Golsteyn admitted twice to the killing, once in an interview for a job at a spy agency and again during an interview with Fox News Channel, NBC News said.

"Major Matthew Golsteyn's immediate commander has determined that sufficient evidence exists to warrant the preferral of charges against him," Lieutenant Colonel Loren Bymer, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, said in a statement.

Golsteyn said in a statement he believed the allegations against him had been resolved years ago.

His attorney, Phil Stackhouse, said he would be "relentless" in defending Golsteyn againstthe charges.

"Major Golsteyn is a humble servant-leader who saved countless lives, both American and Afghan, and has been recognized repeatedly for his valorous actions," Stackhouse said. ]]>
12/14/2018 6:49:38 AM
<![CDATA[Chinese graft fugitive returns from New Zealand to surrender]]>
China's highly-publicised "sky-net" operation to return corruption suspects who fled overseas is a crucial plank of President Xi Jinping's sweeping campaign to eradicate graft.

Beijing has recently redoubled efforts to press graft suspects who remain overseas to give themselves up, such as asking families to contact them and encourage them to return, and releasing personal details, such as their addresses.

Some Western nations have been reluctant to return suspects, or sign extradition treaties with China, viewing its legal system as opaque, in addition to concerns over rights abuses and a lack of due process.

The return of Jiang Lei, a former deputy president of China's Association of Automobile Manufacturers, was arranged by the international arm of the country's powerful anti-graft agencies together with New Zealand law enforcement, Xinhua said.

In a statement emailed to Reuters, New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little said Jiang had not been extradited, but declined further comment.

Jiang returned after talks with Chinese authorities that involved his lawyer, New Zealand police said.

"Jiang Lei has returned to China voluntarily, following an agreement between himself, his solicitor and Chinese authorities," a spokeswoman said.

"New Zealand police was not a party to the agreement but were aware of the negotiations."

Interpol issued a "red notice" - an international alert for a wanted person - for Jiang in August 2007, after Chinese prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest. He had fled the country for New Zealand in April that year.

Jiang's case shows China's resolve to bring to justice all graft suspects overseas, an unidentified official told Xinhua.

Those overseas should "abandon illusions" and grasp the opportunity to surrender, in order to receive more lenient treatment, the official added.

In 2017, 1,300 fugitives were returned to China from overseas, including 347 corrupt officials, and 980 million yuan ($142 million) in illicit assets was recovered. ($1=6.8877 Chinese yuan renminbi) ]]>
12/14/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Strasbourg Christmas market gunman shot dead by French police]]>
More than 700 French security forces had been hunting for 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt since the bloodshed on Tuesday night -- the latest in a string of jihadist attacks to rock France.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said three police tried to question Chekatt after spotting him on the street in the Neudorf area of the northeastern French city where he grew up, but he opened fire.

They immediately returned fire and neutralised the assailant," Castaner said.

A source close to the investigation said a woman spotted a man fitting Chekatt's description with a wounded arm on Thursday afternoon and alerted authorities, who sealed off the area and used a helicopter with thermal cameras to hunt for the suspect.

People gathered at the police cordon where Chekatt was shot and applauded, some shouting "bravo!", a source said.

"It's really a huge relief," said Alain Fontanel, a local official in the mayor's office, describing the anxiety that locals had felt since Tuesday's attack.

"We didn't really feel very safe," one 18-year-old local named Arthur told AFP.

- Watchlist -

The propaganda wing of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack.

The perpetrator of "the attack in the city of Strasbourg... is one of the soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target nationals of the coalition" against IS, the Amaq agency said in a message posted on Twitter.

Chekatt, who lived in a rundown apartment block a short drive from the city centre, was flagged by French security forces in 2015 as a possible Islamic extremist.

France has been hit by a wave of attacks from people claiming allegiance to Al Qaeda or IS since 2015, which have claimed the lives of nearly 250 people, according to an AFP toll.

It is also not the first time a Christmas market has been targeted in Europe.

In 2016, a jihadist attacked a Christmas market in Berlin and went on the run through the Netherlands and France before being shot and killed three days later in northern Italy.

Defiant local authorities insisted the Strasbourg Christmas market would reopen as usual on Friday.

- Career criminal -

Chekatt was believed to have been wounded after exchanging fire with soldiers during the attack, but managed to escape and had not been seen since fleeing the scene on Tuesday.

Police in several other countries had joined the hunt for the career criminal with at least 27 convictions in four European states.

Officers who had already detained Chekatt's parents and two brothers on Wednesday took a fifth person into custody for questioning on Thursday.

French President Emmanuel Macron thanked security forces in a tweet and vowed: "Our commitment against terrorism is total."

He earlier expressed "the solidarity of the whole country" towards the victims.
"It is not only France that has been hit... but a great European city as well," he added, referring to the seat of the European parliament in the eastern French city that lies on the border with Germany.

Strasbourg's location in the heart of western Europe means that Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg can be easily reached by car or train, making the search for Chekatt more complicated.

Swiss police had reinforced border checks, while German authorities also widely published the photo of the suspect, which showed him with dark hair, a short beard and a mark on his forehead.

- Plea to 'yellow vests' -

As police hunted Chekatt, the French government urged "yellow vest" protesters angry over French economic reforms not to hold another round of demonstrations this weekend, given the strain on the country's security forces.

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux called on the anti-government protesters to be "reasonable" after nearly four weeks of often violent demonstrations that have led the government to offer a range of financial relief to low earners.

"Our security forces have been deployed extensively these past few weeks," Griveaux told CNews television.

"It would be better if everyone could go about their business calmly on Saturday, before the year-end celebrations with their families, instead of demonstrating and putting our security forces to work once again."

The yellow-vest protesters, known for their fluorescent high-visibility jackets, had called for a fifth round of protests this Saturday.

The protests began on November 17 over fuel tax increases, but snowballed into a revolt over living standards as well as Macron's perceived indifference to the problems of ordinary citizens.]]>
12/14/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[2 Egyptians arrested for helping tourists climb Pyramid]]>
An investigation team was formed in cooperation with the Interior Ministry to investigate the issue. The 33 year old Danish photographer reached Egypt on November 19 and left on December 4, according to the investigation.

The camel driver, who works in the archaeological area, is accused of helping the two tourists on November 29 to climb the Great Pyramid for LE 4,000 ($223.3). A girl was also arrested over contacting the two tourists online and facilitating their mission.

Three attempts

In an interview with Copenhagen-based Ekstra Bladet, Andreas Hvid said he has always dreamt of climbing the Great Pyramid and taking naked photos over its top. He added that he is now very upset as some people are mad at him.

Hvid said he attempted to climb the pyramid with a Norwegian friend twice. In the first time, he asked the guards to allow them to climb the Pyramid, but they were not allowed, he said, adding that in the second time they were arrested while actually attempting to climb the Pyramid, and were then released following interrogation.

In the third time, Hvid seemingly managed to reach the top. He said he and another Danish friend took a different route away from the guards, and waited until tourists left the Pyramid. They climbed and could reach the top in 25 minutes only, he said.

Hvid said he did not have sex on top of the Pyramid, confirming that they have taken one photo while they were naked.

The Danish photographer said he did not intend to mock a historic or religious symbol, adding that he will not visit Egypt in the coming period in order not to get arrested.

Egyptian wrath

The explicit video claimed to be filmed atop the Great Pyramid of Giza by a Danish photographer has been referred to Egypt’s top prosecutor to investigate its authenticity.

Climbing the Giza Plateau is considered illegal, according to the head of the archaeological site, who ruled out the Danish couple have climbed up the Khufu Pyramid amid the tight security presence.

In the video description, Hvid wrote “In late November 2018, a friend and I climbed the Great Pyramid of Giza (a.k.a. Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Cheops). Fearing to be spotted by the many guards, I did not film the several hours of sneaking around at the Giza Plateau, which led up to the climb."

The video has been circulated on social media, with some angry comments describing it as tarnishing the historic site.

The director of the Pyramids archaeological area Asharf Mohey described the video as “fake and unreal,” saying that climbing the Pyramid is impossible due to restrictions. Mohey suspected the video's authenticity, referring to a “strange” light appearingin the footage that does not resemble the real view of the site that closes every day at 5p.m.

Additional reporting by Egypt Today Staff ]]>
12/13/2018 5:04:58 PM
<![CDATA[Ibrahim Seada passes away Dec. 12]]>
The late journalist was born on Nov. 3, 1937 in Port Said. He worked with numerous giants in the field of journalism, such as Mustafa Rushdi, Galal Aref and Sarhan in El Shate’e magazine (the beach).

Being a passionate journalist by nature, Seada worked as a reporter for numerous magazines such as “el-fan” (arts) and “al-Garima” (the crime) before completing his bachelors.

The late veteran journalist travelled to Switzerland to acquire a bachelor’s degree in political economics. He lived twelve years in Europe during which he welcomed working as a reporter for Egyptian news outlets.

The late writer was appointed editor-in- chief of “Akhbar el youm” national newspaper by late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. He was the youngest journalist to hold such a position.

12/13/2018 4:59:14 PM
<![CDATA[Palestinian gunman kills two Israelis in West Bank - Israeli military]]>
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said the gunman had climbed from a car at a junction near Ofra settlement and opened fire at Israeli troops and civilians standing nearby, killing two and wounding two others.

The vehicle fled toward Ramallah, he said, prompting Israeli troops to shut down entrances to the West Bank city and to begin searches and roadblocks.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which took place near the site of a drive-by shooting on Sunday that wounded seven Israelis, including a pregnant woman. The baby was delivered prematurely, but died four days later.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Gaza-based spokesman for the armed Islamist group Hamas, hailed that attack as an "heroic and brave operation".

In separate overnight swoops in the West Bank, Israel said on Thursday its commandos had killed the Palestinian behind Sunday's attack as well as another wanted for an Oct 7 shooting at a settlement industrial park that killed a man and a woman, both civilians.

Also on Thursday, a man stabbed and wounded two Israeli police troopers in East Jerusalem, another area where Palestinians seek statehood, and was shot dead, police said. His identity was not immediately clear.


The increase in violence in the West Bank looks likely to fray Israel's already strained ties with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority.

Abbas's Western-backed authority has continued to coordinate with Israel on security in the West Bank, despite deepening rancour between Israelis and Palestinians at a political level since negotiations broke down in 2014.

Although Hamas's power base is in Gaza it also poses a grassroots challenge to Abbas in the West Bank, although its ability to operate there is hampered by the presence of Abbas's forces, and of Israeli troops.

Conricus would not confirm whether Israel thought Thursday's attack was carried out by an organisation, or by someone acting independently.

But he said that recent attacks had been "glorified" on Palestinian social and regular media outlets.

"We are definitely aware of the phenomenon of copycats and our forces are deployed accordingly." He added: "This could definitely fall into that pattern."

He also pointed to the forthcoming 31st anniversary of the founding of Hamas, on Dec. 14, as a possible factor.

"This culture of murder is fed by constant incitement to hatred and by the financial support of terrorists and their families by the PA (Palestinian Authority)," Emmanuel Nahshon, Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman, said after Thursday's drive-by shooting. "This must stop."

Abbas's office issued a statement on Thursday denouncing violence. Published by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, it blamed the recent events on Israel's "policy of repeated raids into cities and incitement against the President, and the absence of a peace horizon".
12/13/2018 3:08:38 PM
<![CDATA[Israeli troops kill two fugitive Hamas gunmen in West Bank]]>
The first gunman was wanted for an attack near a Jewish settlement on Sunday that wounded seven people, including a pregnant woman who lost her baby, and the second for shooting dead two Israelis at a settlement industrial park on Oct 7.

West Bank violence has simmered since Palestinian statehood talks with Israel stalled in 2014. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas maintains security cooperation with Israel there, mindful of the grassroots appeal of Hamas since it seized Gaza from him in 2007.

"Resistance in the West Bank will never stop until the (Israeli) Occupation is removed from all our land and we regain all our rights," Hamas, which confirmed the slain gunmen had carried out the two attacks on its behalf, said in a statement.

Abbas's administration sought to shift focus to Israel's West Bank settlements, which most countries regard as illegal.

"The international community bears part of the responsibility for the aggression by the occupation and the settlers because of its silence towards these attacks," said Palestinian government spokesman Youssef Al-Mahmoud.

Asked whether they had cooperated on the overnight raids, Israeli and Palestinian security officials declined comment.

The diplomatic impasse between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas has deepened since the Palestinians boycotted the Trump administration over the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Separately on Thursday, a man stabbed and wounded two Israeli police troopers in East Jerusalem, another area where Palestinians seek statehood, and was shot dead, police said. His identity was not immediately clear.

Israel and the United States have pressured Abbas's administration over stipends it pays relatives of Palestinians jailed or killed by Israeli forces. The allies say this money fuels militancy.

"We will bring all terrorists and those who dispatch them to justice. Abu Mazen (Abbas), who finances the terrorists' families, must also pay the price," Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said on Twitter.

Avi Dichter, chairman of the Israeli parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, described Hamas operations as targeting both Israel and Abbas.

"Hamas has an interest in carrying out terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip, but even more so in carrying them out inside the West Bank," Dichter told Israel Radio.
12/13/2018 11:22:23 AM
<![CDATA[President of Cote d'Ivoire invites Sisi to visit Yamoussoukro]]>
During a meeting with Vice President of Cote d'Ivoire, Daniel Kablan Duncan, Sisi received a hand-written letter, in which Ouattara invited Sisi to visit his country, according to presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady.

Duncan praised the bilateral relations between Egypt and Cote d'Ivoire, especially on the economic and trade levels.

Sisi welcomed Duncan and the accompanying delegation which arrived in Cairo on December 11. He accepted Ouattara's invitation, affirming that he is willing to pay Cote d'Ivoire a visit soon.

Sisi also lauded the mutual cooperation between the two countries, asserting Egypt’s keenness to develop it on all levels.

In July 2018, an Egyptian trade mission headed to Ivory Coast, as part of the Trade Ministry's strategy to expand trade exchange in the African market.

Executive Chairwoman of the Engineering Export Council of Egypt (EEC) Maha Saleh said in a statement that the mission included representatives of 18 companies of electric industries, car components and metalwork.

Saleh pointed out that the EEC aims to increase exports to $3 billion by the end of 2018, noting that the trade sector’s exports have grown since the end of 2017.

12/13/2018 11:14:12 AM
<![CDATA[Attacker stabs Israeli forces in Jerusalem's Old City, shot dead]]>
The attack, in Jerusalem's most well-known and fraught quarter, came amid fears of an uptick in violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Two Palestinians accused of carrying out shooting attacks were shot dead in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank late Wednesday and early Thursday.

The two police officers wounded in Jerusalem on Thursday morning were not in life-threatening condition, a police spokesman said.

The spokesman did not provide any details on the attacker's identity.

Jerusalem's Old City is split between Palestinians and Israelis but controlled by Israeli forces.

It is home to some of the holiest sites in Christianity, Islam and Judaism but has been the scene of multiple attacks by Palestinians, often armed with knives.

Such "lone wolf" attacks have subsided in recent years, but remain sporadic.]]>
12/13/2018 11:05:14 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian doctors take unified online test for medical board certification]]>
In a Wednesday statement, Soliman said that this board certificate test was decided to be conducted online to save doctors the trouble of traveling to undergo the exam in Cairo. “This comes in line with President Abdel Fatah al Sisi's directions to train doctors in accordance with the international standards,” Soliman added.

Moustafa al-Hudhud, head of the Egyptian Board for Pediatrics, said this step is “the first of its kind” and a positive step to enhance Egyptian doctors' training.

Applying for the Egyptian Board Certificate was launched in January 2018. This certificate has several medical specialties including general medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics and general surgery.

The duration of the course is five years; it is considered an additional certificate for doctors alongside the basic academic studies and training.

12/13/2018 10:40:37 AM
<![CDATA[Turkey to launch operation against U.S.-backed Kurds in Syria 'in a few days']]>
Ankara and Washington have long been at odds over Syria, where the United States has backed the YPG Kurdish militia in the fight against Islamic State insurgents.

Turkey says the YPG is a terrorist organisation and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the state in southeastern Turkey for 34 years.

Turkey has already intervened to sweep YPG fighters from territory west of the Euphrates in military campaigns over the past two years, but up until now, it had not gone east of the river - partly to avoid direct confrontation with U.S. forces.

But Erdogan's patience with Washington over Syria - specifically a deal to clear the YPG from the town of Manbij, just west of the Euphrates - seems to have worn thin.

"We will start the operation to clear the east of the Euphrates from separatist terrorists in a few days. Our target is never U.S. soldiers," Erdogan said at a speech at a defence industry summit in Ankara.

"This step will allow for the path to a political solution to be opened and for healthier cooperation."

Turkey has repeatedly voiced frustration about what it says are delays in the implementation of the Manbij deal, saying last month that the agreement should be fully carried out by the end of this year.

Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols near Manbij last month, but that cooperation has also been complicated as Turkey has shelled Kurdish fighters to the east of the Euphrates.

A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Erdogan's comments had created concern in the Pentagon that the fight against Islamic State militants could be affected.

The official said there was concern that a Turkish operation could distract Kurdish YPG fighters away from the middle Euphrates River Valley.

In March, another Turkish offensive against the YPG affected the fight against Islamic State and led to an "operational pause" in eastern Syria.


The Pentagon says it has about 2,000 troops in Syria.

Last month the United States said would establish observation posts on the border between Kurdish-held northern Syria and Turkey after Turkish cross-border shelling killed four Kurdish fighters.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said the Turkish attacks had led to a temporary halt in the U.S.-backed campaign the SDF are waging against Islamic State near the Syria-Iraq border.

Three observation posts have now been set up, a U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday. The official said the positions were clearly marked and any force attacking them "would definitely know they are attacking the United States".

Erdogan's announcement came after Turkish officials held talks in Ankara this week with the U.S. special representative for Syria, Jim Jeffrey. An SDF military source said Jeffrey met the SDF leadership in northern Syria on Wednesday.

Erdogan said Turkey was the victim of a "stalling tactic" over Manbij and Islamic State no longer posed a threat in Syria.

"Now, it's time to realise our decision to disperse the circles of terror east of the Euphrates. The fact that we have deep differences in perception with the United States is no secret," he said.

"A stalling tactic has been used in Manbij and is still being used... There is no threat named Daesh in Syria anymore. This is a fairytale," he said, using an Arabic acronym for the militant group.

The YPG still controls a large swathe of northeast Syria, on Turkey's southern border. Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the PKK. More than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have died in the PKK's conflict with Ankara. Turkish authorities fear the conflict could be stoked by the YPG presence across the border.]]>
12/13/2018 3:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[China makes first major buy of U.S. soybeans since Trump-Xi meet]]>
The sales are one of the clearest signs yet that a bitter trade fight between the world's two largest economies is thawing following the meeting of the countries' leaders at the Group of 20 industrialized nations gathering in Argentina.

Chinese state-owned companies bought at least $180 million of soybeans, two U.S. traders said. A third trader, based in Europe, said the buyers were Sinograin and Cofco and sellers included Cargill Inc, Louis Dreyfus Company and CHS Inc.

The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

One U.S. trader knew of nine cargoes traded and said there were probably more. A second trader with direct knowledge of the deals said Chinese state-owned firms bought at least 12 cargoes for shipment between January and March.

"China was buying right out of the gate this morning. It looks like we're back in business now," the second U.S. trader said.

Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures scaled to highs not seen since midsummer when China imposed tariffs on U.S. shipments in July. The most actively traded January contract climbed as high as $9.28 per bushel as traders cautiously cheered the purchases.

"We want to see how many it's going to be and what the timing is, and whether there are going to be follow-up sales," Rich Feltes, vice president for research with Chicago-based brokerage R.J. O’Brien.

The soybeans are expected to be shipped from grain terminals in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, the most direct route to Asia, the U.S. traders said.

Trump told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday that China was buying a "tremendous amount" of U.S. soybeans and would also soon cut tariffs on U.S. autos. There was no record of major Chinese purchases on Tuesday in the market or in daily export data.

Trump agreed to leave tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at 10 percent at the beginning of the new year rather than raise them to 25 percent as previously planned.

A 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans Beijing imposed on July 6 in retaliation for Washington's duties on Chinese goods remains in effect. The higher duties discouraged private Chinese importers from making purchases as Brazilian soybeans, which are not subject to the tariffs, are less expensive.

China is the largest buyer of U.S. soy, importing about 60 percent of all U.S. overseas shipments last year in deals valued at more than $12 billion. But this year, it has relied on Argentina and top exporter Brazil for most of its soybeans used to feed the world's largest pig herd.

"The Chinese evidently want the beans quickly as they have not been able to cover all their needs in South America," the European trader said.]]>
12/13/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trump ex-lawyer Cohen given 3 years in prison, blames 'blind loyalty']]>
In the courtroom, Cohen told U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan that "blind loyalty" led him to cover up for Trump. The sentence imposed by Pauley was a modest reduction from the four to five years recommended under federal guidelines but still highlighted the seriousness of the charges and possible implications for the president.

The sentencing capped a stunning about-face by a lawyer who once said he would "take a bullet" for Trump. Cohen said in a guilty plea in August that he was directed by Trump to make hush money payments to two women who said they had sexual affairs with the president in the past. Trump has denied the affairs and any involvement in the payments.

Pauley sentenced Cohen to 36 months for the payments and to two months for Cohen's lies to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Russia. The two terms will run simultaneously. The judge set March 6 for Cohen's voluntary surrender.

As part of the sentence, the judge ordered Cohen to forfeit $500,000 and pay restitution of nearly $1.4 million.

Cohen, 52, walked into court with his wife, son and daughter amid a crowd of photographers and reporters. His 23-year-old daughter, Samantha, and 19-year-old son, Jake, both wept silently in the courtroom, the son wiping his eyes with his jacket sleeve. After being sentenced, Cohen walked over to his daughter and kissed her head.

Cohen's father, Maurice Cohen, who showed little emotion during the hearing, later told reporters: "My heart is ripped."

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to charges including tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations in a case brought by federal prosecutors in New York. Cohen was sentenced on a separate charge of lying to Congress brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia's role in the 2016 election and possible coordination between Trump's campaign and Moscow. Cohen pleaded guilty to that charge last month.

Federal prosecutors in New York charged that Cohen, just before the November 2016 election, paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 and helped arrange a $150,000 payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal so the women would keep quiet.

Federal law requires that the contribution of "anything of value" to a campaign must be disclosed, and an individual donation cannot exceed $2,700.

"It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light," Cohen told the judge during the sentencing hearing.

"I felt it was my duty to cover up his own dirty deeds," Cohen said, referring to Trump.

The Mueller investigation represents a threat to Trump's presidency. Mueller, who also is examining whether the president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe, has secured guilty pleas from several former Trump aides including his former campaign chairman and national security adviser, as well as a series of Russia individuals and entities.


The judge, in remarks before handing down Cohen's sentence, said the lawyer committed two campaign finance crimes "on the eve" of the 2016 election with the "intent to influence the outcome of that election."

"While Mr. Cohen pledges to help in further investigations that is not something the court can consider now," the judge added.

Lawyer Lanny Davis, who has advised Cohen, praised Cohen for cooperating and said he would continue to do so.

"At the appropriate time, after Mr. Mueller completes his investigation and issues his final report, I look forward to assisting Michael to state publicly all he knows about Mr. Trump - and that includes any appropriate congressional committee interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies," Davis said in a statement. "Mr. Trump's repeated lies cannot contradict stubborn facts."

Cohen is a former member of Trump's inner circle who in the past called himself the president's "fixer." After Cohen pleaded guilty to the Mueller charges on Nov. 29, Trump called his former lawyer a liar, "a weak person and not a very smart person."

Trump last month submitted written answers to questions posed in Mueller's investigation.

Michael Avenatti, Daniels' lawyer, attended the sentencing and told reporters outside the courthouse, "Michael Cohen is neither a hero nor a patriot. He lied for months about his conduct. ... Michael Cohen was sentenced today, President Trump is next."

Trump has denied any collusion with Russia and has accused Mueller's team of pressuring his former aides to lie about him, his campaign and his business dealings. Russia has denied U.S. allegations of interfering in the election to help Trump.

In his guilty plea to Mueller's charge, Cohen admitted he lied to Congress about the timeline for discussions about plans for real estate businessman Trump's proposed skyscraper in Moscow. The project never went ahead.

Cohen said in written testimony to two congressional committees that the talks ended in January 2016, before the first electoral contests to select the Republican presidential nominee, when they actually continued until June 2016 after Trump clinched the Republican nomination.

In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Trump denied the payments to the women were campaign contributions. "If it were, it's only civil, and even if it's only civil, there was no violation based on what we did," Trump said.

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has argued the hush payments cannot be considered campaign finance violations because they were made to protect Trump's reputation and would have been made even if he had not been a presidential candidate.]]>
12/13/2018 12:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[French police hunt gunman after Christmas market attack]]>
The attack in the heart of the medieval city as the annual Christmas market was closing on Tuesday night left two dead, 13 injured and crowds of traumatised witnesses.

The suspect, a 29-year-old Strasbourg native identified as Cherif Chekatt, opened fire with a handgun and stabbed passers-by during his rampage, France's anti-terror prosecutor Remy Heitz said Wednesday.

Chekatt, who was on a watchlist for suspected religious extremists, had already been sentenced 27 times in France, Germany and Switzerland for crimes including violence and robbery.

His mother and father, as well as two brothers, were detained for questioning Wednesday.

Chekatt was flagged by French security forces in 2015 as a possible extremist while in prison, after he "called for practising a radical form of religion," deputy interior minister Laurent Nunez told France Inter radio Wednesday.

He lived in a rundown housing estate a short drive from the Christmas market, which draws some two million people each year to its wooden chalets selling festive decorations, mulled wine and food.

"His family has lived around here for a while, but he lived on his own nearby," Zach, a 22-year-old in the Poteries area of Strasbourg, told AFP. "He was discreet, not a thug."

Much of the centre of the city as well as the European Parliament building were locked down through the night as teams of police and soldiers searched for the gunman.

On Wednesday, the market was shut and theatre performances and other shows were cancelled as reinforcements joined a manhunt that also involved police in neighbouring Germany.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told lawmakers in Paris that three people tried to stop Chekatt, one of whom was stabbed but not killed.

During his rampage, he was injured in an exchange of fire with soldiers who were patrolling the Christmas market as part of regular anti-terror operations.

The gunman then fled the scene in a taxi, getting out in the city's southern Neudorf district, where he again exchanged fire with police before disappearing, a source close to the inquiry told AFP.

Around 720 police officers and other security forces are searching for him, Castaner said, and the public is being urged to alert police of any tips on his whereabouts.

- 'People running everywhere' -

The government has raised the security alert level for terrorism to its highest, reinforcing border controls and patrols at all Christmas markets across France.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced Wednesday that France's anti-terror Sentinelle operation, which counts around 7,000 soldiers, will be boosted by a total of 1,800 troops over the coming days.

Among the victims in Strasbourg, two were killed outright and another has been declared brain-dead, while 12 more were injured, six critically, Heitz said.

The shooting spree comes as French leader Emmanuel Macron faces the biggest crisis of his presidency after three weeks of anti-government demonstrations sparked by fuel tax rises.

Security forces were already stretched by the often violent demonstrations during which five people have died and more than 1,400 been injured.

Police had wanted to arrest Cherif on Tuesday morning as part of an investigation into a robbery gone bad and an attempted murder, Nunez said.

He was not at home, but police found a grenade, four knives and a loaded .22 calibre pistol.

Strasbourg mayor Roland Ries said most of the victims were men, including one Thai tourist who was among the dead.

In Rome, the foreign ministry said one of the injured was an Italian journalist covering the European parliament, but did not confirm media reports that he was in a serious condition.

According to a tweet by Poland's embassy in Paris, a Polish citizen was also among the injured.

The market was to remain closed Thursday, city officials said.

- France shaken by attacks -

France has been targeted by a series of attacks by Islamist gunmen since 2015, and the Strasbourg market was long considered a target.

Strict vehicle restrictions, security checks and patrols by armed police and soldiers amid the revellers have become the norm.

The SITE intelligence group, which monitors jihadist activity, said in November that a group aligned with the Islamic State group had warned of a Strasbourg attack with a social media post titled "O Christmas here we come - Strasbourg, 01 January 2019."

Some 25,000 people are currently on France's "S" extremism watchlist, 9,700 of them for radicalism "linked mainly to Islamist terror movements," according to the interior ministry.

Most recently in France, a 20-year-old Chechnya-born man went on a knife rampage in central Paris in May, killing one person and injuring four.

At least 245 people have been killed in terror attacks in France since 2015, according to an AFP toll.]]>
12/13/2018 12:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[EU parliament approves huge Japan trade deal]]>
The agreement will go into effect in February and was celebrated as a victory for Europe as a free trade champion in the face of US President Donald Trump's protectionism and Britain's decision to leave the EU.

"Our economic partnership with Japan -– the biggest trade zone ever negotiated –- is now very close to becoming a reality," EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said.

Talking to AFP before lawmakers voted by 474 votes to 152 to back the deal, Malmstrom called it "a symbol, a signal" and added: "We're showing that for our part, we're in favour of open but regulated trade."

The deal was confirmed even as British Prime Minister Theresa May defended her faltering attempt to negotiate Britain's orderly departure from the European Union before a boisterous House of Commons.

But, ironically, some EU leaders see the wide-ranging deal they have agreed with far-off Japan as a possible model for future commercial relations with the United Kingdom, once it formally quits the bloc.

"Everything is uncertain with the United Kingdom for the moment, but one day or another we'll have to negotiate something," Malmstrom said, predicting a British deal would "go even further" than Japan's.

Covering more than 630 million people and economies that add up to around a third of global output, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement has been under discussion since 2013.

When it goes into effect it will regulate almost all commerce between the Asian giant and the 27 remaining EU economies and, according to Malmstrom, will benefit in particular European farmers.

The pro-business lobby welcomed the deal.

"Approving the EU-Japan EPA, the European Parliament delivers on what business and citizens need in a time of political and economic uncertainty," said BusinessEurope Director General Markus Beyrer.

"This agreement is projected to increase exports between the two economies by 34 percent for the EU and 29 percent for Japan, liberalising up to 99 percent of bilateral trade," he argued.

"The elimination of tariffs will save consumers and importers one billion euro per year in the EU and will support a substantial increase of jobs, maximising benefits for both companies and citizens."

Once the is fully implemented, some 85 percent of EU farm products will be eligible for tariff free export to Japan, although in some cases this will come after a period of transition.

Customs duties on beef, for example, will be progressively reduced, and rice, a source of national pride in Japan, will be excluded from the deal.

Tokyo has also agreed to recognise more than 200 "geographic signifiers", allowing iconic European products like Roquefort cheese, Tirolean speck and Polish "Wodka" to protect their brand value.

For their part, the Japanese will win free access to the European automobile market after a multi-year transition period.

- Consumer choice -

In a nod to the environmental and anti-globalist groups who have lobbied against this and other EU trade agreements, it includes chapters on sustainable development and the Paris climate change accord.

This was not enough to appease at least three NGOs -- the Foundation for Man and Nature (FNH) the Veblen Institute and Foodwatch -- who denounced a deal they said was "negotiated in the shadows".

"The European Parliament agreed to a trade agreement that damages European democracy," Lena Blanken of Foodwatch said.

The deal "restricts the legislative authority of the EU and its member states, jeopardises the European precautionary principle and establishes committees without sufficient democratic control."

But Malmstrom was unrepentant.

"With or without a deal, we do trade with far off countries. That's commerce," she told AFP.

"In the end, it's consumers who decide," she said, adding that, while many might prefer to buy locally, Europe would work with Japan to reduce the environmental impact of long-distance shipments.

With the deal, the EU is seeking access to one of the world's richest markets, while Japan hopes to jump-start an economy that has struggled to find solid growth for more than a decade.]]>
12/13/2018 12:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[An Egyptian Company to manage the Pyramids area: SCA]]>
The Secretary General added during a phone call with the TV show “Salet El Tahrir” (Editorial Room) that all the archaeological areas belong to the Ministry of Antiquities according to the law, thus, the company will be just responsible of the services targeting the visitors.

“There are a lot of tourists’ complaints about the poor service, bad toilets, and the lack of restaurants and cafes which provide fast meals for the visitors,” Waziri said, adding that developing archaeological sites is crucial to tourism promotion in Egypt.

A Danish photographer named Andreas Hvid posted earlier in December an explicit video for himself having sex with his girl friend on top of the Great Pyramid of Giza. The video triggered fury in Egypt and on Social media platforms.

Egyptian authorities arrested on Tuesday two security personnel accused of facilitating the crime committed by the Danish photographer and his girl friend.
12/12/2018 10:11:53 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi says govt determined to proceed with state-building process]]>
During a meeting with heads and representatives of several regional and international investment funds in Cairo, the president said that development projects in Egypt are now in the construction process.

He thanked the Egyptian people for the awareness of the necessity of the serious economic reform decisions taken in the past period, presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said.

The president spoke of the various investment opportunities currently available in Egypt and measures taken by the government to attract new investors into the country.

He further talked about the State's efforts to develop infrastructure and establish mega projects.

Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Tareq Amer, as well as Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait attended the meeting.
12/12/2018 8:08:18 PM
<![CDATA[PM, Tanzanian President attend signing dam agreement]]>
Stiegler's Gorge dam will be constructed by the Egyptian Arab Contractors Company at a total cost of $2.9 billion.

Attending the signing ceremony were Egyptian Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker and Minister of Irrigation Mohammed Abdel Aaty along with several top ranking Tanzanian officials.

The project includes setting up a major concrete dam for storing water required to generate power along with four other dams bringing the total quantities of stored water to 33 billion cubic meters.]]>
12/12/2018 2:45:39 PM
<![CDATA[Strasbourg Christmas shooting: What we know so far]]>
Around 7:50 pm (1850 GMT) Tuesday, a lone man opened fire several times in the centre of Strasbourg, which every year holds a Christmas market, drawing in huge crowds of shoppers and tourists.

The suspect was quickly identified as a 29-year-old man born in Strasbourg and already known to the police.

He "sowed terror (...) at three points in the city," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said.

"Soldiers of the Sentinelle force used their weapons to try to intercept the assailant, and between 8:20 pm and 9:00 pm he twice confronted our security forces with systematic exchanges of fire," he said, referring to soldiers deployed under the country's anti-terror operation, in place since attacks in 2015.

In his attack, the man killed three people and wounded 11 others, five seriously and six slightly, before fleeing and rushing into a taxi, according to a source close to the investigation.

The taxi driver, unscathed, told police the suspect was injured.

The military reported that a soldier was also lightly wounded by the ricochet of a shot from the attacker.

The busy Christmas market site had been under close surveillance due to the high jihadist threat, especially since it was the target of a planned attack in December 2000.

5 detained as France hunts Christmas market shooting suspect
Known to security services

The suspect was well known to the authorities and had been convicted in France and Germany and served his sentences, the minister said.

In 2016 he was flagged by anti-terrorist services, according to a source close to the investigation.

He had been reported by the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) intelligence agency during a visit to prison where he was noted for violence and religious proselytism, according to the source.

Before the attack on Tuesday, the fugitive was already wanted for armed robbery, according to a source close to the case, while another source said he was linked to an investigation of attempted homicide.

Earlier the same day, police had searched his home but found no trace of him.

While his precise motives remain to be established, the anti-terrorist prosecutor has found sufficient clues to open an investigation for "assassinations and attempted assassinations in connection with a terrorist enterprise".

Paris public prosecutor Remy Heitz was due to speak on Wednesday, Castaner said.

Troops and police

Significant resources have been deployed to track down the fugitive.

On the ground, 350 people have been mobilised, including 100 police personnel supported by two helicopters, officers from elite units, and also soldiers of Operation Sentinelle, which protect sensitive places which could be terrorism targets, the minister said.

After raising the security alert level to "emergency attack", the minister announced reinforced border controls.

Additional resources were also to be sent to Strasbourg which would be under strengthened surveillance.]]>
12/12/2018 2:43:17 PM
<![CDATA[MP demands to regulate smoking hookah]]>
Hanafi added in the statement that the government should impose penalties to reduce this phenomenon as it damages the health and causes many diseases such as tuberculosis.

Also, parliamentarian Suzy Nashed demanded Monday, Dec. 10 during the Parliament's plenary session that smoking hookah should only be allowed when the person smoking and the place where they smoke meet specific criteria.

For his part, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said that it is difficult to stop people from smoking hookah because it is their personal freedom, pointing out that it has to be confined in a way that does not contradict with the freedom of individuals.

According to a report issued by the US medical site "MedicalXpress"in November 2018,smoking hookah leads to atherosclerosis and increased heartbeat.
12/12/2018 12:31:26 PM
<![CDATA[Arab Parliament urges French authorities to exercise self-restraint in dealing with protesters]]>
In a statement about the status of human rights in the European continent and the protest wave across France, the parliament urged the French authorities to guarantee the right of peaceful protest and meet the requests of protesters.

It also called on the French government to take all measures to guarantee the safety of protesters and media representatives and set free all protesters.

The rising cost of gasoline and diesel fuel sparked protests in France on November 17 that have since evolved into broader demonstrations against Emmanuel Macron's government.

The protesters, known as the "gilets jaunes," take their name from the high-visibility yellow vests that drivers are required to keep in their vehicles for safety reasons.

The parliament expressed concern over the excessive use of force by French police against protesters that left 700 people wounded and more than 1,500 others arrested.

It underlined the importance that countries respect human rights and public freedoms and take all measures to protect the dignity of citizens and their freedoms.]]>
12/12/2018 12:25:49 PM
<![CDATA[24 takfiris killed, 2K arrested at borders before infiltration: Sinai 2018]]>CAIRO – 12 December 2018: A total of 24 dangerous takfiris and one soldier were eliminated during exchanges of fire with the army, while 403 suspects and criminals were arrested, according to the 30th statement of the Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 released Wednesday.

The Egyptian forces destroyed 342 terrorist hideouts in Central and North Sinai, where explosives and motorcycles were found. Four tunnels were destroyed in North Sinai and some 344 explosive devices were detected and eliminated on the route of the forces.

Thousands of bullets, thousands of kilos of drugs, dozens of vehicles used by terrorists, and tons of rocks mixed with gold were seized.

A total of 2,833 people of different nationalities were apprehended at the borders during their infiltration attempts.

Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 was launched last February at all Egyptian land and maritime borders, especially in Sinai. The operation has proven largely successful as terrorist attacks have significantly decreased.
12/12/2018 11:45:32 AM
<![CDATA[Death toll of Strasbourg attack rises to 4]]>
Prosecutors said the shooter has been identified but remains at large after authorities went to his house and failed to find him.

Some 11 persons were wounded in the attack.

The 29-year-old suspect has a criminal record and has been linked to radicalism. FGP Police union official Stephane Morisse said officers found explosive materials at the home.

Morisse said the suspect was shot and wounded by soldiers standing guard over the Christmas market, but he was still able to escape.

The evening attack happened at the city’s world-famous Christmas market. France, where most of Europe's worst terror attacks of recent years took place, is raising its terror alert level and sending security reinforcements to Strasbourg, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said.

Some 350 security forces and two helicopters were involved in the search for the assailant, who had been radicalized for "several years" and confronted law enforcement officers twice while he "sowed terror" in Strasbourg, Castaner said.

The attack came as France has been beset by four weeks of protests against President Emmanuel Macron, and police forces have been stretched by fighting, rioting and other protest-related unrest.

Macron adjourned a meeting at the presidential palace on Tuesday night to monitor the events, his office said. ]]>
12/12/2018 11:09:16 AM
<![CDATA[Shoukry to participate in ministerial meeting of Red Sea states ]]>
The statement added that the meeting will focus on ways to activate joint cooperation in all fieldsand boost coordination among the countries which overlook the important waterway.

The statement also reported that the Red Sea is one of the most important routes of global trade between the East and West.

Shoukry's participation reflects Egypt's keenness on boosting cooperation among Red Sea countries, Hafez added.

The first meeting was held in Cairo on December 11-12, 2017, where the main principles for cooperation among Red Sea countries were agreed upon.
12/12/2018 10:24:44 AM
<![CDATA["Aware of atrocities": Twitter CEO responds to critics of Myanmar tweets]]>
More than 730,000 Rohingya fled a sweeping army crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state in 2017, the United Nations and aid agencies say. The crackdown was launched in response to insurgent Rohingya attacks on security forces.

U.N.-mandated investigators have accused Myanmar's army of "genocidal intent". Myanmar has denied the accusations, saying its forces engaged in a counter-insurgency operation against "terrorists".

On Wednesday, Dorsey said his visit was "purely personal" and he did not "intend to diminish by not raising the issue, but could have acknowledged that I don’t know enough and need to learn more".

In his initial messages on the social network, Dorsey said, "Myanmar is an absolutely beautiful country. The people are full of joy and the food is amazing."

They included pictures of the barren monastery room in which he stayed during the retreat, as well as an analysis of his heart rate while meditating. There was no reference to the Rohingya.

The comments drew critical comments from human rights observers and users of Twitter.

In August, Reuters described how hate speech spread on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook at the peak of Myanmar's military crackdown.

Dorsey said Twitter was a way for people to share news and information about events in Myanmar, as well as "bear witness to the plight of the Rohingya and other peoples and communities".

He added, "We’re actively working to address emerging issues. This includes violent extremism and hateful conduct."

Last month, Dorsey triggered a social media storm in India after a picture of him with a placard reading "Smash Brahminical patriarchy", referring to the highest Hindu caste, went viral.

Twitter later apologized for the photo.
12/12/2018 6:19:22 AM
<![CDATA[Bomb threat at Facebook's Menlo Park HQ, buildings evacuated]]>
Everyone is safe and the company is looking into the incident, the spokesman said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Menlo Park Police Department said http://bit.ly/2SNkkoj a building at 200 Jefferson Drive has been evacuated and the bomb units are on the scene going through the building.

However, it did not specify which Facebook building in Menlo Park was evacuated.

YouTube was another Silicon Valley company that faced a security threat in the recent past. In May, a woman opened fire at YouTube's headquarters in San Francisco, wounding three people before she shot herself dead. ]]>
12/12/2018 6:08:43 AM
<![CDATA[France's raises security threat after three killed in Strasbourg: minister]]>
"He fought twice with our security forces," Castaner told a news conference held in the city. The attack also left 12 people injured, he said.

Castaner said France was raising the security threat level and would bolster the protection of Christmas markets elsewhere and strengthen border controls.
12/12/2018 6:02:25 AM
<![CDATA[At least one killed, six wounded in French Christmas market shooting ]]>
"There were gunshots and people running everywhere," one local shopkeeper told BFM TV. "It lasted about 10 minutes."

A source at the prosecutor's office said the motive behind the shooting was not immediately clear and that an investigation was underway to see if it was terrorism-related.

France remains on high alert after a wave of attacks commissioned or inspired by Islamic State militants since early 2015, in which about 240 people have been killed.

French Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy tweeted: "Solidarity and support for the people of Strasbourg. Our support too for the security forces. We are united and determined to protect the French people."
12/11/2018 10:27:06 PM
<![CDATA[Sports minister reveals initiatives to activate cooperation with Africa]]>
Soon deadlines will be set to implement the initiatives, Sobhy told the African affairs committee Tuesday.

He said his Ministry is contacting with the Foreign Ministry to help implement the initiatives with African countries.

Many African sports federations are based in Egypt, Sobhy made it clear. ]]>
12/11/2018 2:50:17 PM
<![CDATA[Abul Gheit: Development of Arab tourism sector requires all-out cultural plan]]>
Addressing the joint Arab tourism and cultural ministers meeting, that kicked off earlier in the day in Bibliotheca Alexandria, Abul Gheit voiced hope that the meeting could come up with tangible results to enhance Arab tourism and cultural sectors.

He asserted that the Arab region has a rich humanitarian civilization, adding that the first human communities as well as first cities and first monarchies have been established in the Arab region which embraced the early eras of human history.

Abul Gheit said the Arab League is seeking to outline a mechanism that combines cultural and tourism activities through the Social and Economic Council that will convene on the fringe of the extraordinary session of the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, to be held in January 2019 in Beirut.]]>
12/11/2018 1:29:03 PM
<![CDATA[May to ask Merkel to help change Brexit divorce deal]]>
Less than four months until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on March 29, Brexit was plunged into chaos on Monday when May finally acknowledged that British lawmakers would not accept her current deal.

Amid demands for a national election, ridicule and blunt warnings that her eleventh-hour bid for a changed deal was in vain, May pledged to seek EU support for changes to make it more palatable to members of Parliament.

The EU said it was ready to discuss how to smooth ratification in Britain, but that neither the withdrawal agreement nor the contentious Irish backstop would be renegotiated.

May is due to meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, Downing Street said. Brexit will be discussed at a previously scheduled EU summit on Dec. 13-14.

Without a deal, the options for the world’s fifth largest economy include a last-minute agreement, probably struck in 2019, another EU referendum or national election, or a potentially disorderly Brexit without a deal.

The ultimate outcome will shape Britain’s $2.8 trillion (2.20 trillion pounds) economy, have far-reaching consequences for the unity of the United Kingdom and determine whether London can keep its place as one of the top two global financial centres.


May said the deeper question was whether parliament wanted to deliver on the people’s will from the 2016 referendum, or open up divisions with another national vote.

“If you take a step back, it is clear that the House faces a much more fundamental question. Does this House want to deliver Brexit?” May said.

Support for another referendum has been rising in recent months.

Many business chiefs fear a chaotic Brexit that they say would weaken the West and spook financial markets.

“We view the situation with a mixture of worry and hope,” one FTSE CEO said. “The hope comes from the fact that it’s now such chaos it gets called off.”

As investors and allies tried to work out the ultimate destination for the world’s fifth-largest economy, rebel MPs in May’s party said she had to go.

“If we can’t go forwards with her deal ... then I’m afraid the only way to change the policy is to change the prime minister and I really think it’ her duty to go,” Brexit-supporting Conservative lawmaker Steve Baker said.

A leadership challenge is triggered if 48 Conservatives write letters demanding one to the chairman of the party’s so-called 1922 committee, Graham Brady.

The Labour Party was urged by other smaller opposition parties to trigger a vote of no confidence in the government but said it would not act right away.

“We will put down a motion of no confidence when we judge it most likely to be successful,” a spokesman said.]]>
12/11/2018 12:08:09 PM
<![CDATA[Arab Parliament will defend Arab rights: Abdel Aal]]>
Addressing the general session of the Parliament, he added that the Palestinian issue and fighting terrorism are on top of these rights.

He also expressed confidence that the Parliament will help push up Arab parliamentary cooperation and find out solutions to Arab problems.

The current exceptional situation through which the Arab nation is passing needs more action by the Arab Parliament for achieving the Arab aspirations, he added.

The general session of the Arab Parliament kicked off at the Arab League earlier today under its president Mashal bin Fahm al Salmi and the Speaker of the Egyptian House of Representatives.

The meeting will take up issues related to joint Arab action and means of dealing with challenges facing the Arab nation.

The participants will focus on the Palestinian issue and foreign interference in the Arab internal affairs.]]>
12/11/2018 11:31:55 AM
<![CDATA['Yellow vests' denounce Macron speech as 'charade']]>
"Nonsense," "a charade", "a bluff" and "a drop in the ocean," were among the immediate reactions that greeted the head of state's televised speech Monday evening announcing an increase in the minimum wage and a range of other financial measures.

At a roundabout in the southern town of Le Boulou, some 150 "yellow vests" gathered around a loudspeaker listened carefully to the president's words before starting to shout in chorus.

"He is trying to do a pirouette to land back on his feet but we can see that he isn't sincere, that it's all smoke and mirrors," said Jean-Marc, a car mechanic.

"It's just window dressing, for the media, some trivial measures, it almost seems like a provocation," said Thierry, 55, a bicycle mechanic who donned the yellow vest a fortnight ago.

"All this is cinema, it doesn't tackle the problems of substance," he told AFP before taking part in blocking the Boulou turnpike on the French-Spanish border.

"We're really wound up, we're going back to battle," he said.

Less than an hour after the presidential address, the A9 toll booth from Spain was completely paralysed, an AFP photographer said.

"Maybe if Macron had made this speech three weeks ago, it would have calmed the movement, but now it's too late," said Gaetan, 34, one of the "Rennes Lapins Jaunes" (Yellow Rabbits of Rennes). "For us, this speech is nonsense."

- 'A charade' -

In the northwest, at a roundabout at the end of the A28 in Montabon, near Le Mans, "yellow vests" gathered under a heated tent to watch the president on TV, sharing a picnic.

"Too bad, blew it again!" exclaimed Etienne. "Santa Claus has nothing in his sack," laughed Hubert.

Over in eastern France, at the Cafe de la Paix in Commercy, about 15 "yellow vests" watched Macron's speech with a glass of Picon and a basket of fries, interrupting the presidential address with ironic sneers.

"Sir feels bad," Elisabeth, a 66-year-old retiree, said mockingly as the president acknowledged that he had "hurt some".

"It was about time," added Damien, in his thirties. "Liar," a woman shouted.

"He is being held hostage so he drops some crumbs," said Jonathan, a 35-year-old official.

In the southern commune of Realmont, "gilets jaunes" from all four corners of the department of Tarn gathered at the roundabout to heave a sigh and release nervous laughter.

"The people asked him to resign and he puts plasters on third-degree burns (...) this is total rubbish," said Pierrot, an RSA artist in Albi.

For Luc, a pizza chef in Marseille, "it's a charade. He announces bonuses to be paid by employers but how will they do it? They don't have more money."

- 'Some good ideas' -

Some "yellow vests" however saw "an awareness" of their problems in the presidential speech.

"The increase of 100 euros, it's really not bad," said Erwan, a spokesman in Rennes.

Commenting on the extra measures announced for retirees who earn less than 2,000 euros, he said it would "give them a little more", adding "the end of year bonus too, it's very good."

"He even talked about the big companies that don't pay their taxes in France, we hope that he will move on that too".

"There are some good ideas, it's a mea culpa which arrives too late but we will not spit on it," said Claude Rambour, a "yellow vest" member of the "Gauls of Calais".

But "he should have gone further," said the 42-year-old who fears that the speech wants to "divide the yellow vests".

"We will take the time to think, to interpret, to talk about it between us," said Laure, a jobless mother of Gironde, who was however "not convinced".]]>
12/11/2018 11:29:52 AM
<![CDATA[Slovenian amb. in Cairo asserts importance of Egypt in ME, Africa]]>
In an interview with MENA on Tuesday, Prevolsek necessitated benefiting from good political ties to boost cooperation and intensify visits between Egyptian and Slovenian businessmen.

A Slovenian official is to participate in the summit to be held between the Arab League and the European Union in Sharm el Sheikh in February, Prevolsek said.

Slovenian President Borut Pahor invited Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to visit Slovenia, she said, adding that Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry invited his Slovenian counterpart Karl Erjavec to visit Egypt.

Prevolsek said that trade exchange between Egypt and Slovenia reached dlrs 100 million, adding that Egypt exports mining oils, fuel, petroleum substances, some fruits and nuts to Slovenia.

Prevolsek said that the Egyptian government under president Sisi is willing to go on in implementing reforms and that the investment atmosphere in Egypt is improving after the flotation of the Egyptian pound. ]]>
12/11/2018 11:14:41 AM
<![CDATA[New cold wave hits Egypt, heavy rains expected]]>
West coasts are expected to witness stable weather during day, but extremely cold weather at night. Low and medium clouds will appear accompanied by heavy rainfall on the northwestern coasts, according to experts.

Thick fog will affect visibility during the morning, as wind will be accompanied with sand and dust.

Navigation in the Mediterranean might see unrest; fishing boats will remain alarmed as several incidents took place in Alexandria during the past week and some boats reportedly drowned.

For expected temperature degrees on Tuesday, Cairo is expected to see highs of 21°C and lows of 15°C; Alexandria will record 21°C during the day and 11 at night. In Upper Egypt, Qena will record 22°C during the day and 10°C at night and Aswan will reach 10 °C during night.

During the past week, Egypt witnessed heavy rains and stormy winds. The government has announced that it is fully prepared for the upcoming winter season, heightening necessary measures to combat expected floods and prevent any relevant problems of accumulated rainwater in the streets.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation has worked on finishing the preparations for winter rains and downpours by carrying out a plan to check the pumping stations, clear canals, water banks and storm drains. Mohamed Abdel Aati, an official in the ministry, said in October that the preparation plan included maintenance of all pumping stations nationwide to be ready for sudden rains.

The ministry installed more than 25 emergency units in West Delta near the critical areas to avoid the recurrence of the 2015 floods. ]]>
12/11/2018 11:01:02 AM
<![CDATA[PM to witness Stiegler's Gorge dam's contract signing in Tanzania]]>
According to a Monday statement, Madbouly will be accompanied by a high level delegation.

On December 8, Sisi discussed in a phone call with his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli Stiegler's Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station's latest developments.

The dam will be constructed by The Arab Contractors Egyptian Company with a total cost of $3.6 billion.

Stiegler's Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station is expected to produce 5,920 GWh of power annually to fill the electricity and energy shortage in the country.

In October, Magufuli invited Sisi to lay the foundation stone of the dam Stiegler’s Gorge.
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 the economic cooperation and trade exchange, as well as the Egyptian investments in Tanzania.

Sisi was the first Egyptian president to visit Tanzania in August 2017 since 1968.
12/11/2018 10:56:01 AM
<![CDATA[Attack on Afghan intelligence service team kills four]]>
The official said it was a suicide attack on an operational team from the National Directorate for Security, but he gave no further details. ]]>
12/11/2018 8:19:40 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. military ends search for five Marines missing off Japan]]>
The five missing crew of a KC-130 Hercules refueling plane were officially declared deceased.

"We know this difficult decision was made after all resources were exhausted in the vigorous search for our Marines," Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell Maury, commander of the U.S. Marine Corps' (USMC) Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron, said in a statement.]]>
12/11/2018 8:17:07 AM
<![CDATA[ACA: Sisi launches 2nd phase of anti-graft strategy]]>
The Egyptian Administrative Control Authority (ACA), the country's anti-corruption body, said in a statement Monday that the second strategy complements the first one which was launched by the president in 2014.

The launch coincided with the International anti-corruption day on December 9.

The strategy's goals focus on developing anti-graft bodies and activating mechanisms of transparency and integrity at government offices along with modernizing judicial procedures to accelerate verdicts' issuance and increasing public awareness about the need to combat corruption.
12/10/2018 4:27:07 PM
<![CDATA[UK PM May has decided to pull vote on Brexit deal - BBC]]>
"Two cabinet sources tell me vote being pulled - not, repeat not, yet officially confirmed," Laura Kuenssberg said on Twitter.
12/10/2018 2:15:02 PM
<![CDATA[Factories forbidden from importing clothing resembling military uniforms]]>
The army warned against manufacturing or importing such fabrics or clothing so that terrorist elements would not use them to carry out attacks that put security and safety of citizens in danger.

The Armed Forces have announced several times seizing a number of military uniforms during the counter-terrorism operation dubbed "Comprehensive Operation – Sinai 2018," which has been launched since February to eliminate terrorist elements especially in North and Central Sinai.

In Central Sinai, the army seized ammunition, military uniforms, money, wireless communication devices, a lap top, a camera and containers that were filled with explosive materials - screen shot from the army statement/Ministry of Defence

An Alexandria security official announced in 2013 seizing a container at Dekheila port containing about 10,000 meters of military fabrics, MENA reported.

The then-military spokesman Ahmed Ali said that the shipment was on its way to Libya, adding that 93 parcels were seized containing uniforms similar to the military uniforms of the Egyptian Armed Forces, the Central Security Forces of the Ministry of Interior, and the military police of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

12/10/2018 1:25:20 PM
<![CDATA[Britain's Hunt warns of "real risks" if MPs reject Brexit deal]]>
May too was not comfortable with all elements of the deal, including the "backstop" arrangement to guarantee no return to a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, Hunt said.

"(But) it gives the vast majority of things that people voted for and there are real risks if we don't grab this opportunity while we have it," he said on arrival for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, a day before the vote in the British House of Commons.

He added that the European Court of Justice's ruling that Britain could reverse its decision to leave the bloc without consulting other EU member states was "irrelevant" because Britain intended to leave on March 29.

He said it was "certainly not the intention of the government" to delay Brexit.
12/10/2018 12:25:06 PM
<![CDATA[30 Russian companies to participate in Africa 2018's food exhibition]]>
The business delegation of the Russian companies headed by Vasily Osmakov, deputy minister of industry and trade, and other Russian officials will start its two-day visit to Cairo on Tuesday to enhance bilateral cooperation in trade, economy, as well as promotion and marketing of products to export-oriented suppliers to Egypt and African countries.

Russian Industry and Commerce organizes the visit, according to the statement.

A session will be held to discuss details of the Russian industrial zone that is set to be situated near the Suez Canal, with expected total investment of $7 billion, the statement read.

The Russian industrial zone (RIZ) will be established on an area of 5.25 million square meters and will be built over three phases, according to a statement issued earlier by the Suez Canal Economic Zone,

Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov said in July, 2017, that the RIZ will act as a platform for Russian products to enter the Egyptian and African markets.

“I see it as a hub. I believe it is a first stage in shaping basic platforms for spreading Russian goods in African countries," Kalamanov announced.

The session will also tackle establishing an integrated production complex inside the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which will provide new possibilities to some Russian exporters and suppliers who are willing to deal with the African and Middle East markets.

The session will be attended by a number of Egyptian officials including Ahmed al-Wakil, chairman of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), according to the statement.

The Russian delegation will visit some industrial facilities and Egyptian factories, according to the statement, and will also hold a number of meetings with business parties for Russian exporters and potential African partners.
12/10/2018 12:04:13 PM
<![CDATA[Trump backs $750 billion defense budget request to Congress -official]]>
Trump, faced with a budget deficit at a six-year high, told his Cabinet earlier this year to come up with proposals to cut spending by their agencies by 5 percent, but he suggested the military would be largely spared.

The $750 billion would be even more than the $733 billion requests that the Pentagon had been expected to make for the fiscal year 2020. It is also well above a $700 billion figure Trump cited in October.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had discussed the budget with Trump in recent days and outlined the risks of flat defense spending.

The official said that it was clear during that discussion that Trump wanted to "accelerate the progress his administration has made in rebuilding the military."

In August, Trump signed a $716 billion defense policy bill.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
12/10/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[N.Korean leader Kim Jong Un is unlikely to visit Seoul this year - YTN]]>
There had been speculation about whether Kim would visit Seoul before the end of the year after Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to the trip during their September summit in Pyongyang.]]>
12/10/2018 7:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Six Israelis wounded in Palestinian shooting attack -officials]]>
One woman was in critical condition, medical officials said.

"Shots were fired from a passing Palestinian vehicle towards Israeli civilians who were standing at the bus station," the Israeli army said. "Troops who were present nearby responded by firing towards the suspect vehicle, which fled."

Israeli forces were still searching for the attacker, it said.]]>
12/10/2018 6:15:36 AM
<![CDATA[Syrian air defences intercept enemy targets around Damascus]]>
"Our air defences intercepted enemy aerial targets in the vicinity of Damascus international airport in southern Damascus," SANA added.
12/9/2018 10:05:04 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi-led coalition issues permits for vessels for Yemeni ports]]>]]>12/9/2018 9:52:39 PM<![CDATA[Iran's Rouhani says OPEC decision to cut output was defeat for U.S. meddling]]>
OPEC and its Russia-led allies agreed to slash oil production by more than the market had expected, after pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to reduce the price of crude.

"Despite U.S. attempts to interfere in OPEC affairs and prevent a balancing of oil supply, fortunately with the resistance of member states and the efforts of Iran and Mr(Iranian Oil Minister Bijan) Zanganeh, this plan was neutralised and there was a defeat for America's policy of meddling," IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying.
12/9/2018 9:47:26 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt hosts ‘Coast and Desert’ in Mohamed Naguib military base]]>
This comes as part of the army’s, as well as the political leadership’s focus, on strengthening ties with neighbouring states and allies.

The training began with the participating forces from different countries lining up in order to integrate forces and coordinate the implementation of planned training programs, as well as understand the different ways in which each group operates. This also included an exhibition of weapons and equipment involved in training.

Egypt hosts ‘Coast and Desert’ in Mohamed Naguib military base - Egypt Today

Among the countries taking part of the military training are Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria and Burkina Faso, all of whom are part of the first division. The training of the first division involves courter terrorism and hostage situation training, with the aim of unifying and solidifying the African armed forces and ensure they are able to work as one and respond quickly to sensitive situations.

A significant number of sub-Saharan and coastal states are taking part in this military training. Although they are all split into different divisions, they are all working towards solidifying the African front and working as one.

12/9/2018 6:56:35 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo court adjourns trial of 32 defendants in "Helwan & Giza Cell" case until Dec. 24]]>
The court decided to delay the "Helwan and Giza Cells" case on Sunday to allow more time for hearing the pleadings of the defense team.

The prosecution had accused the defendants of committing 19 terrorist crimes against police personnel, forced robbery and sabotaging police and government property.

The defendants had adopted a strategy to attack checkpoints on roads and then flee on motorcycles.

They face charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder of police personnel, as well as resisting the authorities and possessing firearms and explosives.

They are also accused of joining a group that promotes charges of infidelity against the ruler and attacks state institutions.]]>
12/9/2018 2:17:51 PM
<![CDATA[Parliament's Arab affairs committee lauds Egypt's role in Syria]]>
The committee, in a meeting under MP Ahmed Raslan and in the presence of Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab Affairs Mohamed el Badri, stressed that restoring the national state is the only solution to the Syrian crisis and other crises in the Middle East.

He termed as positive the Egyptian role that aims at preserving the integrity of the Syrian lands.

He referred to Egypt's hosting of Syrian refugees, urging the international community to intervene and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to flash points in Syria.]]>
12/9/2018 2:08:59 PM
<![CDATA[UK parliament vote on Brexit deal to go ahead on Tuesday - minister]]>
“My understanding is that we will have a vote on Tuesday and we are looking to win that vote,” Kwarteng told Sky News. “We have got a good shot of winning.”]]>
12/9/2018 2:06:18 PM
<![CDATA[Bahrain criticises Qatar emir for not attending GCC summit]]>
Qatar sent its state minister for foreign affairs to the summit, which is taking place amid a bitter dispute between Doha and three Gulf Arab states who severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in mid-2017.

"Qatar's emir should have accepted the fair demands (of the boycotting states) and attended the summit," Sheikh Khalid said in his tweet.]]>
12/9/2018 1:37:41 PM
<![CDATA[Russian human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva dies aged 91]]>
"This is a huge loss for the entire human rights movement in Russia," Mikhail Fedotov, head of the Kremlin Human Rights Council, said in a statement.

Alexeyeva died at about 1630 GMT Saturday in a Moscow hospital, he added.

"It was not the first time that she was in this hospital, doctors had already revived her several times in the most difficult of situations. But there are situations in which doctors can do nothing," he added.

"She had been struggling with illness recently, but her mind was always stronger than her body and far stronger than any disease."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin, of whom Alexeyeva was a strong critic, had sent a message of condolences to her family.

The president "greatly appreciates Lyudmila Alexeyeva's contribution to the development of civil society in Russia and had great respect for her point of view on several issues concerning the life of the country," Russian news agencies quoted Peskov as saying.

Alexeyeva had been the leader of the Moscow Helsinki Group, one of Russia's oldest human rights organisations which she helped found in 1976.

The group lamented the loss of a "legendary, wise and humane person who remained a defender of human rights until the last moments of her life".

Russia's rights ombudswoman Tatiana Moskalkova also mourned Alexeyeva.

"For those who have appreciated democracy in the past, for those who appreciate it now, and those who will appreciate it in the future, Lyudmila Mikhaylovna has always been and will always be a symbol of honesty and the uncompromising struggle for human rights," Moskalkova told the Interfax news agency.

Fighting for dissidents

Alexeyeva, who trained as an archeologist, said that like many Soviet citizens she cried when the Josef Stalin died in 1953.

Her economist father and mathematician mother were both Communists who venerated Lenin.

But she lost confidence in the Soviet system when Stalin's crimes were revealed by new leader Nikita Khrushchev.

In the late 1950s, her apartment became a meeting place for the Soviet dissident intelligentsia, and a point for storing and distributing banned publications.

She campaigned against trials for dissidents, losing her job as a science publisher and enduring numerous searches and interrogations at the hands of the KGB.

With her security under threat, she left the USSR in 1977 to live in the United States, continuing her fight from afar through her writing.

She returned to Russia in 1993 with liberals hopeful of a new era after the Soviet Union's collapse under President Boris Yeltsin.

But Yeltsin's presidency collapsed into economic chaos and the horror of the first Chechen war, followed by a new clampdown on civil society after Putin took over in 2000.

Putin era

Alexeyeva's job was not done.

After protests in the winter of 2011-2012 spawned hopes of a new beginning, the Kremlin responded with restrictions on non-governmental organisations.

Alexeyeva refused to register the Moscow Helsinki Group as a "foreign agent" as required by a new law, instead cutting staff and foreign funding to get around the measure.

She slammed Moscow's seizure of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 for "bringing shame on my country".

The following year, she denounced the "awful political killing" of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

She also tried to shed light on the fate of accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison after accusing Russian officials of tax fraud, and denounced the imprisonment of anti-Kremlin tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

On Alexeyeva's 90th birthday, Putin gave her a state award for "outstanding achievements in the protection of human rights, and praised her "courage".

The European Parliament in 2009 awarded Alexeyeva the prestigious Sakharov Prize for defenders of human thought, along with the Memorial human rights group.

"If I save even one person, it's already a true joy," she said at the time.]]>
12/9/2018 1:34:15 PM
<![CDATA[France's Macron to make "important announcements" in coming week]]>
"The President of the Republic will of course make important announcements," government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said on LCI television. He gave no details about timing or about what Macron could announce.

Senior allies of Macron said on Friday that the president would address the nation early in the coming week. Macron has already scrapped a planned fuel tax increase but the move has failed to end the "yellow vest" protest movement, which demands lower taxes, higher minimum wages and better pension benefits. ]]>
12/9/2018 1:30:38 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt chairs Arab tourism council meetings]]>
The meetings will be held at the premises of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria.

Among the topics on the agenda is a plan to provide tourism statistics and information to boost the Arab tourism strategy, said the Egyptian tourism ministry in a statement on Sunday.

Mashat is also set to attend a separate meeting of the Arab culture and tourism ministers at Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA).

Palestine chaired the 20th session of the Arab ministerial tourism council in Cairo.]]>
12/9/2018 1:18:07 PM
<![CDATA[Attorney general refers Zoo's warehouse manager to investigation ]]>
The investigations revealed that the defendant has been selling the skin sat auction since taking office in 2015.

It is worth mentioning, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met on November 2018,with Chairman of the Administrative Control Authority Sherif Seif El-Dinto discuss the national anti-corruption strategy in preparation for its launch, stated presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi.

The Egyptian leadership realizes that corruption can cause deviation of authority, provide an opportunity for organized crimes to occur, and can lead to inequity among citizens and mistrust of government. Thus, the country is committed to taking positive steps to promote transparency and establish a sound anti corruption framework.

These positive steps include ratifying the 2005 U.N. convention against Corruption (UNDAC) and the U.N. convention against Transitional Organized Crime (UNTOC). In addition, Egypt became a state party in the Arab League pan-Arab anti-corruption instruments, the Arab Convention to Fight Corruption in 2014.

Egypt has also implemented institutional reforms and deepened its partnerships with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) on anti-corruption and anti-money laundering. Cooperation efforts with the EU and UN include providing technical and institutional support, and training prosecutors to fight corruption.

12/9/2018 12:09:31 PM
<![CDATA[30 Egyptian expats to take part in Egypt Can conference]]>
The event is organized by the Immigration Ministry in cooperation with the education and higher education ministries.

In statements, Immigration Minister Nabila Makram said the previous editions of the conference were very successful and linked Egyptian scientists abroad with their homeland and got them more involved in their country's development issues.

The coming edition of the conference will focus on education in Egypt as part of efforts to develop the educational system .]]>
12/9/2018 11:39:52 AM
<![CDATA[Over 1,700 arrested in latest 'yellow vest' protests in France]]>
Clashes broke out in the French capital and other several cities, including Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon and Toulouse, during a fourth weekend of nationwide protests against rising living costs and President Emmanuel Macron in general.

The embattled president -- whose name rang out across the Champs-Elysees as protesters shouted "Macron, resign" -- is expected to address the demonstrations in a much-anticipated speech in the coming days.

A total 1,220 of the 1,723 detained were ordered held in custody, the ministry said.

Police in Paris said they made 1,082 arrests on Saturday, up sharply from 412 in the previous round.

The interior ministry said some 136,000 people took part in Saturday's protests across France, around the same number as on December 1.

But it was Paris which again bore the brunt of the violence and destruction.

Protesters in the capital set fire to cars, burned barricades and smashed windows in pockets of violence, clad in their emblematic luminous safety jackets, as armoured vehicles rolled through the streets.

City authorities said the 'yellow vests' had caused "much more damage" than on December 1 protests.

"The sector concerned by the incidents was much larger... With fewer barricades, there was much more dispersion, so many more places were impacted by violence," Paris deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire told France Inter radio.

"There was much more damage yesterday than there was a week ago."]]>
12/9/2018 11:26:38 AM
<![CDATA[Immigration minister takes part in UN conference on migration in Marakesh]]>
In a statement released on Sunday, the Ministry of immigration said the minister's participation in the two-day conference comes as part of a national strategy to combat illegal immigration and boost cooperation with international organizations participating in the conference.

The Conference convenes under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly and is held pursuant to resolution 71/1 of 19 September 2016, entitled "New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants," which decided to launch a process of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration.]]>
12/9/2018 11:20:44 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi witnesses official inauguration of Africa 2018 Forum]]>
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, a number of ministers along with African heads of state and senior officials are attending the forum.

Sisi took part on Saturday in a session on "entrepreneurship leaders in Africa" which preceded the official inauguration of the forum.

Around 10 African presidents and heads of state along with 2,000 business figures and investors from Egypt, Africa and various world countries are taking part in the two-day event.]]>
12/9/2018 11:12:57 AM
<![CDATA[Banker referred to court for LE3 million embezzlement ]]>
The incident occured in 2010 when Fadya took the money from a safe she was in charge of. The owner of a jewelry shop confessed that the defendant bought from him jewelry worth LE5 million.

The witness admitted that the defendant used to buy jewelry from him and resell them in lower prices so she became indebted. Thus, she embezzled the sum from her workplace.

The defendant said she returned LE174,000 of damaged money, while paid the rest to the witness who returned LE1.4 million after she was arrested in 2010.

12/9/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Video: French protester slams State Police over brutality]]>
The protester appears in a video while yelling at French security forces currently dealing with protests in the French capital of Paris. "But look what you do to us! You should be ashamed of yourselves, we do not even hate you! You should be with us, for the people, for France, for our homeland, for our Nation!,” said the protester in a dramatic approach.

France is witnessing a wide social unrest caused by government’s tax reforms, a movement called “The Yellow vests” stands behind the heating protests in all of the French cities.

12/8/2018 9:38:37 PM
<![CDATA[Sunday to see cold weather at night; low chance of rain]]>
The head of Egypt’s Meteorological Authority (EMA), Ahmed Abdel Aal stated that as of Saturday, chance of precipitation is low, while the temperature degrees will continue to decline across the country. Abdel Aal advised citizens to wear heavy clothes especially during the late hours.

For temperature degrees on Sunday, Cairo is expected to see highs of 19°C and lows of 14°C; Alexandria will record 18°C during the day and 14 at night. In Upper Egypt, the weather will be warmer during the day hours, with Qena recording 21°C and Aswan reaching 22 °C.
12/8/2018 4:50:22 PM
<![CDATA[2 terrorists involved in Minya monastery attack killed]]>
The move came as a result of hunting down the perpetrators of the terrorist attack in a desert area in Assiut, the ministry added.

On November 2, a number of terrorists targeted a bus carrying Copts while returning from the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Minya.]]>
12/8/2018 4:32:40 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi attaches special importance to women role in Africa after chairing AU: Immigration min.]]>
Addressing a session on political empowerment of women in Africa, held on the fringe of Africa 2018 Forum convening here, the minister said Egypt has witnessed big changes in the political, economic and social aspects of live.

She said women are heading eight portfolios in the Egyptian government, citing the ministries of investment, environment, tourism, health, planning, immigration and culture which she described as very critical files.

She also highlighted that Egyptian women representation in parliament which exceeded 30 percent of the parliament's seats.

Makram also pressed the need for consolidating efforts among African countries to exchange expertise on the need for enhancing the role of women in the political, economic and social fields.

The minister also pointed out to the role of women in Egypt's political life over the past few years and their high turnout in the elections. ]]>
12/8/2018 2:57:53 PM
<![CDATA[In Pics: French police clash with 'yellow vest' protesters in Paris]]>
Authorities said 575 people had been searched and briefly arrested and 361 people of them remained in custody after police found potential weapons such as hammers, baseball bats and metal petanque balls on them.


Hundreds of protesters were milling around the Arc de Triomphe monument, which was defaced with anti-Macron graffiti last Saturday, when rioters also torched dozens of cars and looted shops in the worst rioting in Paris since May 1968.

A police spokeswoman told reporters there were about 1,500 protesters on the Champs Elysees boulevard. Large groups of people spilled into other areas and heading to eastern Paris, where a march against climate change was scheduled for the afternoon. Some also temporarily blocked the ring road circling central Paris.

"We took the train for 11 hours just to protest today. We feel scorned by these technocrats that govern us," said Gilles Noblet, a demonstrator from the southwest region of Ariege.


Prime Minister Edouard Philippe appealed for restraint.

"We will do all we can so that today can be a day without violence, so that the dialogue that we started this week can continue in the best possible circumstances," he said on French television.

On Tuesday, Philippe announced the government was suspending planned increases to fuel taxes for at least six months to help defuse weeks of protests, the first U-turn by Macron since he came to power 18 months ago.

About 89,000 police were deployed across France on Saturday, some 8,000 of them in Paris.


"We have prepared a robust response," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told online news site Brut. He called on peaceful protesters not to get mixed up with "hooligans".

"The troublemakers can only be effective when they disguise themselves as yellow vests. Violence is never a good way to get what you want. Now is the time for discussion," he said.


"We have come here for a peaceful march, not to smash things. We want equality, we want to live, not survive," said Guillaume Le Grac, 28, who works in a slaughterhouse in the town of Guingamp in Britanny.

Protesters, using social media, have billed the weekend as "Act IV" in a dramatic challenge to Macron and his policies.

Small groups of riot police moved quickly among protestors and clamped down on anyone trying to damage shops or public amenities.

Much of Paris looked like a ghost town, with museums, department stores closed on what should have been a festive pre-Christmas shopping day.

Many shops were boarded up to avoid looting and street furniture and construction site materials have been removed to prevent them from being used as projectiles.

Tourists were few and residents were advised to stay at home if at all possible. Dozens of streets were closed to traffic, while the Eiffel Tower and world-famous museums such as the Musee d'Orsay, the Centre Pompidou and the Louvre were shut.


"Tourists are a bit disoriented - no subway, no shopping, no museums... but they seem to take it in their stride," said hotel receptionist Pascal, who declined to give his surname.

The protests, named after the high-visibility safety jackets French motorists have to keep in their cars, erupted in November over the squeeze on household budgets caused by fuel taxes.

Demonstrations have since swelled into a broad, sometimes violent rebellion against Macron, a challenge made more difficult to handle since the movement has no formal leader.

Authorities say the protests have been hijacked by far-right and anarchist elements bent on violence and stirring up social unrest in a direct affront to Macron and the security forces.

Despite the government's climbdown over the fuel tax, the 'yellow vests' continue to demand more concessions, including lower taxes, a higher minimum wage, lower energy costs, better retirement benefits and even Macron's resignation.


12/8/2018 2:46:51 PM
<![CDATA[Trial of 213 Ansar Beit El Maqdis terrorists postponed till Dec. 15]]>
The decision came to continue hearing the witnesses' testimonies.

The crimes committed by the defendants include a failed assassination attempt against former interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim, the murder of a number of police officers and setting fire to security facilities, including the security directorates of Cairo, Dakahlia and South Sinai.

Investigations revealed that the defendants were trained in the camps of Ezzel Din el Qassam, the military wing of Palestinian movement Hamas and that they plotted to target ships transiting the Suez Canal.

They also face charges of joining a terrorist group aiming at disrupting national security, collaborating with a foreign organization represented in Hamas to sabotage State institutions, illegal possession of arms and ammunition and premeditated murder.

Investigations also showed that ousted president Mohamed Morsi was in contact with the militant group leaderships while he was in power, when they agreed that Hamas would not carry out any terrorist attacks as long as he was in office.

The 54 terrorist crimes the defendants are implicated in had left 42 policemen and 15 civilians dead and 349 others wounded.

Ansar Beit El Maqdis has claimed responsibility for most of the major attacks against security forces and their installations, with the deadliest assaults taking place in Sinai.]]>
12/8/2018 2:34:31 PM
<![CDATA[Supply min. inaugurates "Food Africa 2018" exhibition]]>
The exhibition is set up on an area of 10,000 meters with the participation of more than 300 companies and exhibitors including 45 percent foreign delegations and 55 percent Egyptian companies and manufacturers.

Moselhi said in a statement that the three previous editions of the exhibition contributed to making it one of the most important fairs specialized in the food sector, not only in Egypt but also at the Arab and African levels.

About 320 local and international companies, representing 32 countries, participate in the exhibition, Moselhi added.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, China, France, South Africa, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, India and Pakistan take part in the event. ]]>
12/8/2018 2:25:59 PM
<![CDATA[70 arrested in Brussels during 'yellow vest' protest]]>
The area housing European institutions including the offices of the European Commission and the European Parliament was sealed off as a precautionary measure.

Police put up barricades there and both vehicles and pedestrians were denied access.

The protesters gathered in two districts of the city -- Arts Lois and Porte de Namur -- but there were no incidents of violence.

"There have been around 70 arrests following checks carried out as a preventive measure," Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van De Keere told AFP.

According to Belga news agency, young protesters blocked a highway linking Brussels to the town of Rekkem in Flanders, located near the French border.

They also put up a barricade near the Franco-Belgian border close to Adinkerque, Belga said.

The "yellow vest" movement in France originally started as a protest about planned fuel hikes but has morphed into a mass protest against President Emmanuel Macron's policies and top-down style of governing.

It has spilled over to some other countries, including Belgium and especially in the country's French-speaking region.

On November 30, a "yellow vest" protest by some 300 people in Brussels degenerated into violence in which two police vehicles were torched.]]>
12/8/2018 2:10:56 PM
<![CDATA[Gov't takes protective measures to avoid heavy rainfall risks]]>
The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation has spread equipment in the North Coast, and border governorates to dig up channels to prevent water accumulation and be directed to lower areas outside villages, and streams. That is in addition to building sand barriers in cooperation with residents to protect houses and crops, especially in Northern governorates.

The equipment include 190 excavators, 53 loaders, 47 suction vehicles, 22 lorries, and 367 tractors, and 18 dump trucks.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources established follow-up committees, activated emergency centers, maintained and cleared flood control channels, updated the list of villages and residential areas at risk.

Moreover the ministry lowered water levels in drainage basins directing their content to the Nile River, and controlled water levels of barrages.

12/8/2018 12:35:02 PM
<![CDATA[French police use tear gas against protesters in central Paris]]>
A police spokeswoman told reporters there were about 1,500 protesters on the Champs Elysees and authorities said 127 people had been placed under arrest after police found weapons such as hammers, baseball bats and metal petanque balls on them.

Some 8,000 police were deployed in Paris to avoid a repeat of last Saturday's mayhem, when rioters torched cars and looted shops off the Champs Elysees boulevard, and defaced the Arc de Triomphe monument with graffiti directed at President Emmanuel Macron. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq Editing by Gareth Jones)

12/8/2018 12:10:37 PM
<![CDATA[14.2M examined in ‘100 Million Seha’ campaign to end Hepatitis C in Egypt ]]>
She added in a Friday statement that the total number of examined Egyptians has reached 14.2 Million until now. “About 500, 000 Egyptian are being examined daily since the beginning of phase two of the initiative, which kicked off in December.” Zayed explained.

Photo courtesy of ‘100 Million Seha’ official facebook page

Minster of Health also, has welcomed several international officials and representatives during the past period, whom showed great interest in the governmental campaign. “We are looking for conveying the Egyptian experience to stop Hepatitis C to all other countries around the world, including Africa.” World Bank’s Health and Nutrition Manager in the Middle East North Africa Region, Ernest Massiah, said during his visit to Cairo following up with the governmental Campaign.

He affirmed that the initiative has proven positive effect on Egyptian’s health.

In November, Zayed said that the second phase of the state’s campaign to end Hepatitis C in Egypt by 2020 will be implemented starting December 1.

The second phase was announced to include 11 governorates, including Cairo, North Sinai, Red Sea, Ismailia, Suez, Kafr el-Sheikh, Menoufia, Beni Suef, Sohag, Luxor, and Aswan. The second phase is set to end late in February 2019.

In October, Zayed said that a campaign to test people for Hepatitis C would run from October 1 to the end of April 2019, stressing that patients would receive treatment for one to one and a half year to announce Egypt free from the blood-borne disease by 2020 or 2021.

Concerning the first phase of the campaign, Khaled Megahed, the Health Ministry spokesman said about 10 million citizens were examined for Hepatitis C within 90 days.

Zayed revealed that 422,000 people of the total number of people examined tested positive for Hepatitis C.

She earlier said that the tests revealed that 4.5 percent of the examined citizens as part of the campaign’s first phase tested positive for Hepatitis C.

The first phase of the campaign was carried out in nine governorates including Alexandria, Damietta, Qalyubia, Port Said, Marsa Matrouh, South Sinai, Beheira, Fayoum and Assiut.

In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that at least one in 10 Egyptians aged between 15 and 59 are infected, adding that the virus kills an estimated 40,000 Egyptians a year due to lack of awareness.

Hence, the government has been making strides to combat hepatitis C by launching the national anti-HCV program across Egypt to eliminate the hepatitis C virus (HCV) under the directive of President Sisi. The efforts of the campaign were recognized by the WHO in 2016 during a visit by WHO Director-General Margret Chan.

Since the launch of the program, 1.4 million citizens infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have been treated, and the government is still looking to fully cure 1.5 million more during 2018.

12/8/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi to participate in 'African young entrepreneurs' session]]>
According to a statement issued by the Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi that today's session is aimed at supporting the potentials of the African youths in entrepreneurship and innovation domains.

President Sisi will deliver a speech on Egypt's vision towards backing and empowering the youth, the spokesman added.

The Rwandan president, chairperson of the African Union Commission and the secretary general of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) will also take part in today's session along with senior African businessmen and heads of major companies operating in Africa, Radi noted.]]>
12/8/2018 11:39:34 AM
<![CDATA[Hundreds detained in Paris as France braces for new anti-Macron riots]]>
Clad in their luminous road safety jackets, dozens of demonstrators -- who accuse President Emmanuel Macron of only looking out for the rich -- gathered at dawn on the Champs-Elysees, the scene last Saturday of the worst rioting in Paris for decades.

"We had to come to Paris to be heard," said protester Herve Benoit, arriving with three friends from the Dordogne in western France.

He called on the government to boost people's spending power and increase taxes on the wealthiest.

France Info journalist Louise Hemmerlé on the 4th weekend of protests
By 8.40 am (0740 GMT) police had already detained 278 people.

Some 8,000 police were deployed, carrying out checks on people arriving at train stations and at protest hotspots such as the Champs-Elysees and Bastille monument.

A source close to the operation told AFP that at least 34 people were arrested for carrying masks, hammers, slingshots and rocks that could be used to attack police.

Thousands of security forces deployed across France
Protesters, using social media, have billed the weekend as "Act IV" in a dramatic challenge to Macron and his policies.

The protests, named after the high-visibility safety jackets French motorists have to keep in their cars, erupted in November over the squeeze on household budgets caused by fuel taxes.

Demonstrations have since swelled into a broad, sometimes-violent rebellion against Macron - a challenge made more difficult to handle since the movement has no formal leader.

Authorities say the protests have been hijacked by far-right and anarchist elements bent on violence and stirring up social unrest in a direct affront to Macron and the security forces.

Nonetheless, the 40-year-old Macron, whose popularity is at a low ebb according to polls, has been forced into making the first major U-turn of his presidency by abandoning a fuel tax.

Senior allies of Macron said the president would address the nation early next week. Navigating his biggest crisis since being elected 18 months ago, Macron has left it largely to his prime minister, Édouard Philippe, to deal in public with the
turmoil and offer concessions.

But the 40-year-old is under mounting pressure to speak more fully as his administration tries to regain the initiative following three weeks of unrest.

"The President will speak early next week. I think this is what the French people want, they want answers," Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne told Sud Radio on Friday.

Macron has not spoken in public since he condemned last Saturday's disturbances while at the G20 summit in Argentina and opposition leaders accused him of turning the Elysee Palace into a bunker where had taken cover.

'Is Macron still in Argentina?'

"Is Macron still in Argentina? He must surely have an opinion," hard-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon said on Twitter on Tuesday.

"The president himself must speak," main opposition conservative Republicains leader Laurent Wauquiez told Europe 1 radio on Thursday.

Despite the climbdown, the "yellow vests" continue to demand more concessions from the government, including lower taxes, higher salaries, cheaper energy costs, better retirement provisions and even Macron's resignation.

One of them, Eric Drouet, a truck driver, called on protesters to storm into the Elysee presidential palace. An Elysee official has said intelligence suggested that some protesters would come to the capital "to vandalise and to kill".

Macron, who has not spoken in public since he condemned last Saturday's disturbances while at the G20 summit in Argentina, will address the nation early next week, his office said.

On Friday evening, he visited a group of police in their barracks outside Paris, his office said.

Navigating his biggest crisis since being elected 18 months ago, Macron has left it largely to his prime minister, Edouard Philippe, to deal in public with the turmoil and offer concessions.

But he is under pressure to speak more fully as his administration tries to regain the initiative following three weeks of unrest that are the worst since the 1968 student riots.

In a sign the concessions offered by the government may be starting to weaken support for the movement, two opinion polls showed a decline in popularity for the "yellow vests" on Friday.

The protests were supported by 66 percent of respondents in an Ifop-Fiducial poll for CNews TV, down six percentage points since a previous poll carried out on December 3-4.]]>
12/8/2018 11:32:38 AM
<![CDATA[Africa Forum 2018 kicks off under Sisi's patronage in Sharm el Sheikh]]>
More than 3,000 entrepreneurs from Africa are participating in the investment forum.

Several sessions will be held on the first day of the forum under the theme "Entrepreneurs Day", including one on strengthening regional economic systems in Africa which will tackle means of consolidating cross-border cooperation and opening up new markets for African economic blocs.

Another session is to be held on policies of African countries in light of developments being witnessed in the entrepreneurship domain in Africa, with the participation of Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Finance Minister Mohamed Maait.

A session on increasing the volume of the economic growth is set to be held as part of today's activities.

A number of sessions on empowering the African woman will be also held as part of today's activities, including a round table discussion on the importance of gender equality in achieving Africa's progress.

Another session is set to discuss the role of women in outlining policies of the African continent with the participation of Immigration Minister Nabila Makram, Environment Minister Yasmeen Fouad, Mali's Foreign Minister Kamissa Camara and COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe.

A number of agreements will be signed on the sidelines of the first day of the forum.]]>
12/8/2018 11:14:26 AM
<![CDATA[Fishing boat drowns in Alexandria due to unstable weather]]>
The boat was drifted away after colliding with rocks according to eyewitnesses; however, no injuries or victims were reported as a result of the incident.

Alexandria eastern port was reported to wittiness several similar incidents for fishing boats during the past couple days due to wind intensity and high waves.

During the past three days, Egypt has been witnessing heavy rains and stormy winds. The government has announced that it is fully prepared for the upcoming winter season, heightening necessary measures to combat expected floods and prevent any relevant problems of accumulated rainwater in the streets.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation has worked on finishing the preparations for winter rains and downpours by carrying out a plan to check the pumping stations, clear canals, water banks and storm drains. Mohamed Abdel Aati, an official in the ministry, said in October that the preparation plan included maintenance of all pumping stations nationwide to be ready for sudden rains.

The ministry installed more than 25 emergency units in West Delta near the critical areas to avoid the recurrence of the 2015 floods.

However, Meteorological experts said on Friday that Cairo is expected to see improvement in temperature starting Saturday after a wave of unstable weather. The temperature will see mild cold in northern and southern Upper Egypt during the night hours, but will remain moderate during the day.

Experts also expected that northern coasts to see rainfall. A morning mist will exist and wind will be active on the eastern parts of the northern coasts, which might result in a disrupt in navigation.

12/8/2018 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[China’s Qingdao Sifang to design, develop 22 trains for Egypt ]]>
According to Chinese media outlets, these trains will be equipped with 132 carriages for the railway linking Cairo to the 10th of Ramadan. The trains will be designed to travel at a speed of 120 kilometers per hour on a 68 kilometer railway with 11 stations. The Company has offered a 12-year maintenance service for the trains.

Earlier in November, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly praised the positive role played by the Egyptian-Chinese Business Council to strengthen relations between the two countries. During his participation in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) on behalf of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, attended by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, Madbouly, Madbouly called on all delegations to have a look at the Egyptian products and what the country has to offer.

Madbouli thanked the Chinese president and people for inviting Egypt to attend the event as a guest of honor. This invitation mirrored China's keenness on boosting trade and economic cooperation with Egypt, he said.

China is Egypt's fourth largest trade partner and Egypt is also China's fourth largest trade partner in the African continent, Madbouli said.

According to the 2017 statistics, bilateral trade between the two countries reached 11 billion dollars with the trade balance tilted towards the Chinese side. This demonstrates the importance of heightening joint efforts for balanced trade between the two countries.

However, Since President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi came to power, the relationship between Egypt and China has developed.

Five Egyptian-Chinese summits have been held in the last three years which means that about one-third of all summit meetings between the two countries in history were held by Sisi’s presidency in only three years.

12/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi, Magufuli discuss Stiegler's Gorge dam latest development ]]>
According to statement issued by presidency spokesperson Bassam Rady, Sisi affirmed Egypt’s participation with a high level delegation during the signing ceremony of the dam’s construction contract on December 12.

The dam will be constructed by The Arab Contractors Egyptian Company.

Stiegler's Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station expected to produce 5,920GWh of power annually to fill the electricity and energy shortage inside the country, with a total cost of $3.6 billion.

In October, Magufuli invited Sisi to lay the foundation stone of the dam Stiegler’s Gorge.
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

12/8/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt investigates porn video allegedly shot atop Giza Pyramid]]>
Climbing the Giza Plateau is considered illegal, according to the head of the archaeological site, who ruled out the Danish couple have climbed up the Khufu Pyramid amid existing tight security presence.

The photographer Andreas Hvid posted a porn video on his Youtube channel, showing him and his girl friend climbing to a pyramid top, referring to it as Giza Pyramid in Egypt.

In the video description, Hvid wrote “In late November 2018, a friend and I climbed the Great Pyramid of Giza (a.k.a. Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Cheops). Fearing to be spotted by the many guards, I did not film the several hours of sneaking around at the Giza Plateau, which lead up to the climb.”

The video has been circulate on social media, with some angry comments describing it as tarnishing the historic site.

The director of Pyramids archaeological area Asharf Mohey said he will file a report to the prosecution demanding an official investigation into the explicit video.

Earlier, Mohey made remarks on the video as “fake and unreal,” saying that climbing the pyramid is impossible due to restrictions. He further suspected its authenticity, referring to a “strange” light appeared in the footage that does not resemble the real view of the site that is closed everyday at 5pm.

In 2015, Egypt investigated a 10-minute unlawful footage of pornographic scenes in the area of the Pyramids made by a foreign female tourist. ]]>
12/7/2018 3:40:41 PM
<![CDATA[Weather sees improvement Saturday after unstable wave ]]>
The temperature will see mild cold in northern and southern Upper Egypt during the night hours, but will remain moderate during the day.

Experts also expected that northern coasts to see rainfall. A morning mist will exist and wind will be active on the eastern parts of the northern coasts, which might result in a disrupt in navigation.

For temperature degrees, Cairo will see highs of 20°C and lows of 14°C on Saturday. Alexandria will see highs of 19°C and lows of 15°C; Matrouh will record 19°C during the day and 14°C at night. Upper Egypt governorates will see warmer mornings, reaching highs of 22°C in Qena and Aswan.
12/7/2018 2:29:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, KSA, UAE to share knowledge via Arab Digital union ]]>
This came on the last day of the Knowledge Summit 2018 held on December 5-6 at the Dubai World Trade Centre under the theme “Youth and the Future of the Knowledge Economy, and organized by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF).

The Arab Digital Union will bring together the Saudi Digital Library, Egypt’s Knowledge Bank (EKB), and the Dubai Digital Library.

“The Arab digital union is a dream that eventually comes true. It is a chance to share the data of the Egyptian knowledge bank with all Arabs” stated Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawki during the summit.

Shawki added “the launch of the Arab digital union will help consolidate the cultural exchange among the Arab nations, as well as help the growth of partnerships based on knowledge and culture.”

“The union of Arab digital libraries aims to enrich culture and knowledge on internet and access authenticated data in all categories all over the world,” explained the executive chief of MBRF, Jamal bin Huwaireb.

Bin Huwarieb further said that they seek “to get benefits from the Saudi digital library that was awarded MBRF`s prize this year, and the Egyptian knowledge bank in a way that guarantees the spread of knowledge in each and every region.”

The Egyptian Knowledge Bank is one of the largest national education projects in Egypt. It houses the largest digital library and online knowledge centre, providing access to free education in addition to contributing to the production and dissemination of knowledge to Egyptian universities, institutes, and research centers.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Digital Library has the largest collection of digital information resources in the Arab World, with more than 680,000 digital books and 174 international and Arab databases for academic articles and multimedia materials serving more than 6 million users.
12/7/2018 2:15:20 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi makes bicycle tour in Sharm el Sheikh]]>
He stopped at checkpoints at the entrance of Sharm el-Sheikh and Ras Muhammad National Park, where he greeted policemen serving there, according to a press statement by the the presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi.

Africa Forum 2018 is set to kick off Saturday in Sharm el-Sheikh resort, where leaders and businessmen will be attending to discuss ways to enhance economic cooperation and investment throughout the continent.

President Sisi makes an inspection tour on bicycle in Sharm el-Sheikh - Press photo

President Sisi makes an inspection tour on bicycle in Sharm el-Sheikh - Press photo
12/7/2018 12:48:38 PM
<![CDATA[640 prisoners pardoned for October victory anniversary]]>
The total number of freed prisoners has reached 1067 by November 24. Prisoners, who received presidential pardons and conditional release, remain under observation for a designated period of time.

In 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.

On November, 28, a total of 578 prisoners were released on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of October 6 victory as per decree no. 455/2018 issued by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
12/7/2018 12:20:35 PM
<![CDATA[Africa 2018 Forum kicks off communication platform among investors, govts]]>
Via its cooperation with regional and international governments and organizations, COMESA RIA seeks to facilitate communication and getting acquainted with investment opportunities inside Africa, Salama told MENA a day before the forum.

In the same regard, she lauded the efforts of the Egyptian government, which she said presents a model to follow in Africa to support integration among the continent’s countries.

Africa 2018 Forum, organized by COMESA and the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, will kick off Saturday in Sharm el Sheikh resort city under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

The two-day event will bring together more than 3,000 African and international figures, topped by several African heads of state. ]]>
12/7/2018 12:14:05 PM
<![CDATA[New Egyptian ambassador hails deeply-rooted ties with Kenya]]>
In his speech, the ambassador hailed deeply-rooted relations binding the two countries, pledging to spare no effort to boost them in the current period, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

In turn, Kenyatta greeted President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and the Egyptian people, expressing his intention to meet an invitation to visit Egypt soon.

In March, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry paid a visit to Nairobi, where he met with his Kenyan counterpart , and discussed with her ways to boost bilateral relations, and enhance counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries. Both sides also discussed developments of the GERD negotiations, and relations among Nile Basin countries.

Bounded by the Nile River, both states' heads met last year in Nairobi to celebrate historic ties, and ensure continuity of improving trade. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi promised to guarantee fair use of the waters of the world's longest river. Both leaders agreed to increase the bilateral trade to $1 billion over two years, after the trade volume reached $451 million in 2016. They also discussed importance of conclusion of bilateral agreements on the avoidance of double taxation to protect investment opportunities.

Kenya’s major export to Egypt is tea, which comprises 96 per cent of the goods sold to the North African country. Egypt sells here manufactured goods which include sugar and sanitary products, according to the Daily Nation news website.

Egypt and Kenya are member states of the free trade area of COMESA.

Additional reporting by MENA ]]>
12/7/2018 11:27:05 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt wins seat of deputy chairman of Arab Group at UNESCO]]>
Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said in a statement on Thursday that the convention will be formulated and presented during the 40th UNESCO general conference for approval.

The Global Convention will tackle six regional conventions on recognition of higher education, Abdel Ghaffar said.

Egypt is a member in three regional conventions, he said.

Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Universities Mohamed Latif Amin and Egyptian Cultural Adviser Niveen Khaled will represent Egypt during the preparatory meeting due on December 5-7 at the UNESCO premises in Paris.

12/6/2018 7:11:50 PM
<![CDATA[Human trafficking network detected, singer may be involved: ACA]]>
The ACA said in a statement on Facebook that investigations will expectedly reveal the involvement of a number of figures, including an infamous singer who has recently raised controversy. The ACA did not reveal further details about the identity of the singer.

A number of 20 Egyptian, Arab and European individuals are involved in the network, according to the ACA. The individuals are facing charges of exploiting the need of some women and pressuring them to participate in immoral acts, the statement read, referring to illegal sexual acts.

The network’s members are also accused of bringing drugs from Turkey and India, including Heroin, Tramadol and Crystal methamphetamine (ice) to promote them for youth clients, the statement read.

The Egyptian General Prosecutor assigned the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Public Funds Crime Investigation Unit, which is responsible for tackling illegal trading outside the bureau, to investigate the case.

Secretly observing the network, with the permission of the General Prosecution, the ACA could confirm and document the facts, the statement added.

A decision was issued to arrest all the accused and to search their houses as well as one of the suspicious cafeterias in Giza’s Mohandessin district, the ACA said. At the dawn of Thursday, a number of elements of the ACA, supported by groups of the Interior Ministry’s Special Forces, managed to arrest the defendants and confiscate drugs. The ACA did not reveal in the statement the actual amount of drugs confiscated.

In May, Egypt’s Attorney General Nabil Sadek referred 40 defendants to the Criminal court on charges of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.

The Public Funds Prosecution initiated an investigation into information provided by the ACA, which claimed that an employee in the Ministry of Foreign affairs is exploiting his position to orchestrate human trafficking and smuggling of migrants. The employee conspired with others to introduce minor females into the world of prostitution, according to the authorities’ investigations.

Moreover, the Public Funds Prosecution imprisoned an organized crime group of 75 criminals in January, including governmental officials and foreign citizens, over charges of committing bribery, using official positions for personal gain, forging official documents, easing illegal immigration and human trafficking.

12/6/2018 5:19:52 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s FM reiterates cooperation with Rome on Regeni’s case]]>
Giulio Regeni, a 28-year old doctoral researcher, disappeared early in 2016 in the Egyptian capital; he was found dead in February of the same year, with his body bearing signs of torture.

During his speech in the conference of Canada Egypt Business Council (CEBC) on Dec. 5, Shoukry said that the Egyptian state has been keen to facilitate the work of the Italian side in terms of investigations on Regeni’s murder.

Shoukry also affirmed that the Egyptian authorities will continue investigating the case to unfold the truth, pointing out to the strong and deep relations between the two countries.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini affirmed earlier his keenness to maintain ties with Egypt, amid recent strains during investigations on Regeni’s murder.

"We have been waiting for three years. I want to maintain good relations with Egypt and I will do everything to have good economic, cultural, commercial and social relations with a friendly country," Salvini stated, according to Radio Colonna on Tuesday.

Italy’s Chamber of Deputies decided on Dec. 29 to halt all diplomatic relations with Egypt’s Parliament until there is a breakthrough and trial in Regeni’s case.

Immediately following the Italian unilateral decision, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal expressed dissatisfaction with the Italian Parliament’s move, saying that a unilateral decision won’t help with the results of the investigations.
12/6/2018 1:19:23 PM
<![CDATA[Military Production signs MoU on cooperation with France's DCI]]>
That came on the sidelines of the first International Defense and Security Industry Exhibition “EDEX-2018” that runs from December 3-5.

The ministry is keen on enhancing cooperation with the French company DCI through establishing partnerships in various fields of civil defense products, and developing the production lines and manufacturing systems, Assar stated.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of DCI Julia Maris stressed that the French Defense Ministry assigned DCI with transferring the expertise of the French armed forces to the friendly countries.

She revealed that DCI will submit the project’s feasibility study to the National Military Production Authority to be implemented in the Egyptian Military Production Ministry's units.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated on Monday the International Defense and Security Industry Exhibition “EDEX-2018”, hosted for the first time in North Africa.

Ten Defense Ministries from the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Sudan, France, Greece, Cyprus, South Sudan, Cameroon, Somalia and South Korea attended the exhibition.

The exhibition hosted 373 international companies from 41 countries, including 42 U.S. companies, 37 French companies, 28 Chinese companies and 13 Russian companies.
12/6/2018 12:22:28 PM
<![CDATA[The Nile crocodile joins Egypt’s Air Force]]>
Kamov Ka-50 is considered to be a strong rival to the American Apache. It is specialized in confronting armored vehicles during wars. Also, it is provided with safety seats that can protect the pilots in case of plane crashes.


Several new weapons, armored vehicles and helicopters have been displayed in EDEX 2018 which was inaugurated by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on Dec.3.
The inauguration was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defense and Military Production Mohamed zaki as well as many other officials.


Furthermore, 10 defense ministries from the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Sudan, France, Greece, Cyprus, South Sudan, Cameroon, Somalia and South Korea attended the exhibition.


Organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Defense and Military Production, EDEX-2018 attracted more than 10,000 visitors interested in the field of armaments and defense industries.


The exhibition hosts 373 international companies from 41 countries, including 42 US companies, 37 French companies, 28 Chinese companies and 13 Russian companies.

12/6/2018 11:32:49 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's Annual birth rate equals other states' population: Min.]]>
Said stated that the birth rate has been on the rise since 2005 reaching 2 million per annum in 2008, and growing to become 2.5 - 2.7 million. The whole population of some countries is around 2 - 3 million. “That means the annual birth rate equals other states population,” the minister said.

Said affirmed that overpopulation is a central national security issue, and that efforts by all parties are needed to control it. She added that the government is eager to invest in human resources and capacity-building, saying that the constitution supports the government to execute a plan that achieves the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Within the 2030 vision, “we are renovating the long-term visions in light of regional and international developments, economic reforms, and their impact on targets, so we review every long-term plan every four years.”

On Sunday, Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali held a press conference to announce the renovation of 33 clinics providing contraception services within the framework of “Two Are Enough” project, aiming at curbing population growth.

The project is executed in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Population which trains physicians and nurses on those services, while the Solidarity Ministry covers bonuses for those who serve in Upper Egypt which has the highest birth rates.

Moreover, 2,000 female rural leaders have been trained to pass on advice to female villagers on the matter by knocking their doors. The target is 10,000 visits in 10 governorates as a start, with the goal of reaching 340,000 visits within few months.

In addition, 60 radio episodes will be aired on the Quran channel to raise awareness on contraception in cooperation with Al Azhar, and Dar al-Iftaa.
12/6/2018 11:21:39 AM
<![CDATA[70% of New Administrative Capital’s land sold ]]>
Husseiny said that this percentage represents a total of 17,000 feddans of the capital. “There is a strong political will to develop the Egyptian promising capital in order to be a real model for a smart city,” Husseiny added.

The holding company responsible for the capital is facilitating all the procedures to the parties, entities and organizations that wish to be part of the new capital, according to Husseiny. “We received plenty of requests from foreign investors, developers and companies to invest in the new capital,” he referred.

On Tuesday, Husseiny announced that the new capital has received about 50 requests from embassies and diplomatic missions to relocate to the new Capital.
Also, new international universities relocated or opened new branches in the new capital.

Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdul Ghaffar announced in November 2017 that the new capital will include six international universities from the United States, Britain, Hungary, Canada, Sweden and France.

In April 2018, Canada’s University of Prince Edward Island inaugurated its international branch inside the capital to be the first to do so.

With an area of 170,000 feddans (176,460 acres), the new capital will include 20 residential areas expected to accommodate 6.5 million people and a road network of 650 km in length. The capital will include an international airport and an electric train to link it with the 10th of Ramadan and El-Salam cities.

Also, it will feature 1,250 mosques and churches, a 5,000-seat conference center, nearly 2,000 schools and colleges, over 600 medical facilities, and a park that is projected to be the world’s largest.
12/6/2018 8:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Facebook gave data on user's friends to certain companies -documents]]>
The 223 pages of internal communication from 2012 to 2015 between high-level employees, including founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, provide new evidence of previously aired contentions that Facebook has picked favorites and engaged in anti-competitive behavior.

The documents show that Facebook tracked growth of competitors and denied them access to user data available to others.

In 2014, the company identified about 100 apps as being either "Mark's friends" or "Sheryl's friends" and also tracked how many apps were spending money on Facebook ads, according to the documents, referring to Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

The insight into the thinking of Facebook executives over that period could invite new regulatory scrutiny into its business practices.

Facebook said it stood by its deliberations and decisions, but noted that it would relax one "out-of-date" policy that restricted competitors' use of its data.

One document said such competitor apps had previously needed Zuckerberg's approval before using tools Facebook makes available to app developers.

Zuckerberg wrote in a post on Wednesday that the company could have prevented the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal had it cracked down on app developers a year earlier in 2014.

Misuse of Facebook user data by Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, along with another data breach this year and revelations about Facebook's lobbying tactics have heightened government scrutiny globally on the company's privacy and content moderation practices.

Stifel analysts on Wednesday lowered their rating on Facebook shares to "hold," saying that "political and regulatory blowback seems like it may lead to restrictions on how Facebook operates, over time."

Damian Collins, a Conservative British parliamentarian who leads a committee on media and culture, made the internal documents public after demanding them last month under threat of sanction from Six4Three.

The defunct app developer obtained them as part of its ongoing lawsuit in California state court alleging that Facebook violated promises to app developers when it ended their access to likes, photos and other data of users' friends in 2015.

Facebook, which has described the Six4Three case as baseless, said the released communications were "selectively leaked" and it defended its practices.


Though filed under seal and redacted in the lawsuit, the internal communications needed to be made public because "they raise important questions about how Facebook treats users' data, their policies for working with app developers, and how they exercise their dominant position in the social media market," Collins said on Twitter.

Dating app Badoo and ride-hailing app Lyft were among other companies 'whitelisted' for access to data about users' friends, the documents https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/culture-media-and-sport/Note-by-Chair-and-selected-documents-ordered-from-Six4Three.pdf showed.

Lyft wanted to show carpool riders their mutual friends as an "ice breaker," even if those friends were not using Lyft, according to one email. Facebook said in an email that it approved the request because it would add to a feeling of “safety” for riders.

Facebook described such deals as short-term extensions, but it is unclear exactly when the various agreements ended.

Netflix, Airbnb, Lyft and Badoo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The documents show an exchange between Zuckerberg and senior executive Justin Osofsky in 2013, in which they decided to stop giving friends' list access to Vine on the day that social media rival Twitter Inc launched the video-sharing service.

"We’ve prepared reactive PR," Osofsky wrote, to which Zuckerberg replied, "Yup, go for it."

Twitter declined to comment.

Friends' data had stoked the growth of many apps because it enabled people to easily connect with Facebook buddies on a new service.

Facebook weighed charging other apps for access to its developer tools, including the friends lists, if they did not buy a certain amount of advertising from Facebook, according to the emails. In one from 2012, Zuckerberg wrote that he was drawing inspiration for business models from books he had been reading about the banking industry.

Facebook said it ultimately maintained free access to the tools.]]>
12/6/2018 3:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[CO2 emissions up 2.7%, world 'off course' to curb warming: study]]>
Last year, CO2 pollution increased by 1.6 percent after a three-year hiatus that raised hopes manmade greenhouse gas emissions had finally peaked despite an expanding world economy.

"This growth in global CO2 emissions puts the goals set out in the Paris Agreement in jeopardy," lead author Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre of Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, said in a statement.

"It is not enough to support renewables," she added. "Efforts to decarbonise need to be expanded throughout the economy."

The findings, co-authored by a team of nearly 80 scientists, were published in the journal Open Access Earth System Science Data.

Rapid deployment of solar and wind power, along with gains in energy efficiency, have been outpaced by growth in demand for freight, personal transport, shipping, and aviation, the research showed.

The 2015 Paris climate treaty calls for capping global warming at "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), a goal that scientists say could soon slip out of our grasp if planet-warming continues to climb.

Even a 2C ceiling above pre-industrial levels may not be enough to avoid catastrophic impacts, the UN's climate science panel concluded in a landmark report in October.

- Coal use in China -

A single degree of warming to date has seen a rise in deadly heatwaves, droughts, floods, and superstorms made worse by rising seas.

"Emissions will continue to rise, rhetoric is increasing but ambition is not -- we are completely off course," said co-author Glen Peters, research director at the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo.

"While there has been positive progress on clean energy and electric vehicles, this is currently too small to impact the onward march of fossil fuels."

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that CO2 emissions must drop 50 percent by 2030 -- and reach "net zero", with no additional leakage into the atmosphere -- by 2050 if the rise in Earth's temperature is to be checked at the safer limit of 1.5C.

The uncertainty range for the 2.7 percent increase is 1.8 to 3.7 percent.

Fluctuations in global emissions over the last five or six years have tracked changes in coal consumption, the study revealed.

In particular, "the trends have a lot to do with the ups and downs of coal use in China," Le Quere told journalists in Paris.

Globally, coal-fired power accounts for 40 percent of CO2 emissions, and more than two-fifths of the world's electricity.

Oil and gas use have grown almost unabated over the last decade.

China's emissions accounted for 27 percent of the global total, and will likely show growth of 4.7 percent in 2018.

- Smell the coffee -

Coal is likely to dominate the Chinese energy system for decades, even if the skyrocketing growth of the mid-2000s is unlikely to return, the researchers said.

The United States will account for 15 percent of CO2 pollution in 2018, an increase of about 2.5 percent. Most of that growth can be traced to an exceptionally hot summer and cold winter.

Despite attempts by Donald Trump to revive a moribund domestic coal industry, US emissions are expected to resume their downward trend in 2019 as cheap gas, wind and solar power continue to displace coal.

India's emissions, seven percent of the total, continued their upward spiral, increasing more than six percent, with growth across all three major fossil fuels.

The European Union is set to see a small decline in 2018, and will account for about a tenth of the total.

Some scientists expressed frustration with the pace of change.

"Set against a background of collective delusions, partial accounting and just plain lies, emissions will continue to rise," said Kevin Anderson, a professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester.

"It's time to grow up and smell the coffee."

Mohamed Adow, international climate lead for Christian Aid, said poor people in developing countries most exposed to climate hazards simply cannot wait.

"If this is the most important issue of our time, as leaders repeatedly say, then why aren’t they acting accordingly -- and showing up for the climate talks?", he said.

Nearly 200 nations are huddled at UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland until December 14.]]>
12/6/2018 2:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. House Democrat seeks emergency hearing on North Carolina election]]>
Almost a month after Republican Mark Harris declared victory in his North Carolina race for the U.S. House of Representatives, the state's election board is declining to certify the result as it probes mail-in ballots from two rural counties that have been called into question.

Democratic U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia on Wednesday called for an emergency congressional hearing into the matter, accusing national Republicans including President Donald Trump of hypocrisy for ignoring the case after years of claiming voter fraud without evidence.

"While the Republican majority is once again chasing conspiracies, real election fraud is playing out right before us in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District," Connolly said in a statement. He added that minority and elderly voters appeared to have been targeted, and "a cloud of doubt and suspicion hangs over this election result."

Trump has repeatedly and without evidence claimed large numbers of illegal immigrants have cast ballots and raised the specter of election fraud during routine but protracted vote counts after the Nov. 6 elections.

Leading House Democrat Steny Hoyer on Tuesday said his party may not seat Harris if the election remains in question when Democrats take control of the lower chamber in January.

The contest will not affect the balance of power in the new Congress. Democrats already gained enough seats to take control of the House, while Republicans expanded their Senate majority.

Based on an initial tally, Harris edged out Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.

That was before residents of rural Bladen County provided sworn affidavits that people came to their homes and collected absentee ballots that they had not filled in. It is illegal in North Carolina for a third party to turn in absentee ballots.

North Carolina's board of elections is also investigating concerns about ballot collection, as well as unusually high interest in absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson counties. State officials plan a hearing by Dec. 21.

The state could order a new election. The U.S. House could also rule on the election outcome.

Representatives of Republican Trey Gowdy, who chairs the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform committee that would convene a hearing into the matter, did not respond to requests for comment. ]]>
12/6/2018 1:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Putin threatens to develop nuclear missiles banned by US-Russia treaty]]>
The latest spike in tensions came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would withdraw from a major Cold War treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms within 60 days if Russia does not dismantle missiles that the US claims breach the deal.

Putin dismissed Pompeo's statement as a smokescreen, saying Washington had already decided to ditch the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF).

"They thought we would not notice," the Kremlin chief said, claiming the Pentagon has already earmarked an amount for the development of missiles banned by the treaty.

"We are against the destruction of this treaty. But if this happens, we will react accordingly."

Putin said about a dozen countries were now producing mid-range missiles of the type banned by the INF treaty.

"Apparently now American partners believe the situation has changed so much that the United States should also have such weapons.

"What will be our answer? A simple one: we will also do this," Putin said.

- 'Head off arms race' -

In Brussels, EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini urged Russia and the US to save the treaty, warning that Europe did not want to become a battlefield for global powers once again, as it had been during the Cold War.

"The INF has guaranteed peace and security in European territory for 30 years now," Mogherini said as she arrived for talks with NATO foreign ministers.

In October, President Donald Trump sparked concern globally by declaring the United States would pull out of the deal and build up America's nuclear stockpile "until people come to their senses".

Putin at the time warned that abandoning the treaty and failure to extend another key arms control agreement known as the New START, would unleash a new arms race and put Europe in danger.

On Monday, the US leader said he wants talks with Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping "to head off a major and uncontrollable arms race".

Valery Gerasimov, head of Russia's General Staff, said that Moscow would increase the capabilities of its ground-based strategic nuclear arms.

"One of the main destructive factors complicating the international situation is how the US is acting as it attempts to retain its dominant role in the world," he said in comments released by the defence ministry.

"It is for these purposes that Washington and its allies are taking comprehensive, concerted measures to contain Russia and discredit its role in international affairs."

- 'Ballistic missiles' -

Signed in 1987 by then US president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, the INF resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals.

But it was a bilateral treaty between the US and the then Soviet Union, so it puts no restrictions on other major military actors like China.

Pompeo said at a meeting with fellow NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday that there was no reason why the US "should continue to cede this crucial military advantage" to rival powers.

NATO said it was now "up to Russia" to save the treaty.

The Trump administration has complained of Moscow's deployment of Novator 9M729 missiles, which Washington says fall under the treaty's ban on missiles that can travel distances of up to 5,500 kilometres (3,400 miles)

The nuclear-capable Russian cruise missiles are mobile and hard to detect and can hit cities in Europe with little or no warning, according to NATO, dramatically changing the security situation on the continent.

US-Russia ties are under deep strain over a number of crises including accusations Moscow meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

The two Cold War enemies are also at odds over Russian support for Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria's civil war, and the conflict in Ukraine.

Washington on Tuesday promised Russia more "pain" if Moscow did not release three Ukrainian vessels and 24 sailors captured off Crimea last last month.]]>
12/6/2018 1:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Turkish authorities seek arrest of journalist Dundar over 2013 protests]]>
Prosecutors said he played an active role in the protests and provoked public unrest through social media. They also said he supported members of a terrorist organization against the police, the news agency said.

It is not clear how the warrant can be served because Dundar has left the country.

Dundar, a former editor of opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, was sentenced in 2016 to five years for publishing a video purporting to show Turkey's intelligence agency trucking weapons into Syria. He was released pending appeal and went abroad.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched in 2013 to protest a plan to build a replica of an Ottoman barracks on Gezi park in the centre of the city. The protests turned into a direct challenge to Erdogan's government.

"#HepmizGezideydik We feel proud," Dundar wrote on his Twitter on Wednesday, sharing Anadolu's story about his arrest warrant. The hashtag translates to: "We were all at Gezi".

Two weeks ago 13 people were arrested as part of the Gezi investigation.

Erdogan says the protests were organised and financed by Osman Kavala, a businessman and rights activists. Kavala was detained more than a year ago in connection with the investigation. He has not been charged over the protests and denies the claim against him.

The prosecutor also said Dundar was in contact with Kavala during the protests in a written arrest request to the court, Anadolu reported.

Aside from the investigation into the Gezi Park protests, authorities have detained tens of thousands of people they suspect in the wake of a coup attempt in 2016 of opposing Erdogan's government.

Turkey's western allies have voiced concern over the crackdown on journalists, academics, rights activists and criticised Erdogan for using it to muzzle dissent and increase his own power.]]>
12/6/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[RPT-French government abandons fuel tax - PM]]>
"The government is ready for dialogue and is showing it because this tax increase has been dropped from the 2019 budget bill," he told the lower house of parliament.

The government had earlier on Wednesday said it would not change the version of the budget bill currently at the Senate, which had dropped the fuel tax increase.

While Philippe made it clear in parliament that it would not be in the budget bill, he did not say whether it would be later included during the course of 2019 in a budget update. ]]>
12/5/2018 11:28:45 PM
<![CDATA[Badie handed life imprisonment in 'Guidance Office' case]]>
Badie, along with five other defendants, were handed life imprisonment (25 years in prison) in the case known in media as "incidents of the Guidance Office."

The prosecution charged the Muslim Brotherhood's figures in the case with participating in providing unknown individuals with the weapons, ammunition, incendiary materials, explosives, equipment and planning required to commit the crime.

Badie, along with 64 defendants out of 682 others, was also sentenced to life on September, 23 over charges of inciting violence in a case dubbed in the media as “El-Idwa Incidents”.

Earlier in September, Badie and 46 other Muslim Brotherhood members were sentenced to life imprisonment in the case known as “Rabaa sit-in Dispersal”. Additionally, he was handed life imprisonment in August in the case known as "al-Bahr al-Azam."

Following the ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, the Egyptian state designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, and subsequently placed Muslim Brotherhood prominent figures on terror lists and confiscated their assets.
12/5/2018 4:53:42 PM
<![CDATA[Flood control systems built in South Sinai ]]>
Those were constructed in Saint Catherine Valley, Abo Redis Valley, Hithi Valley, Firan Valley and Nuweiba’sWatir Valley, Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty told press on Wednesday.

The flood control systems in Saint Catherine protect the residents of NabiSaleh, and Esbaeya, while the others protect strategic establishments and roads in Nuweiba; that is in addition to benefiting from stored water.

12/5/2018 4:46:27 PM
<![CDATA[Rheinmetall discusses cooperation with Egypt at EDEX]]>
“Our meeting represents an opportunity to discuss the coming mutual projects. We have had fruitful cooperation with Rheinmetall that encourages us to further boost our mutual cooperation in military production,” Assar said.

In the same regard, Ochsner stated, “I am so proud to be contributing in such a huge exhibition where opportunities to hold various agreements with Egyptian companies and international ones are available.”

Moreover, Ochsner welcomed further cooperation especially after the remarkable progress in the Egyptian technology and capabilities.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated on Monday the International Defense and Security Industry Exhibition “EDEX-2018”, which is hosted for the first time in North Africa.

Ten Defense Ministries from the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Sudan, France, Greece, Cyprus, South Sudan, Cameroon, Somalia and South Korea are attending the exhibition.
12/5/2018 3:15:53 PM
<![CDATA[Local devlopment min., EU amb. discuss files related to solid wastes, water rationalization]]>
During his meeting with amb. Surkos and his accompanying delegation, Sharawi reviewed the most important outcome of Egypt's participation in the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) meetings in Morocco's Marrakesh city from November 20 to 24 in light of Egypt's presidency of the African Union in 2019.

As for decentralization, Egypt is working on applying decentralization and the transfer of authority from central to local government with the view to achieving justice, equal distribution of national projects in all sectors and promoting the comparative advantages of the governorates to secure jobs for youth, Sharawi said.

The government is attaching importance to development projects in New Port Said and North Sinai, he added.

For his part, Surkos asserted the EU's support for Egypt in applying decentralization and implementing development projects.

The EU paid attention to the file of water and is working with Egypt in this regard, he added.

He cited the "EU4Water in Egypt" program, which is to be launched with an indicative budget of EUR 120 million within the upcoming three years; this is to support the water sector in Egypt under the state's SDS 2030.

Cooperation between the EU and Egypt in the water sector includes programs covering 12 Egyptian governorates. These programs will help improve the lives of 12.5 million Egyptians; about one-third of the population of these governorates, targeting the less fortunate and most needy.

In March, the EU has launched EU WATER STARS program with the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation with a total budget that amounts to EUR 5 million as a grant aiming to raise the technical competencies in the water field, where it will continue for 30 months.

This program will help the ministry achieve the required reforms to implement the water security objectives according to the state's Sustainable Development Strategy 2030 and the National Water Resources Plan (NWRP) 2037. ]]>
12/5/2018 3:01:10 PM
<![CDATA[Proposal to deduct LE 23M from MB's assets over insulting judiciary]]>
The request issued by the Egyptian Judges' Club calls for collecting fines in favor of the club, which were imposed by the Court of Cassation on some prominent Muslim Brotherhood members, whose assets have been confiscated on charges of belonging to terrorist groups.

The fines were imposed on 23 of the Muslim Brotherhood defendants over "insulting the [Egyptian] judiciary," the sources said, pointing out that the fines amount to LE 23 million ($1.3 million)

The Judges' Club called on the committee to execute the judgment, as defendants cannot currently pay the fines themselves as their assets have been confiscated and managed by the specialized committee, the source said.

Ousted President Mohamed Morsi and some Muslim Brotherhood renowned figures, including Mohamed al-Beltagy, Saad al-Katatni, Essam Sultan, and Wagdy Ghoneim are among those who have been fined over insulting the judiciary, the source added.

Following the ouster of Morsi in July, 2013, the Egyptian state has designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, and has subsequently placed Muslim Brotherhood prominent figures on terror lists and confiscated their assets.
12/5/2018 2:39:53 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir plane hijacker referred to Criminal Court ]]>
Seif Eddin Mostafa, 60, faces many charges of kidnapping, intimidation, detention of passengers and promoting the extremist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The investigation revealed that Mostafa hijacked an EgyptAir plane with a fake suicide belt which he threatened to detonate in a bid to force the pilot to divert to Turkey, Greece or Cyprus. The hijacking ended peacefully with his arrest and the release of the 55 passengers after a six-hour standoff.

In August 2018, he was detained for 15 days and referred to the Public Prosecution after the investigations.

Previously, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has forbidden Cypriot authorities from extraditing the Egyptian man to Egypt until it can examine the case, according to the Associated Press.

The Justice Ministry of Cyprus said in a statement that it has issued instructions for the suspension of the extradition procedures until the ECHR issues its ruling, AP added.

A five-judge Cypriot panel upheld a lower court ruling which refused the hijacker’s defense that he may be tortured by Egyptian authorities or be subject to an unfair trial if he returns.

Egypt requested that Mostafa faces trial under a bilateral agreement as the two countries signed the 1996 extradition treaty.

12/5/2018 1:53:39 PM
<![CDATA[Retrial of former governor for embezzlement of LE 58.8M ]]>
In November, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Abdel Baset to 10 years in prison and a fine of LE15 million. The second and third defendants were exempted from penalty after the embezzled money was confiscated. The Court of Appeal set the retrial date to be on January 5.

The former governor received LE27.5 million as he made a tender to establish a number of buildings, and later, directly assigned adeal worth LE92 million to one of the other convicts, while the real value of the deal was LE12 billion. Abdel Baset, who got arrested in January, is also involved in money laundering, using the money to buy real estate and cars for himself and his family members.
12/5/2018 1:37:09 PM
<![CDATA[Madbouli issues decision to establish dry port, logistic center in 6th October city]]>
The decision stipulated that the Ministry of Transport supervises the project so that it is implemented in line with standard legal conditions and specifications, Cabinet Spokesman Nader Saad said in press statements.]]>
12/5/2018 1:29:12 PM
<![CDATA[EU Middle East's envoy to meet Egyptian officials Dec. 5]]>
Terstal studied in the Netherlands, USA and Italy and served as Netherlands' ambassador in Iran and Angola.She then joined the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1994 and held several positions in the Legal Department of the ministry.Also, Terstal was appointed deputy permanent representative in Geneva.

In September, the EU emphasized in a statement that it has no intention of reducing the current level of funding or changing its policy regarding the peace process in the Middle East, but rather, to "hear the positions" of both parties regarding obstacles to peace and the implementation of the two-state solution.

The statement added that the EU "remains firmly committed" to the two-state solution as the "only realistic solution" to a fair and lasting peace.
12/5/2018 1:01:17 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to build 1st Evangelical church in Sharm El-Sheikh]]>
Andrea Zaki, president of the Protestant Community of Egypt, said the new church aims to achieve the vision of the national Evangelical Community in serving everyone.

Zaki also mentioned the services that would be provided by the church including, establishing a tourist attraction that aims at developing tourism in the Red Sea city, as well as establishing clinics, and a training center.

Major General Khaled Fouda, the governor of South Sinai, is set to attend the celebration along with a number of security, religious, parliamentarian, public and ecclesiastical figures.

Ehab Samir, the representative of the Evangelical Community in South Sinai, said late in September that they have obtained permission to build a church in Sharm El-Sheikh and have also received a piece of land for it.

Samir said that the church will not only be used for worship, but will also be added to the religious shrines in Sharm El-Sheikh, next to the Sahaba Mosque, as a new tourist attraction. He explained that a panorama will also be constructed inside the church to present information about the Pharaonic civilization, the church's culture and various religious institutions. Moreover, a museum and a library are set to be constructed to encourage creative individuals.
12/5/2018 1:00:13 PM
<![CDATA[Two simultaneous living donor liver transplantation operations for 1st time in Egypt, ME, Africa]]>
One surgical team carried out the operations at Ain Shams Hospital, the hospital's director Ali Alanwar said in statements to MENA on Wednesday.

The first patient was 48 years old and was suffering from Hepatitis Virus C and liver tumor and his 40-year-old sister donated parts of her liver for him, he added.

The second patient was 63 years old and his 37-year-old son donated parts of his liver for him, he said.

The efforts fall within the framework of the presidential initiative to get rid of patients' waiting lists.]]>
12/5/2018 11:05:03 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt discusses Uruguay's offers to export meat, dairies ]]>
Uruguay realizes Egypt’s value in the Middle East and its strategic location, and considers it as the gate for Africa. Thus, it aims at boosting trade exchange and cooperation with the country. That is in addition to strengthening trade ties with the Arab World.

The delegation proposed transferring Uruguay’s expertise and technology in dairy industry to Egypt. It also officially invited the minister to visit Uruguay.

The Latin American country’s Ambassador Enrique Ribeiro said that both countries have been eager to deepen bilateral economic relations since the visit by Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez to Egypt in 2017.

In October, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mona Mehrez and the ambassador discussed boosting exports between the two sides to benefit from signed free trade agreements.

Uruguay seeks to export meat to Egypt while the latter seeks to open markets in Uruguay for its crops of citrus and grapes.

Mehrez agreed with the diplomat to hold another meeting in November to review the issues due to be raised during a visit by an Uruguayan business team in December.

She said that the ministry is preparing for a meeting between Egyptian and Uruguayan companies to review Egypt's exportation of fruits and vegetables to the Latin American country's markets.

Additional reporting by MENA
12/5/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Volkswagen may use Ford's U.S. plants to build cars, deepening alliance]]>
VW CEO Herbert Diess said the company was also "considering building a second car plant," adding, "We are in quite advanced negotiations and dialog with Ford Corporation to really build up a global automotive alliance, which also would strengthen the American automotive industry."

Ford declined to provide additional details but the automakers have said previously they are talking about potential collaborations.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak said in a research note Tuesday that said Diess' comments raised the chances that VW would use some of Ford's unused capacity as part of a broader partnership. Spak also said that a European or Asian automaker could seek to acquire some of General Motors Co unused capacity. GM announced last week it plans to idle five North American plants.

"VW may have a little negotiating power as some of the GM facilities could be bought (although this could impact their broader intentions with Ford)," Spak wrote.

VW has an assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Of the need for a new plant, Diess said the company is in "quite advanced negotiations in Tennessee but there might be other options as well."

Diess said VW would not take an equity stake in Ford as part of its alliance. "We are building an alliance with Ford which will strengthen Ford's position in Europe because we will share platforms," he said. "We might use Ford capacity here in the U.S. to build cars for us."

Diess said VW planned to talk more about the Ford alliance in January.]]>
12/5/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Macron retreats on fuel tax hikes in bid to calm French protests]]>
The concessions, coming after an earlier 500-million-euro ($570 million) relief package for poorer households, mark the first time 40-year-old Macron has given ground in the face of public opposition.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced rollbacks on fuel taxes and electricity price increases in a rare televised address after France was rocked by intense street clashes and vandalism in Paris over the weekend.

"This anger, you would have to be deaf and blind not to see it, nor hear it," Philippe said after more than a fortnight of demonstrations by so-called "yellow vest" protesters.

"No tax merits putting the unity of the nation in danger," he said.

Planned tax increases on petrol and diesel on January 1 will be suspended for six months, while hikes in regulated electricity and gas prices will be frozen during the winter.

Pressure has been mounting on the government after protests degenerated into the worst street clashes in central Paris in decades.

Across France, four people have been killed in accidents linked to the demonstrations and road blockades, and hundreds injured.

For weeks Macron held his ground on the fuel taxes, which are meant to finance anti-pollution policies but which critics say unfairly weigh on drivers in rural and small-town France.

Rescinding the January increase -- three euro cents for unleaded and six cents for diesel -- was a core demand of the demonstrators, alongside a higher minimum wage and the return of a wealth tax on high-earners which Macron abolished.

Two groups blockading petrol depots in Brittany said they would stand down following the announcement of the measures, which will cost public coffers some two billion euros ($2.3 billion).

Yet many others said they had no intention of stopping the demonstrations.

"They hope we'll now go home but we're not going to move," said Lionel Rambeaux, a 41-year-old welder manning a fuel depot blockade outside Le Mans in western France.

"We want Macron and his entire government to resign."

- Macron silent -

The government is hoping to stave off another day of running riots and burning cars like on Saturday, when more than 400 people were arrested in the capital.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said extra police would be deployed next Saturday on top of the 65,000 out in force last weekend, urging "reasonable" members of the movement to stay at home.

Paris Saint-Germain's home Ligue 1 football game against Montpellier has already been called off next Saturday, as has an electro music festival in the city centre.

Mass protests have repeatedly forced French presidents into U-turns, something Macron had vowed to avoid in his quest to "transform" the French economy and state.

A new poll by the Ifop-Fiducial survey group on Tuesday showed the former investment banker's approval rating at a record low of 23 percent.

"Eventually he backed down, which is going to divide the (yellow vest) movement, but it also risks dividing his own political base," said Jerome Sainte-Marie of the PollingVox survey group.

Macron's office said he would not speak publicly about the violence "for the time being", though he met briefly with a protester at his office Tuesday.

He also visited local government offices in the central town of Puy-en-Velay which were torched during a protest last weekend -- and was booed upon leaving.

- 'Original sin' -

The "yellow vest" movement, named after the high-visibility jackets worn by supporters, emerged on social media in October after months of swelling anger over rising fuel prices.

It quickly grew into wider protests against Macron, whom many accuse of representing a Parisian elite with little understanding of their monthly struggle to make ends meet.

Macron was elected in May 2017 on a pro-business platform that included measures inciting companies to invest to create jobs.

Immediately after coming to power, he pushed through tax cuts for entrepreneurs and high-earners -- an "original sin" for his critics.

The "yellow vest" protests have blocked highways and fuel depots around the country, causing headaches for businesses and fuel shortages in some regions.

The protests have spread to dozens of schools nationwide, which were still partially or totally blocked Tuesday by teenagers voicing frustration over university entrance reforms.]]>
12/5/2018 12:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[In pics: Egyptian arms displayed in EDEX 2018 ]]>
Arms displayed by the AOI also included surface-to-surface missiles having different ranges produced by Sakr Factory for Advanced Industries.


























12/4/2018 5:21:57 PM
<![CDATA[Colaiocco reiterates cooperation with Egypt in Regeni’s case]]>
Colaiocco praised the existing coordination between the two countries in the joint investigations on the murder of the doctoral researcher Giulio Regeni who was tortured and killed in Cairo. His body was discovered in February 2016.

According to Italian media reports, Colaiocco said that suspects in the case would be formally investigated in the upcoming days, noting that the strong cooperation between the two countries will unveil the truth.

Italy’s Chamber of Deputies decided on Dec. 29 to halt all diplomatic relations with Egypt’s Parliament until there is a breakthrough and trial in the case of Regeni.

According to the Italian news agency of ANSA, the speaker of Italian Parliament Roberto Fico said on Friday that there will be complete suspension of diplomatic relations with the Egyptian Parliament due to the slow and inconclusive investigations of the murdered Italian student.

“With great regret I announce that Montecitorio will suspend all kinds of diplomatic relations with the Egyptian Parliament until there is a real turning point in the investigation concerning the murder of Giulio Regeni,” Fico said.

Immediately following the Italian unilateral decision, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal expressed dissatisfaction with the Italian Parliament’s move, saying that a unilateral decision won’t help with the results of the investigations and won’t affect the Egyptian-Italian strong relations.

MENA contributed to the report
12/4/2018 4:38:58 PM
<![CDATA[Heavy rains expected in Cairo Wednesday]]>Stormy winds are also expected to be witnessed in different parts of the Mediterranean Sea, causing navigational turbulence.

According to forecasters, temperatures will be as follows:

Cairo 20°C - 15°C, Alexandria 19°C - 12°C, Matrouh 18°C - 12°C, Sohag 21°C - 8°C and Aswan 23°C - 12°C.

The government has announced it is preparing for the upcoming winter season, heightening necessary measures to combat expected floods and prevent any relevant problems of accumulated rainwater in the streets.

Member of Parliament Mohamed Abo Hamed warned against the repetition of the Fifth Settlement's 2017 disaster, affirming the necessity of taking the necessary measures in the cities where floods are expected.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation has worked on finishing the preparations for winter rains and downpours by carrying out a plan to check the pumping stations, clear canals, water banks and storm drains.

Mohamed Abdel Aati, an official in the ministry, said in October that the preparation plan included maintenance of all pumping stations nationwide to be ready for sudden rains.

The ministry installed more than 25 emergency units in West Delta near the critical areas to avoid the recurrence of the 2015 floods. ]]>
12/4/2018 3:49:09 PM
<![CDATA[Middle East after sale services to hit $200B: Boeing regional president ]]>
Only $90 billion will be generated from the defense division, while the rest will be the revenues of commercial sales.

The interview took place on the sidelines of EDEX - 2018 held on December 3 - 5. Dunn stated that sales are expected to hit $2.7 billion during the same period on the global scale. In order to expand in the Middle East in terms of civil aircrafts sales, Dunn said that Boeing has to supply 3,000 jetliners, which would require hiring 63,000 pilots, 62,000 engineers and technicians, and 92,000 crew members.

Dunn revealed that the global growth in the aviation market has recorded 6-7 percent, highlighting that only 20 percent of the world's population use air transportation.

The Boeing Middle East president said he visits Egypt twice a month, praising the deal with EgyptAir to supply six 787 Dreamliner planes, which save 15 percent of the flights’ cost. The first of those will be delivered in March.

Dunn said that the company is developing its after sale services offered by one of its divisions called Boeing Global Services, which is the outcome of merging the services sectors of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and Boeing Defense, Space and Security. The company is also working on producing better and faster solutions to improve the life cycle of fleets worldwide.

Stan Deal, executive vice president of Boeing Company and president and chief executive officer of Boeing Global Services, said that the division provides competitive solutions in terms of cost in four types of business; those are supply chains, maintenance and engineering, digital aviation and analytics, and training.

Boeing offers its services for any type of aircraft regardless of the manufacturer. Services compose 70 percent of an aircraft’s costs throughout its life cycle.

The company displays in EDEX - 2018 its maintenance solutions offered to the Egyptian Armed Forces in reasonable prices for its fleets of Boeing Apache AH-64, and Boeing CH-47 Chinook as well as other aircrafts by different manufacturers.
12/4/2018 2:59:59 PM
<![CDATA[Euro-Mediterranean Youth Forum invites WYF administration to participate ]]>
Set to be attended by 43 countries, the Euro-Mediterranean Conference’s invitation reflects the great success achieved by the World Youth Forum, which is held every year in Sharm El-Sheikh.
On November 6, Chairwoman of the National Academy for Youth Training and Rehabilitation Rasha Ragheb said that the realms covered in the 2018 World Youth Forum included peace, development, and creativity, and were discussed by 141 speakers.


1) The launch of the Euro-Mediterranean Youth Forum to be hosted annually by rotation among member states.

2) The launch of the Economic Euro-Mediterranean Forum to examine investment opportunities, and the Euro-Mediterranean Model.

Recommendations by the 2018 WYF include:


1) The organization of Young African Entrepreneurs Forum on the sidelines of the WYF.

2) The launch of One Africa Initiative to be a platform that achieves integration among states importing and exporting raw materials and those manufacturing them.

3) Boosting the role of volunteering in African countries.

4) Tailoring programs at the National Academy for Youth Training and Rehabilitation to train youth on volunteer work in different fields locally, regionally, and internationally.


1) The creation of a research committee to study social media impact, and set a strategy to achieve maximum benefit, minimize negative effects, and protect children from cyber bullying.

2) The foundation of the National Council for Entrepreneurship.

3) Offering training programs for young entrepreneurs in different fields by the National Academy for Youth Training and Rehabilitation.

Recommendations by the Model of Arab African Summit (MAAS) include

1) The establishment of an Arab-African Fund to support post-conflict peace building and reconstruction.

2) The establishment of an Arab-African Fund for SMEs.

3) Setting a mechanism to fight terrorism.

4) The introduction of the Zoweil-Theiler Prize to be awarded to outstanding researchers from Arab and African countries.

5) The introduction of cyber protection awareness programs in the curricula taught at schools and universities as recommended by participants.

Additional report by Noha El Tawil
12/4/2018 1:48:48 PM
<![CDATA[Environment min. meets UN Secretary-General to discuss climate change]]>
During the meeting, Fouad stressed the need to abide by the terms of the Paris Agreement to ensure that developing countries are on the development paths, taking into account the effects of climate change on these countries.

“Egypt will do its best to make the conference a success through its presidency of the Group of 77,” the minister said.

Fouad referred to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's support to all environmental issues, especially climate change, both at the political and technical levels.

She hoped that the developed countries would fulfill their commitments and that Egypt would help reach an agreement that is fair and just for all countries

During the meeting, the secretary-general also expressed hope that the current negotiations would lead to an agreement between all parties, especially with regard to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.]]>
12/4/2018 1:07:55 PM
<![CDATA[COMESA RIA thanks Sisi for hosting 'Africa 2018']]>
COMESA stands for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

Salama told MENA on Monday that the Africa 2018 Forum will discuss crucial issues regarding the future of the African continent, adding that the forum presents Egypt as a strategic gateway to Africa, while the continent is witnessing major developments.

She said that the forum, which includes many African leaders, will bring together Africa's best people in entrepreneurship and will help them engage with business leaders and government officials to discuss issues that are fundamental and crucial to the lives of Africans.

The forum will discuss critical issues in the future of Cairo and its development, including energy, trade, financial system, investments within Africa, logistics and infrastructure, tourism and creative industries in the continent, besides global investment partnerships and cooperation with the international community, Salama said.

She explained that the forum will devote a day to young entrepreneurs in the African continent, and another day for women empowerment in Africa and the enhancement of women's role in development.

The COMESA official also stressed the utmost confidence in the potential of Africa and the ability of Africans to turn this potential into real opportunities that are applied on the ground.]]>
12/4/2018 12:55:19 PM
<![CDATA[Shoukry's visit 'opportunity' to exchange viewpoints on regional developments: Kuwaiti official]]>
In a statement on Tuesday ahead of the convocation of the 12th session of the Egyptian-Kuwaiti Committee, the Kuwaiti ministry also stressed the necessity of finding peaceful and political solutions to the current crises in the region.

The committee will review means of strengthening cooperation between the two sides, the statement said.

On Monday, Shoukry arrived in Kuwait on a two-day visit to lead Egypt's delegation to the 12th session of the joint committee.

He is expected to attend the signing of a number of cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding .

Egypt's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez said the convocation of the Egyptian-Kuwaiti Committee comes as part of the two sides' keenness on developing bilateral relations in the various fields to elevate to the level of the sisterly ties binding the two countries.]]>
12/4/2018 11:51:37 AM
<![CDATA[S. Sinai governor forms committee to develop Naama Bay]]>
A three-kilometer walk should be established as part of the project, as well as a bicycle track and parking lots.

Parks, artificial lakes, landscapes, and murals are also included in the plan meant to promote services in the international tourist city.

Another meeting should be held by the end of the week to further probe the issue before studies are referred to ministries concerned for ratification.

The governor stressed the need to complete that project by November 2019 before the next youth forum.

The project to develop Naama Bay is estimated to cost some 150 million pounds.]]>
12/4/2018 11:25:25 AM
<![CDATA[French PM preparing to suspend fuel tax increases]]>
A turnaround in the decision would follow a weekend of violent protests in Paris that led to hundreds of arrests and almost 100 people injured. Until now, French President Emmanuel Macron has been reluctant to suspend the price hikes, tweeting on Saturday that the protests were "nothing to do with the peaceful expression of legitimate anger," euro news reported.

France has been hit by three weeks of protests from the 'gilet jaunes' (yellow vests) movement, which was originally launched as a response to the fuel price increases, and has since turned into a wider protest over social inequalities.]]>
12/4/2018 11:18:42 AM
<![CDATA[Arab Parliament to elect new president Saturday]]>
The posts should be assumed for two years in line with the AP system.

The session will be held at the Arab League General Secretariat in Cairo under the chairmanship of the eldest member.

A reshuffled AP will convene on December 10 to endorse the agenda of action for the third parliamentary session slated for December 11. ]]>
12/4/2018 11:16:01 AM
<![CDATA[SCMR bans LTC satellite channel]]>
The SCMR has previously set a time limit of 30 days for the channel to legalize its situation which ended on November 20.

The SCMR decree was issued in accordance with law No. 180, on press and media regulation. The law states that broadcasting after the end of the time limit is considered as a violation against SCMR policies and regulations.

The head of the SCMR complaints department, Jamal Shawki, said in press statements that the channel continued its broadcast despite the repeated warnings issued by the Supreme Council for Media regulations through November.
SCMR is an independent entity located in Cairo and in charge of regulating audio, visual, digital and print media publications, according to the second article of 92/2016 Law.
12/4/2018 9:08:26 AM
<![CDATA[US says Daesh jihadist involved in executing hostages killed in airstrike]]>
Abu al Umarayn was accused of involvement in the November 2014 beheading of Peter Kassig, a former US ranger who was doing volunteer humanitarian work when captured in 2013, The Telegraph reported on Monday.

"He was killed and more information will be available after a full assessment," Sean Ryan, spokesman for the US-led coalition, said in a statement issued after the strikes.

"Al Umarayn had given indications of posing an imminent threat to coalition forces and he was involved in the killing of American citizen and former US Army Ranger, Peter Kassig," he said.

The spokesman said the jihadist had also been involved in the execution of several other prisoners.

It is the first time the coalition, which has been hunting down Daesh fighters in Iraq and Syria since 2014, has announced the killing of a jihadist leader linked to Kassig's death.
12/3/2018 11:40:36 PM
<![CDATA[South Korean embassy denies ever importing dog meat]]>
The tradition of eating dog meat in South Korea is vanishing, and bringing the Asian country up when there is news about exporting dogs and cats is “defaming,” the statement said.

For week, a rumor spread over social media in Egypt that alleges the exportation of stray dogs and cats to Asian countries to be eaten, as a way for Egypt to rid itself of stray animals. Social media users, as well as some media outlets, claimed South Korea is one of those countries.

The rumor triggered strong reactions in social media, as Egyptians are not a population that ever ate cat or dog meat, on top of the presence of passionate animal rights advocates.

However, On Nov. 25, the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture denied the rumor.
12/3/2018 7:41:40 PM
<![CDATA[Video: "Egypt: Power and Peace" showcases top-notch weaponry at EDEX-2018]]>
The video, titled “Egypt: Power and Peace,” also includes scenes of the Egyptian military, exibiting its modern weapons. EDEX-2018 is the first International Defense and Security Industry Exhibition in North and Central Africa.

Ten defense ministries from the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Sudan, France, Greece, Cyprus, South Sudan, Cameroon, Somalia and South Korea attended the exhibition.
Organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Defense and Military Production, "EDEX-2018" will attract more than 10,000 visitors interested in the field of armaments and defense industries.

The exhibition hosts 373 international companies from 41 countries, including 42 U.S. companies, 37 French companies, 28 Chinese companies and 13 Russian companies.
Additionally, seven main arms departments from the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, Italy and UAE will participate in the exhibition and several military authorities will give educational lectures on the sidelines of the exhibition.

As for the Egyptian pavilion in the exhibition, Egyptian military products, including arms and equipment jointly manufactured by the Armed Forces, the National Organization for Military Production (NOMP), and the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) will be included in the exhibition.

Additional reporting by MENA

12/3/2018 4:05:37 PM
<![CDATA[River Transport head relieved of duties because of Nile Taxi]]>
Minister of Transportation Hesham Arafat returned Mohamed to his position in the Ministry of Irrigation because he “lacks vision” in terms of several pending issues in the RTA, informed sources told Egypt Today.

Mohamed was appointed at the RTA in October 2018 on loan for a year. Transportation via the Nile River has been an idea for years to relieve traffic congestion, but never culminated in a project.
12/3/2018 3:43:18 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to host OIC meeting on role of women in development]]>
In statements on Monday, Morsi said the decision was approved during the proceedings of the 7th ministerial meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which addresses the Role of Women in development. The session was held in Ouagadougou, Borkina Faso over two days.

During her participation in the conference, she said women empowerment was embodied in Egypt's constitution of 2014 in more than 20 articles that covered their constitutional and humanitarian rights and affirmed their rights to equality in all aspects of life.

Morsi also underlined the role of women in the political process in the country, shedding light on a campaign to support marginalized women in the poor areas.

She pressed for the need for consolidating efforts among all member states to accelerate the ratification of the statute of an organization for the development of women to be affiliated to OIC with the aim of upgrading the status of women in the OIC member states.

She also announced that Egypt will be honored to host the upcoming ministerial conference of the OIC in 2020 and invited all attendees to take part.]]>
12/3/2018 2:39:05 PM
<![CDATA[Yellow Vests: Government seeks course of action after weekend of violent clashes]]>
Prime Minister Édouard Philippe cancelled his appearance at the COP24 climate change summit in Katowice, Poland, and will instead meet on Monday with French political leaders in an attempt to manage the crisis and formulate the government’s response.

President Emmanuel Macron held emergency talks with the prime minister, interior minister and top security service officials at the presidential palace in Paris after flying in from the G20 summit in Argentina on Sunday.

The government has not ruled out imposing a state of emergency.

On Sunday Macron assessed the damage at the Arc de Triomphe, the massive monument to France's war dead at the top of the famous Champs-Élysées avenue, where rioters scrawled graffiti and ransacked the ticketing and reception areas.

The president also saw the wreckage of burnt-out cars and debris from rioting at other sites, where he praised the police but was also booed by sections of the crowd.

Paris police said 412 people were arrested on Saturday, with 378 remaining in custody, during the worst clashes for years in the capital.

A total of 263 people were injured nationwide, with 133 injured in the capital, including 23 members of the security forces who battled rioters for most of the day in famous parts of the city.

"I will never accept violence," Macron told a news conference in Buenos Aires before flying home.

"No cause justifies that authorities are attacked, that businesses are plundered, that passers-by or journalists are threatened or that the Arc du Triomphe is defiled," he said.

'Yellow Vests will win'

Overnight a motorist died after crashing a van into traffic that had built up due to a "Yellow Vest" demonstration in Arles, southern France, a local prosecutor said Sunday. Three people have now died in incidents linked to the protests.

The so-called "Yellow Vest" anti-government protests that have swept France over the last fortnight were sparked initially by a rise in taxes on diesel.

In a separate incident, arsonists torched a motorway toll booth in southern France near the city of Narbonne, a judicial source told AFP Sunday. Five people were taken into custody, a prosecutor said.

The main north-south motorway in eastern France, the A6, was also blocked by protesters near the city of Lyon on Sunday morning, its operator said.

The capital was calm, however, but as groups of workers moved around cleaning up the mess from the previous day, the scale of the destruction became clear.

Around famous areas including the Champs-Élysées, the Louvre museum, the Opera and Place Vendôme, smashed shop windows, broken glass and the occasional burned-out car were testament to the violence.

Dozens of cars were torched by the gangs of rioters, some of whom wore gas masks and ski goggles to lessen the effects of tear gas, which was fired continually by police.

One person was in a critical condition after protesters pulled down one of the huge iron gates of the Tuileries garden by the Louvre, crushing several people.

Nearly 190 fires were put out and six buildings were set alight, the interior ministry said.

At the Arc de Triomphe graffiti had been daubed, with one slogan saying: "The Yellow Vests will win."

State of emergency?

Some 136,000 demonstrators, most of them peaceful, were counted across the country on Saturday, the interior ministry said Sunday in updated figures.

The number was well below the first day of protests on November 17, which attracted around 282,000 people, and also down on the revised figure of 166,000 who turned out last Saturday.

Interior minister Castaner attributed the violence to "specialists in sowing conflict, specialists in destruction".

Referring to the possibility of imposing a state of emergency – a demand made by the police union Alliance – Castaner declared: "Nothing is taboo for me. I am prepared to examine everything."

'We won't change course'

Over the last few weeks, the "Yellow Vest" movement has morphed into a broad opposition front to Macron, a 40-year-old pro-business centrist elected in May 2017.

Violent anarchist and far-right groups have infiltrated it and are thought to be behind Saturday's clashes.

Macron faces a dilemma in how to respond to the "Yellow Vests", not least because they are a grassroots movement with no formal leaders and a wide range of demands.

Some representatives have also insisted on public talks broadcast on TV.

"We have said that we won't change course. Because the course is good," government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told BFM television defiantly on Sunday morning.

"It's been 30 years that people change course every 18 months," he added, referring to Macron's presidential predecessors who have often caved in to pressure from French street protests.

Macron has so far refused to roll back taxes on fuel, which he says are needed to fund the country's transition to a low-emission economy.

And he remains a fervent defender of the tax cuts he has delivered for businesses and the wealthy, which he believes were necessary to lower the country's chronic high unemployment.

Opposition politicians condemned the violence but also criticised the government's response.

"The government is not entitled to a third black Saturday," said Senate President Gérard Larcher, amid warnings that protests could resume in Paris next weekend.

Far-right and far-left leaders Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon called Sunday for new parliamentary elections.

Despite the violence, opinion polls suggest the protests still attract the support of two in three French people.]]>
12/3/2018 12:08:53 PM
<![CDATA['EDEX-2018' exhibition is a great opportunity for world countries: Defense min.]]>
Speaking at the event's opening ceremony, the defense minister said that President Sisi's sponsorship of this exhibition aims at delivering a message to the world that the defense and armament systems are the main pillars of peace and security and the fortress of stability for nations and peoples.

Zaki also welcomed the participating delegates in the exhibition, adding that this international exhibition is a great opportunity for world countries and companies manufacturing defense and armament systems to present the leading-edge military technology, exchanging expertise and developing ties in the military production domain.

The inauguration was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, and Mohamed Zaki, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Minister of Defense and Military Production as well as many other officials.

Furthermore, 10 defense ministries from the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Sudan, France, Greece, Cyprus, South Sudan, Cameroon, Somalia and South Korea attended the exhibition.

Organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Defense and Military Production, "EDEX-2018" will attract more than 10,000 visitors interested in the field of armaments and defense industries.

The exhibition hosts 373 international companies from 41 countries, including 42 U.S. companies, 37 French companies, 28 Chinese companies and 13 Russian companies.

Additionally, seven main arms departments from the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, Italy and UAE will participate in the exhibition and several military authorities will give educational lectures on the sidelines of the exhibition.

As for the Egyptian pavilion in the exhibition, Egyptian military products, including arms and equipment jointly manufactured by the Armed Forces, the National Organization for Military Production (NOMP), and the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) will be included in the exhibition.

During EDEX-2018, a press center will be established to serve national and international media and provide information to international channels and agencies.

Additionally, seven main arms departments from the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, Italy and UAE will participate in the exhibition and several military authorities will give educational lectures on the sidelines of the exhibition.

As for the Egyptian pavilion in the exhibition, Egyptian military products, including arms and equipment jointly manufactured by the Armed Forces, the National Organization for Military Production (NOMP), and the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) will be included in the exhibition.

During EDEX-2018, a press center will be established to serve national and international media and provide information to international channels and agencies.

Additional Report with MENA]]>
12/3/2018 11:47:11 AM
<![CDATA[Health Ministry: 30 killed, wounded in multiple-vehicle crash in Beni Sweif]]>
Thirty ambulances rushed to the scene and moved the casualties to the Beni Sweif General Hospital, said Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed.

He said injuries include fractures and bruises, noting that only two of the cases are unstable. ]]>
12/3/2018 11:44:27 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi inspects Saudi, UAE pavilions at "EDEX-2018"]]>
During the tour, which also included the Romanian and Indian pavilions and those of leading international firms in the arms industry, Sisi was accompanied by defense ministers and heads of delegations taking part in the event, including the defense ministers of the UAE, Oman, Sudan, France, Cyprus, South Sudan, Cameroon, S.Korea and Somalia.

The inaugural EDEX is fully supported by Egyptian armed forces and presents a brand new opportunity for exhibitors to showcase the latest technology, equipment and systems across land, sea, and air.

About 373 international companies from 41 countries are showcasing the latest technology, equipment and systems across land, sea and air. The fair is set up on an area of 17,000 square meters under the sponsorship of 15 local and international companies.

As many as 56 official delegations comprising defense, military production ministers and chiefs of staff are participating in the three-day event.

Over 10,000 industry visitors are expected to attend the fully-hosted international military VIP Delegation Program.

With over 1.3 million military personnel, as the largest military power in Africa and one of the leading forces worldwide, Egypt is the ideal setting for such a large-scale event for the sector. In addition, Egypt has historically maintained continuous investment in the latest weaponry as a defense strategy and has strengthened national production lines across a range of military complexes. ]]>
12/3/2018 11:35:58 AM
<![CDATA[Abul Gheit attends parade by students of College of Maritime Transport & Technology]]>
The parade also comes ahead of an international education forum, which will be hosted by the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT).

Chairman of the AASTMT Ismail Abdel Ghaffar delivered a speech welcoming the attendees.

He said that Abul Gheit's presence here reflects the importance of this meeting and promotes confidence in the Academy]]>
12/3/2018 11:25:01 AM
<![CDATA[Supply Ministry reveals: No beneficiaries are excluded from ration cards]]>
The spokesperson assured the public that within two weeks, three at most, all the beneficiaries will be enrolled again, as long they are enlisted on the data base.

Kamal affirmed that the Ministry urged people to re-activate their cards for more than 3 months, starting from August up till November 7, adding that commercials were made to aware people that they need to activate their data. Additionally, the slogan “Activation Data” was printed on ration stamps for bread and other subsidized commodities.

“Updating the databases revealed the existence of dead people, or people who travelled abroad on the ration card lists. There were also repeated names enrolled in the data base. Thus, the Ministry urged people to re-activate their ration cards to avoid any manipulation,” Kamal said in a statement to Egypt today.

“We are working on having a real data base to ensure that subsidies are given to those who need them.”

In the same regard, Minister of Supplies and Internal Trade Ali al-Muselhi opened up the appeal gates for those wishing to challenge the removal decision, assuring that any citizen who has a right will regain their rights within two to three weeks at most.

What sort of products does the ministry provide to beneficiaries?

In similar vein, Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade provides about 20 items on ration cards at prices lower than those in normal markets. The products are disbursed to cardholders within the LE 50 limit per person.

Currently, there are 70 million beneficiaries.

Of course, prices vary between products but one thing remains true: Prices are cheaper in subsidized markets than in normal ones. For example, the price of a one-kilo packet of lentils stands at LE 16, instead of LE 20-22; rice stands at LE 6.5, instead of LE 8-10; and, the kilo of flour is sold for LE 6, instead of LE 7-8.

A 400-gram bag of pasta is also sold at a price of LE 3.25, instead of LE 4-4.5; beans stand at LE 7, instead of LE 10-12; sunflower oil is sold for LE 20, instead of LE 23-24; the package of tomato sauce (300 grams) goes for LE 4.75 on the card, instead of LE 5 to 5.5; and, dry milk goes for LE 17, instead of LE 18-20.

Overall, all commodities see at least a 10 percent cut on the card; cuts go up to 30 percent sometimes.
12/3/2018 11:10:52 AM
<![CDATA[Europeans to study in international universities in Egypt: Min.]]>
This came during a press conference held on the sidelines of the opening of the Central Administration of Foreign Students Affairs' headquarters.

He pointed out that European and African countries represent important markets for Egyptian education, asserting that the future will witness many Europeans studying in international universities in Egypt.

Abdel Ghaffar also stressed that the international universities target Egyptian and international students and grantdouble certificates.

Furthermore, the minister pointed out that many exhibitions have been launched to market the programs of Egyptian universities.

The minister also revealedthat the development process will continue, especially after the progress witnessed in the Supreme Council of Universities' committees.

The ministry is looking to set a mechanism to maximize benefiting from the Egyptian cultural offices abroad to serve the Egyptian education,Abdel Ghaffar added.

The minister referred that the coming period will witness a comparison between the curricula of the Egyptian and international universities,applying the credit hours system in a larger number of Egyptian universities to attract more international students.

12/3/2018 11:04:46 AM
<![CDATA[Iran says it will continue missile tests after U.S. allegation]]>
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday condemned what he called Iran's testing of a medium-range ballistic missile in violation of the 2015 international agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme, from which Washington has withdrawn.

"Missile tests...are carried out for defence and the country's deterrence, and we will continue this," Brigadier- General Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesman for Iran's armed forces, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

"We will continue to both develop and test missiles. This is outside the framework of (nuclear) negotiations and part of our national security, for which we will not ask any country's permission," Shekarchi said.

He did not confirm or deny Iran had tested a new missile.

Earlier, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton tweeted: "Iran just test-fired a... ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel and Europe. This provocative behaviour cannot be tolerated."

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi also said Iranian missiles were purely defensive and added, "There is no Security Council resolution prohibiting missile programme and missile tests by Iran".

U.N. Resolution 2231 enshrined Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States in which Tehran curbed its disputed uranium enrichment programme in exchange for an end to international sanctions.

The resolution says Iran is "called upon" to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

Iran has repeatedly said its missile programme is purely defensive and denied that its missiles are capable of being tipped with nuclear warheads, or that it has any intent of developing nuclear weapons through uranium enrichment.

Qasemi, addressing Pompeo, said: "It is...ironic that you cite a resolution that you have not only breached through your unilateral and unlawful withdrawal form the accord, but that you also encourage others to breach, or even threaten to punish and sanction them if they carry it out."

In May, President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the nuclear deal, approved before he took office, and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. Trump said the deal was flawed as it did not include curbs on Iran's development of ballistic missiles or its support for armed proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.

Separately, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States of arming militant groups which fight against the Tehran-backed Syrian government and the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen.

"US (is) proliferating advanced weapons to extremists incl Al Qaeda & ISIS (Islamic State)," Zarif said on Twitter, referring to a British newspaper report that said many arms supplied by Britain and the United States had ended up in the hands of militias fighting in the Yemen war.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter that he was deeply concerned by "Iran's test-firing of a medium range ballistic missile. Provocative, threatening and inconsistent with UNSCR 2231".

"Our support for (the Iran nuclear accord) in no way lessens our concern at Iran's destabilising missile programme and determination that it should cease," Hunt added.
12/2/2018 9:50:18 PM
<![CDATA[ Egypt wins seat in World Water Council]]>
The board is composed of 35 members who are either appointed or elected, divided into five quotas, including inter-governmental, governmental, commercial, civil society, professional and academic organizations.

Khaled and six others were elected out of 12 candidates who were running for the seven seats in the governmental organizations quota.

The mission of the council is influencing decision-making processes, and policy-setting on water security, sustainability, and adaptation. The eighth World Water Forum, co-organized by the council, took place in March in Brazil.

Egypt's 1st Cairo Water Weeks kicks off

CAIRO - 14 October 2018: Egypt's 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 the sustainable development amid state of water shortage.

12/2/2018 3:28:32 PM
<![CDATA[Authorities to shut off unlicensed TV channels ]]>
Those channels host individuals who claim they have the ability to counter spells, and heal people using Quran (Muslims' holy book).

Chairman of the Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC) Osama Heikal told Egypt Today that the Media Law issued in July grants those channels a grace period to issue licenses or they will be shut off.

Heikal explained that such channels violate intellectual property rights as they broadcast movies that are still showing in cinemas which incurs losses for producers and harms the industry. The official added that the source of the products advertised on unlicensed channels is unknown, and that the phone numbers indicated in the ads are for delivery only.

The official warned that some of those channels may also be used to promote extremist and terrorist discourse.

Heikal affirmed that the number of channels broadcast via the Nilesat is 650, and that they are all licensed. He revealed that 90 percent of unlicensed channels are owned by locals and are headquartered in rented apartments in populous neighborhoods.

The official stated that those channels are broadcast via Eutelsat S.A. that is a satellite operator not based in Egypt. It possesses a fleet of satellites covering Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Chairman of Nilesat Co. Ahmed Anis said that Eutelsat satellites are located seven degrees to the west. Since most Egyptians install satellite dishes, they are able to receive unlicensed channels once they enter the code in case their dishes are pointing to the same direction as the satellite. That is why some think that unlicensed channels are broadcast via Nilesat.

Since Nilesat has no authority over other satellites, the option for filing complaints is resorting to the judiciary or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
12/2/2018 2:34:34 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt-based AOI reiterates making aircraft K8]]>
Taras added that the factories work to meet the requirements and needs of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

The AOI is interested in the aircraft industry where it succeeded to manufacture aircraft K8, as well as to repair aircraft engines inside the factories in cooperation with the Egyptian Air Force, said Taras in his interview with Ahmed Mousa on Sada al-Balad.

There is a committee headed by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and the membership of the prime minister to oversee the strategy of the AOI, Taras said, explaining that the organization is subject to special laws that are different from the business sector's laws.

The Arab Organization for Industrialization was established in 1975, in the era of late President Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat. The AOI was established by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. However, in 1993, Egypt became the only owner of the organization.

The AOI is believed to employ thousands of employees and hundreds of engineers. The organization is also responsible for meeting civilian requirements including the transport and sanitation equipment besides its military responsibility.

The military aircraft factory was established in 1950 and then joined the AOI in the seventies of the last century. It managed to manufacture and assemble a number of aircrafts including Helwan HA 200-300.
12/2/2018 2:25:52 PM
<![CDATA[Shoukry to chair Egypt's delegation to Egyptian-Kuwaiti Committee]]>
In statements on Sunday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez said the convocation of the Egyptian-Kuwaiti Committee comes as part of the two sides' keenness on developing their relations in the various fields to be up to the level of the sisterly relations binding the two countries.

The spokesman noted that a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding will be signed during the committee meeting.

The two sides' talks will cover coordinating stances on a set of regional and international issues of common interest in a way that could contribute to maintaining security and stability of the region, added the spokesman.

Preparations for the joint committee are to be held over Sunday and Monday at the level of senior officials from both countries.

The Egyptian-Kuwaiti committee will kick off on Tuesday in the presence of the two countries foreign ministers.]]>
12/2/2018 2:00:16 PM
<![CDATA[France's Macron learns the hard way: green taxes carry political risks]]>
Rioters torched cars and buildings in central Paris on Saturday following two weeks of protests caused partly by higher fuel taxes which Macron says are needed to fight climate change. Some protesters called for him to resign.

Macron’s plight illustrates a conundrum: How do political leaders’ introduce policies that will do long-term good for the environment without inflicting extra costs on voters that may damage their chances of re-election?

It is a question facing leaders across the world as delegates hold talks in the Polish city of Katowice this week to try to produce a “rule book” to flesh out details of the 2015 Paris Agreement on fighting climate change.

“Clearly, countries where inequalities are the highest are the ones where these kinds of push-backs are mostly likely,” Francois Gemenne, a specialist in environmental geopolitics at SciencesPo university in Paris, said of the political risks.

Naming Italy, the United States and Britain as countries where environmental moves could risk a voter backlash, he said: “I guess it’s one of the reasons why populist leaders tend to be very skeptical about climate change and environmental measures.”

The protests in France have inspired a similar movement in neighboring Belgium, where protesters took to the streets on Friday.

There have also been small-scale protests in Canada over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to impose a federal carbon tax on provinces unwilling to combat climate change.

What was once widely seen by governments as a win-win transition to cleaner energies now looks more like causing short-term costs with huge social disruption, followed by possible long-run gains.

Another challenge facing leaders is over how they use the proceeds from policies intended to help the environment: Should money raised from carbon taxes be used directly to combat climate change, or to plug holes in national accounts?

Macron said after the latest protests in Paris that he would convene ministers to discuss the crisis on his return from a G20 summit in Argentina. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe canceled plans to go to Katowice for the climate change summit.

Macron introduced new carbon taxes to urge motorists to change behavior and protect the environment.

Macron has watered down some of his campaign pledges on the environment since he took office, and his popular environment minister quit in August over the sluggishness of progress. But he has shown little willingness to compromise in the face of the protests.

The fuel tax is accompanied by other measures including incentives to encourage people to buy electric vehicles.

Unveiling a medium-term energy plan for France last week, he held out an olive branch by saying he would review fuel prices each quarter, but said the carbon taxes would stay.

His goal is for France to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and boost the use of cleaner energies at the same time. Emissions are currently rising and 75 percent of energy use in France originates from fossil fuels.

“When we talk about the actions of the nation in response to the challenges of climate change, we have to say that we have done little,” he said.

Macron has also said he will fight to try to save the Paris climate agreement, which aims to keep global temperature rises to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius, a critical threshold.

Scientists are increasingly concerned that countries are falling short on their targets and must be more ambitious. Yet citizens are worried about their immediate lives.

In Canada, addressing the question of how governments use the money raised from carbon taxes, Trudeau’s government has promised to return the money collected from the provinces directly to taxpayers.

But in France most of the revenue generated will be used to tackle the national budget deficit, increasing anger at Macron, who left-wing opponents call the “president of the rich”.

Of the 34 billion euros ($38.71 billion) the French government will raise on fuel taxes in 2018, a sum of only 7.2 billion euros is earmarked for environmental measures.

Simon Dalby, a specialist in the political economy of climate change at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, says carbon taxes should be part of wider measures to alter how people live, including better, greener transport and buildings.

“It is all about policies for transition to a post-fossil-fuel world, something that needs to be done quickly if the worst of the predicted climate disruptions are to be avoided in the coming decades,” he said.

Gemenne said the protests in France were unlikely to go away soon, and may emerge in other countries as they take more determined action on emissions.

The danger, he said, was inaction, or acting too late to prevent global warming. At the same time, politicians need to be able to show they were acting fairly and equitably.]]>
12/2/2018 1:47:14 PM