<![CDATA[rss-News]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[News]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Pompeo to visit Kuwait next month, says Kuwait's deputy foreign minister]]>
Pompeo visited several Arab capitals in January, including in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in part to reassure allies after President Donald Trump said he would start withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria. He had to cut a short his Middle East trip to return to the United States for a family funeral.]]>
2/17/2019 11:34:56 PM
<![CDATA[Yemen's warring parties agree on first phase of redeployment -U.N.]]>
"The parties reached an agreement on Phase 1 of the mutual redeployment of forces," a statement by the U.N. spokesman's office said without giving details of exactly what the Iranian-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-backed government agreed.]]>
2/17/2019 11:20:18 PM
<![CDATA[Germany would stop extradition of its citizens to UK after Brexit]]>
The notification cites concerns faced by Britain and the EU in maintaining their security cooperation at the current level after Brexit, according to the report.]]>
2/17/2019 10:48:18 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi crown prince begins Asia tour with $20 bln Pakistan investment pledge]]>
Kicking off his tour of South Asia and China with a far higher Pakistan investment than expected, the crown prince said the $20 billion figure represents only the start of an economic tie-up that would bring the historic Muslim allies even closer.

"It’s big for phase 1, and definitely it will grow every month and every year, and it will be beneficial to both countries," said the crown prince.

"We have been a brotherly country, a friendly country to Pakistan. We’ve walked together in tough and good times, and we (will) continue."

But Prince Mohammed's visit is at risk of being overshadowed by Pakistan's growing tensions with India. Earlier this week a suicide bomber killed 44 Indian paramilitary police in the disputed Kashmir region. New Delhi has accused Pakistan of having a hand in the bombing and vowed to punish Islamabad, which denies involvement.

Cash-strapped and in need of friends, Pakistan welcomed the crown prince with open arms and in grandiose fashion, including sending fighter jets to guide his incoming plane once it entered Pakistani airspace.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan's army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa greeted Prince Mohammed on the red carpet of a military airport in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, before Khan personally drove the crown prince to the capital Islamabad.

"Saudi Arabia has always been a friend in need, which is why we value it so much," said Khan, while seated next to Prince Mohammed. "I want to thank you for the way you helped us when we were in bad situation."

Saudi Arabia has in recent months helped keep Pakistan's economy afloat by propping up its rapidly dwindling foreign exchange reserves with a $6 billion loan, giving Islamabad breathing room as it negotiates a bailout with the International Monetary Fund.

Islamabad has shown appreciation by treating Prince Mohammed's trip as the biggest state visit since Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015, soon after Beijing announced plans to invest tens of billions of dollars on infrastructure in Pakistan as part of China's global Belt and Road initiative.

The tour is seen as a attempt by the crown prince to rebuild his reputation after the murder of Saudi critic and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, analysts say. Many in the West blamed Prince Mohammed for the killing, which triggered the kingdom's biggest political crisis for a generation. He has denied being involved.

He had also planned to visit Indonesia and Malaysia during the tour, but those trips have been postponed, according to Malaysian and Indonesian officials.

In Pakistan, most of the agreements signed focused on energy projects, including a $10 billion refinery and petrochemicals complex in the coastal city of Gwadar, where China is building a port. Memorandums of understanding were also signed for investments in minerals and agriculture, Khan said.

The two nations' relationship has in the past centred on oil-rich Saudi Arabia backing Pakistan's economy during difficult periods, and in return Pakistan's powerful army lending support to Saudi Arabia and its royal family.

As the guardians of most holy sites in the birthplace of Islam, the Saudi royal family carries vast religious clout in Pakistan, a staunchly conservative and mainly Muslim nation of 208 million people.

"What is happening in this relationship is a renewal of Pakistan's commitment to help protect the royal family and the order as it exists in Saudi Arabia," said Mosharraf Zaidi, Senior Fellow at Tabadlab, a Pakistani think tank focused on global and local public policy.

"On the flip side, there is reassurance that Saudi Arabia will not only continue to serve as a strategic friend who will help shore up Pakistan's finances when needed, but it's also going to become a participant in the wider investment in Pakistan."

Prince Mohammed was also set to meet representatives of the Afghan Taliban militant group to discuss peace negotiations to end the 17-year civil war in Afghanistan, Pakistani government and militant sources said.

But that was unlikely after the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group's planned meetings with Khan and U.S. officials in Islamabad were called off. ]]>
2/17/2019 10:42:30 PM
<![CDATA[Tunisian workers kidnapped in Libya have been freed - foreign ministry]]>
The gunmen said they would exchange the workers if a Libyan held in jail in Tunisia was freed in return, the ministry said, without saying whether the Libyan had been released.

The 14 were seized in the small town of Zawiya, west of the capital Tripoli, on their way to an oil refinery, a human rights activist said on Friday.]]>
2/17/2019 10:39:21 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. cannot back Syrian forces who align with Assad- U.S. commander]]>
The remarks by Army Lieutenant General Paul LaCamera, who is the commander of the U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, underscore the tough decisions facing the SDF as the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from Syria.

Syrian Kurdish leaders have sought talks with Assad's state, hoping to safeguard their autonomous region after the withdrawal of U.S. troops currently backing them.

They fear an attack by neighbouring Turkey, which has threatened to crush the Kurdish YPG militia. Ankara sees the Syrian Kurdish fighters as indistinguishable from the Kurdish PKK movement that has waged an insurgency inside Turkey.

But LaCamera warned that U.S. law prohibits cooperation with Russia as well as Assad's military.

"We will continue to train and arm them as long as they remain our partners," LaCamera said, praising their hard-won victories against Islamic State militants.

When asked if that support would continue if they aligned themselves with Assad, LaCamera said: "No."

"Once that relationship is severed, because they go back to the regime, which we don't have a relationship with, (or) the Russians ... when that happens then we will no longer be partners with them," LaCamera told a small group of reporters.

President Donald Trump's surprise December decision to withdraw all of the more than 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria has triggered deep concern among U.S. allies about the risk of a resurgence of Islamic State.

With U.S.-backing, the SDF has routed Islamic State and is on the verge of recapturing the final bits of its once sprawling territory. But Islamic State still has thousands of fighters, who, now dispersed, are expected to turn to guerrilla-style hit-and-run attacks.

On Friday, the four-star U.S. general overseeing U.S. troops throughout the Middle East, General Joseph Votel, told Reuters that he backed supporting the SDF as needed as long as it kept the pressure on Islamic State militants.

But LaCamera's comments make clear that the SDF may have to choose between backing from Assad, Russia or the United States.

Kurdish forces and Damascus have mostly avoided combat during the war. Assad, who has vowed to recover the entire country, has long opposed Kurdish ambitions for a federal Syria.

Earlier on Sunday, Assad warned the United States would not protect those depending on it, in reference to the Kurdish fighters.

"We say to those groups who are betting on the Americans, the Americans will not protect you," he said without naming them. "The Americans will put you in their pockets so you can be tools in the barter, and they have started with (it)."

Reuters has reported that Trump's decision was in part driven by an offer by Turkey to keep the pressure on Islamic State once the United States withdrew.

But current and former U.S. officials warn Ankara would be unable to replicate the SDF's success across the areas of Syria that the militias captured with U.S. support including arms, airstrikes and advisers.

Brett McGurk, who resigned in December as Trump's special envoy to the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, warned last month that the SDF could not be replaced as the provider of stability in areas of Syria formerly held by the militant group. He also cautioned that Turkey, a NATO ally, was not a reliable partner in the fight in Syria.

"The Syrian opposition forces (Turkey) backs are marbled with extremists and number too few to constitute an effective challenge to Assad or a plausible alternative to the SDF," McGurk wrote.
2/17/2019 9:51:33 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi meets SCAF after arrival from Germany]]>
Terrorists in North Sinai attacked a force concentration on Saturday. The fire exchange resulted in the death of seven terrorists, and 14 injuries and casualties among military personnel.

Spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces Tamer al-Refai announced that the forces were sweeping the area to find the remaining assailants.

The Armed Forces launched an anti-terror campaign last February to eliminate terrorism in North Sinai after a mosque was targeted resulting in the death of more than 300 civilians. “The Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018” has succeeded to eliminate hundreds of terrorists confiscating the firearms and explosive devices they possessed and destroying the vehicles they used.
2/17/2019 8:33:36 PM
<![CDATA[In Pics: Egyptian army arrests 2,770 illegal immigrants in 2019]]>
The forces could also seize 1,800 kilograms of prohibited hemp, 800 kilograms of cannabis essence, 1 million drug tablets, and 103,000 smuggled cigarette cartons.

During the same period, the border guards seized two automatic rifles, 29 shotguns, 5,000 bullets, and 24 explosive devices, according to the statement. It also seized 29 metal detectors, 2,200 kilograms of a rock from which gold ore is extracted and 73 vehicles used for smuggling.

The army could detect and destroy four tunnel openings on the border strip in North Sinai, the statement read.

A number of seven terrorists and 14 others were injured in North Sinai in fire exchange, after they attacked a force concentration on Saturday, said Tamer al-Refai, Armed Forces spokesman said.

The Armed Forces launched an anti-terror campaign in February 2018 to eradicate terrorism in North Sinai after a mosque was targeted resulting in the death of more than 300 civilians.

“The Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018” has reportedly succeeded to eliminate hundreds of terrorists confiscating the firearms and explosive devices they possessed and destroying the vehicles they used.

Police forces taking part in the Sinai operation also killed seven terrorists in Arish earlier this month. Five others were killed in a raid that took place a month earlier in the same city.

In January 2019, the Egyptian Air Forces eliminated a number of terrorist elements, including two prominent leaders in North Sinai. Also, military and police forces eliminated a number of 59 "takfiri" elements, including 15 "highly dangerous" terrorists.



2/17/2019 2:35:45 PM
<![CDATA[President Sisi sends message to Oman's Qaboos]]>
Egypt's Ambassador in Muscat Mohamed Ahmed Fahmy handed over the message to Omani Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court Khalid bin Hilal bin Saud al-Busaidi.

During their meeting, they discussed bilateral relations in several fields.

On February 2018, Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said al-Said asserted his country’s support to Egypt in its battle against terrorism during his summit with President Sisi.

The Sultan valued Egypt’s role in enhancing Gulf’s stability and security, confirming the long depth of Egyptian-Omani relations of cooperation and friendship, according to presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi. Sultan Qaboos expressed hope for Sisi’s visit to boost bilateral relations between the two countries, Radi added.

Sisi expressed Egypt’s appreciation to the Sultanate’s stances led by Sultan Qaboos, affirming that he is looking forward to enhance the bilateral relations as well.

Talks between the two leaders addressed economic cooperation and trade deals through the mutual committee, which will hold a meeting in Muscat soon. It also tackled the recent issues in the region, where Sultan Qaboos reviewed his vision on solving the Yemeni crisis in a way that can ease the suffering of Yemeni people.

The two leaders also discussed other regional issues in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.
Upon arrival at Muscat’s Al-Alam royal palace on Sunday, Sisi was warmly welcomed by Sultan Qaboos.

Sisi’s visit to Muscat on February 2018 is the first since he took office in 2014, upon an invitation from Sultan Qaboos.

The relations between Egypt and Oman have been characteristically stable for decades.
2/17/2019 2:18:32 PM
<![CDATA[Assar meets South Korean defense minister at IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi]]>
The five-day gathering brings together major defense and military companies to showcase their innovations.

Assar met on the sidelines of IDEX with South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and discussed with him cooperation in the defense and military fields and the possibility of exchanging technological expertise.

The Military Production Ministry will display at the Egyptian pavilion products and defense equipment manufactured by its affiliate companies.

Egyptian armored vehicles St100 and St 500 will be presented for the first time at an international military exhibition abroad.

This is the second time for the Military Production Ministry to take part in IDEX as it previously participated in its 2017 edition.

The military production minister is scheduled to meet with a number of military commanders from all over the world as well as heads of the companies participating in the exhibition.

The ministry's participation in IDEX 2019 will offer an opportunity for opening up to the world through presenting its technological and technical capabilities and enable it to get acquainted with the latest technologies in the armament and defense fields. ]]>
2/17/2019 2:00:16 PM
<![CDATA[More arrests as police crackdown illegal excavation in Giza]]>
The police were notified that a house owner named Hosny Z. had excavated under his house located near Giza necropolis; in the house, the police found four pieces that are suspected to be antiquities.

The man admitted the illegal act and the forces found covered drills.

The seizures were: a 35 cm-statute for a standing person with head missing, a 17*23 cm-stone tableau carrying embossed inscriptions for a man and a woman, a small-sized statute with a broken head and a large scarab.

Last week, a similar incident took place in the same area when a man was incarcerated for illegally excavating two trenches inside his house near the Giza Pyramids to search for monuments.

The illegal excavation in Nazlet al-Samman area led to the discovery of an ancient burial site including six incomplete wall-relief statues, a statement by the General Administration of Tourism and Antiquities Police revealed. The statement did not specify the age of the items discovered.

Law No. 117 of 1983 imposes a prison term of 5 to 7 years and a fine of not less than LE 5,000($284) and not more than LE 7,000 ($397) on anyone who is proven guilty of illegal excavation for antiquities.

An ancient tomb was unearthed beneath a house in Giza, near the more than 4,000-year-old pyramids, after an excavation was carried out by the house owner, Tourism Police said in a statement on Feb. 3.

The house owner was arrested as he excavated illegally. As per the law of antiquities, any excavations should be conducted after getting permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities or from the Tourism Police Department; then, a committee should be formed by officials from the two bodies to check the presence of ancient artifacts.

However, several illegal excavations have been reported recently because the owners of the archaeological sites are not compensated appropriately by the government.
2/17/2019 1:00:25 PM
<![CDATA[Weather moderate in Northern Egypt, Cairo on Sunday]]>
The southern part of Upper Egypt is expected to be warm during the day and very cold at night.

Low and medium-level clouds are expected across the country, accompanied by rainfall in the northeastern coasts, Delta areas and Sinai, while winds will be active on northern Upper Egypt.

2/17/2019 12:57:09 PM
<![CDATA[Macron condemns anti-Semitism at ‘Yellow Vest’ protest in Paris]]>
Police intervened to protect philosopher and writer Alain Finkielkraut after he was targeted by a group of protestors on the fringe of a demonstration in central Paris on Saturday, according to videos posted on social networks.

"The anti-Semitic insults he has been subjected to are the absolute negation of what we are and what makes us a great nation. We will not tolerate it," Macron tweeted.

"The son of Polish immigrants who became a French academician, Alain Finkielkraut is not only a prominent man of letters but the symbol of what the Republic allows everyone," the president added in another tweet.

Several protestors shouted "Dirty Zionist," "We are the people" and "France is ours", according to a video broadcast by Yahoo! News.

"I felt absolute hatred and, unfortunately, this is not the first time," Finkielkraut, 69, told Journal du Dimanche.

"I would have been afraid if there had not been the police, fortunately they were there," he told the newspaper, while adding that not all the demonstrators were hostile towards him and one even suggested he put on a vest and join the demonstration while another hailed his work.

Finkielkraut has expressed his solidarity and sympathy with the "yellow vest" protestors from the outset but in an interview published Saturday in Le Figaro, he criticised the leaders of the movement, saying that "arrogance has changed sides".

Saturday's incident triggered a wave of condemnation and messages of support for the philosopher.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said it was "simply intolerable" while the leader of the Republicans opposition party, Laurent Wauquiez, denounced the "abject idiots."

Ian Brossat, chief French Communist Party candidate for the European Parliament, said "We can hate Finkielkraut's ideas", but "nothing can justify attacking him as a Jew".

Finkielkraut, who is seen as having pro-establishment beliefs, has since January 2016 been a member of the French Academy, the prestigious institution in charge of defining the French language.

A recent spate of anti-Semitic vandalism and graffiti in and around Paris has stoked fresh concerns about an increase in hate crime against Jews.

Fourteen political parties Thursday launched a call for action against anti-Semitism after the interior ministry reported a 74 percent increase in anti-Jewish acts last year.

The "yellow vest" protests began three months ago over fuel taxes but quickly grew into a broader anti-government rebellion fuelled by hatred of Macron, with some using anti-Semitic tropes to refer to his former job as an investment banker.]]>
2/17/2019 12:44:43 PM
<![CDATA[Burullus fishing port reopened after weather improvement]]>
The strong winds led to the fall of some lamp posts on a main bridge on the international coastal road.

Kafr el Sheikh Governor Ismail Abdel Hamid gave orders to remove the wrecked lamp posts to avoid hitting passing vehicles.]]>
2/17/2019 12:06:42 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's amb. in Berlin: Sisi's speech at MSC widely welcomed by international leaders]]>
In statements to "Extra News" TV on Sunday, Ambassador Abdel Aati said Sisi's participation at MSC is a historic one, noting that his speech covered Egypt's vision regarding a set of issues especially stability and security in Africa, the Middle East region and the world at large.

Many participants at MSC praised Sisi's vision as regards the challenges pertaining to terrorism and illegal immigration.

As regards Sisi's meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the ambassador said the meeting was held in a very positive atmosphere, noting that both sides are fully satisfied with the level of relations between Egypt and Germany in the economic, trade and military fields.]]>
2/17/2019 12:02:23 PM
<![CDATA[Arab Parliament condemns Arish terrorist attack]]>
In a statement on Sunday, Salami strongly condemned the attack in North Sinai and asserted the support of the Arab Parliament to Egypt in its war against terror.

Salami lauded the Egyptian Armed Forces and their efforts to maintain stability in Egypt.]]>
2/17/2019 11:59:57 AM
<![CDATA[Trump urges Europe to 'take back' hundreds of captured IS fighters]]>
"The Caliphate is ready to fall," he said in a Tweet. "The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them..."

U.S.-backed fighters in Syria are poised to capture Islamic State's last, tiny enclave on the Euphrates, the battle commander said on Saturday, bringing its self-declared caliphate to the brink of total defeat. ]]>
2/17/2019 6:29:07 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. President Trump to get update on China trade talks]]>
"Ambassador Lighthizer, Secretary Ross, Mick Mulvaney, and Peter Navarro will join the President in person at Mar-a-Lago and Secretary Mnuchin, Pat Cipilone, Larry Kudlow, Kevin Hassett, Derek Lyons and Clete Willems will join by phone," Sanders said.]]>
2/16/2019 11:36:25 PM
<![CDATA[Illinois factory gunman killed 5 victims after being fired]]>
Gary Martin, 45, armed himself with a handgun, which he owned illegally, before reporting for a meeting on Friday at the Henry Pratt Company where his employment was terminated, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman told reporters.

He was later killed in a shootout with SWAT-team officers who stormed the sprawling plant 40 miles (65 km) west of Chicago.

Martin had bought the gun he used, a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun with a laser sight, in 2014 before authorities realized he had a prior felony conviction, Ziman said.

"The fact remains that some disgruntled person walked in and had access to a firearm that he shouldn't have had access to," Ziman said at the news conference.

Investigators were seeking to determine why Martin was not forced to relinquish his gun before the shooting, Ziman said. He should have been barred from owning a handgun because he had a 1995 conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi.

He also had several prior arrests in Illinois, Ziman said, including for suspicion of domestic violence and criminal damage to property.

The bloodshed marked the latest spasm of gun violence in a nation where mass shootings have become almost commonplace, and came a day after the first anniversary of the massacre of 17 people by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The violence unfolded over an hour and a half, although Martin's victims, including the wounded policemen, were struck by gunfire in the first several minutes, police said.

Police breached a door at the plant with an armored rescue vehicle called a BearCat, allowing SWAT officers to enter and search for the gunman and injured victims, Aurora Deputy Police Chief Keefe Jackson told reporters.

Heavily armed SWAT officers combed through the nearly 30,000-square foot (2,800-square meter) facility, their sight-lines obscured by racks with valves and machinery, Aurora police Lieutenant Rick Robertson told reporters.

Martin was holed up in a machine shop at the back, apparently waiting for police, Robertson said, and exchanged gunfire with them. It was not immediately clear if Martin died from a self-inflicted wound or police gunfire.

"It was a very short gunfight and it was over," Robertson said.


The plant, which manufactures water distribution products and operates as a factory and warehouse, employs about 200 workers in a working-class district of Aurora, the second-largest city in Illinois.

Among the victims were Trevor Wehner, a human resources intern who was spending his first day at the company when he was fatally shot, police and a family friend said.

Authorities identified the other plant workers who were killed as Josh Pinkard, the plant manager; Clayton Parks, the human resources manager; Russell Beyer, a mold operator; and Vicente Juarez, a stock room attendant and fork lift operator. Police did not give the ages of the victims.

A sixth employee wounded in the shooting was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

At least two of the five police officers wounded by gunfire remained in hospital on Saturday in stable condition, Ziman said.

Another officer was injured in the incident, but not by gunfire, police said.

Neighbors of Martin, who lived in an apartment in Aurora, described him as a quiet man whom they often saw operating a remote control car and a drone.

"He looked very normal," said neighbor Gildardo Bravo, a 43-year-old cleaning company supervisor. ]]>
2/16/2019 10:48:02 PM
<![CDATA[More Venezuela aid arrives in Colombia amid uncertainty over distribution]]>
The shipment will be the second arrival of large-scale U.S. and international aid for Venezuelans, many of whom have scant access to food and medicine since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president in defiance of socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido, who invoked constitutional provisions to declare himself the country's leader last month, arguing Maduro's 2018 re-election was a sham, has said aid will enter Venezuela on Feb. 23.

But it remains unclear whether Maduro, who has called the aid a U.S.-orchestrated show and denies any crisis, will allow the supplies to cross into Venezuela.

Speaking in Caracas to supporters who had volunteered to help with the aid effort, Guaido said he would announce further details on Monday about how he planned to get aid into the country from Colombia, Brazil and Curacao despite Maduro's opposition.

"We will organize ourselves into brigades," Guaido said, calling on the military to allow the aid through. "The message we have to get through to the armed forces is that they have one week to do the right thing. Will you be on the side of your family and your people, or of the usurper who keeps lying?"

A U.S. official told Reuters the aid delivered Saturday amounted to more than 200 tonnes, but a U.S. embassy representative said they had no measurements of the shipment.

Colombia, whose President Ivan Duque refers to Maduro as a dictator, has said repeatedly that aid will not be distributed within its territory.

Most Western countries and many of Venezuela's neighbors have recognized Guaido as the legitimate head of state, while Maduro retains the backing of Russia and China and control of Venezuelan state institutions including the military.

The aid will "provide relief to tens of thousands of Venezuelans who are suffering from severe shortages of food and medicine caused by the mismanagement of the illegitimate Maduro regime," the U.S. embassy said in a statement.

The supplies, including hygiene kits and special products meant for children suffering malnutrition, will arrive from an air force base in Florida aboard C-17 military cargo planes.

Additional aid flights will take place over the coming days, the statement added, and medical supplies and pharmaceuticals meant for use in hospitals will arrive early next week.

The first aid shipment, which included basic foodstuffs and medical supplies, arrived Feb. 8 and is being stored in a Cucuta warehouse.

Two bridges outside Cucuta which mark the border between the two countries were open as normal on Saturday. A road bridge outside Tienditas, Venezuela, which has never been used, remains blocked on the Venezuelan side by shipping containers.

Medical patients were expected hold a protest in Tienditas calling for aid to be allowed in, while Venezuela government supporters nearby were planning a "hug-a-thon" in protest of "American interventionism".

British billionaire Richard Branson is organizing a Feb. 22 concert to raise funds for more aid.
2/16/2019 9:04:15 PM
<![CDATA[12M children to be screened for obesity, anemia, dwarfness]]>
Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed stated that the screening would target almost 12 million students - aged between six and 12 - at 22,000 public, private, and Azhar schools. She explained that the campaign would involve 4,420 medical teams and 225 clinics.

Zayed clarified that students who need treatment would be referred to a Health Insurance clinic, to receive a free service.

The minister added that the campaign will be executed over three phases, and that check-ups would take place after providing a written consent of a parent and the student’s birth certificate.

The first phase will include Fayoum, Damietta, Asyut, Matrouh, Port Said, South Sinai, Qalyubia, Beheira, Alexandria, Giza, and Qena. The second phase consist of Cairo, Suez, Ismailiyah, Kafr El Sheikh, Menoufia, Beni Suef, Sohag, North Sinai, Red Sea, Aswan, and Luxor. The last phase will take place in Daqahliyah, Sharqeya, Gharbeya, Minya, and the New Valley.

The campaign will kick off on February 17 and end on April 30. The first two phases will respectively screen five million, and three million schools students. As for dropouts, health ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Interior to carry out check-ups for them.

Minister Zayed encouraged the civil society to help raising awareness on nutrition and delivering healthy food to low-income families. She called upon fast food outlets and snack companies to decrease fats in their products. The minister stated that obesity is quite common in international schools.

The minister announced that a nationwide campaign would be launched soon to raise awareness on public health, healthy lifestyle, and the importance of breastfeeding.

Three years ago, a campaign was launched to vaccinate children against intestinal parasites. The target was achieved by 70 percent as eight million children were vaccinated.
2/16/2019 5:47:38 PM
<![CDATA[Results breakdown of ‘100 Million Healthy Lives’]]>
The campaign aims at screening citizens above the age of 18 to determine the prevalence of Hepatitis C, obesity, and chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

Until present, 30 million have been screened over two phases. The first phase took place in October and November 2018 in nine governorates screening 13 million citizens. The second phase was held starting from December until February in 11 governorates screening 17 million citizens. The third phase will kick off on March 1 to end in April.

Hepatitis C

Menoufia: 8%
Beni Suef: 8%
Fayoum: 6%
Damietta: 5%
Kafr El Sheikh: 5%
Beheira: 4%
Qalyubia: 4%
Ismailiyah: 4%
Sohag: 4%
Suez: 4%
Aswan: 3%
Cairo: 3%
North Sinai: 3%
Port Said: 3%
Asyut: 3%
Luxor: 2%
Red Sea: 2%
Alexandria: 2%
Matrouh: 2%


Suez: 7%
Aswan: 6%
Cairo: 6%
Luxor: 6%
Kafr El Sheikh: 6%
Port Said: 6%
Damietta: 5%
Matrouh: 5%
Alexandria: 5%
North Sinai: 5%
Menoufia: 5%
Ismailiya: 5%
Sohag: 5%
Red Sea: 5%
Fayoum: 4%
Beni Suef: 4%
South Sinai: 4%
Beheira: 4%
Qalyubia: 3%
Asyut: 3%


Port Said: 30%
Alexandria: 27%
Cairo: 27%
Suez: 25%
Damietta: 24%
Menoufia: 22%
Kafr El Sheikh: 22%
South Sinai: 21%
Matrouh: 21%
Aswan: 21%
Red Sea: 20%
Beheira: 19%
Ismailiyah: 19%
North Sinai: 19%
Luxor: 17%
Sohag: 17%
Beni Suef: 16%
Qalyubia: 16%
Fayoum: 16%
Asyut: 16%
2/16/2019 4:02:35 PM
<![CDATA[22 Egyptians deported from US, Italy for breaching regulations]]>
In a Friday statement, the Airport authorities announced that the 22 Egyptians arrived home, as other legal procedures are expected to be taken against them.

The Egyptians faced several accusations before being deported including violating the terms of residence and employment along with illegal immigration especially to Italy.

Last October, Kuwait's criminal investigation officers arrested three Egyptians for stealing the data of around one million citizens to illegally sell them.

The Kuwaiti newspaper referred that flash memories containing the data of 1.8 million citizens and residents were seized, including data about the citizens' homes, addresses, phone numbers and work.

The criminal investigation officers were informed that an Egyptian sold the data of around one million citizens and residents in return of 220 KWD.

The investigations revealed that two other Egyptians were involved and that one of them used his position at the Ministry of Interior to steal the personal data of citizens. He made many copies and began to sell them in the black market.

The number of Egyptian expats around the world is numbered at 9.5 million, with 6 million working in Arab states, according to statistics provided by CAPMAS in 2017.
2/16/2019 4:00:54 PM
<![CDATA[No illegal immigration cases recorded in Egypt since 2016: Spox Rady]]>
On the sidelines of Munich Security Conference 2019, President Abdel Fatah al Sisi spoke about Egypt’s successful experience in controlling illegal immigration and countering terrorism especially in Sinai.

He added that Egypt did not ask for any aid from European countries, and managed by its own to stop illegal immigration. “Not even one case was recorded since September 2016,” Rady stated. He explained that the Egyptian authorities were keen to end illegal immigration and to curb the cases of illegal immigration deaths.

Rady affirmed that Egypt now has good experience in combating terrorism and extremism through various aspects, “In addition to combating extremism through military and intelligence cooperation, we also work on correcting misconceptions regarding moderate Islam,” Rady explained.

Illegal Egyptian immigrant narrates his "death trip" to Italy

CAIRO - 4 June 2018: Escaping harsh living conditions and seeking to improve their living standards, many Egyptian youth took illegal migration boats to Europe, most notably to France and Italy, unbeknown to them the mysterious fate that awaits them in the darkness across the Mediterranean Sea.

Last June, former Youth and Sports Minister Khaled Abdel Aziz said that the government has not spotted citizens illegally fleeing the country by sea since 2016, due to the coast guarding strategy.

“We lost many of our youth during illegal immigration attempts,” Abdel Aziz stated, adding that illegal immigration distorts the image of the country.

Abdel Aziz suggested the provision of close-to-home jobs for the youth, a suggestion which he said would discourage illegal immigration. He said that the huge national projects have provided 2.1 million jobs during the past two years.

Concerning human trafficking, Abdel Aziz said that some countries exploit underage immigrants and employ them in some industries that lack professional manufacturers, especially in Europe. In addition, these states refuse to send them back to their countries, he added.
2/16/2019 2:29:56 PM
<![CDATA[Trial of 213 Ansar Beit El Maqdis terrorists postponed till next Saturday]]>
The charges against the defendants include a failed assassination attempt against former interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim, the murder of several 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. ]]>
2/16/2019 1:58:49 PM
<![CDATA[Police raid 77 hideouts, arrest thousands of fugitives ]]>
The raids resulted in the confiscation of 796 firearms. The breakdown is a rifle, 72 machine guns, 132 shotguns, 68 pistols, 523 bird shotguns, 2,104 bullets, and, 1,544 melee weapons.

The security agencies arrested 1,888 fugitives from criminal sentences, and 157,491 fugitives from prison sentences. That is in addition to the execution of 235,354 fine sentences, and 56,923 infraction sentences.

The ministry also arrested 86 defendants who had formed 23 gangs and committed 100 thefts. Nineteen stolen cars were returned to owners, and 67 culprits were arrested for committing different crimes including murder, robbery, arson, and identity theft.
2/16/2019 1:48:01 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo, Moscow about to end Russian zone negotiations: SCA]]>
Mamish noted that negotiations with the Russian side over the past period have yielded fruitful results after a framework agreement was signed in Moscow in May 2018 to establish the zone, the SCA said in a statement Saturday.

The SCA chief, along with his accompanying delegation, is set to meet with the Russian minister of industry and trade and his deputy with the aim of discussing mechanisms of establishing the zone on an area of 5.25 square kilometers with investments totaling about $7 billion.

The support provided by the two countries’ political leaderships has had a positive effect on negotiations between the SCA and the Russian side, Mamish said, pointing out to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s decree to ratify the framework agreement. ]]>
2/16/2019 1:34:26 PM
<![CDATA[Third African judicial conference kicks off in Cairo]]>
The three-day conference is attended by delegations from 45 African countries representing their constitutional and supreme courts.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli took part in the opening of the event, along with Minister of Justice Mohamed Hossam Abdel Rahim, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marwan in addition to several African ambassadors and Egyptian MPs.

Held under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the event aims to foster cooperation among African states and their judicial authorities. ]]>
2/16/2019 1:15:18 PM
<![CDATA[U.N. warns of locust surge on both sides of Red Sea]]>
“Good rains along the Red Sea coastal plains in Eritrea and Sudan have allowed two generations of breeding since October, leading to a substantial increase in locust populations and the formation of highly mobile swarms,” the FAO said.

At least one swarm had crossed to the northern coast of Saudi Arabia in mid-January, with further swarms a week later.

Rains from two cyclones in 2018 had triggered breeding of locusts in the Empty Quarter region of Saudi Arabia, near the Yemen-Oman border, and a few swarms from two generations of breeding had reached the United Arab Emirates and southern Iran.

There was a risk of further spread towards the India-Pakistan border, the FAO statement said.

“The next three months will be critical to bring the locust situation under control before the summer breeding starts,” FAO locust expert Keith Cressman said in the statement.

“The further spread of the current outbreak depends on two major factors - effective control and monitoring measures in locust breeding areas of Sudan, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia and the surrounding countries, and rainfall intensity between March and May along both sides of the Red Sea and in the interior of the Arabian Peninsula.”

Control operations have treated nearly 85,000 ha (200,000 acres) since December including 30,000 ha in the past two weeks in Egypt, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, the FAO said.

Control measures are also underway in Iran after at least one swarm arrived on the southern coast at the end of January, it said.

Adult locust swarms can fly up to 150 km a day with the wind and adult insects can consume roughly their own weight in fresh food per day. A very small swarm eats as much in one day as about 35,000 people, posing a devastating threat to crops and food security.

In an emailed comment to Reuters, Cressman said the last major desert locust upsurge was in 2003-2005 when more than 12 million hectares were treated in west and northwest Africa, incurring a cost of about $750 million including food aid.

Since then there have been numerous outbreaks along the coastal plains on both sides of the Red Sea that were mostly controlled.

The FAO will hold a meeting in Jordan next week to discuss intensifying control measures with affected countries, the statement said.]]>
2/16/2019 1:04:56 PM
<![CDATA[Bilateral talks between Sisi and Merkel in Munich]]>
Sisi's first visit to Berlin in 2015 was the first step to change the negative German stance towards the June 30 revolution and paved the way to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Cairo in March 2017, and a another visit for Sisi to Berlin in June 2017, Badr Abdel Aati, Egypt's ambassador to Germany said.

In January 2017, Sisi discussed with Merkel cooperation in countering terrorism. The two officials also discussed a future visit by Merkel to Cairo, said a statement by the Egyptian Presidency Office.

In March of the same year, Merkel visited the Egyptian capital, where she discussed with President Sisi issues including illegal migration, terrorism and the latest developments in the region.

Following the meeting, Sisi praised, in a press conference, the development of the relations between the two states in various fields.

Merkel expressed appreciation of the long term bilateral relations, which have lasted for about 61 years, affirming that Germany is one of Egypt's major trade and investment partners.

Sisi and Merkel also watched a video conference of the opening ceremony of the German Siemens's three power plants established in Egypt.
2/16/2019 12:54:39 PM
<![CDATA[Seven terrorists killed in assault on Army forces Northern Sinai ]]>
Spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces Tamer al-Refai announced that the forces were sweeping the area to find the remaining assailants.

The Armed Forces launched an anti-terror campaign last February to eliminate terrorism in North Sinai after a mosque was targeted resulting in the death of more than 300 civilians. “The Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018” has succeeded to eliminate hundreds of terrorists confiscating the firearms and explosive devices they possessed and destroying the vehicles they used.

Police forces, also taking part in the Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018, killed seven terrorists in Arish earlier this month. Five others were killed in a raid that took place a month earlier in the same city.

In January, the Egyptian Air Forces eliminated a number of terrorist elements, including two prominent leaders in North Sinai. Also, military and police forces eliminated a number of 59 "takfiri" elements, including 15 "highly dangerous" terrorists.

In the same month, six terrorists were killed in a fire exchange with Egyptian security forces in a mountainous area near Sohag-Asyut Desert road.

On December 29, security forces killed 40 terrorists in fire exchange as part of a crackdown on terrorist hideouts in Giza and North Sinai governorates.

A total of 24 dangerous takfiris were killed in different operations by the Armed Forces, while 403 suspects and criminals were arrested, according to the 30th statement of the Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 released earlier in December.

The Egyptian security 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 while attempting to infiltrate.
2/16/2019 12:33:24 PM
<![CDATA[Participation of Sisi in Munich conference historic event: Chairman]]>
He added while presenting president Sisi to deliver a speech at the main session of the conference, that the participation of president Sisi, the head of the African Union along with the Romanian president, the head of the European Union is historic.

He noted that relations between the two sides need to be changed so that they would reach strategic partnership for confronting the dangers of terrorism and achieving economic growth. ]]>
2/16/2019 12:02:59 PM
<![CDATA[Tunisian FM stresses need to ensure safety of Tunisian nationals held in Libya]]>
The Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that it is closely monitoring the situation of Tunisian nationals working in Libya who were kidnapped on Thursday morning by Libyan armed elements in the outskirts of the city of Zaouïa.

Jhinaoui said that the Tunisian Consulate in Tripoli is also continuing its contacts with the competent Libyan authorities in order to "put an end to this crisis without delay". ]]>
2/16/2019 11:56:09 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi in Munich: Egypt seeks expressing interests of African peoples]]>
In his speech at the main session of the Munich Security Conference, president Sisi added that the conference is held this year amid growing challenges and dangers including the continuation of tension and conflict at the international level and the spread of terrorism and extremism along with increasing rates of crime.

These challenges would undermine national institutions and pose danger to the stability and security of peoples, added president Sisi.

President Sisi underlined the necessity of working to enhance international efforts for confronting these challenges.]]>
2/16/2019 11:35:17 AM
<![CDATA[Security defuses bomb near Giza's Istiqamah Mosque]]>
A security source announced in press remarks that a Muslim Brotherhood operative targeted a crowded area near the mosque and planted the bomb, which later got defused.

Security forces on Friday morning suspected a strange object under the Giza Bridge and immediately a security cordon surrounded the place until specialists identified the object to be a bomb and defused it at once.

An investigation was opened into the incident and further details will be revealed soon.
2/15/2019 3:08:40 PM
<![CDATA[Germany plans to tighten security rules on telecoms equipment suppliers - minister]]>
"We will improve and strengthen our national law regarding security requirements for secure communications," Altmaier told Reuters at the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. "All suppliers to German telecoms service providers will have to meetthese requirements," he said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week that Germany needed guarantees that China's Huawei Technologies would not hand over data to the Chinese state before the telecoms equipment supplier can participate in building its 5G network]]>
2/15/2019 1:44:34 PM
<![CDATA[President Sisi talks co-op with Rohde & Schwarz]]>CAIRO – 15 February 2019: At his residence in Munich, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with President and Chief Operating Officer of Rohde and Schwarz group Peter Riedel on Thursday, said Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi in a statement.

President Sisi expressed Egypt’s keenness to cooperate with the company in the technology field, as it is one of the pioneering companies in the information and communication technology field, Radi added.

The Munich-based company provides products of securing communication, monitoring and cyber security. Its service network covers more than 70 countries, according to the company’s official website.

President Sisi arrived in Germany on Thursday to participate in the 2019 Munich Security Conference (MSC 2019) due on Feb. 15-16. Being the chairperson of the African Union, Sisi is set to deliver a speech at the Conference on Saturday to be the first Arab president address this three-day gathering.

The Egyptian- German relationship is getting much better. The numerous official German visits to Egypt reflect the Egyptian political stability,” Vice- President of the Landtag Brandenburg Dietmar Woidke said.

Furthermore, cooperation with Germany in the automotive sector has witnessed a remarkable progress, especially after the return of Mercedes to the Egyptian market, according to a Thursday statement by the Egyptian ambassador to Berlin Badr Abdel Ati.

A technical delegation from Mercedes intends to visit Egypt in February 2019 to activate the decision of resuming the company's activity in Egypt, the ambassador added.

On Feb. 12, 2019, both countries inked a 250-million-dollar agreement to boost the Egyptian social and economic reform program.

In case you missed it

Egypt's amb. to Berlin reviews promising bilateral relations

CAIRO - 14 February 2019: Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived in Munich on Thursday upon an invitation to attend the Munich Security Conference 2019 due on February 15-16. Badr Abdel Aati, Egypt's ambassador to Germany, issued a report on Egyptian-German relations and the remarkable development they have witnessed since 2015 under President Sisi.

Additional reporting by Amr Mohamed Kandil

2/15/2019 1:33:30 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to become an energy hub for MENA: UK amb.]]>
Commenting on a $325 million agreement between the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and Britain’s Lekela Power to build a 250 MW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez, Adams added that several leading British companies will be supporting Egypt to help it achieve its goal.

“I am proud that this week alone, BP, Shell and Actis made new investment announcements in Egypt, creating job opportunities and pushing the Egyptian economy forward,” Adams said.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr, and the British Ambassador attended the signing ceremony.

In a Thursday statement issued by the British Embassy in Cairo, it was stated that the wind farm will help Egypt achieve its plan to produce 20 percent of its energy from new and renewable sources by 2022.

UK investment in the renewable energy sector in Egypt has been witnessing consecutive boosts; Recently, the UK Export Finance announced its support to the Tahrir Petrochemical Complex, which aims at doubling Egypt’s total exports, with around $1.6 billion fund.

This week, 33 leading British companies are showcasing their expertise in the oil and gas sector in this year’s edition of the Egyptian Petroleum Show (EGYPS.) Out of these exhibiting companies, 20 are exploring potential opportunities for the first time.

The British Ambassador visited the exhibition and met with leading business figures who expressed keenness to invest in the Egyptian market.

Sir Adams also met with the CEO of BP Group, Bob Dudley; and Stuart Jones, regional president for Europe and Middle East at Bechtel, and discussed running British investments in the energy sector, and their plans for future growth.

This energy delegation coincides with a high-ranking visit of British experts in the fields of healthcare and energy as they explored new opportunities for investment in a broad range of fields.]]>
2/15/2019 12:36:31 PM
<![CDATA[Alexandria, Dekheila ports still closed over bad weather]]>
In statements, Ghandour added that the closure decision comes to ensure maritime safety after heavy rain hit several parts of Alexandria over the past days.]]>
2/15/2019 12:16:05 PM
<![CDATA[Assar to head to Abu Dhabi Sunday to attend IDEX 2019]]>
The Military Production Ministry will display at the Egyptian pavilion its products and defense equipment that are manufactured by its affiliate companies.

The Egyptian armored vehicles St100 and St 500 will be presented for the first time at an international military exhibition abroad.

This is the second time for the Military Production Ministry to take part in IDEX as it previously participated in its 2017 edition.

The military production minister is scheduled to meet with a number of military commanders from all over the world as well as heads of the companies participating in the exhibition.

The ministry's participation in IDEX 2019 will offer an opportunity for opening up to the world through presenting its technological and technical capabilities and enable it to get acquainted with the latest technologies in the armament and defense fields.

The ministry will also have a key opportunity
to invite the participating countries to take part in the second edition of EDEX 2020 in Egypt, after the success of its first edition in 2018.]]>
2/15/2019 12:14:19 PM
<![CDATA[Burullus fishing port closed for second day over bad weather]]>
Strong winds have led to the fall of some lamp posts on a main bridge on the international coastal road.

Kafr el Sheikh governor Ismail Abdel Hamid gave orders to remove those lamp posts to avoid hitting passing vehicles]]>
2/15/2019 11:36:34 AM
<![CDATA[585 inmates released per presidential pardon]]>
The released group is part of a total of 6,925 prisoners and detained debtors, who were granted their freedom on January 25, 2019.

After being released, the inmates will be placed under the ministry’s department of subsequent supervision, which monitors the released prisoners’ attitude after being re-integrated into the society.

Egyptians celebrated the eighth anniversary of the uprising that ended the 30-year rule of former President Hosni Mubarak. The uprising was staged on the Egyptian Police Day on January 25, 2011 to protest against the ministry’s crackdown on civilians during Mubarak’s era.

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

On July 23, 2018, 2,391 prisoners have been released, while a total of 405 prisoners were released on June 21, per presidential pardons. Other inmates were granted a conditional release.

On June 15, a total of 2,110 prisoners were released per the same presidential pardon that was issued on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr (Religious feast marking the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan).
2/14/2019 6:16:26 PM
<![CDATA[Dar al-Ifta reiterates forbidding FGM due to health effects]]>
In a Motion Graphics video, Dar al-Ifta explained that some people who are ineligible for issuing fatwas (Islamic rulings) claim that preventing female genital mutilation is prohibited in Islam.

The religious body said that devout doctors have affirmed that female genital mutilation causes harms that may lead to death. It stressed that Islam came to protect people's lives, adding that actions threatening people's lives are undoubtedly prohibited.

Female genital mutilation is not a religious issue; it was a common practice among the Nile basin countries in the past, Dar al-Ifta said, adding that ancient Egyptians circumcised females, and that such habit moved to some Arab regions.

On July 10, 2018, Vivian Fouad, the National Population Council (NPC)'s FGM program spokeswoman, told Egypt Today that awareness campaigns to combat female genital mutilation (FGM) in Egypt are paying off.

The presence of programs raised the citizens' awareness of the phenomenon through civil society organizations, she added, noting that the council cooperated with the Public Prosecution and the Ministry of Interior to enforce the law and punish violators.

According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Demographic and Health Survey in Egypt in 2000 showed that 97 percent of married women included in the survey had experienced female genital mutilation.

Additionally, a pilot study by the Health Insurance Organization showed that 41 percent of female students in primary, preparatory and secondary schools had undergone FGM.

Additional reporting by Walaa Ali
2/14/2019 5:05:37 PM
<![CDATA[Stevedoring operations normal in Alex., Dekheila ports despite closure]]>
Both ports were closed due to bad weather conditions, high waves and increasing wind velocity in order to avoid collision between ships, he said in a statement on Thursday. ]]>
2/14/2019 4:22:32 PM
<![CDATA[PM: State keen to overcome challenges to chemical and fertilizer sector]]>CAIRO, 14 Feb 2019: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli on Thursday said the state is keen on overcoming any challenges to the chemical and fertilizer sector, for being one of the promising industrial sectors that could play a good role in luring further investments.

In this regard, the premier added the government is ready to allocate the necessary plots of land for establishing more factories in that sector.

Madbouli made the remarks in a meeting with members of the Egyptian Chemical and Fertilizers Export Council (CEC), led by Khaled Abul Makarem to discuss their views and proposals on a new program for stimulating exports.

Also, the prime minister stressed that the government has been seeking to develop an overall program and an integrated vision to boost exports, with removing all obstacles to the CEC.

For his part, Abul Makarem briefed Madbouli on key indicators of this vital sector and the CEC's vision on the new program to increase exports, saying the total volume of Egypt's industrial exports in 2018 hit USD 5.3 billion, an increase of about 20%, compared to the previous year.

In 2018, the number of exporters reached 2,477, the CEC head said, noting that total production of about 6,520 registered industrial facilities, stood at EGP 520 billion. That figure contributed greatly to securing 1.1 million direct and indirect jobs for insured workers.

Abul Makarem said the CEC's vision on the new program for exports, comes as part of the council's efforts to activate local industry, through introducing a Value Added Tax (VAT) of at least 40% into local components, in addition to raising the volume of exports coming from the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The CEC is seeking to have a greater access to African markets, especially as Egypt has taken over the African Union (AU) presidency in 2019, Abul Makarem added.

The council is working to support a sustainable program for exporters and enhance the quality of Egyptian industries, as well as increase participation in external exhibitions, business weeks and trade missions, he noted. ]]>
2/14/2019 4:19:15 PM
<![CDATA[Khairat Barakat retains his position as CAPMAS boss]]>
The decree has been published in the official gazette.]]>
2/14/2019 4:17:32 PM
<![CDATA[US to help Egypt achieve 'shared' goal of stable Africa]]>
"During Egypt’s chairpersonship, we anticipate continuing our work with the African Union on key issues of mutual interest to include expanding economic opportunity, enhancing security, and consolidating democracy and human rights in Africa," the statement read.

"We note the declaration of 2019 as the AU’s Year of Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons, and look forward to working with the AU to advance mutual goals in this area," Palladino added.

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi received on Sunday the chairmanship of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government from Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame for a one-year term.

African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said on Monday that the commission will fully cooperate with Sisi as chairman of the AU to solve African issues and to achieve remarkable progress in the sustainable development agenda.

Addressing a joint presser with Sisi, Faki thanked the Egyptian leader for providing a clear-cut and comprehensive review of the continent's issues.

He praised the choice of 2019 as the year of refugees and displaced people in Africa, calling for uprooting the reasons of the file. He also hailed serious discussions during the sessions of the summit, particularly on peace and security in the continent.
2/14/2019 2:08:15 PM
<![CDATA[Azhar raises educational grants to African students by 100% ]]>
According to a statement issued by Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb on Feb. 12 , this decision comes in conjunction with Egypt’s receiving the chairmanship of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

For more than 1,000 years, Al-Azhar has been one of Egypt’s main ‘Soft powers’. Students from all over the world and especially from Africa flock annually as they receive different scholarships in all of Al-Azhar’s faculties and institutes, according to Tayeb.

Up to 32,000 students come to Al-Azhar every year from 113 different countries; around 4,000 of the students come per full scholarships. According to recent statistics mentioned by the statement, Al-Azhar welcomes 6,108 students from the MENA region, 16,384 students from Asia, 405 students from America and Australia and 4,748 students from Africa.

More branches of the World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates will be established in several African countries, especially those suffering from terrorism, according to Tayeb. He explained that these branches will be offering educational, cultural and social services to Al-Azhar graduates, who are seen as Al-Azhar's ambassadors in their countries.

Furthermore, President of Al-Azhar University Mohamed al-Mahrasawy announced on Feb. 12 in a press conference that a bureau of the Association of African Universities (AAU) will be inaugurated on the campus of Al-Azhar University on March 12. The university will also organize the AAU’s Olympics taking place on March 10-15.

The association was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Ghana. The AAU has 380 member and associate member institutions that represent 46 African states.

Also, Al-Azhar University will host the Conference of Rectors, Vice Chancellors and Presidents of African Universities (COREVIP) on July 8-11.

In January, Egypt’s Minister of Health Hala Zayed unveiled an Egyptian initiative to treat African people from Hepatitis C, starting with the Nile Basin countries that have an estimated 3.7 million hepatitis C patients, representing 30 percent of the total number of infected people in Africa.

During a meeting with members of the Parliament's African Affairs Committee headed by Tarek Radwan, Zayed said that the ministry currently works to help the Nile Basin countries cure the cases that test positive for Hepatitis C and will send medical personnel even from the private sector to these states.

This initiative will help spread Egyptian medicine and open markets for it, Zayed said, adding that it offers an opportunity to export medicine to Africa and an opportunity to treat 1 million people infected with the blood-borne disease in the Nile Basin countries.

Zayed also urged benefiting from the Egyptian medical initiatives, including the "100 Million Seha (health)" campaign, and the campaign to eliminate waiting lists. She expressed keenness to launch similar initiatives in the Nile Basin countries.

The minister confirmed that Cairo provides treatment for Hepatitis C patients for only $50-$120 per patient, asserting that treatments in other countries can cost the patient between $28,000 and $80,000. She also stressed she is contacting the international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) to cover the cost of medicine in these countries.

On February 10, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi received the chairmanship of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government from Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame for a one-year term. The ceremony took place during the opening of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Additional reporting by Loai Ali
2/14/2019 11:30:48 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi king launches $8 billion in development projects in capital]]>
State TV showed King Salman and his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman listening to a briefing on the development projects in areas ranging from healthcare, education and housing to public transportation and state services.

In addition to the 360 new projects announced on Wednesday, the king proclaimed the opening of 921 other projects already built for another 52.3 billion riyals.

Riyadh governor Faisal bin Bandar said in a speech during the televised ceremony the development projects were part of the kingdom's 2030 vision, referring to an economic reform programme launched by the crown prince.

Crown Prince Mohammed, 33, on course to become the first Saudi king from a new generation after a line of six brothers dating back to 1953, has pledged to reform the economy and ease Saudi Arabia's strict social rules.

His international reputation was severely hurt last year by the killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. Riyadh initially denied the killing but has since acknowledged that its agents carried it out, though it says the leadership was not involved.

In November, King Salman toured the kingdom with the crown prince and launched billions of dollars worth of development projects, in what was seen as a bid to shore up his heir's status following doubts in the wake of the Khashoggi affair.

King Salman served as governor of Riyadh for five decades, during which the capital grew from a small city of clay houses to a metropolis with skyscrapers, shopping malls and modern infrastructure.
2/13/2019 10:16:09 PM
<![CDATA[Suicide bomber kills 27 members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards]]>
The Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it wants greater rights for the ethnic minority Baluchis, claimed responsibility for the attack, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

A suicide bomber driving a vehicle laden with explosives attacked a bus transporting members of the Guards, the force said in a statement.

A video posted by Fars showed blood and debris at the site of the attack on the road between the cities of Zahedan and Khash, a volatile area near the Pakistan border where militants and drug smugglers operate.

The explosion was so powerful that the bus was turned into a twisted pile of metal, a photo published on Fars showed. Reuters could not independently verify the images.

While Jaish al Adl and other groups like it are not regarded as a major security threat, the attack is a fresh blow to the image of the Guards, the most powerful force in Iran, which reports directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Twelve members of the Guards were among 25 people killed last autumn in an attack by gunmen on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz. The militant Sunni group Islamic State and an Arab separatist group claimed responsibility for that attack.

Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi vowed retaliation for Wednesday's attack.

"The self-sacrificing military and intelligence children of the people of Iran will take revenge for the blood of the martyrs of this incident," Fars quoted him as saying.

In October, Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for kidnapping 10 Iranian security personnel. Some of them have been released.
2/13/2019 8:50:42 PM
<![CDATA[Gov't takes samples of oil spill off El Tor to identify pollution source]]>
The Ministry of Environment was notified by its central operations room on the oil leakage near the coast of the city, according to a ministry statement issued Wednesday.

The committee will survey the spill site and try to identify its possible source, the statement added.

Coordination is under way with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) to immediately start a cleanup of the oil spill and survey the surrounding area, the statement said.

El Tor is the capital of South Sinai governorate.

MENA contributed to this report ]]>
2/13/2019 5:05:16 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of education reveals status of Japanese schools]]>
Thirty-five Japanese schools were inaugurated on September 22, 2018, and fully funded by Egypt under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the minister said. The establishments adopt the Japanese-style education including special activities (Tokkatsu) in elementary stages such as cleaning the classroom and being the class leader for a day (nitchoku).

Tokkatsu is applied by Egyptian teachers under the supervision of Japanese trainers and experts. The experts visit the schools twice a month at least, while the trainers visit the schools weekly.

The experts reports reviewing the teachers performance are positive, the minister said. Tokkatsu teaches children hygiene, and eating etiquette, and that is what happens at schools. However, the schools do not offer any meals, the minister clarified.

The lack of certain facilities in the schools such as computer and language labs does not affect the education process as the classes introduced in those schools at present are KG1, KG2, and P1 that do not need them, the minister said.

Sixty percent of facilities at the Japanese schools have been finished during the mid-year break including green areas. The computers and projectors are still being supplied to the schools, the minister explained.

The tuitions fees are LE10,000 that are paid on three installments. The first two are worth LE4,000, and the last is worth LE2,000. The subscription to the mobile application is LE200 to be paid one time when first enrolled at any of the Japanese schools. However, the application has not been launched yet.

Egypt has launched an initiative to build 200 “Japanese Schools” adopting the Japanese education system more than three years ago.
2/13/2019 4:42:04 PM
<![CDATA[Details of high-speed railway lines plan in Egypt ]]>
The network includes three lines that will be executed in order of priority. The first links Ain Sokhna to New Alamein. It will start from the New Administrative Capital (NAC) passing through Ain Sokhna and 6th of October City until New Alamein. There will be a branch at Nubareya that extends to Alexandria through Borg al-Arab city.

The first phase of that line will stretch from NAC until the 6th of October City over 122 kilometers and be linked with Rod al-Farag Axis. The second phase will extend from 6th of October City untill New Alamein over 210 kilometers passing in parallel to Rod alFarag - Dabaa axis. That phase will have a branch line that starts from Nubareya at Beheira governorate and ends in Alexandria passing through Borg al-Arab over 99 kilometers. The third phase links NAC with Ain Sokhna, and lies over 92 kilometers.

The second line links 6th of October City with Upper Egyptian governorates until Aswan. The third line will start from Ain Sokhna and passes through Marsa Alam and Hurghada until it ends in Luxor. Ain Sokhna and Luxor will be the junction stations of the first and third lines. The speed of passenger and freight trains will be 250 km/h and 160 km/h respectively.

Minister Hisham Arafat tells Egypt Today that the rate of accomplishment will be determined by the availability of funding stating that the ministry requires in tenders that offers be backed by governmental soft loans that can cover the costs of the projects execution. That is the case of the first line tender currently taking place.
2/13/2019 2:22:16 PM
<![CDATA[Police besieges hashish smugglers in Matrouh, arrests ringleader]]>
The Interior Ministry said, according to a statement published on Tuesday,that the ringleader was arrested while attempting to elude the police, adding that his car was loaded with 36 hashish bundles.

Hashish is a popular drug made from cannabis, and is on the list of prohibited drugs in Egypt.

The forces also arrested the leader's first assistant and another member of the smuggling network, and seized a total of 144 hashish bundles possessed by both of them, the statement added.

The police managed to seize one of the gang members, while possessing 250 tons of hashish in his car, referring that another smuggler was killed in fire exchange with the security forces, according to the statement.

The forces besieged the hideouts of the gang members, in efforts to put an end to the activities of the smuggling network, the statement read, stressing that security forces are still pursuing the remaining members.

Drug smugglers in new law

The Egyptian government approved in January a bill that stipulates sentencing to death those who"import or export synthetic substances that cause harm to the body, mind or the nervous system," in efforts to limit prohibited drug trade.

The bill approved during a ministerial meeting headed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli modifications to some articles of Law no. 182 of 1960 on combating narcotic abuse and illegal drug trade. Formerly, the law stipulated punishing drug essence importers and exporters by life imprisonment and a fine ranging from LE 3,000 to 10,000.

The new bill punishes possessors of such substances by a rigorous life sentence and a fine ranging between LE 100,000 ($5,664) and LE 500,000 ($28,319).

Owners of places prepared for illicit drug consumption will also face rigorous imprisonment and a fine of not less than LE 200,000 and not more than LE 300,000, according to the bill.

Concerning drug abuse, the bill stipulates sentencing illicit drug consumers to at least one year in prison and a fine of not more than LE 10,000 ($566) and not less than LE 1,000 ($57).

The bill has been approved with the aim of confronting the spread of all types of narcotics, particularly synthetic substances which seriously harm the society, specifically the youths, according to an official statement.

The modified law was issued in 1960 during the term of former President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

The law names 45 substances that are considered by the Egyptian law to be prohibited narcotics, mainly raw opium, all salts of morphine, raw cocaine, and cannabis' extracts including Hashish.]]>
2/13/2019 1:11:59 PM
<![CDATA[25 illegal migrants deported from Egypt ]]>
Earlier this month, The Administrative Control Authority (ACA) and the Ministry of Interior collaborated to arrest 71 defendants affiliated with four gangs involved in migrant smuggling in Cairo, Giza, Beheira, Kafr al-Sheikh, and Gharbeya on Tuesday.

The defendants have been smuggling Egyptians and refugees from other countries in the region into 14 European countries, the United States, and Canada.

The gangs used to forge documents that are issued by local and foreign governmental institutions such as marriage contracts, birth certificates, personal financial statements, bank statements, documents issued by the civil registry, complaints filed at police departments, and court verdicts.

The purpose was to manipulate foreign governments and convey that migrants are being subject to religious and political discrimination so they would get asylum, and support by human rights organizations.

Investigations indicated that the defendants had committed bribery, and illegal currency trading as they used to receive remittances by expats in foreign currencies, and deliver them to their families in Egyptian pound.

The results of investigations were submitted to the Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek who issued arrest warrants against all defendants. Several coordination meetings were held by the ACA and the ministry to prepare for the arrests that were accomplished by the 300 security personnel. The defendants will be interrogated by the public prosecution before their cases are referred to court.
2/13/2019 12:54:17 PM
<![CDATA[3rd phase of medical screening campaign to begin March 1]]>
The third phase governorates are New Valley, Giza, Gharbeya, Daqahleya, Sharqeya, Minya, and Qena.

The first and second phases screened almost 29 million Egyptians in the rest of Egypt’s 27 governorates.

Screening reveals 732, 732 hepatitis C patients in Egypt

CAIRO - 15 December 2018: On the sidelines of the inauguration of housing projects and water plants on Saturday by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed displayed the results of screening for hepatitis C and chronic diseases.

2/13/2019 12:13:24 PM
<![CDATA[Defense Minister attends main stage of Fateh-26 drills]]>
The exercises will continue for several days within the framework of the army's annual plan of combat training.

Participating in the drills are units of the mechanical infantry, armored corps and artillery along with elements from the air, air defense and elite forces.

Zaki conveyed to the participants the greetings of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

He lauded efforts exerted by the Egyptian army for protecting the homeland on all fronts.

Attending the main stage of the drills were Army Chief of Staff Lt. General Mohamed Farid and senior commanders.]]>
2/13/2019 11:43:27 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to see sand storm, low temperature Thursday ]]>
The wind might amount to a sand storm in some areas, hindering clear visibility and causing navigational disorder on the Mediterranean Sea. Experts said that some areas in northern the country and in Upper Egypt might witness rainfall.

Chairman of the Egyptian Meteorological Authority Ahmed Abdel Aal expected temperature to drop in Alexandria and Nile Delta governorates on Wednesday, with Cairo recording highs 14°C.

While for the temperature degrees expected Thursday, Cairo will see highs of 16°C and lows of 11°C; Alexandria will record highs of 15°C and lows of 8°C; Matrouh will see highs of 16°C and lows of 8 °C; Qena will see highs of 20°C and lows of 9°C and Aswan will record 22°C during the day and 11°C at night.
2/13/2019 11:42:59 AM
<![CDATA[CAPMAS: Broadband internet subscribers hit 5.64 mn in April 2018]]>
In a statement on Wednesday on the Safer Internet Day, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said the number of subscribers in mobile phone internet services plunged 7.56 percent, standing at 30.68 million in April 2018 against 33.19 million in the same period in 2017.

The drop is attributed to a rise in the cost of mobile phone internet services.

USB Modem subscribers hit 3.45 million in April 2018 against 3.29 million in the same period in 2017.

This year's Safer Internet Day (SID) celebration took place on Tuesday, 5 February 2019. The campaign's slogan, "Together for a better internet", was a call to action for all stakeholders to join together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, and especially for younger users.]]>
2/13/2019 11:40:35 AM
<![CDATA[Call for repatriation of Tunisian children of IS militants]]>
The rights group, quoting Tunisia’s Ministry of Women and Children, said about 200 children and 100 women claiming Tunisian nationality were being held in “squalid” camps abroad.

Many of the children are six-year-olds or younger, the rights groups said, adding that most were being held with their mothers while at least six were orphans.

Around 2,000 children and 1,000 women of 46 nationalities are being detained in prisons in Iraq and Libya and three camps in northeast Syria for ties to IS, HRW said, and Tunisia has “one of the largest contingents.”

“Tunisian officials are dragging their feet on helping bring (them) home.”

Hundreds of civilians, including IS-linked family members, have been fleeing a US-backed offensive against the militant group’s last holdout in eastern Syria.

HRW said it has interviewed family members of women and children detained in Libya and Syria, as well as government officials, human rights activists, lawyers, UN representatives and Western diplomats for its report.

The watchdog had also visited three camps in northeast Syria controlled by US-backed Kurdish forces and cited what is said were “rare calls and letters” to family members by mothers of some children.

“Legitimate security concerns are no license for governments to abandon young children and other nationals held without charge in squalid camps and prisons abroad,” said Letta Tayler, senior terrorism and counterterrorism researcher at HRW.

“Tunisian children are stuck in these camps with no education, no future, and no way out while their government seems to barely lift a finger to help them,” Tayler said.

In response Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry said it was “strongly attached to the values of human rights” and that authorities would not turn back Tunisians seeking to return home.

According to authorities in Tunis, 3,000 Tunisians have gone abroad to join militant organizations, while the UN puts the figure as high as 5,000.

Their return has been a cause of concern in Tunisia, which has been under a state of emergency following a string of IS-claimed attacks in 2015 and 2016.

In 2017, hundreds of Tunisians took to the streets to protest against the repatriation of IS-linked citizens.]]>
2/13/2019 9:56:07 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's Attorney General bans websites broadcast sexual content]]>
"The Attorney General decided to inform the Ministry of communications and Information Technology to take all the necessary technical procedures to ban all websites that broadcast images and videos with sexual content and notify the prosecution office in case a violation took place," the Attorney General's statement said.

The decision came in the light of the current investigation into a flagrant act committed by Egyptian filmmaker and Member of Parliament Khaled Youssef, after scandalous videos were leaked featuring him having sex with multiple female actors in more than one occasion.

Egyptian authorities have previously arrested actors, Mona Farouk and Shaimaa al-Haj who are being prosecuted for obscenity after appearing in one of the scandalous videos.

Youssef is currently in the French capital of Paris visiting his wife and daughter who reside there, the filmmaker refuted rumors say that he fled the country in fear of prosecution.
2/12/2019 9:53:02 PM
<![CDATA[African Youth Bureau recalls African Union's founding fathers ]]>
The African Youth Bureau, at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, coinciding with the Egypt’s Presidency of the African Union, has launched a series of definitions - in Arabic, English and French - devoted to the founding fathers of the African Union, starting with the Ethiopian emperor "Haile Selassie"; which also coincides with the unveiling ceremony of the statue of the late emperor, erected at the AU headquarters, in the presence of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and African leaders taking part in the African summit.

The Bureau also announced the launch of an Experimental Research Unit whose main objective is to support the State’s orientation to educate young people about Africa.

It should be noted that the first production of the Research Unit was a series of definitions entitled "Egypt and the African House over a 55-year period" that the Unit started before Egypt assumed the presidency of the African Union. The last of these definitions included Egypt's achievements in Africa under the reign of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi entitled "Al-Sisi and the Return of the Golden Age of African Egypt". This series received an excellent interaction on social media.

On the other hand, the African Youth Bureau is coordinating with the Youth Gate of Egypt to invite young African writers residing abroad to join the Working Group, within the framework of the Ministry’s policy of openness regarding Africa as a State institution.]]>
2/12/2019 5:49:41 PM
<![CDATA[All you need to know about Press Syndicate's mid-term polls]]>
“I met a set of officials, including Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and the minister of finance, who demand increasing journalists’ allowance by 25 percent to reach L.E 2100 and I am waiting for a soon reply,” Rashwan noted.

“The Press Syndicate will support all its members in solving their problems; that is my top priority,” Rashwan stated.

In a similar vein, Journalist Siddiq al-Essawi is set to be elected for board membership in mid-term polls.

“My professors and colleagues, I will not say these clichés of -I run for election to restore the dignity of the Syndicate of Journalists-; however, these notions are far significant in their core. But journalists are fed up with long speeches that go in vain. Thus, I aim at making the radical tangible changes journalists are in dire need of,” Essawi stated.
“Unfortunately, some journalists are underpaid. A large category of journalists gets LE 500 or 700; they do not reach the minimum rate of pay,” Essawi elaborated.

“I do not want to say futile speeches; I would rather trigger actions. So, my first step will be engaging in a set of meetings with officials to facilitate press process and I will announce all the results as soon as possible,” Essawi assured.

“I am obliged to offer subsidized courses and diplomas in prestigious academies of the Ministry of Higher Education. Some 70 percent of these plans will be executed before the election. I hope you support me," Essawy concluded.

It is worth mentioning that the supervising committee started Sunday to receive candidacy applications on the chairman post and six board member posts for the mid-term polls that will be held next March.

The Press Syndicate set four days to receive rebuttals and appeals starting from February 15 until February 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Names of winners will be announced at the end of the last day.

Moreover, Gamal Abdel-Rahim, the panel’s chairman, said that application forms had been prepared to be filled out by the candidates.

The following list includes names of chairman post candidates:
1. Ahmed el-Shamy (Al Gomhuria Newspaper )
2. Sayed el-Askandrany (Al-Ahram Newspaper)
3. Diaa Rashwan (Al-Ahram Newspaper)
4. Abdel Nabi Abdel Sattar (Al Ghad Newspaper)
5. Raffat Rashad (Akhbar el-Youm Newspaper)
Board member candidates come as follows:
1. Ahmed el-Shamy (Al Gomhuria Newspaper)
2. Al-Arif Allah Talat (Akhaber el-Youm Newspaper)
3. Amira Adly (Al-Ahram Newspaper)
4. Eman Auf (Al Mal Newspaper)
5. Ehab Qamoura (Al-Ahram Newspaper)
6. Bahaa Mubasher (Al-Ahram Newspaper)
7. Tamer Hindawi (Elkaramh Newspaper)
8. Hazem Hosny (Akhaber el-Youm Newspaper)
9. Doaa Najjar (Al Gomhuria Newspaper)
10. Raymond Francis (Al-Masr Al-Hur Newspaper)
11. Sayed Badry (Ad-Diyar Newspaper)
12. Siddiq al-Essawi (El Tahrir Newspaper)
13. Amr el-Kashef (Middle East News Agency MENA)
14. Fatma Mostafa (Akhaber el-Youm Newspaper)
15. Mohsen Hashim (Al-Gail Newspaper)
16. Mohamed al-Asmaei (Akhbar el-Youm Newspaper)
17. Mohamed Shabana (Al-Ahram Newspaper)
18. Mohamed Youssef (El Dostor Newspaper)
19. Mohamed Yehia Youssef (Akhbar el-Youm Newspaper)
20. Hashim Younis (Al-Ahram Newspaper)
21. Haitham al-Nuwahey (Akhbar el-Youm Newspaper)
22. Wagdy Reizk (Al-Ahram Newspaper)
23. Yasser el-Sagan (Al Watani El youm Newspaper)
2/12/2019 3:00:07 PM
<![CDATA[Russia announces establishing industrial zone in Egypt in 2021]]>
On February 1, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued decree No. 420 of 2018 approving an agreement between the governments of Egypt and Russia concerning the establishment and operation of the Russian Industrial Zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone in Egypt, which was signed in Moscow on May 23, 2018.

The decree was published in the official gazette Al-Waqa'i' al-Misriyya on Jan. 23, 2019. As per the Egyptian constitution, any presidential decree shall be published in the official gazette to come into force.

Since February 2015, Egypt and Russia have been negotiating $7 billion worth of Russian investments in the Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) project in the East Port Said region.

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 by the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

The project will be conducted on three phases; the first phase spans over 1 million square meters and will be carried out by a Russian developer who will also work on attracting Russian investors and companies throughout 2018 and 2019. This phase will create 7,300 jobs in the construction field.
2/12/2019 2:57:45 PM
<![CDATA[3 police officers sentenced to 3 years in jail in Upper Egypt ]]>
According to the investigations, the three officers, Al-Mozamel N., Omar Sh. and Omar S., were convicted of handcuffing Mohamed S. and beating him to death to force him to confess murder of another person in 2016.

The court also sentenced a physician, charged with forging a forensic report on the victim, to one year in jail and suspended him from his duty for two years.

On February 3, 2019, Minya Criminal Court sentenced a police officer convicted of killing a Christian worker and his son in front of a church in Upper Egypt's Minya to death.
Many Egyptian policemen have been handed prison terms for criminal charges. In November 2016, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced a low-ranking police officer to life in prison for killing a street vendor after a brawl over paying for his cup of tea. Another low-ranking police officer was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing a driver in Cairo’s district of Al-Darb Al-Ahmar in April 2016.

Also in 2016, some police personnel received prison sentences for killing detainees after attacking and torturing them.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, however, has called for not blaming the institution for the behavior of a few of its members. “Some individuals' wrong practices should not be generalized on the police system as a whole,” he said during a visit to the Police Academy on Dec. 3, 2015.
2/12/2019 2:56:00 PM
<![CDATA[May to ask MPs for more time on Brexit talks]]>
May is set to update parliament on her latest meetings in Brussels and Dublin aimed at securing a divorce agreement with the EU, with Britain due to leave the bloc on March 29.

"The talks are at a crucial stage," May will say, according to extracts from her statement to parliament released in advance by her Downing Street office.

MPs last month overwhelmingly rejected the deal struck between May and Brussels and the British premier has since been attempting to secure changes that would satisfy parliament's lower House of Commons.

Brexiteer MPs in her Conservative Party are particularly unhappy with the so-called backstop provision intended to keep the border with Ireland free-flowing.

Some fear it could leave Britain trapped in the European Union's trade rules with no unilateral way out -- but would back a deal if the backstop was time-limited or replaced with alternative arrangements.

"We now all need to hold our nerve to get the changes this house has required and deliver Brexit on time," May is due to tell MPs.

"By getting the changes we need to the backstop; by protecting and enhancing workers' rights and environmental protections; and by enhancing the role of parliament in the next phase of negotiations I believe we can reach a deal that this house can support."

- Plea for time -

Commons Leader Andrea said on BBC radio that May was not simply "running down the clock" until March 29.

"What the prime minister wants is a bit more time," she said.

She said May would promise MPs they could hold a series of votes on February 27 in an attempt to influence her Brexit strategy if she has not agreed a new deal by then.

Leadsom, responsible for bringing government business through parliament, said the talks were "pretty crucial but delicate negotiations with the EU to try to make sure that we can sort out the problem with an unlimited backstop".

"It would be an extraordinary outcome if the thing that the backstop is seeking to avoid, which is a hard border in Northern Ireland, if the EU were so determined to be completely intransigent about it that they actually incur the very thing that they're seeking to avoid by pushing the UK into a position where we leave without a deal."

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and David Lidington, May's de facto deputy, are in Strasbourg meeting members of the European Parliament, while British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is in Paris as part of a diplomatic offensive.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has called for "clarity and movement" from Britain.

In an effort to break the impasse, Barclay hosted Barnier for a working dinner at the British ambassador's residence in Brussels late Monday, with concern growing on both sides of the Channel.

Speaking afterwards, Barnier said the talks had been "constructive".

"We are clear from our side that we are not going to reopen the withdrawal agreement, but we will continue our discussion in the coming days," he told journalists.]]>
2/12/2019 2:51:54 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to treat African Hep. patients, train doctors, nurses]]>
As part of Egypt’s efforts to leader African development, Egypt, known for being pioneers in overcoming Hepatitis A, B and C, plans on helping the Nile Basin countries to cure the cases that test positive for the aforementioned illnesses and to mitigate the spread of Malaria. Egypt also plans on sending medical personnel to different African states with the aim of providing training services to bring other countries’ doctors up-to-date on present day medical procedures related to the previously mentioned illnesses.

Commenting on this, Minister of Health Hala Zayed explained that Egypt treats patients for some $50 to $120, while other counties spend between $28,000 and $80,000 to treat their patients. As such, Egypt can utilize its advanced position in this sector to benefit other countries whose nations suffer at the hands of Hepatitis A, B and C, and Malaria.

On the cooperation between Egypt and African states in this sector, Doctor Magdy Sabaa, Director of Tanta University, tells Egypt Today that five agreements have been inked with universities in Nigeria. Another agreement was also signed with the aim of allowing Egypt to supervise two hospitals in Kenya, and to send medical envoys to treat patients and train doctors. Sabaa also added that there are cooperation discussions with universities in Kenya and Ghana, and that Sudan has agreed to send an envoy to Tanta University to discuss the specifics of a training program with for nurses.

The director also confirmed that African countries have stressed the importance of Egyptian drugs due to their technological advancement and their proven track-record of delivering positive results.

Egypt’s 100 Million Seha Campaign fights Hepatitis viruses

Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed stated that 25 million citizens have undergone medical check-ups under the ‘199 Million Seha’ Campaign between October 2018 and early January.

In an initiative that has been hailed as one of its kind, ground-breaking and innovative, the Ministry of Health and Population’s ‘100 Million Seha’ to end Hepatitis C in Egypt, under the patronage of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, has managed to attract millions of individuals in Egyptian governorates.

In a walk through the governorates, Egypt Today spoke to a number of citizens in key governorates, who all spoke of the positivity of the campaign and its great contribution to human development.

In Ismailia, Hassan Gharib said that the initiative is unique and occurs in the first time in Egypt. Gharib added that over the past years there have been many deaths due to these diseases, but now the detection and treatment to eliminate these diseases free of charge. Unnecessary deaths can now be mitigated.

An elderly women, known as Haga Samiha, went on to say, “Although I am not feeling well and I am ill, I was keen and determined to come to the unit to get a check-up done,” implying how beneficial the campaign really is for the Egyptian everyday people.

Gamal Sadek Mohammed added that he waited for the campaign to come to Ismailia so that he can come as soon as it launches.

In the Red Sea governorate, Laila Osman, a housewife said that she was surprised to learn that the Virus C test is free of charge; she had thought that the process was free but that she would have to pay for the Virus C test.

By doing the tests, Osman found that she has Virus C and she was sent to the appropriate place to take the medication free of charge.

Ahmed Yassin, a manager of one of the touristic hotels, said that the initiative shows that Sisi is making the Egyptian citizen his first priority, stressing that many have done the medical test to meet the president's orders and ensure the country develops.

New record has been achieved in the number of Egyptians who were examined as part of the Ministry of Health initiative ‘100 Million Seha’ to end Hepatitis C in Egypt under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al Sisi; Minister of Health Hala Zayed said.

She added in a statement on December 7, 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.

Additional reporting: Egypt Today Staff
2/12/2019 2:26:56 PM
<![CDATA[Heavy rains, lower temperatures to hit Egypt Wednesday]]>
Abdel Aal added that the rainfall is expected nationwide, and heavy rains and thunder are expected to hit the southern parts of the country.

Temperatures are also expected to drop in Alexandria and the Nile Delta governorates.
The unstable weather will continue on Thursday and Friday and will cause a decline in visibility and disorder in maritime navigation on the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
2/12/2019 12:53:48 PM
<![CDATA[Venezuela opposition rallies to tell Maduro: Let aid in]]>
The rallies will take place nearly three weeks to the day that opposition chief Juan Guaido invoked a constitutional provision to declare himself Venezuela’s legitimate president, arguing that Maduro’s re-election last year was a sham.

Most Western counties including the United States have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s president, but Maduro retains the backing of powerful nations like Russia and China as well as control of state institutions including the military.

The two sides are now at loggerheads over the issue of humanitarian aid, which the opposition says has become necessary due to Maduro’s mishandling of the once-buoyant OPEC nation’s economy.

The 35-year-old Guaido is coordinating Western relief efforts. Maduro, who denies there is a crisis, denounces the aid as a U.S.-orchestrated show and is blocking the entry of supplies.

“We will return to the streets ... to demand the entry of humanitarian aid that will save the lives of more than 300,000 Venezuelans that today are at risk of dying,” Guaido told his 1.25 million Twitter followers late on Monday. “This is a time to unite and fight!”

Guaido has vowed that the opposition, which he has re-galvanized, will keep protesting in order to keep up pressure on Maduro to step down so new presidential elections can be held.

Maduro’s critics had staged two previous major rounds of protests against what they call his dictatorship, the last in 2017, which subsided in the wake of a government crackdown.

The current wave kicked off on Jan. 23, with a massive protest in Caracas during which Guaido was sworn in as president in front of thousands of supporters.

The ruling Socialists, who have been in power for two decades, said they would also hold a rally in Caracas on Tuesday, to “demand respect of the fatherland’s sovereignty.”

Iranians mark 40 years since Shah's fall
Guaido announced on Monday the first delivery of humanitarian aid - vitamin and nutritional supplements for children and pregnant women - to a network of health centers, without explaining how it had made its way into the country.

Guaido said it was a small-scale donation given that the government has so far blocked deliveries from an aid collection point in the Colombian border town of Cucuta.

Guaido has appealed to the military to disobey orders and let aid in, after previously promising them amnesty. That would spell the beginning of the end for Maduro, analysts say, though there is no sign to date of it happening.

Maduro’s adversaries say he has run roughshod over democratic institutions and ravaged the nation’s economy through nationalizations and a corruption-riddled exchange control system.]]>
2/12/2019 12:04:20 PM
<![CDATA[UN chief willing to broker end to Venezuela crisis]]>
Guterres met with Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in New York, at the request of Caracas, as the standoff between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido hardened.

The United Nations has called for serious political negotiations between the two sides to prevent a slide toward more violence in the South American country.

"The secretary-general reaffirmed that his offer of good offices to both parties remains available for serious negotiation to help the country out of the present standoff for the benefit of the people of Venezuela," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Guaido declared himself interim president last month and has since been recognized by some 50 countries, including the United States.

Russia and China, however, continue to back Maduro as do some African countries, creating a global split that has left the UN in a quandary. (READ: Venezuela opposition announces new aid hub, prepares protest)

Last week, the UN chief said he would not join in any initiative promoted by groups of nations to ensure the credibility of his offer of "good offices."

Guterres has insisted that both sides must request his mediation before he can step into the fray.

UN diplomats said the Maduro government was ready to hold talks but it remained unclear if Guaido would accept a UN role.]]>
2/12/2019 11:51:41 AM
<![CDATA[Essebsi: Sisi capable of doing great job in Africa]]>
In statements to the Tunisian newspaper Alchourouk on Tuesday, he said "Egypt is in its right position now, President Sisi who managed to do a good job in his nation is capable of doing the same at the continental level."

During the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Essebsi underlined the key role of the African Union in realizing stability in the continent and confronting terrorism.

As for Syria's return to the Arab League, he said Tunisia is committed to the Arab decision and this needs a consensus among Arab nations.

He noted that the Libyan file will figure high in the upcoming Arab summit which his country will host in March.]]>
2/12/2019 11:44:50 AM
<![CDATA[Arab Parliament congratulates Egypt for taking over presidency of AU]]>
In his speech before the 3rd general session of the AP on Tuesday, Salami said that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's chairmanship of the union will have a great effect on boosting Arab-African ties for the interest of the Arabs and Africans.]]>
2/12/2019 11:36:44 AM
<![CDATA[AU Commission chief pledges cooperation with Sisi]]>
Addressing a joint presser with Sisi, Faki thanked the Egyptian leader for providing a clear-cut and comprehensive review of the continent's issues.

He praised the choice of 2019 as the year of refugees and displaced people in Africa, calling for uprooting the reasons of the file.

He hailed also serious discussions during the sessions of the summit, particularly on peace and security in the continent. ]]>
2/11/2019 11:51:33 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Media Group refutes partnership rumors with Dino]]>
The official’s statement came to refute rumors saying that Dino is part of Egyptian Media Group and Amer has an executive post in the Group.

“Dino Activations could carry out services for Egyptian Media Group under the conditions of a contract, thus, the Group warns its clients of dealing with any illegal representatives of it to preserve the Company’s credibility,” said the official.
2/11/2019 11:43:44 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi stresses joint efforts at AU summit closing session]]>
The president gave his remarks during his speech at the closing session of the AU 32nd Ordinary Summit, which kicked off on February 10 in Addis Ababa.

Sisi stated that the union would work, under Egypt's current presidency, on boosting sustainable development to create more jobs for African youth, noting that the summit enhanced African solidarity regarding many challenges at stake.

He further said that the summit helped prioritize African joint work.

As the-newly-elected chairperson of the AU, Sisi thanked all the staff of the AU Commission for their efforts.

He also extended his appreciation to all the summit participants.
The president also gave out the African Union's Kwame Nkrumah Awards for Scientific Excellence, and other prizes in the field of women empowerment.

Among the honorees is Egyptian professor Abdel Shafi Fahmi Ebada, who received the award for his excellent performance in the field of magnetic fields.

Sisi also honored FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

The Ghanaian, Burkinabe, Rwandan, South African and Namibian presidents were also honored for their efforts in the field of women empowerment.
2/11/2019 9:25:54 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s president meets chairperson of AU Commission]]>
Faki said that the current Egyptian presidency of the AU would cause a push forward due to the Egyptian distinguished policies in the region and Egypt’s unique historical and cultural status on the continent.

On his part, Egypt’s Abdel Fatah al Sisi said that the continent is facing numerous political, Security and social challenges that require unified efforts. The president also expressed his gratitude to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, for Ethiopia’s warm reception and the well-organized summit.
2/11/2019 9:02:33 PM
<![CDATA['He is a free man': Thailand releases refugee Bahraini footballer after extradition bid dropped]]>
Hakeem Al Araibi, 25, who fled Bahrain in 2014 and received refugee status in Australia, was arrested in November last year at a Bangkok airport while on a honeymoon trip, following an Interpol notice issued at Bahrain’s request.

However, the Middle East nation has withdrawn the request, prompting a Thai court to approve a motion by prosecutors to drop the case against the footballer, Thai officials said.

“There are no grounds to hold him anymore. It is his right to decide where he will go next. He is a free man,” said Chatchom Akapin, an official in the Thai Attorney-General’s office.

A Reuters witness said Araibi was seen leaving the Bangkok remand prison in a car and immigration officials said he was heading for the main international airport in the Thai capital.

Rights group Amnesty International, which lobbied for his release, later said Araibi had arrived at the airport.

It was not immediately clear when or why Bahrain withdrew its request. A Bahrain government spokesman declined to give details when asked who ordered the halt of the legal proceedings.

However, authorities in Bahrain, which has accused Araibi of crimes committed during the Arab Spring protests of 2011, said the country reaffirmed its right to pursue legal action against him.

In a statement, Bahrain’s foreign ministry said it had noted the halt of legal proceedings and the verdict against the footballer remained in place.

Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had no comment on the case.

FILE PHOTO: Jailed Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi leaves Thailand's Criminal Court, in Bangkok, Thailand February 4, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
The detention of Araibi, who appeared with his feet in shackles at a court hearing last week, drew international criticism, with Australian authorities and fellow footballers urging Thailand to release him. He says he faces torture if returned to Bahrain.

In the Australian capital of Canberra, Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the decision of the Thai government.

“We greatly respect the process that they have had to work through and we greatly appreciate their listening to the issues that have been raised by our government and many others,” he told a news conference.

On social network Twitter, former Australia soccer captain Craig Foster, who had helped lobby officials at world governing body FIFA, said, “My thanks go to the wonderful people of Thailand for your support and to the Thai government for upholding international law.”

Thailand election panel disqualifies princess
Araibi has said he wants to return to Australia, where he has lived since 2014 and plays for a Melbourne football club.

He was convicted of vandalizing a police station during 2011 anti-government protests in Bahrain and sentenced in absentia after he fled. Araibi denies the charges, saying he was playing in a televised soccer match at the time of the police station attack.

New York-based Human Rights Watch has said Araibi was tortured by Bahraini authorities because of his brother’s political activities during the 2011 protests.

Bahraini authorities deny allegations of torture.]]>
2/11/2019 2:26:52 PM
<![CDATA[Kim-Trump summit a 'remarkable breakthrough' for peace: Moon]]>
The US President and North Korean leader are due to meet in Hanoi from February 27 to 28 following their landmark first summit in Singapore last June.

That meeting -- the first-ever between the leaders of the US and North Korea -- produced a vaguely-worded document in which Kim pledged to work towards "the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

But progress has since stalled with the two sides disagreeing over it means and analysts say tangible progress on denuclearisation will be needed if the talks are to avoid being dismissed as "reality TV".

With the high-stakes summit now two weeks away, Pyongyang has yet to provide any official confirmation of the meeting in the Vietnamese capital.

"For us, the era of peace and prosperity on the peninsula has drawn closer," said Moon in his first comments since the summit was announced.

The meeting was a "remarkable breakthrough in the peace process on the Korean peninsula", the South Korean president added.

But he acknowledged there were "still many doubts about whether the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and peace process can be concluded successfully".

The leaders of the two Koreas and the US have persisted in talks over the issue because of "strong confidence in the direction history should take", added Moon, who has taken on the role of middle man between Pyongyang and Washington, trying to bridge the gap on denuclearisation talks.

Security allies Seoul and Washington have at times pursued divergent approaches toward Pyongyang, with the dovish South Korean leader pursuing engagement while the United States insists pressure must be maintained until the North denuclearises.

But Moon expressed gratitude to both Trump and Kim for their "unprecedented, bold diplomatic efforts", saying they were "crossing a sea of deep mistrust".]]>
2/11/2019 2:16:17 PM
<![CDATA[Tripartite talks on GERD to resume on Feb. 20 in Cairo: FM]]>
“The three parties did not reach a unified vision on dealing with filling and operating the reservoir,” Shoukry told Egyptian T.V. hosts Khaled Abu Bakr and Wael el-Ibrashy.

In previous remarks to Egypt Today, Head of the Central Department for Technical Cooperation at the Nile Sector of the Ministry of Water Resources and IrrigationMamdouh Mohamed Hassan said that the current debate between Egypt and Ethiopia on GERD is a technical one, adding that Ethiopia asked for 5-6 years to fill the dam’s reservoir, while Egypt expressed its desire that Ethiopia abide by the Nile water quantity flow in filling the reservoir to “avoid any significant damage on the downstream countries.”

The foreign minister also said that the tripartite negotiations among the ministers of foreign affairs and water resources of the three countries witnessed an impasse over the past three months.

During the tripartite summit between Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Sudanese counterpart Omar al- Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the 32nd session of the African Union Summit, it has been agreed to resume the talks in Cairo in February 2019, Shoukry added.

The three leaders stressed their commitment to abide by the Declaration of Principles signed by the countries on March 15, 2015.

Ethiopia started building the dam in May 2011; since then Cairo accused Addis Ababa of constructing the dam “without consultation” in accordance with international accords, while Addis Ababa replied that it is not binding to any international accords.

The deals in question date back to 1929 and 1959 and were during the time of British colonization, where a total of 80 billion cubic meters of Nile water wereallocated to Egypt (55.5 billion), and for Sudan (18.5 billion). The agreements also granted Egypt the right toveto against any projects that could be established on Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Sudan that may cause harm to its share, leaving out Ethiopia.
2/11/2019 2:09:10 PM
<![CDATA[Min. of Transport studies establishing railway line extending to Sudan]]>
This came during the minister's tour in the high dam in Aswan with his Sudanese counterpart Hatim Al Sir Ali on Monday, Feb. 11. “This decision came upon President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's directions,” Arafat clarified.

The High Dam station is expected to become an important logistic area, as it could greatly contribute to strengthening trade exchange and cargo transport between Egypt and Sudan, Arafat said.

The minister also revealed that the railway sector will not be privatized, rather shared with the private sector.

Arafat pointed out that the private sector companies play an important role in the movement of products and the management of logistic areas such as the high dam station.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his Sudanese counterpart al-Bashir attach importance not only to achieving a railway linkage between the two nations but also among other African countries, especially after Egypt took over the presidency of the African Union, Arafat told Extra News channel on Monday. The two sides discussed the possibility of transporting Sudan's exports to Egypt by river then by railway lines and vice versa.

The Egyptian Railways Authority is implementing a development plan, improving and maintaining 156 railway stations for a total cost of LE1 billion, spokesman of the Transport Ministry Mohamed Ezz said in August 2018. He explained that this comes as part of the ministry’s plan to improve public services.

In September 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi affirmed Egypt’s belief in the role of the private sector, clarifying his country's intention to continue the economic reforms program which will facilitate the work of the private sector and enhance its role in all fields. This came during Sisi’s participation in the working dinner organized by the Business Council for International Understanding.

Additional Report with MENA
2/11/2019 2:02:55 PM
<![CDATA[Immigration min. urges Egyptian expats to register for their conf. in homeland in April]]>
The deadline for registration is March 15, she said, noting that the conference will be held within the framework of the ministry's initiative "register your entity abroad and get ready for your conference at home."

In a press release on Monday, Makram said the number of the entities that registered in the initiative amounted to 122, adding the conference aims at communicating with the expats and listening to their proposals in a way that serves sustainable development in the country.

She described the conference as a chance for cooperation between the state and expats to ensure a good mechanism serving investment and tourism projects.

The minister described expats as a soft power spreading good news about Egypt, saying their role serves national security of as well as national projects. ]]>
2/11/2019 1:18:39 PM
<![CDATA[1 million Egyptians to get free medical consultations via Altibbi ]]>CAIRO – 11 February 2018: Egyptian citizens can now use Altibbi, the MENA region’s first and largest digital health platform, for free to reach out to certified medical professionals for healthcare assistance and education.

Altibbi announced on Thursday, February 7 the launch of its "One Million Free Medical Consultations” initiative, the largest free, remote medical advice campaign done via voice calls and text messages with the cooperation of the Egyptian ministries of health and communication.

The initiative came in partnership with Telecom Egypt and in co-operation with the Egyptian Foundation of Global University Graduates - T20, the Egyptian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

Altibbi initiative aims to alleviate the burden of medical consultation costs for Egyptians. While the campaign will take place across the country, it will focus on residents of Upper Egypt, who face a critical lack of access to quality healthcare infrastructure.

All you have to do is to download Altibbi’s application, visit the website or call 16445, in order to access free medical consultations from a doctor in less than 4 minutes, including a referral in case further follow up is needed.

"We appreciate the role of Telecom Egypt and the cooperation of the Egyptian ministries of health and communication, and their steadfast belief in our vision to spread health awareness to every home in Egypt. I wish to see more participation from the private sector in critical areas like healthcare provision," said Jalil Allabadi, founder and CEO of Altibbi.

"Through this initiative, we aspire to deliver free medical support to the largest number of citizens possible. And seeing as the initiative is the biggest of its kind, we have appointed the best team of dedicated healthcare professionals to cover the number of consultations needed, and serve Egyptians nationwide,” Allabadi added.

Chairman of Telecom Egypt, Magued Osman, emphasized the company’s role in facilitating comprehensive development in the country. Describing the activation of such remote digital health care platforms as the beginning of a new era in Egypt, where technology will be the frontline in solving some of the most pressing issues facing the country.

This comes in line with the policies of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s government that aim at reforming the health sector in Egypt through modernising the current system to implement a universal healthcare program that focusses on prevention and early intervention.

The "One Million Free Medical Consultations" initiative was announced at the "Invest in Health" conference in November 2018.

2/11/2019 11:51:12 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi to deliver speech at International Food Safety Conference]]>

The two-day conference aims at bringing food security strategies up for discussion among the world leaders, policy makers, and NGOs' representatives to achieve the sustainable development goals 2030, which focus on ending food hunger, according to a statement issued bythe African Union.

The conference tackles “safe food and sustainable food systems in the context of a changing climate; science, innovation and digital transformations for food safety; and empowering consumers to make healthy choices and support sustainable food systems,” the statement read.

Around 600 million people suffer from food-borne illnesses annually due to unsafe food, which could result from climate change, conflicts, and migration, according to the statement.

Other speakers include ongoing African Union Chairperson President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, African Union Commission Chairperson MoussaFakiMahamat, FAO Director-General JoseGraziano da Silva, WHO Director-General DrTedrosAdhanomGhebreyesus, and President of the African Development Bank AkinwumiAdesina, the statement added.

The conference will convene ahead of the International Forum on Food Safety and Trade, which is organized by FAO, WHO and WTO in Geneva on April 23-24, 2019, said WHO in a statement.
2/11/2019 11:48:48 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. Senator Klobuchar joins Democratic presidential field]]>
Klobuchar, 58, now in her third six-year term as a senator for Minnesota, will seek to position herself as a contrast to Trump, who is expected to be the Republican candidate in the November 2020 election, focusing on both policy differences but also style and tact.

"I stand before you as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, the daughter of a teacher and a newspaperman, the first woman elected to the United States Senate from the state of Minnesota, to announce my candidacy for president of the United States." Klobuchar said in prepared remarks for a rally Sunday afternoon in Minnesota.

A large crowd assembled on an island in the middle of the Mississippi River, despite a heavy snowfall and 14 degree Fahrenheit (minus 10 Celsius) temperatures.

"I will look you in the eye. I will tell you what I think. I will focus on getting things done. That’s what I've done my whole life. And no matter what, I'll lead from the heart."

Klobuchar's announcement came amid several news reports of high staff turnover in her Senate office with workers complaining of having to do personal chores, making it difficult to hire high-level campaign strategists.

A former prosecutor and corporate attorney, Klobuchar joins a list of Democratic hopefuls that includes fellow Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Warren heads to Iowa to campaign on Sunday after formally launching her bid on Saturday. Booker is also spending the weekend in the Midwestern farm state.

Klobuchar gained national attention in 2018 when she sparred with Brett Kavanaugh during Senate hearings on his Supreme Court nomination. Her questions earned her recognition in Democratic circles for working to advance the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault.

But the senator will have work to do to build a national profile. She barely registers in early opinion polls of potential Democratic candidates.

Klobuchar won her most recent Senate race in November with more than 60 percent of the vote.

But she raised only about $7.4 million, a relatively small amount compared with Senate candidates in more competitive races. By comparison, Warren raised $35 million in the same period.

Klobuchar hopes her moderate policies and strong electoral record in Minnesota will help her win back states Trump took from Democrats in the 2016 White House contest, including nearby Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, Wisconsin, as well as Pennsylvania.

Klobuchar has focused her legislative efforts on issues like antitrust oversight, agriculture and voter security. Recently, she pushed for Senate investigations into whether Facebook Inc broke the law when it resisted oversight on how Russians used its platform to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

She has been measured in her criticism of Trump, attacking the effects of his trade tariffs on farmers but avoiding more explosive issues like immigration and gun control.

Klobuchar is expected to focus her early presidential campaign efforts on Iowa, which borders Minnesota and holds the nation’s first nominating contest.

An aggressive focus on Iowa and a win there in 2008 helped catapult Barack Obama from underdog status to the Democratic Party's nomination and eventual victory in that year's presidential election.

Klobuchar began her foray into Minnesota politics by advocating for better access to healthcare for babies and new mothers after her own daughter was born with health complications, a personal narrative she is likely to use in the debate about the future of the nation’s healthcare system.

Klobuchar has not endorsed universal healthcare, an issue that will be heavily debated during the Democratic nominating race and could distinguish her from more liberal candidates who favor it.
2/11/2019 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi approves amendments to weapon possessing and building tax law]]>
The decree no. 5 of 2019 was published in the official gazette on Sunday.

The president also signed a decree amending some provisions of law no. 196 of 2008 on issuing building tax.
2/10/2019 11:08:07 PM
<![CDATA[Arab League chief urges closer coordination with Africa to counter challenges]]>
Addressing the 32nd African Union (AU) Summit, now in session in Addis Ababa, Abul Gheit talked about aggravating armed conflicts that led to wide-scale humanitarian crises.

This resulted in an unprecedented flow of refugees and immigrants in a way that harmed societal peace, security and stability, he added.

He also urged support for Libya to help stop illegal immigration from its lands and encourage political dialogue between the different parties there.

It is important to end the transitional period in Libya through successful constitution and elections, Abul Gheit stressed.

The AL chief also pressed for intensified action to support the federal government in Somalia to implement its development and security plan.

Cooperation with the AU is also needed to support stability in the Comoros and South Sudan, Abul Gheit told the gathering.

The Arab League stands by Sahel countries in their fight against Boko Haram terrorist group.

Abul Gheit was pleased with what he called "positive developments" and "historic reconciliations" in the Horn of Africa region, which shares geographical borders with some Arab countries.

He greatly appreciated the AU's support for the Palestinian cause at all international gatherings and forums, and its stance against unilateral steps that violate international legitimacy resolutions in this regard.

The AL remains committed to continued cooperation with the AU under the new presidency of Egypt, Abul Gheit said, believing Sisi has a lot to offer to Africa and the AU.

"We'll be there next year to congratulate him (Sisi) on his success," the AL chief said. ]]>
2/10/2019 2:12:46 PM
<![CDATA[Madbouli inspects efficiency of operation of sewage treatment plant in Kima in Aswan]]>
The daily capacity of the plant will be 110,000 cubic meters while it currently treats 95,000 cubic meters of sewage water daily.

This plant is implemented in accordance with the international standards to ensure that it does not cause harm the environment, Madbouli said.]]>
2/10/2019 1:55:40 PM
<![CDATA[Madbouli inspects new KIMA factory in Aswan]]>
Madbouli was accompanied by Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfiq and Aswan Governor Ahmed Ibrahim.

The inspection tour came ahead of the president's inauguration of the factory.

The 235-million-euro project is expected to produce 1,200 tons of ammonia per day alongside urea fertilizers using natural gas.

A group of Egyptian banks, including the National Bank of Egypt, Bank de Caire, Banque Misr and Arab-African International Bank, contributes to the project which is being carried out by an Italian company.]]>
2/10/2019 1:23:09 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi, African leaders unveil Selassie statue: national TV]]>
This came on the sidelines of the 32nd summit of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, during which Sisi will officially receive the presidency of the AU from his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame.

Putting up a statue for Selassie comes to recognize the emperor's contribution to the establishment of the Organization of African Union (OAU), according to Ethiopian reports.

In 2012, Ghana's former President John Evans Atta Mills unveiled the statue of Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah in the AU building in Addis Ababa, few months before the former passed away.

The summit, which will be held on February 10-11, is expected to deliberate on several issues, most importantly the sustainable development in the continent in light of “2063 development agenda”, peaceful devolution of power and preservation of peace and security in the continent, Head of the Office of the AU's Legal Counsel (OLC), Namira Negm, told Egypt Today.

Negm pointed out that the African leaders will discuss the reports of the African Peace and Security Council and the implementation of the AU road map set to curb civil armed conflicts in the continent by the end of 2020.

Also, African leaders will study means to implement several common projects and legal agreements in order to boost cooperation between the continent’s states, said Negm. The legal counsel added that the leaders will discuss launching international institutions as sub-organizations for the AU, like the African Space Agency.

Furthermore, the leaders will submit their reports on different topics such as terrorism, education, health and climate change to be discussed during the summit, Negm told Egypt Today.
2/10/2019 12:48:06 PM
<![CDATA[SIS: A six-language portal to communicate with Africa]]>
During the launch of the portal on Sunday morning, Diaa Rashwan, the head of SIS, said that this portal is the largest serious attempt to communicate with the African peoples in their local languages, in addition to the European languages spread in the African continent and the Arabic language.

Rashwan said that this portal africa.sis.gov.eg comes within the framework of a wide media activity carried out by the State Information Service as an official Egyptian media body in order to achieve the objectives of the State in strengthening Egypt's relations with the African peoples, especially while President Abdel Fattah E Sisi is assuming the chairmanship of the African Union (AU).

He stressed that this media activity will continue and develop and will not be limited to the period of Egypt's chairmanship of the African Union.

SIS chairman said that the portal addresses the Egyptian people at first to be aware of the African countries, Egypt's relations with them, their news, cultures, symbols, literature, economies, histories and civilizations. It also addresses all African peoples in languages that they can read thus helping every user to find all the news of his/her country, reports and news about the Egyptian relations with his/her country and the collective action among
other African countries throughout the year. It will also provide all these news, reports and information to internet users around the world in the six languages of the portal.

Rashwan elucidated that each one of the six versions of the portal contains about (10) similar categories that will be updated daily, the most important of which is Egypt category, which provides Egypt’s basic information such as location, region, language, population, currency, national holiday, flag, national anthem, capital, major cities and major tourist attractions. The category also provides an overview of the history of Egypt that includes Egypt’s history, information on the political system, and daily news about Egypt in all fields.

Another category is “Africa Today” that contains the most important news on Africa as a whole and every country of the African countries.

In addition to the “Press Review” which displays daily headlines of newspapers in different African countries in their languages as well as the most important articles and reports.

Another category entitled "Egypt and Africa" deals with Egypt's relations with African countries in all their aspects and all the daily news on this matter.

Then another category “African countries” presents a background information on African States as well as the most important news of each country on a daily basis (internally divided into 54 sub-sections each for an African country).

The portal also includes the “Library” which presents the most important studies and periodicals related to Africa and the most important scientific research and studies issued on African affairs in Egypt and abroad.

As well as the “Agenda” that includes the most important events in the African continent according to the date.

“African figures” presents the African dignitaries, introduction of each character and the biography (political, literary, cultural, sports, etc) of such immortal political African symbols such as Mandela, Gamal Abdel Nasser and the founding fathers of the Renaissance of Africa.

In the field of literature, we have international writer Wole Soyinka and our writer Naguib Mahfouz and in sports, George Waya, Mahmoud El Khatib, Mohamed Salah, and others in order to introduce the new generations of the continent to these great African personalities and to memorize their names.]]>
2/10/2019 12:33:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian-Kuwaiti military drills 'Sabah-1/Yarmouk-4' wrap up]]>
Kuwaiti Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Mohammed Khaled Al Khadher attended the final exercises.

Units of Egyptian navy forces, Egyptian air forces and Egyptian special forces participated in the drills.

"Sabah-1" naval drill included theoretical and practical lectures on coordinating operations while "Yarmouk-4" included a number of exercises in defense and attack.

"Sabah-1" is considered the first naval exercise between Egypt and Kuwait. The "Yamouk-4" drills are the fourth time the two countries have exchanged expertise on military challenges in the Middle East region.]]>
2/10/2019 11:17:49 AM
<![CDATA[Foreign Ministry posts video on Egypt's rich history in Africa]]>

The video highlighted the new challenge to be taken up by Egypt with the chairmanship of the upcoming summit, as well as priorities determined by Cairo to fulfill ambition of African peoples and youths.

The chairmanship of the summit will be a new mission to achieve further African solidarity, the video added, concluding with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s words "Long Live Egypt… Long Live Africa."]]>
2/10/2019 11:04:58 AM
<![CDATA[Bill Gates to deliver speech at AU summit]]>
Due to his charitable contributions in Africa, Gates will deliver a speech on challenges hindering development goals and access to health services in poor countries.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, during the summit, will receive Egypt's chairmanship of the AU for one year.
2/10/2019 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S.-backed Syrian force to start 'final battle' against IS enclave]]>
"The battle will be launched this evening and its mission will be to eliminate the last remnants of the terrorist organisation," Mustafa Bali, the head of the SDF media office, said, describing it as the "last battle".

He said in the last 10 days SDF fighters had handled the battle "patiently" as civilians were evacuated from the besieged enclave comprising two villages near the Iraqi border. More than 20,000 had been evacuated, he said.
2/10/2019 3:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[East Libyan forces carry out warning air strikes near oilfield ]]>
The warning was directed at Ali Kennah, the commander of the Sebha military zone, who was appointed by Prime Minister Fayez Seraj last week, he said.
2/10/2019 12:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi: Egypt eyes effective African role in UN reform]]>
The president gave his remarks during his meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Addis Ababa, ahead of the 32nd AU Summit, slated for February 10-11.

During the meeting, Sisi reviewed Egypt's envisioned priorities and objectives planned to be integrated into the AU's framework during Egypt's chairmanship of the AU, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said.

Basically, these objectives include achieving further progress on the UN and African development agendas for Africa, pushing forward regional integration projects, settling and preventing conflicts, promoting peace and security and enhancing Africa's ability to establish peace and stability in the continent, Rady added.

Sisi emphasized the need for international cooperation to support the reform process within the UN. He also attached importance to the effective participation of the African side in this process.

The meeting also took the latest developments at the regional level, especially the situation in Libya and the Horn of Africa, Rady noted.

For his part, Guterres congratulated the president on assuming the presidency of the AU, noting that the UN is reliant on Cairo's efforts to promote cooperation between both organizations, the spokesman added
2/9/2019 9:32:34 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi invites Congolese president to visit Egypt]]>
They met in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, where Sisi said Egypt looks forward to improving bilateral political consultation and coordination through establishing a joint committee on that score.

Sisi reiterated that Egypt is keen on continuing to provide all possible support to the Democratic Republic of Congo in terms of historic relations between both countries, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said.

Tshisekedi praised good relations and ties with Cairo, underscoring Egypt’s unlimited support to guarantee peace and stability of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
2/9/2019 9:09:58 PM
<![CDATA[Electricity Co. employee referred to Criminal Court for LE 19M embezzlement]]>
The first defendant, a public employee and the one in charge of collecting bills of major clients at the South Cairo Electricity Distribution Co., was arrested for the misappropriation of LE 19,114,488 that he was supposed to hand to the company’s treasury.

He was also charged of fraud as he falsified bills that included higher consumption rates than the actual consumption of major clients.

The second defendant, an administrative officer at the Modern Academy for Computer Science and Management Technology, was arrested for involvement at the crime as he helped the first defendant by providing him with the necessary details and falsified bills.

Earlier this month, Egypt’s top prosecution referred a former Chairman of the General Authority for Projects for Reconstruction and Development of Agriculture to the Criminal Court over charges of facilitating the embezzlement of LE 67 million of public funds.

Egypt has referred several officials, including governors and public employees to prosecution over corruption-related charges, as part of the government’s efforts to harshly punish officials misusing their positions.

In November 2018, a judicial court in Giza sentenced former Monufia Governor Hesham Abdel Baset to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of LE 15 million over charges of bribery.

The Administrative Control Authority (ACA) – the regulatory body responsible for enforcing laws and regulations within state bodies – has ordered the arrest of numerous officials over the last two years, within the framework of the leadership’s fight against corruption.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has 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.]]>
2/9/2019 3:04:17 PM
<![CDATA[Parl't requests briefing into tax evasions by soccer players]]>
Parliament members have submitted a request to the Youth and Sports Committee at the parliament to look into the matter, which they deemed a waste of public money.

The committee issued recommendations to the Ministry of Finance to review the contracts of football players in Egypt and take the necessary procedures against violators.

Some Parliament members have also stressed that the government should not go easy on whoever commits tax evasion, pointing out that some clubs and players manipulate the figures in contracts to evade paying taxes.

PM Mohamed Fouad said in press remarks that a soccer player inked a contract worth of LE 40 million, however, when submitting his contract to the Egyptian Football Association, this figure was down to only LE 9 million.

Parliament members have been voicing concerns that the football business is currently pouring into the pockets of players only, stressing the necessity to activate certain mechanisms to detect and punish these violations.
2/9/2019 2:00:35 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian, Sudanese, Ethiopian leaders meet on sidelines of AU summit]]>
The meeting will be held on the sidelines of the 32nd African Union summit that will kick off on Sunday as well.

The three leaders will discuss bilateral relations.]]>
2/9/2019 1:49:41 PM
<![CDATA['Yellow Vest' protests show signs of splintering ahead of ‘Act 13’]]>
The Yellow Vest movement is becoming increasingly divided and fractured.

On one side are protestors who want social protests to succeed even if it means putting aside their mistrust of trade unions to demonstrate hand in hand with them. On the other are those who want to avoid political recovery at all costs. And this comes at a time when Italy is increasing its encouragement to the movement in the run-up to the European elections.

Luigi Di Maio, leader of Italy’s 5-star party and deputy prime minister, caused a major rift between Italy and France on Tuesday when he met Christophe Chalençon and other members of the Yellow Vests to show his support for the movement.

The number of protesters has fallen over the last two Saturdays. An estimated 58,600 people demonstrated throughout France on February 2 according to the interior ministry, although the Yellow Vests claim some 116,000 demonstrators took to the streets.

A demonstration is scheduled to start on Saturday morning at Place de l’Étoile while three additional rallies have also been announced by Éric Drouet, a truck driver and spokesman of the Gilets Jaunes movement.

Various events are also planned in other cities, including Montpellier, Lille, Nantes, Rennes, Brest, Caen and Lorient.

"There is a lot of tension, a lot of ill intentions, a lot of impatience," Drouet said in a live video on Wednesday. He explained that he was working on a "completely legal” strategy to force President Emmanuel Macron to resign.]]>
2/9/2019 1:05:35 PM
<![CDATA[Canadian gets life sentence for killing six in Quebec mosque shooting]]>
Alexandre Bissonnette, 29, pleaded guilty last year to six counts of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder for the attack, one of Canada’s rare mass shootings.

Justice François Huot said a life sentence with eligibility for parole between 35 and 42 years into the sentence was appropriate, and rejected calls by prosecutors to impose the harshest sentence handed down since Canada eliminated the death penalty.

In the end, the judge said Bissonnette will not be eligible for parole until he served 40 years of his sentence.

The January 2017 shooting, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced as a terrorist attack, provoked debate over the treatment of new arrivals at a time when Canadians were being tested by a growing number of migrants crossing from the United States into the province of Quebec.

Huot said Bissonnette’s actions in entering the mosque at the end of prayers and shooting congregants were not a terrorist attack, but motivated by prejudice, particularly toward Muslim immigrants.

But the judge also said Bissonnette’s mental health issues, including an obsession with suicide, played a role in the shooting and influenced his sentence.

A 2011 legal change allows Canadian judges to hand down consecutive sentences in the case of multiple murders. Prosecutors had asked for Bissonnette to serve six consecutive sentences or 150-years in prison without eligibility for parole, the harshest sentence since Canada abolished the death penalty in 1976.

“The U.S. Supreme Court would not find a 150-year (term) cruel and unusual punishment,” Huot said earlier in the day, but added “punishment should not be vengeance.”

Huot also stressed the importance in Canada of rehabilitating offenders.

'Death to America' really 'Death to Trump': Iran
The dark-haired, slightly-built Bissonnette, who wore a white shirt under a navy blue jacket and handcuffs, had been described by police as a lone-wolf attacker.

Bissonnette had previously asked his victims for forgiveness when entering his guilty plea in March, telling the court: “I am not a terrorist, nor an Islamophobe.”

But Huot said Bissonnette had previously considered attacking other targets including feminists, shopping centers and airports. The judge recounted Bissonnette’s remarks to a prison social worker in Sept. 2017, when he expressed a desire for “glory” in shooting congregants and that he “regretted not shooting more.”]]>
2/9/2019 12:15:48 PM
<![CDATA[African FMs warp up Executive Council meetings in Addis Ababa]]>
The resolutions issued during the session will be raised to the AU summit that will kick off on Sunday to be endorsed by the summit.

With the participation of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in the two-day meetings, the foreign ministers discussed a report on the 37th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee that was held on January 15-16.

They also mulled a report by the AU Commission on the humanitarian situation in Africa. During the meeting, Egypt was chosen to host the African Space Agency.

Other reports issued by the specialized and subcommittees of the AU Executive Council were also discussed.

The ministers discussed as well a draft treaty for the establishment of the African Medicines Agency, a draft statute of the African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission and a draft statute of the African Union International Center for Girls and Women Education in Africa.]]>
2/9/2019 11:39:06 AM
<![CDATA[Session on migration, displacement in Africa to be held on fringe of AU summit]]>
The session will tackle efforts meant to finance mechanisms of combating migration and offering relief to the refugees and displaced who left their residential areas inside Africa.

Historically, Africa is considered one of the world's top regions that are sending migrants. It suffers a problem with the number of the homeless and displaced due to lack of political stability.

In recent times, migration is accelerated by the negative impacts of climate change. Between 2008 and 2015, an average of 26 million people was displaced annually by climate or weather-related disasters. In 2016, an estimated 1.1 million people were displaced by sudden on-set natural hazards.

Therefore, the AU established the African Risk Capacity Agency in 2012 to help Member States better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and other natural disasters, thereby protecting the food security and livelihoods of their most vulnerable populations.]]>
2/9/2019 11:37:40 AM
<![CDATA[Coptic Orthodox Church in Ethiopia greets Egypt on AU presidency]]>
The Coptic church in Ethiopia on Saturday expressed hope that prosperity would prevail across Africa during Egypt's chairmanship of the AU for the year 2019.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will receive on Sunday the chairmanship of the AU during the inaugural session of the 32nd summit to be held in Addis Ababa.]]>
2/9/2019 10:28:02 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi heads for Addis Ababa to received AU chairmanship]]>
He will also attend the 32nd session of the African Union that will kick off on Sunday.

The main topic of this year's summit is refugees and internally displaced in Africa.

The African leaders will also discuss means of fighting terrorism and establishing peace and security in the African countries. ]]>
2/9/2019 10:24:15 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt eyes cultivating rice in Gabon]]>
In his meeting with Gabon’s Foreign Minister Abdu Razzaq Guy Kambogo on the sidelines of the preparatory meetings of the 32nd African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed the possibility of allocated joint lands in Gabon to cultivate rice, said Egyptian Foreign Ministry in a statement.

Egypt has turned into rice importer following the governmental measures reducing the rice-cultivated areas; on May 21, 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ratified amendments to the Agriculture Law No. 53 of 1966, per which the government will determine the areas to cultivate certain water-intensive crops such as rice and sugarcane.

The cultivated areas will be shrunk in the coming seasons as a result of water scarcity, given that one feddan of rice consumes 7,000 cubic meters of water. Egypt needs at least 105 billion cubic meters of water annually to cover the needs of more than 90 million citizens. However, it currently has only 60 billion cubic meters, of which 55.5 billion cubic meters come from the Nile and less than 5 billion cubic meters come from non-renewable subterranean water in the desert.

During the Friday meeting, the both foreign ministers also tackled the bilateral cooperation in woood industry as Egypt aims to establish a wood factory in the Egyptian Economic Zones (EZones) in Suez governorate, the statement added.

Shoukry also extended his congratulations to Abdu Razzaq Guy Kambogo for assuming the post of Gabon’s Foreign Ministry in January, the statement said.
2/8/2019 3:53:46 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt wins bid to host African Space Agency]]>
The African leaders, led by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, will approve the decision on the second day of the 32nd African Summit on Monday, February 11, the spokesman said.

This decision will crown sustained efforts exerted by the Foreign Ministry and technical bodies, particularly the Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministry, to prepare Egypt's file that reveals its full technical potentials, the spokesman added.

He further stressed that Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, in his word at the 34th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council, asserted Egypt's keenness on hosting the headquarters of the African Space Agency that will serve the whole African continent and help push forward development in line with the African Union Agenda 2063.

Earlier, Ethiopia, Egypt, Namibia and Nigeria put in bids to host the African Space Agency, but Namibia later on withdrew. ]]>
2/8/2019 2:53:38 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Namibia probe upgrading bilateral relations]]>
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the African Union’s Executive Council meetings of foreign ministers, currently held in Addis Ababa.

Shoukry affirmed the importance of Egypt-Namibia relations in all fields, particularly with regard to trade exchange.

He added that Cairo is ready to offer its experience in different fields through the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development.

In the same regard, Shoukry noted that Egypt is looking forward to working with all African states during its chairmanship of the African Union in 2019.

He also reviewed the Egyptian presidency’s priorities that seek to achieve regional economic integration, social and economic development as well as peace and security.]]>
2/8/2019 2:49:07 PM
<![CDATA[FM takes part in meetings of AU FMs Executive Council]]>
The meetings, which started on Thursday, are preparing for the 32nd African summit that will kick off here on Sunday in which Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will take part.

The ministers are taking up technical reports by sub-committees and a memorandum on the main topic of this year's summit about the refugees and internally displaced and reaching solutions to the issue.

President Sisi will receive on Sunday the African Union chairmanship for the year 2019 from Rwandan President Paul Kagame]]>
2/8/2019 11:57:43 AM
<![CDATA[Sierra Leone welcomes Egypt's chairmanship of African Union - FM]]>
In statements to MENA on the sidelines of the AU Executive Council meetings of foreign ministers held in Addis Ababa, Kabba said his country welcomes Egypt’s chairmanship of the African Union, asserting that it provides an opportunity to continue the development of AU institutions and bodies.

In this regard, he affirmed his confidence that Cairo will spare no effort in working to develop the African Union.

He added that he believes President Sisi’s strong leadership will help confront Africa’s difficult and critical issues, topped by peace, security and development.

Meanwhile, Kabba pointed out that he participated in the Africa 2018 Forum, which was held in Egypt’s resort city of Sharm el Sheikh last December, noting that it brought together African states to discuss means of bolstering trade and economic relations among them.]]>
2/8/2019 11:53:35 AM
<![CDATA[Romania's deputy FM says AL-EU summit good platform for dialogue]]>CAIRO - 8 February 2019: Romanian Deputy Foreign Minister Monica Gheorghita asserted the importance of a summit to be held between the Arab League (AL) and the European Union (EU) on February 24 and 25 in Sharm el Sheikh.

Describing the summit as a step for developing relations between the European and Arab countries, Gheorghita said that she considers it also as a good platform for dialogue between the AL and the EU.

In pre-departure statements to MENA after her two-day visit to Egypt, Gheorghita expressed pleasure that the summit will be held for the first time during Romania's chairmanship of the EU.

Romania, as the EU president, is committed to holding dialogue and negotiations to promote regional cooperation and find solutions to the Middle East crises, Gheorghita said.

These solutions will be implemented through cooperation between the Arab and European countries along with the key international players, Gheorghita added.

Gheorghita said that this approach goes in line with Egypt's foreign policy and priorities during its presidency of the African Union.

Gheorghita pointed out that she had fruitful talks during her visit to Egypt to mull boosting bilateral relations as well as economic and trade cooperation, she said.

She added that Egypt is Romania's first trade partner in the Middle East and Africa regions, representing 17.3% of her country's total trade exchange with both regions.

Trade exchange between Egypt and Romania hit one billion dollars in 2018, with a 60% increase compared with 2017, she said.]]>
2/8/2019 11:49:23 AM
<![CDATA[3 people killed, 19 others injured in bus crash in Tur Sinai]]>
Two children, a 6-year-old Egyptian boy and a 6-year-old Iraqi girl, are among the dead people. The third victim is an Egyptian woman at the age of 30. The number of injured Egyptians reached 12, while another seven injured people are Iraqi nationals. The injured people were transported to the nearest hospitals.

Thousands of Egyptians die on the road every year due to traffic accidents. Egypt recorded 11,098 traffic accidents in 2017, a 24.6 percent decrease compared to 14,710 accidents in 2016, according to a statement by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS.)

In the Hospital - Egypt Today/ Fatma Mersal

Those accidents resulted in the death of 3,747 people, the injury of 13,998, and the damage of 17,201 vehicles, according to the report released by CAPMAS concerning 2017.

The development of the national road network helped decrease road accidents in 2017, according to the state’s official agency.

Seventy-two percent of traffic accidents in Egypt occur due to human error, according to statistics released by CAPMAS of car and train accidents in 2016.

The country is among the 10 states enrolled in a UN program that aims to half the rate of road deaths by 2020. Since 2014, Egypt has launched a number of projects and campaigns to monitor road safety; including building new roads, maintaining dilapidated bridges and carrying out random drug tests on drivers.

2/7/2019 5:58:13 PM
<![CDATA[Tahya Misr allocates LE 1 billion to fund 218k eye surgeries]]>
The money funded by Tahya Misr will help carry out 200,000 cataract surgeries, 15,000 glaucoma surgeries, and 3,000 corneal transplantations, Mohamed Mokhtar, the media coordinator of Tahya Misr Fund said in an interview with al-Hayah al-Youm.

The first phase of the initiative will be launched on Thursday in Suez and Ismailia governorates to examine adults, Mokhtar said, adding that medical convoys will also start providing check-ups for primary schools' students on Sunday.

Late in January, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced in a ceremony launching "Nour al-Hayah" initiative, saying that Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly complained that many of the school children in the country suffer serious vision problems and need surgical intervention.

The initiative targets treating 5 million primary school students in the country, providing a million eyeglasses, and carrying out 250,000 eye surgeries.

During the ceremony, Sisi also announced the establishment of as many as 1,000 kidney dialysis units bankrolled by Tahya Misr Fund to mainly serve children with kidney failure.]]>
2/7/2019 1:20:50 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's Attorney General detains 22 for people smuggling]]>
The Administrative Control Authority (ACA) and the Ministry of Interior collaborated to arrest 71 defendants on Tuesday affiliated with four gangs involved in smuggling people in the governorates of Cairo, Giza, Beheira, Kafr El-Sheikh, and Gharbia.

The ACA is the regulatory body responsible for enforcing laws and regulations within state bodies.

The defendants have been involved in smuggling migrants to 14 European countries, the United States, and Canada, according to the ACA's investigations.

The gangs used to forge documents that are issued by local and foreign governmental institutions such as marriage contracts, birth certificates, personal financial statements, bank statements, documents issued by the civil registry, complaints filed at police departments, and court verdicts, according to the investigations.

The purpose was to manipulate foreign governments and convey that migrants are being subject to religious and political discrimination so they would get asylum, and support by human rights organizations, according to the investigations.

The investigations also revealed that defendants had committed bribery, and illegal currency trading as they used to receive remittances from expats in foreign currencies, and deliver them to their families in the Egyptian pound.


In December, the ACA announced detecting an international network for human trafficking and arresting its members, including Egyptians.

A number of 20 Egyptian, Arab and European individuals were 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 young clients, the statement read.

Also in May, the attorney general referred 40 defendants to the Criminal court on charges of human trafficking and smuggling migrants.

In January 2018, the Public Funds Prosecution imprisoned an organized crime group of 75 criminals, 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.]]>
2/7/2019 1:18:19 PM
<![CDATA[34th session of AU Executive Council kicks off in Addis Ababa]]>
ADDIS ABABA: 7 February 2019: The 34th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Foreign Ministers kicked off on Thursday at the headquarters of the AU Commission, with Egypt participating.

The two-day meetings will set the stage for the 32nd African Summit, during which President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will receive the AU presidency. The summit will be held on Sunday and Monday.

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki stressed the importance of topics to be discussed at the summit, which will convene under the theme: "Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa."

Speaking at the inaugural session of the meetings, Faki lauded developments in the Horn of Africa that reflected keenness on entrenching peace and security.

He also hailed the signing of a peace agreement between the government of the Central African Republic (CAR), which has been grappling with conflict since 2012, and 14 armed groups on Wednesday in Bangui city.

He went on to say that the year of 2019 is "event-filled" as it will witness the 100th anniversary of holding the first Pan-African Congress in Paris in February 1919, as well as the 20th anniversary of signing the Sirte Declaration in September 1999 that paved the way for the establishment of the African Union.

He further stressed the necessity of achieving "African regional integration", extolling as "very encouraging" progress made in ratifying the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that was signed on by 44 out of 55 AU member states in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018.

He also urged six countries that have not signed the agreement so far to sign it for the sake of Africa's future.

Faki also hailed elections held in Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and stressed the necessity of fostering cooperation among African countries to improve governance.

He also called for giving an opportunity for youth and women to contribute to the development of Africa.]]>
2/7/2019 12:08:27 PM
<![CDATA[Decree approving 11th amendment to US-Egypt assistance agreement]]>
The 11th amendment covers the governmental administration initiatives and participation program.

The amendment agreement was signed on July 24, 2018.

The decision was endorsed by the House of Representatives during its session on December 24, 2018.

The decree was published in the gazette out Thursday. ]]>
2/7/2019 11:51:16 AM
<![CDATA[UPDATE: Court to retry Adly over stealing public funds in March]]>
The court said that some points in the technical reports on the case requires the court to discuss them with experts.

Adly and his co-defendants are charged with siphoning off over LE 2 billion of public funds in the period between 2000 and 2011.

During the session, representative of the General Prosecution commented on Adly's advocacy's claim in the previous sessions that the ex-interior minister was unaware of the financial affairs, saying that it cannot be true. The representative said that Adly, as the number one official in the ministry who was responsible for the security of the ministry at the time, cannot be unaware of incidents taking place.

The Court of Cassation had earlier revoked a 7-year jail sentence against Adly and ordered retrial.The 7-year sentence was issued against Adly and two other defendants by the Cairo Criminal Court in April 2017. The court also sentenced six defendants to five years in prison, and two others to three-year imprisonment.

The court subsequently ordered compelling Adly and two defendants in the case to refund LE 195,936,000 ($10.9 million). Adly and nine defendants also had to refund 529,000,000 ($29.5 million), according to an earlier ruling of the court.]]>
2/7/2019 9:53:50 AM
<![CDATA[Trump says may declare Islamic State defeated next week]]>
"Their land is gone. It's a big factor - their land is gone," Trump told foreign ministers and other senior officials from 79 countries that have worked alongside the United States in fighting the militant group in Syria and Iraq.

Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria has prompted some criticism at home from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, who fear Islamic State could regain its strength.

A top U.S. Army general for the region, Joseph Votel, said in Senate testimony on Tuesday that the group could experience a resurgence after a U.S. pullout.

Trump did not back down from his determination to withdraw, saying, "We look forward to giving our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home."

"The United States military, our coalition partners and the Syrian Democratic Forces have liberated virtually all of the territory previously held by ISIS in Syria and Iraq," Trump told the gathering at the State Department.

He said the achievement "should be formally announced, sometime, probably next week, that we will have 100 percent of the caliphate."

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reassured the coalition partners that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria was not "the end of America's fight" and called on them to help permanently defeat Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

"The U.S. troops withdrawing from Syria is not the end of America's fight. The fight is one we will continue to wage alongside you," Pompeo said. "The drawdown in troops is essentially a tactical change, it is not a change in the mission. It simply represents a new stage in an old fight."

Warnings by Pompeo and others that Islamic State remained a dangerous threat fly in the face of Trump's December declaration that the militants had been defeated and the United States would withdraw its roughly 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria.

The president's sudden decision shocked coalition partners, including an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias that has been among the most effective against Islamic State, and prompted the abrupt resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Wednesday's meeting was the first of senior coalition officials since Trump announced U.S. troops would withdraw. Participants included foreign ministers from Turkey, France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Iraq.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed al-Hakim called on countries to help expose Islamic State "sleeper cells" in Iraq and restore stability.

Pompeo said despite progress in fighting Islamic State in Iraq, the group retained a strong presence in that country and was trying to mount a clandestine insurgency.

"The coalition must continue to support the government of Iraq in its efforts to secure the liberated areas of that country," Pompeo said. "Mr. Foreign Minister, we're with you," he told Hakim.

Earlier this week, Trump said it was important to keep a U.S. military presence in Iraq so that Washington could keep a close eye on Iran, according to a CBS interview aired on Sunday.

However, Iraqi President Barham Salih said on Monday that Trump did not ask Iraq's permission for U.S. troops stationed there to "watch Iran." The United States and Iran are Iraq's two biggest allies.

On Wednesday, Hakim, apparently responding to Trump's comment, called on countries to show full "respect for the territorial integrity of Iraq and for all operations to take place with the knowledge of Iraq, and in consultations with Iraqi security forces."
2/7/2019 7:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. might lift sanctions on Venezuelan military officers who back Guaido ]]>
"The U.S. will consider sanctions off-ramps for any Venezuelan senior military officer that stands for democracy and recognizes the constitutional government of President Juan Guaido. If not, the international financial circle will be closed off completely," Bolton said in a tweet.
2/7/2019 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[French jets strike Chadian rebels to head off Deby destabilisation]]>
The strikes, which started on Sunday, come as Chadian rebels have increased their activities in southern Libya since vowing last year to overthrow President Idriss Deby. The strikes were also held on Tuesday but not Monday.

The Union of Forces of Resistance (UFR), a rebel Chadian coalition created in 2009 after almost toppling Deby, has said it was behind this week's incursion, which saw some 50 pick-up trucks drive 400 km (250 miles) into Chadian territory.

"The incursion of this armed column deep into Chadian territory was aimed at destabilising this country," the French military said in a statement.

The strikes by Mirage fighter jets were carried out in response to a formal request for assistance by a sovereign state and were conducted according to international humanitarian law, it said. The planes took off from the Chadian capital N'Djamena and were supported by a Reaper drone, the statement said.

A UFR official told Reuters on Monday two of its fighters had been killed.

Deby has faced several rebellions since seizing power in 1990 in a military coup. International observers have questioned the fairness of elections that have kept him in office since and last year he pushed through constitutional reforms that could keep him in office until 2033.

France intervened in 2008 to stop the UFR toppling Deby, but President Emmanuel Macron has said he wants a new relationship with France's former colonies and the era of propping up leaders is over.

However, France considers Chad as crucial given it is deemed as having the most battled-hardened troops in the fight against Islamist militants in West Africa. Paris has based its 4,500-strong counter-terrorism Operation Barkhane force in N'Djamena, where the United States also has a base.

The "Chadian army is an essential partner in the fight against terrorism in Mali ... the G5 force and its action against Boko Haram", the French military statement said.

Chadian air strikes had initially attempted to destroy the rebel convoy on Feb. 1-2. Deby's fight against Islamist militants in the region has strained his military and hit the oil-dependent economy, leading to growing dissatisfaction in one of the world's poorest nations.]]>
2/7/2019 12:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Dutch police shoot man near central bank; witnesses report gunfight]]>
Local television station AT5 published photos of ambulances at the scene and cited eyewitnesses as saying around 20 shots were fired during an exchange of gunfire that left the man motionless on the ground.

The area has been cordoned off, police said.
2/6/2019 11:40:04 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Zanzibar discuss cooperation in agricultural domain]]>
Talks covered transferring agricultural technology adopted by Egypt to Zanzibar and honing skills of agricultural workers in Zanzibar.

Among the senior officials Abu Steit met with were Zanzibar's agriculture minister and his deputies.

A letter of intent was signed between Egypt's Agricultural Researches Center and a university in Zanzibar, according to a statement by the Agriculture Ministry.

The Egyptian minister also accepted an invitation by the former Tanzanian president, Hassan Mwinyi, to visit his ranch for talks on developing cooperation in the agricultural domain.]]>
2/6/2019 12:56:23 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt welcomes peace agreement in Central Africa]]>
The Foreign Ministry, in a statement, lauded reaching the agreement after talks between both sides in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

Egypt expresses its support for implementing the agreement for establishing peace and security in Central Africa, added the statement.

It praised efforts exerted by Sudan to end the suffering of the Central African people. ]]>
2/6/2019 12:26:15 PM
<![CDATA[Angelina Jolie visits Rohingya camps, says refugees' plight 'shames us all']]>
The Hollywood actor addressed a crowd of refugees on a hilltop in Kutapalong camp, the world’s largest refugee settlement, in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district.

She said was “humbled and proud to stand with you today”.

“You have every right not to be stateless and the way you have been treated shames us all,” said Jolie, adding the crisis was the result of decades of discrimination that had gone unaddressed.

“What is most tragic about this situation is that we cannot say we had no warning.”

Jolie’s visit came as the United Nations said it was preparing to launch a new appeal for $920 million to support the refugees, who fled a brutal military crackdown in neighboring Rakhine state in Myanmar in response to militant attacks in August 2017.

U.N. investigators have accused Myanmar’s army of carrying out mass killings and rapes with “genocidal intent” during the massive offensive that laid waste to hundreds of Rohingya villages in the western Rakhine state.

Myanmar denies the charge and says its offensive was a legitimate response to an insurgent threat and has pledged to welcome the refugees back.

But the United Nations says conditions are not yet right for return. The Rohingya say they want guarantees over their safety and to be recognized as citizens before returning.

Jolie said she had met stateless Rohingya who described being “treated like cattle” in Myanmar.

“I met a woman yesterday, a survivor of rape in Myanmar, and she told me ‘you would have to shoot me where I stand before I would go back to Myanmar’,” Jolie said.

“I urge the Myanmar authorities to show the genuine commitment needed to end the cycle of violence, displacement, and improve conditions for all communities in Rakhine state, including the Rohingya.”

Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay did not pick up a call seeking comment.

Jolie flew to Bangladesh this week to “assess the humanitarian needs of the Rohingya refugees and some of the more critical challenges facing Bangladesh as a host country”, the UNHCR said in a statement.

She will meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in the capital, Dhaka, on Wednesday, the refugee agency said.

Several refugees who gathered to watch Jolie speak said they knew only that she was a “high official”.

But 22-year-old Mohammed Shakir, who fled his home in Rakhine after the 2017 violence, said he respected her for her humanitarian work.

“When I saw her, I was very excited because she has special words for our Rohingya,” he said.]]>
2/6/2019 11:19:12 AM
<![CDATA[Shoukry attends AU ministerial meetings ahead of summit]]>
The meeting is held ahead of the African summit that will kick off here on Sunday during which Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will receive the AU chairmanship for the year 2019.

The two-day ministerial meetings will take up political files related to peace and security in Africa atop of which will be the situation in Libya, Somalia and the DR Congo. ]]>
2/6/2019 10:58:23 AM
<![CDATA[Venezuelan army blocks bridge on border with Colombia]]>
The opposition-dominated National Assembly had warned the armed forces, which make up much of Maduro’s power base, not to cross a “red line” by blocking aid.

Guaido, who proclaimed himself acting president on Jan. 23 — sparking an international crisis — claims that up to 300,000 people face death if the aid is not delivered.

“You know there’s a red line, you know well there’s a limit, you know that medicines, food and medical supplies are that limit,” lawmaker Miguel Pizarro said in a message to the military.

Maduro said humanitarian aid would be the forerunner of a US-led invasion, insisting that “nothing will enter, not one invading soldier.”

Venezuelan military officers used a tanker truck and huge shipping container to block access to the Tienditas bridge, which links the city of Urena to Cucuta, Colombia. ]]>
2/6/2019 10:52:13 AM
<![CDATA[Dar al-Iftaa launches campaign to facilitate marriage terms]]>
According to a statement issued by Dar al-Iftaa on its Twitter account,Dar al-Iftaa urged the parents to facilitate marriage conditions, calling on people to follow and support the hashtag.

A number of social media users launched "KhalihaTe'anes" hashtag, translated into "let her become a spinster", in efforts to convince a probably undefined party to bring down marriage expenses.In response, a group of girls launched another campaign called “stay with your mother” in protest against the campaign.

The term 'spinster' is exactly as offensive to many cultures as its equivalent in Arabic "Aanes".

Maya Morsi, head of the National Council for Women, expressed her dissatisfaction with such campaigns, describing them as "unacceptable."

In an interview with Egypt Today, Morsi said that the wrong traditions which increase the expenses of marriage will not be solved by such campaigns. She also expressed displeasure with the term "spinsterhood," adding that "late marriage" should be used for both men and women instead.

One of the most significant traditions in Arab countries, including Egypt, is that many parents can reject a man who wants to marry their daughter, because he is poor, he does not own a luxurious apartment, he does not have a prestigious car, or he cannot offer a comparatively valuable “shabka”, which is the jewelry granted by the man before he is affianced to the woman he wishes to marry. “Shabka" is claimed to be a gift.

However, men find themselves obligated to buy itfor their future fiancées in most cases.

Additional report by AmrKandil]]>
2/6/2019 10:43:15 AM
<![CDATA[Erdogan says expects Greece to return eight Turkish soldiers with coup links]]>
Earlier on Tuesday, Turkey updated a list of former military officers wanted for their alleged role in a 2016 coup attempt to include the eight officers who have been granted asylum in Greece, with a bounty of 4 million Turkish lira ($770,446) each.

Erdogan made the remarks in a joint news conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
2/5/2019 9:42:33 PM
<![CDATA[JICA holds 3rd seminar in Egypt on Universal Health Coverage]]>
The Egyptian and Japanese sides discussed the current situation and issues on social health insurance in Egypt after the new Social Health Insurance Law has received the parliamentary approval in December 2017, Dr. Makoto Tobe, JICA’s senior Advisor in the field of health financing, made presentations on the Japanese experience in Revenue Raising, Pooling, Purchasing and Administration of Universal Health Insurance Systems as well as Health Technology Assessment.

JICA held the seminar as a response to the Egyptian government’s strong initiative in establishing the new universal health insurance system with the aim to provide all people with access to needed health services of sufficient quality to be safe and effective and ensure that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.

The seminaris held to share the Japanese knowledge and techniques in the field of Universal Health Coverage that dates back to more than 50 years ago so that the Egyptian side can avoid the obstacles that Japan has faced and benefit from the Japanese experience in the practical implementation of the Universal Health Insurance System.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Egypt Office organized on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, the third seminar in Egypt on Universal Health Coverage




a5 ]]>
2/5/2019 4:53:40 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt candidate to host 2021 Nuclear Energy Conference: IAEA chief]]>
During his meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister's Deputy Hamdi Loza, Amano expressed his pleasure to visit the North African country for the third time since taking post in 2009, adding that Egypt is one of the candidate countries to host the Conference on Nuclear Energy, which is set to be held in 2021.

For his part,Loza stressed Egypt's full commitment to the nuclear safety and security standards for all the nuclear power stations which the country plans to establish. He called on the IAEA to support efforts to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons.

Loza stressed Egypt's interest in supporting and developing technical cooperation programs in light of the states' rights to benefit from the peaceful applications of nuclear energy.

Amano met on Sunday with Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker.During the meeting,Sisi said that Egypt is keen on implementing the international standards of nuclear security and safety at El-Dabaa nuclear power plant.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (centre) met the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (right) in Cairo during his official visit in early February. (Photo: Office of the President, Egypt )

Ambassador Loza and Amano met with Ambassador Omar Amer, Egypt's Permanent Representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Foreign Ministry said in a press statement on Tuesday that the meeting dealt with various areas of cooperation between Egypt and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), especially with regard to Egypt's construction of nuclear power plants to generate electricity and meet Egypt's growing electricity needs. ]]>
2/5/2019 3:50:01 PM
<![CDATA[71 arrested for committing migrant smuggling ]]>
The defendants have been smuggling Egyptians and refugees from other countries in the region into 14 European countries, the United States, and Canada.

The gangs used to forge documents that are issued by local and foreign governmental institutions such as marriage contracts, birth certificates, personal financial statements, bank statements, documents issued by the civil registry, complaints filed at police departments, and court verdicts.

The purpose was to manipulate foreign governments and convey that migrants are being subject to religious and political discrimination so they would get asylum, and support by human rights organizations.

Investigations indicated that the defendants had committed bribery, and illegal currency trading as they used to receive remittances by expats in foreign currencies, and deliver them to their families in Egyptian pound.

The results of investigations were submitted to the Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek who issued arrest warrants against all defendants. Several coordination meetings were held by the ACA and the ministry to prepare for the arrests that were accomplished by the 300 security personnel. The defendants will be interrogated by the public prosecution before their cases are referred to court.
2/5/2019 3:37:39 PM
<![CDATA[Rain, lower temperatures to hit Egypt Wednesday]]>
Rainfall is expected nationwide, and heavy rains and thunder are expected to hit the southern parts of the country. Temperatures are also expected to drop in Alexandria and the Nile Delta governorates.

The unstable weather will cause a decline in visibility and disorder in maritime navigation on the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
2/5/2019 1:49:55 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt mulls setting up pharmaceutical factory in Chad]]>
According to a statement issued Thursday, the minister said that Hegazi, during his visit to N'Djamena, will discuss registering Egypt's pharmaceutical products and their distribution in Chad.

In this regard, Tawfiq had a meeting with representatives of French company "Sanofi" to discuss boosting bilateral cooperation in the pharmaceutical field with a view to broadening the scope of the Egyptian pharmaceutical and medical companies' activities in the healthcare sector in Africa.

The two sides also discussed the possibility of expanding cooperation in the African market and exporting more pharmaceutical products to African countries, topped by Chad and its five neighboring countries.

He added that he discussed with Chadian Ambassador to Egypt Al-Amin Al-Doudou Abdullah Al-Khattari means of boosting bilateral cooperation, particularly in the pharmaceutical domain.

Tawfiq added that he is currently studying the operation of a regular navigation line to East Africa, along with providing logistic services through the Egyptian International Transport and Trade Co. (Eittrans) with a view to promoting the volume of intra-African trade.]]>
2/5/2019 1:33:06 PM
<![CDATA[Culture Minister received Sharjah Ruler at Cairo International Book Fair]]>
Sheikh Sultan toured the fair and stopped at pavilions of Egyptian ministries and institutions, as well as Arab and foreign countries.

He was accompanied by UAE Ambassador in Cairo Jomaa Mubarak and Dr Haitham el Hag, head of the Egyptian General Authority for Books.

Sheikh Sultan was pleased with the well-organized fair, which best reflects Egypt's civilization.

He greatly appreciated choosing the Arab League as the guest of honor of the 50th edition of the fair.]]>
2/5/2019 1:26:59 PM
<![CDATA[Citizen excavating for antiquities near Pyramids arrested]]>
The illegal excavation in Nazlet al-Samman area led to the discovery of an ancient burial site including six incomplete wall-relief statues, a statement by the General Administration of Tourism and Antiquities Police revealed. The statement did not specify the age of the items discovered.

Law No. 117 of 1983 imposes a prison term of 5 to 7 years and a fine of not less than LE 5,000($284) and not more than LE 7,000 ($397) on anyone who is proven guilty of illegal excavation for antiquities.

An ancient tomb was unearthed beneath a house in Giza, near the more than 4,000-year-old pyramids, after an excavation was carried out by the house owner, Tourism Police said in a statement on Feb. 3.

The house owner was arrested as he excavated illegally. As per the law of antiquities, any excavations should be conducted after getting permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities or from the Tourism Police Department; then, a committee should be formed by officials from the two bodies to check the presence of ancient artifacts.

However, several illegal excavations have been reported recently because the owners of the archaeological sites are not compensated appropriately by the government. ]]>
2/5/2019 1:17:35 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Kuwait carry out joint naval drills in Kuwait]]>
The drills included implementing visitation and inspection rights and rescue operations as well as morning and night sailing and providing supply and fuel at sea.]]>
2/5/2019 12:36:08 PM
<![CDATA[Vatican pope holds open-air Mass in Abu Dhabi]]>
The 82-year-old pontiff led the service at a sports venue this morning where huge crowds waved Vatican flags and banners and an altar with a huge cross was erected for the Mass.

Another 120,000 were gathered outside, watching via video link on large screens.

A choir sang hymns as the pope, joined by priests of different nationalities, began the service, broadcast live on Emirati television.

Tuesday's service came a day after the pope called for an end to wars in the troubled Middle East, including in Yemen and Syria.

All religious leaders had a 'duty to reject every nuance of approval from the word war', he told an interfaith meeting on Monday.]]>
2/5/2019 12:14:29 PM
<![CDATA[Azhar Grand Imam, Pope Francis sign "Special Olympics" ball]]>
The signing ceremony was attended by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

The ball was presented to Al Azhar Grand Imam and Pope Francis by award-winning athlete Chaica Al Qassimi. ]]>
2/5/2019 11:55:32 AM
<![CDATA[Google starts deleting illegal financial apps as requested by Russia]]>
"Last year, we started interacting with Apple Inc. and Google LLC: we have sent the companies letters of cooperation and a request to remove from the shops a number of applications through which the illegal Forex dealers operated in our country. They have expressed willingness to cooperate, and Google LLC has even removed two such applications. We hope that our interaction will continue," Lyakh said.

According to the Russian legislation, all companies operating as Forex brokers in Russia should be licensed by the Central Bank.

On December 27, 2018, the Russian Central Bank revoked licenses of five Russian Forex trading companies, including Alpari Forex and Forex Club.

The Bank said that its decision had been determined by "the repeated violations of the requirements of the Russian legislation on securities within one year."]]>
2/5/2019 10:57:59 AM
<![CDATA[Catalans say to block Spain budget bill, pressuring Socialists]]>
Sanchez' minority Socialist government came to power last June and holds just a quarter of the seats in parliament, meaning it relies on the backing of anti-austerity Podemos, Catalan nationalists and other small parties to pass laws.

The two Catalan parties, ERC and PDeCAT, said they would file full parliamentary amendments against the budget proposal, which faces its first vote next week, unless Sanchez is open to some of their political demands.

Under Spanish parliamentary procedure, such amendments can block the entire budget bill.

Failure by parliament to approve the government's 2019 budget bill could prompt a snap election before the next scheduled vote in 2020.

PDeCAT, the party that holds the Catalan presidency, wants the government to launch a nationwide dialogue forum between political parties "to address politically the Catalan issue," their parliamentary spokesperson Carles Campuzano told Reuters.

ERC, the party that has led recent polls in Catalonia, went further and requested an authorized referendum on the region's independence.

The trial of 12 Catalan independence leaders starts on Feb. 12. Spain's public prosecutor is seeking prison terms of up to 25 years for the leaders on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds for their role in Catalonia's failed 2017 break away from Spain.

Feb. 12 is also the last day the two parties could withdraw their amendments over the budget proposal.

"Until Feb. 12 they (the parties) have time to reflect, to carefully study the figures and to consider the opportunity cost for all citizens of Catalonia," Batet added.

On Feb. 14 all proposed amendments to the budget bill will be voted on in a simple majority vote. If they pass, the budget proposal would be effectively rejected, raising pressure on Sanchez to call an election.
2/5/2019 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. Congress negotiators struggle to reach border security deal]]>
Congressional aides on Monday said that while constructive negotiations were held by staffers over the past weekend, it is now up to the lawmakers themselves to tackle the thorniest disagreements before a Feb. 15 deadline.

Seventeen Republican and Democratic members of the Senate and House of Representatives are tasked with finding a compromise border security deal with the allocation of Department of Homeland Security funds through Sept. 30.

The toughest unresolved disputes include the type of new physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, if any, as President Donald Trump demands $5.7 billion for a wall that most Democrats and many Republicans oppose as wasteful and ineffective.

Other difficult questions, according to the aides, include whether to increase or cut funds for immigrant detention beds and the numbers of immigration law-enforcement agents and immigration judges.

Democrats had been backing legislation providing up to $1.6 billion for additional fencing on some parts of the southwestern border, far below Trump's request for a wall that he originally envisioned as a 2,000 mile (3,200 km) concrete barrier.

But new fencing money was not included in an initial proposal Democrats sketched out last week, which did however call for a $589 million increase in DHS’s budget.

Representative Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of the liberal Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters she agreed with sentiments expressed in a letter circulated by four members of that group, which seeks Department of Homeland Security funding cuts.

Dated Jan. 29, the letter said the Trump administration had "abused their authority and the fidelity of public resources," with initiatives that included separating immigrant children from their families. One of the signatories was Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, part of a new crop of Democrats swept into office this year on a strong liberal platform.

Trump has argued that additional DHS funding was necessary to stop illegal drugs and undocumented immigrants, touting a massive wall as the linchpin.

He has threatened to either let several federal agencies shut down for the second time this year if no deal is reached, or declare a "national emergency" that he says would allow him to build the wall with already-appropriated funds not necessarily related directly to border security.
2/5/2019 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[EU studying more sanctions on Venezuela, no oil embargo]]>
"The intention ... is that sanctions can be possible on certain individuals rather than on issues that might have an effect on an already weakened economy," Carmelo Abela told Reuters following a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

"Having further (sectoral) sanctions is not excluded but primarily we are focused on certain individuals."

Since November 2017, the European Union has imposed an embargo on exports of weapons and equipment for internal repression, as well as a travel ban and an asset freeze on 18 officials accused of violating rights and undermining democracy.

Experts say EU sanctions, while symbolic, have had little or no impact on Maduro's policies so far and that oil and financial sanctions may be the only way to force the government to change.

Oil and related products make up three quarters of Venezuela's exports to the EU, but the bloc is unwilling to take steps that might further worsen an economy already in deep crisis with widespread suffering.

The U.S. administration of President Donald Trump has imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil firm PDVSA.
2/5/2019 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trump says he will nominate Bernhardt for secretary of interior]]>
Bernhardt is currently the acting secretary at the Interior Department, the agency overseeing U.S. public lands. "David has done a fantastic job from the day he arrived, and we look forward to having his nomination officially confirmed," Trump said on Twitter.
2/5/2019 12:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Israeli troops kill Palestinian in West Bank, say he threw bomb]]>
There were no military casualties in the incident near the Palestinian city of Jenin.

A Jenin hospital where the two Palestinians were admitted said a 19-year-old died of his wounds and the other was in stable condition after being shot in the lower back.

A military statement said troops had opened fire at "two assailants (who) hurled an explosive device".

The West Bank is among territories where Palestinians seek statehood, and has seen simmering violence since U.S.-sponsored negotiations with Israel broke down in 2014.
2/4/2019 10:41:47 PM
<![CDATA[Sultan Al-Qasimi acknowledges Egypt role in enriching culture]]>
“I consider myself one of the Egyptians; because I belonged to this university that enriched me with the right academic thinking and culture that highly affected me and reflected by the way on my country,” the sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah, stated.

“Thanks God to safe and secure Egypt, in a time the surrounded countries are falling apart. Thank God on the great achievements and prosperity of Egypt; it is still the beginning and one day Egypt will be on the top of the Arab and African countries,” Al-Qasimi reported.

The Emirati ruler visited Cairo University, where he was once a student there and expressed his gratitude and thankfulness to Egypt and its people; in the presence of deans and representatives of Cairo University, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Mohamed Othman El Klhosht, Cairo University President.

“I got high score at the high school and I had the chance to attend Faculty of Medicine or Engineering but I preferred to join Faculty of Agriculture. Egypt granted me the place of another Egyptian student; now it is my turn to pay the favor back,” said Al-Qasimi.

Adding, “I and my close friends used to play football and attend concerts and plays. It is an honor to belong to this great country and to be here today sitting at the Professor Ahmed Lotify’s lecture room; it is such a grace in which I used to attend Abdel Nassar’s speeches there.”

“Thanks to all the Egyptian professors who enrich our minds and brains with knowledge, culture and innovation,” the sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah, elaborated.

“I am thankful for your warm welcome and great greetings; I cannot express my happiness to return back to Egypt; specifically Faculty of Agriculture at Cairo University. I will always remember all these emotional marvelous moments” Al-Qasimi said.
“Al-Qasimi is a distinctive Arab ruler who is known for his big passion for knowledge and scientific research, yet; he sponsors art and culture. He acknowledges Egypt’s role in enriching generations after generations over eras.” Abdel Ghaffar demonstrated.

“You did not take the place of another Egyptian student; because Egypt welcomes all Arabs, it is the second home for all the Arab peoples. This man who is awarded with numerous prizes, certificates and awards; today he is nominated by the most precious award in the whole world: the love of 100 million Egyptian people.” The Egyptian minister replied.

Adding, “This man loves Egypt to the moon and back; he always gives a hand to us in all disasters.”

In similar vein, 17 percent of the new international university located in 6 October city has been done since putting the first step last April. It is decided that the name of the first department will be given after Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi.

“We will also give the name of Biotechnology’s laboratories in the new international university after Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi; because the curriculum of the Faculty of Biotechnology is so close to Faculty of Agriculture’s curriculum (his faculty),” El Klhosht said.

“We start working on the new National Cancer Institute under the patronage of Sultan Al-Qasimi; assuring that there is no desire to minimize number of students at Cairo University,” El Klhosht said.

It is worthy to mention that Cairo University President awarded the outstanding character of 2018 to Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah; honoring his great loyalty.
2/4/2019 10:01:47 PM
<![CDATA[7 terrorists killed in police raid in Arish: Interior Ministry]]>
The raid was launched based on information acquired by the Homeland security apparatus about a terror cell planning to carry out a series of attacks against vital facilities in identified areas in Arish city.

In the statement, the ministry said that police forces stormed hideouts and exchanged fire with the terrorists, claiming the lives of seven elements. Two rifles, three bird-shot guns and three explosive devices were among the seizures. ]]>
2/4/2019 5:34:05 PM
<![CDATA[Policeman killing Christian father, son handed preliminary death sentence]]>
The court decided to issue its verdict on April 2, according to judicial sources.

The prosecution earlier charged Rabie Khalifa, 43, with premeditated murder, as he appeared in a video shooting dead Imad Kamal Sadiq, 49, and his son, David, 21.

The video that was circulated on social media did not show any physical fight between the killer and the victims before the murder.

Attorney General Nabil Sadek referred the policeman to urgent trial on December 18, 2018.

Many Egyptian policeman have been convicted of crimes over the last few years.

In November 2018, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced a police officer and a policeman to three years, and six months in prison, respectively, for murder by mistake in the lawsuit publicly known as “Afroto Case."

In January 2018, both convicts beat a detainee called Mohamed Abdel Hakim and nicknamed Afroto to death in the Mokatam Police Department.

The committee formed by the Forensic Medicine Department confirmed in July that Mohamed Abdel Hakim (aka Afroto) died after being beaten, refuting former claims of his death as a result of a drug overdose.

By measuring the concentration of drugs in Afroto’s body, the forensic report found that the victim did not abuse a deadly overdose of drugs.

The report also found that the severe injuries caused by assaulting the victim were the certain cause of his death.
2/4/2019 4:20:36 PM
<![CDATA[16 buildings almost demolished after rockfall ]]>
In January, residents reported cracks in the mountain. While demolishing a building nearby, a rockfall occurred so municipal authorities made a decision to demolish 15 buildings in the area.

The purpose of demolishing the buildings is that they would not be inhabited again. The move inhibited a disaster similar to the Dowika rockfall accident that happened in 2008 resulting in 31 casualties and 47 injuries.

Al Asmarat is a housing project whose units are granted furnished and free of charge to the residents of slums. The first two phases are accomplished and occupied by citizens. Constructions in the third phase are underway.
2/4/2019 2:23:34 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt offers free train cards for cancer patients]]>
The statement reported that the cards could be used any time, patients should receive the cards 15 days before travelling and that the cards are available at stations, giving access to air-conditioned trains.

Patients should submit a report from the authorized treatment center, a photocopy of their national ID or birth certificate, a copy of the national ID of the parents and two personal photos of the patient to get the card.

In June 2018, the ministry announced that four seats in all standard and air-conditioned trains will be allocated to cancer patients and their companions.]]>
2/4/2019 2:22:36 PM
<![CDATA[5 Egyptian fishermen detained in Iran released: Official ]]>
The five Egyptian fishermen were detained over charges of illegally entering Iranian territorial waters on a Saudi fishing boat, the statement reported.

The ministry assigned Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs and Egyptian Expatriates Yasser Hashim to stand on the legal status of the Egyptian fishermen and check their well-being, statement added.

The fishermen had been detained since December 2018.
2/4/2019 1:55:36 PM
<![CDATA[Abul-Gheit: EU-Arab cooperation helps facing common challenges, problems]]>
Speaking at the fifth European Union-Arab League ministerial meeting, currently in session in Brussels, Abul Gheit said that cooperation and consultations between the two sides over the past years have culminated in setting the stage for holding the first EU-AL summit in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh in late February.

Abul-Gheit extolled the launch of the seventh EU-AL Strategic Dialogue in Cairo at the headquarters of the AL General Secretariat last week.

There are still real challenges and crises that threaten stability of several countries, Abul Gheit said, stressing the need of developing effective policies to fight off these challenges and restore stability to these countries.

The first meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the European Union (EU) and the Arab League was held in Malta in February 2008. ]]>
2/4/2019 1:48:01 PM
<![CDATA[France launches airstrikes at armed Libyan group in Chad]]>
The operation took place Sunday and was organized in co-operation with the Chadian army.

A patrol of Mirage 2000 airplanes hit a column of 40 pickups coming from Libya that penetrated “deep into Chadian territory,” the French Defense Ministry said, adding that the “intervention, in response to a request from Chadian authorities, helped hinder this hostile progression and disperse the column.”

French President Emmanuel Macron visited Chad in December and reaffirmed French backing for African anti-extremist forces amid growing international concern about the chaos in Libya.

Macron also met with French soldiers deployed in the Sahel region with Operation Barkhane, France’s largest overseas military mission. ]]>
2/4/2019 1:42:35 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Germany lay foundation stone of German University in NAC]]>
During the ceremony, Abdel Ghafar stressed Egypt’s keenness to achieve comprehensive development in various fields, especially in the higher education and scientific research field.

He also pointed out that education, science and innovation are the main goals of Egypt’s vision for sustainable development in 2030.

Abdel Ghafar added that the establishment of branches of foreign universities in Egypt provides a distinguished educational service for the Egyptians and attracts the largest number of international students.

The agreement to establish the German International University of Applied Sciences was signed with the largest and oldest 10 German universities of applied sciences during Abdel Ghaffar's visit to Germany in October 2018.

For his side, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Altmaier stressed his country's interest in boosting cooperation with Egypt in various fields, especially in the education field.

In November 2017, Ghaffar said that the New Administrative Capital will include six international universities from the United States, Britain, Hungary, Canada, Sweden and France.

This was during the International Education Conference held in the United Kingdom and entitled “Cross Boundary Education in Egypt and the Chances of Investment in the Higher Education”.

Located 45 kilometers east of Cairo, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated Egypt’s new administrative and financial capital on October 11.

The New Administrative Capital’s business park will encompass 20 towers, including the tallest tower in Africa at a height of 345 meters. Construction of the residential district started in May 2017 to include 25,400 units, including residential apartments, villas and commercial units.

Egypt is looking forward to having dozens of cities like the New Administrative Capital, President Sisi said during his speech at the inauguration ceremony of the new city’s first phase.

2/4/2019 1:25:32 PM
<![CDATA[Major European nations recognize Guaido as Venezuela's president]]>
The coordinated move from major European nations came after the expiry of an eight-day deadline they set last weekend for President Nicolas Maduro to call a new vote.

The Venezuelan leader, accused of running the OPEC nation like a dictatorship and wrecking its economy, has defied that, saying Europe’s ruling elite are sycophantically following U.S. President Donald Trump’s agenda.

Guaido, who leads the opposition-controlled National Assembly, declared himself temporary leader last month in a move that has split global powers.

Trump immediately recognized him and European Union nations back Guaido, though some have been nervous over the global precedent of a self-declaration.

Russia and China, who have poured billions of dollars of investment and loans into the OPEC nation, are supporting Maduro.

“I recognize the president of Venezuela’s assembly, Mr Juan Guaido, as president in charge of Venezuela,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a televised statement, urging a free and fair election as soon as possible.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt followed suit.

“Nicolas Maduro has not called presidential elections within 8-day limit we have set,” Hunt said on Twitter. “So UK alongside European allies now recognizes @jguaido as interim constitutional president until credible elections can be held.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Inter radio station Guaido has “the capacity and the legitimacy” to organize a presidential election.

Mass protests in Venezuela as Maduro flexes political muscle
Le Drian said France would consult European partners over Venezuela, and that it was imperative the conflict was resolved peacefully and civil war avoided.

Sweden, Austria and Denmark also said they recognized Guaido as interim leader of Venezuela.

Maduro, 56, a former union leader, bus driver and foreign leader, replaced former leader Hugo Chavez in 2013 after his death from cancer. But he has presided over an economic collapse and exodus of 3 million Venezuelans.

He blames a U.S.-led “economic war” and also accuses Washington of seeking a coup against him. But critics say incompetent policies and corruption have gutted a once-wealthy nation while dissent has been brutally crushed.

Russia said the coordinated European move was an attempt to legitimize Guaido’s illegal attempt to seize power and amounted to foreign meddling.]]>
2/4/2019 12:11:42 PM
<![CDATA[8 defendants sentenced to death in Sisi's assassination attempt case ]]>CAIRO – 4 February 2019: Eight defendants out of 292 people accused of attempting to assassinate Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in Saudi Arabia, were sentenced to death on Monday.

The defendants are accused of planning to assassinate Sisi in August 2014, which marked Sisi’s performance of Umrah rituals in Saudi Arabia. Umrah, considered the “lesser” pilgrimage, is an Islamic rite that can be performed at any time of the year in Mecca.

A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency shows Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C) performing the mini-pilgrimage, known in Arabic as umrah, in the holy Saudi city of Makkah on August 11, 2014. (AFP)

Cairo criminal court issued the verdict after accusing them of several assissination attempts and terrorist attacks in Sinai against army soldiers, targeting police stations and planting explosive devices.

Court to issue verdict on 292 accused of Sisi's assassination attempt Monday

CAIRO - 4 February 2019: Cairo criminal court will issue its verdict in the case in which 292 people are accused of attempting to assassinate Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in Saudi Arabia.

2/4/2019 12:00:36 PM
<![CDATA[Court retries former Menoufia governor over illicit gains Monday]]>
A judicial court in Giza sentenced Nov. 12 Abdel Baset to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of LE 15 million.

Abdel Baset and two businessmen were arrested in January 2018 after the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) managed to record phone calls proving the governor agreed to take LE 2 million as a bribe in return for land licenses.

The ACA is the regulatory body responsible for enforcing laws and regulations within state bodies

According to security sources, the governor was under the ACA’s surveillance until he was detected to be involved in a number of corruption cases. The ACA then referred the governor to public prosecution for investigation.

The ACA has ordered the arrest of numerous officials over the last two years, within the framework of the leadership’s fight against corruption.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has 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.
2/4/2019 11:45:01 AM
<![CDATA[Huge blast jolts Mogadishu]]>
It was unclear what caused the explosion but militant group al Shabaab frequently carries out bombings in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia against government, military and other targets.

The extremist Islamist group is trying to remove the Western-backed central government and establish its own rule based on its strict interpretation of sharia law.]]>
2/4/2019 11:17:48 AM
<![CDATA[Court to issue verdict on 292 accused of Sisi's assassination attempt Monday ]]>
The defendants are accused of planning to assassinate Sisi in August 2014, which marked Sisi’s performance of Umrah rituals in Saudi Arabia. Umrah, considered the “lesser” pilgrimage, is an Islamic rite that can be performed at any time of the year in Mecca.

The defendants are facing a long list of accusations, such as plotting terrorist attacks, being members of a terrorist group affiliated with IS and planning several assassination attempts, including of President Sisi.

The 19,000-paper-case includes several details about the investigations and statements. It was asserted that the plan included more than one attempt to assassinate Sisi. According to the investigation, the IS affiliated-Sinai Province terrorist group thought that Sisi was going to stay at the Swissotel Makkah, so they set a suicidal plan in which one of the wives of the terrorist members, named Mirvat, was going to take explosives into the hotel. The plan depended on the Mecca regulation that says women cannot be searched inside the kingdom, especially if they are working inside the hotel. At the time, Sisi did not stay in the hotel.

A second attempt was planned by a group of dismissed police officers who were religious hardliners. It was stated in the investigations that the officers cooperated with a dentist who was also known for his extremist thoughts. Several meetings were organized inside his clinic, according to the findings of investigations.

The plan was to target Sisi’s procession in the street. Working as police officers for a period of time gave them the knowledge how to access the needed information for the assassination attempt; however, all of their efforts were foiled.

The 292 defendants in this case are also accused of assassinating three judges in Arish, targeting several police officers and army check points, and planting roadside bombs.

However, these are not the first assassination attempts to target Sisi since the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled. As he was still a candidate for president in May 2014, he revealed in an interview that he faced two assassination attempts.
2/4/2019 11:16:40 AM
<![CDATA[Court seeks death sentence to doctor convicted of killing his family]]>
According to the Egyptian law, capital sentences must be referred to the Grand Mufti, the country's highest Islamic legal official, for consultation before they can take place. The Mufti's decision is non-binding though.

The court said it will issue its verdict in March.

Kafr El-Sheikh Police Investigation Department said it has unveiled the mystery of the murder of a four-member family whose bodies were found slain inside their home in the Nile Delta city in the wee hours of the New Year.

A 42-year-old man reported the murder of his wife and three children, 8, 6 and 4 years of age after he discovered their bodies when he got home from work.

Police forces and crime scene investigators headed to the apartment and did not find any signs of violent breaking into the place and everything seemed normal.

After showering the husband with questions, he confessed the crime which he claimed was due to problems with his wife that left him insane and made him kill his family on New Year's Eve.

The husband acted the crime and was referred to the prosecution for further questioning.

Additional reporting by MENA
2/4/2019 10:51:07 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt starts pilot operation of 1st electric bus in Alexandria]]>
The governorate started implementing its transportation development plan in 2015 after being inefficient for more than 60 years, he added in an interview with Egypt today.

First electric bus in Alexandria- Press photo

Elewa referred that the government launched an international tender in 2015 to import 15 air-conditioned trams. After winning the tender, Ukraine sent the first advanced tram and it is expected to deliver the rest over 2019, he continued.

Alexandria has a 28-kilometer line for tram system covering the whole city and serving more than 5 million people, Elewa said.

As for the E-ticketing service, Elewa said that the authority is set to apply this unified ticketing service for all means of transportation in 2019.

Additional reporting by Jacqueline Mounir

First electric bus in Alexandria- Press photo
2/4/2019 10:31:07 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi: Egypt keen on adopting highest standards at Dabaa nuclear plant]]>
The president made the remarks during a meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano, in the presence of Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker.

“Egypt seeks to establish full cooperation with IAEA to support the operation and maintenance of the nuclear station,” Sisi said.

The president hailed Amano’s efforts to guarantee the peaceful use of nuclear technology worldwide and back peace and security at the international level, said presidential spokesman Bassam Radi.

Sisi affirmed that Egypt aims to make use of peaceful uses of atomic energy to serve its development goals through the establishment of El Dabaa nuclear power station, the spokesman added.]]>
2/3/2019 11:40:46 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's parliament discusses petition to amend constitution]]>
Abel Aal started the meeting by asserting that the realistic test of some of the current constitution’s articles proved that the latter require a review, however, this does not reflect a flaw or a disadvantage, as several regional states are witnessing constitutional changes.

Abdel Aal added that any amendment should aim building strong, democratic and balanced institutions capable of competent performance without affecting basic guarantees sponsored by the constitution.

The House Speaker discussed the most important principals the expected amendments are based on, they came as the following according to the general committee’s statement:

Supporting women, Youth, Christian minority, the disabled, and Egyptian expatriate community by solid constitutional articles.

Restoring Shura Council – a senate- to broaden representation at the Parliamentary Councils.

Extending the presidential term to six years from four, as the current circumstances have proven the step essential.

The appointment of deputy president.

The Armed Forces are the guarantor of the democracy and civil state, and the appointment way of defense minister should be reconsidered, according to the proposed amendments.

A coordination council headed by the president would organize the posts inside all the judicial entities.

The statement revealed that the committee would continue the discussion on Tuesday morning, 5 February 2019.
2/3/2019 11:33:15 PM
<![CDATA[Kremlin: Russia, Turkey, Iran leaders to meet in Russia on Feb 14 - RIA]]>
It gave no further details but Putin said last month he would convene such a gathering to discuss the situation in Syria, where Russia and Turkey have been trying to create a de-escalation zone.

The three countries say they want a political settlement to end the Syrian conflict. But while Russia and Iran back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkey - along with its NATO allies including the United States - wants him to step down.]]>
2/3/2019 9:00:18 PM
<![CDATA[Pope arrives in UAE for historic Gulf visit]]>
The pope, who landed at Abu Dhabi's airport, will stay in the UAE until Tuesday.]]>
2/3/2019 8:27:10 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt seeks Africa development via Cairo-Cape Town Road]]>
This came during a meeting held by the African Affairs Committee of the Parliament, where Arafat discussed the project, which is one of the ministry’s bids to restore the river transport system, after it was harmed by oil subsidies.

The Cape to Cairo Road or Pan-African Highway was a proposal since 1890s, when Prime Minister of Cape Colony Cecil Rhodes dreamt for a ‘red line’ on the map, referring to British dominions. It is similar to the proposal of Cape-to Cairo Railway through British territory at that time.

Introduced as a plan aiming to develop Africa, the road would be 10.300 km long, starting from Alexandria Port on the Mediterranean Sea then Cairo, Sudan, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and finally South Africa.

Minister Arafat told the members of the committee that part of the road has been accomplished and is ready for operation, which is running from Egypt to the borders with Sudan.

He touched upon a security challenge facing Africa with the presence of Daesh terrorist group in Libya, Boko Haram in Nigeria and al Qaeda in southern Algeria.

According to him, this entails further expansion of the road network.

Egypt has achieved a quantum leap where road quality and efficiency is concerned, moving up from the 115th position in 2014 to the 74th last year, said Arafat.

Egypt, assuming the chairmanship of the African Union in 2019, is leading efforts to develop Africa and has the potentials to do so, the most important of which is water, the minister noted.

He pointed to a river connection project between Alexandria and Lake Victoria, which should make Egypt a gate of river transport to Central Africa through the Nile River.

The project should cost about 18 billion dollars, the minister said.

Arafat told the parliamentary committee that international finance institutions are willing to bankroll road connection projects in Africa.

Revenues from road projects are quick and guaranteed, the minister noted.

He talked about other projects to link railways with Africa at a total length of 8,715 kilometers.

The railway sector in Egypt is tangibly improving, Arafat said, pointing to projects to upgrade train crossings, as well as carriages and tractors

MENA contributed to this report
2/3/2019 3:44:51 PM
<![CDATA[Immigration minister attends inauguration of World Humanitarian Brothers Conf.]]>
The conference is organized by the Council of Muslim Sages under the auspices of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nuhhayan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Attending the conference are also Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit, religious leaders and intellectual figures from around the world.

The conference seeks to address intellectual extremism and its negative aspects.

It also aims to contribute to the reconstruction of bridges of communication, and to address challenges standing in the way of achieving security, stability and peace.

The event coincides with the historic visit of Grand Imam of Al Azhar Dr Ahmed el Tayyeb and Vatican Pope Francis to the UAE.]]>
2/3/2019 2:31:34 PM
<![CDATA[Madbouli, Sharjah Ruler open renovated National Library 'Dar Al Kotob']]>
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Minister of Culture Enas Abdel-Dayem, Awqaf Minister Mohamed Gomaa, and Antiquities Minister Khaled Anani.

Head of the Actors Syndicate Ashraf Zaki and National Press Authority chief Karam Gabr were also present.

A documentary was aired during the event on the renovation projects as the building was damaged by terrorists in 2014.

Addressing the ceremony, the Sharjah ruler said the initial cost of the project went up from EGP 26 million to 30 million. ]]>
2/3/2019 11:51:53 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt Traffic website to be launched soon ]]>
Car owners will either renew their licenses directly from traffic units or have them sent to their homes after renewing or issuing the licenses through the website.

Egypt Traffic will be under the umbrella of the Interior Ministry website that also offers services of other sectors such as the General Directorate of Passports, Traffic Offices and Civil Status Authority.

Violators will receive a message on their phones including the type, time and place of violation, as well as the fine imposed on them.

Egypt Traffic will be a radical shift at the traffic public sector, a new move that comes within the government’s bid to digitalize all its services and institutions.

2/3/2019 11:47:15 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian expats’ dead bodies to be shipped by domestic airlines ]]>
According to a Wednesday statement, all aviation authorities were directed to cooperate and deliver the expats' dead bodies according to the stated procedures and steps. It was also clarified that these steps were implemented on the expats' dead bodies coming from Kuwait.

This decision comes after a wave of anger and criticism which hit EgyptAir on social media following controversial comments given by Speaker of the House of Representatives Ali Abdel Aal over the costly fees of deporting the dead bodies of expatriates.

A hashtag “#مقاطعة_مصر_للطيران” was created by Egyptian expatriates, calling for boycotting the company. The call for the boycott also went viral on Facebook pages of Egyptian expatriates in Saudi Arabia and Italy.

Earlier, Speaker of the Egyptian House of Representatives Abdel Aal said in his meeting with reporters in Kuwait that deporting dead bodies of expatriates is very costly for the country.

After his comments were criticized by social media users, Abdel Aal said during the general session of the Parliament on Sunday that his comments were taken out of context, adding that a fund will be established to finance shipping the dead bodies.

Social media users said that the company refused to deport the dead bodies of six nationals back home from Kuwait and obliged their relatives to pay the fees of deportation.

On January 11, 2019, the six nationals were killed and five Kuwaiti people were injured in a road accident on a highway in the southern city of Wafra in Kuwait.

Defending the company, an official from the Ministry of Civil Aviation told Egypt Today that the company deported the dead bodies for free from Kuwait to Cairo International Airport and to their relatives in Upper Egypt.
2/3/2019 11:40:37 AM
<![CDATA[Madbouli visits Museum of Islamic Art]]>
The premier toured the various halls of the museum and lauded the real wealth Egypt possesses.

Mamdouh Othman, director of the museum, said the place includes 100,000 priceless and rare archaeological pieces dating back to the Islamic era.

The museum, which is home to one of the world’s most important collections of Muslim art, was closed in January 2014 following a terrorist attack on the nearby Cairo Security Directorate. The attack had badly damaged the museum.

On January 18, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated the Museum of Islamic Art after its renovation.

The museum director talked about the history of the museum. He said Khedive Ismail approved a proposal to establish a museum of Islamic art in the courtyard of the Mosque of Baibars, but this was not carried out until 1880, when Khedive Tawfiq ordered the Ministry of Endowments to set it up.

Julius Franz, an Austrian scholar of Hungarian descent, the head of the technical department at the Awqaf, proposed in 1881 that the ruined mosque of the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim, adjacent to the Bab Al Futuh, to be a provisional seat for the museum.

In 1887 Max Hertz, also Austro-Hungarian, replaced Julius Franz, and began making many changes. He suggested the name of the museum back then as Dar Al Athar Al Arabiya (gallery of Arab Antiquities).

By 1895 the museum collection numbered to 1,641, and the new building became too crowded, so he requested the Awqaf build a larger museum.

In 1899 the foundations were laid for the present larger building in the Bab AlKhalq area of Cairo.

The new and current building was designed by Alfonso Manescalo, and was completed in 1902 in neo-Mamluk style, with its upper storey housing the National Library.

The old museum in al Hakim was demolished in the 1970s, during refurbishment of the mosque there.

The museum has two entrances: one on the north-eastern side and the other on the south-eastern side. The entrance on Port Said Street features a very luxurious facade, rich with decorations and recesses inspired by Islamic architecture in Egypt from various periods.

The museum is a two-storey building; the lower floor contains the exhibition halls and the upper floor contains the general stores. The basement contains a store connected with the Restoration Section.]]>
2/3/2019 11:32:01 AM
<![CDATA[FM heads for Brussels Sunday for EU-Arab meeting]]>
The meeting will mull issues of common interest in various domains.

Egypt is scheduled to host the first Arab-European summit on February 24-25, Hafez noted.
2/3/2019 6:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Maduro proposes new parliament vote as Venezuelans protest]]>
As domestic and international pressure on Maduro to step down mounts, a senior air force general disavowed him in a video that circulated earlier on Saturday, expressing his allegiance to parliament head and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido.

The military's support is crucial for Maduro, who is deeply unpopular, largely due to an unprecedented economic crisis that has prompted an exodus of millions. Maduro claims he is victim of a coup directed by the United States.

In a speech to supporters, Maduro said the powerful government-controlled Constituent Assembly would debate calling early elections for the National Assembly parliament, which is opposition-controlled.

Guaido has called for a new, fair presidential election after the disputed vote won by Maduro last year.

"You want elections? You want early elections? We are going to have parliamentary elections," Maduro told a pro-government rally in Caracas, held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez's first inauguration as president. The parliamentary elections had been scheduled for 2020.

"There is no dictatorship in Venezuela, nor will there be," said Maduro.

Washington, along with many countries in the western hemisphere, has denounced Maduro as a dictator and recognized Guaido as the legitimate president, announcing this week potentially crippling sanctions that are likely to further weaken the OPEC nation's struggling oil industry.

While small rebellions against Maduro have broken out in Venezuela's armed forces in recent months, there has been no large scale military uprising against him.

However, General Francisco Yanez of the air force's high command became the first active Venezuelan general to recognize Guaido since he proclaimed himself president on Jan. 23. Venezuela's chief military attache to the United States also said he was defecting last week.

"People of Venezuela, 90 percent of the armed forces of Venezuela are not with the dictator, they are with the people of Venezuela," Yanez said in the video.

"Already the transition to democracy is imminent."

On its Twitter account, the air force's high command accused the general of treason.

At an opposition rally in Caracas, Guaido told his supporters he expected more to follow Yanez's example. He has offered the military and public officials amnesty if they defect.

"I am certain many officials and soldiers will repeat this gesture, very soon, very soon," he said.

The rally was one of many nationwide on Saturday, where demonstrators decked out in the yellow, red and blue of the Venezuelan flag honked horns, pounded on drums and chanted "Guaido, Guaido, Guaido."

"It's been years of destruction of companies and poverty," said Pedro Gimenez, 51, a worker in an aluminum factory in the southern state of Bolivar. "We want a better present and future and we are about to achieve that."

In a possible sign of Maduro's weakening support, riot police who had planned on blocking demonstrators from reaching the rallies decided to let them pass in at least three cities, according to Guaido and Reuters witnesses.


Humanitarian aid would soon flow into crisis-stricken Venezuela from collection points in Brazil, Colombia and a Caribbean island, Guaido said, without specifying who was providing the aid.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States stood "ready to provide assistance to the people of Venezuela."

Guaido said the opposition would not let up on protests until Maduro stepped down and allowed free elections. The self-declared president has no control over state institutions or any functions of day-to-day governance.

As well as the United States, Canada and several Latin American nations have already officially recognized Guaido. Some European Union member states are expected to officially recognize Guaido next week, while others will likely take a more cautious stance of support.

Washington has imposed sweeping sanctions on state-owned oil firm PDVSA.

"(U.S. President Donald) Trump is imposing measures because he is the dictator of the world and thinks we are his slaves," said Gregory Carrasquel, 35, at the pro-government rally in Caracas, attended by many public sector workers wearing the trademark red socialist shirts.

"For us Venezuelans, there is only one president - President Nicolas Maduro."

Maduro's adversaries say he has run roughshod over democratic institutions and destroyed the once-buoyant economy through a corruption-riddled exchange control system and arbitrary nationalizations.

Venezuela is suffering from hyperinflation, produce shortages and a mass migration of citizens to neighboring Latin American countries - a situation likely to be worsened in the short term by the new sanctions.

2/3/2019 3:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Russia suspends nuclear arms treaty after U.S. says to pull out]]>
Moscow's relations with the West are strained over issues including Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, allegations of meddling in the U.S. presidential election and being behind a nerve agent attack in Britain.

The United States announced on Friday it will withdraw from the INF treaty in six months unless Moscow ends what it says are violations of the 1987 pact.

It would reconsider its withdrawal if Russia came into compliance with the agreement, which bans both nations from stationing short- and intermediate-range land-based missiles in Europe. Russia denies violating the treaty.

On Saturday, Washington said it had formally notified Russia and other treaty parties of the United States' intent and suspended its obligations under the INF.

"The American partners have declared that they suspend their participation in the deal, we suspend it as well," Putin said during a televised meeting with foreign and defence ministers.

Putin said Russia will start work on creating new missiles, including hypersonic ones, and told ministers not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington, accusing the United States of being slow to respond to such moves.

"We have repeatedly, during a number of years, and constantly raised a question about substantiative talks on the disarmament issue," Putin said. "We see that in the past few years the partners have not supported our initiatives."

The row over the treaty has drawn a strong reaction from Europe and China.

European nations fear the treaty's collapse could lead to a new arms race with possibly a new generation of U.S. nuclear missiles stationed on the continent.

China urged the United States on Saturday to resolve its differences with Russia through dialogue.

During the meeting with Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of violating the INF and other arms deals, including the non-proliferation treaty.

Putin said Russia would not deploy its weapons in Europe and other regions unless the United States did so.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement on Saturday that the United States could not be restricted by the treaty while Russia violated it.

"The United States has concluded that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of the Treaty arising from Russia's continued noncompliance have jeopardized the United States' supreme interests," the statement said.
2/3/2019 12:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt represents Africa as Vice-Chairman of UN peace-building commission]]>
According to a statement by Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations in New York Mohamed Idris, Egypt can achieve peace and stability in the continent through this platform through promoting =international cooperation.

The statement also reported that Egypt will also work to promote and develop coordination between the United Nations and the African Union in the areas of support and peace-building.

The Egyptian government will inaugurate the headquarters of the African Union's Center for Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development in Cairo this year, the statement added.
2/2/2019 5:16:21 PM
<![CDATA[Ex-official referred to criminal court over facilitating seizure of L.E. 67M]]>
The official document has not named the accused official, who was referred along with 25 others to the court. The official has facilitated for another person to illegally seize a piece of land of 60 feddan located in west of Alexandria Desert Road, which was owned by his employer; the state-run General Authority for Projects for Reconstruction and Development of Agriculture.

The official is the main defendant in the case, and is facing charges of deliberate harm and misuse of the authority’s funds.

Egypt has referred several officials, including governors and public employees to prosecution over corruption-related charges, as part of the government’s efforts to harshly punish officials misusing their positions.

Last week, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Souad al-Khouli, former deputy governor of Alexandria, to 12 years in prison and ordered removing her from her job over bribery.
Security forces arrested Khouli in August 2017 in the General Office of Alexandria Governorate overcharges including bribery and damage of public money.

In November 2018, a judicial court in Giza sentenced former Monufia Governer Hesham Abdel Baset to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of LE 15 million over charges of bribery.

The Administrative Control Authority (ACA) – the regulatory body responsible for enforcing laws and regulations within state bodies – has ordered the arrest of numerous officials over the last two years, within the framework of the leadership’s fight against corruption.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has 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.
2/2/2019 2:08:13 PM
<![CDATA[Arab League chief mulls means of settling Libyan crisis with UN envoy]]>
The two sides agreed on continuing efforts meant to build confidence between the Libyan parties and encourage them to overcome their disputes until they reach agreement on implementing the general framework of Sukhairat deal to ensure the integrity of the country's territories, AL chief Spokesman Mahmoud Afifi said on Saturday.

Abul Gheit reiterated the AL's support to the UN action plan for Libya and the political path sponsored by the envoy, Afifi added.

Abul Gheit as well stressed the importance of reaching a final solution regarding the armed militias endangering the sovereignty of the Libyan State.

They agreed on proceeding with cooperation and coordination between the AL and the UN mission in Libya.]]>
2/2/2019 1:25:47 PM
<![CDATA[Azhar Imam heads for Abu Dhabi to hold summit with Vatican Pope]]>
Sheikh Tayyeb's visit comes at an invitation from Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nuhayyan.

Abu Dhabi visit and meeting are very important at the Arab and international levels as this is the firs time a Vatican pope visits the Arab peninsula.

An international conference on humanitarian fraternity will be held on the sidelines of the visit. ]]>
2/2/2019 1:18:09 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. says to withdraw from arms control treaty in six months]]>
The United States would reconsider its withdrawal if Russia, which denies violating the treaty, came into compliance with the agreement, which bans both nations from stationing short- and intermediate-range land-based missiles in Europe.

Announcing the move, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would cease to regard itself as being bound by the treaty starting Saturday, which is when Washington will formally inform Moscow of its intent to withdraw, a senior U.S. official told reporters.

The announcement may aim to pressure Russia to come to terms during the next six months but it also raised fears of a new U.S.-Russian nuclear arms race in Europe as well as one between the United States and China in Asia.

U.S. President Donald Trump repeated U.S. allegations that Russia had violated the INF treaty, which limited only U.S. and Russian arsenals, and he held out the prospect of negotiating a wider agreement, possibly including other nations.

“I hope that we’re able to get everybody in a big and beautiful room and do a new treaty that would be much better. Certainly I would like to see that,” Trump told reporters.

Trump’s tenure has been dogged by allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help his candidacy, which Moscow denies. The dispute over INF has contributed to U.S.-Russia frictions, now at their worst since the Cold War ended in 1991 despite Trump’s stated desire for better ties.

“If Russia does not return to full and verifiable compliance with the treaty within this six-month period by verifiably destroying its INF-violating missiles, their launchers, and associated equipment, the treaty will terminate,” Pompeo told reporters.

(Graphic: U.S. nuclear arsenal - tmsnrt.rs/2sYZOpw)

Russian officials accused the United States of inventing a false pretext to exit a treaty that it wants to leave anyway so it can develop new missiles.

Speaking before the announcement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia regretted the expected U.S. move and accused Washington of failing to negotiate to avoid such an outcome.

“The unwillingness of the Americans to listen to any arguments and to hold substantive negotiations with us shows that the decision to break this treaty was taken in Washington a long time ago,” Peskov told reporters.

The United States alleges a new Russian cruise missile violates the pact. The missile, the Novator 9M729, is known as the SSC-8 by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Slideshow (4 Images)
The treaty required the parties to destroy ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 km (310 to 3,420 miles). Last week, the head of Russia’s military’s missile and artillery forces said the new missile’s maximum range fell short of the treaty’s lower limit.

Russia has rejected the U.S. demand to destroy the new missile.

NATO “does not have any intention to deploy new land-based nuclear weapons to Europe,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Reuters on Friday, saying the Western security alliance had intelligence from the United States and other allies confirming that Russia had violated the treaty.

“We don’t have to mirror what Russia does. But at the same time we have to make sure that we maintain credible and effective deterrence,” he said, without giving specifics on military options NATO is considering.

Venezuela's Guaido says police visited his home
France and Germany both emphasized the importance of using the six-month window to keep talking.

Formal U.S. withdrawal could give the Pentagon new options to counter Chinese missile advances but experts warn the ensuing arms race could greatly escalate tensions in the Asia-Pacific.

The United States will notify Russia on Saturday of its plan to pull out in six months, a senior U.S. official said, describing this as “one final chance” to comply with the agreement but saying Washington doubted Moscow would do so.

He said the administration is weighing whether to extend the “New Start” arms control treaty, which went into effect in 2011 and required both nations to cut deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550, the lowest level in decades.

That treaty, which also limits deployed land- and submarine-based missiles and nuclear-capable bombers, expires in February 2021, can be extended by five years if both sides agree.]]>
2/2/2019 11:30:26 AM
<![CDATA[Deadly Brazil dam burst likely had same cause as previous one: official]]>
With 115 people confirmed dead and another 248 missing, according to information from the rescue team on Friday evening, the tailings dam collapse in the town of Brumadinho could be Brazil’s deadliest mine disaster.

The burst tailings dam at the Corrego do Feijao mine last Friday has ignited intense public anger against Vale, which was co-owner of Samarco, the previous dam that collapsed..

Around 2,000 people gathered in Belo Horizonte, capital of the mining-intensive state of Minas Gerais which was home to both disasters, to protest against Vale, with some saying its top executives should be jailed.

“I lost three of my students,” said Aparecida Moreira, a teacher at a local law school. “They are dead, and we don’t know where their bodies are.”

There were also demands for a congressional investigation.

An internal study showed the miner knew as recently as last year that some of the areas swamped with toxic mud were at risk if the dam burst, according to a report by Folha de S.Paulo newspaper. Vale described the document as a routine disaster preparation plan required by regulators.

The disaster poses a headache for the new government of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose new business-friendly administration must juggle public anger over the tragedy and its own desire to ease mining and environmental regulations to kick-start growth.

Hildebrando Neto, Minas Gerais’ deputy minister for environmental regulations, told Reuters late on Thursday that all evidence suggests that the burst was caused by liquefaction, whereby a solid material such as sand loses strength and stiffness and behaves more like a liquid.

Dams holding mining waste, known as tailings, sometimes collapse for this reason.

Major Brazilian TV outlets obtained dramatic security camera video showing the outer wall of the dam collapsing and an avalanche of mud crushing trees, houses and cars in its path. Closeups replayed throughout the day showed cars and people scrambling unsuccessfully to escape the dark red torrent.


Neto said liquefaction caused the 2015 collapse of the Samarco dam, which led to the deaths of 19 people.

The internal study reported by the Folha newspaper was dated April 18, 2018, and outlined the likely impact of a collapse at the dam. It found that the mine restaurant, where many Vale workers were likely to have died, would be hit by toxic mud.

Venezuela's Guaido says police visited his home
The study envisaged that sirens would alert workers if the dam burst. The company has said the mud flow destroyed the sirens before they could sound the alarm.

Vale said in a statement that the plan was “built on the basis of technical studies of hypothetical scenarios in the event of a breach” although it did not directly reference Folha’s story.

Officials with the Mines and Energy Ministry and the National Mining Agency (ANM) told reporters on Friday that the cause of the rupture was still unclear.

“If we had known (what the problem was), maybe this tragedy would have never happened,” the ministry’s mining secretary, Alexandre Vidigal, said. “We are in the investigation phase and we cannot say whether the (inspection) model was adequate or not.”]]>
2/2/2019 11:13:50 AM
<![CDATA[Official rates of divorce and marriage in Egypt ]]>
In 2017, the number of marriage cases recorded 913 thousands, while the divorce cases hit 198 thousands, averaging 21.7% of divorce ratio to every 100 marriage case. This recorded the least ratio worldwide, according to the official statistics issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Additionally, 4,400 cases of the divorced women return to their former husbands and 24 thousand of divorced wives get married for another time.

Official data referred that rate of customary marriage (Urfi marriage) hit 149 thousand in 2017; underage girls constitute a third of this rate and 22 percent for women ranged between 22 to 24 years old.

The data also showed that the number of children below 15 years old who live with their mothers after parents' separation recorded 778 thousand and 162 thousand for those who live with their fathers, recording 3 percent for children who live with only one of their parents.
2/2/2019 11:12:08 AM
<![CDATA[AU official: African countries keen on promoting cooperation with Egypt]]>
In statements to MENA, the AU official confirmed the importance of Egypt's AU presidency, noting that Cairo seeks achieving more integration with the African countries in various fields, mainly in economic, trade and anti-terrorism domains.

A number of topics and proposals are set o be discussed during the 32nd AU summit due to be held on February 10 and 11 and meetings of the Executive Council of the AU foreign ministers that will be held on February 7 and 8, topped by following up the AU reform process and peace and security issues in Africa, Negm said.

Negm pointed out that Egypt prioritizes vital files during its AU presidency including the early warning for possible conflicts and activating the "Silencing guns in Africa" initiative.

Negm highlighted Egypt's efforts over the past few years under president Sisi to restore the country's role in Africa and foster relations with the African countries. ]]>
2/2/2019 10:48:48 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's prosecutor general attends Euro-Med forum]]>
Sadeq, who led a delegation of the public prosecution and the ministry of justice, reviewed before the event Egypt's efforts to counter using cyberspace in terrorism, money laundering and crimes.

He had bilateral meetings with his counterparts of the participating countries on the sidelines of the the forum, which was hosted by the European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust).

It was held under the auspices of EuroMed Justice IV (2016-2019), an EU-funded project that contributes to the development of a Euro-Mediterranean area of cooperation in the field of justice and the development of effective, efficient and democratic justice systems that protect and promote human rights. ]]>
2/2/2019 10:42:46 AM
<![CDATA[Army uproots terrorist cell in Western Desert: military spox]]>
In a Saturday statement, Military Spokesman Colonel Tamer Rifai said that the operation was based on accurate intelligence information in cooperation with the national security sector.

Army destroyed a hideout containing weapons and ammunition in Western Desert - press photo

According to the received information, the cell was planning to commit hostile acts that are aimed at destabilizing the country, he pointed out, noting that other terrorists were arrested during the operation and three vehicles and an arms cache were destroyed.

The Armed Forces and civil police will continue their efforts for uprooting terrorism to preserve the security and stability of the country, he added.

MENA contributed to this report
2/2/2019 10:42:44 AM
<![CDATA[Frigid weather begins to ease in U.S. Midwest, Northeast]]>
Temperatures from southern New England to the Upper Midwest should reach the mid-40s to low 50s Fahrenheit through the weekend and Monday, forecasters said, after a record-breaking cold snap that stopped mail deliveries in some parts of the Midwest and shuttered schools and businesses.

Meteorologists linked the spell of brutal cold to the so-called polar vortex, a cap of icy air that usually swirls over the North Pole. Changing air currents caused it to slip down through Canada and into the U.S. Midwest this week.

Bryan Jackson, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said the core of the vortex was pulling north into eastern Canada, though residual icy air was still pushing over to the U.S. Northeast.

Temperatures on Friday morning ranged from below zero Fahrenheit to the teens in parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

"That cold air that was over the Great Lakes, over the Midwest, has shifted off. Now the high pressure is over Pennsylvania and New York," Jackson said in a phone interview. "As it moves east, it'll bring in air from the south and we do expect it to warm up over the weekend."

Temperatures in the Upper Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, will reach well above zero F (minus 18C) on Friday, with highs making it into the teens and low 20s.

Even so, parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa were still experiencing temperatures in the negative single digits, Jackson said.

The lowest temperature recorded early Friday morning was minus 34 Fahrenheit (minus 36 Celsius) in Stonington, Michigan, according to the National Weather Service.

By Saturday, highs will be in the 30s and even low 40s in the Midwest. The central Plains will be in the low 60s, nearly 20 to 25 degrees above normal, the weather service said.

More than 40 cold-temperature records were broken on Thursday, the coldest morning since the polar vortex moved in late on Tuesday. The mass of Arctic air had clung to a swath of the United States from Iowa and the Dakotas across the Great Lakes region and into Maine for days.

Officials across multiple states linked numerous deaths to the frigid air. The death toll rose after at least nine more people in Chicago were reported to have died from cold-related injuries, according to Stathis Poulakidas, a doctor at the city's John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital.

But on Friday, Amtrak train services that had been halted since Wednesday in Chicago's hub will resume, as will U.S. postal service halted or limited in six Midwest states.

Thousands of flights were canceled and delayed earlier in the week, mostly out of Chicago, but on Friday the flight-tracking site FlightAware reported nationwide cancellations down to just over 950.]]>
2/1/2019 4:36:07 PM
<![CDATA[FMs of Egypt, Jordan Gulf States talk counter-terrorism]]>
In the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention, which locates on the eastern shores of Dead Sea, the six ministers tackled the regional challenges they face, the statement said

During his one-day visit to Amman on 13 January, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi discussed with Jordanian Monarch King Abdullah II the regional and international issues of mutual concerns after calls from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to form a Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) with Gulf Cooperation Council members, Egypt and Jordan to face “terrorism.”

In his speech at the American University in Cairo on Thursday, Pompeo said “We will continue to work with our allies in the Middle East to defeat Isis. … The U.S. will also be a supporting power to its allies … You cannot say the same for the Russians, Iranians, or Chinese."

2/1/2019 2:01:05 PM
<![CDATA[ECA official hails Sisi's initiatives in healthcare sector]]>
The ECA official made the remarks on Friday at a meeting with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli in the presence of Planning Minister Hala el Saaed.

Songwe pointed out that the ECA works to help African countries to engage Agenda 2063 among their national development plans, hailing procedures that have been adopted by Egypt in this file.

She also expressed her keenness on cooperating with Egypt during its presidency of the African Union (AU), lauding the successful and unprecedented initiatives that were launched by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to promote the healthcare sector in Egypt.

For his part, Madbouli welcomed the ongoing cooperation between Egypt and the ECA, voicing his keenness to upgrade this cooperation during Egypt's presidency of the AU. ]]>
2/1/2019 12:40:43 PM
<![CDATA[Moscow says no deadline set for resuming flights to Egyptian resorts]]>
Russian flag carrier Aeroflot already resumed flights to Cairo in April after more than two-and-a-half years of suspension.

Bogdanov said that despite the absence of charters, a considerable number of tourists still visit Egyptian resorts through third countries. "In terms of distance, quality and price of products, Egypt is a unique place," he stated.

Flights were suspended at the end of 2015 after a bomb downed a flight carrying holidaymakers from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board, mostly Russian tourists. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group.

Since the crash, Egypt has been implementing new, tighter security measures at all of its airports to meet the Russian demands necessary for the resumption of flights, with multiple visits from Russian security delegations to observe changes implemented by the government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has decreed to resume flights from Moscow to Cairo in January 2018. On April 11, 2018, the first flight of Russia's Aeroflot airlines arrived to Cairo International Airport.

An Airbus 320 with 160 Russian passengers on board arrived at Terminal 2 of the Cairo International Airport; the Egyptian Aviation Services Company facilitated all the procedures for the Russian passengers.

On October 15 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi embarked on a three-day official visit to Russia, during which he met with his Russian counterpart.

Sisi told press he reviewed with Putin the resumption of direct flights from Russia to Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, and others. Putin agreed during the meeting to resume flights between the two countries, referring that Egypt exerts extensive efforts to secure air flights.
2/1/2019 12:00:16 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt cultivates 3.8 million acres of wheat]]>
The cultivation of the above-mentioned area started from September 2018 to January 2019, added the ministry in a report issued on Thursday. The season of wheat cultivation in Egypt starts from September-October, to be harvested in April-May annually.

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s annual brief on Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, a total of 3.2 million acres were cultivated in 2018, “yielding 8.8 million tons.”

Egypt imports 11-12 million tons of wheat annually to meet the people’s demands of bread, the cheapest meal on the tables of 94.8 million people. On April 17, 2018, the Egyptian Ministry of Finance announced that it will import wheat for $198 per ton in the fiscal year of 2018/2019.

The government imported 12 million tons of wheat from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus via international tenders.

Additional reporting by Samar Samir
2/1/2019 11:57:36 AM
<![CDATA[Lebanon announces formation of government]]>
The news boosted Lebanon's bonds, with a 2037 dollar issue jumping in price by 4.3 cents to its highest since August.

Western-backed Saad al-Hariri will face a big challenge in his third term as prime minister in trying to deliver reforms to address the dire state finances and unlock billions of dollars in pledged aid and loans to boost low growth.

The new government will include most Lebanese political factions, who have been negotiating the make-up of the cabinet since a May 6 election, in which allies of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group gained ground.

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, from Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri's Amal party, and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, the leader of President Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement, retained their positions, the presidency announced.

The Iranian-backed Shi'ite movement Hezbollah chose the new health minister, Jamil Jabak, although he is not a member of the group, moving beyond the more marginal role it has played in past governments. The ministry has the fourth-biggest budget in the state apparatus, the outgoing minister has said.
1/31/2019 7:56:13 PM
<![CDATA[NCHR head meets Australian ambassador]]>
During a meeting with Australian Ambassador here Glenn Miles, Fayek, in his capacity as chairman of the Arab network of national institutions for human rights, updated the diplomat on the council's regional role.

The two sides underlined the importance of maintaining cooperation between them in the human rights domain.]]>
1/31/2019 3:22:49 PM
<![CDATA[3 Matrouh ex-officials arrested in LE 500M corruption probe]]>
Egypt's Administrative Control Authority (ACA) – the regulatory body responsible for enforcing laws and regulations within state bodies – announced in a Facebook post on Thursday, Jan. 31 the arrest of the governorate's former secretary general, assistant secretary general and head of the legal affairs department.

The three former officials face numerous charges related to facilitating the theft of public funds,forging, generating illicit profits for others, and misusing powers, the ACA said.

The ACA has ordered the arrest of numerous officials over the last two years, within the framework of the leadership’s fight against corruption.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has 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.

Cairo Criminal Court sentenced on Wednesday Souad al-Khouli, former deputy governor of Alexandria, to 12 years in prison and ordered removing her from her job over bribery.

In November, a judicial court in Giza sentenced former Monufia Governer Hesham Abdel Baset to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of LE 15 million over charges of bribery.

In February 2018, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced former Helwan Governor Hazem el-Qowaidi to 5 years in prison and ordered him to paya fine of LE 50,000 over receiving bribes during his tenure.]]>
1/31/2019 1:48:51 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian-Kuwait military drills 'Sabah-1' kick off]]>CAIRO: 31 January 2019: Kuwaiti and Egyptian army troops started two military drills, code-named "Al-Yarmouk-4" and "Sabah-1" that will last for several days in Kuwait.

For the first time, Egypt and Kuwait conducted "Sabah-1" exercise.

As for "Al-Yarmouk-4" military drill, the Kuwaiti military said in a statement that the mock battles involve elite personnel, F-18 warplanes from the Kuwaiti Air Force and F-16 jet fighters from the Egyptian Air Force.

The exercise includes reconnaissance, theoretical and practical courses.

It also includes performing a number of offensive and defensive operations targeting vital sites to enhance the combat capabilities of the two countries.]]>
1/31/2019 11:22:04 AM
<![CDATA[Sudan's Bashir says border with Eritrea, shut for a year, reopens]]>
"I announce here, from Kassala, that we are opening the border with Eritrea because they are our brothers and our people. Politics will not divide us," he said in televised remarks before scores of supporters in the town of Kassala, capital of the remote state of the same name]]>
1/31/2019 11:05:52 AM
<![CDATA[Pope Francis extols UAE as a 'model of co-existence']]>
In the video, posted in Italian, he said the UAE is a "country that is striving to be a model for co-existence, human fraternity, and meeting of faiths and civilizations".

The Pope's landmark three-day visit - from February 3 to 5 - will culminate in a public Mass for 135,000 people at Zayed Sports City.

The Pope in the video said he was looking forward to meeting with the family of Founding Father Sheikh Zayed at the home of the Abu Dhabi royal family, a home of "prosperity and peace, of coexistence and collaboration".

Quoting the Sheikh Zayed, he said: "True wealth lies not just in material possibilities. The real wealth of a nation is the individuals who hear the sound of their future."

He thanked everyone for "their courage and determination in stressing that faith in God unites us all and never divides.

"Faith brings us together even in the face of differences. It also keeps us away from hostility and indifference. I am happy on this occasion, granted to me by God, which will create a new chapter in the history of relations between faiths," Pope Francis said]]>
1/31/2019 10:50:45 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi-led coalition ready to use "calibrated force" to push Yemen port deal ]]>
Yemen's warring parties have failed to pull troops from the country's main port under a month-old truce, reviving the threat of an all-out assault on Hodeidah that could unleash famine.

The Houthis control Hodeidah while other Yemeni factions backed by the coalition trying to restore the internationally recognised government are massed on its outskirts.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said the Western-backed Sunni Muslim Arab coalition struck 10 Houthi training camps outside Hodeidah governorate on Wednesday.

"Coalition prepared to use more calibrated force to prod Houthi compliance with Stockholm Agreement," he tweeted.

"To preserve ceasefire & any hope for political process, UN and international community must press Houthis to stop violations, facilitate aid convoys, and move forward on withdrawal from Hodaida city & ports as agreed," he added.

U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths has been shuttling between the parties to rescue the deal, the first major diplomatic breakthrough of the nearly four-year-old war that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the verge of starvation.
1/31/2019 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s prosecution calls HRW report inaccurate]]>
The public prosecution stressed that the report issued by the Human Rights Watch organization on the human rights in Egypt is contrary to the truth.

At the end of the investigations carried out about the report, the prosecution urged the organization to be accurate in publishing data on human rights in Egypt.

The investigations, carried out by Cairo appeal prosecution, revealed that the report was based on information published in some internet websites without making sure of its veracity.

Earlier, public prosecutor Nabil Ahmed Sadeq assigned Cairo appeal prosecution to carry out an expanded judicial investigation on the HRW report published in September, 2017.

The organization claimed that citizens, involved in terrorist cases, were exposed to torture by the members of the prosecution during investigations in order to force them confess to crimes in these cases.
1/30/2019 11:49:07 PM
<![CDATA[Ex-deputy Alexandria governor handed 12 yrs in prison over bribery]]>
Security forces arrested Khouli in August 2017 in the General Office of Alexandria Governorate overcharges including bribery and damage of public money.

Investigations confirmed that the deputy received money, material gifts and gold jewelry worth more than LE 1 million ($56,484) from businessmen in return for exploiting her powers, which caused losses of about LE 10 million from the public money.

The Administrative Control Authority (ACA) – the regulatory body responsible for enforcing laws and regulations within state bodies – has ordered the arrest of numerous officials over the last two years, within the framework of the leadership’s fight against corruption.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has 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.

In November, a judicial court in Giza sentenced former Monufia Governer Hesham Abdel Baset to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of LE 15 million over charges of bribery.

In February 2018, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced former Helwan governor Hazem el-Qowaidi to five years in prison and a fine of LE 50,000 over receiving bribes during his tenure.]]>
1/30/2019 6:04:56 PM
<![CDATA[‘Let it rust’ did not cause cars accumulation in ports: official ]]>
Reda al-Ghandour stated that “Let it Rust” campaign had no impact on the number of cars existing at Alexandria and Dekhela ports. “The meantime is the season of cars importation. That is why the number of cars at the ports is higher than the rest of the year,” Ghandour explained.

The spokesperson stated that 70 percent of cars imported by Egypt arrive at the abovementioned ports, and that the annual season extends from September to January. Ghandour revealed that 49,740 cars arrived between November 1 and January 27 with an increase of 26.5 percent than the previous season.

The great majority of those cars received customs clearance so as the remaining ones recorded 4,191.

Imported cars parked in Alexandria port in January 2019 - Egypt Today/Heba Hossam

The spokesperson clarified that importers finish the clearance in a short period of time because they pay different types of fees for every day the car remains in the port.

Ghandour revealed that around 10,000 trucks transport goods into and out of Alexandria port daily. He added that the imports of different types of goods increased this year. The rates vary between 2 and 48 percent.

The authority started to execute certain projects to encompass the annual increase in imported goods, including a multi-storey garage, as storage at the port has almost reached full capacity, Ghandour said.

Egypt Today contacted the spokespeople of the ports of Safaga, Hurghada, Nuweiba, Port Said, Suez Canal, and Damietta to check if any of those ports witnessed accumulation of imported cars. They all denied the rumors saying that the campaign had resulted in the accumulation of imported cars in ports. ]]>
1/30/2019 4:48:38 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's Cabinet approves bill executing narcotics smugglers]]>
The bill approved during a ministerial meeting headed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli modifications to some articles of Law no. 182 of 1960 on combating narcotic abuse and illegal drug trade. Formerly, the law stipulated punishing drug essence importers and exporters by life imprisonment and a fine ranging from LE 3,000 to 10,000.

The new bill punishes possessors of such substances by a rigorous life sentence and a fine ranging between LE 100,000 ($5,664) and LE 500,000 ($28,319).

Owners of places prepared for illicit drug consumption will also face rigorous imprisonment and a fine of at least LE 200,000 and not more than LE 300,000, according to the bill.

Concerning drug abuse, the bill stipulates sentencing illicit drug consumers to at least one year in prison and a fine that does not exceed LE 10,000 ($566) and not less than LE 1,000 ($57).

The bill has been approved with the aim of confronting the spread of all types of narcotics, particularly synthetic substances which seriously harm the society, specifically the youths, according to official statement.


modified law

was issued in 1960 during the term of former President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

The law names 45 substances that are considered by the Egyptian law to be prohibited narcotics, mainly raw opium, all salts of morphine, raw cocaine, and cannabis extracts including Hashish.]]>
1/30/2019 4:24:34 PM